On the plane from Rome to Copenhagen I was surrounded by kids. They were restless and yelling. I thought to myself, you have two options: to be annoyed for 2 hours or go with it. My idea of going with it was to enjoy a bottle of champagne and see what happens. It didn’t take long until a 4-year old, right in front of my seat, turned to see who was sitting in the back. He was looking at me through the crack in the seat, as it were. I pretended not to see him, but smart kids know when you pretend, which for them is a clear indication that you’re in for a game. And indeed I was. We played a game of gazes and hands. Every time I gave him a look, or pretended to grab his nose between two of my fingers he would go wild with laughter. Half of the people on the plane were annoyed at such noise. I could have been one of them. Between the looks and the touches, he would tell me: “you’re so boring.” I told him in return that he was equally boring, and then he went: “and your glasses are so bad.” Then he started serenading me. When he finished with the singing, which involved a lot of yeah, yeah, yeah, and da, da, da, out of the blue he told me: “but you can’t kiss me.” Now, there was a thought. I instantly devised strategies for that act precisely. I succeeded, of course. He looked surprised, but also triumphant. This latter look on his face puzzled me. It occurred to me that he was already ahead of me. It occurred to me also that he wanted me to steal a kiss from him all along. “I’ll be damned,” I thought to myself. “Not bad at all.”

I blamed myself, however, for having missed his intention. I was coming from a psychoanalytical gathering where one never talks about anything other than desire, intention, and attraction, so I should have been faster at registering what he was doing. When we parted, he told me his name was Anton. He gave me a small board to write his name on it as he was spelling it to me. As I put my own name next to his, his mother was thanking me profusely for what she called “fantastic and fabulous entertaining.” I rather thought that I was the one who had a good reason to be thankful. Especially for the kiss. Apparently I was the first. Anton’s father informed me that Anton never let anyone kiss him before. Not even his parents. Ah, such mythical first acts! The thought of being the chosen one grew as bubbly in my head as the champagne, and I didn’t even think it a hassle to drag the heavy suitcases all the way from Kastrup to Roskilde.


Robert Gibbons said…
You,re Lucky! Home from Rome here is 8.5 hours, not with Danish raucousness, but tawdry American sulking. Did I ever tell you about the star of the conference in Olympia putting his as in my face leaning over in the seat across from me down to his computer once too often? No cute four-year-old, believe me, but I chastised him as if he were! Welcome Home!!

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