Stealing Kisses

There was a pounding in my dream. Could it be the surging chant of the Crystals’ killer line, “And then he kissed me”? It seemed to me I was about to have the wild gaze and wilder hair of Natalie Wood or Harpo Marx descend on me. But as I awoke I realized that the eager head was Lassie come home. Kissing can be pretty nice, you used to hear. Between the ages of ten and thirteen, in the dark, kiss-kiss scenes went from being squirm-making to I can’t get enough of this. There were teenagers in the back row at the Regal and the Astoria who seemed to be going further still. What a time! Where has that habit gone? Was it waning at the movies well before Covid? Had “sincere” love stories turned comical, shoved aside by deadpan ironies for kids to sneer at? There was a time when

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