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Can a Kiss be Stolen?

stolen kiss

It sounds so romantic, stolen kisses in the night. You can see the words in a brilliant but sensitive and heartwarming novel of star-crossed lovers who were reunited at the end of WWII …

There we stood, alone and breathing hard like two school children full of expectation and hope. The others were laughing gaily as the orchestra played our song. Under our own gazebo of stars, for the first time, we held one another and gazed into each other’s eyes. It was magic, but not the kind involving a rabbit and a hat, or even a girl being sawn in half. No, this was love. No, better than love. Beyond earthly description, like Orion’s Belt. The entire evening swirled around us and we were alone in a sea of people, drunk on foolish romance. Not the people, I mean us. Dorothy and I. Alone for perhaps a minute, but not before sharing those unforgettable stolen kisses in the cool autumn breeze of the inky inky night.

I wrote these words in a book I entitled “In a Sea of Your Love,” and was told by no fewer than fifty editors that it was sappy, cliché and amateurish, yet in places spotty with an unconscious intent to be altogether droll. Moreover, ten of the editors chastised me specifically for invoking the phrase “stolen kisses.” What do they know? They sit in their offices on piles of manuscripts and critique the works of others. Is that any way to make a living? I’ve had it with them all, especially that creep Lenny Birnbaum from Simon and Shusters in Manhattan. I doubt that’s even the name of a real publisher.

Anyhow, between you and I, separated now by fifteen years since I wrote that novel, though it’s not easy for me, I have to admit I don’t even know what “stolen kisses” are. I’ve read about them, but the phrase confuses me to no end. How can you steal a kiss? See what I mean? Doesn’t make sense. You can’t even borrow a kiss, let alone steal one. You can give one and maybe take one, but you can’t steal one. There’s no quantitative way to prove that a kiss is missing, proving that it can’t be stolen. Ask any police detective. It’s not even a crime to steal a kiss. Why? Because it’s not possible.

Nor can you have one out on loan.

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