How to Kiss a Stranger
1. Be at the right place at the right time
For me, after a long night at a strange party uptown (where a few unexpected revelations twisted my mind and left me in a state of vague shock that stuck with me throughout the night), and talking to strangers at a hostel across the street, I finally took the long walk toward Union Square and home. Four in the morning on a New York weeknight/morning, the streets with a subdued quiet not not total silence. It was on my way across 14th that a obviously drunken stranger stopped me to ask for directions.
2. Be in the right frame of mind
Kissing a stranger had been on my list of life goals for the longest time. It’s such an impossibly romantic idea: in my mind it happened like this. I’d walk down the street and catch the eye of the cute boy coming in the opposite direction. We’d smile, and in that moment there would be something, magic. Then I’d be brave and bold and stop him, say hello, grab him and kiss him, and walk away with a smile permanently fixed to my face.
When the boy started chatting with me, I was hardly surprised. After all, it’d be a surreal night/morning to start, and perhaps part of my reason for taking the longer route to the subway was this shimmering hope that something extraordinary might happen to get me out of my head. He asked me the way to Washington Square, ridiculously easy to get to from where we were, and I pointed him in the direction. He said it was his first and last night in the city. I asked him where he was from, he said Chile (!). I asked him how his time in New York was. He said amazing, he loved the city. And all the beautiful girls here, beautiful girls like myself.
3. See an opportunity, go for it
So I didn’t have to do much work this time. He said he just wanted to kiss all the beautiful girls here, and asked, “Can I kiss you?” I thought of my goal, my list, how easily it just fell into place. And his last night in New York! I said yes, of course. So he grabbed me and we kissed on the sidewalk, a movie scene in hyper reality. He said he wanted to do more, and I think for the first time in my life, a total stranger asked me, straight to the point, if I wanted to fuck. Given my already discombobulated frame of mind, I laughed and couldn’t believe his words, but he was serious.
And I considered it, I walked with him back to his sister’s apartment by the park, in fact. My head spinning with the surrealism of all of this. And there, I realized that kissing a stranger was enough of a dream come true, another piece crossed off my list. He was cute and sweet, and even if it was his last night, I left him with the kiss, and just that. Better that way, I think, a brief memory, a capsule story, a life goal accomplishment.
Before this, there were daydreams and fantasies, boys at clubs whose names I’ve forgotten, brief encounters at parties, but those hardly mattered. It’s funny how this came without any effort on my part, except for the ability to smile and say yes, and chat with a stranger, even at four in the morning, even with the weight of the night pressed upon me. So be brave, be bold, expect the unexpected. When it happens, it will be a movie scene. And for that briefest of moments, there will be magic.