Abbracci e baci / Hugs and kisses

Birds are doing it. Bees are doing it. Flowers and dogs and trees are doing it. Every park bench is taken. Every hidden corner. It’s happening astride motor-scooters at 45 kilometers per hour. In bus windows. On city monuments. Everywhere you look—even inside the dark recesses of your own imagination—the kiss and the embrace have taken over. Stolen kisses. In-the-open kisses. Innocent and x-rated kisses.

Illustration: M. Sasek from his book, Rome.

When I first came to Italy, my love gave me chocolates. Not only the fine Swiss kind, but also Perugina “Baci,” those innocent mouthfuls that say so much in just the right way at the right time. Each chocolate comes wrapped with a message. I saved them all and pasted them into my sketchbook. These choice observations on love, romance, friendship and the kiss are now available on line; you can send one to your heart’s desire, or you can, like me, simply browse them and marvel at the literary genius that describes this universal phenomenon.

Upper left: “If only you could have wrapped yourself up in me, how happy I would have been.”—D. H. Lawrence. Upper right: “Love looks not with the eyes but with the spirit.”—W. Shakespeare. Lower left: “I love not only to be loved, but also to hear myself say it.” —G. Elliot. And my favorite, lower right: “What is pleasure, if not an extraordinarily sweet pain?”—H. Heine.

There is nothing like a kiss. Nothing. Nothing like the thought of one. Nothing like a real one. Nothing like the memory of one. Nothing like one planted on your lips when you least expect it. Nothing like the desire for the one that might still be out there with your name on it. Nothing like the first one. And nothing—nothing—like the last one…

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6 Responses to Abbracci e baci / Hugs and kisses

  1. Anna Harrison says:

    hmmm… but a distant memory for me, but a nice one.

  2. But maybe there’s another one out there…I bet there is…

  3. ron says:

    to me the most intense moment of a kiss is the instant before contact is made. you can feel breath and heat, warmer as you get closer. then – ah, i’m melting!!!!!

  4. bagnidilucca says:

    I quite like the chocolate ones.

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