The Best Kiss
But yesterday, this kiss moved me. I'm still thinking about it.
Her name is Consolación. I would not even venture to guess how old she is, but by her bent back and lined face, I know she's older than my 25 year old joven brain thinks I'll ever be. Consolación wears all black, from her dress to her headscarf, and she bends over double over her cane as she begs on the street. Victoria wrote about her today. Click on her name to go to a wonderful, beautiful description of this woman. I'm not even going to try to describe her after reading that.
But back to that kiss....actually, back to 45 minutes before the kiss.
I didn't feel like taking sandwiches out yesterday. We had done the shopping, made the tuna, put them together, wrapped them, and loaded up the backpacks, and I just didn't feel like going. I was tired. I was having people over for a dinner later that night and hadn't even gone to the frutería for the zucchini or the pollería for the chicken yet. I had things to do.
But these sandwiches are important to the people who get them, people who don't take their meals for granted and who don't have the luxury of going to the frutería for zucchini and the pollería for chicken to make dinner for 6. I know this, but I still didn't feel like going.
So as Amy, Victoria, and I prayed before going out, I reluctantly, silently, prayed in my heart: "God, help me to be where I am and not thinking about what comes next. Help me to give my time freely and joyfully."
We started to walk. One sandwich down, two, three, four. A couple familiar faces from the weeks before. A couple new names to try to commit to memory for the next Friday afternoon. And then there she was. Consolación. I hadn't really seen her face in the few weeks before, even when I bent down to help her put the sandwich and juice box into her pouch. Something in me lifted when I saw her hunched frame.
"Hola, Consolación," was all I said, starting to unzip my backpack to pull out the sandwich. Her head turned up and her hand reached out. Her whole face smiled as she pulled me toward her and kissed one cheek and then the other.
"Aquí vienes para traerme comida" she said. Then she kissed Victoria and Amy as well.
My head was swimming from the kiss still, from the touch of her old hand on the back of my head, the pull that was so strong, bringing my face down next to her face.
Her eyes shifted to the people across the street watching our exchange. She raised her voice a bit.
"Esos allí nos están mirando porque estamos besando. ¡MIRA, GILIPOLLAS!"
Translation: "Those people are looking at us because we're kissing. Look, ***holes!"
I held back my laugh as she patted my face before we walked on. "See you next Friday!"
I couldn't stop smiling.
The rest of the afternoon, that night during the dinner, and today, I keep thinking about that kiss, that pull, that face, her name. Consolación.
Those are the best kinds of kisses.