Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Exploring Strange Mouths with My Tongue

Would you kiss this mouth?
Would you kiss this mouth?

As I write this, I’m sitting in a small Newark, Delaware coffee joint called Central Perk. It’s on Main Street, a stone’s throw away from the University of Delaware campus that, for four years, I called home.

I am a guy. An old-ish guy. But, still, I can’t help but notice the women who enter the facility—young, blonde, perky, long-legged, dressed for the spring. It’s good stuff, and reminds me (longingly, to a certain degree) of being back here, 21-years old, heading out on a Friday or Saturday night and hoping (praying?) to hook up.

And then I remember the realities of it all.

Back in the day, my roommates and I sought out the highly coveted hook-up. It wasn’t about sex (well, not really). It was about being young and buzzed and in some 100-degree bar or nastier-than-a-rat-nest fraternity basement. It sounds slimy now, but we made a game of it. Who would hook up first? Who would hook up longest? Who would go home with someone? I was the absolute worst (gawky, no game, no confidence), but I tried my best and—on occasion—landed a score or two.

Which leads me to this point: Hooking up was fucking gross. I mean, literally, I was shoving my tongue into the mouth of a complete stranger, unaware that she had A. Herpes; B. Canker Sores; C. Trouble digesting the ham-and-Swiss egg special of an hour earlier; D. Just hooked up with another guy 15 minutes earlier. I have some particularly funny-yet-nasty memories of the endeavor. In particular, there was one night when I started making out with a woman with acne coating, oh, 97 percent of her face. We actually hooked up while Pearl Jam’s “Black” was playing—forever poisoning an otherwise fantastic song.

With that, I can say—with complete honestly—that in the Lord’s year of 2014, I’d rather lick the innards of my toilet than hook up with a random stranger in a bar.

Of course, if Halle Berry comes calling …