One for the Romantics…

2 years ago by

There is a painting by an artist named Ron Hicks. It is called “A Stolen Kiss,” and it depicts a couple leaning over a wooden café table, a coffee mug between them, their heads as close together as you can get without touching. It captures that fleeting moment just before a kiss.

I imagine this couple, just previously, to have been deep in conversation. Maybe they have been dating for four months, maybe a year. I imagine it to be late fall, perhaps because of their long-sleeved clothing, perhaps because that is the season I think is most romantic. The painting is quite dark, it uses muted, neutral tones, and it’s reminiscent of a Rembrandt or John Singer Sargent. Although Hicks was born in 1965, you can tell he’s an old soul. His work is poetic. It is the canvas equivalent of watching an old, beautifully shot, film. This work in particular sums up everything I envision my romantic life to be: creative, intriguing, stimulating. Unconcerned with the grand gestures, abundant in the moments. The moments that aren’t typically considered Instagrammable. The moments that can only be documented by artists like Hicks. The moments that, in hindsight, you often cherish more than the Instagrammable gestures.

Do you know the movie, Love Story? It was made in 1970 with Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal. The scene where they are reading separate books, intertwined together on a couch, is the height of romance to me. The scene where they, as newlyweds, buy a modest apartment and are so happy you’d think they’d moved into a palace, is the epitome of romance to me. I have never fantasized about being a wife, or having my own house to decorate, or getting proposed to with a diamond ring, for that matter—but I have fantasized about reading together, about kissing in cafes, about going to nostalgic jazz bars and talking softly, heads together, so as not to disturb the music.

I don’t know how long the couple in “A Stolen Kiss” stays together. Maybe it doesn’t work out in the end. But I think, especially in romance, it is about the moments, the experiences. It is a collection of memories to acquire. It doesn’t necessarily need to lead to a certain destination. If the couple from the painting does get married, like in Love Story, that is wonderful. But whatever happens, at least they know that they will always have that blissful, romantic moment in the fall, where time seemed to stop for a second.

What is your “stolen kiss” moment?


Add yours
  • This was great. Succinct, to the point, and complete with all the feels. I’m reminded of the one time I had a cliche road trip with a woman I knew. We weren’t romantic, and yet that road trip was entirely the most romantic thing I never experienced. Listening to music from my crappy phone speakers while driving down the I-5.

    She’s in another country now, but every once in a while I’ll get a message from her saying something reminded her of that trip. Makes this old man’s heart go all a-flutter again.

  • Many years ago—at a Christmas party—a man I’d worked with and I ended up chatting in a quiet room away from the crowd. The conversation stopped and The Kiss happened. We were together for two years but circumstances didn’t work out…Now we are back in touch after 40 years—have met up. The love is still there, but the circumstances are again unfavorable. Please don’t judge. This is a heartbreaker but I am still grateful he’s in my life, albeit several states away.

  • My boyfriend is in jail. I am allowed to kiss him when I see him and when I say goodbye. The last time I stole a kiss, right when he started his sentence and we were bubbly and naive , I kissed him on the cheek and we were reprimand. The next time I saw him he tried to kiss me on the cheek. they ended the visit, he got time in solitary and we had to have visits behind glass for a week. Its not like the movies- you can barely hear on the phones and its absolutely horrible. Now when I see him we hold hands, lock eyes and try to shut the world- guards watching other people, the fact that the visit can be ended at ANY tim, the fact he will be strip searched afterwards- out. We spend as long as we can in that pre kiss zone – soclose to each other but not too close, lest we get tossed out and he is punished. We stare at each other and breathe air on each other so we can share molecules. We are lucky- many states are moving to video visits where people are only allowed to communicate over ( expensive) video chat screens and prisoners aren’t allowed to allowed touch from loved ones AT ALL. So… that pre kiss zone is where our relationship lives now. If you have the delicious freedom to touch and kiss your loved one, touch and kiss them for us, cause we can’t.

  • What great writing, KK, I would love to read more.

  • Beijinhos negro crucial

  • Malin Carlsson February, 4 2020, 3:36 / Reply

    Oh this was just just right on point. It reminds me of one specific date with my first true love (still haven’t experienced it again). We had been dating for a couple of months and met each other to take a coffee. It ended up with the waiter knocking on my shoulder to tell us that they closed 1 hour ago. We were so in to our conversations and sometimes we just stoped and looked at each other. I couldn’t believe we had been there for so many hours. This is definitely my stolen kiss moment and he still has a very special place in my heart even do it didn’t worked out at the end<3

    (Im sorry if my English is not the best)

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