Monday, October 04, 2004

A Kiss Is But A Kiss

It was an odd feeling that came over me this morning at work...the thought I might have shared a kiss with a Nobel Prize winner.

My first real kiss was in the 7th grade under the stairwell of what we called "Junior High" in Garden City, New York with a girl named Linda Buck. I don't think I really even knew her, but as is often the case of young boys and young girls, it is the girls who are the aggressors in instigating relationships. That truth probably extends way beyond the teen years, although many men may not want to admit it.

Anyway, all I recall is that I learned Linda "liked" me and that was about all it took to convince me I liked her too. Soon we were under a stairwell and we kissed. I don't remember it being particularly wondrous, but I certainly have no bad memories associated with it. It was my first kiss. I believe Linda and I "went steady," whatever that meant back then, for a week or two. I may have even given her a hurriedly purchased I.D. bracelet to prove my devotion. We may also have gone to a dance together, but I'm not big on dancing now, so I'm certain I was even less keen on dancing then.

The relationship ended quickly, I know that much. I don't really remember how or why, probably due to lack of interest. If I were writing an autobiography that story might have proved to be good foreshadowing for my first lasted about as long and was only slightly deeper emotionally.

Any way, I thought of Linda Buck this morning while writing news when the reports came out of Stockholm that the Nobel Prize for medicine had been awarded. One of the winners was a woman named Linda Buck.

I knew it was a long shot, but my curiosity got the better of me so I went in search of more information.

First I found her picture.

Now, it was 34 or 35 years ago that I was in 7th grade. I have no idea what Linda Buck looked like then, much less now. For all I knew that could be her...the girl I kissed under the stairs could have actually won a Nobel prize for research on how people smell, well not how they smell, but how the process of smelling know what I mean.

I searched further. I found stories about the various other honors Linda Buck had won, and that too didn't dissuade me. After all, the first girl I kissed could have been brilliant.

Alright that's a stretch, but it's not completely inconceivable.

Then I found her bio....

She's not my Linda Buck. She's ten years my senior and although Linda under the stairs did seem a bit more practiced than I was in areas of ardor, I'm certain she wasn't a 23 year old seventh grader who went on to win one of the most prestigious prizes in science.

It doesn't take a Nobel scientist to realize that doesn't smell right.

Yet this morning's flight of fancy was fun while it lasted, much like that first kiss I suppose.