After a long and productive day of photography I went to the pub to have drinks with my fellow photogs and saw the two tables outside the bar occupied by complete strangers. While Love Rollercoaster played from James' portable stereo I snapped this picture of two strangers blowing one another a kiss.
I crouched down for a quick interview with Ali and her friend Ellie (who incidently has a blog of her own which has this insanely adorable post in time for V-day.
J: You weren't will to kiss a stranger at first even when I said it didn't have to be on the lips. You agreed once I said you could blow a kiss. Why is that?
Ali: Because kisses are special.
J: Yea, but why?
Ali: Even when i kiss my mom it is still a love kiss, to physically touch someone with my lips. I am not going to do that with a stranger.
J: Not even kissing to say hello like the Europeans and other cultures do?
Ali: Not even that way.
J: Why do you think we kiss then? Why is it part of our anthropological evolution?
Ali: It is a special physical exchange.
Ellie: It is a non-verbal way to expression emotion either friendship, romantic or familial.
[In retrospect it makes a lot of sense what they are saying and I should follow up these answers with "why is it so special, so reserved? why can't we share this with everyone and be closer?" If anyone wants to tackle this question send in an email or comment.]
J: Tell me about your first kiss or your most recent kiss.
Ali: Do you mean like...
J: It can be any kiss. It's a big open-ended question. I love those.
Ali: I love that I can kiss my mom. We don't live in the same area and when we do it is always so...casual...never a big deal, but it is only because we are so close that we can feel that way. She is the person I am most connected to.
J: And this gets back to the beginning of our conversation, what you are saying is that it is not possible to be "casual" with a stranger. I get that.
Ellie: My first kiss was when I was 16 and it was with a guy who was one of my best friends. I had a crush on him also. He was too drunk to remember, but we had a lot more kisses and it improved from there.
ps. Ali is a painter. If you have a website, send it in. We love to see what our strangers do.
Because we're all family.