Page 61 Silver Lining

                                               SILVER LINING.                                  12-6-10

                                                                              Roy Garde.

     John P. Maynard was the only son of his small town’s Baptist Minister and, as long as anyone could remember, his best friend and constant companion had been Mary Price, the Methodist Minister’s daughter.

     Their parents would have been surprised had they not become engaged and in fact they made the announcement on the day that they finished High School. They said that their aim was to get married the day after they finished college.

      John and Mary stayed strictly chaste all through their engagement both physically and mentally.

      Physically – because they sincerely believed every word in the Bible to be true along with every word that their parents had told them about respecting each others “temples” and about severely suppressing any actions that might lead to “sin”.

    And mentally – by limiting their exposure to mind pollution by not reading further into any book or magazine that they found to be, or seemed to be about to begin to be, prurient and to remove all that author’s work or that magazine from their future reading list. Also if anyone cursed or blasphemed in their hearing neither of them had anything to do with that person again if possible.

     They got married when they’d graduated from a Christian College in the Mid-West and because they had decided to become Missionaries in Central America they went to their Order’s Language School for various introductory courses and for Spanish language classes.

     Their parents had shared the expenses of a honeymoon in a motel that was outside Poughkeepsie and they were very grateful for it, not having any money of their own at all because they’d always used any spare time that they had to read and discuss the Bible rather than go looking for a part time job.

     Their first night in bed together was very difficult for them both but while, all in all, they were both delighted with what they found out in there at times it proved to be a bit too much and so they’d take a time out and go to their own side of the bed and do a lot of praying for guidance. Understandably, they didn’t get any guidance to speak of so after a while they would return to the center of the bed on another voyage of discovery to find out just how much pleasure could these two temples have been keeping indoors and hidden from them for so long.

     Every night of the rest of their honeymoon and during the four months in their Missions H.Q., where they had their own cabin-like room, they experimented freely. They figured that because it had all been taboo before, logically, it was all allowed now and their only criteria became, “Do we like doing this?”

     They hadn’t shamed their parents, nor their God, nor, more to the point, themselves with any of their actions before they got married and so, equally clearly, there could be no shame after.

     Such pure bliss is unavailable to most of us – or, at best, perhaps once at 14 or 15 in a secret place in the woods – because it can be begat only when ignorance couples with innocence.

     They had never, ever, spilled their seed on the ground, as it were, and that gave them carte blanche to plant it wherever they wanted to now. They chose mostly fertile ground.

     Each day they thought up innovative positions and subtle variations to try out together later and their love making sessions got longer and longer as they added to and rarely subtracted from their list of procedures.

       Many Spanish irregular verbs were inadequately conjugated, and thus not memorized properly, due to their using the study time allotted to give themselves more time to conjugate the old, very regular, primitive and primal Saxon verb that they had never spoken themselves and had only rarely heard spoken by anyone else, and then usually only as an expletive.

     Regarding that last – now that they knew a thing or two about the wonder of it – they often commented to each as to how sorry they felt for anyone who was foolish enough to debase even a tiny fraction of its value by misuse.

     Eventually, after graduation, they were given a large area that was mostly jungle in a relatively friendly Central American country as their “parish” and, once they’d been set up nicely in the biggest village, they had to do a lot of traveling by mule or by foot every week-day if they wanted to visit and proselytize in all of the other villages that had been put “in their care” and do it in their allotted two year stint.

     Thus their days were long and tiring and to get even nearly enough sleep they had to cut down on their love making drastically and, although it caused them tremendous anguish, they were forced to drop some of their most cherished rituals and hard come-by practices between the, now non-existing, sheets.

     In each village, after having visited with every family and after having preached the Word over and over again, they’d have a meal with the chief before retiring and because theirs would be the only light visible – a Kincaid lantern – when it was put out they could at least get naked without risk of being spied on but the primitive bed of grass and leaves that was provided wouldn’t see much action before exhaustion overcame them.

    Their only covering on the beds, besides the ever present film of sweat, was their mosquito net and their near exhaustion every night and the nearly unbearable heat forced them to choose short excerpts of only a half dozen, or so, of their favorite positions and while, of course, they developed high intensity every time, they felt cheated and deprived by the cruel curtailment. They had become used to having both quality and quantity, not to mention keeping an active, far seeing, research and development department going.

     On the weekend of the first Sunday of each month they got a break from their exhausting traveling because they were expected to return to their base the day before to get ready to make the journey down river to attend a Central Church Service and because of that they were allowed to take a few days off to rest up when they got back ‘home.’

     The regular practice was to take along with them as many of their native “flock” as possible and they turned it into a long day by having, besides the regular Service, a Sunday School for the children and then, after a barbeque lunch, Bible Study classes for each age group and then supervised play and games.

     Usually they shared the various chores between themselves and the other missionaries who showed up but one memorable Sunday none of them had to give the sermon because they could all just sit and listen while a bona fide Preacher, sent down by their Mission H.Q., did the preaching.

     Unfortunately his Spanish was so poor that only the Missionaries could understand what he said which was a great pity because it was intended, almost entirely, for the natives.

     One of its main themes was, ‘Sinful indulgence of sensual urges without benefit of Church-sanctioned mental preparation leading to a Christian marriage ceremony.’

     His Spanish was really bad and he had to improvise and to “approximateo,” as he put it, many words, which he did by bravely taking a stab at what he thought was a fairly reasonable substitute for the ones that wouldn’t come to him and ending them with an ‘o’ or an ‘a’.

      However, he got everyone’s attention, that is the part of his congregation that could understand any of it, when he said, at one point, that only one method of love making was approved by the Bible.

     John and Mary exchanged horrified glances when this came out of him and, as soon as decorum allowed, Mary whispered to her husband that he should question the Preacher as to what part of the Bible he was quoting from. “ – – – and please be sure to get Chapter and Verse.”

     When John saw an opportune moment to approach the man he did so and then he quietly and privately asked his question and was told that while there was, maybe, no such specific injunction in the Bible his long reading of it allowed him leeway to conjecture and his feeling was that there was indeed only one approved way for a husband and wife to make love.

     John was taken aback but he rallied to ask what that one way was and his bluntness made the man blush and he could only bring himself to mumble that all through his married life he had used only the, “Missionary Position,” and, he added, “I recommend that everyone else do so too.”

     Later that night, after the villagers had eaten their evening meal and had all gone inside their huts, John and Mary followed suit and when they’d put out the light and were getting undressed that was the first time that he’d had had a chance to tell her what he’d been told by the Preacher. She felt a sense of dread as to what she was about to hear and that dread was seeded with no little extra resentment because this was the first time in weeks that they were both feeling relatively rested and able.

     They had both known well that no such passage exists in any version of the Bible that they’d ever read and his, “leeway to conjecture”, had made them both marvel at the man’s conceit but he was, after all, ordained and so any words from him carried weight and had to be considered carefully.

     John paused for effect and then he told her what name had been given to the only, “approved position.”

     She breathed out a vast sigh of relief when she heard it and then, when they’d laid themselves down, they mutually agreed, without having to send out any signals to that affect, that the time for talking was over for the rest of the night and they turned to each other and began to amble through a half dozen or so of their favorite preambles.

       When they’d both arrived at Consummation Point, again with no need to communicate verbally, she eased away from him and got onto her hands and knees to take up their all-time favorite position for doing it the first time after a lengthy détente – doing it that way told them both in a very definite way, seeing that roughness was not only warranted but was essential, that having to snatch at love making was over for a while – and then she turned her head and could see him, in the faint moonlight, carefully moving up to close with her and she was quietly gratified to see that a huge amount of love was showing on his face – it was disguised as out-and-out lust, to be sure, but there was no way that it could fool her because it mirrored her own.

       A moment later his hands came around to cup her breasts, so that she couldn’t pull forward and out of range, and his elbows clamped her hips, to stop her from moving them laterally, and she arched her back, as best she could in her small prison, and her body shuddered deliciously in anticipation and then she reached back with a loving hand to allay his, understandable, primeval doubts and fears by helping him to find her as she asked, “Isn’t God good to those who serve him, dear?”