Adam Ash

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Friday, February 24, 2006

JESUS NATION SEX REBEL, mini-chapter 4


Eve had always been a serious girl, even though she had a fund of mischief in her. That seriousness found its outlet in the church. It resided in the mortar of the building itself: in the walls, in the light colored by the stained-glass windows, in the pews of wood, and in the ceremony too: the sound of the congregation singing, and the sound of her own voice joining them.

She would sit there as Reverend Redburn fire-stormed a sermon, and she would bask in the presence of the Lord. She felt His spirit among them as a fine dust, a kind of moist flour in the air: soft down shaken loose from above and floating between the heads of the Beloveds: an ethereal ether that touched the air with the idea of the soul.

This ether stroked all five senses. It was a misty light to the eyes, a downy feel to the skin, a milky luxury to the sense of smell, a holy vanilla-like sweetness on the tongue, a hush to the ear. It was God Himself, speaking to her, boring into every cavity, blowing her up with His spirit as if she were a balloon so she could float up, past the clouds, to heaven itself, to be by His side.

It was under His eyes that she was inspecting herself.

Her belly. No longer as flat as a young girl’s, but on the other hand, no more rounded than it should be. Another yes.

Her Caesarean. “We’ll give you an extra small bikini cut,” the young doctor had said. Tears pinched Eve’s eyes. She thought of the birth of her daughter, the child who had lived just long enough to break her mother’s heart.

This body of hers – had it really lived? Or had her mind, occupied by religion and science, diverted her body from its earthly entailments, and made her waste a precious gift from God?

Tears again. She should’ve had a child by now. A living one. She was not a fully-fledged woman. The people she knew professionally, especially the rebuffed men, suspected her of apostasy. If she aspired to be equal to men – now there was a Non-Sanctioned Notion -- it was imperative to be accessorized with a husband and child first. Were it not for the importance of her job, she might have come under investigation by the Bureau of Behavior Design and Management already.

Not that her job would protect her much longer. She had to do something. At her age, and in this society, a single woman was an abomination in the eyes of the Lord.

But she couldn’t find a man worth seeing. The men of Jesusland were so male. They expected females to worship them like avatars of God on earth. The men in the club where she sang three nights a week -- all the old hymns -- were all sweet on her, but all typical Jesusland types.

Her friend Rachel had been badgering her about putting a profile on the dating website, visited by the very best Christian men, to meet some worthwhile males. “You’re not getting any younger, Eve. Do you want to go through life childless?”

Rachel had gone so far as to write her a profile. The two of them giggled about it. Rachel was right: today, before she went out, she would give her computer the clicks it needed to lay her profile at the feet of the Lord on His site, where men could see it and respond to her. She would enter the world of men again, and play the game of flirtation and sex and intimacy and tenderness. The game of love, they called it. A bit of a con, that: you were expected to end up subjugating yourself to a man. How could that be love?


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