THE SEX REBEL OF JESUSLAND, mini-chapter 59
59. EVE AND SARAH
When Adam got to the rock where Eve had hung her t-shirt, he stopped and hung his own beside hers. It seemed only fair. A shirt for a shirt.
They were twenty yards from the top when she stopped again.
Ohmigod. What next?
In for a pound, Eve whispered to herself. Adam rubbed his eyes and saw Eve unzip her skirt and drop it behind her. She was now dressed in nothing but her backpack and panties. She felt totally in control of the experiment, as though she were refining it with every step up the mountain.
Adam did the only polite thing he could do. He kicked off his own khakis and dropped them beside her skirt, following her for the final stretch in his undershorts.
Suddenly Eve was gone. She’d gotten to the top and disappeared over the edge. He felt a moment of panic, as though he had lost her forever, literally vanished into thin air up here on the mountain. He hastened to join her.
When he stepped on to the summit of Sugar Mountain, he walked right into an ancient marker in his mind. His psyche jerked into fast rewind. His old love came rushing into his consciousness, with the force of a thunderstorm overwhelming a child locked out of the house.
His ashen love had been coaxed out of his consciousness by Eve’s flirtatious undressing, but now, as he pulled himself up and scrambled on to the sacred place he had before shared only with the love of his life, he had to steel himself against the onrush of memory and pain. Beyond Eve, a little further away, sat his old love on the edge, her legs dangling from a rock, the way she liked to sit, her naked back sweating little drops down her spine, her shoulders hunched a little forward as though leaning into a kiss. He stood up. The mirage became diaphanous. His heart flew towards her but when it got there it found itself surrounded by mist. Gone. Vanished. A trick of the mind. She was ashes, ashes. He turned around and looked down. The view was as it had always been, a river below, clouds overhead, the sun in the same place, him and his love above it all. It was the same and it was very different, because instead of the ghost of an old love, there was the shocking presence of a new body embodying the promise of a new love.
He saw Eve rise and walk over to Sarah’s old spot. Eve sat down there. It was as though a weight came to sit on his pain, which made it worse, and made it better. He became angry. How dare Eve? The effrontery of taking Sarah’s seat. Eve was not ashes. She was a brazen, inconsiderate and insolent reality. She was not Sarah.
He saw the ghost mist out of Eve, so that two overlapping images sat side by side, merged and apart, two in one, Sarah and Eve.
He looked at the two of them: old love and new love, two Siamese twins of the past and the present, and wondered which one was the strongest. Which one would survive, here, today, on the summit of Sugar Mountain? His thoughts were caught between two time spheres.
Flashing back: he had come here with his old love and here they had made the best love of their lives. Something about being above everything had blown their ache into a splendid ardor; being up high had spread their love wide. They screwed like gods. For hours. Enjoying each other in a fullness of body that overflowed from this peak to the valleys below like rain. Here they had inspired each other to a point of universality. Here sex had meant everything. This was their sacred place, their church of love, the spot under heaven where they were in heaven.
Flashing forward: he looked at Eve’s hands and saw Sarah’s hands fade. He looked at the blue rocks with a patch of soft earth and grass in one spot. He always marveled how the grass had landed up here, like a tuft of hair on a very high head. Eve sat on Sarah’s rock, her feet on Sarah’s patch of dirt. Her backpack lay beside her. Her breasts jutted from her chest as naturally as the rock jutting from the summit, as inviting as the patch of grass nestling between the rocks, and as beautiful as the clouds floating by in the sky. His mind was a mess as he took the backpack Eve had been carrying and took out of the bottled of chilled champagne. He bent back the wire around the cork and worked at the cork until it was ready to pop. Then he aimed it over the edge. The cork went flying over the side of the mountain. Eve and Adam both jumped to the side and leaned over, craning to follow the progress of the cork. It hopped down the mountainside and came to rest against a shrub some way below.
“There lies the beginning of a great memory,” said Adam. He took two champagne glasses from his backpack and filled them. They clinked glasses. For a moment he was looking at Sarah’s face, and then he saw Eve smile at him.
“To the making of lasting memories,” he said.