Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Tide's Turn

So this is the latter half of the story. NOT FAMILY FRIENDLY!

The Summer of Lust (2)

I first thought of how strongly connected Marcie and I were when I was up in Humboldt alone and relishing those phone calls and letters between my studies. I eventually figured it out to my satisfaction.

The key to making our lust last in our love was in drawing it out, but also in leaving the other one guessing as to who wanted the other one more. We treated lulls like opportunities, building anticipation up with teasing and flirting.

On a more animalistic level, we also both tried to be the most demanding, randiest in the relationship. Lust is a good drug, pastors, practicality and prudes be damned. It is also the only one that seems to get stronger the more you are exposed to it.

But more than all of that high-tension sexuality was the idea that we were a team, we were together, and we stood alone against everything and everyone we had to. We might have setbacks or misfortune, disagreements and uncertainty, but eventually we made it through.

And when it came to handling our opponents, there was a special connecting bond that saw us scheming to conquer or to thwart. Of course, it helped that, whether victory was assured or not, we'd have sex to celebrate its inevitability.

We only lost once.

Marcie was her usual amorous self when I returned from Humboldt State. We were in a good place in many ways. Except one. Seamus was sick. Wherever he went, he would lie on the ground and cough little, pathetic kitty coughs.

We tried everything to get him to feel better, and the veterinarian was stumped. When we were told that he would likely die, it dampened our mood. We worried but he ate, he drank, everything seemed fine save for a cough.

That the veterinarian tried to convince us he may have cancer was not terrible. But that she would not try asthma medication was. After an expensive set of scans and lots of gouging, she finally determined that he had asthma.

The vet got her money, we just had to do three heartbreaking months thinking of our cat as a dying cancer patient. In the mean time, Marcie and I were confronted with moving to a new home as our apartments converted into quite crappy condos.

Our lusty ways subsided for a while as we wrestled with the upcoming move, getting me a job which drew on my shiny "new" degree, and getting Seamus on his feet again. Nothing puts out the fires of lust like a coughing kitty climbing onto the bed.

But our latest sexual renaissance still smoldered nicely in the background. Then, in a new house and after things were on track, Marcie called me into the room. I was expecting a new lingerie set. She had stopped at the hosiery.

"Does this feel different to you?" she asked, looking very afraid as she gestured to her breast.

It did. There was no lump, just an overall firmness I did not remember from before, which was just a couple days earlier. I nodded.

"Honey, you may have an infection," I said. "Was there a lump before this?"

"No, honey," she said, sniffling and biting her lower lip. "I'm very scared."

And so we went to bed but we did not indulge in each other. Later, Marcie called Kaiser while I went to pick up Chinese food. We ate silently and held hands across the table.

Cancer was unthinkable. Marcie told me years earlier that she'd had a fibroma removed from her right breast in her twenties. It was quite a scare for her and the doctor had believed that she was looking at breast cancer. Marcie religiously checked her breasts.

The sexual side of our relationship slowed more that week as I awaited her appointment, which never seemed to come. When I finally asked her why, she told me Kaiser had put her off. I called them up and threatened massive mayhem. They saw her the next day.

The nurse practitioner who saw Marcie performed multiple small biopsies and told Marcie she would be in touch. Marcie was relieved that the practitioner suspected an infection.

Three days later, the phone rang as we tried our best to break our new king-size bed. We ignored it at first.

"Hello Marcie, this is your nurse practitioner at Kaiser," the voice said, not neutral. "Could you please call me at (619) 57..."

She did not have time to answer. Marcie ripped the receiver off the hook.

"Hello," she said, her hand on my chest as she sat back up, steadying herself on me. I held her hips and massaged them.

"Yes, I'm Marcie," she said, biting her lip afterward and listening. "It did? That was fast. what did it say?"

She dropped the phone and draped herself on me, her nose buried in my neck as she sobbed and shook. I heard a faint voice on the phone as I stroked her back now and tried to keep my composure, comfort her somehow.

"It's cancer, honey," she said. "Oh, my God, what are we going to do?"

"We're going to get you treatment," I said, noting the faint voice's apology as the receiver clicked. "We're going to get you fixed up."

I held her there for a long time and whispered my love in her ear, soothed her and stroked her magnificent body, her soft red hair and kissed her tears away. "We'll beat it, honey."

And for a while, it would certainly look as if I were right.