It happened when I was 13. I was not new to the game; already an old hand, in fact. I learned the basic technique from other boys in the mountain town where I grew up when I was six. We were at it all the time, singly, doubly, in small groups on the spur of the moment when the opportunity was there. They were huge fun.
But we moved away from that town and things were different now. I heard from a Catholic boy at school that it made the Virgin weep. We weren’t Catholic but Episcopalian. I was an acolyte. Father Whitefish looked at me really sternly sometimes and I wondered if he knew that I handled the chalice and the ciborium with the same hands that I used to . . . .
I’d also read things. Mom had a book, Eugenics and Sex Harmony, that she kept in the little bookshelf with a sliding door behind her bed — maybe so we wouldn’t read it. But once you looked through it and saw some of the pictures and subjects, you couldn’t not look through it. There was this picture; it sort of bothered me because along with spanking the monkey, I had puffed on cigarettes too:
And further on, I read that:
I’d been at it for seven years. Was the damage already permanent? How long would I have to wait to find out? Even more chilling, it said a little further on:
It was hard to meet and make friends in our new town and I wondered if it was because I had already ruined myself. The book even had a picture of the Backward Boy. He looked the way I felt.
So I made a pact with Jesus. At first I thought of going straight to the top, but then I thought God probably didn’t want to hear about my disgusting habit. He might just put his hands over his ears and tell me to stop. But Jesus was different, he was a man. He had suffered. And he had a dick, right? Even though I was sure I wasn’t supposed to think about that. But he must have known the temptation.
The deal I made with Jesus was that I would only whack it once a week. And I stuck to it for two weeks. Lord, did the days drag by. I got so excited as the day of release approached. I could think about nothing else except where and when I would do it in order to make it really fantastic and worth the wait. That was fraught in its own way because it wasn’t easy in our house, but the planning for it was part of the excitement. Six people, one bathroom, so you couldn’t stay long in there. I’d shared a room with my older brother since I was born, and I definitely didn’t need his mocking commentary about what I was doing, so that meant waiting till he was for sure asleep. So that’s what I did, and it was sweeter than anything I could have dreamed of. And the icing on the cake was that I thought Jesus might still be able to smile on me.
At the end of two weeks, I did another conference with Christ and I decided that twice a week was more reasonable. I still hadn’t met that many boys in the new town, but I was sure they were like the boys I used to know, surely not limiting themselves to so hard a regimen. And my brother was definitely not putting himself on any sort of chaste diet, it seems like I woke up to find him pulling it more nights than not. Also, with two opportunities a week, there was less chance that a release day would fail to produce a good time and place for me to take care of business.
So that worked. For one week. I counted off the two or three in-between days and richly rewarded myself when the special day came. Here was a system that could work and might save me from damnation and ignominy.
And then the next weekend the whole family went back to the mountain town where we’d lived before. We had many friends there — my brothers and my parents both. I looked forward to the return, even though the weekend did not include a release day for me and I knew that might present a challenge if I ran into any of my old bate buds.
On that score I was safe. I ran into a couple of guys, but it was all different with them now. They were all about girls and didn’t want to talk about anything else. So it wasn’t going to happen with them and that was a good thing. I went off on my own, like I always used to do, walking in the mountains and exploring.
I hiked up to a cave — Twin Peaks Cave, we always called it, because of two pointed rock formations at its entrance. It was one of many of the places my buddies and I used to meet and beat, and it was also a refreshingly cool place on a hot summer day. Even as I started to climb I was filled half with dread, half with excitement, because I knew what was going to happen when I got up there. I was going to betray Jesus.
The cave is perfect person size, with an opening six feet high that faces West and extending back only 50 feet or so, with a flat floor. I got inside and walked in a few feet, until I could feel the cave’s encompassing coolness and my eyes adjusted so I could see to the back. No one was there, neither man nor beast. And I was already rock hard, so I just got right to it, standing right there with the sunlight warming the back of me and casting my shadow on the ground in front. God, did it feel good.
And it was over in about a minute. Just at the moment of spurt, the most excruciating pains shot up the back of my head, starting at my neck and driving into my skull on both sides like hammers pounding. I started to black out and I had to sit down, right there bare-assed on the hard ground. Needless to say, that pretty much took all the fun out of the happy ending. And I thought, wow, he zapped me. I’m bad and he wants me to know it.
That was my take at the time, anyway. I expected worse in the coming days, encroaching blindness and hair growing in my palms, maybe even a horrible disfiguring accident that would make it clear to everyone what a failed person I was. But none of that happened. Life went on, and slowly got better. I made some other friends and they were like the boys I used to know.
Having slipped out of the pact with Jesus, I never talked to him again. Now I’m not sure what happened on the day, probably just a case of my boner needing all the blood it could commandeer and grabbing a little too much from what was traveling to my head.