I was at that age where the dreams of a successful career and a warm, loving family were slightly tarnished but still very much alive. Recently I had begun my second professional job. It had taken a few years of labor to recover from the disastrous first. I was still enjoying the taste of such fruits as paid holidays, sick leave and health benefits.
One workday found me crunched in my chair, cramped in my stomach. Though commuting my ten miles by bike could sometimes be a tad inconvenient, this was more than that. I took the liberty of reporting my malaise and then walking the half-block to my HMO.
It was a slow day at the clinic; the waiting room was empty. A secretary took my health card and then explained to me that their system was to initially assign an assistant “health practitioner”, more than a nurse but less than a doctor, to make an initial assessment. I guess I waited a few minutes before a woman not much older than myself, dressed in a lab coat, came for me and brought me back to a dimly-lit examining room.
After checking vital signs, the woman instructed me to remove my shirt, loosen my belt, and lie down on one of those examining table thingies with the crinkly paper. My cramps were coming and going, here and there in my belly. She began to massage my abdomen expertly with her strong hands. Lying there under someone else’s control, I began to have a little sense come into me about my situation. More than likely, there were some serious bubbles of gas tying up my intestines. As she deftly moved things about, they made a few gurgling sounds.
Gradually, I became even more aware, somewhat the way someone wakes up in the morning on a Saturday, when there are no pressing responsibilities for getting up and the cheerful sunlight is streaming through the curtains. The woman’s firm, friendly hands were ever-so-slightly suggestive. The fact that I had hardly seen anyone else, either staff or patient, in the facility, added to the sense of protection and opportunity.
Most unfortunately, another though intruded upon our secluded solitude. I realized that she cared about me and she wanted very much to help me to feel better, physically. She wanted to bring me a release and relaxation. And this was more than a little bit tempting. However, if she kept on kneading me the way she was, there was a strong and growing possibility that we would both be confronted with a noisy, fragrant, and utterly natural bodily event, quite different than the one she appeared to me to be aiming for. It started to trouble me a great deal that the direction she was taking us in would more than likely end in a culmination which, unfortunately, I would find totally embarrassing and utterly without conjugal merit. I began in fact, sweating, shaking, and praying to God that I not make a total fool of myself.
At my tender age, I forced myself to lie in order to extract myself from impending delight, and disappoint her with my coldness and lack of receptivity. All in all, an utterly unhappy outcome of the situation. I told her I was feeling better and I needed to get back to work. Kinda ruined everything. For a long, long, long, long, long, long time ….