People who know me fairly well still might find it surprising that buried under the foul mouth and vices that periodically creep into excess lays a Protestant given to prayer, raised so right that I found it necessary to go up to the front of that small Evangelical church twice to get saved. Like the first time didn’t stick.
I suspect that at such a young, impressionable age I figured having my sins washed away would mean that I would be walking away, washed in the blood, never to sin again, Satan permanently put behind me; in short, free of temptation. Sweet dogmatism.
Of course, the world intervenes, along with other aspects of conditioning away from the pews, and the negotiations begin, both the navigating and bargaining kinds.
I suppose I could have taken young VF up on her offer to cop a feel at the Sunday School Ice Cream Social when I was fourteen; however, I rebuffed her advances, for her playmate seemed so much more willing to provide more, in size and under the blouse. Of course, the latter came with conditions, and as it turned out the terms involved additional compliances from an unwilling third party with something akin to step-children becoming more familiar. Not that I was horrified. And not that a marriage didn’t come out of it later. Still, I ‘got’ none that night.
The possibility, the fantasy of flesh, of which I knew nothing, nevertheless bred a naïve avarice that soon found an outlet in the comics of Robert Crumb. Lord, have mercy.
Tomorrow I am going to see his “Book of Genesis” drawings at the Portland Art Museum.