Copyright© Autumn Writer 2006, 2007
A thin glow of light shone through the drapes in the bedroom. Perhaps it was the reflected light of the moon, but more probably from the streetlight in front of their house. It was late, about eleven-thirty on a Saturday night. Rose had stayed awake, waiting for him. John knew it when he climbed into bed. Her meaning was clear, he could not refuse her. That had been thirty minutes earlier.
John lay alongside his wife propped on his elbow. By now their nightclothes had been discarded. He looked at her in the half-light. It was fitting. She looked as beautiful to him as she had as a bride. The dearth of light was gauze over the camera lens, filtering out rough edges.
She lay on her back, contentment drawn on her face. Her breasts lay placidly on her chest that was moving up and down more deeply with her building desire. John's free hand searched between her spread legs, below her soft triangle. His gaze traveled from her breasts further down. She was still pretty slim for a woman of fifty-five. Her thighs retained that outward softness with the firmness underneath. How he loved to feel them. She believed that he did so to tease and excite her in their foreplay. In truth, he enjoyed the feel of them as much as she enjoyed him feeling them.
"How nice it was," he thought to himself, "that desire had stayed alive over the years." There was a tear in the corner of John's eye. He wiped it away, ashamed.
He forced his thoughts back to her, rechecking the serenity of her countenance, the beauty of her soft breasts. The nipples were not soft. As her breasts heaved up and down with the movement of her breathing, the nipples stood up like little soldiers at attention. John bent his head down and to attend to them. After all these years he knew just the way she liked to have them suckled.
He ignored the nipple at first, kissing the underside of the breast. After he had savored her softness, he moved to the nipple, licking the flesh surrounding it for a few moments, then taking the little soldier between his lips, sucking gently at first, then harder. Rose began a pleasant moan. The pleasure from his hand at her center, added to his face at her breast, started her approach toward climax. Her hands surrounded his head, pressing him harder on her. He let his tongue swirl around the nipple. She was approaching her critical point quickly.
John released his oral grip and his skilled fingers from her. He slid lower on the bed, placing his face between the softness of her spread thighs. With his fingers he parted her lips and placed his tongue between them. He searched about for the place of sensitivity. He had learned that with Rose the sensitive spot was never the same. Her aroma and taste in her arousal always pleased John's senses. His tongue struck Rose's clitoris and it danced over it in a joyous reel. She was rushing to orgasm. John pressed in a little harder and slowed his tongue to a waltz. Rose crested with a high-pitched sigh and John felt a deep satisfaction.
He wiped the wetness from his face with his discarded pajamas that he found nearby and sidled back alongside her. He held Rose and kissed her as she slowly descended from her release.
"John, that was so good!"
"It was good for me, too, Rose."
"What would you like, John?" She thought to have him mount her so she could take him deep inside herself. After his oral service, however, she might, reciprocate in kind. That would be pleasant, too. She waited eagerly for his response.
"I can't, Rose. It just won't harden."
"Oh, John—not again!"
The couple spent the next minute in silence. Finally, Rose spoke.
"Do you feel alright?"
"I feel great, at least physically," he answered. "I'm not sick or tired. I'm ready to go!"
"Is it something that I have said or done?" she asked.
"No, Rose. I don't know what it is. It's not you. It's not me, either. At least, it's not in my head. Everything is as it should be; everything, except that one part of it. I try to will myself to be hard. It's no use. The more I try, the less anything happens."
There was silence. John lay on his back, helpless and humiliated. Rose lay next to him, feeling the need to respond, but not knowing how. She wanted to hold him and reassure him. The right words would not come to her. The wrong choice would portray pity, and she knew how that would hurt him.
It was not the first occasion that John had been unable to achieve erection while making love to his bride. A month earlier the same scenario played out. Rose was gracious, and John allowed himself a week's time for recovery. By then, normal function returned and the two were back in their routine of marital bliss. They thought that the episode was an anomaly and behind them. The recurrence had a serious message. The malady proved that it was not something to be forgotten
At the age of fifty-eight, John was a man in pretty good shape. He did suffer from diabetes, but his blood sugar was held in check with drugs. The illness forced him to control his weight. Rose enjoyed watching the excess pounds melt off him. It gave him a more youthful appearance. It excited her sexually, and she was happy to see his weight return to a more healthy level.
As 'empty-nesters', they were determined to take pleasure in life and each other. Their thirty-three year marriage had been a good one. Now the toil of raising a family was behind them. They were financially secure. It was a time of life to relax and enjoy. They took steps toward that end. Their sexual activity increased. Alone in the house, they could approach one another, or discuss anything, whenever they chose. After a short time, it was no longer work to achieve their new openness. They sought out the pleasure of it.
John and Rose saw their mid-life renaissance threatened by the impotence. John's physical problem was a mystery. Their re-energized sexual verve gave them romance and newness. They saw it as a reward for lives well-led. In their life together they had graduated from apprentice to journeyman to master in bedroom arts. Some couples they knew descend into twilight with fatigue and bitterness. How thankful they were that it was not to be their fate.
"You need to make an appointment with the doctor on Monday morning," she said.
"Maybe, if I give it a week it'll be okay." He was hoping to avoid the doctor. He knew he needed to see him. He hated the thought of the red tape, all the tests, the admission of failure, the knowing, contemptuous look of the doctor's secretary. What would he tell people at work? Perhaps he should he just post it on the bulletin board: "Rose is sending John to the doctor because he can't get it up!"
He knew that all the excuses were phony ones; he couldn't help himself.
"You said that last time and it only got better for a little while," Rose reminded him. She was his wife, but her voice was his conscience whispering in his ear.
"Okay, I will." It was settled, and they held each other as they fell asleep.
John exited his doctor's office four days later frustrated and crestfallen. He was carrying a sheaf of papers. He had receipts, lab orders, appointment with a specialist. He lacked the one paper that had been his goal: a prescription for the blue-diamond pill that would remove his troubles.
"We're not ready for that yet," his doctor told him. "We have to check out blood pressure and other things first."
It was a disappointment. In John's mind, all that was required was a prescription for that magic drug. The doctor seemed to not comprehend the importance of his affliction. He did, however, congratulate John on his keeping his weight down. John, however, cared little at that moment for his weight, blood sugar, blood pressure and the rest. He sensed a need for urgent action, not the doctor's patient approach. He resented his doctor like a schoolboy angry at a teacher unwilling to sign a permission slip for early dismissal.
"He only gave me an order for tests and set me up with an urologist." He told Rose. "I told him that I needed a prescription, but he wouldn't listen. Bob Dole thinks I should have it. He said it on TV. I should have voted for him."
Rose knew the sarcasm in her husband's voice was a signal of growing anger. She was not willing to be a spectator to it. She shuffled out of the room. She would let him stew in private.
"We'll see what happens. Just be patient," she said over her shoulder as she left him alone to brood.
As John sat alone, the room appeared smaller. The walls seemed to approach to an uncomfortable closeness. He shifted in his chair, trying to feel comfortable; he couldn't. He was choked and stifled. He tried in vain to understand what he felt. It was fear closing in around him.
He was afraid of losing his bequest, the manhood that had made him what he was. He feared humiliation and sympathy. He wanted to cry in anguish or scream in anger. The vessels in his neck bulged with rage. It strained to be loosed on the empty room. He would not release it. He would defeat the demon, and thereby regain his manhood. The Satan could not be exorcised, just swept into a dark corner. He would defeat it in small battles when it dared emerge, if he could. He would not give in to it.
As she folded laundry upstairs Rose turned her thoughts to John's impotence. It was John's body that was not functioning, but it was a loss to both of them. She wanted John to see that she was crying inside. It was not that they would each suffer equally. The whole of them had been depreciated, and that made it worse.
.... There is more of this story ...