THE DIALECTIC Chapter index
He left the band practice well before the end because being on time was something of an obsession for him. It didn't seem to make much difference to her because she always made him wait. Making the guy wait was an important cultural phenomenon.
The attic under the high pitched roof was made into Julie's bedroom. He saw the mirrored window framed with white boards and imitation shutters as the cover of an unobtainable paradise. He parked near the overgrown trees and casually made his way to the low porch. He tucked the back of his shirt into his pants then rang the bell as usual.
Julie's mother came to the door and smiled warmly and sincerely. She liked Jack and tried to make him feel welcome.
"How are you tonight?"
She didn't wait for an answer and probably didn't really expect an answer. She motioned him inside the slightly air conditioned home. He could hear the hum of the new machine he had helped Julie's aging father install.
Jack remarked bashfully, "Oh, I'm a little tired. I had to work late last night and went to work early this morning. But I need the time so I can't complain. It was an unusually busy day today." He spoke as they went into the living room to join Julie's father who sat watching the evening news.
That was all factual, except the part about being tired. Jack took his work in stride and only said he was tired to earn the sympathy he knew she liked to give.
"Oh," she said as her smile wilted slightly. "Well, you just come in here and sit down and rest."
"How are you tonight?" Jack said to her as he waved lightly to Julie's father.
Julie's father smiled broadly and waved his free hand. The other hand held the newspaper as his eyes moved between the TV and the paper.
"Oh, just fine," she said. She always was. "We canned some green beans today, so it really got hot. If we hadn't had that new air conditioner, we would have just died. I'll tell Julie you're here."
She went through the kitchen to the stairs leading to the attic bedroom. She opened the door and called up using her hand as a megaphone. "Jack's here!" She went about loading the new dishwasher.
Of course Julie already knew, was ready but bided her time fiddling with her make-up.
After a brief pause Julie's father asked, "Have you seen the papers yet today?"
"I read the front page headlines while I was standing by the grocery check out. I didn't have time to read any of the articles." That was more than he usually did. He seldom bothered with the newspaper.
"All these problems and small wars around the world are signs of the time, you know?"
"You mean like the prophecy of the last days?"
"Right. You can see it everywhere you turn. The Prophet Joseph Smith was right. Do you have your two years supply of food stored?"
"We don't have that much. But we have some canisters of rice and red wheat. My mother has been buying canned goods whenever they go on sale. I bring the best dented cans home from the store."
"Well you'd better keep building your reserves because before the Second Coming you're going to need a lot more than that."
"We had a Home Teaching lesson on that last month."
"I'm glad to see you take that seriously. So many young people just don't care. It's like these journalists, they just write about people getting shot and traffic accidents. No good news anymore you know?" He held the paper higher to emphasize his point.
Jack ignored the inconsistency and accepted the complement without acknowledging his own doubts about the teachings of the Last Days. "Well, they just write what they think people want to read I suppose, the sensational things." He had studied a section on journalism in his English class so he felt he spoke from a point of authority. He hoped he wasn't too far off the opinion of the old man. He didn't want to be argumentative.
"They shouldn't you know? They should write some good news once in a while, you know? They're an un-holy lot."
There was an uncomfortable pause that lingered too long while Jack tried to think of any comment that could improve on those assertions. He watched the quiet TV and shifted from the edge of the armchair to the back of the chair and crossed his legs. He thought about commenting on the weather but the newspaper, as bad as it was, still captured the attention of Julie's father.
Thank God for small favors...he heard her faint footsteps coming down the stairs and he stood as Julie entered the room.
She had a radiant smile as she moved quickly to take Jack's outstretched hand. Her bright face inspired a warm feeling in Jack. Her perfect features were precisely framed by her light blonde hair. She helped nature improve on the original color and she had a smooth, even sophisticated beauty.
"Hi. Oh, I feel so terrible I have a pimple right on my chin." She frowned with a theatrical expression.
"Where?" Jack asked squinting on purpose. "You've got it all covered with that brown stuff."
She poked him with her free knuckle. "Oh quit it..." She squeezed his hand. "...you're so mean."
Jack laughed lightly as they moved toward the door.
"Good night." They both called over their shoulders. There wasn't any need to explain where they were going or negotiate return times or rules. Each party knew the rules and Julie made sure to let her folks know what the plans were ahead of time. As long as she was home by 11:00, everything went smoothly.
When Jack and Julie were alone in the car they quickly kissed. Jack closed his eyes and hummed lightly to dramatize his enjoyment. Julie poked him in the ribs softly again with the same knuckle as before.
"Quit that, you should be more serious." She chided while still holding his kiss.
"You taste good tonight."
"No, I mean I like the flavor of your lipstick." Jack stammered as he licked his lips. "It's peach right? My favorite."
"That's what you said about the strawberry flavor last week."
He straightened and started the car. "That was my favorite, last week."
They moved slowly out the driveway, pausing to look for traffic. Cars came too fast around that blind corner so Jack accelerated quickly spinning one rear tire in the gravel.
Flavored lipstick was in vogue and Julie was close to any new trends. Whatever styles came along she and Jack were quick to notice and evaluate. Flavored lipstick was one of the more sensible trends they enjoyed. Mormon teachings encouraged women to be modest but did not deny them any of the simple pleasures of life.
Julie sat tight against Jack's shoulder as they drove downtown. They kept watch for their friends and chatted about who was dating who. They found a parking spot and walked around briefly before settling into the short line waiting to buy tickets.
After the movie, they returned to The Heights "dragging the gut," driving through the main street of town. They went up the hill past the hospital and through the business district on 12th St. The community was well lit until they reached the edge of town, then the dark road dipped past the National Guard Armory and continued south toward the lights near Brookside Market.
Just before the market they turned right into The Ranch Drive-In. They pulled slowly behind the parked cars in the slots by the speakers, again looking for friends.
"Look there's Gail. Who's she with?" Julie waved.
Jack didn't respond being too attentive to his driving. There was one opening on the far side and they circled toward it cautiously.
Jack asked, "What would you like?"
Julie leaned out the window and yelled, "Hi Gail." They both waved.
Jack waved dutifully as he inspected the printed menu looking for inspiration. The panel had a switch that activated a light inside the building.
"You hungry?" He asked again.
"How could I be after all that popcorn!" She was obviously exaggerating. Jack had eaten most of the popcorn they had shared during the movie.
"I think I'll have a milkshake, strawberry. How `bout you?"
"How boring..." she teased, "...you always have strawberry. I'll take my usual, a cherry-cream-coke." She gave these instructions as she waved to some other friends who drove around the circle looking in vain for a parking space.
Jack winced at the thought of that double sweet mixture. He still didn't drink cola except in defiance. Mormons were taught to not drink colas because they contained caffeine. Julie only did when she was alone with Jack.
This indictment against colas was an extension of the Word of Wisdom which prohibited the drinking of hot drinks such as coffee and tea, smoking and the use of alcohol among other things. Since cola's contained caffeine they were strongly discouraged as a unnecessary stimulant.
Jack flipped the switch to the order position and suggested, "Let's don't stick around here too long. I've found a new place to park. I think you'll like it." Jack reached over and put his hand on her leg just above her knee.
She already had her hand on the inside of his thigh where she usually kept it while he was driving. "Oh, that sounds romantic," she crooned with wide eyes as they looked easily at each other. "Where is it?"
"I can't tell you until we get there. I want it to be a surprise."
"Oh..h, that sounds neat."
"Well, it's not really that special but I think it's a place where we won't be bothered."
They were familiar enough with each other to be cavalier about their necking and petting sessions, Mormonism tolerated that innocent contact. They looked forward to this because each trusted the other.
Jack strained and moved to get the money from his pocket. That was a good excuse to readjust his pants. He had become aroused thinking about the next phase of their date.
After the drinks arrived, he started the car and backed carefully away from the parking slot. They both waved as they moved toward the road. They headed south again past the dimly lit orchards and quiet farm houses.
"You're taking me out into the country." She squeaked with mock delight.
"Nothin's too good for you sweetheart." He slurred his words in his best Humphry Bogart impression that was only barely discernable.
Jack took the back way through the Valley headed for a spot he had noticed earlier that day. Without speaking he detoured the car through the gateway of Panorama Point and followed the looping road to the top.
"This can't be the place," she exclaimed with obvious disappointment.
"No, I just like to see the view don't you?" The lights from the airport and the scattered houses were bold against the neat, black orchards and tree covered countryside. The moonlight exaggerated the silhouette of the mountains. The white glow of Mt Hood was like a big pointed cloud reflecting the dull light from all the stars and the narrow moon. A thin cloud moved in front of the moon and made faint rainbow circles.
"You just like the view, what a bore." She poked him again.
Jack smiled but made no comment as he cast his gaze in a wide arc.
Julie, equally awed, broke the silence first. "Yes, it's always nice but it's so crowded here with people coming and going. The county sheriff would probably come and shine that awful light in the window."
"Just one for the road." He reached his arm around her and kissed her full on the mouth. She responded enthusiastically and opened her lips to meet his tongue with her's.
After a luxurious moment he pulled away. "That's all you get for now. We're not far away, just down the hill and around the corner."
"Thanks," she said with soft sarcasm. "Everything is down hill from this point."
They drove past two other cars they didn't recognize as they traced their route down the tight curves. Jack turned the car left and proceeded toward his intended destination.
Before he got to the next hairpin corner, he slowed and made a sharp left turn into an orchard driveway that was clearly deserted. He pulled the car carefully over the hard earth and turned between the trees. He backed the car around pointing toward the entrance so they could see but yet not be too obvious to any passersby.
"I saw this spot earlier today when I was driving around with Lucky." Jack volunteered this explanation to defer any inference that he might have used this spot previously with another girl friend.
"This ought to do nicely." She patted his leg. "You do good work Lincoln, maybe I'll keep you after all."
"Thank you." He turned off the lights and engine. "It's cool enough, let's roll up the windows to keep any mosquitos out."
Jack had been thinking about what Julie's father had said. "What do you think about the teaching of the `end of the world?' Your dad was talking about that tonight."
"I don't see that as being part of my life. Maybe sometime, but it seems so strange to me."
Jack and Julie frequently talked about their religion and usually about Jack's concerns. One controversy that concerned Jack was the subject of Evolution vs. Creation. This was one of many debates Jack had scrutinized with an open mind trying to analyze both points of view. Later he would summarize these concerns.
Through the past several hundred years there has been much controversy as to the correct origin of man. Religious people believe that God or the Lord of the Earth made the heavens and the Earth and all that in them is. But then came an antithesis to contradict this teaching. This new theory included a quantity of chance mixed in with supposed natural occurrences--which latter part was titled "natural selection" which in effect is the basis for the theory of evolution.Jack's searching mind was struggling with the intricacies of this historic debate between science and religion, unsuccessfully up to this point. His ideas are circumspect and vague to say the least. Seeds of doubt are present in a progressing dialectic. He exposed to Julie in their private meetings a process of thinking that is more important to recognize than the content of his tentative conclusions.
According to the original thesis, God made Earth--animals in a specific amount of time, and placed one Adam at the head and then Eve from the first's rib which in itself is a good trick. And they progressed in the biblical manner.
It is stated by the antithesis that the Earth was created by chance. But I shall not go into the mathematical difficulties of this proposition. Events were such and it is supposed that the physical surface [of the Earth] was developed or rather was happened to be similar to what we have now but much younger at the time. Then there was a life cell which was happened and through a process of natural selection parts and organisms began to be acquired. At different stages of development some became adjusted to their habitat--they rather froze in shape and reproduced. And these were the parents of the species. Gradually through this natural selection all the species now existing and many others were formed and reproduced with man at the head as the most intelligent. Then there was evolution within the various species and undoubtedly crosses, mutations and combinations.
Now it can be seen by my eyes that there is room for understanding and misunderstanding in both theories. The first conclusion that must be arrived at is that there is a God. This I firmly believe which by itself will be a topic of discussion in future thoughts. This God then is by mere fact of definition all cognizant and all powerful. He can then organize materials or possibly convert energy into materials which is also (theoretically) possible--into planets, stars, solar systems, etc. He can provide an ideal climate and other facilities necessary to support life. He then can instill life into every organism and body. He can cause to happen a series of events such as described in the antithesis--which includes the development of various species--under control--which do now exist and undoubtedly many others that were useless and could not adapt to their environment. He could cause it to be so that man could enjoy the perfect shape and form which we think we have now.
The acknowledgement that a belief in the existence of God is fundamental to the acceptance of the religious point of view is the most clear concept in this presentation. Once this central tenet is accepted or defeated the other parts of the discussion fall into place one way or the other. It is not clear that Jack understood how important his central belief was at this stage of his thinking, however. He held his Mormon belief casually as if he was powerful enough to challenge it with his own reasoning. He was clinging to the hope that he could eventually make sense out of science and the religious point of view by accepting scriptures in a figurative or allegorical way.
The disputes over the story of creation will not likely be settled any time soon, so it is no wonder a person of little more than seventeen years appears to be confused. Even renowned scientists don't agree on the age of the Earth, the creation of the Universe and the details of evolution. The Big Bang theory was widely disputed but there are always more questions than answers even in the scientific community.
Mormons accept a more literal interpretation of The Bible's account of creation than most scientists. They also suggest that the account itself is flawed by not having been preserved accurately. They emphasize the allegorical significance as being more relevant to man and proceed to construct many different lessons from the story.
"There are a lot of things we don't understand. God wouldn't create this world just to destroy it. I believe that we will be saved whatever happens, if we live good lives." Julie affirmed her belief as she stroked Jack's hair and brought his attention back to the purpose at hand.
Julie turned to face Jack and he touched the side of her cheek tenderly. Even with their familiarity an emotional charge sparked from Jack's fingers as he caressed her cheek.
The moonlight displayed a silhouette of her rounded profile and the whites of her steady eyes shone brightly. There was no need for words now, their hearts beat faster as if in sequence.
They kissed softly close and away alternately with their eyes open, each coming in and out of focus. After a moment, she moved to adjust her strained position.
She whispered, "Let's move to the back seat."
They didn't usually do that but tonight they had plenty of time and all the isolation they could ever expect.
"Okay!" He was over-eager with his response.
She reached her arm over the seat and slipped her slender body along behind it gracefully.
Jack wasn't so lucky. He bumped his knee hard against the dash and hit his elbow soundly against the window as he hurried to follow. Somehow he made it without disturbing the already excited mood.
After a quick shuffle, he leaned back against the angle made by the door and the seat. She sat sideways neatly between his outstretched legs. She put her shoulder against his chest and reached her open lips up to meet his in a fresh kiss that held them both entranced.
His mind passed to a persistent thought in which he wished to control the passage of time, to make time go more slowly. In the excitement of the moment, he couldn't hold that thought for more than a few seconds. Jack ran his free hand over her shoulder and teased her bare arm with his fingernails lightly.
Chills of excitement ran through her and raised goose bumps as her receptive body responded. They basked in the excited tension they were creating. Jack was her prisoner of passion pressed under her weight. Julie was in a warm, comforting, secure, energetic dream removed from the world.
Before long Jack's hand found her back and massaged briefly in what was more a reconnoiter than an enduring caress. He moved his hand low and gently tugged her blouse loose from her pants. This was permissible.
Each brush and caress of his hand soothed her into a dream state. She grew less aware of the details of her circumstances except she could feel the tingle and the building tension in her nerves. She felt an overriding sense of security and reached instinctively for more contact between her legs.
Adam and Eve must have felt the same sense of excitement in their equal innocence. Jack would later write:
It is perfectly logical to assume that at an undefined time the organism of man through natural selection did become complete. This completed man is described as Adam and Eve by a historical tradition. To say that Adam and Eve were given the gift of pro-creation, is to explain that at this last stage of development--which was under control of God--this particular species did not originally develop sex organs and God gave them these. Or if they had them He gave them the knowledge. If we are to agree with The Bible we must say that Eve was made by God, because the previous species produced only one individual.Jack was unconcerned about the nature of the universe as he reached up the smooth flesh of Julie's back to the elastic strap and studied the fastener. With a slight downward pressure from one finger and a gentle pinch with his thumb, the first fastener was miraculously undone and the second yielded with even less complaint. Her whole back was open for soft probing and he rubbed his hand and raked his fingers easily over the warm surface.
I stated that I would not appease the biblical theory, but I find it very difficult because there are certain circumstances which make this impossible. Then in actuality all I have said is that there could have been evolution and the process of natural selection, but under the control of God. It is also only logical to assume that God would have a system to His development.
Now seems to be an appropriate time to discuss the actuality of a God and prove his existence by simple logic. First I will again reiterate that I believe and feel beyond the shadow of a doubt (figure of speech) that there is a God if not an infinite number of Gods, however, ruling over different planets. There are certain factors such as the entire system of plant and animal life, the intricate body processes and arrangement--not to mention numerous other such physical reactions and formations (cosmological argument).
We see almost unlimited examples in physics and chemistry. The structure of the atom. The fact, which my physics teacher pointed out, that water when it freezes--the ice resulting from this reaction rises to the top instead of descending. If it were to go to the bottom the rivers and seas would never defrost entirely thus causing flowing problems. Simple examples like this--the systems and laws man has discovered are intricate and perfectly made.
The only solution an evolutionary student could propose is that these exceptions were possible--not the case in other planets--that this is again the one example of perfection in infinity. This point is very strong, although reason would say that the mathematical possibility is very unlikely, it could happen an indefinite number of times throughout infinity.
The question is asked: "Where did God come from?" This cannot be answered by mortal intellect, but this and the question of the beginning of infinity or of anything will perplex man forever. The reason why I must believe in the sometimes called fable story of Adam and Eve is that it was revealed to more people than those that recorded it in The Bible. The prophets who wrote in the Dead Sea Scrolls--now the Pearl of Great Price--also received this revelation. Other things connect and interlace--and if you believe one you must believe the rest.
I say now that if there is any life besides my own there is a God. And now I see what I have thought--it is more definite that God exists if I am the only life--which thought I discussed before and will not go into any further.
Sparks of passion flashed with each touch. His smooth, rhythmic motion deepened her distracted state.
He rubbed her side below her arm with the palm of his hand. The closer he came to her front the faster and harder his heart pounded. He hadn't touched her breasts before. He had a strong urge and felt he could safely conquer that area tonight.
She yielded to his stimulation and turned her body ever so slightly so the angle of his arm could move his hand forward to its goal. His touch stopped her breath creating long gasps. The skin around the bottom of her breast was softer and more sensational than anything he had ever touched. He traced the contour with the side of his hand as he gently moved the bra away. The nipple was distinctly rough and bumpy in contrast and he studied the naked flesh carefully and thoroughly.
Without either noticing, he adjusted his thigh and she straddled his rigid tendon, moving rhythmically. This new pressure echoed through her whole body as a gentle and compulsive wave. Her hip pressed on his erection creating an involuntary stimulus.
When the swelled nipple passed the palm of his hand he felt a tingling rush through his arm. He circled the palm flat against her breast barely touching, accentuating the energy he absorbed.
Jack knew not to press his advantage further. Neither wanted to expose themselves completely, nor were they prepared for intercourse in any event.
Mormons teach chastity and insist young people reserve sex until they are married. They also acknowledge and accept with frankness the beauty and exquisite mystery of their sexual impulses rather than looking at their sexuality as evil. Jack accepted this influence but remained confused by other teachings. He struggled with these complex issues, sorting out his sexuality, spirituality and humanity the best he could. They were both willing captives of moral restraint.
She suddenly felt her internal muscles contracting. She clinched her fingers around his arms and focused all her attention on this building sensation. She lost her breath and swallowed to keep her lungs working.
The rhythm grew perceptibly stronger and he could feel her spasmodic motion reaching for the right pressure. He could feel the irresistible tension mounting in his own nerves beyond the point of control. They were kissing hard and they couldn't kiss fast enough or hard enough. His hand held her breast full and warm with a hard pressure and suddenly Jack knew he would ejaculate whether he wanted to or not.
He breathed excitedly and deep as she kissed hard and moist. The taste of their sweet drinks lubricated their extended tongues.
As she relaxed she felt her body in tune with his motion but she wasn't there, she was floating in a cloud propelled by soft touches and excited nerves.
He had masturbated plenty of times. This stimulation was unexpected and not welcome. He was wide awake and conscious of every perceptible stimulation flooding his senses, yet he was seized by a hypnotic passion unable to relax.
The windows were covered with fog after their exertion. Jack felt a sudden shock when a pair of headlights turned against the car. They both lay still not knowing whether the car was coming toward them or not. The car was turning following the same route Jack and Lucky had taken. That single invasion of light was enough to break the spell.