Thursday, April 19, 2007

Narrow Make My Bed


One of my friends received a book from her father upon going to college titled, Narrow Make My Bed: A Guide to College Celibacy. We had a good laugh over this given that she hadn't been all that successful with high school celibacy. My friend was a hedonist in the true sense of the word; she didn't have the hang ups about love that most of us harbored in those tender young years. I admired this attitude even if I could never emulate it -- even though I did not entertain fantasies of the big princess-like wedding, I wanted to be in love with my gentleman callers and share candlelit dinners dressed in a flimsy black robe. Not anything that was going to get me into Penthouse Letters, but it passed for romance in Mineral Wells. Perhaps I can start with a clean slate, like Kelly, my friend said. Kelly was a girl we knew who reclaimed her virginity for each boyfriend. She'd have public tortured debates about whether or not to give up the precious flower of her innocence to her latest. She would and the relationship would fall into an abyss of sorrow and keening, and then she'd start up with someone new, very publicly declaring, I'm so glad I saved my virginity for X; I knew it wasn't right with Y.
I admired this slip of memory, and Kelly's unique talent for regrowing her hymen. I looked at Narrow Make My Bed, which contained such bon mots as "Do not take your feet off the ground. Temptation occurs in private when our feet part from the steady ground." The book warned that you could kill your soul by having sex too early with the wrong partner. When I was young, I spent a lot of time thinking about my soul, whatever it was. Many people I knew didn't even believe in the concept. But I suspected while it was harder to lose than your virginity, if you did, you might never ever get it back, and unlike your virginity, you wouldn't lose it all at once. It would leave you in degrees through a leak so small that you'd never see it while it deflated you all the same.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Remember all the little dangers in your past." Jayne Anne Philips
Cocktail Hour
Drinking short story collection suggestion: Black Tickets Jayne Anne Philips
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Thursday!

16 comments:

Dr. Faustus said...

Losing one's soul is a bitch.

A.J. Soprano said...

I don't remember when I lost my virginity. I have trouble focusing. I was diagnosed with ADD in high school. Thanks for supporting the show anyway.

the walking man said...

Soul-translated from Hebrew word Nephesh=breath life

Christopher Marlowe said...

I had my eye stabbed out over the reckoning of the bill. I am, however, familiar with Faustus' problem.

Sam and Dave said...

I'm a soul man.

Coleman Young Jr. said...

Shut the f--- up.

Rep. Jack Brandenberg said...

We can go right now.

Father Holden e Caulfield said...

Great Caesar's post, m!

This is probably the best stuff I've read in a while. What an unusual gift the father gave the daughter. But I guess it could have been worse, like if he bought her a large box of sponges or something like that.
Funny, the concept of the flower regenerating with each new relationship. Hope trully springs eternal for your friend, it would seem.

Very interesting stuff about the soul, and about how people protect thier soul. J dubs teach that people's souls die when the flesh dies, and none ever are "tied to the mortal coil". No eternal soul, no hell or heaven, either. Only the grave--or, Sheol--as the sons of Israel designate it. If one thinks they've seen a ghost, they really saw Satan or one of his demons.

I love the line "fall into an abyss of sorrow and keening", as the abyss beats the heck out of hell as a biblical ref. And the word keening makes me think of good old celtic paganism, of banshees and other vengeful spirits who lust for the hot blood of mortal men and who scream of the crimes against them for all eternity. Lovely...

Keep writing well, m! I'll keep reading it.

holden nervously said...

...but everyone knows that demons mostly appear to us as wicked delights, as our favorite sins, covered in molten chocolate, illicit substances and evil mistaken for happiness...

Robin said...

Hey Miss M,
Your writing has been on fire this week! Have enjoyed reading every post!

paul said...

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R2c@2!!!!

JR's Thumbprints said...

I've been doing plenty of soul searching lately, now I know why. As for your writing, I am speechless, had the wind knocked right out of me.

Sheila said...

I was just catching up on your posts. You are so pretty michelle! I laughed so hard at the tickle me freud picture! How cute! I had a friend who was celebate all through high school.... until right before we graduated. She slept with this slim ball she thought she loved (she was very hell bent on being celebate until marraige) and then she got pregnant. He went to the midwest.... she moved to Cali with her dad.

Susan Miller said...

You and endings. Isn't it interesting now to go and look back at our different perspective and sex and soul through our lives? I am so glad that you write.

realbigwings said...

I had a narrow bed in college and learned to balance quite well on my side, which left a lot more room. But i guess the book didn't talk about balancing acts and economy of space.
Or even with both feet pressed down, how to keep your soul grounded.
Hmm. Not much of a book, I'd say.

Be well, Michelle.

John Ricci said...

Dear Michelle Lovely views and posts as always. May your bed always be as narrow or as broad as you wish. Champagne toasts and caviar dreams and happy divorces for those who wish them, Bravo!