Our honeymoon included a stop in Ann Arbor Michigan where Terry would complete a 3 year program in Sufi Spiritual Healing. What is Sufi Spiritual Healing? Couldn’t really tell you, I was sitting in the hotel room catching up on work and practicing not having orgasms. More self-pity. In reality I participated in many of the courses this school offered after our honeymoon, and I learned quite a bit about myself and life.
Terry took her concerns about getting pregnant to the circle of fellow students she had grown close to over their 3 year program. One of the facilitators of the program imparted a savory bit of Sufi wisdom: don’t have any orgasms for a month, then have sex when you are most fertile. Continue this regime until you are pregnant. Terry thought this was a great idea! Having sex during our honeymoon was of course, not nearly as important as the chief aims of the 1st Battalion of Immediate Pregnancy. I guess this private wasn’t nearly as hot as he thought he was. Additionally, having orgasms when the private wanted to, that wasn’t really a part of life on the front lines.
This was the first of many rebellions on my part. Was it successful? Of course not. Was this, as following rebellions were, childish and pitiful to behold? Hell yes. I’ve gained a new appreciation for my ability to whine. This rebellion was put down by the angry silent treatment. Eventually I capitulated, agreeing to suspend all orgasms every 3 weeks, but not a month. This, I told myself, would afford me some modicum of masturbatory dignity. Of course my dignity was actually long gone.
In all fairness to Terry, it had not been a happy honeymoon. The camper van we bought to travel across country converted to Mormonism. It made it over the Sierra’s fine but would not leave the Salt Lake Valley. I still don’t know if was the skiing or the polygamy that it fell in love with. We had to borrow my parents car (likely where I left my dignity), to drive to Michigan. We had to cancel the months of visiting friends and favorite wilderness spots we had planned.
Just before arriving at her Sufi graduation we discovered my 19 year old step-daughter (that we had just worked so hard to support in her first steps out into the world) was pregnant. It seems everyone else with a uterus was getting pregnant but us. Its no surprise the Battalion commander was looking to cut her losses and focus on the primary mission.
We dutifully followed the Sufi plan, with no pregnancy results. When I was a child my father would tell me to turn off the lights because “we don’t own stock in the power company.” I should have purchased stock in pregnancy tests. Years later its not surprising to run across a used “pale sticks of maternal insult”, as I think of them.
I maintained my lunar cycle chastity pledge upon our return from our honeymoon. This was when boot-camp really began in earnest. Terry decided we both needed physical exams, a very reasonable part of boot camp. For me this meant ejaculating into a plastic cup at a specified time and date. We would then hop into the car, drive 20 minutes to the lab and stand in line while my sperm died. If the line was short enough we’d get an accurate sperm count back. Hey, at least I’d get to have an orgasm.
This was our first commando mission. We trained in earnest, checking the amount of time it would take to get to the office, finding out how best to store the sperm container while in transit (under your arm in a plastic bag for warmth). We toyed with the idea of creating the sample in the bushes in the parking lot of the lab. I abstained from alcohol and (of course) orgasms, in the days leading up to the test. We didn’t need to practice the masturbation part, like most men, I’m an expert.
We provided the lab with several samples. The staff was fantastically crass and uncaring, but they managed to process everything on time. With bored faces they would slowly roll their office chair across the office to dangle my sperm out a drive-up window. Eventually a similarly bored courier in a broken down “my first car out of high school” excuse for a vehicle would pull up, hold out a brown paper bag and catch the sperm before trundling off. With each deposit my blood was tested to measure my hormone levels at the time of donation. It was a quick process, adding new meaning to “the old’ in-out.” All we had to do was wait for our doctor to call us with the results.
Our doctor wanted to see us in person to give us the results. That was a bad sign. He was out for a few days, it would be at least a week before we could see him. After much coaxing we were able to talk him into a phone call with me. His call came as Terry and I were eating at our favorite local Chinese restaurant. I should never have eaten there after that call. Eventually the place would give me food poisoning and usher in the birth of my son. More about that later.
Excited to discover the magnificent scope of my manliness I stepped out into the parking lot to take the call. I could tell the doctor did not share my excitement. “Is it bad” I asked? “Its bad” he replied. “How bad?” Long pause. “Less than one million viable sperm.” Let me put this into context for those of you reading this who don’t spend your days counting sperm. Back around the early 1900’s the average male of European descent produced between 100-120 million viable sperm. Over the decades our fertility has declined. We now produce between 80-100 million sperm. Thankfully this is still enough to get the job done. If you had extracted the sperm from a recently deceased 80 year old man you would probably have gotten more viable sperm than I was able to produce.
This was, to put it lightly, a dark day at Battalion headquarters. I can’t tell you what was going through the commanders mind, but it involved a lot of dark clouds. Fortunately Terry still had faith in my ability to deliver the goods. I was neither court marshaled nor dishonorably discharged. This was however the beginning of the great effort to resupply our troops with the equipment they need. It was time to get off my lazy Private First Class butt and start training! The doctor recommended various hormonal treatments, we opted for a guerrilla approach. It was time to enter the jungles of alternative male fertility treatment.
previous chapter: “1 Nixon” ~ next chapter: “3 Special Forces Training