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Not Quite Apollo 8

It was Christmas time, 1968, when three American astronauts, Frank Borman, James A. Lovell Jr., and William A. Anders, guided their Apollo 8 spacecraft across nearly a quarter-million miles of black void, out of the grasp of Earth, into orbit around the Moon, and back.  It was a first; had never happened before.  At 13 years old, I was among the many millions who listened and watched as the explorers spoke across the emptiness. One thing I remember with almost visceral clarity is the silence that fell each time Astronauts Borman, Lovell, and Anders vanished behind the far side of the Moon, losing all contact with the Earth for 45 minutes on each of the 10 orbits. During the first long silence the black void crackled with tension until Mission Control in Houston reported, "We've got it! Apollo 8 is in lunar orbit."  Jubilation!  With one breath, we who remained bound to Earth breathed a single, universal sigh of relief in that moment.

I was reminded of that moment this morning when, in the darkness of the predawn, Master rolled over, pulled my still sleepy self into a hug, and asked if we could try to make love.  It was, for me, exactly like that exhale I recall after the long, silent wait for Apollo 8 to reappear -- "When will He reappear following the trauma of the surgery?  And, what if...?"  The unspoken fear, guarded closely in the long dark nights of the last three weeks, evaporated early this morning in the simple, often under-appreciated gift of an erection.  Now...I am assured that we are where we should be, safely on the radar, and soon to be headed home to more familiar territory again.  


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