Mmm … delicious Martha murmurs softly into Victoria’s ear as they lay curled into each other, warm sweaty and naked. It’s early morning and birds are singing as sunlight streams in. It’s cold outside.
Sexually sated they eventually rise and breakfast in their dressing gowns, toast jam and strong coffee. Enjoying a post orgasmic clitoral glow Martha consumes Victoria’s legs and partially exposed buttocks as she bends forward to get milk from the fridge. So, what about this then? Martha enquires in a sympathetic tone. She picks up then drops an envelope on the table. A tension sits between them. Victoria has already (half) hidden two invitations for breast cancer screening but Martha has intercepted the third. I don’t know I can’t face even thinking about it. Martha persuaded Victoria. It’s a good thing Victoria, earlier found soonest mended. Now Martha had told her to go. So she’d go. I’m not scared of cancer itself. I can’t bear just not knowing. Martha knows best. OK I’ll go I promise.
Victoria set off for work, a nurse practitioner in the local STD clinic, identifying Gonnorheal spirochetes and the like under the microscope and counselling anxious clients about their tests and test results.
Victoria is full of uncertainty. She retains elements of the premillenialist Plymouth Brethren worldview from her upbringing. And this despite eventually being effectively ‘excommunicated’ for the sin of sexual immorality and ‘escaping’ the community after meeting and falling in love with Martha.
Martha, born of radical socialists embodies Victoria’s antithesis in many ways. The truth is Victoria unconsciously still adheres to values of The Brethren’s premillenialist worldview and belief in solo scriptura – the literal interpretation of the Bible. She knows, at least consciously, how ridiculous this is, after all ‘The Bible and Colonialism’- A Moral Critique, by Michael Prior, for her, convincingly debunks the myth of the Bible as anything but an inconsistent factually flawed human construction built over many decades to justify religious political and economic power. Despite this conscious knowledge she still feels deep down she is committing a Sin to go for cancer screening, interfering with God’s Will and intentions for her. After all the Brethren teaches that, as per the scriptures, disease is often the price paid for sinfulness and to try to preempt disease is surely to go against the will of God.
Once the room has quietened and peace reigns Martha exasperated takes a deep breath re-focuses her thoughts and returns to her PhD: The Twentieth Century History and Political Consequences of Christian Premillennialism. The current chapter focuses on the Premillennialism influence on UK policy on abortion, transgender identity and Heroin addiction. In particular she is following up links she has found to a Conservative Party organization Cornerstone chaired by the MP the Rt Hon Ian Duncan Jones. Jones is a member of the UK Government party executive and shares close ties to the True Believers Christian Premillennialists in the USA and elsewhere.
Martha is using Nester Webster’s theories (the ‘Grand Dame of conspiracy theories’ of the 1920s who adapted religious premillenialist sources to develop a basis for secular fascist ideology) to help her understand right-wing fascist ideologies.
Martha had noticed a small lump in Victoria’s left breast a couple of weeks ago but had been frightened to mention it for fear of Victoria’s hysterical response. So the screening appointment seemed a godsend.
Martha went with Victoria to the appointment. Victoria winced as her small breasts were squeezed between the plates for the x-ray. Sure enough as Martha had hoped the nurse detected the lump as well and Victoria was asked to re-attend for an appointment with the breast surgeon a Miss Strang. They returned home. After a long silence. I’ve got cancer haven’t I? Victoria claimed more than questioned. trying to hold in tears and sobbing. You don’t know that. I do I have otherwise why do I have to see a surgeon. You don’t they’re just being on the safe side, you just need to wait and see what the surgeon says. This cut no ice with Victoria who was inconsolable and shrugged away Martha’s comforting hug.
We’ll need to do a biopsy to be sure … Victoria’s heart sank another notch … but I doubt if it’s anything too serious. Too serious Christ Almighty Victoria thought. These words felt like a hammer blow, she felt pure dread and apprehension.