Tuesday, 5 November 2013


I am part of a chassidish community. I have several children. But before I got married, I fell in love with a girl in my school. I wasn't the only girl that it happened to, but I think I was ridiculous about it. I was obsessed with her. She was short, and had dark hair and she was very tznius, the most tznius person in the whole school. She wasn't the thinnest person and she had very bad hearing and she really didn't care about the way she looked but I was, curiously, so so attracted to her. She made me crazy with wanting. And she knew that I wanted her and she teased me, egged me on, asked me to rub her back or scratch her itches or whatever.
                                                     Picture by Sophie Blackall
I wanted to look at her all the time, and when she went away to do other things or talk with other girls, I made sad eyes, and sat in a corner and moped. She got very annoyed with this and used to tell me to stop it, to go find someone else to hang out with, but I couldn't stop.
You have to understand: We were in a sleep-away seminary in Israel and we shared a room with a couple of other girls. She was sick at that time. She had a permanent headache and cough that made her weak, and at night, she would cough and cough and moan, and eventually, I would wake up and ask her what was wrong, and she would say that she felt sick and I would ask her what she wanted, what she needed, and every night she said the same thing: Please rub my chest. And this very tznius girl would open up her buttons, just one or two, and point at the area just below her collar bone and say, "It feels so good when you rub it." So I'd climb into the bed right behind her and put my arm over her shoulder and I'd rub that place, and all the time, I was dying. Dying!
Her hair smelled so good, her shoulder, and she was right there, beneath my arm, and my hand was on her skin. This went on for weeks, and each night, she fell asleep while I was rubbing her chest and I got up and went to my own bed. And each day, I was exhausted, and fell asleep on my desk and dreamed about her.
Then, one night, I was rubbing her chest as usual, when she reached up and held my hand still. It was very quiet in the room. I could hear the other girls breathing, in and out, and my own breath sounded crazy loud and I couldn't control my breathing at all. I thought I will wake up all the girls with my breathing because it sounds like a steam engine. I needed to take a bigger and bigger breath of air just to not faint. She held my hand and then, very quietly, she said, "Go lower."
I wasn't sure what she meant, but then she unbuttoned two more buttons on her nightgown and she pulled my hand lower onto her chest, where you feel, instead of bone, softer skin. "Rub here," she said.  I was completely oismentsch (out of myself), but I also could feel every part of myself, as if my skin had grown new nerves on the old nerves. I didn't move my hand right away, and I couldn't breath either. That's how it was, when we started.
The next day, she acted as if nothing had happened. She pushed me away when I wanted to sit near her. I tried to give her food or little presents,  but she wouldn't take anything from me. But that night, the same thing happened. She opened her buttons, and took my hand, and put it where she wanted to be touched. And all the while, I couldn't see her face. I could only feel her body. And each night, she moved my hand lower and lower. And neither of us was sleeping.
I don't know about her. I don't know what her life is like now, because we aren't in contact. I can only talk about myself. That experience changed me forever. I knew, then, that I liked girls, and I knew that boys didn't have anywhere near the same interest for me, and that has been true ever since.