The Immigrants’ Daughter Learns A Lesson

by

12/01/2011

Neighborhood: Brooklyn

Like 15 Retweet 0

I learned about sex when I was twelve. My mother called me over while she was watching a rerun of The Honeymooners on the 13” black and white TV in my bedroom. She often watched there, because my father couldn’t stand her smoking in their room. My parents are Holocaust refugees. My mother had lived in the forest between ages 6 and 8. My father had been sent to Siberia. Commandeering my room and filling it with cigarette smoke didn’t rank very high on their “Terrible Things You Shouldn’t Do to Your Children” list. I happened to be walking in the hallway when she decided it was time for the only lesson I can remember her wanting to teach me.

Mindy? she asked, half turning her face from the TV set. I could hear Ed Norton calling out, Hellooooo, ball.

Yeah? I answered from the doorway.
You know about sex, right?
Yeah, Ann told me about it.
You don’t have any questions, do you?
I guess not.
Good.»

For the record, Ann was my friend who was a year older and more worldly, and always smelled like a combination of Rive Gauche and Big Red gum. Her lesson on the birds and the bees had gone like this: The man sticks his pisher into the woman’s pisher, and something comes out of his pisher that makes the woman pregnant.

When we informed my brother Harry about this state of affairs, he ran straight to our father to ask him if he really stuck his pisher into our mother.

Who told you that? my father demanded.
Mindy and Ann.
They’re lying.

Mindy Greenstein is a clinical psychologist and writer. She is the author of The House on Crash Corner and Other Unavoidable Calamities (Greenpoint Press, 2011).

Comments
Rate Story
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

§ 5 Responses to “The Immigrants’ Daughter Learns A Lesson”

§ Leave a Reply

Other Stories You May Like

Nearby Brooklyn Stories

Of Braggarts, Liars, and Their Adoring Misery

by

Andy bounces around America like a pinball made of tumbleweed. He follows home to Red Hook, and home follows him to Broadway

Starry Night

by

“If stars are lit...” - V. V. Mayakovsky Had the receptionist been Dante Alighieri, he might have strung a banner along [...]

Swimming Women

by

"You're a girl," he said. "You can stay."

Low Point at High Point

by

As I walked past High Point Coffee on Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn, a heavy bag of groceries in each hand, [...]

Notes from the Audobon Society, Part 2

by

The wind blew the first raindrops of the cold front against my back. Iris was late.I couldn’t believe I was [...]