Chapter 8 Mortal Sin, A Secret Puppet Shadow’s Birth
In my sophomore year at Notre Dame after a year of puberty, I committed my
first mortal sin. To save on water and gas bills we turned off the shower once
wet and then soaped up with one of the little used soap bars Mom brought from
After menstruation I soaped my breasts and pubic area more and more wanting to be clean and because it felt good. Day dreaming in the shower I fantasized romantically, typically about the boy who played basketball at Saint Clare’s in the 8th grade or a romantic movie scene in one of the downtown theaters on First Street. When it happened I was Louisa, (Pina Pellicer), the girl who smuggled a gun to Rio (Marlon Brando) in jail, in the movie, "One Eyed Jacks".
We were escaping on a galloping horse. Rubbing my clitoris to the gait of the bouncing saddle I could not stop yet knew it was bad, real bad. Bending over with one hand clasped to a breast, the other stroking my clitoris a wave of intense pleasure suddenly spread across me from head to toe. I discovered sex, not as discussed or thought of but as felt. It felt great.
I then descended into despair knowing I had sinned. Worried others in the house heard, I turned on the water full blast to cleanse away guilt but when drying on a skimpy towel knew I was guilty of a mortal sin, a sin the priest had lectured about during "retreat" at the start of each Notre Dame school year, an impure act of self-abuse.
It was my freshman year retreat at Notre Dame when sex was first openly mentioned in Catholic school. The Jesuit priest ranted and raved about hell and the dangers of impure acts before marriage. I inferred he meant intercourse but it was worse, much worse. Kissing a boy for longer than three seconds was all it took. There were hints of greater depravities of girls touching girls and self-abuse when one touched their private parts.
By the start of my sophomore year my sex education had expanded. A few girls at school admitted. "doing it" which was the euphemism for intercourse. A wild one even bragged about, "doing it" with different boys. She became an instant authority with the rest of us listening intently for any scrap of information. We learned it hurt the first time, boys constantly wanted it and there was a "rubber thing" to keep from getting pregnant.
To be better informed I went to the city downtown library as sex was a taboo subject in the school library. Checking through books I saw examples of my private parts presented in black and white sketched drawings of uterus, ovaries, Fallopian tubes, wandering egg, tunnel vagina and a little bean clitoris which I rubbed in the shower.
I also checked out male anatomy but having seen younger brothers naked there
was not much to learn other than things got a lot bigger at puberty and sperm
came up from the testicles and out the penis to meet the egg stuck to the
My sin was not with a boy. It was much worse than three seconds of kissing.
It was a perversion. I had played with myself, self-abuse, an admission no girl
at school admitted to, even the ones bragging about doing it. I had to confess
my transgression at school's Friday’s confession session. To avoid doing so
risked eternal damnation, being stuck in burning sulfur or in a boiling pot.