Sangam House



IN THE BATHTUB by Lars Husum

I’m fifteen the first time. I do it because I’m in love with Miriam with the red hair. She has large breasts, four freckles on her nose, and what’s more she’s a Jehovah’s Witness. I wish I were brave enough to speak to her, but I don’t utter a single word in all of Year Ten. She knows how I feel about her because I follow her around, even when we’re not at school. In the beginning, I hide behind bushes and trees, throwing myself to the ground whenever she turns to face me. Of course, she notices that I’m stalking her – I’m not really that good at hiding – but I have a reputation for being odd that makes her afraid to do anything about it. She tries to ignore me, but the more she ignores me, the closer I get. One fair May evening I even sneak into her garden and peep through her window. She is lying in bed, reading, while I stand outside in a flowerbed. Then she puts down her book, yawns, and suddenly our eyes meet. She is silent and terrified as she stares at me, and I give her a small, confused wave before I make a run for it. I do know that we’ll never be a couple, but the fact that she doesn’t want me is actually part of why I love her. I wank five or six times a day around this time. Actually, I wank just about everywhere, including in the flowerbed in her garden. Sis is worried because I shut myself in and seem so secretive, but really I am just randy.

I gawp at Miriam in a Danish lesson, and she looks back at me nervously. My Danish teacher has told me off several times, not for gawping at Miriam but because I don’t pay attention. I can just make out her knicker line, and if there’s a knicker line then there must be knickers, and if there are knickers then there has to be a bottom and a cunt. Without even knowing it, my hand slides down to my groin, I unbutton my trousers and pull it out. She is the first one to notice. Her face contracts in disgust. In a split second she overcomes her fear of me. Running straight across the room, she slaps me resoundingly – smack! – and storms out.

There I am, confused and disconsolate, with a flaming cheek, and I just don’t get why the others say I’m a creep. All of a sudden my Danish teacher grabs hold of me. He shakes me.

‘Put it away, you little perv!’

I’m baffled. ‘Put what away?’

He assumes it’s a provocation, loses his cool and slaps me on the same cheek that Miriam slapped: smack! I haven’t done anything! Why are they hitting me? I jump up from my chair and thump him. I’m not a big lad, but I am strong and my aim is perfect – pop! – and his nose splatters. Blood is spraying all over the place. That paralyses him. I hit him again, aiming for his temple – pow! – and he keels over. I turn around and see my classmates’ bewildered faces. The girls are wailing; some of them are running away. I stare aggressively at them, and then I bellow, ‘You nits!’

After all, I have to scream something.

Then I’m tackled from behind by Jesper, who is the class hero because he plays on the U18 handball team, and we tussle for a bit. He’s bigger than me, but I end up on top anyway. I manage to lock his arms with my legs, and I am sitting on his chest, about to pummel him when I notice that my cock is jutting in across his face. That’s when I realize what I have done. I get up, tuck my cock away and hurry out. No-one follows me or tries to stop me. Why would they? They’re just glad the little pervert is running away. I want to go home so that I can erase the humiliation.


The next thing I remember is being in the bath, slitting my wrist. I look with surprise at the blood running down my hands, but then I sink into the water with a nice feeling of calm. Sis hasn’t heard from the school yet, so she doesn’t know what I’ve done. She comes home, and as usual she heads straight for the bathroom. Sis will often wait for longer than necessary if it means she can wee in her own bathroom. I have forgotten to lock the door. She slams it open, heads for the loo and screams. She wees on the floor and stands, rocking back and forth in wee, water and blood for a bit.

And then she gets started. Sis saves my life, as she has done many times since. I am in hospital for three days due to the massive blood loss, and not for one minute does Sis leave my side. It is a long time before I fall in love again.

(Excerpted from ‘My Friend Jesus Christ’. Translated from the original Danish by Mette Petersen.)

Lars Husum was a resident at Sangam House in November 2009. This story has appeared in Other People: The Sangam House Reader vol. 1.

This entry was posted in Reader. Bookmark the permalink.