Marsha Ablowitz – Turning Thirteen at Summer Camp

The year was 1956. It was dusk as Marsha followed the other two teens down the grassy hill to the badminton court. Marsha was just turning thirteen, and wondered how she had been chosen at the staff meeting to join the two older counselors with the purpose of planning the “evening program.” She sat squirming in the prickly grass, wishing her short shorts were longer, and looked at Marty and Zelda. These two counselors had rarely noticed her before today. She was surprised they even knew her name. Zelda was 14, and Marty at least 15. They were tall stylish leaders for the “In Group” at camp. Marsha, a junior counselor, was clumsy and definitely “Out.”

Yet, somehow, all three of them were down here in the badminton court, sprawled out on the dry grass, quietly watching the light fade on Lake Kalamalka. Soon, it would be dark and time for the evening program. Tonight, they would be reenacting the Warsaw Uprising from World War II.

“Stop doing that, Marty,” Zelda said, stretching her long smoothly shaved legs.

“Why? Does it make you hot?” Marty asked.

He was leaning over, pursing his fleshy lips, and blowing into Zelda’s ear. She tossed back her long dark hair.

“It tickles. ‘Stop it,’ I said!” Zelda was giggling and shaking her head. Her shiny hair was brushing Marty’s face. Zelda put on more bright red lipstick, and smacked her lips. She wore a spotless tight white Camp Hatikvah T shirt, her breasts pushing forward and her bra strap showing.

Marsha had a new brassier but not much in it, and she had lost her lipstick down by the beach.

Aren’t we supposed to be planning the “Warsaw Ghetto Uprising?” she asked.

“Don’t always be so serious, Marsha. Benny will take care of the explosions and the smoke. We can just gather all the little kids to follow us for the escape through the sewers part. We’ll crawl through the dry drainage ditch behind the dining hall,” Zelda explained.

“Is that all?” Marsha asked.

“Marty, I told you to stop!” Zelda said.

“But…but Zelda, won’t we shoot at the Nazis? Won’t we throw Molotov Cocktails to blow them up?” Marsha asked.

“We can skip that part,” Zelda said.

She really wasn’t all that interested in planning the evening program. And while she kept telling Marty to stop, she was giggling. She didn’t even try to push him away when he reached over to put his big hairy arm around her waist.

“I know six ways to make a girl hot,” he said.

“Tell me all six,” Zelda prompted.

“I’ll show you!” Marty was grinning and winking.

“No, stop it Marty!” Zelda wiggled as Marty blew into her ear again, and reached for her. She slapped him away.

“What’s ‘hot’? Marsha asked.

” What d’yuh mean?” Marty challenged. “Are you joking?” He laughed.

” No, I’m not joking. What does that mean ‘make a girl hot’?”

The two others both laughed. “Don’t you know?”

“No I don’t.”

“You must know,” Zelda said, searching for words, “Hot… turned on… umm… aroused.”

“Hot like in the sunshine?”

“You’re teasing us.”

“No, I’m not.”

Zelda rolled her eyes.

“Tell me…Turned on… Turned on to what?”

“I’ll show you,” Marty said. He laughed as he reached his big hand out towards her bare leg. Marsha jerked back quickly.

“Stop it, Marty!” Zelda said. “She’s still a child, only twelve. She really doesn’t know.”

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