Literary Orphans

A Distressing State of Purity by Alle C. Hall

Rosie Goldstein spent the summer after high school graduation on a kibbutz, where she hit upon the chutzpah to hold a man’s eyes for a moment longer than necessary. To give a good handjob, a decent blowjob, and soon enough, to stop giggling. To talk about sex with blunt nonchalance—but Rosie was a nice, Jewish girl, and despite her need to feel loved, she intended to stay one. Men on the kibbutz were bronzed Army veterans of twenty-one or –two with name such as Taavi and Nadav and Adiv. Adiv, it turned out, wrote droopy verse. He called her Rosie as if it were an adjective instead of her name and jockeyed with the others to pluck her first. Rosie reveled in all a girl could do without going all the way. From watching Arab women at the market, Rosie discovered that a glimpse of the inside of the wrist was more entrancing than the skin American girls too willingly displayed. From experimentation, she ascertained that the more accidental the revelation appeared, the more hypnotic. And when she allowed any one of the men to talk her into something, she owned him. Rosie let each man think he was the only one she wasn’t doing it with. He was going to tell the others she had, regardless, and she would tell hers the same. So no one, no one need know she was still a virgin.

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Alle C. Hall’s work appears in Tupelo Quarterly, Creative Nonfiction, Brevity (blog), Word Riot, Treehouse, and The Best of Crack the Spine, among others. “Wins” include: a Best of the Net nomination; First Place in The Richard Hugo House New Works competition; semi-finalist in Hippocampus Magazine‘s “Remember in November” Creative Nonfiction Contest; and two “Notable Essay” designations in The 2018 Memoir Magazine’s #MeToo Essay Contest. The Senior Nonfiction Editor at JMWW Journal, Alle spends a great deal of time thinking about childhood. Literally. Alle blogs at About Childhood: Answers for Writers, Parents, and Former Children. (

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–Art by Jaime Ryan

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