Book Club: Uncovered
This memoir traces the life of a friend of BCC who lived in a Hasidic community for 30 years, raised 7 children, and then left her community for a new life as an out lesbian.
Leah Lex was a guest at BCC during the Days of Awe, talked about her book and answered questions. Watch the event here:
A sneak preview of UNCOVERED, from The Huffington Post Gay Voices:
Another day, another midnight, I edge open the back door and try to make sure it doesn’t creak. I put the car into neutral and slide down the drive with the driver’s side door ajar. Once in the street, I ease the door closed and start the motor so that I could be anyone, a passing car that stalled, a Hasidic mother escaping to her lesbian lover.
Hands on the wheel, foot on the pedal, I have no thought, no sense of moral outrage, no nausea about my subterfuge or about any of the other fruitless duplicities that will come. I won’t let myself imagine the betrayal that will linger in my children’s eyes for years. Soon, I will tell myself that I do this as a matter of survival, pikuach nefesh, that like Levi scrubbing his hands even on the Sabbath when he had cancer, the Law stipulates that survival supersedes the Law. I will soothe myself with this justification even though I have had little regard for the Law outside of our home for some time. That’s how I will feel, when I can finally think, that I go to Jane to survive.
But right now, as I roll through the sleeping Hasidic neighborhood, there’s only a reptilian kind of instinct propelling me forward, a body scream. I hide the car in Jane’s garage and let myself in her back door with her key, into the house where she now lives alone. Inside the door, I pull off the scarf, shake out my hair. Through the kitchen, the dark still den, down the hall, fingertips along a stippled wall. I peel off all my clothes, let them fall on the carpet in a pile, slide into her warm sheets and pull her sleeping body against my form. She wakes and turns to me, takes me in her arms.
There in her arms, I cry. For Levi (which she doesn’t appreciate). For lost years. For thinking I could live without knowing the simple peace of . . . this: Warm bodies that echo one another. Steady breath on my hair in the night. Silent, constant warmth roused to electric in the morning, then back to tandem being before I slip out for home just after sunrise.