I went to Hebrew school every Sunday since first grade. Then as I got older, they upped my sessions to twice, weekly. Read from the Torah. I remember learning to read Hebrew, really read it, when the letters became words. Something clicked. I remember the moment, in my sneakers, at a small desk, looking at a decorated bulletin board full of Hebrew letters. Red paper. It made sense, but after that, nothing else did. I didn’t know what I was reading, only how to do it. I didn’t believe the things they told me about water into wine and the parting of seas. Adam and Eve nonsense.
If they’d told me the story of Samson & Delilah then, I’d have enjoyed Hebrew school, would have seen it as a chick flick. Man, if only they had really good Hebrew schools where they told you the story, played you some non-Jew music, and got you talking about relationships. I would have sat upright and taken notes. I would have learned that his hair was long when they first met, that if he lost it, he’d lose everything, his strength and eyes by enemy hands. She’d whisper to him at night, wanting to connect, beneath tangled sheets, overlapping feet. "Tell me your secrets." He’d make some up. He wanted to watch the game instead. Each night, he’d be charged with sharing, so he shared lies to protect. Heard, "you don’t really love me" until he couldn’t take it anymore. He shared, opened himself, and she cut him with it, dull scissors in yellow light. And he told her it was all right. He loved her despite.
"Samson came to my bed
Told me that my hair was red
He told me i was beautiful and came into my bed
Oh I cut his hair myself one night
A pair of dull scissors and the yellow light
And he told me that I’d done alright
and kissed me till the morning light, the morning light
and he kissed me till the morning light"
–Regina Spektor, Samson
Today I’ve been listening to Samson by Regina Spektor on repeat (you must go download this song immediately. Thank you Majer for sending it to me). It’s the story of Samson & Delilah, told from Delilah’s point of view. It’s the story of their love, how he loved her unconditionally. How she came back to him every night, despite his lies. How he rest his head in her lap, trusting, the way we do when we love. Warm, asleep, bodies in slumber, breathing. Last night, The Suitor told me, "I love knowing you’re next to me in the middle of the night, knowing I can touch you, and I get to wake up next to you and your skin and all of you. I love that."
I love how Spektor "pulled a Wicked," taking the side of "the villain" and sharing her story. I did it once with Pygmalion’s Galetea. I’m going to do more of these. It reminds me there’s so much more going on than what we see, from our own warm skin, in the sheets of morning. When we fight, when we make up. Hair a mess.