Born in London, England. Sometime university lecturer and ESL teacher. Author of 13 ESL books. His short stories have been accepted for publication in Nuvein magazine, Pindeldyboz, Aesthetica, The Sink and Unholy Biscuit. Has recently completed a novel "Outside In".

First Woman

I was born Gabriela Rosetta Almunda Torretta, but I’m changing my name to Eve. First woman – not original, I know, but better than Adam, my first choice. They won’t let me, you see. The shame of it where everybody knows you and all about you. No secrets here in El Torre, Patagonia. Blocked off by the Andes we are. No secrets and no escape, where everyone knows and doesn’t. All the girls virgins on their wedding nights, but none of the boys. Father Pedro knows first, often before the parents. He knew about me already when I was nine. Or before even. Touched me as a blessing to show me God’s compassion. Also my friend, Juanita, but she jumped out of her window and was buried with her doll. Father Pedro cried. All the village cried. So did I, I think. Soon I’ll be twenty and they’ll want me to marry one of the boys I have known all my life. Only Hector hasn’t been in me, but that’s only because he is more girl than boy. Everybody knows that, but they told him not to shave and be a man. And I wanted to be Adam. Surely Father Pedro wouldn’t touch the first man. But they wouldn’t let me. And when I fell out of my window and hurt my head, they sent me to stay with Father Pedro so that he could look after me while my parents were at work. He tied my hands to the bed so that I wouldn’t hurt myself. And everybody knew and was happy that I would get better. I did get better when I cut Father Pedro when he was lying down. He was holding me in his bed so that my head wouldn’t hurt. I need pee pee, I said, and came back with a razor held high. But he wasn’t looking at my hands, only at me as he always did. So I cut through it. Quickly to make him a woman, to make him feel good like he thought I did. And I want to be Adam, to start again. But they won’t let me. So I’m changing my name to Eve and will marry Hector. All will rejoice here in El Torre, blocked off by the Andes in Patagonia.