The Religious Experience

“I was in Brazil, with Antonio. When we flew into Rio the plane passed over the big statue of Christ on top of Corcovado and for the entire time I was there I couldn’t get that out of my head. The statue, I mean, the way it commanded everything below, in every direction. When I had an orgasm the image of Jesus on the mountaintop was in my mind, like I was coming with Him, not Antonio.”

“How old were you?”

“Twenty-five. Rudy and I were separated and when Antonio invited me to go with him to Brazil, I just said yes, without thinking. I left Roy with my mother in Miami and we flew from there.”

“And that was the first time?”

“Uh huh, and it didn’t happen again—not with Antonio, anyway. I only saw him two or three times after we got back to Chicago.”

Roy’s mother and her friend Kay were standing in the lobby of the Oriental Theater. Kay was smoking a cigarette. Her husband, Harvey, and Kitty’s son, Roy, who was eight years old, were inside the theater watching the last few minutes of The Proud Ones, a western starring Robert Ryan as a sheriff in a Kansas town who’s going blind.

“Do you think if I went to Brazil I could have an orgasm with Harvey?”

The two women laughed and Kitty said, “Maybe you should go with Antonio.”

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