Bitch Is the New Black



One time, a girl I knew from Awanas, LeAnne, had to go for one week with a King James Bible handcuffed to her arm with tight string. She’d been bad or something. It hung from her wrist ball-and-chain style for a few days before Frances made her cut it off. LeAnne cried. “If your dad has a problem with it, tell him to call me.” Those were the days that I never wished her different.

In the end, I just wanted to make sure she knew that we were most likely going to Hell, that she was aware of the decision she’d made for the both of us. I was concerned. After convincing myself that she most desperately needed my help, I marched into the living room.

“Have you seen this?” I said, much more softly than originally planned. In my head it was more of a booming accusation, but in real life it came out like a question, cowering over in the corner somewhere.

I did manage to shove my open King James onto her lap. Too scared to actually read the text aloud, despite being an excellent out-loud reader, I pointed to the page and waited.

She said Grandmommy had shown her that same page years ago. She never said the word gay, lesbian, vagina, homo or dyke. There was no script, no prepared lines. I was perfectly normal, she said, and so was she. She didn’t say anything about us going to Hell or Heaven, though. I figured we were there already.

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Tags: Books