The Exorcist

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My father is a believer. He believes in the eternity of the soul, the temporariness of bodies. “You are a gardener,” he’d tell me, “and your life is a plot of dirt you’re renting.Your work is to grow the most beautiful garden you can.” That’s it? I’d ask. That’s it, he’d answer. My father believes in reincarnation, in his own visions, in Carlos Castaneda and Don Juan in the Mexican desert. My grandmother believed in Christmas, birthdays, and not knocking on people’s doors because it was rude so that made her a half-in, half-out Jehovah’s Witness. I considered Islam after reading the Autobiography of Malcolm X when I was twelve. My grandfather never mentioned God. My aunt hung rosaries from her bedposts when diabetes and lupus were gaining on her. Despite being as Dominican as plantains and salami, my uncle’s name is Moses Levy. I don’t know if he still…

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