Julie Lyons, a friend from my Dallas days and a heck of a writer, has a must-read piece in D Magazine about an old Protestant couple in suburban Dallas who do exorcisms in their home. Excerpt:
Genial, wisecracking Ruth vanishes. A metamorphosis takes place, with subtle changes in voice, movement, and expression. Her head begins to shake and bob. Her arms tense up and straighten. Her fingers stiffen and arch upward. Her head jerks to the left, avoiding Larry’s steady, unsmiling gaze.
Marion, 65, looks on beside them, praying quietly.
“Turn the head right now and look at me,” Larry demands. “Who are you?”
The head snaps forward and drops. The mouth lets out a long sigh—ahhhhh. A robotic, vaguely masculine voice responds: “What do you want?”
“What is your function?” Larry asks.
“I have no function except to torment,” the voice answers. The eyes are fixed in a way that is glaring yet vacant.
“Do you have a right to her? Yes or no?” Larry asks.
“Yes, I have,” the voice says, in a clipped, mocking tone.
“What is your right?”
“Her sexuality,” the voice groans, drawing out the consonants with a hiss. “I take all of their reproductive organs. Everyone gives to me.”
“How long have you tormented her?” Larry asks.
“Foreverrrr,” the voice says, breaking into a growl. “As long as I want to.”
“That ain’t the answer,” Larry interjects. “Do you want me to punish you?”
“No,” the voice says, growling again. “Noooooo.”
(Via Andrew Sullivan.)