Thirty was the magic age Caitlin believed
she could do whatever she wanted,
whereas I had always felt like
I’d done everything I’d ever wanted,
if only because others had wanted it for me.
A boy whose parents vacillated
between the two religions of pro-creativity—
Mormonism & Catholicism—
yet had chosen to make Mick an only child
was bound to have issues.
I was a cultural Mormon,
a questioning Catholic,
& an uncertain Christian,
whose heart was a locked gate
through which anyone could see,
& forasmuch as Mick flouted the Church’s commandments,
I knew he believed in them.
He was just sinning now
with the idea of repenting later,
which I thought so very Catholic of him.
The missionaries were not allowed to go near the beach,
for Satan controlled the waters.
just as there was a God’s Army,
if there was a Satan’s Navy,
& if that was why baptisms
were not performed on the beach,
for what had been good enough for Jesus
was not good enough for them.
It was then I thought of Brad,
& how it had been the waters
that had claimed him.
How Now Ground Cow,
one of the few late-night restaurants in Green Haven,
had become our late-night haunt,
Kath, Leann, & I—
the three good little witches of Green Haven.
I had become a normal teenager
who didn’t always want to hang out at home
& who stayed out past her bedtime,
except instead of doing sex, drugs, & drink,
I was untouched,
Logline for Because of Mindy Wiley: An Irish-Catholic girl coming of age in the Deep South during the New Millennium finds her family splintered when two Mormon missionaries come to her door, their presence and promise unearthing long-buried family secrets, which lead to her excommunication and exile.