Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez' "The Three Kings" Excerpt

I think about God, and say a small prayer, even though I know these things don’t ever work: God, if you’re out there and you can hear me, being Christmas and everything, and because you’re probably in a good mood for your son’s birthday, could you please maybe consider sending me a hot, nice, successful man? Oh, what the heck. If you can send one, why stop there? Send two, or three. The Rules book and the Love in 90 Days book both say a woman should be dating three men at once, in order to practice good distance and confidence skills, and I promise not to sleep with any of them, because Rules Girls don’t put out until after three dates, and even though I really do miss sex, oh, hang on a second...

I feel dirty and guilty all of a sudden, and decide to readdress my prayer to the Virgin of Guadalupe, because she’s a woman and she never had sex with a straight man, either, technically, so I figure she’ll kind of know what it’s like to wonder about it and to have feelings that get you all agitated and squirrely. And I’m not saying God is gay, though it is distinctly not outside of the realm of possibilities. Such thoughts make me a bad Catholic, which is okay considering that good Catholics were responsible for the Inquisition.

Hello? God? I’m sorry. I think I dialed the wrong number before. I meant to talk to the Virgin of Guadalupe, if she’s around. Virgin? Please, please, please send me a hot guy for Christmas. Or two or three. If you do, I promise you I’ll go back to church and everything, I’ll stay up for midnight mass this year, and I won’t even gag when they put the hideous-tasting paper-bread wafer on my tongue that’s supposed to be me eating your son’s flesh like some Cannibal from Land of the Lost, and I won’t try to figure out if the priest is a closet pervert who gets off on looking down women’s throats while wearing a skirt. I haven’t been with anyone but my gay ex-husband, God, and just this once, I’d kind of like to know what it’s like to have premarital sex with a straight man, or two. You know my cousin Maggie? She’s had sex with more than a dozen guys, as you know, and I feel like I have some catching up to do. I know you aren’t supposed to approve of any of this, but I suspect you secretly do and that all that disapproval stuff was made up by men like my grandfather de la Cruz, but if you are totally prude like they say you are, like, I will totally understand if you don’t hit me back when your time frees up a little from trying to stop wars and help old ladies in Chimayo win the lottery and all that sort of thing. Okidokie, Virgin lady! Uhm, amen? A men? Three men? Cool.