"Do you read the papers?" she asked.
"No," he said.
"Well, there's this woman in it named Mary Brittle that tells you what to do when you don't know. I wrote her a letter and ast her what I was to do."
"How could you be a bastard when he blinded him . . . ," he started again.
"I says, 'Dear Mary, I am a bastard and a bastard shall not enter the kingdom of heaven as we all know, but I have this personality that makes boys follow me. Do you think I should neck or not? I shall not enter the kingdom of heaven anyway so I don't see what difference it makes.'"
"Listen here," Haze said, "if he blinded himself how . . ."
"Then she answered my letter in the paper. She said, 'Dear Sabbath, Light necking is acceptable, but I think your real problem is one of adjustment to the modern world. Perhaps you ought to reexamine your religious values to see if they meet your needs in Life. A religious experience can be a beautiful addition to living if you put it in the proper perspective and do not let it warf you. Read some books on Ethical Culture'"
"You couldn't be a bastard," Haze said, getting very pale. "You must be mixed up. Your daddy blinded himself."
"Then I wrote her another letter," she said, scratching his ankle with the toe of her sneaker, and smiling. "I says, 'Dear Mary, What I really want to know is should I go the whole hog or not? That's my real problem. I'm adjusted okay to the modern world.'"
- from Wise Blood, by Flannery O'Connor