"Uncle Raoul taught me how to do this when I was young," Raymond said to the woman. "Said he was a genius from keeping blood on his brain. Poor Raoul. He was talented, but he definitely wasn't smart. Got his hand stuck behind a dryer at our apartment once. Who knows what he was doing. He could cook a mean casserole, though."
Raymond felt his face turning red. He watched the woman's face. Her mouth was shaped like an upside-down pear. It hadn't looked like a pear before.
"When I was eight, Raoul sat me on the sofa. He sat cross-legged on the floor and asked me if I believed in Jesus. I said, 'No.' He said, 'Good.' He asked me if I believed in Mohammed. I said, 'No.' He said, 'Better.' He asked me if I believed in Karma and by that time I was daydreaming, so I had to ask him, 'What?' And he said, 'Karma do you believe in it?' I asked him if that meant sex, and he said, 'Kind of.' I said that I believed in it with my whole heart. Raoul said I was dumb for having a heart. I couldn't bring up the dryer thing because it hadn't happened yet, but I would've brought it up. Who would've felt like a champ then, huh?" The woman grimaced then smiled, but to Raymond, it looked like a frown.
"Raoul told me Karma was animal love at its finest, love that gave back to the giver. And he said all animals had it. Took me a while to figure out what Raoul meant when he said, 'Love.' I mean like years. He meant it the way Shakespeare meant 'tiny death'. Are you a fan of Shakespeare?"
"Definitely," the woman said. "The Taming of the Shrew is one of my faves." She smiled again. This time Raymond knew it was a smile.
"So Raoul was talking about sex?" she asked.
"Exactly. But he didn't call it sex."
"You were eight."
"That doesn't matter. If you're going to talk about it, talk about it. He was my uncle, not my mom."
"I don't see what that has to do with talking about sex."