If there’s no Illuminati. It doesn’t matter.
What happens in Heaven affects what happens on Earth. And that’s shocking to people today and supernatural too! By golly gumdrop! *fake cheesy smile and then an eye-roll* But as God is God…the dead-to-this-world saints have a say. They’re with their father already. And God is a very powerful father. Omnipotent actually.
“Our fathers had plans you know. They wanted you and Joe to get married.” Jack says to Lacey.
Lacey’s father donated money to the Democratic Party. Regularly. And while he was a wealthy man openly for very legitimate reasons…he was a far wealthier man than that. But no one cared. Because he was generous and truly caring man too, actually. And he was brilliant. And well-bred.
“We” don’t know these people nowadays.
“My father has thought about donating money to the Republican opponent to Humphrey this year.” Lacey mused oddly and most distractedly.
“Humphrey?” Jack was surprised by her brazenness. Mostly.
“Why would he do that?” Jack wondered.
“He’s probably not as ignorant of a hoodlum as you might imagine him being, Jack. You know just because he didn’t go to Boston Latin and Harvard to learn how to properly tie his tie doesn’t mean my last name isn’t Banks.”
“Your father didn’t go to Boston Latin School, Lacey.”
“Yes, Jack. That’s what I just said.”
“What’s your point then?”
“My last name is English, Jack. Have you ever wondered about things like that? We have an interesting family history, actually. Don’t you too? Somewhere?” Lacey looks up at him and half smiles.
“We didn’t go in for things like that. No.” He tries to dismiss her casually.
“You didn’t fight in the American Revolution or the Civil War or the war of 1812?”
“How dare you insult my family like that!” He decided to show his anger now.
“Your father went to Boston Latin though, Jack. I’m sure your blue-blooded-Celtic mother can explain why I’m only paying you a most worthy compliment.”
“Why are you so damn mean?”
“Because I thought I was going on a date with your friend here. Lem? Didn’t you say your name was Lem?” She turns to Lem Billings. “It’s Lem. Right?”
“He doesn’t know his own name, Lacey.” Jack says dryly.
“It’s Lem. Right?”
“Yes.” Lem stammers and blinks repeatedly.
“Well, why am I sitting here with you then? Having to fondly reminisce about your brother who blew himself up to save England.”
Jack rubs his eyes, in exasperation. “He didn’t blow himself up to save England, Lacey.”
Lacey just stares at Jack in response.
Suddenly Jack seems saddened. He stares down at the table.
“You really wouldn’t have cried. Would you.”
“No, Jack. Some things are far worse than tears. And the best thing to do is keep fighting bravely and praying to God.”
Jack laughs. “You just made a joke about yourself, Lacey.”
“Or I’m tempted to hate you. Which is it?”
“You shouldn’t be here.”
“Then can I go on a date with your friend please?”
“He’s not my friend anymore.” Jack cries.
“What am I supposed to do about that other than feel bad for you?” Jack gets up to leave. But Lacey doesn’t let him. “Jack, why are you two sitting with each other if you’re not friends?”
“I don’t know! Ask him.”
“Narcissists really don’t apologize. Do they?” Lacey says sadly.
“Look, I’m sorry-“ Jack starts.
“No need to apologize although she deserves an apology. I’ve been watching you make an ass of yourself to this man and the whole bar really, the entire night. Before she even got here. We all have been.” He turns to a table of merrily laughing folks in a corner. “But I doubt you would understand what it is you’re apologizing for, Jack.” The bespectacled blond continues to interrupt. “Sorry. We haven’t met. My name is Michael.” He extends his hand to Lacey. They’re about the same age.
Lem watches. Upset.
“She’s-she’s-“ Lem starts but can’t finish his sentence. He wags his finger in the air and then freezes. Open-mouthed.
Everyone pauses and waits for Lem to finish his sentence. But to Jack’s increasing horror he can’t. He just can’t.
The bartender is also watching now. He decides to intervene by bringing over fresh drinks.
“Christian, can we have a pitcher of water too please?” Lem asks in desperation. He pulls on his tie at the neck.
“You should have started completely differently.” Christian offers him. “Water first.”
“Water first?” Lem asks for clarification.
“Well, were you trying to get quickly inebriated or enjoy your evening? Because I’ve seen you trying to just get drunk with Jack and several other men. Once with Jack and some other guy. The thing is you’re always higher than a kite.”
“He’s-“ Jack looks down shamefully. “He’s gay.”
“Jack I’m not-“
“Now, Lem. We’re in Heaven now. Remember? You can be honest.”
“This is Heaven?!” scoffs the blond man.
“I’m sorry, sir. You’re right. I’ve made a fool of myself.” Lem apologizes to Christian.
“She’s a lovely girl. Why don’t you and this gentleman take Lacey and go to the bar owned by her father down the street.” He points to the blond, bespectacled interloper.
Jack fumes. Although Lacey, of course, doesn’t notice. And Lem fights not to pay attention to it at all this time.
“Say, yeah! That way we don’t have to fight the American Revolution again.” The young men laughs. “Because I have a feeling this time Lacey would side with the English.“ he giggles.
“Too bad we can’t take Christian with us.” Lacey says sadly.
“I work for your father sometimes too, Lacey.” he offers. “On Thursday nights.”
Because everyone knew Christian was the best bartender in Minnesota. Sorry Hal.
“Oh, you mean your father’s gay bar?” asks Jack.
“It’s 1942, Jack.” says Lem disdainfully.
“No. It’s not. It’s 1967.”
“Well, I was never gay Jack. You knew that.”
“Lem, I only ever helped you. I was never anything but nice to you.”
“Lem I suggest you take your girlfriend and this man and let Jack work it out for himself.” Christian offers calms.
“But he can’t figure it out.”
“Neither did you!” says the bespectacled blond man named Micheal.
“I kind of did eventually though.” Lem protests and then considers apprehensively, suddenly agitated. “Are you going to come on to me too if we go to the other bar like Jack and my old boyfriends do?”
He stands behind Jack shakes his head no weigh a kind smile and then says, “It’s her father’s bar, dude! Come on!”
After Lem, Lacey and the bespectacled blond leave Christian behind to clear away the empty glasses. Jack sits silently for a second and then asks, “Who was that man?”
“Excuse me?!” asks Christian.
“Who was the blond man with the glasses?” Jack asks with a handsome grin.
“I believe he said his name was Michael.” He pauses for a second adroitly holding the cumbersome glasses.
“Michael?!” scoffs Jack. “No. His name wasn’t Micheal.”
Christian smiles kindly.
“I have a nephew named Micheal but that wasn’t Michael.” Jack says. He laughs condescendingly.
“Why can’t that man’s name be Michael?” Christian asks.
Jack laughs. “Do you know this family?”
“Who’s family?! Lem’s family? The Banks? The Schiebels? The Crafts? The Three Bears? The Jews? Who Jack? Who do you want to attack?”
“White man’s burden, Christian. White man’s burden.” says Jack without irony.
“You don’t know what that’s even referring to, Jack!” says his older brother Joe, laughing at another table.
“No. You really don’t.” Jackie can honestly confirm from the booth in front of his.
And last night when I was alone in the living room watching Mad Men I heard a sound in the kitchen. It sounded like my ex-husband so I stopped to listen because it’s unlike him to be rumbling around at night in the kitchen and I heard what sounded like something being moved by the television. But then I started getting scared as I somehow knew it wasn’t my ex-husband and I’ve never heard anything quite that persistently physically manifesting before, so to speak. And it stopped.