Cold

Nora Ephron is outraged.

She can’t figure out how…people don’t understand that Lacey isn’t like them.

“She just isn’t.” she says.

“Why did she move on so quickly from cable-dude?!” asks someone who finds it repulsive. “You either love someone or you don’t. It’s either real or it’s not. But if it’s real it lasts forever.”

No. It doesn’t.

“I’m one of those people who control themselves.” says Lacey. “I control myself. I can fall out of love if I want to. I can fall in love if I want to. It’s making me want or not want to that I don’t have control over. …But choosing to experiencing the feelings that can be there based on my sexual orientation and all the other parts of my soul…is my choice. At least, that’s how I experience it.”

“I’m similar…to a point.” says Harold Loeb.

“You have to take charge of her. If you want her…you have to try to make her want you…and then hope she bites.” says Michael.

“It’s so ordinary.” says someone.

“It is though.” says Elliott.

“That’s part of why I can’t tolerate infidelity. It’s a choice to brutally distance yourself at first which hurts and then it’s a temptation to choose to not want you.” *shrug* “I get to evaluate all you flaws. The things I overlook to be loving and kind. Daily. All your flaws. Or if you’re not flawed all the things you can’t offer. And…feeling abandoned I leave. Why wouldn’t I? If it meant nothing to you…why would it mean anything to me? That’s simple math.”

“I get it. Or I want to. I really do. It’s just…so different. It’s like eating every morning at Perkins in the 1990’s and getting pancakes with your loveless-marriage old spouse…and then dying and being sent back in time to a beautiful geisha in historic China and trying to have breakfast. She isn’t your enemy…but…she isn’t your familiar ball and chain either.”

“That’s quite an analogy!” says Michael. “Do you think she’s like a prostitute?”

Lem laughs, “No. She’s more like a nun. Or a combination of a nun and a geisha.”

“That sounds more like Jack.” says someone.

“Mm. Not really though. An actual nun…and a geisha. Combined.”

“That still sounds mean.” says Michael.

“How about a black and white cookie and some iced coffee?” Rocky suggests to Lacey.

“I think I’ll join you.”

“Me too.”

Lem is enraged. How dare they! He doesn’t say why this makes him mad until later.

“She’s not my geisha!” says Lem.

“She’s not your nun either.” says Michael.

“Let’s move on.” says Harold.

And that’s the thing. When Lacey started writing about Louis by name before she knew who he was in 2015…or Lem in 2008…or Pat Wilson in 2008…it was odd. In retrospect. And it makes Lacey wonder. When they used to leave food out for the dead…did it matter that they didn’t look to have eaten it? …Is it witchcraft to offer cookies?

These are things she must consider.