Iris or Jasmine

I’m a scientist and an artist by nature. And while my artistic side is often displayed it’s my scientific side that’s neglected. It’s my scientific side that wasn’t and often isn’t loved. Or understood. Or even seen… But it’s very much at the core of who I am.

Scientific. Like a doctor? Or a biologist? …Maybe. It’s my approach to living. It’s not about curiosity so much as fundamental personality. All of life is one big experiment. All of it. And some elements are…evil and should be avoided. Never brush your teeth with radium.

Maybe that’s why I find Swedenborg and Kubrick so uplifting and comforting. Their lives make me also feel seen. How many times were either of those two men told they were either crazy or too intense?

“If my father was born in 1894 he wasn’t Gatsby. He was Tom. Literally. And I’m his daughter. The beautiful little fool?” Lacey says. “Except he never played polo with Louis…or if he did he wasn’t even obvious about that. Whatever his genetic pedigree, and I suspect it was somewhat impressive …he was an extremely careful and reserved man. Possibly unruly, difficult and frightening…but if I’m his daughter he had an English surname and to me he feels English to the core.”

“We didn’t have a huge house. We had money. The kind some people only dream of. But it wasn’t the life people would assume us having. For one thing, I was a lot better bred than you’d imagine. So was Tom.” Then after a pause, “I wish Lacey had been my daughter.” says his wife.

And if that’s true…maybe in Heaven she will be. That’ll be up to God… Lacey wants to remain Lacey and be loved.

But they’re all demons. Right? What if they aren’t? It truly doesn’t seem like they are in Lacey’s spirit. And she’d hasten to suggest that not everyone should investigate such things. Actually, most people shouldn’t. But…she can’t escape what she seems to be observing. And she prays and wrestles with it daily.

“I’m still your soulmate for eternity if we don’t find a better match.” says Michael.

“But she’ll cry her eyes out with you. And I might make her cry too. But at least I keep trying and maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to be with me. Forever.” says Harold Loeb.

Michael fumes.

“Your father worked for him? The father who raised you?” asks Lem.

“Yes. For a few years in the early 1980’s. His last year or so he was taken care of by one of my father’s close friends. Who he’s still friends with, actually. But…no. My father used to be drive him around the lanes for hours in his old car and he’d fall asleep in the neck seat. And then he’d help him up stairs and such after his stroke. Margy was a frequent visitor. Everyone wondered if they were in a relationship. He paid for her filets education. Although she was an adult and a flight attendant before that. She was Norwegian, very smart, very beautiful and very funny…and possibly a bit wild. They met on a flight she was a stewardess on…”. Lacey worries. “My father was her friend.”

“What did she really look like?” asks Lem.

Lacey wonders.

“Oh dear God help us. Lem, you’re opening Pandora’s box. You do realize she’s being serious? How can you never tell she’s being serious?!” says Harold Loeb agitated.

“Because I do love her, but-“

“She doesn’t know that!” says Harold.

“But she’s right. It’s either a lot more or a lot less than she comprehends.”

“What’s the point of saying that?!” asks Louis. “This is tedious!”

“It is.” agrees Harold.

“I’m hurt.” says Lem.

“You have some huge misconceptions about wealth in the US.” says Louis.

“Maybe. But I was raised wealthy as a child. My childhood was spent in wealth.” says Lem.

“Not like what I grew-up with.” says Michael. “Maybe you should spend a little more time on the wrong side of the tracks before you assume things about Lacey. She’s not like a lot of people. Neither am I. It affects your brain, Lem. *he affects an exaggerated “gay lisp” and manner* Those Kennedy boyz…*he drops the affectation* are…not from the cool white house on East Egg. They grew-up on Cape Cod in a relatively enormous house. But it isn’t The Breakers. It isn’t East Egg. It isn’t the Hill mansion on Summit Avenue. It isn’t the house I grew-up in or the house Louis grew-up in.”

Michael turns to Lacey. “You don’t need to pretend with us, Lacey. You don’t need to pretend at all.”

“What’s best?! What’s it all mean?” asks Lacey.

“I know. I know what you’re getting at.” says Louis, sadly.

“It’s torture not knowing which of you I truly belong to. Lem, I don’t think you understand that fully yet.” says Lacey.

But I’m sure they’re all demons. Right? Wrong. I don’t know. Do you…know?