The Case For Trouble

“So you really didn’t know that when you posted years ago about social class that their collective response in the perfume community was ‘Well yeah! Duh!’“ asks Lem.

“I had some slight inkling of it, but I’ve experienced so so many different types of people in life and it seemed plausible that they were all just that darkly delusional. I mean…a few of them were very disingenuous every time I talked to them. And often seemed bizarrely unaware of reality. So I didn’t think they necessarily were being at all facetious when they collectively attacked me for years after that post.” responds Lacey.

“I have no idea what to say to that. Because I believed the lies the Kennedy’s told about you.” says Lem.

“And I knew they were lies but I didn’t correct what he heard that they had said about you because I wanted him to foul up everything with you.” says Joe Jr..

*Pat laughs*

“And it was somewhat effective.” Lem says. “I’ve been less than kind about what you’ve gone through.”

“It’s why I stepped in.” says Michael.

“Me too!” says Louis. This one scares Bobby for reasons she doesn’t quite fully grasp.

“To some degree moi aussi.” says Harold. He smiles.

“I’m still lost, Lem. I still don’t really understand their anger.” says Lacey in frustration.

“Imagine Michael is stuck paddling boats in Papau New Guinea for tourists in the afterlife as punishment for being racist.” says Lem. “Some people likely don’t even recognize him. They think he’s some peasant white trash worker. Not the reason they’re there in the first place.” He smiles smugly and then goes on, “And-

He pauses realizing he’s painting images of Michael half dressed in Lacey’s mind that he’d rather not have her imagining. But the point is still worth making.

He clears his throat. “The thing is, Michael can self-reflect and realize that he’s Michael Rockefeller. He’s not a servant. And when they talk down to him he’s mentally tough enough to handle it. A lot of these people who don’t have that psychological cushion can’t reassure themselves that way.”

“No, I know what you mean. But I can’t imagine it. Every time in my life when I’ve felt that way I thought of my family and our farm. All the hard work we’d or they’d do there. And then the way it felt to also own that land and be a part of the family. It was an identity that gave freedom from social constraints that were toxic in every class.” says Lacey.

*Pat Wilson nods her head as she seems to understand*

“There was a certain rebelliousness in it?” asks Lem.

“Yes.” says Lacey.

“I should already know all of this. Shouldn’t I?!” says Lem self-reproachfully.

“See, this is why you need to develop a better sense of certain things Lem. You’re not my son but I like you. I don’t want to see you fail. You need to grow-up.”

An African American woman laughs and nods her head in agreement. She seems to fully comprehend what Rocky means. Lacey wonders what they’re both really talking about…

“It’s not that the Kennedy’s are backstabbing losers. It’s that they never understood certain aspects of your character, Lacey.” says the woman’s husband. Lacey nods.

He goes on, “They hated people like you.”

Lem grows uneasy. “What sort of people?” he asks.

“Midwestern, snobby, bullish, upper-class young women who were Protestant, difficult to get in bed, and cheap.” He laughs.

“Cheap?” she asks.

*Harold laughs*

“You’re very down-to-earth. You don’t show-off the way some people do. And that’s a mark of refinement that they never reached. They may be still trying. And no, they weren’t as worried about the common black man as they are said to have been. That’s right. I don’t hate those people, but they weren’t as down-to-earth.” he says.

“They depict themselves that way though?” she questions.

“We do. But it’s not in the way you think or thought.” says Bobby sadly.

“I just wish I knew why they hate me. All of them.” says Lacey.

“They feel put off. First of all they feel put off. But then they feel superior because they reason that they have x, y, or z better than you. Or your family.” says Lem.

“And you agree with them!” says Lacey.

“No. I felt sorry for them.” and at that he cries and then pulls himself back together. “I did. I felt sorry for them.”

“That’s not how your story is told at all.” says Lacey.

Lem struggles to believe that.

“No, it’s true. You read like a peasant whore come to suck Jack’s dick into the White House.” says a recently unalived Gen X member.

Lem can’t believe that.

“You do seem really desperate Lem.” says another Gen X female ghost.

He’s made silent by this.

*someone snickers*

“And that Lem is why I’m confused. Your class noblesse oblige is almost entirely lost on all current readers. No one gets that subtle dynamic. They just don’t. Not really. Instead they focus on your family’s financial demise after your father’s death and during the Great Depression.” clarifies Lacey. “They’re more likely to think you were looking for a good time with a hot rich boyfriend and that that’s why you put up with his difficulties, so to speak.”

“You look like a pathetic gold-digger.” says his father.

“Or a gay, sacrificial, deeply sentimental and tragic soul.” says a gay identifying Illuminati member listening.

This enrages Lem. So much so that he can’t talk.

“He needed to hear that. I hope he can better explain why he’s criticized you on this topic behind your back later.”