Today on Tik Tok Lacey saw two things.
The first was the outpouring of love a diagnosed psychopathic female serial killer received in the comment section. And the second was footage from the 1964 Mortimer-Burden wedding.
…Lacey isn’t even a narcissist. But it’s questionable if she ever received unconditional love. …People need to stop using childhood trauma as an excuse for derangement. There could be a link. But it doesn’t seem like a direct cause. …That psychopathic serial killer was very intelligent and very clever and it’s sad how easily people are fooled. …Critical, honest, wise and objective analysis has to become more common again.
Lem Billings’ Wikipedia page describes him as gay even while there are quotations suggesting he was bisexual and he never officially came out if the closet. Reading him as an entity and reading between the the lines of his page he seems more deeply confused and possibly straight or bisexual than gay. …But the Wikipedia page for the serial killer outright states that she was a diagnosed psychopath. …A diagnosed psychopath. Properly diagnosed. …And that’s why you can’t assume things. Sometimes the same source is clear and objective and careful as in the serial killer’s case. And other times it’s very subjective and possibly incorrect. Understanding nuance and context and being able to be brutal in one’s perspective is essential. Not evil brutal. Not hateful evil. But harsh and ice cold with truth in a spirit of agape Godly love.
…Lacey is with Lem. But the shadows haunt her. And in her darkest moments she is Still unfortunately or fortunately comforted by Louis and Michael. Especially Michael.
He’s a steadying force for her. He’s her rock. And…yet…Lem may be her true other half.
The thing is…Lacey’s possible father could possibly easily have married her off to Michael. …Based on the footage from the Burden-Mortimer wedding. She would have been in. No climbing or effort. Seamless.
Elliott Roosevelt laughs.
“Me too.” says Elliott.
Joe looks irate. Perturbed.
Those were easily her people.
Lacey can’t fathom it. Completely at least. And her tendency is to make it…common. Her seemingly real innocence is what the serial killer played at possessing to gain sympathy. To Lacey Michael is the sweet boy-next-door.
And…that obliviousness is her blessing and her problem.
Babe Paley feels protective.
The wild life her possible father led…only conceiving her by accident…at the worst moment in his life possible…and then trying to possibly lovingly cover it up by finding what seemed like the perfect ruse…an employee with a stillborn newborn of the same gender born months or a month after…would be horrendous. Did he ever hold her in her first two months? Is he still locked into her brain as her father? …And then what? Was that her unconditional love and so goes down the drain her insistence on childhood trauma being far less significant in creating derangement than she supposes?
But that’s just it. Jack was Lacey’s arch nemesis. Even if they could arguably have seemed like real friends. Maybe even been real friends. They would have secretly genuinely cared and been suspicious and cold to each other both.
The great grandson of a man who worked himself to death as an Irish immigrant. A family trying desperately not to seem middle class anymore. Hiding Jack’s possible homosexuality. And Lacey from old money…with a rebellious father who could have been a normal old-money white rich businessman…but who chose to be a wild gangster. A genteel man who was cutthroat and dangerous but who refused to have children. Hidden Lacey. A daughter. Prim. Straight. Feminine. Secretly wild too… But more likely to be a closeted Catholic saint than not.
“I’ll never be Jack.” says Lacey, frankly, mournfully.
“No. And yet if he’d devoted his life to determined self abnegation and real pain…he’d have been more like you.” says Louis.
“He did experience real pain though.” Lacey defends Jack.
“Not the way you have.” says Lem in shock.
Why is he in shock? It’s unclear.
He tried to give himself Jack. He thought they were in love. But it never worked…really. And as time went on he started to hate Jack.
“You were going to let his nieces and nephews die?” asks Lacey.
It’s not like Lem to be so heartless. He’s seemingly very protective of children even from the grave.
“I loved Joe and Michael because they’re both like me. Not who wants to destroy me or selfishly steal you to a living Hell of dark psychosis or nauseating self-annihilation recorded as secret Heaven.” says Lacey. “What in the world were you doing with Jack!?!?”
“I liked women.” says Joe Jr., humorously. “And Lem thought he was homosexual.” He laughs.
“He did think you’d have made the better President.” Lacey says Joe.
“How much less messed-up would everything be if Joe Jr. had been like Jack?” Red asks Lacey.
“No, I’m neither a serial killer nor a prostitute.” says Lacey to a hater. Then, to Red, “If he’d been clinging on to Joe it’d be more honest.”
“I know.” says a historian.
“But if I wasn’t gay…I wasn’t capable of truly falling in love with my male ideal.” says Lem.
“Joe was your ideal? Not Jack?” asks Babe.
Lem laughs. “I wasn’t actually gay. But if I was…yes. Or Elliott.” He thinks. “Joe not Jack. Joe…impressed me. I tried to be Jack’s best friend. But…I secretly idolized Joe.”
“And you love Lacey?” asks someone of Lem.
“Would you have loved Michael?” Lacey asks Lem.
He takes a deep breath. “I’m not letting go of Lacey. Ever. Only God Himself can separate us.” He thinks. “No. I get confused by her love for Michael.”
“But he’s like us.” Lacey says to Lem.
“If you didn’t care enough about Jack in a real way to truly protect him from his own demons…there was a reason why.” says Lacey to Lem.
“I didn’t want my brother to be dead. …But at times I hated him.” Joe says.
“Enough where if he’d been abusing you too much you’d have let him destroy himself?” asks Lacey.
“If he wasn’t my brother and I’d been sexually abused as a teenager while vulnerable and got sexually confused…and then he played mental games with me to get me to worship him and screw him whenever he was in the mood?” asks Joe.
“That pushes my buttons! No kid is ever molested and then really genuinely thinks they’re gay!” says an angry gay Millennial. “Just because they’re molested?! ”
“Okay, first of all, if you’re being sarcastic Lacey’s questioning of the legitimacy of some psychological claims that tend to over inflate the importance of childhood trauma isn’t obtuse. It’s intelligent. Secondly, you’re wrong. That could very easily happen. Not just today but also, and actually even more so, in the past. …Your inability to see why Lacey thinks Lem faked being gay is part and parcel with what she was saying about childhood trauma. Not everything fits into the preordained boxes we have to fill the human experience in our narrative vocabulary. Dearheart.” says Joe Jr..
“Why did you hate Jack?!” a hater of Lacey’s asks Joe Jr..
“He inherited the worst part of my mother.” says Joe.
“Which is what?” asks the hater.
“Ice cold heartlessness.” says Joe.
“I don’t see anything heartless about Jack’s presidency.” protests a middle class hater.
“I would have turned cold against my brother after being raped by him while he was high…and continuously used…and viciously manipulated time and time again. …But no, it wouldn’t have occurred to me to actually kill him. Jack’s not like that. If Jack was treated like that he’d have let the man die. He could be incredibly selfish.” says Joe. “Blind.” He thinks. “He didn’t care. If you seemed expendable he’d expend you. Some of his decisions in regard to foreign policy left us in horrible condition. He was an awful US President.” He thinks. “We’re still reeling from the choices he made in those short three years he had in office.”
“Cool!” says another middle class hater to Joe.
“And yet you’re still his brother.” says a Scottish ghost to Joe Jr..
“Lem were you Scottish at all sweetheart?” Joe Jr. asks Lem, jokingly.
“He does look slightly Scottish.” Lacey observes.
“I’m not your sweetheart.” Lem answers dryly. Sounding slightly irritated.
“You know I know that.” Joe responds.
Then Lem thinks about why he’d love Michael, if he was a woman.
“Did you exclude David to protect him?” Lacey asks Lem.
“Yes.” he says.
“He wasn’t me though, Lem.” says Michael.
“He was more like me.” says Lacey.
“He should have just stayed in England.” says an Englishwoman.
“You’re right.” Lem says to Lacey.
“You’re supposed to know things. Not be constantly playing dumb.” Lacey says to Lem.
“I played dumb.” says Joe Sr..
“And it’s gruesomely irritating.” says Lacey.
“David, would you have enjoyed being Michael’s son?” asks an English hater.
“Answer your own silly question.” says David.
“David if Lacey was ever your mother…why didn’t you just stay in England? She wasn’t going to live in Saint Paul for another 30 years. And…Michael obviously didn’t want you to die the way he did?” They think. “Why would your mother want you to die the way she did?”
“She wasn’t my mother? But no, you’re right. It wouldn’t be funny.” he says.
“So! Michael you were into photography? Art?” asks a hater in the Illuminati.
“But why did you assume David would find your exclusion loving?” asks Bobby.
“I didn’t think he wanted to be an addict.” says Lem.
“But somehow he seemed to think you were excluding him?” says Lacey. “Not protecting him.”
“I should have been far more clear.” says Lem.
“Well, from a man who goes around asking history very personal questions of his life they can’t really answer without making huge assumptions…and then claims to have loved Jack his whole life…when that’s technically impossible regardless…unless you and Jack are or were the same soul…yes. To say your expressions lack clarity is a massive understatement.” says Lacey.
Ed Sullivan cracks-up laughing.
“I still don’t know a great many things about you without God’s assistance.” she says.
Lem tries not to cry but does when she’s not watching.
“I overdosed.” says David to Lem. “You need to stop blaming her for your foul mistakes.”
“Is Jack still in Hell?” Lacey asks Eunice.
Someone tells her no. It baffles her how that would work if he was in Purgatory. Would God let someone suffer through Hell temporarily to avoid punishing them permanently?
“I’m sorry I let you die. I didn’t think Lacey was alive, David. And she wasn’t. Was she?” Lem says to him.
“I’d gladly have had you father me. Sober. Why wasn’t I enough? If you could have loved me so much?” asks David to Lem.
“Why did you need me there to be strong for him?” asks Lacey. “Isn’t that the point of trusting someone?”
“I tried to be strong. But I didn’t trust him. Those were troubled boys. And…”. He thinks.
“I couldn’t stand life. I didn’t see the point. Death felt like the answer to life.” says Lem.
“But they were just boys.” says Lacey.
“Which is why I thought they might be better off dead.” he says.
“What about their sexual innocence?” asks Lacey.
Lem looks utterly appalled by himself.
“Even if you don’t equate substance use with sexuality…it’s still a vile intrusion on a child.” says Lacey.
“Then our whole family were perverts for generations.” says Eunice.
“Were they?!” asks Lacey, coldly.
Lem tries not to vomit.
“Looks like you found your new niche.” Lacey says to him, bitterly. Bitingly. Sarcastically.
“Do you still love me?” he asks her.
“Do you have any real explanation? Or just vagaries?” she asks him, seething. Smoldering.
“I do. I thought we were better off dead. And I didn’t realize how sexual it was.” he says.
“I would have known that!” says Michael.
“I find that…nearly impossible.” says Lacey to Lem. “But not impossible of course.” She thinks. “Tell you what! Since you’ve left me with so many problems to sort out to, through God’s mercy, find a smidgeon of happiness with you…I refuse to clearly answer whether or not I still love you. Why don’t you intuit it?” She thinks. “Isn’t that level of expertise and brilliance you required of every sentient being you ever met while you were alive to merely give a mild damn.” She thinks. “Ask God.”
“I had never been with a woman. And I wasn’t gay.“ says Lem. “And I don’t need your approval to love you.”
“I know that. I’m still not sold.” says Lacey.
“I hadn’t been with a woman that way either.” says Michael. “But I knew that kind of pleasure was possible. Why didn’t you?”
“Because I thought I was gay.” says Lem. “I thought I’d felt all there was.”
“You couldn’t tell from film?!” asks Lacey.
“I thought heterosexual sex was likely better. Inherently.” he says. “And I didn’t think it was right for me to indulge.”
David isn’t listening. Lacey checks.
“Why did you feel comfortable indulging in both?” a hater in the Illuminati asks Michael. Was that Kayne?
“I was raised to be…diplomatic.” says Michael. “And loyal. And…to believe in true romantic love.” he responds.
“That’s a good answer.” he responds.
“Is it?” asks Lacey.
“I love you. And no, I believe and believed in love. But I didn’t know what I was doing. I thought drug use was far more intellectual and no I didn’t think death was necessarily a bad thing for us.” says Lem.
“Then you’ll have to win in God’s eyes against me.” says Michael to Lem.
“I’m not giving-up. God knows my life and yours.” says Lem. “If I’d known what love could be I’d have been a far different man. In every case. When my father died I lost a lot of my life.” says Lem. “I needed his wisdom. But he was gone.”
Michael nods in understanding.
Lacey wakes up trying to love Lem. But as the morning goes on Michael comes to mind. And Louis smiles. If Lacey can be distracted by Michael he too still has a chance.
And why does it always fall apart with Lem?
Because he never seems to understand how little she grasps of his supposed love for her. He never seems to grasp how fantastically difficult it is to trust he’s him…and honest…and not secretly still madly in love with Jack. That his story is reality. He leaves her feeling vulnerable and far too free.
Michael is the opposite. Except…Michael isn’t Lem.
Based on her experiences in life and common sense she keeps trying to move on from Lem. But it doesn’t work.
“She’s not stuck with him. She could be with me.” says Michael.
“Why you?” someone asks Michael.
He thinks. “Because I died looking for her when I was only 23.”
“Dude, you died looking for her?” asks someone.
“Yes!” says Louis. “Isn’t that romantic?”
“And still, I refuse to let her go.” says Lem.
Louis rubs his forehead. “Lem, what is happiness to you?” he says in a fake gay voice.
“I’m sorry, but Lem you have to admit it is vile.” says Lacey.
“Sweetheart, nobody can compete with what Michael just said. Your sob story isn’t a sob story. Michael’s is. He literally died trying to find beauty in a desperately fallen world.” explains Louis to Lem. “Do you see the difference?”
“One is twisted reality of the worst sort. The other is truth.” says Lem.
“And I’m tired of it.” says Lacey.
“Why did you leave behind so little hope?!” Louis demands of Lem. “It’s evil.”
“You know, if your father was born in 1894 what would have happened?” Lem asks Lacey. “What really would have happened?”
“Why don’t you tell her?” asks Scott.
“Your father would he be married you off to someone for everyone’s safety. And if that man made too mistakes he’d have been killed. Brutally. And I don’t mean mistakes. I mean foul errors. Some men would find that terrifying. Others romantic. Joe wouldn’t have cared. Not enough. Which is why this conversation is happening, possibly. Isn’t it? …I was made for that kind of love. All four of us were. But I’m the one who refuses to let go.” says Lem.
“I haven’t let go either.” says Michael.
“Who does he think is best?” asks Lacey.
“Lem.” says Louis.
Lacey looks confused.
“Why?!” she asks.
“He thinks Lem loves you the most.” says a woman.
“But Lem is…” starts Lacey.
“Lem doesn’t love you?” asks a woman.
“No! I’m the ugly little ol’ bitch in the woods with a shovel who he has to fuck to not be the tragic hero of the century. …I’m not the glamorous sperm fountain in the big white show house with all the pretty lights and cameras.” says Lacey. “Isn’t that who I am?” Lacey asks Lem.
“Lem, how do not understand?” asks Scott. “If you were indeed straight you left her with far less than nothing.”
“Lem, it’s like if Zelda had never lived. And Scott went on record saying his whole life was devoted to the Catholic Church. And he wrote poetry about loving God more than any paltry human nothing.” explains a woman. “That she could never satisfy him the way God did.”
“And then I was born and dead Scott fascinated me. And he tried talking to me and I heard him. But…I was too afraid.” says Zelda. “Because I couldn’t compete with Heaven and Hell and God Himself.”
“What don’t you understand?! You’re not trying that hard to win her over. Not nearly enough. Do you even love her?” Zelda asks Lem.
“And then Michael dies…trying to find her vagina.” says Lem.
“Yes. Isn’t that exactly what he was doing?” asks Lacey. “And isn’t that gorgeous?”
Lem thinks. He gets it.
“And this is why Jicky is so essential to you.” Louis says to Lacey.
“It’s just that the 20th Century is so crass. And yet if one is to take it seriously…it comes down to such a bare, restless, potentially corrupt thing. And if love persists…which it does…that’s exactly what he was looking for. The Asmat art is that. It’s my vagina. My soul.” says Lacey.
Louis laughs. “I could be found in Japan.”
“Through cultural appropriation or what?” asks someone.
“No. Their art reflects us. Not because we are those people. Because we’re all human. And they chose to depict us in their art.” says Lacey.
“And on that note…if Lacey is to be found in Asmat culture somehow…like a hidden lost princess…what happened to you? What do you know about Asmat culture?” asks a woman in the Illuminati.
“Did Jack conquer you? Did he eat you? Did he mock you by making you eat him to disrespect your soul? Don’t underestimate Jack, sweetie.” says the woman. “Even if he loved you, you sincrekyreturning that love might have been the only thing to save you from total humiliation.”
“As corrupt as the Catholic Church is…we still defer to Christ on the cross for our sins.” says a man. “Jack was a prince who cannot save. However you interpret that. Right?”
“Okay, but Michael, as Lem tries to process all of this…how did you know to go to the Asmats?!” asks a lesbian artist.
He weeps. “My father was still alive.”
“And he loved you.” says the lesbian almost crying herself.
“Yes.” says his father. “And I lost him. But we knew he was doing what he loved.”
Seeing the innocence in the statesman’s words…the lesbian sighs. “Lem, you were bankrupt. And then defrauded.“ she decides, taking a drink from a wine bottle with two glasses of Pernod in it. Iced. “See…I’m good with lipstick too. But…why were you so vulnerable to being attacked? Lacey has been bankrupt but she’s never fallen for it and been defrauded. And even if she did…she’d still have sensed God’s love. Why didn’t you? You’re asking her to explain the deepest why when you need to.”
“Jack may have just made a fool out of both of us.” Lem says to the lesbian about him and Lacey. “And Michael was far more willing to be…clever with guns and swords. And he was loved. And protected. And I was loved but not protected. And…I’ve been a fool, my dear.” says Lem.
“But how is Asmat art you?” Scott asks Lacey.
“It’s a desperate attempt to explain humanity. At its core. Carved down to the essentials. It’s honest. It’s scientifically brilliant. But irreverent towards so-called progress. And in its determination to be connected to God it begs for salvation. Baptism through desire in its darkest hopes. Mercy in the awful reality of a Hell we call life. A Hell where every drop of human empathy counts like food to a starving essence. An essence willing to cross over into the next world at a moment’s notice. It’s a lost humanism. It’s a firm belief in good and evil instead. But not disconnected from some sense that God made people. God made humans. At our best.” says Lacey as she struggles to explain.
“Trying to find Christ in absolute, scalding blindness.” says Scott.
Later Lem turns on “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones. Michael explains that he understands Lacey’s mind when it comes to sex.
“Let’s say that I’d married her. Which wouldn’t be as shocking to her as it might be to a lot of other women. Even though she also might understand more about who I am than they do. …And let’s say she had Alzheimer’s Disease and forgot about me. I wouldn’t be-I wouldn’t let myself be that hurt if she was seduced by another man and I found out. And if she seemed shocked by my existence and that we’d had kids…I’d try to believe her.” explains Michael. “Even if he walked up to me and bragged to me about how good it was. I’d genuinely just laugh in his face.”
“Okay.” says Lem.
“She’s brilliant and almost frighteningly aware of many things most people aren’t but she gets lost. Mentally very lost.” says Michael. “Not in terms of love or morality. Or ethics. But she gets…stuck and lost.” He laughs. “And with Alzheimer’s…I’d try to not take that personally. Because I know how devastated she’d be if she understood.”
Lem considers. Realizes how much more manly that is than how he’s reacted.
Louis appears to have the same reaction as Michael. And…strangely Lacey wouldn’t find him finding her attractive shocking either.
“Why?” asks Lem.
“Because Joe is the type who marries beneath him. Out of some complex passionate need to. And Joe Sr. lies and sleeps with secretaries. And men like you…marry people like Jack. Who use them. And you never see it. And you live and die for them. …But men like Michael and Louis have always gravitated towards me.” says Lacey. “And men like Harold give a damn about me.” She thinks. “I don’t know why. It’s just what I’ve observed.”
“What if Joe was the one who slept with you in the retirement home?” asks Michael.
Lacey looks at him acting, in fear.
“Lacey you slept with Mr. Kennedy last night. Darling do you recall why?” asks Michael, acting.
He sighs. Exasperated. “He claims you-“
She looks genuinely disgusted.
Joe acts hurt. “Well, my mind is fine! And I know it happened.” he claims.
“But that was before I recalled that Michael existed, Joe. I can’t-“. she shakes her head in dismissal.
“But you knew who I was.” Joe protests.
“Yes! Of course!!!” yells Lacey. “I knew you from childhood. Those memories rarely escape me. That’s a dirty trick, Joey!!” she points her finger in his face.
“I won’t tell you what you need to do with yourself. A man your age, almost 100 should know better. Just because my wife is 20 years your junior doesn’t mean she’s as well as you. You coward! Using her like that. Just for what? For old time’s sake? That five years she volunteered for you wasn’t enough?!” says Michael with a snarl.
“Look, buddy…I have never intruded on your marriage. You took most of her life. And for all you know I still care.” says Joe, playing at tears.
“But we tried. And it never worked. You cheated! And now I’ve hurt Michael.” says Lacey.
“You didn’t know.” explains Michael.
“I knew!” yells Lacey. “How dare you!!” she yells at Joe.
Michael sighs. “No, sweetie, you didn’t.” he says calmly.
She looks terrified. “No!” she says quietly.
He nods yes.
“But I can’t ever do this again!” she says to him horrified.
“I’ll try to make sure it doesn’t happen.” says Michael.
“If you come near me…so help me…I’ll shoot you in the face.” Lacey says to Joe.
Elliott laughs, watching.
Joe scoffs, slightly. “You won’t remember this conversation by tomorrow.”
“Oh! That’s what you think! …I’ll take my brain and train it from this moment on to retain this threat until my last breath. And that’s the only promise you need, Mister.” says Lacey.
Michael smiles in triumph and nods as Joe walks by him.
“Lacey’s mind is like a kite.” says Michael to Lem. “Except she’s tough so if you love her you can always be sure she’s with you, if you hold on. …If you don’t love her or let go…she’s going to be be blown away by the wind. Always.”
“So…you recall who you kissed? Just…the likely reason why?” Lem asks Lacey.
“It was a ghost. You’re a ghost. And weirdly while I recall most things…a lot has happened spiritually that I don’t recall right now.” says Lacey. “It’s not physically tangible enough. I think my mind has less to hold on to if I don’t process it all right then.”
“You were mad at Lem when you fell down the stairs. But then he came to your rescue. And you forgot why. And you still don’t remember.” says a man in the afterlife.
“That’s not my personality per se.” explains Lacey.
“I hurt you.” says Lem, worried.
“How?” asks Lacey.
“I-I-“ he says scared. “I seemed uninterested. And I’ll bring the memory back later. Suffice to say, I used you. Or it seemed like I used you. At least, that might have been your reasoning.” He thinks. “I think I seemed childish to you, regardless. And unsure.”
“You used me?” asks Lacey.
“No!” he says. Then he looks sick. Closes his eyes.
“Then why did I think that?” asks Lacey.
“You never stood a chance to think anything better. And it was a logical conclusion.” he says.
“Do you still love me, knowing my quirkiness, apparently?” Lacey asks Lem.
“Yes!” he says, embarrassed.
“But it explains why I’m still here.” says Michael. “You’re scared without me.”
“True. Lem is harsh when he’s hurt. At least with me.” says Lacey.
“I like the smell of sandalwood on you.” says Michael. He smiles and quickly kisses Lacey.
Lem collects himself.
He proposes to Lacey.
She says yes, but worries. Worries about Michael.
“But you’re not saying no?”
“I’m saying yes, but no if it’s what’s best.”
“That’s not really a no.” says Lem.
“That’s a yes. And sort of a no.” says Lacey.
“Then it’s a yes.” says Lem.
Lacey kisses Lem back in time at 12:02. He decides he wants to sleep with her.
But what about Michael?
And that’s the rub. That’s the trouble. When you die you might find out truth you only dreamed of ever being able to imagine alive. It’s fantastic. …But…things don’t fall apart and into each other like they do when you’re alive. Things just stay together. It’s truly linear. …Or so it seems.
And so Lacey has to hurt someone. Or wait. And she might hurt either Lem or Michael more if she waits.
But it doesn’t make sense.
In living life…things fall apart. They break. And that’s how Lacey sorts through it all. Objectively.
“Shoot!” she says to herself.
What could be the lesson she needs to learn? To be more selfish? Hardly.
And yet…the bitter truth is…she can’t place which man is best for her. And in determining who wins her heart she decides based on honor. And it’s difficult to tell who’s most honorable. She keeps measuring and calculating and it doesn’t work.
Lacey has a solar system of men she can’t shake. And as much as she tries to lose them they often reassemble. It’s not enjoyable exactly for her. She hates this sort of thing.
“Just decide!” she yells. But it doesn’t work.
And now Lem wants to sleep together again. And that’s wonderful, but problematic, obviously.
“Is this my sin? Or someone else’s?” she asks God.
“Unchained Melody” plays.
She listens to the lyrics, “Okay.” she sighs. “Who truly needs my love?” She thinks. “I don’t mean who could soldier on without it but still suffer greatly. I mean who truly needs my love?” She thinks. “I mean, who will be the worst off without me. Really.”
They all begin calculating. Even Lem.
“Sea of Love” plays.
Louis knows. He smiles.
“How did you figure it out so quickly?!” Lem asks.
After blowing dirt into the Heavens she declares, “I choose Michael.”
Of course if Lem can ever figure out Lacey isn’t just a thin, brown-eyed Kennedy from Minneapolis with a bitch father…and actually love her openly. Brazenly. Imperfectly. But better? …Then he can win her heart. But if she has to choose she chooses Michael. If the land-of-the-living-Lem makes her choose because he’s too busy pretending to be gay with cocks in his orifices…parading around like a pathetic buffoon? Faking a lisp. If he was a genuinely straight man, masochistically pounding his dick in dark, furtive spaces of the White House to try to get an erection while poor Jack narcissistically shook his pale white Meth addict ass? Nah. No sir. …She can’t in good conscience choose Lem. No. She can’t, Lem. Get a clue. …Get…a…clue. That’s your legacy, friend. You never made it clear how much you love her. How dare you think you did. Did the Kennedys lobotomize you too? More efficient for Jack’s daily fuck schedule. Right!? And poor Jack’s Fuck Schedule is of infinite more importance than Lacey, eternal life, your life, love, happiness, children, God, your family, Jack himself or fucking as a concept.
“Black Out Days” plays.
“Boyz…I gotta go. My manz gotta a schedule to keep yo!” *wildly waving gay jazz hands to the Princeton Rowing Team* “Bey Bye!” *saunters off in Louboutins and falls over but picks himself up and tries again*
“See…you’re tall. I think you could get away with flats. Just blame your asthma.” says a gay Englishman to Lem.
“Come on Lacey. Let him try again. And again. To convince you to love him. The way he supposedly did with Jack. If he can spend at least your life doing that…I’ll take him seriously. Otherwise you’re mine. And I intend to enjoy you. I don’t need to ask everyone alive if your pussy is likely to be wetter than Jack’s best-butthole-ever?” says Michael.
“How does a butthole get wet?” asks Lacey.
“It doesn’t.” says a gay man.
“Exactly.” says Lacey.
He thinks. “So Michael is saying that Lem’s whole spiel is what?”
“I’m saying he was you? Right?” responds Michael. “You’re worried she’s insinuating something about you now. Right?”
“What if I don’t let you choose?” asks Lem.
“Oh honey! You have a schedule!” says Lacey.
The gay man laughs.
“My master is away. I think I can think for myself for a second or two before he comes back home to find me again.” says Lem.
“Are you a house slave with your very own room in the massur’s big ol’ white house?” asks Lacey.
“I wasn’t a racist.” Lem says.
“Nah! But honey you shore did bring in the hoe’s like a good little darkie and wipe his racist ass to perfection.” says Lacey. “You did good, son. Real darn good. I highly commend you.”
“Do you think he’ll ever be a real boy?” asks a Muslim.
“Well, yessum. I betcha he might.” says Lacey.
“Don’t men even like a wet pussy anymore? Or is lube better to them nowadays?” asks Michael.
“Like…an actual wet vagina.” says Michael.
“How much money does my family make from petroleum lube?” Lacey thinks. “Lem, did you you use oil to get your soft dick up Jack’s ass? And Jack did you know some white people actually owned real plantations? Like…before your dad existed. Like…Jack…did you ever learn about what was called The Civil War at Harvard? Or no? No? Like…I know it didn’t affect your family much. But…like…it was kinda a war thingy. Like…they fought and such.”
“Like…it for sure wasn’t as cool as World War II. So like…chill. You’re still so much hotter at like war stuff and shit. …Am I making you lose your temper? I don’t want to fuck you. I know that’s what you’re thinking. Isn’t it? I’m too pretty to want to torture you to death? And you know I wouldn’t. But who shot you? And why was it a tragedy except for any negative impact on your kids and other people’s kids? You led a possibly vile and useless life. You didn’t fix anything permanently that needed to be fixed? Did you? What did you improve?” asks Lacey. “I’m disappointed.”
“What did you do? Inspire bullshit?” asks Michael.
“Yeah. What did you do? Inspire bullshit?” asks Lem of Jack.
“I refuse to answer that!!” Lacey says mocking Jack’s indignation.
“Are you really sure you were het?” asks Philip of Lem.
“We were Lem…and Jack. Not Lem and Jack.” says American man.
“Yes.” says Lem, furious.
“Wanna go ride in my wagon? It’s very cool.”
“Not if you fall in love with me.”
“I wouldn’t. I can’t. Couldn’t. But…you might develop a love of wagons.”
Lem considers it. “As long as you don’t fall in love.”
“I’ll let you drive the wagon. But don’t let that give you any ideas.”
“I’m not a black slave either.” Lem says.
“No. But she had a point you know.”
“I can’t let her have that much authority. Not in that way.”
“It’s not fair. Yes.”
Lem cries. Collects himself.
“Jack, I’m sorry if I was playing God too much in my judgments of you.” says Lacey. “It must be awful at times in Purgatory even if you deserve it.”
“Why do you believe Lem could love everyone but you?” Jack asks her.
“I’ve never been loved by someone like him.”
“It just doesn’t add up?”
“It feels like a rule. Like gravity.”
He looks grim.
“Isn’t that funny? Even if it’s just your evil? It still feels like actual physics or something. It’s very hard to convince myself it isn’t just some…science.”
“Do you love Michael?”
“I wish you were being serious.”
“Yes. But I love Lem more.”
“I knew you would.”
“That isn’t fair to Michael.”
Jack looks smug.
“I can’t figure it out. I hope they do. I hope God does.”
“That is my evil.”
“What a pity.” Lacey says about the fallen world. “I hope in your life you were at least a good father. You didn’t hurt them terribly other than by dying?”
“Then why are you so confused?!”
“For whatever evil I’ve done, I’m sorry. I truly am.” She smiles weakly and then leaves to go to bed. Finally.