Lacey Is A Woman

“I had my heart brutally tortured and broken repeatedly from about age 20 until I got married.” says Lacey.

“But at age 23 it came to a halt.” says Michael.

“Did it?”

“It was your philosophy professor who did it.”

Silence.

“Yes. You were madly in love with him. Head over heels. And you’ve since blocked out most of it.” Michael says.

“I didn’t want to remember.”

He nods and smiles.

“He was 39 and I was 23. And I thought he was…”. she can’t recall. She really has blocked it out.

“He was in love with you. But he lied about it. To protect his career. And he thought you were too assertive.”

“Did he gossip about me to other professors?”

“I don’t know. He might have.”

“It would make sense.”

Michael looks serious.

“He was such a flirt with at least two other female students, that I knew of. One of them got hurt too. …I look back at it now at the age he was at the time and it angers me even more. I’d like to slap him hard across his face and then spit in it.”

“I would too.” says Michael.

“He was heartless. He treated his female students like little playthings to soothe his loneliness and ego and I think he thought it was fine as long as he didn’t touch them.”

“He stared down your sweater once.” says Michael.

“My breasts were so perky then.” says Lacey bitterly.

“They still are, relatively speaking.”

“He didn’t deserve that view. I’m sorry. Although, on a certain sad, morbid level it’s nice to think some man enjoyed my youthful beauty at least a little.”

“I would have slept with you.”

“No, you wouldn’t have.”

“Lacey, I would have.”

“It was really, really hard to get me in bed.”

He smiles. “You were a virgin.”

“I was.”

“But I still would have slept with you.” He thinks. “You have no idea what’s typical or normal in that way. In your mind men are the prey and women are the desperate, sad, brave pursuers. You know that that’s gross as Hell and totally upside down…but you also know that that’s how it is today. For the most part. …But it’s actually not normal, Lacey.”

“When would you have slept with me?!”

“Buy jade.” her randomly observes. “Not for spiritual reasons…but because it looks nice on you.” He looks into her brown eyes.

She smiles when he looks away.

“He may have kept the gorgeous love letter you sent him. It’s rare to get letters like that.”

“When would you have slept with me?”

“When you were in my office. After hours. It would have been easy to arrange. And you wouldn’t have talked if I didn’t want you to. …But…I would have married you.”

“I would have too.” says Lem.

“We would have been so in love.” says Louis.

“No, it’s in my mind that men want sex badly but never have it. They just…complain and argue and nag.”

Elliott bursts out laughing.

“They do find you arousing. But you’re right. They’re all such teases nowadays with every woman they meet. Even if they manage to figure out how to physically have sex.” Elliott says. “And don’t think it’s not tempting for dead men. If we exist anywhere near you…in the waking world…there’s a reason we make the news nowadays for bedding some of you. It’s gross, Lacey.”

“Go to Hell!” yells a straight man at Elliott. Another one cries. Elliot just doesn’t understand how awful it is to be a heterosexual man?

“Please end this post right there! Please!” Elliott says.

“I mean, I can’t. My ex-husband isn’t like that. He works very hard.”

“He does work hard!” says Michael sincerely.

“Not all men are like that.” says Elliott.

Elliott’s mouth falls open and he giggles.

“Well the gay ones tend to find nice husbands eventually, and the straight ones have to settle for whatever woman can handle their mood swings best.” Elliot says as he smiles. “Some men find that rock and it saves them. There’s nothing like a tough woman in a bar fight when you’ve got your panties in a twist after a hard day at the office.”

“Now I remember why I hated my father’s generation!” says a 60-something female Boomer.

“It’s all becoming androgynous now!” Michael quotes Lacey’s college political science professor. He grins big. “It’s the way of the future!”

“Yeah, she’d say that. But then ten seconds later she’d want to sleep with me. I was a very handsome and worldly man.” says Elliott.

“Does that level of stupidity bother you?” asks Lacey.

Elliott looks at her.

“You cared too.” he says to her sadly.

“Does it bother you though?” she asks.

“Yes. She’s like a little girl to me.”

“Why am I different?” asks Lacey.

“I’ll explain.” says Michael.

“Or God will.” says Lacey.

“The point is, you can’t tell some man he’s like your father and then come on to him without looking creepy.” says JFK.

“Don’t straight normal women want a guy who could be in charge but let’s her be in charge anyway?” asks Lacey.

Michael laughs.

“No! I’ll tell you want they want!” says a male ghost at a bar on West 7th in Saint Paul. He was a regular in the 1990’s.

“They want sex!” He grins. “But they can’t ask for it without looking like a prostitute. Or a man. And women like you understand that and actually don’t enjoy asking at all anyway. It’s offensive to you too, for the most part. So you don’t. …But then there’s the type of woman who either doesn’t know that or doesn’t care or enjoys it. And…” He looks off. “They lie to your pretty face. Constantly.” He looks sad. “It’s about keeping up appearances for those women in regard to you. They don’t want to look foolish around you. It’s their pride. …But really…they do fall in love. And sometimes they’re happy.” He raises his beer thoughtfully. “And maybe they’re more masculine but they get what they want.”

He looks thoughtful.

“If I was your father.” He holds his beer towards her. “If I was your father, I’d tell you to be…at least aware of it.” Then hiding tears he walks out of the bar.

“That wasn’t your father.”

“Did he know my father?”

“He may have.“ says a dead bartender.

The bar is full.

“God isn’t to be played with.” Elliot smiles. “Like a woman or a man.”

Lacey smells pot, faintly. Then it disappears. And no, there’s no physical explanation for it.

“I don’t want to be female wolf.” says Lacey.

“You can’t be.” says Elliott.