Cheating

“People who cheat are morally failing.”

“People who cheat are always at fault. No partner makes them do it.”

“Those are the opinions of Tik Tok psychologists, which means more today than you or I want to think it means.” says Louis.

“But the truth is that the reasons people cheat vary wildly. There’s no fast-track, easy, formulaic explanation for it. Although, it’s always extremely complicated. …There! How about that?! …No matter what anyone says it’s never simple. It fundamentally can’t be simple or it wouldn’t be cheating.” says Lacey.

“True. And some narcissistic people probably cheat just to do something complicated and be confusing.” says Louis.

“To seem powerful.” says Lacey.

Louis laughs and nods in agreement.

“Money and the power. Power and the money!” says Elliott.

“It sounded artistic and true and poetic at first. But now it sounds like a satire.” says Lacey.

“Not if you listen to the whole song.” says Louis.

“True.” says Lacey.

“People are wondering how you and Louis could have wound up together.” says Michael.

“Had I been born in 1924?” asks Lacey.

He smiles. “Or 1938. Like me.”

“At a social club.” says Louis. He smiles. “I had a wandering eye. At times. For specific reasons.”

“No you didn’t. Right?” says Lacey.

…”Well, let’s just say, if I did…because my last wife and I had problems in our marriage at times…Lacey would have accidentally caught my attention for too long. And I wouldn’t have found reason to not fall in love with her.”

“Because you would have found logical reason to?” asks Michael.

“Yes.” says Louis.

Michael looks at him confrontationally.

“These two are at a stand-off.” says Elliott, imitating Lacey’s subtle rebellion.

“What about Lem?” asks Lacey.

“He’s not necessarily who’s best for you.” says a ghost.

“What does God say?” asks Lacey.

Michael laughs.

“God is God.” says Michael.

“People shouldn’t read your blog to figure out their own theology.” says Babe Paley.

“Some people love perfection but they don’t hate themselves.” says Lacey. “You didn’t hate yourself? Did you?” asks Lacey of Babe.

She smiles. Sighs. “Yeah. I did love perfection. …Not necessarily. I wanted to be loved.”

“Exactly.” says Lacey empathetically. …And no, Babe Paley doesn’t mean she tried to be perfect just to be loved.

“This Babe Paley. Not the one you imagine in your tea room or at your dinner table laughing at your grand wit.” says Lem. He winks.