Jackie Was Pretty

“You must be a lesbian to think that!” says Lem sarcastically.

“Why can’t I objectively just see that?” asks Lacey.

“Because nobody objectively sees anything. Remember! It was Ernest Hemingway himself who said it, Lacey. Why, you know that!”

“No. I mean, her features aren’t common today, but they’re objectively beautiful.”

“You don’t know that!”

“Lem, I’m not blind, brainwashed or brain dead.”

“No! No!” He covers his ears. “You don’t know that!”

“Lem that feels psychologically controlling and repressive.”

“That’s an ad hominem attack!”

“You’re not right!”

“I helped you say that last one.” says Michael.

“I did too.” says Lem.

“Why is it so hard for me to care?!” asks Lacey.

“You’ve become bored by most people’s predictable lack of mercy for you.” says Michael.

“I can never figure out why they’re so angry.” says Lacey.

“They can’t control you.” says Michael.

“That’s why you patronize people at times, isn’t it?” asks Lem.

“Yes. I want them out of my hair.” says Lacey.

“To do what?” asks Michael.

“To do life.”

“That’s going to be difficult to do well the way you’re doing it.” says Howard.

“What am I doing wrong?” asks Lacey.

“Well, there’s no horizon line. The way you’ve framed it. Or the way it is.”

“My mother had a dream when I wanted to move to Wales that I was grounded plane.”

“Then I’m just your subconscious!” he giggles.

Lacey smiles. “Speaking of which, which one of you do I belong to?” she asks Lem and Michael. “Do you know yet?”

“Run! Run! Run! Run little lamb.” says Michael.

“So that means you’re a demon or that means you’re being unkind to yourself?” asks Lacey.

“Or he might mean me.” says Lem. “As in, I’ll destroy you with my stupidity.”

“Or he might mean that since his mother’s name is Mary…you’ll be her little lamb?” says a ghost.

“You know it doesn’t hurt me! That you want to feel how it feels!” sings the hater (from the last post). She means that Lacey wants to know what it’s like to be queer.

“No. I really don’t want that much information-“says Lacey but the hater cute her off.

And at that Louis hits her over the head with a sword cutting her in half.

“She was about to try to rape you.” he says.

“You aren’t going to kill her? Are you?” asks Lacey calmly.

“The unknown now!” sings a ghost. As in, she is sarcastically suggesting you should date a ghost. But actually, she’s telling you not to.

“If she tries to kill you or your family…or anyone uses her to do so I might have to kill them first.” says Louis.

“How did you almost die?” asks Howard.

“Anyone got any explanations?” asks Howard.

“Shake that ass, whores!” says Joe Jr..

“Let their dead parents and grandparents defend them.” says Jack. “Their hot shot families better than yours and mine.”

“Death isn’t funny, bitch!” says Michael. “And put your flat ass away.”

“Well, God will decide all of it.” says Lacey.

Silence.

“I hope no one has to die.” she says.

“If they can stop lying they’ll be fine.” says her father. “They also need to learn to read.”

“And if that wasn’t my father?” asks Lacey.

“Then your father said it.” says Elliott.

“Why did that lady take my lack of interest in her so personally?” asks Lacey.

“Because she’s only mildly pretty. And only ever has been. And your liking too many of her self-portraits to be nice rubbed her the wrong way. It made her feel really ugly. Not just mildly pretty but genuinely hideous.” says Michael.

“That’s possible.” says a Louis. *wink*

“Why don’t I remember any of that all that well, relatively speaking?” asks Lacey.

“Because you didn’t care!” says her father.

Michael looks into her eyes to gauge her response.

“So she was insulted. And so were others?”

Michael nods yes.

Louis smiles.

A light flickers.

“I don’t think I understand why they took that the wrong way.” Lacey says.

“They were and are convinced you didn’t mean it.” says Michael.

Louis cries.

“Why did you ignore their flaws?” asks Michael.

“On principle.” says Lacey.

“I don’t think they’d understand your high-minded, objective, artistic view of the human face. Or human body.” says Howard.

“It’s not right to evaluate people too much.” says Lacey.

“They’re too American to understand.” says Michael.

“But they got Europeans on their side.”

“They sort of did.” says Michael.

Silence.

“You’re a mad woman when you want to be.” says Michael. “I doubt they understood that either.”

“Oh, she said I was a hipster derisively.” says Lacey.

“She also got enraged when you ate fresh oysters, seemingly with your family in Washington State.”

“I’m pretty sure that’s when she first called me pretentious.”

Michael looks sick.

“It’s dangerous if they’re bad. But these were safe oysters fresh from the ocean back in 2015.”

Silence.

“I don’t understand why that makes me pretentious.”

“Because it’s rich people stuff.” he says smiling.

“No!! No. She couldn’t have used that word to mean pretentious in the colloquial way! Really? That would make her hopelessly delusional or jealous.”

“Yeah! She thought you were being scary rich. She might have had the impression you were lower middle-class or she wanted to think that. And it either scared her or she realized how little you cared initially and yet, still assuming you hated her for shallow reasons…she felt the need to teach you a lesson.”

“Why was she so certain I thought she was ugly?!”

“Because you were too nice, so to speak.”

“I was trying to be friendly. But I also actually cared about those people. Like I care about everything and everyone.”

“Yeah, you’re too smart! And too intense. You stupid bitch.” says Michael lovingly.

“So I supposed to be what? Conniving and cold?”

“You were supposed to be real.”

Lacey looks at him, seething.

“What did you really want to be like?” asks Michael.

“I wouldn’t have talked to anyone I didn’t like, although I liked most people initially. I would have been scientific and poetic. Used perfect grammar. I would have been disturbingly meticulous. …And I wouldn’t have bothered trying to make any friends.”

“You were there for a human connection though?”

“Yes. But I didn’t think anyone was trustworthy enough for a real friendship. And yet I didn’t want to be totally hopeless and jaded and actually believe that.”

“You were fake. But to keep the conversation going so to speak, and keep it light and uplifting.”

“Yes. But I thought the best of everyone.”

“Or you tried to.”

“Yes.”

“But they saw a Helena Bonham Carter character acting…far too happy and friendly to seem real.”

“Yes. It must have looked idiotic.”

“But that’s the role you usually play. You should take a break.” he smiles.