Tiny Vessels

Let me make one thing clear: I really am a cis heterosexual woman and I would never engage in non-consensual sex with a man.

“How do you know what’s consensual?” asks Lem. “And are you sure every time you’ve consented?”

“I’ve always found some way of genuinely asking. And actually, I have been violated. But I don’t dwell on those experiences.”

“That’s all true.” says Michael.

“I think you liked the idea of me kissing you without asking, though.” says Lem.

“Yes. That’s true. How did you know I wasn’t opposed to it?” Lacey asks.

He thinks, “I read your body language. And of course, if you’d declined I’d have stopped.” he says.

Michael laughs. “You’d think this would be obvious to people already.” he says. He covers his mouth in an attempt to stifle a snicker.

“Apparently it isn’t. I just saw a Tik Tok about a man who was seemingly entirely gay who really was repulsed by the thought of having sex with a woman but did so for religious reasons. …Apparently the woman never noticed?” Lacey looks suspicious.

“You think you’d notice?!” asks a ghost.

“Yes.” Lacey says tentatively.

“I know she would.” says Michael.

Lem looks saddened by this conversation…but not entirely.

“Would you ever date a so-called jock?” asks a dead Millennial. It may be bullying?

We’re all sitting in an elegantly lit museum. Possibly in Heaven.

“I married one, to some degree.” says Lacey deciding to ignore the bullying and just answer bluntly.

“I think you’d notice too.” says Jack.

“Really?” asks Lacey.

He nods and smiles kindly.

“What would you do?” asks Babe Paley.

“I’d not get far enough for it to be a problem.” says Lacey.

“My gosh that’s true!” says Joan Crawford.

“No. You read so far between the lines you hear us.” says Truman.

“What is it you’re laughing at?” Lacey asks Joan.

“Lacey, you try so hard to be good…you’ve possibly died inside.” says Joan.

And at that she almost manifests in her bedroom. And no, she reassures her she didn’t see the mess.

Michael laughs.

“Are other people dead too then, I wonder.” asks Lacey.

Silence.

“I mean, psychics wouldn’t see their so-called gifts that way. But I wonder sometimes what actually is going on in my brain and some other people’s brains. Those of us who are severely sad, so to speak. Are we partially dead and we just don’t understand it yet?” She gets sudden chills. She smells lunch on Cape Cod apparently in the late 1940’s.

“Doesn’t it smell delicious?” asks Joe Jr..

“Can you eat?” asks Lacey.

He looks at her sadly. Elliott smiles reassuringly.

“It’s either Heaven and Joe is describing something very hard to comprehend and communicate. Or some of us can and some of us aren’t allowed to yet.” says Elliott.

“Like if it’s Purgatory?” asks Lacey.

“Exactly!” says a ghost.

“Why are we listening to this?!” asks a disgruntled psychic.

“Why not?” asks Lacey.

“Okay, first of all, I think you and Lem…don’t seem gay. Either one of you.” He laughs. “And now that that’s out of the way…”. He sighs. “I just feel…”

“Like you’re overhearing a conversation at a restaurant that doesn’t belong to you?” asks Lacey.

“Yes.”

“You don’t have to read my blog.” says Lacey kindly.

“True.” he smiles.

Silence.

“Can’t you hear my…uncomfortability?!“ he asks.

“Yes. But it seems like insecurity to me. What is it?” she asks.

“I think your former crush is…on the same wavelength I’m on. Christian or not. And I don’t think we hate you. No! …But we don’t like you.” the psychic concludes.

“Why?!” she asks.

“He might need to consecrate that part of his gift more to God.” He smiles, trying to think about how to describe what he means. “Like, his ability to pick-up on things in regard to women.”

“Do you think it’s about social-class?” asks Michael.

The psychic sighs. Partially smiles. Ponders. “Okay, I really do wonder if Lacey is partially…gone somehow.” he says smiling. But then, “Yes! Honestly, Michael…you irritate me. Because of your…family.” He cringes having said it. “But, yes. It’s just that I feel so plain.” he says thoughtfully. Then smiles. Laughs.

“As opposed to glistening with gold?” asks Lem.

“Yes.” he responds. He smiles again. He sighs.

“That’s not how I see you at all!” says Lacey.

“Okay! Maybe I’m better dressed than I imagine I would be in such a situation, but…it’s still awkward.” he sighs.

“Because that’s not how you perceive yourself?” asks Lacey.

“Yes.” he says biting his bottom lip.

“That’s not how we exist in Heaven.” says Lacey.

He smiles.

“Didn’t we know that?” she asks.

He thinks. Breathes deeply.

“We did.” He nods a yes. Almost cries.

“Why do we find that corny now? That sense of our humanity?” she wonders.

He nods a yes.

“You know, truthfully…the middle knew that. We really did.” He shrugs. “But a lot of the middle grew wealthy. As was promised. And now…it’s a mess.”

“You’d think it would have worked out.” she muses.

“You know, in a way it did. We just need to adjust somehow, I think.” he decides.