Hidden Meanings

“I get scared to post your name.” Lacey says to Michael.

Louis smiles.

“Your family worries me too.”

Lem nods.

“Why does it scare you?” Lem asks.

“Because I don’t want to steal anything from your identities.” Lacey says.

“What if you’re my daughter?” says Tom.

“When they stole Chanel No. 22 from you I lost it.” says Tom’s friend. “Those imbeciles wouldn’t even let you keep that for yourself.”

“Why was that so egregious?” asks Harold Loeb.

Tom’s friend tilts back his head. Thinks.

“It’s a slippery slope, my friend.” he says smiling.

“It was her signature fragrance.” says Coco.

“I liked Chanel No. 22 but not that much.” says Michael. That makes Coco smile in some relief. She winks at Lacey like a playful aunt figure.

“But how is Mlle. Coco Chanel any more significant or important than me. Or my fellow niche perfume creators. We are like her great granduncle Simon.” a niche perfumer says.

“My! How far you’ve come my little peasant creation! My Fair Lady!” says a hater in the Illuminati.

“I know. That’s what I think of too.” says an aging actress.

Lacey can barely contain herself.

“Her dad by birth is a nobody. He probably shook his ass for Al Capone. Little peasant bitch!” she says before snorting like a pig.

“What if you two little bugs in the Illuminati would have been like the shit shovelers in her father’s operational grasp of power?” asks Joe Jr..

“Yup! Okay! This is where she goes insane. He owned a beet farm! I ding dang done looked it up.” says a Christian conservative, dang hard-working, hater.

“Where was his house?” says Louis.

“He had a farm, a cabin up north and a what’s a million Dollar house today.” says Lacey. “But he was trying to hide millions.”

“How many millions?” asks a sort-of hater.

“What difference does it really make?” says Lacey.

Silence.

“I mean. I don’t really know.” she says. “Really.”

“If she’s just daughter she’s hidden.” says Elliott. “Pretty funny isn’t it?”

“She’s impossible to pursue if you don’t love her madly.” says Michael. “Men think she’s easy or they lie and tell themselves that there must be something wrong with her. She’s dumb right? But what they can’t admit to of see is that she’s far more complicated than that. Not for the evil, the coward or the fool.”

“No! I think Chanel No. 22 was intended for a woman of means with a huge bosom.” says Coco. “A fragrance made in the 1920’s was certainly for a big-tittie hot mama!” She considers. “Strutting her stuff down Park Avenue like a wench!”

“Okay! Now I know she’s lying. This is mean!!!” yells an innocent perfume lover. “It was me! I’m better than Lacey! She’s just jealous of me and my amazingness in every facet of existence. I’ll show her and her poverty!”

Another hater laughs.

“Lacey! No one loves you! And I know why! It’s because you’re too skinny. Or too something. If you were the example of perfection I am you’d be loved by a man the way I am.”a perfume collector decides. “I will be the light of the true God in your sad, ugly existence! Just open your eyes, you dumb bitch!”

“Exactly! It’s just a blog! You’re nothing. You’re not even human!” says yet another perfume collector.

“Suck my hard cock! It’s been certified by Jesus!” says a Tik Tok star.

“Really? Can I?” asks a young blond woman who wants a husband. She emerges from Tik Tok, clawing her way into his direct messages. She sends a photo of her naked body. She’s genuinely looking to perform the task he’s requested. She wants to.

The perfume community gets confused at this point. They thought Lacey’s entire being, should it exist, was entirely about their grandeur and glory. A mere reflection of their opulence and splendor.

Or did they? …Did they? Do they? It’s…fascinating.

“Why do we have to hear about some idiot Christian on Tik Tok?” asks a perfume collector.

“Jesus wants you to fear him!” yells the Christian Tik Tok star out of nowhere. “And if I’m not loving I’m nothing!” he says.

Lacey is perplexed but intrigued.

The perfume community sighs in growing boredom.

“Stop offering to fuck me! I cannot stand it! I cannot! I cannot stand to be so bothered by the hordes of women.” protests the Christian Tik Tok star. “It’s unrelenting madness. And I’m a godly man.” He bends forward, looks deeply into the lens of his iPhone camera with his hot blue irises and smiles a lurid half grin. “Don’t come after me like that. Okay, ladies?” He shakes his head at the silliness and smiles again.

“Is he starving for sex and has simply lost his mind?” asks Lacey of Louis.

“I don’t know. But I looked at his Tik Tok account and feel bad for him too.” says a perfume community hater. It seems sincere. Then he does a wild about face, turns to Lacey and says, “YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO OFFER TO SUCK HIS COCK! You ugly, toad.” He smirks. “If my wife was as young and available as you she’d have scores of suitors because she’s hot. And she puts out. Unlike a frigid bitch from Hell, which doesn’t exist, like you! You whore!”

Everyone looks at him.

“What?! Don’t come after me! I’m not the toxic one!” he says.

“Whatever! I’m worth 4 million. Or maybe 4 billion. But I’m in love with the idea of snubbing Lacey. It makes me feel like I’m staring on Dynasty. And I’m too dumb and ignorant to see the humor of that-“ she cuts off. “Who’s controlling me?! I’m the rich one! I’m the one who sucks cock in the Illuminati. I’m the prostitute who puts out! Don’t boss me around! Tell me who I belong to!” says a woman.

“Who was that?” asks the so-called hot wife of the perfume collector.

“Just a schizophrenic voice. Right?!” says Lacey. “Except I don’t have schizophrenia. So, I’ll leave that open to interpretation. Maybe she doesn’t exist at all.”

“Lacey doesn’t belong to people in that way.” says Lem. To clarify.

“You know what I would like clarified. Why does that Tik Tok star keep coming on to his female audience and then attack them when they get horny by the thousands?” asks Lacey. “Is he sadistic and cruel and profoundly evil or is he incredibly unaware?”

“He can’t help it, Lacey. He doesn’t mean to flash his biceps and wink into the camera as a sexually mature male who claims to be heterosexual, lonely and looking for a wife.” says the male perfume collector.

“I’m not a prostitute.” says the male perfume collector’s wife. “Just to clarify.”

“We wondered if you were. Honestly.” says an Illuminati member.

“Why?!” asks the male perfume collector, aghast.

“We wondered that about a lot of perfume divas, we’ll call them.” says another Illuminati member.

“No! I’m not.” says the so-called hot wife again.

“You kept advertising her. In a way.” clarifies an Illuminati member to the male perfume collector.

“Oh. I get it.” he says.

“Some pimps pretend to be husbands to make it look less offensive.” another Illuminati member further clarifies.

“Oh great now some narcissistically psychotic hater will claim that’s what Lem does to Lacey.” says a ghost, rolling his eyes. “It’s vomiting for these people. It hurts their tummy to deal with actual reality for too long.”

“I think you’re the toxic one! And if you point out one more area where I might still be needing to repent I’ll kill myself!” yells the Christian Tik Tok star.

“Why do you arouse women for no reason?” asks Lacey.

“Did I arouse you?” he asks.

“Of course you did. That’s just obvious. But I’m certainly not the only one. And I’m not trying to judge you, but it’s offensive. You know, I read a criticism of you once that you don’t accept admonishments from fellow Christians. And it was written by a man. A young man I know you later mad fun of.” Lacey thinks. “Why couldn’t you accept his criticism? It wasn’t about that rap star. He literally said that. …Are you a narcissist?”

“Yes! I wondered that too.” asks an Illuminati member. “Are you a narcissist?” he asks the Tik Tok star.

“Did you read what else he wrote?” asks the Tik Tok star of Lacey.

“Not the original conversation. But I read the one where he unfollowed you.” she clarifies.

He thinks. Sighs.

“I do it for follows.” he clarifies.

“Got it!” says Lacey. “But you know, it does have the possibly unintended consequence of garnering an enormous amount of female attention.”

He thinks. “But you have to have some way of getting an audience.”

“True. And it’s for a good end, in a way. But logically speaking, it sends enormously mixed messages when you yell ‘Suck my cock!’ just to get attention to preach about Jesus to someone.” she says.

“You really think it’s that in your face?” he asks.

“You’re very confusing. I’m sorry. And for people, especially women, who are desperate for a handsome, loving, godly husband it’s excruciating to be teased that way.” says Lacey. “So yes. I’m sorry. But yes. There has to be some way of being good-looking for the camera without shouting. And why do you say no but then wink?”

“Like, I advertise that I’m single and sad. But then-“ he cuts off.

“You’re lovely to watch. But then it all gets to be emotionally distracting after a while.” She thinks. “It just makes you seem suspicious.”

“And women tell me that I’m being taken-in by whores.” he says.

“Well, maybe you are at times. Are they whores? Who are these women? …You should be careful. But I have to think you’re also asking for attention you’re either lying about wanting…or you don’t actually want.” says Lacey.

“I think you ask for attention!” yells a hater at Lacey. A crowd including that hater and fellow cool-kids giggle.

“You really think I’m that attractive?!” the Christian Tik Tok star asks.

“Okay. So here’s the truth. You are on the shorter side, based on what you’ve shared. And you didn’t straighten your teeth. And I noticed an occasional pimple. But other than that you’re basically perfect looking.” she responds.

“No, I have flaws you don’t know about.” he says. “They just aren’t visible on screen.”

“I highly doubt that. The the pimples are no big deal. Your height isn’t that big of a deal either. And your teeth aren’t offensive to a women who isn’t insecure for reasons of social class.” Lacey thinks. “Your height is still taller than me, for example. And I’m pretty average height-wise.”

“Then why can’t I find someone?” he asks.

“Here’s my estimation: 1. Your teeth offend deeply-insecure, bourgeois young women. They need to feel rich to feel okay. It scares them. 2. If you’re not a player…you’ll confuse Christian women. You seem too sexual to feel like the ideal they think a Christian man is supposed to be. But since you’re not a player, supposedly, you might confuse them about what you want.” Lacey says.

“What the hell did you want from him?!” asks a female Christian hater.

“From the male Christian Tik Tok star?” asks Lacey to clarify.

“Yes! From that one!” says an observer.

“I didn’t know. I was looking into it. But it ceased to make sense after a certain point.” Lacey responds.

“Right around the time the Queen died?” says another reader.

“It stopped making sense after I returned home from a vacation with my family and something about it all felt really off.” says Lacey.

“Like he didn’t seem interested? Or what?” asks a female fan of his who now reads Lacey’s blog.

“No, I had the sense he still might be. …It was more like something was attacking me.” says Lacey. “And truthfully, he might not have been interested at all. But I didn’t know for sure either way. People are complicated.”

“So, you gave-up?” asks Lem.

“No. I kept trying to figure it out.” says Lacey.

“But then what?” asks Lem.

“But then it felt like…it was impossible. And I was trapped. In a castle tower. And yet…he expected me to walk right up to him and get in his face to even be told no nicely.” she says.

“So you think he’ll find this tower thing romantic, I bet.” scoffs a hater. “You’re so pretentious.” She rolls her eyes. “Why do you always do this? You start to make sense to me…but then you say something dumb and cliche and backward and outdated or fake rich like this. It’s embarrassing!”

“My goodness aren’t we contrary today!” says a gay male reader trying to sound charming about the last comment. …”You really are in a tower?” he asks, after thinking.

“Yes. In some way. I am. Or it feels like it.” says Lacey.

“She’s too blunt to be a real cis woman. And that’s why Chanel No. 22 is my signature fragrance.” says the female who found Lacey pretentious. “I mean, she could be queer. But I’m starting to doubt that now.”

“She doesn’t shake her ass enough! I agree.” says a Mindy.

“I agree too! She’s also too frigid. If she spread her legs more like a normal straight woman of today she’d be a normal straight woman. …Otherwise she’s just a queer. And I love queers. But she’s clearly lying about something. Right?” suggests her original Illuminati hater. “I mean she’s too rich and smart to be a backward fundamentalist.”

“You’re mean! This is too real!” says the female perfume hater.

“I mean…some of us thought she was a total slut. Like a rich, horny housewife. Possibly a prostitute for the Illuminati. And we empathized, but…we couldn’t let her keep sinning.” explains a conservative female Christian Tik Tok stalker. Not star, necessarily.

“She’s not-she doesn’t have sex! She’s a dried-up old prune!” says the female perfume hater. “I’m a sexy, progressive, rich, white woman of today. I…have sex!”

“See! This is why I automatically to this bitch! She hears my beat!” says the original Illuminati hater about the female perfume hater.

“She hears my beat too!” says a gay perfume hater.

“There’s no way people could pay this much attention to you, Lacey. You must be a paranoid schizophrenic. You’re not special enough to be this noticed. Get beneath me!!!!” a psychic yells trying to read her.

“Do you put out?” the female perfume hater asks Lacey.

“I can’t believe the idiocy of that question. Truly.” says Lacey.

“So it feels like you’re in a tower?” asks the gay guy. Not a perfume collector.

“Yes.” says Lacey coldly.

“Were you being cold to me too?” asks the perfume hater.

“Just now? Yes. That was a gross and idiotic question.” Lacey says. “Why do you keep trying to make me like you? I’m not like you.”

“So you find me trashy?” she asks.

“Are you blind?” asks Lacey.

“No!” she says self-righteously.

“There’s a stench of trash in almost every post you post. You even exacerbate it for extra likes and attention. People used to complain about you being too grossly sexual behind your back.” says Lacey.

“And no haters, her father was not a bank robber.” says Coco. Sincerely.

“You think I’m full of it.” says the perfume hater.

“Yes. Obviously. Always. And I’m not. It’s not that mysterious. I’m not frigid. I’m not queer. I’m just not loved.” says Lacey.

“And yet you’re rich?” she asks.

“What? Now you’re going plotting to kidnap me or murder my kids? Already saw it. Bitch.” says Lacey.

“I’m not scared of you!” and at that all the haters join in a collective naked Samhain dance. They smear shit on their faces thinking it’s sexy. They laugh at Christmas. Because it’s the holiday of Christ. They fart in each other’s faces and bottle it. They assume they’re drunk. …And, in fact, they are not.

“Does everyone have their free perfume sample?” asks a gleeful hater.

“Yes!” they say happily.

“Then let’s join in for a group hug!”

They all grab each other, lovingly.

“We are all beautiful! We are all rich! We are all pretty! We are all confident! We are all loved! By God!” They glare at Lacey in their heads. “We are all love by each other! Because we are all gods!” They nod their heads self-righteously.

“Is that the proper way to celebrate Samhain?” asks Lacey.

“I’m more Irish than you!” says a perfume collector from the U.S. who also claims to be Native American.

“Go drink tea in your corny, old-fashioned, stupid shithole!” says a gay man pretending to be elite and knowing.

“Did we ever make any sense to you at all?” asks the currently self-labeled Irishwoman.

“Of course not. You all seem to constantly contradict yourselves.” says Lacey. “Bitch was a declaration of war in case you want to murder or kidnap me or my kids or my family and you lack enough self-control and common sense not to ever try to, by the way.” says Lacey.

“So it wasn’t a corny, evil insult you stupid prick!” says the self-labeled Irishwoman.

“Oh! You think I’m being narcissistically wounded. That’s it?” Lacey wonders, exasperated. “Chill out, you unintelligent bitch.”

“Same meaning for bitch?” wonders Jack.

“Yes. Unless God thinks I’m being narcissistically wounded.” says Lacey.

“Were black people supposed to see through all of this pretentious, dangerous nonsense?”asks a black perfume collector of Lacey.

“Yes. Of course!” says Lacey. “It’s been one of the most heartbreaking things to watch in the perfume community.”

“You’re a racist!” says a bourgeois black woman. She likes to fit in with the white bourgeois women in the perfume community.

“I’m not bourgeois!” says another black perfume collector who is poor-ish but well-educated. She likes to consider herself upper-class.

“I don’t think she’s racist. I think she’s right. We were supposed to be better than that.“ says a black man.

“YOU’RE A GIANT CUNT!” yells the self-labeled Irishwoman at Lacey. She has supporters.

“Well.” says the black man humorously. “I guess we weren’t as self-aware en mass as you thought we were.”

“Is perfume collecting a black hobby?” asks someone objectively.

“Why?” asks Lacey.

“Because maybe they’re some of the only normal people in the perfume community.”

“Well, there are some Europeans.” answers someone else.

“But most of the normal people seem black.”

“Maybe it is.” thinks an intellectual.

“I guess I was fascinated by a primarily black dominated hobby then.” says Lacey as a white person.

“Maybe so.” says a black woman sadly.

“Why can’t I like a black hobby?” asks Lacey sadly.

“Well, and no. I’m sure white women wear perfume. Good perfume. …But the passion for collecting it might actually be more black.”

“That does seem to culturally make sense.”

Silence.

“Well, that makes sense. I’m not going to stop caring about perfume. But I’ll keep this possibly accurate observation in mind.” says Lacey.

“We don’t mean to hurt anyone who isn’t trying to kill or kidnap us.” says Michael.

“Things are nuanced so for your own good try to keep it all straight.” says Lacey.

“But the Asmats weren’t black people from the U.S..” says a white hater. She’s finally caught Lacey, she thinks!

“Yes. I know. That’s my point.” says Lacey.

Then, the hater worries she’s just being hateful. And she can’t handle that anxiety. And Lacey worries about why. But the hater would find that patronizing. So Lacey considers the beauty of Africa, the so-called Middle East, and Asia. And then thinks about finding the perfect sterling silver tea set. Without irony. And with great genuine respect.

“Am I really hot?” asks the Christian Tik Tok star.

“Yes! Of course you are. Sincerely! …I’d suggest you wear a quality niche perfume. If ever you have spare dough, so to speak. …Something avant-garde. Very literal. But maybe you already have a signature fragrance.” she says. “All the best to you!! You’re very handsome. Just be more aware of how you affect women.”

“Even in person?” he asks.

“It’s illogical. They must be ignoring you for some stupid reason. And actually, that’s what the cologne is for.” says Lacey.

“Okay. Maybe I’m not ugly.” he says.

“You’re certainly not ugly. You’re not typical. But…that’s the thing. You can’t expect an average woman of today to get you, so to speak. If you’re not narcissistic I think it’s illogical nonsense you can work out over time. But you’re in ministry and you’re young. Just don’t be fooled. I can guarantee you you’re attractive.”

“That has nothing to do with you. You’re just trying to help me.”

“Of course. We’re talking about you and I’m not narcissistic or passive aggressive. Goodbye for now.” says Lacey. “Be hapy