Knowing

The first time I tried Estée Lauder Knowing I was fascinated. It’s such a vivid chypre.

I still love it.

Sometimes a piece of jewelry or art chooses us. And for me being chosen is a rare experience.

It talked me into loving it.

“And she’ll not change her Floris English Violets signature.” says Lem. “We can’t make ourselves something we are not. Some things just are ours. Some people are just forever. Lacey is a woman and and a violet. A violet when she feels sad and happy at the same time.”

“But Knowing is important.” says Michael. “And…” he can’t finish his sentence.

Silence while Lacey talks to God.

“I’m your signature.” says Michael.

“But I loved Lem so much.”

“You did. But there might be a woman better for him than you, and I might make you happier than he ever could.” he sighs. “Should that not be the case, he’ll find a way to approach you with more concern for your feelings and awareness of your heart.”

“They were petty.” says Lacey. “They were. I’m not Marie Antoinette. I used to send out tons of samples of expensive, rare, vintage perfume. And I never expected anything in return, although people did reciprocate. But I was very kind. Genuinely so. It just wasn’t respected by actual hateful people. Being queer, unpleasant looking in some way, and less well-off doesn’t make you automatically pure hearted. That’s rubbish. Children are innocent. Animals are innocent. Poor adults with malignant narcissism can be serial killers.”

“But you don’t understand why they want to marry Lem via Jack! And you don’t understand why that $2 million house keeps them up at night. You don’t get their middle-class pain.” He says, in irritation. “The thing is, you were nice. And they tore down your appearance and covertly demanded praise for their appearance first. Not the other way around.” He seethes. “Americans in the 21st Century need to get a grip if they’re in the middle-class and have any sense of actual happiness.”

“But they hated me for being rich! Although, they never indicated that. They narcissistically attacked me in a way that suggested that. And I suppose I could have guessed at that by reading their rage. I have vaguely. But literally only ghosts have given me any loving or helpful counsel on this topic.” says Lacey. She sighs in genuine exasperation. “I can’t understand what isn’t explained. Ever. That I know nothing about. …But admitting that I know nothing about their perspective in an innocent way on my part makes them feel angrier and more threatened. So they can’t do it.” She prepares for their rage. “And I’m sure they’ll want to kill me for pointing that out. Because how dare I not read their bloody self-superior minds?” She grinds her teeth. “No! I want to know why they think as middle-class, white, literate Americans my haters feel so damn entitled to endless sympathy on my part?” She seethes. “I can literally wish my family was living in an entirely different existence than these people due to their gross narcissism and crass obtuseness about anyone’s suffering not like their own…or perfectly diagramed for them…and I’m still the bad guy because of my superficial privileges. Are they that vain, dull and shallow?”

“You’d be terrifying if you’d been loved and born in a family of lesser status in the right circumstances. You’d be leading a revolution somewhere if you thought it was rational.” he says.

“I’d not cut off peoples heads.” says Lacey. “Unless we were in armed combat.”

“I’ll have to sort it out with God.” says Lem.

“I don’t understand why they don’t get it. I’m not that shallow. Just because a person appreciates art and loves beauty doesn’t make them the Devil.” says Lacey. “Also, having a high IQ and common sense doesn’t make you a sociopath. It doesn’t justify your soul. But it doesn’t indicate an innately evil soul.”

“Lem meant well. But he tolerated the wrong evil. On his own part too. And he can certainly sort it out with God. We all can.” says Michael.

“Envy isn’t a redemptive thing.” says Lacey. “Lust isn’t either.” Silence. “Jealousy and longing are different.”

Silence.

“Jealousy can be motivated by redemptive forces. Longing can be motivated by redemptive forces. Envy is inherently violent. Lust is inherently violent.” She thinks. “Lust can contain longing but it’s not lust then.” She thinks more.

“Imagine feeling a dire need to use longing or craving to describe something you passionately want. And not feeling free to use colloquialisms like lust loosely because you don’t want to be misunderstood. And even though you know people will think you’re stuffy…you can’t care. Because your every thought, action, and word is being hyper-over-analyzed and viciously scrutinized? And I have a feeling you’ll get her rage at our lack of concern for her well-being as a human.” says a queer, white, middle-class American woman reading.