Coleman Hawkins plays.
“Out of Nowhere”
“So! I’ve been reading your blog. And it seems to me that almost no one is really reading it. Or if they are they aren’t communicating that with you.” the sweet gay man says. “And no, narcissists don’t often read deeply.”
“Perhaps.” says Lacey.
“Are you okay?” he asks.
“Not really.” says Lacey.
“Do you worry Michael is your soulmate?” asks another gay man.
“I would worry that too.” says the first gay man, crying now. “He seems to know you so much better.”
The other gay man smiles.
“He knows you’re not possessive. But you do want an unfathomable love.” says the second gay man. “Something that goes beyond anything and anyone else but God.”
They both think.
“I’m not opposed to you being with Lem, should he be a ghost.” says the first gay man. “But I don’t like how confusing he is to you too.” He thinks. “It feels like Michael understands more how scared you are.” Silence. “Even just with the supernatural in general.” he muses.
“Are these men out of time? Are they ghosts? Who and where even are they?!” asks a perfume hater.
“We might be ghosts?” the first man responds.
“They might be humans?” asks Lacey.
“But they’re characters in your story, regardless.” says a perfume hater.
“I think it’s scary to think Lem was straight.” says the first gay man.
“Well, and he might not have been!” says Lacey pragmatically.
“But if he was, it’s terrifying. Because it means our homosexuality isn’t based on the fulfillment of our stereotypes but our own beings, somehow.” he says. “It means a person has to look deeper at a man to figure out his soul. You can’t assume.” He breathes. “But it’s more than that. It’s this…intrinsic, untamable, spirit quality that’s owned by God. This impossible, terrifying quality. A thing most narcissists fear most. And we all have it. And no one can break it. Forever, at least.” He thinks. “Who are we really?!” He scoffs. “And how many men seem straight and are gay, of course? But…more…why do we struggle so to grasp this? Adults. Never kids. And in that group there’s an infinite number of possibilities. And when you find another adult who’s not trying to hurt you or anyone else…it’s fascinating to observe if it doesn’t involve you.”
“What do you mean by observe?” asks another gay man.
“Talk. Listen. Friends. Like I’m asking questions of her right now.” he responds.
“If they’re ghosts…I barely care!” the perfume community gay responds.
“Why?!” asks the first gay man.
“Sure! It’s fascinating to think Lem was that odd. Jack was using him to get off and keeping him dumb. Convincing him they were in love as much as anyone could be in love and stupid shit like that.” He shrugs and rolls his eyes. “But…that’s predictable. Jack was possibly heartless at times. A predator, even. But…that’s so obvious. Why wouldn’t he see all sex, even love toxically?” He thinks. “If Lem loves Lacey…I cease to care.”
The southern white woman laughs.
Another hater nods.
“No, she could be Michael Rockefeller’s twin flame and I don’t care either anymore.” says another hater. “It’s blasé. More predictable. Whatever.”
“Why are you reading her blog then?” asks a sociopath.
“Because I hate her! She reminds me of Caroline Calloway. Or I like to tell myself that.” she says.
“She’s just…she’s so toxic.” says a Christian hater. “I mean, it’s all heresy.”
“But that’s not a threat?” asks Lacey.
“You mean, like a threat on your safety and human rights?” asks a hater.
“Yeah.” says Lacey.
“Nope!” says the Christian hater.
“I don’t-no.” says a female hater. “I mean, I’m curious to see how much the Illuminati wants to read my mind. Or my iPhone? Or my computer? Or whoever it is listening to my thoughts.”
“Like ghosts? Or God?” asks Lem.
“None of you exist!” she protests.
“Do you?” asks a ghost.
“How are you written so well into her blog? Where are you?” asks another ghost. “Are you here it there?”
“I don’t think it’s very funny.” says a female ghost.
“You’re right.” says Louis to his sister.
“Can I be honest?” she asks Lacey.
“Floris English Violets?”
“I think L’Heure Bleue is best.”
“It’s so sugary though.”
“What about Après L’Ondee?”
She smells Floris English Violets.
“Okay. But you’ll be wearing L’Heure Bleue if you spend eternity with my brother.”
“He’ll make you enjoy smelling sweet for him.”
“I like the violets.” says Lem.
“What about you Michael?” asks Louis.
“I wouldn’t want her to wear perfume for health reasons. But if she did, spice. I like spice. Like Cinnabar or L’Elephant. Or Opium.”
“So! Are all living men off the table? In reality. If you have a male best friend. And money. And a good name. And…love. God must be really annoyed with us in your life.” says a Christian man. He thinks. “If you’re talking to ghosts. If. But if it’s true-“. He laughs. “How easy is it to compete with Lem or Michael or Louis?” He thinks. “Lem was a very daring man. Too daring! …And Michael was a gorgeous soul. And Louis…is rare.”
“What do you think of Amethyst? That lady who tried to marry a ghost?” asks a perfume hater.
“Wasn’t it a sailor or something?” asks Lacey.
“Yes!” says Lem.
“I think she was either lying, or if she was telling the truth she may have been talking to demons. Or she wasn’t. Didn’t she claim to have have slept with 20 dead men?” asks Lacey.
“Yes.” says a hater.
“Why wouldn’t that man get hurt if she was cheating on him? Didn’t she cheat on her boyfriend with these ghosts?” says Lacey.
“So you think the ghost ghosted her because she was a toxic girlfriend?” asks a perfume collector.
“Well, she was lying, insane, talking to demons at least sometimes or she was given grace and used it very foolishly.” says Lacey.
“And she hurt that man?” asks a woman.