Eleanor Rigby

“Today Michael explained something to me.” says Lacey.

Silence.

“But it does increasingly seem like I’m with Lem. Mostly.” she says.

“What did I say?” asked Michael.

“You explained why I was rejected by men.” says Lacey.

“Yes.” he says, smiling.

“So, what happened?” asks Lem.

“It’s like if I was to have been born in 1983. As myself. And I got the idea to be the perfect boyfriend from listening to what women said growing-up. So I tried to be every girl’s genuine friend first.” says Michael. “Asked to go shopping. To watch movies. To confide our biggest fears. All to get close. To ask them to date me.”

“Why did you do that?!” asks a Millennial of Lacey.

“I really was trying to do what was good and best.” says Lacey.

“So it’s the emotional equivalent of what Michael just described?” asks a trans woman. She laughs at first. But then realizes Lacey is serious. Her face falls serious…

“Every fricking time?!” she asks.

Someone laughs.

“But you’re such a Republican.” says a lesbian, confused.

“Well. From the 1950’s.” says the trans woman. “Or earlier.” She thinks. She cries. “No, you were really trying.”

“Yeah, I was.” says Lacey.

“Oh my gosh, you are so confused!” she says. She takes a deep breath. Closes her eyes. Thinks.

“What’s she supposed to do now though?!” asks Michael.

“I can see why God would let you talk to ghosts.” she says. She smiles. She tries not to cry, “Nobody has tried to or been able to help you understand what happened until today?!”

She looks at Lacey. They both decide not to cry.

“No! They don’t want that.” she says. “And it’s pathetic that in my few years of being a woman I’ve had more honest guidance than you’ve ever had in almost 40 years of being a woman.”

Silence.

“You know, it’s not…easy being a woman.” she says. “I mean I’d like to say that men get lied to just as much but I wonder. Do they?”

“So are you guys going to start saying that trans women are more female than I am? If they’re straight?” asks a lesbian.

“They might?!” says a gay man. He shrugs.

“Why do you guys not want her to know?” she asks. “How to be happy. Because you do the same thing to me now.”

“Because they’re threatened!” says an older trans woman.

“By what?” asks Lacey.

“Could you have married Michael and made him happy if you’d been born cis?” the older trans woman asks.

“Well, not me specifically or Lem but I see your point.” says Michael.

“What is it about us as people Michael?!” she asks.

“You’re not faking your intensity.” says Liz.

Silence.

“Or your…silliness. Or your intelligence. And it’s that combination.” she says.

The older trans woman opens her eyes wide.

“So we aren’t Marilyn or Jackie. We’re Elizabeth Taylor.” says the younger trans woman.

“As far as types go.” says Michael.

“And nobody is ever one type. Not fully.” says Joe. “But there are patterns and commonalities. Sometimes only vaguely.”

“I see it.” says the older trans woman.

“Really?!” says the younger trans woman.

She nods and smiles.

“You really do seek truth.” says the younger trans woman to Lacey.

“Yes. I’m very genuinely open-minded. But that requires an enormous amount of trust in God, and a certain God-worshiping fear of Hell.”

“I see what you mean.” she says. She laughs and shakes her head. “I don’t think your sweet idealism worked.”

“I think it’s about money. If you get powerful they’re afraid you’ll steal all the diamonds in the world.” says the older trans woman.

“That’s so logical. It sounds too good to be true. But I’ll investigate that idea.” Lacey says.

“If this is true, they played far too dirty with the wrong gal.” says the younger trans woman.

“No! It’s true. Certain people are only happy with people like us!” says the older trans woman.

“What’s the male equivalent of Elizabeth Taylor?” asks the older trans woman.

“An enigmatic, handsome, terrible man.” says Elizabeth Taylor.

“She doesn’t mean truly terrible. She means the opposite of terrible. Unless you’re evil.” says Lacey.

“A scary man.” says a man.

“Not all that scary if you already fear God.” says Lacey.

“Were you bored?” asks Liz of Lacey.

“Yes. Extremely.” says Lacey.

“Okay! I can see Lem falling for a sweeter, more old-money-WASP version of Elizabeth Taylor. And of course I mean that if he was bisexual or straight.” says a gay man. He sighs. “Actually, she was probably who he was looking for.” He thinks. “Not her specifically but that…type. And yeah, I know. Type is an icky thing.”

“Was Queen Elizabeth like that?!” asks a gay man.

“Somewhat. She was so much more glamorous than we recognized in the latter 20th Century.” says Lacey.

“Okay! So what perfume do you wear?!” asks a gay man. “Because when I think about it, she made a lot of perfumes that remind me of things you too seem to actually wear.”

“Well, and her fascination with men, perfume, and gemstones in general.” says another gay man.

“Probably because Lacey is tinier. And a WASP mostly, and she once planned to enter politics.” says an Episcopalian.

“She’s too horsey?” asks a horrified gay man. He rolls his eyes. “God does have a sense of humor.”

“She’s too white.” says the Episcopalian. “And she’s right. We have very rigid notions about certain things.” He looks. “And we let evil go. Because it’s fun to pretend things are okay when they’re not? Or because people are almost subhuman now?”

“I think people don’t want to admit how bad things are?” says a trans woman.

“Let’s hope so.” says Lacey.

“No, I can why one might wonder if pedophiles are subhuman.” says the trans woman. “I wouldn’t let my kids play with a venomous snake either.” She thinks. “Not that I would seek them out to murder them. But I wouldn’t let children go near them. And I wouldn’t want to hang out much either.” She shrugs.

“We do tolerate too much real evil.” says the older trans woman.

“Why did you think Elizabeth Taylor would fall in love with you?” asks a straight guy of the Illuminati hater.

He thinks. “She wouldn’t be after my money. Would she?” he says.

“No! Who knows what she’s after.“ says Liz. “Right?”

“I didn’t go in for the Earth enough.” the Illuminati hater says.

A gay man laughs. “That’s-that’s… No. I highly doubt you were her type. I’m sure she loved your complexity. Should it be real. But no. I’m sorry you keep lying. Should you not be just a demon set on torturing her until she dies and goes to Heaven.”

“I’m a lie. And she fell for the lie.” he says.

“Interesting. And if you were a dead man would she have been as confused?” asks the gay man.

“Doubtful!” he says.