Lacey

“Why would you want to always be right?” asks Lacey.

“People rarely truly let you be right.” says Lem.

“And I grew a taste for it.” says Lacey in regard to being genuinely wrong.

Hitler laughs.

“Do you think you’re prissy?” asks Lem.

“No. But I wouldn’t care that much if at all. Being prissy isn’t an insult to me.” she says. “It’s like telling a drag queen that they’re wearing too much makeup.”

“You have this…gangster-like, upper-class, fussy aesthetic?” asks an actor.

Lacey laughs. “Yes.”

“But not like Cruel Intentions. Like Louis with a tank.” he laughs. “And while he genuinely worries about the eternal state of your soul, his Earthly contention is over how long you let his tea steep.”

“Yes!” says Lacey.

“He cares! He really does. …But what aggravates him is the stuff that people truly get obviously and unequivocally wrong.” he says.

“Yes!” says Lacey.

Silence.

“And you’re extremely careful to make sure you’re right first.” he says.

“Yes. Forgive me as I indulge myself: I’m not self-deluded enough to be Post-Modern. I refuse to betray myself that much.” says Lacey.

“So you go around finding flaws…everywhere?!” he asks.

“And seeing real beauty, thank God. But yes. Constantly. Always.” says Lacey.

“So you’re more fascinated by starting a kingdom than finding utopia?” he asks.

“Yes! Perfecting a Godly kingdom on Earth until death.” says Lacey.

“Sounds like something she’d say.” says a Gen Z hater.

“Except that’s her saying it!” says the man.

“How the Hell am I supposed to compete with that shit?” she asks, seriously.

“Over what?” he asks.

“Over dominance of the universe, bitch!” she says.

“Where are you from?” he asks.

“America!” she says with pride.

A middle-aged straight man shakes his ass to appease the woman.

“Okay. Well… Do you think you’re fighting with Lacey or the men she loves and submits to?” the man not shaking asks.

“But she’s…she’s a prostitute?!” she asks.

“No. I think you’ve got some things confused.” he says.

“She submits as her own separate entity.” he says with a smile.

“So is she submitting for reasons of efficiency?” she asks.

“Partially. But it’s also sublimely beautiful.“ says Lacey.

“Whatever!” says the woman.

“I don’t get why you guys couldn’t just let her be fussy and particular about perfume. You really don’t understand masculinity to that degree?” he asks. “So what if she was uppity and rich? And had an old-money vibe. So what!”

“But she had too much beauty too.” says a woman.

“And smarts.” says a man.

“And what? It reminded you all that you’re the truly pretentious ones?” asks the man.

“Yes!” says a male hater.

“And then what? None of you can make love to her?” asks the man.

“Love?” asks a lesbian. “Yes.”

He laughs. “But if there’s an afterlife…that’s possibly because there are actual men in love with her already.”

Silence.

“You can’t see them. But they may be in your living-room right this second.” he suggests.

Silence.

“We tried to explain.” says the Native American woman.

“But we had the Bible.” says Ben Franklin.

“Yes.” says Native American woman.

“Well! I’m above such things! I’m not going to engage in taking this seriously. If I do I’ll be tempted to become a backward, bigoted, misogynistic dirtbag. And I want to be more elite than that!” says the white, male, cis, straight, hater from the American upper-middle class.

“So you can’t fathom how the Bible could be correct? In an old-fashioned way?” asks a Muslim man.

“Well, maybe in a way. But I’m Protestant and Post-Modern.” he says.

“Oh! You’re one of the smart ones?” he asks.

“Anyway, I’d like to go have my coffee and clean my house.” says Lacey.

“Oh yes.” says the Muslim. “Of course.”

“You can’t yet!” commands a younger Muslim man.

“Why not?” asks Lacey.

The older Muslim man smiles and cries.

Lacey smiles.

“You’re operating on behalf of Heaven?” he asks.

“That’s the idea, I think.” says Lacey.

“Then it’s submission to God. Not the Devil.” he says.

“Yes. And I don’t think white women understand what that means anymore.” says Lacey.

“No. He knows what you mean.” says Louis. “It’s about weakness.”

“Would God allow you to throw furniture at someone?” asks a Christian man.

Lem smiles.

“He might allow us to start a nuclear war.” says Joe Jr..

So Purgatory could be like a Wes Anderson film?” asks an actress.

“A very comedic one, maybe?” wonders Lacey.

Mary laughs.

“Or we could throw cars off of bridges?” says Michael.

Silence.

“Of course, she’d have to spend eternity with us. Actually us as men in Heaven. Not the cuter version of us played by good-looking British actors.” says Michael.

“That’s not a problem.” says Lacey.

“So should you be actual men…ghosts are being enabled by God to love living women?” asks the Christian man.

“It may not be a new phenomenon.” says Lacey. “But it may be a terrible sign none-the-less.”

“So we’re really fighting with the entire Rockefeller family, the oil industry, possibly OPEC, the British Aristocracy, the Billings family, the Hill clan, and the Roosevelts by attacking you? But they’re all mostly dead?” asks the Christian man.

“Yes. Possibly.” says Louis. “Or just me.” He thinks. “And am I more dangerous dead or alive? Is she more dangerous dead or alive?”

“That’s why I can’t figure out why they couldn’t just let her be…a cantankerous intellectual. Why couldn’t they just be quiet? You know? Hate her in some logical, sensible way. Like…be careful not to rub it in her face, but start a little clique and leave her out. You know? A La Petite Robe Noire clique.” asks the man from before.

“Because they wanted her actual power. Sexual. Physical. Etc.” says a Gen X actress.

“Why are these perfume collectors so obsessed with power?!” the man asks.

A popular American man smiles. “They must subconsciously think she’s why FDR never passed his new Bill of Rights.”

“Is she?” the loudest hater asks.

“No!” says Tom.

“Interesting that you feel the need to ask that though.” says a female Millennial professor.

“She is connected to people who ruined it or reasoned against it.” says Joe.

“But that wasn’t one of us.” says Louis.

“And it certainly wasn’t me either.” says Tom.

“But weren’t you all Republicans?” asks a black perfume collector.

“To some degree.” says Louis. “But it’s not that simple.”

“So we can’t pin our rage on her?” asks the loudest hater.

“No!” says Lee. “You cannot.” She rolls her eyes. “It’s going to be very hard for you all in the perfume community to accept that though. Isn’t it?“

Silence.

“Because they believe the fallacy of a universally evil old-guard.” says Lacey. “Really just an evil old-money period. Not genuine noblesse oblige.”

“No. Cancel culture has you all cast as slave-owning idiots.” says a white Gen Xer.

“That’s not accurate.” says Lacey. “It’s easier to cancel people who threaten you instead of dealing with reality.”

“The Boomers lied.” says a Gen Xer.

“So there’s no way in?” asks a Hindu of Louis.

“In between one of us and Lacey?” he asks.

“Yes.” asks a demon used by a Liberal elite in the Illuminati.

“Not without God’s intervention.” says Michael.

“You saw how lonely she was and instead of being kind you attacked like a narcissist.” says a Boomer to a Liberal elite.

“It just hurt to see her being better than me. I knew her tastes were genuine. But there’s no way to conquer someone like that. And unlike her perfume haters I actually genuinely wanted to destroy her.” the Illuminati hater says.

“Why? Why did you want to destroy her?” asks a Boomer.

“Because I can’t account for it. And I hate being wrong.” he says.

“You can’t account for what?” the Boomer asks.

“Someone who’s like her socio-economically who’s in the Midwest.” he says.

“So you couldn’t understand who she was? Or you can’t understand social class in general and you’re a fraud who does what he’s told? You have lines and ghost writers. And all you really excel at is sleeping with the right people, working hard, and doing well with numbers and grammar?” the Boomer asks. “You’re a privileged work-horse. Not an intellectual leader.” He thinks. “You have no good original ideas.”

“How much is he even worth?” asks a Gen X in Lacey’s family.

“Four million?” says Louis. “Dollars.”

“That’s unfortunate.” says a Tik Tok star.

“Wait. Lacey has ten cents worth of oil?!” asks a hater, suddenly realizing this. She’s being serious.

“This is why you can’t trust these people!” yells a Manhattan woman at the Illuminati hater. She sighs. “I believe in a livable wage. I’m a loving person. But sometimes poor people are poor becatsexrhryare stupid.” She seethes. “And you can’t use your idiot army to run the world to bring about some delusional utopia where you imagine they’d crown you king.”

“He thinks he’s better than them and so do his friends. Just because they’re on television, they have a few million Dollars and they went to an Ivy League school.” says Lacey.

“And they have to fuck literal rats on the weekends in the Hamptons.” says another Illuminati member.

Lacey laughs.

“Okay. That is pathetic.” says a land-rich Tik Tok star. Empathetically.

“If the Illuminati was metaphorically the entire business world…they’d be the evil Michael Scott crowd.” says an Asian.

“Who is Lacey then?” asks the Tik Tokker.

“A religious zealot who occasionally guest stars during the Robert California era.” an actor says. “He is fascinated by her. And it’s unclear why. Is it possible that they’re friends? Or is he trying to use her spirituality to conjure entities? Or is he searching for the meaning of existence? And what’s more, is she a Christian? A Catholic? Both? A New-Age guru? We never know. She just emerges one day and starts preaching to the office while burning incense and offering good London-recipe curry.”

“Is she in the business world?” asks a Tik Tokker.

“So, the story goes that Michael accidentally set her house on fire. But it wasn’t even her house. It was like her uncle’s house. And now her whole family is blaming her. And she has no where to live. And so Robert is letting her sleep at the office.” says a woman impersonating Pam.

“I don’t care. In the best way, hopefully.” says Lacey.

“What kind of house was it?” asks a ghost.

“A mansion from the 1800’s. He lit it on fire because she told him to get off her property and he found that offensive since he was just trying to clip a few rose buds from her rose garden.” says a dead Mary.

“So he pillaged her garden? And thought it wouldn’t be a problem?” asks the loudest perfume hater.

Silence.

“Doesn’t he get that that house is a sign not to be a nuisance and a thief?” asks the perfume hater.

“What? It’s like a crack house in Detroit!” he says.

“No. The entire Midwest isn’t an extension of Flint outside of Chicago.” the perfume hater clarifies.

“Oh. You can’t really be that vain and ignorant.” says the woman in Manhattan to the Illuminati hater.

“The Hill family is poor now. And the Pillsbury’s moved.” he says.

“That’s right bitch!” says a relatively new money wife in LA to him.

He brims with confidence. He grins.

“How did she make it with me?” asks Michael.

“What I’m saying is inaccurate.” the Illuminati hater says without believing it.

“Look. Do we need her family’s oil?” asks a political figure.

“Are you the people who chose Biden?!” asks a foreign perfume hater.

“Not me! Not really.” says the political figure.

“No. I mean the poor millionaire in the Illuminati.” she clarifies.

“Yes.”

“Yes, that’s his crowd.”

“I’m not that kind of Liberal.” says the loudest perfume hater.

“Yes! You are. You voted for Biden! The statistics prove it. Don’t lie. You didn’t vote for Trump.” says the Illuminati hater.

“Out of desperation. Not because I wanted to.” she says.

“So what!” he yells.

“Oh my gosh. You really don’t get it. You think the whole world revolves around you. You just don’t get it.”

“At least I’m worth four million. How much are you worth?” he asks.

“For now! For now you’re worth that much. But you can’t live in New York City for the rest of your life on $4 million. Who enabled you?

“My parents?”

“Yeah right! I bet some slum owner thinks you’re pretty. Or you found the right dirt. Or you eat shit for breakfast every morning and are too dumb to put up a fight.”

“Who would you like to have voted for?” asks the woman in Manhattan of the loudest perfume hater.

She sighs. “I dunno.” She laughs. “Someone like Bernie Sanders but the real version of him. Not a cheap stooge. An actual outsider. Who’s legit. Not an actor.”

“Like an intellectual? From some noblesse oblige background?” asks the popular American.

“If they could actually lead us without being a despot, yes.”

“We’d become a lot more Liberal.”

“Not necessarily.” protests Lacey.

“So then why can’t you all figure out how to do your jobs and get that done? Be elite or get off the pot.” says the loudest perfume hater.

“Poor Biden.” says Lacey with genuine empathy.

Someone laughs empathetically.