Heaven

I’ve started watching a few episodes here and there of “The Crown.”

…I think I identify with both Diana and the Royal Family.

“And twice tonight I’ve experienced supernatural occurrences.” says Lacey.

“So then what?” asks a ghost.

“Christians often want to make Heaven either absolutely nothing today or a constant birthday party for Jesus. But not like an adult birthday party. They turn Jesus into a five year old along with themselves. No fun for adults. Just cake, ice cream, Disney movies and shallow chitchat.” says Lacey. She closes her eyes and feels like weeping but doesn’t. “It feels as though they’re taking my soul away from me when they go on and on like that.”

A Satanist giggles.

“Taking your soul away from you?” asks a 80* man, with genuine curiosity.

“Lacey likes making love. And I don’t blame her.” says the Satanist empathetically.

“It’s pathetic when a Satanist sounds more Godly than most Christians I’ve been hearing lately.” says Lacey.

The Satanist shrugs.

“Are you a Satanist!?” asks a Christian.

“No. I’m a Christian. But if your Heaven is pedophilic bullshit I’m not going. Sorry.” says Lacey. “Who is your God anyway? Jests or Jesus?” She looks at them. “God or Mr. Giggles and company?”

“You think our God seems like an immature moron?” asks asks a Christian.

“Yes. He seems like a fool.” she says. “Or an incredibly dull and sexless jerk.”

Silence.

“Don’t you get it?! Some people are waiting to die!” she says. She seethes. “Some people really did plan their retirement for fun while they were a teenager. …I’m literally one of them.”

“Yeah right!” says a hater.

“Seriously?!” asks someone else.

“Yes! Seriously!” Lacey says. “It was something to look forward to.”

“So life is often boring to you? Or what?” asks someone.

The Satanist laughs.

“It’s excruciatingly painful.” she says. “But I endure. I always have. I don’t whine. I don’t fall apart unless I physically or mentally can’t help myself. I toughen-up. Beautifully. And I endure. What fantasy are you living in?!” she asks, practically spitting her words.

“One where people live happy middle-class, white, American lives.” says the Satanist. “Everyone is white to these people.” He scoffs. “They don’t see color Lacey.”

“What about Michael?” asks a so-called Christian.

“You just don’t understand how-You don’t get the intimate nature of the relationship between-It’s-It’s not sex!” says a Christian.

“No. It’s a real metaphor. Not a pretend one. A actual metaphor.” she says. “Look it up in the dictionary like a old lady from the past.”

Silence.

“And Michael is dead. So is Lem…” says Lacey.

“Hey! Lacey!” says a Catholic. “Psst!”

She smiles.

“Do you think we’re Satanists?” the Catholic asks.

“No. I think you’d say some Satanists aren’t Satanists.” she says. “They just don’t know how glorious God is.”

Silence.

“The prospect of actual Hell and actual Heaven is overwhelming. Too rich for today’s stomach.” she says.

The Satanist agrees. Possibly.

“Do you feel as though we’re bullying God?” asks a Christian.

The Satanist laughs.

“Oh yes! Do you hate the real God of the universe, think He’s your buddy or is He you?” she asks.

“None of those.” they say.

“Then why are you limiting Heaven to nothing much?” she wonders.

“Well, first of all, I don’t think Heaven will be like that…”

“Like what?”

“Like Hell.” they say.

“But that’s all I’ve heard from you.” She thinks. “It’s just a dull, horrible place.”

“You think Jesus is dull?” asks a Christian.

“No. But He’s the Son of God.” she says.

“What does that mean to you?” asks the Christian.

“Happiness for a human.” says Lacey.

“So you don’t think we’ll just sit around in awe of Jesus?” asks a Christian.

“Does He find us fascinating? Did He create us with our own minds? Why would God do that if we virtually cease to exist after death?” she asks.

“I’m sure you’re going to Heaven!” says a Christian.

“How do you know?!” asks Lacey. “God knows. And it’s terrifying.” She blinks. “My best friends, if you can call them that, are Satanists by identification. But they’re more like the Christianity I recall from my youth. Sadly. I’m not sure what you even are sometimes. But I respect that you still call yourself a Christian.” she says.

“You think we’re that morally in error or theologically? Or what?” a Christian asks.

“Theologically.”

“Is this a Liberal vs. Conservative thing or something more insidious?” asks an Episcopalian.

“Something more insidious.” says Lacey. “Oftentimes it manifests in the Liberal theology but not always.”

“What then?” asks a Lesbian.

“It’s more like a secret hatred for actual Christianity.” she says.

“Like a narcissistic hatred?”

“Yes! Like a bourgeois, self-focused, heartlessness.” Lacey responds.

The Lesbian laughs.

“Do you think they’re Christians anymore or not? Honestly.” asks the Lesbian laughs.

Silence.

“Why are you capitalizing lesbian?” she asks.

“I suspect it’s someone’s idea of a religious joke.” says Lacey.

“It’s not a religion though.” says the lesbian. “Of course.” She smiles. “I get the social critique though. I really do.”

“Listening to what they say, I suspect they’re still Christians. But they seem…so far removed from what Christianity has been.” says Lacey. “And it isn’t about being Charismatic. That’s not what concerns me.”

The Satanist nods.

“It’s more about the way they sexualize Christ and then make the rest of Christianity so…atheistic or agnostic at best.” she says. “It was once the…joy of Heaven. Now all I hear about it what a drab, sad, ugly place it is. Or how Jesus is our lover. Or how one should focus on life now.” says Lacey.

“That is ugly.” says a woman.

“It is.”

“Maybe they aren’t Christians.” says the lesbian.

“I really think one or two of them might be though. …I get that sense. It’s just that…they’re so blind.” says Lacey.

A woman nods.

So does a black man.

“Like…we all know Diana died with a boyfriend. But…was it everything she’d hoped for? Or not? And if not, didn’t she deserve better?” asks the black man.

“Love is essential. And yes. She deserved some period of happiness and peace in life. We all are meant to be loved.” says Lacey.

“But that’s it! That’s all the humanity she got!” he says sarcastically. “And then when she died she went to Hell or she joined one eternal childish party for a God who doesn’t want children but fans and followers.”

“I just want to exorcise those demons out of her life! So badly!” says a Charismatic Christian.

“What if they’re ghosts? Not demons. And what if God put them there?” asks a ghost.

“Then I can’t exorcise them out?” says the Christian.

“But be careful, sweetie. If you’re exorcising demons that could be dangerous too. Also, if they’re ghosts…why do you need to banish them? Ever wonder why you want them to leave?” a woman asks.

“Do you think we’re being controlled or manipulated by demons?” asks the Christian of Lacey.

“Oh goodness yes! Very much so.” says Lacey. “If you feel hatred for me on some personal level…why couldn’t you be used to attack me? Even as a Christian.”

“You seriously spent your adolescence planning your retirement!?” asks a Christian. “For fun?!”

“Yes.” says Lacey. “It’s relaxing to think about at that age. It’s like organizing to calm yourself.”

“Like where does the money theoretically go?” asks a housewife.

“Yes. Or where should it go.” says Lacey.

Silence.

“I’m not great at it. But it’s fun to think about.” says Lacey.

Silence.

“Why?” asks an anti-Semitic person.

“How do you eat?” asks Lacey. “Or do you just go in the sewer and lick shit?”

“I eat!” says the man.

“How?” she asks.

“I pick up bread and eat it.”

“Is that all you eat?” asks Lacey.

“No. I eat meat sometimes.” he says.

“And how do you pay for it?” she asks.

His breathing quickens. He thinks.

“I use money.”

“Exactly!!! And when you’re really hungry isn’t it fun to have money to buy meat?” She sighs. “It’s satisfying. It’s so satisfying to have money when you’re hungry.”

He cries.

She breathes deeply.

“Except, why do you have to do that for fun?!” he asks.

She blinks. Thinks. “Because I was miserably lonely. And rejected.” She thinks. “And that’s the best idea I had to entertain myself.” She thinks. “When people were snubbing me it was easy to pull out a book and read it. They’d leave me alone then too.”

“And stop bullying you?” asks another white supremacist.

“Yes.” says Lacey.

“But why a book about money?” he asks.

“Because my parents who raised me were embarrassed by how their financial life had turned out. And yet, I also grew-up around people who were financially shrewd in my family. …And that combination led me to a sort of fascination with it.” she says. “Possibly.”

He thinks. “Did you want to be like the people in your family?”

“I wanted to take responsibility for myself. And follow their better example, yes.“ says Lacey.

“But your parents are well-off? And careful with their money?” he asks.

“Yes. But at the time they hadn’t inherited anything yet. And they weren’t well-off.”

He looks sick. “So, you were going to prevent yourself from financially wasting your 20’s and 30’s?” he asks.

“Exactly!!! I didn’t want to waste any time.”

He smiles. “Do you think maybe you were already haunted at that point?”

“Possibly.” she says. “It was oddly happy.”

He thinks. “So it was like…blissful?” he laughs.

“Yes. It felt like I was-“

“What?!”

“It felt hopeful.”

He smiles. “Like hopeful how?”

“Not hopeful as in, ‘Someday I’ll get rich!’ But hopeful as in peace. More like I was loved by God.“

“Like you were on a date?”

She looks at him. “Like it had the same feeling?”

“The best moments of my days dating my ex-husband? Yes. And it’s eerie now that you mention it.”

He looks sad.

“I’m sorry I was so crass earlier.” she says.

“That’s okay.“ he says.

“They’re not dead. They’re dead.” says a Catholic.

“That’s a brilliant way to put it.” says Lacey. “And yet let’s trust God can save us, despite our stupidity.”

“By the way, how old were you when you did this retirement planning?” asks someone.

“I wasn’t as young as I first said. I was 20.” says Lacey.