Ownership

Artists…always own their art. Very intelligent minds will disagree. But art is alive…not dead. The universe isn’t local.

When oil protesters throw tomato soup on art…they’re attacking Van Gogh not the wealthy scumbags they only imagine care about the art.

And why do we still use oil?

Two reasons. First, it’s easy. Second, people are disillusioned, weak and lazy these days.

Postmodernism was…inventive. But foolish. *smile* Wasn’t it?

I own my art. I…own…my…art.

I let you read it. You get to enjoy it. It’s not your art.

Don’t ever fight me on it. I’ve had enough stolen from me already. You’ll regret it.

“But art has to be interpreted!” protests an actress.

“So what! I’ll interpret my art.” says Lacey.

“But then how can we ever determine what the Bible means? We didn’t write it.” says a Christian.

“That’s why the Catholic Church is the Catholic Church. And why we argue as Christians so passionately. We all think we’re inspired by God.” says Lacey. “Through the Holy Spirit.”

“Then why can’t someone say, ‘I didn’t mean that!’ and take total ownership of their words?” asks an intellectual.

“They bloody well can! Why don’t they?!” asks Lacey.

“Maybe they have?” asks a hater.

“Not enough for me to take them seriously, obviously. I still have to merely interpret. They, if they have a functional sense of self, should know.” says Lacey. “A narcissist might not know. But that’s not an intellectual experience but a psychological dysfunction.”

“Actually, that’s true. We are responsible for our words. Especially when we meant them, so to speak.” says Scott.

Hemingway laughs.

“And don’t I bloody well know that!?” says Ginevra King.

“Don’t argue with someone like Scott or Lacey about ownership.” says Hemingway.

“Why?” asks an intellectual block woman.

“That’s hardly untrue!” says Lacey’s father.

“They don’t mince words. They say exactly what they mean. It’s their…soul.” says Hemingway.

“So you’d be wiser to take up an argument about what they mean with God?” says an intellectual man.

“Unless you’re their lover.” says Michael. He pauses. “Did you ever make love to Lacey? Or did you merely leave her to interpret what you meant?”

“What do you mean?” asks a hater.

“When you truly make love to a woman she has no doubt about what you feel for her. And that’s why most men today never do. They just try to fuck.” says Michael. “It’s terrifying to be so…procreative.” He thinks. “It’s terrifying to mean something that fervently that you can’t help but be understood.”

Louis agrees. “I got hurt more than once.”

“Because we have spirits?” asks the intellectual man.

“Exactly.” says Michael.

“Michael, how does one make love to a woman?” asks the Christian intellectual.

“You love her. More than you could love anyone else unless God explains otherwise.” says Michael. “And of course it’s more complicated than that. But that’s the premise.”

“You may not understand what art is well enough to preach so absolutely about it.” Lem says to the Christian intellectual. “Did you create art?”

“Was that be something that would annoy you about someone?” asks a dead queen of Lacey.

“Yes! That would be a death sentence in a relationship potentially for me. I don’t like having things stolen from me on an intellectual level even. It’s evil.” she says.

“So you don’t believe in an empirical author?” asks a postmodernist.

“No! The meaning might get lost in time, but that doesn’t mean it never did or doesn’t exist.” she objects.

“So you don’t believe in an empirical author?” asks the post modernist with bourgeois, snobby, insecure discontent.

“No. Are you deaf dear?” asks Lacey. “Can I interpret you as a retard who’s also deaf?” Lacey wonders. “Do I even need your permission? And if you’re not dead can I kill you?”

“I think you could.” says another woman. “It’s more a question of should you.”

“No! It’s not.” says Lacey.

“Why?” asks a ghost from the 1700’s.

“Because if I do it might be wrong. And I can’t do something wrong.” says Lacey.

“No! You still have free will.” says a Catholic.

“Yes! But that’s precisely it. According to my free will I don’t want to sin.” says Lacey.

“Who determines what is sin?” asks the Catholic.

“God.” says Lacey.

“But you still could physically kill her!” protests an atheist who slightly believes in an afterlife based on science.

“Yes! But I don’t want to. It would be a violation of my free will.” She thinks. “Unless it’s in self-defense.”

“Self-defense is a tricky subject!” objects a pseudo-intellectual trying desperately to one-up Lacey.

“I don’t hate you! Really!” says the postmodernist knowing Lacey means her no harm. “You think like a vicious yet moral lawyer or a free-spirited author.”

“She can call herself an author!” says Scott.

“But she hasn’t published any books.” says a Christian intellectual.

“She’s written them though. She might not trust people like you enough to publish them. People like you only want to destroy her. Right? Ou non?” says Scott.

“You don’t publish because you think someone is going to plagiarize you?” asks Zelda.

“Yes! People have a venomous desire to steal things from me, apparently.” says Lacey.

“Have you had people do similar things like that with your art before?” asks Zelda.

“Yes! That’s what the perfume community did. They stole a lot of intellectual property from me. But Instagram has no legal restrictions to counter their actions.” says Lacey.

“But these aren’t real ghosts! It’s slander! You’re an idiot!” says a bourgeois hater.

“First of all, you can’t prove that these aren’t real ghosts. Secondly, it’s understood since they’re technically ghosts that they might not exist at all. Thirdly, it’s all fictional anyway. I’m a character on a blog.” says Lacey.

“But you’re describing your actual life?” protests a female pseudo intellectual.

“Yes! Sometimes fiction is very close to objective truth.” says Lacey. “It might even affect you to hear it the way hearing substantiated fact would. But it’s still merely fiction if I the author label as such.” she says.

“But you don’t know enough legally to argue a case about such things in court!” says Bobby Kennedy Sr. to Lacey.

“You’re right! I’d have to hire someone to represent me. But who would be my attacker?” she asks.

“My family for saying Jack wasn’t likely to be straight if you’re in love with Lem as a ghost.” he says. “And Lem has explained his orientation to you from the afterlife.”

“True. I’m not likely to sue myself.” she decides. “Or I suppose his family might sue me for claiming he might’ve been straight and molested. Or…they might sue me for claiming fictionally that Michael is in love with me.”

“Michael who?” he asks.

“Exactly. There are many men named Michael who I could be referring to.” she says.

“Many.” he responds.

“But you meant one in particular.” says a Michael Rockefeller.

“Okay. So…you just think postmodernism is dumb.” says the postmodernist. “Dumb as in wrong.” She thinks. “Wrong as in incorrect.” She laughs. “Incorrect as in in error.”

“Yes! And if people don’t play by the rules to speak…because they get around it by basing their lives on an odd sense of reality…I’ll write to reflect that. In protest.” She thinks. “Or to show my sympathy with their pain. Or both.”

“So you just didn’t like that professor because you thought he was what?” asks a dead queen.

“I thought he wanted to be rich and drive a Ferrari, but had made a life that didn’t allow him to do that. If he was as genuinely intelligent as he seemed…he chose to be financially middle-class, however unsatisfactory he now finds it.” She thinks. “And I just don’t fit into that.”

“Fit into what?” asks Elliott.

“I don’t fit into that sense of financial class dissatisfaction.” she says.

“How so?” asks Elliott.

“I don’t understand it.” she says.

“You truly don’t understand it?” asks the loudest perfume hater.

“I doubt it.” says Lacey.

“Huh.” says another perfume hater.

“So you really have very intentionally chosen your financial state.” says the loudest hater. “At least class-wise.”

“I’ve found myself about where I either expected to be or wanted to be.” says Lacey.

“Expected to be?!” asks a perfume hater.

“Yes! Before I realized we were from a monied family at all I was taught to think of myself as a peasant by my father. And my current life was what I dreamt of having.” Lacey says.

“I think that’s some possible proof that the father who raised you cared about you in a real way at least a little.” says a hater.

“He may have. He’s the only one other than God who would be able to truly know.” she says.

“Because he is the only one living his life?” asks the Christian professor. “You really just think I’m a bourgeois narcissist?”

“Are you?” asks Lacey.

“A pseudo-intellectual too.“ he says.

“Are you?” she asks.

“No.” he says.

“You moved on pretty quickly though. And I suspect you had other options the whole time… It’s not that I’m jealous. It’s that I don’t like you trying to make me jealous. Or being passive aggressively pursued.” she says.

“You think I’ve tried to make you jealous?” he asks.

“Yes! Very much so. But that’s okay. It’s just that it never works. I don’t get jealous.” she says.

“True!” says Michael. “She can be possessed though. And one of us possesses her.”

“Possibly for eternity.” says Louis, humorously.

“How?” asks a witch.

“Ask God. God as in the Father of Jesus Christ. God as in the author of human life. God as in my creator.” answers Lem.

“But you’re dead!” protests the professor.

“Yes.” says Lacey.

“You know, it’s funny. If this professor is saved by Christ or truly wants to be…I hope he’s not in error. Because if he’s reading your blog he should be careful. Being too certain about Heaven and Hell might be a tragedy.” says a Catholic.

“I’d wonder if that’s part of the reason you chose to cease getting to know him?” asks a dead queen of Lacey.

“Yes. But it mostly was that I just didn’t feel like I’d fit into his life.” says Lacey.

“Lacey do you think I’d fit into his life?” asks a hater.

“The life of the professor who I talked with for a few weeks this fall?” Lacey asks.

“Yes.”

“If he’s not evil then yes. As long as you’re not evil either.”

“Why?” asks a perfume hater.

“Why what?”

“Why would she be better?”

“She’s not a British citizen in her heart.” says Lacey.

“Why would that matter?” asks an Englishwoman. And Lem’s sister wonders too.

“He was educated in England. And I don’t agree in every case, but they get very concerned over matters of social class at times.” She thinks. “I wonder if he had any bullies or detractors who still are upset.”

Lem laughs.

“That’s mildly insane!” says the man in question.

“How so?” asks Lacey.

“You think ghosts are in Purgatory. And you believe one of them hates me?” he asks.

Or! Or! Or loves Michael!” protests an actor.

“Well, it seems possible there are demons who could be attacking you too.” says Lacey. “And frankly…it’s like a spiritual environment. In the sense that it’s all interconnected.” she says. “So if I’m actually interacting with dead people at God’s allowance…then maybe it’s far easier to be with them than most any other living man.”

“What about your ex-husband?” asks the loudest perfume hater.

“Why? Why?? Why?” asks another other perfume hater.

“My ex had his expensive eye-glasses broken.” says Lacey.

The loudest hater laughs. “That’s not true!”

“No. One of them claims to have knocked off his glasses that then fell on the ground and broke in half.”

“They just mysteriously fell off his face and broke in half?!” asks another hater. She laughs.

“Yes! On our wood floor. From his face.”

She laughs out loud boisterously.

“Why is that funny?” asks the professor.

“Where did he go to school?” asks a perfume hater.

“One of their top places. I refuse to say which for reasons of privacy.”

She nods. “It’s funny because it means men can still love after death.”

“But why is that funny?” asks the professor.

“Because it turns so much of what we believe to be true upside down.” says another perfume hater.

“And there’s some humor in that?” he asks.

“Yes! Very much so.” says a hater.

“Frankly it makes me look forward to all the wonderful things in get to do after death.” says a gay perfume hater. “But not until the right time, of course.” He thinks. “Lem seems to be struggling and I don’t want to end things too soon and make the after life unnecessarily difficult for myself in some way.”

“That’s not likely!” protests a psychic.

“Mmm. I have a feeling otherwise. I’ve talked with Lacey outside of this blog. And I have a strong suspicion it’s not as safe as you want me to think.”

“I think the other woman the professor was talking with, that I know of, is…more middle-class than me. She seems like a Jennifer Aniston type too. Very chill. Maybe not as intellectual without effort. As in, she can make intelligent conversations but it’s not her natural state of seeing the world for whatever reason. That’s not a judgement on her intellectual ability on my part. But…she seems youthful, and adventurous and interested in his type of glamor… Like a trip to Hawaii to go camping.”

“And your idea of fun is good Champagne on a picnic in the French countryside?” asks the loudest perfume hater.

“That’s a lot closer.” says Lacey.

“Do you think your notion of ownership ruins love and communication?” asks a dead queen.

“No! It might ruin art.” Lacey laughs. “But not communication.” She thinks. “The thing is, art is made with the agreement that the artist will leave it alone once it debuts to the public. Usually.” She thinks. “But it’s an agreement based on a sense of honor mostly, I believe.” She thinks. “But communication is about an exchange of ourselves with another person. So is art I think. But communication is about truth and union, at least. Often over time.”

“Different types of union?” clarifies the professor.

“Yes.” says Lacey.

“So let’s take this a step further. Why don’t you communicate with me?” he asks.

“Because I don’t feel right about it.” says Lacey. “Like I said.”

“Are you afraid of hurting ghosts?” he asks.

“Yes.” says Lacey.

“Why are you so convinced ghosts don’t exist?” asks a ghost named Peter.

“So you think-“ starts a hater to Lacey.

The professor contemplates.

“Lacey, why did you end up sleeping with Lem?” asks another Christian.

“We fell in love.” she says.

“Why is that impossible?” asks a perfume hater. She thinks. “I can smell notes certain people can’t smell. Why isn’t Lacey like that?”

“She had a good sense of smell too!” admits the loudest perfume hater.

“Why Michael?” asks an Englishwoman, hoping Lacey catches her drift.

“You know, if there is a real Illuminati, Lacey you may have actually found them.” worries the professor.

“Did they make you sleep with Lem?” asks a Christian.

“More like conjured up ghosts who they guessed I’d fall in love with. Because that’s how I accidentally found them, if I did. Looking for true love.” says Lacey.

The professor laughs. “When did this happen?” he asks.

“What?” asks Lacey.

“Why? Why Michael?” asks Michael.

“Because Michael loves her. And she loves England.” says his brother.

“That really makes sense however God, with respect to Christians, works it.” says an agnostic Liberal feminist.

“But I don’t understand why you needed to sleep with anyone?!” asks a Christian.

“You’ve never had sex ever have you?” asks the professor of the Christian. He laughs.

“No. Not really.”

“Once you get married you’ll understand how it can happen. And why.” the professor responds.

“So you just have a need?” he asks.

“Honestly, it’s hard to be alone romantically speaking. It’s emotionally and psychologically very painful. Especially as you age.” Lacey says.

“We aren’t made to be alone in that way necessarily, as humans.” says the professor. “It’s part of how our species functions.”

The Christian thinks. “So you were just so lonely once that you gave in to temptation and had sex with a spiritual entity!?” he asks.

“Yes. Exactly.” says Lacey.

“How old are you?!” asks the professor.

“Basically 26.” he says. “Why!?”

“Oh!” The professor collects his thoughts. “You find Lacey attractive?”

“Maybe.”

“I see.”

“You’re only what? 38 or 39?” the Christian asks her.

“Yes.”

“Did she think you were too young for her?” the almost 60 year old professor asks.

“Yup!”

“Okay.”

Silence.

“But you’re a man.” The professor rolls his eyes. “How have you never had sex?!

“I’ve chosen not to.”

“Oh. For religious reasons I bet.”

“Yes, why is that any of your business?”

“For being mature enough to even catch her eye you seem so inexperienced.”

“Wow! Why do you think I caught her eye?” he asks.

The professor laughs. “You’re young enough to be my son!”

“I’m not your son.”

“Why haven’t you slept with someone?”

The Christian pauses to think. He remains silent for a moment. “Are you trying to channel a ghost right now?”

“No. I’m not.”

“She’s closer to my age than your age, first of all. Secondly, how do you know you’re not being influenced by ghosts?”

“What do you do for a living?”

“I’m a teacher.”

“I see. You teach what?”

“Theology.”

He laughs. “Oh, I see. Okay. That’s great!”

The younger man sighs. “What do you teach?”

The older man laughs. Clears his throat. “Theology.” He thinks. “Why theology?”

Both men grow increasingly agitated.

“It’s what I love.” the younger man says solemnly.

“Anyway, I don’t think when people are in love they forget each other easily. She might have somehow fallen in love with the entity she for some reason believes is Lem Billings. I’ve never found love like that in this life that we know now, but…maybe in Heaven we get to be that happy and find the woman of our dreams.”

“If that’s allowed in Heaven.”

“Well, she makes an argument for that.”

“She does. Do you believe it?”

“Possibly.” He thinks. “Do you?!”

“I mean I’d like to. It’s hard for me to believe. What about you?”

“I think it’s possible. And I commend you for being so Godly. I’m sorry I was foolish in how I approached that. You probably have a different view of it these days than I did at 26.”

“I’m waiting for true love.”

“Well, okay. But what if you don’t find it?” asks someone.

The younger man looks sad. “I can’t believe God would do that to me.”

“God might not do it to you. It’s a sinful world.”

“I just want to get married so much.”

“Umm! Can Lacey escape the spiritual vortex they’ve put her in?” asks an observer. “Should the Illuminati be real. Or the one she’s fallen into otherwise?”

“If you were my son…do you think she would have noticed me or you first?” asks the older man.

“Do you think we could be father and son?”

“You seem like the son I always imagined having, if I ever did such a imagining.”

“Well, we’ll see what God thinks in Heaven.”

“She would have noticed the son first. Sorry!” says another observer.

“That makes sense. Because she’d just think of him as my son. And then never see him as attractive ever.”

“Absolutely!” says Lacey.

“Sorry!” says the younger man.

“Why don’t I get to notice her first?!” asks the older man.

“Did she even realize how much alike we were or that we might vibe in this way?” asks the younger man.

“No! You’re right. That’s unlikely.”

“I didn’t see this. No. I just noted that you both were on the shorter end of average, studied theology and etc.. But that doesn’t mean a father and son bond.” says Lacey.

“No! You’re right. But it seems when you put their characters together they vibe in that way.” says a perfume hater.

Both men look shocked.

“He found you first? Or the Tik Tok algorithm found him first?” asks the professor.

“It didn’t really work out with me anyway!” says the younger man.

“The algorithm.” says Lacey.

“Why didn’t it work out?” asks the older man.

“She seemed too serious.”

“Too intense?”

“Yes. Too old maybe, but really I think it’s just her personality.”

“Huh.”

“Are you that serious?”

“Yes, I can be at times.”

“Well, I’m sorry you didn’t get her attention first on Tik Tok.”

“You have lots of followers?”

“Yes! Hundreds of thousands.”

“Do we know each other?”

“No. I don’t think we do.”

Silence

“Well, if the algorithm never introduces us then maybe in Heaven.” says the younger man.

“I hope so!”

“Say, maybe you did have a difficult time ending your conversation with Lem.” says the younger man to Lacey.

“I didn’t-I wonder if I really am just that bad of a match with her.” wonders the older man.

“Are you a womanizer?” asks the younger man.

“More than you are. I guarantee it.”

“I could be. I choose not to be. But it’s never who I really want.”

“You really want?” The older man laughs. “Be careful about who you want.”

“I am.”

“Do you have a list?”

“A list of what?

“A list of attributes, I mean.”

“That’s what I meant too.”

They both think.

“I think it’s good you’ve made a list.”

“It’s not dumb?”

“If it’s from you, I doubt it could be.”

“Are we really smart?”

“Yeah!! We are!”

“How smart?”

“How smart do you think?”

“Some people say I’m brilliant.”

“I am very smart. I bet you are too.”

Someone yawns. He’s getting tired of reading this dialogue.

“I hope they meet in Heaven. I’ll pray for God’s will on that matter.” says Lacey.

—-