“What about Stan?” asks a lesbian feminist.
“What about him?” Peggy might respond.
“Okay! So hear me out!” starts the lesbian. “I have this nagging sense the two of you are like…what I’d call actually straight.” She laughs. “As in like, entirely heterosexual. And that’s cool! But…I’m worried about Stan.”
“Why?!” Lacey looks concerned.
“You two don’t get it.”
“Get what?” asks Lacey.
She looks concerned too. “Do you guys understand at all what it’s like to get beat-up inside over a woman?”
Peggy might laugh. Lacey agrees.
“What’s so funny?” asks the lesbian.
They both fall serious.
Then the lesbian laughs.
“Umm. Okay. So it’s like…”. She winces.
“Who sent you?” asks a Republican man seriously of the lesbian.
She nods. “No. It’s cool. And if it isn’t go tell.” She looks him in the eye. “Okay?”
The man grows serious and listens too. The lesbian clears her throat. She takes a deep breath.
“They’d never tell you this. Okay?! But get this: men get hurt too.” she says.
“I know. I understand that.” says Lacey confused. Peggy might look even more confused.
“Okay. Yeah. But like…really hurt.”
“Yes! But not by women like Peggy and I?”
Peggy might nod her head in agreement.
“Peggy! I’ve seen you hurt men.” says the lesbian.
“Yeah.” she says coldly.
The lesbian looks shocked. “Why-“
“No! It’s her business.” says Lacey.
The lesbian closes her eyes. Nods.
“Why? Lacey you don’t intentionally hurt anyone for malicious reasons?” she asks.
“No. It’s just by accident.” says Lacey who’s losing interest, honestly.
“Okay? So you hurt men by accident.” the lesbian says. She starts to get anxious.
“Yup!” says Lacey who’s getting annoyed.
“Okay. Lacey you’re hot! And Peggy you’re a fox!” she says. Boldly. Matter-of-factly.
Peggy looks at Lacey confused. They both seem annoyed.
“Yeah. She is gorgeous. And I guess I’m…”. She smiles. “Attractive.” She thinks. “What’s you’re point?!”
“Do you mean this to help?” asks Lacey.
“Doesn’t that seem like it might hurt men?”
“No more than anyone else.” says Lacey.
She looks at Lacey. She thinks. She ponders.
“Because both of you think that the whole fairytale about your beauty is absolute bullshit?” the lesbian asks.
“It’s always been played that way to exhaustion.” says Lacey. “By everyone.”
She nods her head. Laughs.
“No. You think it’s bullshit.” she says.
“I do too, mostly.’ says Peggy.
The lesbian finds this intriguing.
“Okay. So. You’re both wrong.” she says laughing.
“Yeah right!” says Lacey.
“You don’t want to fall for it again?” she asks Lacey.
“I’m not going to answer that.” says Lacey.
“You got stabbed in the gut and you’re still fighting to survive.” she says.
“Yes. And I keep having the knife dug in deeper.” says Lacey. “Almost daily.”
“It’s so far in its falling out the other side, bitch.” says Peggy.
The lesbian laughs.
“But Stan loves you. And I bet you’ve hurt men who lie about it too, Lacey.” says the lesbian.
“How pretty.” says Lacey. “Pretty little lies told but ugly whores who suck blood and would eat me alive if they felt up to it.”
“Like period blood?”
“No. Don’t be stupid.” says Lacey. “Vampire bats out of Hell.”
“We’ve lied that much.” she observes. She laughs.
“Where is this going dear?”
Her mouth falls open. “Okay. No that’s bullshit.”
“No. It’s not.” says Peggy?
She thinks. Covers her mouth. Acts cool. Collects herself.
She pulls out a phone. Calls Michael. Puts him on speakerphone.
“Nah! It’s cool.”
She smiles again.
“Okay, so Mike tell Lacey how much it means that she’s hot.”
He pauses. “That she’s hot?”
She nods. “Yeah, like why does it matter?”
“Because-I love her.” he says.
Lacey looks at the lesbian.
“Okay, okay, but-“. She waves her hands in frustration. “Mike, what if Lacey had rejected you?”
He laughs. “Like would her beauty mean I’d be more hurt?”
“I’d want to kill myself. But I wouldn’t.”
Lacey looks appalled and suspicious.
The lesbian looks pissed off. Incredibly pissed-off.
Peggy laughs. “This is hilarious! Let’s get Pete on the phone.” ?
“Micheal, I’ll be home! Love you!” yells Lacey. “We’re going to call Pete!”
Silence as the lesbian calls Pete.
“Pete. Why are you not married to Peggy?”
“Who is this?” asks Pete.
“This your worst nightmare.”
“Okay. Why do you want to know?”
“Because she’s a stone cold fox. And no one can replace her. And I want to know how you live?”
“Pete?” says Peggy. “We’re drunk.”
“No you’re not.” he says placidly. “I’m a lost, lonely, confused man.”
“Pete. That’s not true.” says Peggy.
“That’s what you think.” he says.
Peggy looks at Lacey, trying to keep her composure.
“Pete! How’s life?” she tries weakly.
“Peggy. I love you.”
She looks concerned and incredulous. Unable to speak.
“Pete! We are in a mood. So sorry to bother you!” says Lacey.
“Pete! I’m serious though. How much do you love Peggy?” the lesbian asks.
“I’d die for her. Or leave her alone.”
The lesbian nods.
“Peggy why are you calling me?” he asks.
Lacey fights to keep her cool.
“It was my idea, actually!” says the lesbian. “And now that I’ve got you on the phone, I want you to know that I see her beauty too.”
“Okay?” he says in irritation.
“Pete what’s it like loving such a sexy woman who wants nothing to do with you anymore?”
“Life feels like a nightmare.”
The lesbian cries. Wipes her eyes on her sleeve. Collects herself.
“Pete. I’m sorry!” she says.
But Peggy is silent.
“I’m in love with you too, Pete.” says Peggy.
“But only if you mean everything you’re saying in the most…horrible way imaginable.” says Lacey.
“Like what way?” asks Pete mildly. Trustingly.
“Like you’d literally die for her because of how much you love her!” says Lacey.
“Peggy, are you okay?” he asks suddenly alarmed.
“Yes! I’m fine.” she grins. “I love you too.”
“Pete, are you okay?” asks Lacey.
“I’m-I’m scared. Come here. Both of you!” he says.
“I think we’re okay. But Pete I’ll be there with Michael this evening if you like.” says Lacey.
He breaths heavily into the receiver.
“Pete calm down! I’ll be there too!” says Peggy.
Lem, stubbornly ice skates on a frozen pond. Frozen thick. Proud. Proud of his rejection of Lacey.
And Lacey, unsure holds Michael’s hand. And Lem, feeling vindictive twirls on the ice to scare and injure Lacey. A cruel and heartless trick he learned from watching women.
The lesbian knowing this, smiles. Lighthearted. On a summer day behind the wheel of a Range Rover with the air conditioning on. She trusts God. Because what else can anyone do?
Peggy and Lacey make plans to fly to Pete with Michael. The lesbian smiles.
And then…as Lem twirls…he feels a shove. Harsh, brutal. Falling to ice he remarks to himself how vicious it was.
“I tried to prepare him!” the lesbian says. Possibly seriously. Possibly jokingly.
Lem assumes it’s Lacey who knocked him to the ground. Who else would care? It’s just him. Who would care that much?
He stands-up and looks at Michael. Then he realizes Lacey’s on the wrong side. And she’s too delicate to do that much damage. Especially dressed the way she is.
But in thinking that he realizes how small she is. And he controls himself. Then he looks at Michael and then looks at himself.
Lacey looks confused.
He looks at Jack and Joe.
Escorted suddenly on the arm of Louis. “I’m all tied-up. And you can’t get to me without being honest and loving the truth.” she says.
“Who tied you up?” he asks.
Louis giggles. “She’s tied up to me and Michael.” He smiles. “You thought it was funny when you got drunk in your waking sleep. Joe and Jack and Bobby and Ted and their whole dang family gave you the ropes.”
“And told me to tie her up?”
“Yes. You tied her up, Lem.”
“That’s what that woman told me, if she told me anything at all.” says Lem.
“What did they tell you?” someone asks Lem.
His mouth drops open. “That I was nothing.” He thinks. “So I tied her up?”
“Yes!” says someone.
“Why?” asks someone else.
“I was convinced that I hate her.” says Lem.
“They convinced you that you hate Lacey?”
“Yes. That I was a nothing who would get hurt by her if I ever slept with her.” says Lem.
“Let’s think this through, Lem. Who was drunk? You or them?” asks an Indian woman.
He starts to panic. “Everyone!”
The woman tries not to laugh. She succeeds. “Lem, now listen, I think you’ve been fooled. But! I think they also mistook Michael for a lamppost.” she says.
“I tied her up to a lamppost?” Lem asks of no one in particular.
“But it was actually Michael. Isn’t that funny?” asks the Indian woman jovially.
He breaks into a slight smile.
“But it’s sad too. It was very cruel to tie her to a lamppost.” she says.
“Why were you so inhumane?”
“I wanted friends. And…Jack lied. And Joe said she was like Jack but far worse.”
“Yes. A murderer. Essentially.”
“But that was Michael. And Lacey. Why would she do that?!”
“Because I’m gay and I have to love Jack now.” he cries.
“Well, maybe that’s not true.” says Eleanor Roosevelt.
“What would you know? You’re Mrs. Roosevelt.” says Lem. Then he looks horrified by himself.
“Walk it off!” shouts a lesbian at Lem.
He chooses to skate it off.
“Okay. But process what you did.” says the Indian woman.
He skates off to another adjoining frozen pond. Alone. Watches.
He eyes Michael. He eyes a lot of people.
As sweet as Michael is…he wonders. He skates up to Michael. Taps him on the back. Pleasantly.
“You did this. Not really. But you knew. Or someone else did.” He smiles. “And I congratulate you. You’re in love. And I respect that.” He thinks. “But so am I. And I don’t think what happened to me was fair. Even if what happened to her was possibly unavoidable.” He licks his lips. “I’m not quite ready to let go. I’m not that stupid.” And at that he eyes Lacey, whispers, “I love you!” and skates off. To plot.
“Lacey, do you know he meant that?” asks Jack.
“No!” says Lacey, aghast.
“I hate you! I hate all of you!!” shrieks Joe Jr. as he too skates off to be alone with God in the opposite direction.
“I think Satan tempted Joe to do that to somehow help his cause with you, so to speak.” says a sad Indian male ghost also ice skating.
“But he was too drunk to realize he was only prolonging the inevitable with Lem. And I don’t think he realized he was that drunk. I think he honestly might have thought that was a lamppost.”
“But how did we look like a lamppost?” asks Louis.
“I was balancing myself on your head as a joke.” says Michael. “How about that?”
Lacey fails to find it funny. She’s appalled. Time to pray.
Jack. Screams. “FUCK!” a woman screams at her television, drunk.
“You were supposed to be an elite, heartless upper-class piece of shit.” Jack says.
“You’re not that stupid.” she says, unimpressed.
He collapses in front of her.
“Jack!” she runs over to him.
“I’m so tired.” he says.
She takes his pulse. Examines his eyes. “Jack why didn’t you eat today?”
“I want to die.”
“You are dead. Go lay down.” says Lacey.
“I can’t believe I got that wrong!!” he yells storming off.
“Jack, that’s a dangerous assumption!”
“Sorry!” apologizes Scott.
Still chained to Michael and Louis, Lacey decides to pray. Eat some cake. Clean her kitchen. Pray. Take a multivitamin. And pray.