Exhausted

Bobby and Lacey stare at each other separated by a distance.

Michael is getting tired of sharing Lacey with anyone. He’s tired of being nice.

Lem is prepared to stop sharing too.

Louis is eating breakfast at his grandparents house this morning.

So Bobby and Lacey.

It’s impossible to overemphasize how much they relate to each other and how much they want to hold each other accountable. The way they grit their teeth into the other’s conscience. Respectfully. But respectfully because that’s just the kind of naturally elegant people they actually both are.

They both laugh. To be nice. To humor people.

“You’re not that tough.” someone says to Lacey. And she defies it. And Bobby feels genuine empathy.

But that’s the eye of the hurricane?

What beef do those two have with each other?

Lacey thinks he was a terrible husband. She’d like to beat him up. Lacey thinks he failed as a father too. Miserably.

And where is this confrontation happening? In front of Lou’s grandmother’s house at midnight. In the summer of course.

“Please. We can handle ourselves appropriately.” Bobby says.

But really, they’re mad at a lot of people.

Living people freak out. Quiver.

“You’re nothing! You’re a nobody!” they yell at Lacey.

“Shh! They’re going to have sex!” someone else yells.

Lacey starts dancing. Defiant.

“What are you going to do now?” she asks politely. Matter-of-factly.

“There’s a law school down the street!” she winks. “Go sleep there in the winter. Like a bunch of sexy communists. Collectively.”

Bobby thinks. “That’s an interesting plan. We’ll see.”

“Are you leading it?” she wonders.

“I’m too busy eating my breakfast, actually.”

“Do you have tea?” she asks.

“Sometimes.” he responds cheerfully.

“Oh that’s lovely! Don’t add too much milk. We don’t do it properly here. You know?” she suggests. Boldly.

He looks dismayed. Lacey feels a bit dismayed too.

“What if I don’t have milk!” he says.

“Would you like me to solve it?” she asks.

“Can you?” he asks.

“Can you!?” she asks.

He thinks.

“This is stupid.” he says.

“Quiter!” she yells.

He stands there thinking.

“I’ll solve all of it when I’m dead if I have to.” she says.

“We were speaking poetically. But now we’re being honest.” he says.

“It’s still poetry.” she says. She smiles. “Do you actually understand?”

“Why did you leave my brother?” he asks.

“Answer my question first or I’ll shoot.” she says holding a nerf gun.

“I do understand.” he admits.

“Then why lie about it?” she demands.

“I left because he doesn’t love me.” she says putting the nerf gun down.

“I did fail.” he says.

“Do you love Ethel?” she asks.

He grows nervous.

“Don’t lie.” she says. “Or you’ll regret it.”

He weeps.

“That’s right! Loser!” she rips into him. Politely.

He smiles about God. And Lacey agrees, cautiously.

They pause momentarily.

“Did you give her the ammo?” a man asks the lesbian.

“What’s it to you?” she responds.

“I made mistakes. But I did love her.” he says.

“You made mistakes? You screwed-up! You wildly screwed-up!” she says.

He weeps that it’s Lacey and not a man confronting him.

“Does God exist?” she asks. “Or do we need to torture people in dungeons?” She thinks. “I’ll use the Nazis to take over the universe if I have to. To get everyone to behave.”

He smiles. “You know that’s bullshit.”

“Is it? And don’t use crass language unless you have to.” she says.

“I could say there was no God and you’d be intellectually capable of knowing it likely isn’t true.” he says. “What tips you off?”

“The literal smoke.” she says.

He looks at her inquisitively.

“Literal smoke.” she says. “It’s too weird.”

“It’s blowing in the wind.”

“Nowadays.” says Lacey.

He nods.

“I got tired. And it was too much.” she said.

“I was ugly!” he says sarcastically.

“With hideous eyes.”

“It was my hair.”

“And your personality too.”

“Would the hair and eyes have worked without the personality?”

She looks at him. “Oh no. Not as well.”

He smiles.

“Is that an insult or a comfort?”

“My personality is more me than my hair.”

“Is it? I’d think they’d go together. Healthily.”

Silence.

“Well. I need to go. Are we on good terms?” she asks sincerely.

“I’m still mad you aren’t acting like Ethel.”

“But you love Ethel.” says Lacey. “She has to know that somehow. I didn’t and don’t. Not really.”

“Could Joe have ever convinced you?”

“I’m extremely difficult to convince. I’m sorry.” she says. “Not easily. There’s laws for that though. And if those laws are good enough for God they’re good enough for me.”

He smiles. “He should have stayed at Harvard or something of the sort if he wanted you. Even if you weren’t born yet.”

“He could have balanced on top of an airplane in the air on his tip toes if he loved me. God is that glorious. Or better. Or He isn’t God.” she says.

“Maybe there’s someone better for him?”

“Yes. Frightening isn’t it? Frightening to evil.” she says. “But I don’t mean lies. And I don’t mean Jesus.” She thinks. “Jesus as a sexual and romantic replacement for me, of course.”

“Is that Satan’s solution?” Bobby asks her.

They laugh.

And if you don’t understand the absurd, impossible, hilarious nature of that thought…that’s possibly concerning.