Splat Goes the Tomato

Tomatoes.

Tomato.

I love them.

“It’s so grimly anti-climatic.” says Paul.

“It’s depressing.” she says.

He agrees. “So if your cholesterol is any genetic proof of your father being a man who died of a stroke.” He laughs. Then he looks serious. “If this silly situation is the Illuminati then they found you in a very predictable way.” He thinks. “They were aging. Looking for answers. And some youngish man new to witchcraft got in over his head. And in a spiritual process stumbled into a weird creature.” He smiles. “Not weird really. But weird in the sense that you don’t fit at all into the narrative.” Pause. “The Greatest Generation women were a backward combination of overgrown little girl and sexless, ugly shrew. And the dads were dumb. Weak, dumb, repressed and racist.” Pause. “With the exception of Marilyn Monroe and maybe Ava Gardner.”

Michael looks up.

“And the spiritual information lines he was connected to could sense something to do with the Kennedy’s.”

He thinks.

“So what could this…rare…old-school-vibe beauty with high cheekbones and big eyes…be?!”

He claps his hands together.

“A reincarnation of Marilyn Monroe!”

He looks serious.

“I’ve had crazier ideas alone pondering life in my basement. But it’s not the same as being paid millions and being held up as an icon for supposedly being someone who can sort through the good ideas from the bad ones.” He thinks. “A pillar of the community!”

Marilyn Monroe laughs.

“He was criminal. I don’t care if they have rules about such things or not. It was wrong.”

Michael agrees.

“It’s funny. But it’s so, so stupid.”

“To find the love-child of a man like your possible father…hidden as you would be…so carefully…for decades…and then recklessly walk all over it?!” says a dead man. “Or find a child of oil?” He raises his eye-brows. “A Scandinavian family?!” He laughs. “Veryvery….very Scandinavian.” He fumes. “Is this man blind or a hick?!” Pause. “I don’t care where he grew-up. There’s no better way to describe that kind of idiocy.” He stares. “He could have grown-up in the Bronx and be a hick if that’s the way he thinks. He could have grown-up in bourgeois Arab wealth and he’d be a hick.” He looks terrifying. “That kind of reckless, arrogant…pathetic, numbskull logic is why the world crumbles. Always. Look it up. All throughout history. Everywhere. Men like him destroy the world.” He points his finger. “Men like him are why I had any power at all. They think they’re these big bad wolves.” He laughs. “They’re always the same.” He points to his wife. “And she’s not going to get away with it either. No one ever does sweetie. There is a God. Don’t be so blond.”

“God can save us though.” says Lacey to the physically living. Those who have a beating heart, that is. Or a living body. “Repent.”

“Who was he?” asks a perfume hater.

“You can’t read that. Do you exist or not?” asks Lacey.

“Are you scared?” they ask her.

“Yes! Rationally so. I’m being held hostage in a way. But the thing is…not by everyone. Some people are possibly nice. Genuinely nice. And I like to think I’m not their hostage. Truly. I like to think if God can sort it out that it was a very happy accident in the best sense.” says Lacey.

“Is it like being held hostage by Michael’s family. Except…Michael is there and he’s the man of your dreams and Lem is there too if that’s better…and Louis is…so kind. And it’s great fun. And Rocky is possibly not holding you hostage so much as worrying you’ll choose Lem. But your father is trying to give advice. And God finds it somewhat happy too?” asks a perfume hater. “And you finally get to talk to some English people!” She thinks. “Good grief!”

“Yes!” says Lacey. “The scary part is that there are still some who want to kill me and my family.”

“Are they communists?” she asks seriously.

“Somewhat. Sadly.” says Lacey.

“So they actually hated you because of social class reasons?” she asks.

“You know, I’m getting sick of that trend.” says Lacey. “The most violent aren’t loving people. Regardless. But it seems to be not humanitarians but violent communists.”

“Like pseudo-intellectual, woke Liberals?” she asks.

Silence.

“Like Fascists?” she asks.

“Yes.”

Silence.

“Some white supremacists love me and some hate me.” she says. “But essentially, ironically, anyone who secretly hates the Illuminati.” She says.

A perfume hater laughs. Hysterically.

“No, it was narcissistic, convoluted logic that made them contact me. Because that’s what happened. They started inculcating me against my will.”

The lady reading nods her head.

“So…they were regretful of their life choices. Felt overwhelmed. Decided to be ‘smart’ and get you involved against your will?” She nods. “Because they stupidly assumed you’d be on their side…somehow?”

“Yes! You’d think they would have picked-up on the social cues. But they took my Instagram haters as guides. To my soul.” She laughs. “Thought that they would be the right people to channel and listen to for hot tips, so to speak.”

“Do they still think you’re in love with the man?”

“Yes! And once I got to know him beyond his facade I realized I loved the facade.” she says. “Not him. At all. In any way.”

She closes her eyes. “Do you want to feel empathy for them too?” She thinks. “Like, you want to, but can’t?”

“Yes. I keep trying. But it seems like no matter how much I try they are determined to push me farther and farther and farther away.” says Lacey.

“Did you start out loving them? Being more Liberal?” she wonders.

“Yes. And I just keep getting ripped away.”

She smiles cathartically.

“So you wanted to bring…healing? And instead you’ve been forced to be…mean?”

“Yes.”

“And you just keep getting more and more…conservative. And that’s fine and well. But it isn’t right for you. And you know that. But what can you do? It’s like you’re being seduced by Michael.” She thinks. “Or the others.” She thinks. “And should they be ghosts that might be nice. Because it’s possibly real. But…it…-“. She closes her eyes. She cries. “It’s not right. It’s not okay.” She thinks. “It’s…violent.” She thinks. “Like they’re trying to push the universe backwards.”

“Yes! Because they got the idea that that would bring some…positive result.” says Lacey.

“How many years did it take for them figure out that you aren’t Marilyn?”

“Over five. Some still wonder.”

She laughs. “Wow.” She still laughs. “I’m sorry but that’s hilarious in so many ways.”

Silence.

“It’s like thinking…Michael is…Jack.”

Lacey smiles. “There were some logical reasons why they thought I was her.” Pause. “But…the thing is…those similarities fall apart after a certain point. And it’s pretty obvious I’m not Marilyn.”

The women nods her head emphatically.

“Namely…if Michael hadn’t been killed…its extremely unlikely-“ she laughs. “That he would have been Jack reincarnated in 1964.” She laughs. “Their maturity is just that lacking.” She thinks. “I don’t think you get how…that works.”

“No. I can’t understand why they refuse to listen. Or understand.” she thinks. “It’s this romantic feeling. Like I’m being whisked away by the British on a ghostly yacht…for my safety…if God allows it. But…I can’t make sense of why my American English isn’t making sense to the other Americans.” She thinks. “Because I want to warn them about the ice berg.” She thinks. “And I can’t stand it. It’s…absurd.”

“Why should the country of the free…be the victim? In a righteous war.”

“Do you mean the war with Russia?” she asks.

“No. It’s…more like…they’re in a speed boat pulling the Titanic?” Lacey laughs. “Like they’re acting as a tugboat. Pulling the Titanic…into an iceberg.” She thinks. “Like they resurrected the Titanic. Using Bill Gates’ money? And mostly reconstructed it. Badly. Like…it was done by the same people who made the Noah’s Ark tourist place. And…somehow…the speed boat is capable of pulling it?!?!”

“That’s a mystery. But go on.”

“Anyway…they have it in their head that…if they…forgive the water (?)…and use enough heat…the water will be safe. Not from ice. They aren’t worried at all about ice. They’re worried about global warming. Not because global warming isn’t real…but…they seem to be expecting the water to be like…boiling.” Lacey looks confused. “Like…it’s a science foreign to me…but they seem convinced it…will be a pleasure cruise.”

The woman looks fascinated.

“A pleasure cruise?”

“Yes.”

“Like…a secretly pleasing experience. For…elites.” says Lacey.

“What kind of pleasure?” asks someone.

“Forbidden! Not necessarily evil. Just…whatever they think sounds glam.”

He laughs.

“Like…spas with fluffy towels….and sparkling water.” she says. “Because…that’s…elite?” She thinks. “Not necessarily evil. More…or less…living like they’re in a commercial for an all-inclusive resort.”

“And this is their great plan?”

“Yes.”

“Retracing the path of the Titanic. But as a pleasure cruise? For…them?”

“Yes! It’s the 21st Century! Everything is different now. The ice is all gone. Not melting like we can still save the earth. But it’s like…already gone. …And so…it’s just…”. She shrugs. “It’s time to party. It’s time to use modern know-how and make one last, final voyage into the distant past.”

“I’m sad if they’ve used Bill Gates like that.” she says. “That was very nice of him to try to be open-minded.” She thinks. “I’m struggling to know what else to say.” Pause. “Why the Titanic?”

“My father might have been 16.” Lacey says. “I’m only 39. And it’s unusual. But theoretically possible.” She thinks. “It’s the past. But not that distant. And…I can’t be the only one who has that close of a connection.”

“You mean…if your father was born in 1894…he’d have been 16. Or 15. And he’s your father.” she says. “And…Lem’s father was born in the 1800’s? And…”. She takes a deep breath. “It wasn’t that long ago.”

“It was only a 100 years ago ten years ago.” says Lacey. “And…why the Titanic? Because it was the distant past to them. And it was beautiful in a way that not many things are beautiful today. And they’re nostalgic for the late 1990’s. And they don’t understand witchcraft or global warming.” says Lacey.

“Witchcraft?”

“Yes. In my analogy it’s witchcraft powering the speed boat.” She thinks. “It’s what gives the boat enough power to pull the Titanic.”

“Why didn’t they use Bill Gates’ money to just build a new boat?”

“They think that’s silly bourgeois nonsense for pussies and gays…and weak women.” She smiles. “For the religious who don’t want to have sex with Jesus in Heaven after getting really drunk.” She thinks. “Or for folks like Kanye West when he isn’t being anti-Semitic.” She thinks. “Or for the middle-class-religious who aren’t smart atheists.”

“They sound like self-hating people.”

“Which is why they love the Titanic.”

“Do they realize an iceberg is in their path?”

“No. And I keep telling them but they insist I’m on the ship in the bowels. And that that’s why my voice is so hard to hear.”

She cries. “That you’re Marilyn Monroe.”

“Yes. They think she’s still in a coffin in the ship below deck.” says Lacey.

“Like she’s still with them?”

“Yes.”

“How do they not realize she’s not you? You’re not her. They aren’t her. And she’s gone.”

“Because she’s the GM executives. She’s their patron. Even in the grave. She can’t be gone. She’s capable of evil. But she’s not ever going to leave them. She’s like a mommy. Or an aunt. A nice lady down the street who waved at them.” says Lacey.

“And so away they go.” says a man who died on the Titanic.

“Why do they think you’re in the ship’s hull?” asks someone of Lacey.

“Because they’re obsessed…obsessed…with the idea I’m poor. And trashy. And beneath them.” says Lacey.

“Are you?”

“Can I go now?”

“Why?!”

“They keep trying kill me. Sending demons to push us literally around. My kids have fallen to the ground mysteriously on more than one occasion.” She says. “They use witchcraft desperately to try to kill us. …Desperately. And it’s been bad. But…they refuse to admit it’s me causing it. Me causing it in the sense that they keep trying to kill me and God keeps defending me.”

“And it might be all of them or it might be the ones who wouldn’t be friends with Michael or Lem, so to speak?”

“Possibly. The English and most of the world seems rational. It’s-“. She shrugs.

She shakes her head in frustration. “So…they can’t stand that you keep yelling to stop going towards the ice?”

“Yes.”

“And you’re mad at Joe because you’re supposed to be able to be more helpful…at least.”

“Yes! It’s all about social class to them. My place they insist is below them. Not miles away yelling through a massive loudspeaker.”

“It’s like watching people float into Hell almost.”

“Do you think I should shut-up?” asks Lacey.

“Don’t ask Joe. Ask God. Ask Lem. Ask Louis. Ask…Michael. Ask the English.”

“Why not Joe?”

“Have you ever watched The Sound of Music?”

“Oh! The Nazis? That scene with the teenager.”

“He’s not safe. Maybe in Heaven.”

Silence.

“Pray.”