Harold looks at Lacey for a second year on her legal birthday. Today. And he grieves the pathetic display of love she receives from humanity.
The demanding well wishes. Some cold and matter-of-fact and some not designed to make Lacey happy but designed to get attention and be cruel.
“But she’s so haughty and pretty and smart!” says someone. Someone who hates her.
“But mostly she’s too pretty.” says a hater. “How dare anyone show-up alive that pretty! The humanity of that person is lacking. Don’t they have any idea how ugly I am by comparison?! That’s rude!”
“She’s so authentically feminine too!” says another woman who wants desperately to be beautiful.
“She must be an idiot!” thinks yet another woman. “There’s no way a woman could be that innocent and human and pretty?!”
“Not childlike but innocent?” asks a professor.
“Yes! She’s a full adult. She just seems so innocent.” the professor says.
“Not like a scheming, less intelligent, shrew? With evil heart intent?” asks a woman who desperately wants to be beautiful.
“No!! Are you deaf!?” a dead serial killer asks.
They look stunned.
“I’m dead. I’m possibly in Hell or I’m not and I’m in custody of God. If you must know. But no. It’s not childlike!” he scoffs.
“Why can’t we stand it?!” asks the woman who desperately wants to be beautiful.
“Because you’re an idiot in that way. I’m not actually the stupid or childlike one necessarily.” says Lacey.
They bellow in their lowly souls like cattle in a freezing wind in response. Like…cattle. Barely human.
“How did we get to be so much like angry goats?” the woman who desperately wants to be beautiful asks.
“Were you spoiled?” asks Lacey.
“Do we seem spoiled?” they ask.
“Yes! Very!” says Lacey.
“And you think it made us weird, so to speak?” they ask.
“Yes! You’re all totally incapable of handling reality.” she says.
“Spoiled how?” asks a Boomer.
“Like you can’t…process bad things.” says Lacey. “Like you can’t reason through actual harsh truths. And just move on. It’s like you all get stuck in something difficult and start looking for the candy to cope.”
“So help me process this through once.” says a Boomer.
“You’re homely compared to me.” says Lacey. “Let’s just say it.”
“Yup. So what’s happened? The world is still intact.” says Lacey. “Right?”
“Yes. I’m still okay.” she says.
“Yes. So…how essential can it really be?!” asks Lacey.
“As compared to just you?” she thinks.
“Yes. That’s all we’re talking about right now.” says Lacey.
She laughs. “You’re right. It’s silly.”
“Well…it hurts. But it’s not essential. You still exist. And that hints at something happy.” says Lacey.
“Yup.” says a Boomer.
“But no. Your beauty matters!” says a Boomer.
“Yes! But that’s not the point.” she says. “Now…here’s the kicker.” Lacey thinks. “What do you…really look like?”
The Boomers think.
“Your character affects your face.” says Lacey. “Truly!” She thinks. “A person can have features that aren’t considered the most beautiful but if they have a good soul it shows.” She thinks. “It literally transforms them. And there’s no trick to cover-up for it.” She thinks. “Right now on Tik Tok there’s a beautiful sociopath everyone watches. And it’s like, ‘how can she be so beautiful?!’ But…that’s just it. She’s a supposedly diagnosed sociopath. But it’s not the sociopathy that’s beautiful but the tiny shred of innocence she has left.” She thinks. “What we’re drawn to in narcissistic people is real just…minute or shallow.” She thinks. “And they’re often not fully aware of it themselves.”
“So you think I’m making myself uglier by hating on other women?” the Boomer asks. “Even in my own head?”
“Yes!” says Lacey.
“If anyone loves women they shouldn’t teach them to hate each other but to see their own worth.” says a man.
“Yes. And then one day you wake-up, look in the mirror, see your face for what it is and realize that you’re beautiful. Different but beautiful. And you might not be the best…but it’s you for now. And somehow it just is you.” says Lacey. “And golly. Isn’t she fascinating?”
“We feel gross.” says the loudest perfume hater.
“But that’s evil.” says Lacey. She thinks. “There’s something wrong with your soul. You’re accepting real evil too much. Or you had evil done to you. Or both.”
“It’s not my evil, by the way.” says Lacey.
“Not everyone can be as unearthly glamorous and perfect as my mom.” says a Boomer objectively. In these women’s defense.
“His mom was that profound.” says Lacey. “But that’s an internal thing that hopefully can be addressed through God.” she says.
“No. I kind of know what she means.” says a Gen Xer. “It’s like when they say that happy women are the prettiest.”
“Yes. But they mean truly happy. Not high. …And sometimes crying women are more truly happy than ones who are pretending.” says Lacey.
“So the gap isn’t supposed to be so great?” asks a Boomer.
“Yes! If it’s that great. There’s something amiss.” says Lacey.