It’s terrible and terrifying to feel so lost to the world of the living outside of one’s kids. It’s obviously not what God intends. …But Lacey seems…thrown wildly through the veil into something akin to Limbo in a way? A place where nothing feels quite as it should be and one has only to wait for God’s will for hope.

“It didn’t have to be like this.” says Lem.

“What happened?” asks Lacey.

He laughs. Then he grows sad…cries.

Lacey, Lem, Harold, Louis and Michael are all laying on a farm in rural Minnesota, on the side of a beautiful hill overlooking the Mississippi River. On their backs. Snowflakes drifting onto their faces.

On The Sea by Beach House plays.

“This snowstorm is irritating me.” says Lacey.

“It’s not what they made it out to be. I agree.” says Louis. He too is unimpressed.

“It’s not over yet!” says Harold.

“Just wait.” says Michael.

“I’m going to be confusing and not say anything clear.” says Lem.

“Well, we’re unimpressed. And we both grew-up here.” says Louis.

Everyone sits up, wind blowing snow up and around them as they peruse the scene before them. Lem has binoculars.

“It’s beautiful here. But…this certainly isn’t a blizzard or even a storm yet.” says Lacey.

“No.” Michael agrees.

Louis stands in frustration. Walks toward his car.

“Time to go?” asks Lem.

Michael shrugs. Then they all rise to go get in Louis’ car.

The Audi starts. Everyone gets comfortable in their seat.

“The light from the headlights against the dark and the snow is pretty.” says Lacey.

Walk In The Park by Beach House plays.

Louis is driving. He takes his glasses off. He doesn’t need them anymore.

“I should drive. I’m sorry.” says Lem.

“We took your car, true. But I miss driving in winter.” says Louis smiling.

“I’d want a tank.” says Harold. “I really think the worst is yet to come. Give it time!”

The car starts. Harold snaps his fingers and suddenly the weather changes to the worst moment of the storm in the same spot at the same time.

“Okay. This is worse. But not that much worse. If I’m seeing clearly. …I recall storms where it felt….like you were in a box surrounded by packing peanuts.” says Lacey.

“Yes. I recall that too.” says Louis. He grins.

“It’s common.” says Lacey. “Or it used to be. I think I’ve heard stories from the early 1900’s and 1800’s about pioneers getting so much snow the front door was hard to open.”

Louis nods. “They had it rough.” he says. 

“It’s kind of fun.” says Lacey.

“I agree!” says Lem.

“Yeah.” says Louis smiling thoughtfully.

Michael smiles silently. Pensively.

They drive and Louis is a good winter driver. They speed-up as they’re spirits and it’s an empty road…and it’s fun and safe.

A&W by Lana Del Rey plays.

“Get the yellow sweater. And-“ starts Lem from the backseat.

“Marry me.” says Michael.

“This song is…languid.” says Harold comically.

“It’s wrong-“ starts Lem.

“For the current company.” says Michael, completing the sentence.

“I like the song. It’s dark.” says Louis. “And it makes me feel empathy.”

Then the chorus about mass produced chocolate cereal and mental illness starts…and it’s a glorious scene with the aching, morbid music set against the snow. It’s…like a wake. For those currently dying.

Louis abruptly stops the car near the river. The song stops. Lacey notices that everyone gets out of the car. She follows suit.

The river is gorgeous at night. In the snow.

Lem pulls Lacey aside.

“Whatever happens next, please be brave.” he says.

And at that he pulls out a ring from Bentley & Skinner.

“It’s over. You belonged to me a while ago.” he says.

“As Jack?” asks Lacey.

“No.” he says. “No, not as Jack.”

Michael sighs. “Lem, you don’t understand.”

“Lem, she’s still madly in love with other men. Right?” asks Louis.

“No, you just need to know that I love you more than I could love anyone. …When Scott put that into The Great Gatsby he was explaining both of you. Unquestionably.” says Lem.

“It sounds so narcissistic. To people now, anyway. But why? Why can’t one person mean that much?” asks Louis.

“Even if he didn’t even love Jack in that way?” asks Michael.

“Yes. I need that sort of love if this is eternity, obviously.” says Lacey.

Lem looks sad.

Then he grows irate.

“There is no one else!!!” Lem yells in a rage.

“Now, hold on.” says Bobby calmly.

Louis laughs. “She’s ours if he messes-up.” he says.

“In what order?” asks Bobby.

“I’ll tell you what order!” yells Michael. “The order God decides.”

Bobby studies Michael. The two stare at each other.

“You outsmarted a lot of people.” Bobby says to Michael.

“I wish she’d been an Art Historian. But she has her kids.” says Michael like a good sport.

“Yes, I enlisted the help of Micheal Rockefeller.” says Lem. “Of course he and Lacey fell madly in love. But it’s still far more functional.” says Lem. “She’s over Joe, thanks to Michael. And Louis. And Harold. …Especially Michael though.”

Silence. Windshield wipers sound.

“Of course, I get her for eternity regardless. Only God Himself says otherwise.” says Lem. “But I needed a way to explain to her what a man could be. And Michael and Harold and Louis and Elliott did that. …And I got hurt. But at least she understands now.” says Lem.

“And yet you win?!” asks Summertime Sadness .

“I love her.” He turns to Lacey, “I love you more then I could love anyone. Ever. And I love you more than all of them. What we have is rare. …It took me thinking I was gay to take anyone else even remotely seriously. And even then I didn’t really and it was only my sense of honor and…what I believed was possibly romantic love, not love. …There’s no one else like you. …And you love me. You can’t help it. …If you could see me and interact more normally people would have called us like Scott and Zelda. Two sides of the same coin.” he says. “Actually better. That last designation is for you and Michael. …I hope I don’t ruin what we have. Of course…God could fit you two together permanently too.”

“You told Lem you were straight. And played with his mind.” Pat says to Jack. “And you told Lacey she was special…but also kept her guessing about her beauty and her worth to you.” she says to Joe.

“If I’d started out earlier…only Lem or Louis could take her away. I’m still not settled. Lem has to not ruin it. …We really respect and adore each other.” says Michael.

“As do we.” says Louis.

“Neither of you are as handsome as my brother.” Bobby objectively says to them. “Maybe Lem is. I don’t know. But Joe was rare in that regard as a man. And she knows it.”

Lacey thinks. “But…should this be real, they have a certain raw masculinity that’s appealing.” says Lacey.

“Yah. I know. …Not like cave man or cowboy raw. More…exactly what they are.” says Bobby smiling.

“They’re like a bottle of Chanel No. 5 from the 1920’s. Or…Floris Violets in a man.” says Lacey.

“That’s not appealing to everyone. But…it could be more appealing if they saw what you see.” he says. He thinks. “It is raw, you know. Not…made for Hollywood.” He thinks more. “As if Freddie Denmark from How To Marry A Millionaire was tough as nails, ruthless when necessary, kind, caring, deeply sensitive, deep in general and wildly in love with you. Maybe a little buff. Daring. And most importantly, faithful and a servant of Christ. …Joe should have anticipated this.”

“Men like Michael aren’t actually what he knew.” says Louis.

Bobby cries.

“He knew success! …But he didn’t know this.” says Louis.

“Funny he didn’t understand more though.” says Harold.

“Oh, he read!” says Bobby. “But not that women walk away too.”

“When do men?” asks Lacey.

Bobby thinks. “You’re right. You walk away when you’re not loved. …And given his personality…he really should have realized this.”

“I should have known Lem might go for Lacey. Maybe I did. But…it’s…rather common in our circle.” says JFK.

“Especially when people lie.” says Bobby, smiling.

“How about this: Don’t talk to the dead. Lacey shouldn’t possibly. But she has. And that’s between her and God. …But if it should be allowed in her case take it as a warning. It’s not what God intended and it’s terrifying. …Because now she loves Lem. And she has to trust God constantly not to send her to Hell for talking to him, should it even be him. She doesn’t know. …Neither do you.” He looks very serious. “The best thing to do is pray to God to forgive you and save you through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. …Yes, I’m possibly witnessing the gospel if I’m a dead man.” He thinks more. “And I’d be just a demon being forced to witness an objective truth otherwise. Or I’m using it to sound like a ghost. …God knows either way.”

“Could she also be prodding you if you’re a ghost?” asks a Catholic.

“Yes.” he says.

“Doesn’t mean it isn’t true.” says Bobby.

“So…Lem might have been straight?!” asks a gay historian. “And…we don’t understand the sexuality of our parents and grandparents.”

“Yes.” says a ghost.

“Or how complicated they might have been.” says Bobby. “All of them. Not just me. …Ethel is also an enigma. In some ways more than Jackie. …And someday when Ethel is dead, and it’s too late, you’ll all see it. And wonder. But she’ll be dead. And that’s how it’s been with every one of us. …We are scary to lose.”

“Because you took up space. You didn’t play dumb.” says Lacey. “Millennials have been taught to play dumb. Be jaded. Act constantly distant and unimpressed.”

“Like losing the audience versus losing the performers on stage.” says Bobby. “Being cool and disingenuous keeps you safe but it also keeps you from getting into the reality of life somewhat.” He thinks. “Blowing himself up while dating Pat so seriously was when Lem…became a given for Lacey?” he scribbles down to ask God.


“You’re right. I’ll never give-up until you’re safe. It’s my pleasure and honor. Should I be authentic it’s my friendship too, it seems.” says Louis to Lacey.

“Mine as well.” says Michael.

“Same!” says Harold.

“Write more tomorrow. Let’s go to bed, dear. We’re tired.” says Lem to Lacey.