“Can we say it’s Lem?” asks an English actress.
“Yes.” says God?
“Wait…that was God?” asks The Charismatic. He laughs. “What is she talking about? And…was the actual God of the Bible? …There’s proof hearing from God isn’t just something that happens to me.”
“Yes. He’s answering my question. Thank you.” she says to the Charismatic.
“You know, the English worship Jesus Christ.” says a dead Queen.
“Jesus Christ as in the Son of God. As in, a part of the Holy Trinity.” says Lacey.
“Let’s call The Charismatic Summertime Sadness.” says a Lana, kindly.
“Maybe that is wise?” wonders Lacey.
“Why?!” he asks.
“Because you brought a lot sadness to Lacey last summer. And it affected everybody.” a Lana says. “You should be far less flippant about certain things.” She thinks more. “She’s almost 40. And we’re the Illuminati. …Your response has been…mixed. Some hate. Some suspicion. Some Christian support.”
“I think she’s just schizophrenic.” says a female friend of his.
“And I don’t.” says another friend of his. “I think the Illuminati could easily be stalking her.”
“Why would we be stalking her?” asks a Lana of the second friend. “Are you a conspiracy theorist?”
“Yeah. I am.” he says. “And as far why they’d be stalking her? Hmm. Let’s see. What’s most obvious? Oil.” He shrugs. “It’s cool that her possibly mostly Christian family has so much oil but…it’s a crap time to be in their position.”
“Why do you think her family is mostly Christian?” asks Summertime Sadness.
“They must be.” he says.
“Huh.” says Summertime Sadness.
“She has that- They seem more old-money, bunkers, possibly Liberal but…also conspiracy theorist aesthetic.” he says.
“Maybe I just don’t like her.” says the female friend of Summertime Sadness.
“Yeah. Probably.” says a Lana.
“A lot of people don’t like me.” says Lacey.
Adventures In Your Own Backyard by Patrick Watson plays.
A train passes through Jackie Kennedy’s backyard. She stands, fists on her hips, watching it pass by. Like the classic photo of her wearing the Cartier Tank.
Then it’s Lem and Lacey as teenagers. In West Virginia. In the 1980’s. At the same time.
Lem is quiet. He shrugs a lot. Sometimes takes drags off cigarettes and does a gay impersonation or is gay? The crowd of friends he’s fallen in with don’t know. He’s so quiet. But he smiles a lot. Is always in a good mood.
These teenagers are slightly bothered by it.
“Why is he so quiet?!” a girl asks her boyfriend away from a campfire one summer night.
Her boyfriend looks down at the ground and squints, kicks the dirt with the tip of his sneaker.
“Maybe he’s an idiot.” says the guy, with some compassion.
“Yeah. But I kind of doubt that.” she says, lighting a cigarette.
Not Impossible by Cults plays.
Then Lacey moves into town. And her and Lem start dating. They seem to be in love.
Lacey has an attitude. She’s outspoken. But she’s still Lacey…
Suddenly Lem starts talking more too. And we find out a lot.
These friends have a suspicious reaction at first, but they’re also concerned.
But that didn’t happen. Sadly, or not.
The train passes entirely by Jackie’s house. Crickets chirp. The sound of a summer night returns.
She reaches out her hand and light emerges. The light of Heaven. It starts with a beam on the tip of her pointer finger and then stretches out until it becomes everywhere and everything.
It’s beautiful to be dead and with God.
But you can’t go until it’s your time.
Does that make you angry?
Quiet Crowd by Patrick Watson plays.
“You know what makes me angry? This.” says Bobby Sr. about East Palestine in 2023. In February.
“If they only knew.” says Joe Jr. to Bobby in anger. “I hate what we allowed.” He seethes. “I hate it all! Do you?” He pushes Bobby. “Do you think I appreciate the extra trouble?”
“I was just as messed-up as you.” Bobby says.
“And now what?!?” Joe asks.
“She has no way of knowing. No way.” says Joe.
Bobby cries and looks away in sadness.
“They have no way of knowing either.” says Bobby, collecting himself.
“Are we demons? Are we in Ourselves? Are we in Purgatory? And yet…for her this her main source of comfort. And she hopes desperately that it’s from God. We can’t mess with that.” says Joe. “You can’t be two-faced right now.” He thinks. “Do you understand?”
“Why not Lem?” Bobby asks.
“That’s who it should be.” says Joe.
Then they look at each other thoughtfully. In silence. Then they laugh.
“Let’s not tell anyone.” says Joe. “It’s not right. You know?”
Bobby nods. He grins, thoughtfully.
They start to walk off.
“When?!” Bobby asks Joe.
The sounds of crashing trains.
“Before this!!” yells Bobby. Joe walks up to him, their faces lit by the flames.
“She liked him better anyway.” says Joe.
The sound of flames.
“I can’t accept it.” says Joe.
“She has to. Daily.” says Bobby.
“Funny. I feel so bad for the living.” says Joe.
“And their families?” asks Bobby Jr..
“Yes. Life is so…long.” he says.
“Kinda makes you think. Doesn’t it?” asks Bobby.
“Yeah. It puts what really matters in death into perspective.” says Joe.
“Well…I’ll certainly be holding my kids and grandkids and great grandchildren closer tonight.” says Bobby daringly.
“And yet, one shouldn’t die until it’s the right time.” says Lacey.
“Yes! You’re right.” says Bobby.
“Yes.” says Joe sadly. Sadly because life is getting far more harsh indeed.
“I should stop writing about you guys.” says Lacey. “It’s probably just scaring people.”
Lem approaches the flames near the track. There was a time break between their conversation and Lacey’s comment.
“Why did you think you could be Pat reincarnated?” Joe asks Lacey.
“I thought you had told me that. And I wondered if it could somehow be in Christianity, I think.” says Lacey.
“Well you’re not!” says Joe. “And I didn’t.”
“What was that?” she asks.
“I told you something that sounded like that. I’m sorry.” he says. “But you were talking to the dead. And you’re not supposed to.”
“What were you trying to tell me?” she asks.
“That we were able to be married. Had the circumstances been right.” he says.
“But you were already talking to Scott because you were so deeply sad.” says Bobby.
“I hate it.” says Lacey.
“Your body would be completely dead right now if not for your medication. And that’s when it would have died.” he says. “You were literally ready to die.”
“When Scott started talking to her. That was right before they found her need for medication.” says Lem.
“What would I have died from?” asks Lacey.
“A heart attack.” says Louis from behind, joining them.
“But does everyone want to die when their body has serious problems?” asks Lacey.
“No.” says Joe.
“The way it happened to you…was sort of like that though.” says Louis.
“As a pilot it’s kinda cool. Like…your body went into autopilot when you couldn’t consciously find the right response.” says a dead pilot. “Of course, it’s awful. But…you were a Christian. And you survived for your kids.”
“And that’s extremely serious.” says Lem.
“It’s so difficult to believe that you’re ghosts. But…I don’t think really I thought once about Heaven. I was under the impression that I’d have grace to be sexless and dull when I died.” says Lacey. “As in, if I could properly live this life. And be happy being married and having a family I’d have grace to die and be…bland and miserable for eternity.” She thinks. “I was really looking forward to being in love.”
“Why bland and miserable?” asks Lem.
“Because I was taught that we just spend all the time worshiping God because we become so mindlessly in awe of Him for eternity that that’s all we do. …And when you’re forced to sing sex songs to Jesus…it seems especially plausible.” says Lacey.
“But that’s amazing!” says Lem sarcastically. “Can you imagine being so in awe of God that all you want to do is sing. Constantly! Forever?!?”
“But God is too crappy and dumb in the churches I grew-up in to understand that we worship God when we do anything He created for His glory with our whole heart.” says Lacey.
Lose Yourself by Eminem plays.
“I love this song.” says Michael.
“It’s worship music to me. In a way.” says Lacey.
“No. It’s poetry.” says Scott. “It’s the heart that matters. And the spirit.”
“How many times has this song helped soldiers lose themselves in the Holy Spirit during war?” asks Harold Nesheim. “When you’re fighting for a country you think is God’s and you’re a Christian you cling to something powerful.”
“When you’re dropping bombs in a plane. This what you listen to. In your head, at least. Not kissing-Jesus bullshit.” says a dead soldier.
“He goes home…and barely knows his own daughter.” says Lacey. “That’s a self-criticism. That’s his moral compass. That’s not pedophilic. That’s resistance against evil.”
“That’s the price we pay as Americans.” says Harold Nesheim. “Make me king! Except…of what country? Where? And…you fight because you want to be a good man. But it’s not so simple.”
“The price. That you just don’t know. And you have to trust to build something you think will matter.” says Lem.
“But…the spirit goes beyond the country.” says Lacey. “It belongs to God if we let it. …And since the spirit transcends the music can be used as a weapon against evil.”
“So the song by Eminem can be warfare against evil.” says Michael to Summertime Sadness should he be reading her blog.
“It’s glaringly obvious she’s desperately trying to be a Christian and you’re kind of a troll to her at times.” says a reader of her blog who followed him for a while. “I’m not sure why you got so hurt by her? But…I have a feeling you didn’t do due diligence.” She laughs. “Catch my drift? …Be careful with all that hate directed towards her. It’s so self-destructive in your case in particular.”
“He’s too self-important to follow you? Then why do his feelings matter so much?!” says Mr. Blue to Lacey. “I’m a hateful, cowardly poser. Should I be who I am… But I was never offended when she unfollowed me. …Did I call her once? Maybe. I didn’t entirely ignore her, I’ll put it that way. …She read me. Like a psychic. But she didn’t realize it. It was the same image to word to image to telepathy type of concept used in the Illuminati. …Was she being set up to be killed? Or was it an accident? Either way…she isn’t schizophrenic. Right? That’s what professionals say. So…then what? Be careful dude.”
“Has he been used to harass her?” asks his conspiratorial friend.
Mr. Blue nods.
“She’s just a dumb, white, rich-bitch? Right? A slutty housewife?” asks a Lana sarcastically.
“Wait! Why did she unfollow?” asks his friend.
“She unfollowed him because it was spiritually necessary.” says Lacey.
Lem sighs. “Anyway, I’m sorry she had the impression she was with demons. Or her imagination.”
“Because if these are men?!” says a black man sitting on his porch in Philadelphia in the summer. He laughs. He cackles. It highly amuses him. He shakes his head no. “Listen, she’s taken.” He smiles. “She don’t know it. How can she?!” He sighs, sadly. “But if we’re men…”
His once-wife joins him with peas to shell.
“It’s eternity.” she says. “And that sounds scary. Doesn’t it? But it’s not. If you’re a Christian you’re living with God right now.”
“He didn’t come to make us slaves. Or sad, lonely men and women.” says the man. “For eternity.”
“I’m done writing. Okay? Pray. Because you can’t straighten out every misunderstanding.” says Lem.
“I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it all. Especially you.” says Lacey.
“Was there a split second when you saw me when you thought I could love you?” asks Lem.
“A split second?” asks Lacey.
“It doesn’t even matter. You barely remember it if it happened.” he says. “It’s been destroyed. All you recall that’s beautiful is how much you wanted me. And how odd it was that they thought I was gay.”
“That really confused you?” asks an actress.
“It made me question light.” says Lacey. “Like actual light itself.”
“Why?!” she asks.
“Just…instinctually. Like…if he’s gay…something about actual light seemed…suspect.” says Lacey.
“What about light?” asks someone.
Lacey thinks. “He was there?” She thinks. “Like…as a teenager. And…if he’d been categorized as being attracted to women at all I’d have felt so much hope. But instead I just had Jack bullying me mercilessly every time I looked at him. So…I moved on. Or just…categorized it as a secret mystery.”
“So the ass photo would have meant what to you?” asks an aging gay man.
“Honestly? Not much.” says Lacey.
“But that’s because you’re homophobic!” says someone sarcastically to Lacey. “You choose not to see the sexual nature of that hot, sexy, sizzling photo.”
“Wait! What about that cover of her with Michael? Or like…most of Lana Del Rey?” asks a Gen Xer. “What does she mean? Let’s ask ourselves that.”
A dancer from 1960’s Hollywood does a gay impersonation and then drops it totally suddenly. He was straight. But the dance was convincing.
“Fine! What does it mean?” asks a hater of z Lacey.
“Can’t you read?!” asks Lacey. “Or are you an idiot?!”
Michael stares at naked, dark skinned, occasionally handsome, sweaty men. He shoots photo after photo.
Years later he’s written about as a man who had a love affair with a male professor.
In 2022…his ghost may have come on to Lacey. A cis, straight woman.
“Was I supposed to be scared? Or what? What’s the reaction I was supposed to have?” asks Lacey. “Because it’s not a real issue for Michael and me at all.”
The gay man just shakes his head.
“Isn’t that…kinda fishy?” wonders Lacey.
“So it’s…blasé?” asks a gay man in his 30’s.
Lacey nods yes. “Yes. It’s beyond dull.” She thinks. “Homosexuality is a simple concept. It’s either right or wrong. But regardless it’s quite ordinary.”
“I’m not sure why it’s become such a ‘thing’ in American society?” asks Lacey. “In Michael’s case…he likely lusted after women too.” She thinks. “The point is he’s been incredibly faithful to me. Incredibly loving.”
“It’s just so…” starts a gay man. “Like…why are you doing this to me?”
“I’m not doing anything to you. You sound insane.” says Lacey.
“Okay?! Then what’s all this bullying shit about? From Jack? Like Jack didn’t have right?” he asks in a rage.
“Oh no! Don’t start getting all nicey-nice.” he says, fuming.
“Lem didn’t seem gay to me. When I first saw him. He seemed straight. …Like Louis was straight. Actually, he and Harold and Louis are a lot alike sexually.” She thinks. “And it shocked me and then traumatized me to see Jack refuting that.” She thinks more. “And with such violence. His smile as he leans over Lem looks like that of my absolute worst bullies growing-up.” She pauses. “Lem looks…like he’s trying to enjoy himself and be pleasing. Like if I’d been in a bad mood in bed. He’s trying so hard to be loving. And Jack looks so arrogant, so victorious, conceited, possibly quiet happy and yet ignorant about what a great man he’s fooled. Stolen. Demolished. He doesn’t deserve an ounce of the attention much less love and sex Lem is giving him.” She thinks. “But we don’t hear that they struggled or that Lem might have been unhappy or that he ruined his life possibly or that he might have been bisexual at least…and Jack gay. And Jack a bully. Who used and abused Lem who felt…possibly great psychological distress. How Jack repressed his feelings? How he was bullied and then bullied? …And why Lem? The hot, sweet, vulnerable old-money Episcopalian?” She thinks. “We’ve cast it as Lem being hot for Jack. How do you know Jack didn’t come on to him? And then cover-up for it? How do you know Jack didn’t lie? Or that Joe Sr. or another Kennedy didn’t spin the story? …That famous response from Jack? Might Jack have been trying to claim that they weren’t lovers after Jack came on to him and Lem was trying to legitimize it somehow? ….That’s what that whole ‘Get off it!’ business was about? Or no? What if Jack found Lem to ‘release his tensions?’ Based on rumors about Lem at school. And Jack was just extremely manipulative?”
He grows silent.
“Yeah, okay.” he says.
“So if that’s all actually true, then why don’t you owe me an apology?” asks Lacey.
“I’m not a hateful person.” he insists. “I’m sorry.”
“Well, and obviously I don’t know exactly what happened. But I do know I’m not homosexual or homophobic.” says Lacey.
“Do you think I meant that apology?” he asks.
“No.” says Lacey. “You seem demonically influenced.”
“I just… And maybe I am. I drink too much. But…he’s like our Cinderella.” he says.
“So you’re demanding I care?” responds Lacey.
“Yes.” says another gay man.
“Wow.” says Lacey.
She thinks. “Well, it’s possibly an evil, dangerous, vile lie. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t warn you.” She thinks more. “I can’t stop you from believing possibly disgusting bullshit.”
He thinks. “I see your point.” He breathes. “See if Lem was raped and gave in because he was molested…then yeah. The story is ruined. However pretty it was. …And obviously I appreciate the heads-up.”
“So you feel personally attacked?” he asks.
“You are very much personally attacking me. But I’m trying be to be kind.” says Lacey.
“Then why didn’t he just come for you?!” he asks.
“When?” asks Lacey.
“When he was dead. Like…why did Joe get first dibs?” he asks.
“Because I fucked the Hell up!” yells Lem in the man’s face spiritually.
The Loudest Perfume Hater cracks-up laughing.
“So, Cinder-“ starts another man teasingly to Lem to lighten the mood, but Lacey warns him kindly to stop.
“I refuse to believe that that’s Lem.” says another gay man.
Summertime Sadness laughs.
“Why?! Why is this funny to you?!” asks the first gay man who wants to believe Lem was gay-Cinderella.
“Because you’re an idiot!” says Summertime Sadness.
“Aww. Thanks. How?!” he asks.
“You do have demons working with you.” he says. “I can sense them too.” He thinks. “Okay, Cinderella is a woman. That’s the first important point. Secondly, a woman marrying a literal prince. …I can kinda see where you can stretch the reality of Lem and Jack to resemble-ish that. But it’s not a clean cut.” He scoffs. “But most disturbingly you are so tone deaf. Why are you on this blog?! Huh?” He smiles. “Why are you not getting it?! …Lem got some trappings of wealth and glamour but he didn’t get acknowledged, or loved, or respected. And he had no life of his own.” He blinks. “You people are such fools. You’ve totally misunderstood or lied about what he actually meant in his oft quoted comment about his room in the White House. …You lack a sense of irony?” He fumes. “He asks if it was better to be in the constant company of a man who he seems to be over-complimenting…or to be able to have his own life.” He seethes. “Huh? Isn’t it weird how he uses the phrase, ‘my own’ very pointedly?” He laughs. “It’s so like men to miss these things.” He shrugs. “We assume our mate loves us and everything is fine. We miss all the subtle cues.”
The gay men shifts awkwardly.
“You think you’re Jack? Or Lem? Why do you miss the subtle cues of Lem’s unhappiness? And bullheadedly, and violently, and in huge toxic-masculinity insist on being treated with respect you aren’t giving Lem as a historical figure who’s 100% real. Lacey hasn’t factually misrepresented him at all, in my humble opinion.” He thinks. “I think you don’t get it. You’ve very likely sided with a sex-predator to get a fairytale.” He laughs. “Common enough.” He shrugs.
“But what about when Lem does the big-eyed, gay shrug thing?” he asks Lacey.
“No.” says Lacey. “That’s not convincing evidence.”
“Why?” several gay men ask.
She smiles. “I don’t know how I know that almost for certain, but I do. …Here’s the big thing though: I find him really attractive. Okay?”
“No! No! No, you don’t.” he insists.
“Yes! I do. And I always have.” says Lacey. “And I’ve seen him. Since I possibly started talking to his ghost I looked up photos of him. And studied them. And he…he has these moments where he-“
“No, no.” he says.
“Wow, that’s odd if you’re really saying that. …Anyway, he has these moments where he slips. And he makes straight sexual micro-gestures. Or what would you call them? Movements?” says Lacey.
“No!” he says.
“And in those moments he isn’t performing. Everyone has seconds or minutes like that. Actually, in those moments we often find out people are gay.” says Lacey.
“Kay?” says a Liberal hater rolling their eyes.
“She’s going to beat the shit out of you in a moment right?” a fellow Liberal hater mocks Lacey to the others. “She’s so angry.”
“How is what I’m saying not true?!” she asks.
But they just mock her.
Then…they suddenly grow silent.
“I hate you!!” screams an Liberal actress at z Lacey in her spirit. “It’s about money! And social class.”
“Louis Bayard’s novel proves that.” says one of them. “He hints that Lem might have been at least bisexual.”
“Yup! …I think we’re actually attached to the myth, should it be one, because it’s comforting for social class reasons. And possibly nothing else. Making Lem a pretty peasant is…revealing.” says the Liberal actress.
“You’re right about Michael. If he’d married a man…I wouldn’t be as excited.” says the gay man. “I think Jack’s glamorous image…and the Kennedy mystique of…Irish peasants turning into royalty in the White House…is significant.” He thinks. “And you’ve said as much.”
“You also hate when she’s happy.” say Summertime Sadness.
“You’re weirdly fixated on her.” says a lesbian. “Someday if you find out what she’s saying is true…don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
“Some of them have personality disorders.” explains a Lana.
“Well…I best go.” says Lacey.
“Lacey Billings.” says Lem.
(Adult content below)
“I’m in love with her. Her pussy feels so dang good on my cock.” Lem says to the gay-Cinderella fan.
“You know, that’s nice Lem. Do you have anything else you’d like to share?” he asks, pretending he’s talking to a façade or a fake.
“Mmm.” says Lem. “Like what?”
“Tell me more about your cock!” he says.
“It’s my cock.” says Lem.
Still more silence.
“I have a cock too!” says Michael.
The gay man laughs. “Okay. Great.”
“Why is that great? Wouldn’t it be cooler to have like..4 or so?” asks Michael.
Ernest Hemingway finds this hilarious.
“I dunno. Why?” asks the man.
“Because you could really use them. Think about it!” says Michael. “Lose one? No problem. Lose two? Still fine. It’d be a comforting thought.”
Hemingway laughs again.
“And having sex?! Vastly improved.” says Michael.
“How many penises do aliens have?” asks Summertime Sadness.
“Four? If they even exist?” asks Michael jokingly.
“Yup, that’s what I wondered.” he says. “It’s probably just your sense of humor, but…”
“So Lem…you’re going to go have sex with-“ the gay man makes an eww face. “With Lacey?” Then he cringes.
“No, with me.” says Michael. “She’s confused and being lied to. It’s me. Every time.”
“So…you’re having threesomes with Jack?” asks the gay man.
“No. It’s just the two of us. Every time. It’s very hot.” he says assuredly.
“Wait!” says a Muslim trying to be kind. But he is told to be careful.
“Am I the butt of a joke?” laughs the gay man.
“No. Wanna hear how I do it?!” asks Michael.
“Sure!” he says.
“I watch Lacey get naked. Then I stare at her tits. And my cock gets hard. Then when she’s fully naked I slide into her vagina. Then I get off. And she gets off. And I hold her. And we fall asleep.” Michael says.
“Where’s the gay sex with Lem?” he asks.
“Actually, that’s not what happens.” says Lem.
“No. That’s true. I was just joking.” says Michael. “But it’s fascinating how you interpret things in a certain way. You see what you want. Now try to figure out what I actually meant. Or don’t. I don’t trust you. At all.”
“He doesn’t sleep with her anymore. I ended that.” says Lem. “Your lies are actually lies. Now, stop imagining you have a clue when it comes to my sexuality. It’s what I’ve said. …Or ignore this blog. And stop sending death after Lacey. It’s ruining you.”
“You liked my sex story. Huh. Maybe you’re just mentally I’ll. Maybe when you’re dead you can fuck a woman!? Or no?? Be careful.” says Michael.
“Why did you share that?” he asks.
“To scare you. It’s late. You’re a psychic. I thought you’d enjoy a good gross, creepy horror story before bed?” asks Michael. “Or maybe I’m up to something. Now, what is it? Do you know? No. You do not.” says Michael.
“I’m off bed. With Lacey. Goodnight.” says Lem.
“It’s a heterosexual pride post!” says Michael. “And you’re our best anti-hero.”
“Well done!” says Lem. “You set out to protect me from harm and you played a great example of a fool. Perfect example of what not to do with the lies we are fed to be happy with other people’s pain if it’s not our own. You knew how much pain she is and was in. You’re a fraud. Stop being coy. And I’m no more gay than she is a lesbian. Never was! Goodnight!”
“I still think he wants it!” says a Satanist.
“Jack’s dick shoved in my mouth if I get him off or threatened to be shoved up my ass if I don’t?” asks Lem.
“That’s hot! You liked it!” he says.
“No. I was raped. I HATED Jack. …Stop forcing that family on me. I’m trying to be nice. But it’s actually really difficult. I-I hated him. I was straight. And he treated me like shit. He had no awareness of me or he ignored what he saw if it was too much truth. …And I ruined myself. And my life. It’s a tale of a tragic family…and a ruthless man named Jack Kennedy who used people.” says Lem. “I HATE him.” He fumes. “I hate him.”
“Nighty night!” says Michael to the gay man. “Don’t get off tonight on thoughts of Lacey. I’m serious… Like…so serious.”