The Mystery

Lacey is still technically alive.

And as such she doesn’t really know the other side.

And as Lem still struggles to comprehend how Lacey could have given herself to some other man after him…Desmond bobs his head to We Own The Sky and Michael and Louis, but mostly Michael don’t leave…Lacey grows confused.

Lacey has repeatedly asked God for guidance. She’s starting to wonder if He’s letting her figure out for herself that He doesn’t destroy our souls even upon death and therefore can’t stop or start Michael or Lem. He has to let them fail. And…that’s just the thing. Even if God’s allowing it…it’s still possibly Purgatory.

“Cause she’s Tom’s daughter so it’s in her genes to be a heartless person at will. …And Joe screwed with her heart far too much, Lem. He ruined her. Get that in your head, babe.” says a model to Lem.

“And it’s funny isn’t it, Lem?! You thought Jack was fine. You helped him. What’s it feel like to be on the other end?” asks a Bill Gates.

“With a woman. Who still loves you. And needs you too.” says the model.

“If you wimp out…- *a Bill Gates laughs* “Who gets her? Michael? …Or Louis?”

“If it’s Louis…why does that bother the dead Kennedy’s so much?” asks a woman.

“It’s Michael.” says a dead Queen.

“Is it?” asks a Bill Gates.

Gilded Lily plays.

“Who do you think it should be?” asks a Charles of a Bill.


“Michael.” says a dead Queen.

“Why Michael?” asks a Philip. “Because he’s good for her.”

“But am I good for him?” Lacey worries.

“Does it even matter? I still exist!” says Lem.

“Are you working for the Kennedy’s or are you working for yourself?” asks a singer of Lem.

“Myself!” he says.

Bad Things by Cults plays.

“But then why do I keep feeling like Michael is running off with me?” asks Lacey.

“What happens, sister?” a witch asks Lacey.

“I’m not a witch, but if I don’t go to Hell…and patron saints exist…I’d love to be available to pray for witches. It’s a miserable experience.” says Lacey. “Maybe I’d not qualify for sainthood.”

“You swear. And you might…depending. It’s possible you’re being…hurt.” says Lem.

Rules plays.

“And if that’s true then how am I heartless?!?” asks Lacey, incredulously. “See the thing is…I try to love Lem. I pray for him. Trust God. It’s fine for a while. …But then I get savagely attacked and it’s unclear if Lem cares at all. At all. …It’s like Hell uses his hurt and refusal to truly understand why I moved on from him accidentally…to try to kill me. And…I keep trying to explain to him why it ever happened. …And I keep trying to apologize. But he refuses to understand my incredible vulnerability. And…then Michael literally tries to seduce me.” She thinks. “And eventually, the more I resist…Michael grows irritated and starts to run off with me.”

“What do you mean he runs off with you?” asks a witch.

Climate by Sleeping At Last plays.

“He literally picks up my spirit and runs off.” says Lacey.

“Do you change dimensions?” asks a witch.

“Possibly. It feels protective.” says Lacey.

“And I bet Louis and Harold have done the same thing.” says the witch.

“Yes. It’s been very protective if they’re ghosts.” says Lacey. “But why do they need to do it?”

Where is Lem?” asks a Catholic.

“Has he ever worried he’s in Hell?” asks a Catholic.

“He doesn’t seem to be in Hell. But that’s a fascinating question.” says Lacey.

“When he first thought I was falling for someone other than him. Yes. He thought he might just be in Hell.” says Lacey. “But I told him that that was absurd.”

“You told him that to be that hurt by you falling for someone else was absurd?! …Not because you didn’t love him. Not because you even wanted another man other than him but because…why?” asks The Loudest Perfume Hater.

“Because I don’t understand the problem.” says Lacey.

Michael cracks-up laughing.

“Wait, what?!” asks a perfume hater.

“What’s the problem?” asks Lacey.

“Do you mean…like…why is Lem hurt?!” asks another perfume hater.

“Yes. Essentially.” says Lacey.

A witch laughs.

“But not because you don’t care about Lem’s feelings. It’s just…what?” asks a perfume hater.

“I’m still a full bottle. And in good shape. He can have me. For eternity. …Because he wasn’t clear. …And the thing is…I don’t get why he’s hurt. It’s just me. …And…it’s just me.” says Lacey.

“So…he could have had you anyway! …And it’s just a stupid ol’ bottle of some Guerlain crap anyway. …You love it. But…it’s…common enough. Not heartbreaking. …Maybe to some pedantic collector it’d be fascinating. It is 1920’s Shalimar. Parfum. In pristine condition. …But it’s just Shalimar. Nothing like Mitsouko. Or even L’Heure Bleue. …And…why does he like you anyway?” asks a Bill Gates.

“Pretty close.” says Lacey.

“And you figure he can find another bottle or something you suspect, based on experience, he’d like far better.” says a Bill.

“I might be Chanel No. 5 at times too.” she laughs. “But it’s so…just…me.” She thinks. “I don’t want to burden him.”

“You think expecting love from him would burden him.” says a witch.

“It feels like he’d rather I didn’t exist. He’d rather be fucked up the ass. …And I’m just some old hag who’s bothering him. And that’s what I get told by the living…frequently.” says Lacey.

Michael grows helplessly aroused. Breathes quickly.

“And Michael finds this arousing. Why?!?!” asks a Catholic.

Desmond laughs.

“Because Michael tried allowing himself to be gay. Possibly. Possibly sincerely… And…yet…he’d still have longed for her.” he says almost crying at the end. “If they’d met. He’d have loved her.” He thinks. “He refuses to be fooled into letting her go.” He thinks more. “He finds it horribly romantic. His pain and her pain and their inability to control it. Their inability to understand. Their inability to do anything but trust each other. And make love, finally.” He ponders. “And that’s just a start.”

“But Lem has told her it’s just him. And that they’re still married. And he knows she loves him the most…” says Scott. “And that he’s never going to let her go. Ever.” He laughs. “But he never fully tells her that he loves her.”

The witch laughs.

“And she is destroyed by his refusal to tell her that he loves her.” says Zelda. “But he does it out of bitter jealousy and hurt.”


“Sweetheart, all Lacey is doing is being compliant and helpful. She’s totally lost. Sweetie, she’s totally confused. You cannot…keep…holding that against her. …She may be Tom’s daughter. But who is Tom? Lem…what are you so afraid of?” asks a Native American woman.

Lem cries.

“People refuse to believe she’s right.” says Jack. “About anything. Ever. …And now it’s affecting homosexuality because Lem might not have been gay at all, but people can’t cognitively comprehend it. They don’t get how simple most of them are compared to a person like Lem.”

“But Jack that’s partially your fault if it’s true!” says the Native American woman.

“And that’s why I’m involved.” says Louis. “It rather, that’s why my involvement bothers their family so much.”

“Yes. That’s all very possibly true.” says Lem, struggling.

“So Louis makes them feel like they’ve lost? Lost their dignity?” asks a witch.

“Yes!” says Joe Sr.?

“And I bet Lacey thinks it’s all quite silly.” says the Native American woman. “But pretty much sincerely so.”

“Like…it’s just an antique bottle of designer perfume. Right? That’s not even loved by anyone but her nowadays. It’s just…one of the only bottles of its kind. But like…meh.” says the witch. “Right?”


“Why does Lem not get the Michael vibe? And why does he not get her almost total lack of an ego. Like…she’s not…like that. At all.” says the witch. “Does he just like…what? And why aren’t they more bothered by Michael? That’s weird.”

“We don’t believe it’s Michael. And…I don’t know if Lem fully understands who Michael is either.” says Joe Sr..

A witch laughs.

“Why don’t y’all get who Michael is?” asks a black witch.

Joe Jr. laughs. “Because-“

Desmond scoffs silently. “They don’t really understand who I am either.”

“Who do they think Michael is?” asks the witch.

“And who does Lem say Micheal is?” asks the Native American woman.

“We interrupt her interactions with Lem.” says Mr. Blue. He thinks he’s hilarious. What It’s Like by Everlast plays. He believes it’s his song about his tough life. …He rocks it out. Pearl Jam Immortality plays next.

Harold Loeb rolls his eyes.

“Yeah, she’s such a sucker. Lem is obsessed with Jack.” says The Loudest Perfume Hater to Mr. Blue.

“Okay. Let’s be kind.” says the Native American woman to the perfume community.

“Whatever. They deserve it.” says The Loudest Perfume Hater.

Dishwalla Counting Blue Cars plays. Batgirl III claims this is her idea of good music.

“Do they control our thoughts?” asks the Native American woman of Lacey.

“At times. It’s just like ordinary demonic beings affecting us. It’s nothing special. They just hide it and make it seem creepy.” says Lacey. “Should they exist.”


“I’m awesome!” says Mr. Blue.

Running With The Wolves plays.

Why? Why does Mr. Blue think he’s awesome? Because Lacey just made love. Not to him, but to her eternal other half. …And how does he know this? Because he’s got Illuminati psychics watching her.

“That’s absurd. He can read your mind that well?” asks a reader of Lacey.

“Yup!” says an actress. “It’s how they control their members.”

The Native American woman laughs.

“Who was it?” asks a Bill Gates of Mr. Blue.

And that’s where Mr. Blue falters.

Why does Mr. Blue falter? Because he doesn’t know for sure. …He knows, based on his own secret Christianity, that it’s likely a man as arranged in God’s mercy. And in whatever part of his spirit and soul still existing that cares about what’s right and wrong he rejoices. He rejoices because he feels he’s helped someone. A poor person in spirit who was genuinely lonely and just looking for love. And he feels his evil is being redeemed somehow when she conquers the loneliness in the bizarre way he’s allowed her to experience due to his own accomplishments. …It’s not maybe that he is superior to her…but…he got in. In to a horrible situation. …And while he can’t get out…he can still breath and look up at God and be terrified. From time to time.

And in those moments of fear of an eternal, perfect Father he feels his humanity. And today he feels amused and pleased and excited that she’s possibly being loved. And he pats himself on the back for caring…at all.

Because it’s better to be violent and bring a human to their death than to let them live alone completely their whole damn life?

“As long as God can redeem it? It’s an interesting question.“ says a fellow Catholic. “Is it possible? I don’t know. If that’s all your capable of? …And no one was ever going to do anything? I wonder.”

“How wretched though. That’s all we’ve offered her as fellow humans. Just…a violent attack by the Illuminati.” a witch says cracking up laughing.

“Actually it sounds like a really interesting horror movie premise. An old widow in an old house who’s abandoned. And this psycho kid who is violent decides to burn her house down and kill her. But it’s unclear if it’s entirely without empathy or if he actually cares a little about her loneliness.” says The Loudest Perfume Hater. “And like nobody in the town ever knows how to reach out to either of them, really.” She thinks. “And she makes the mistake of being nice to him and so he decides to kill her.”

The Leftovers plays.

“So, who is it?” asks the Native American woman.

“Why don’t you know?” Mr. Blue asks her.

She cries in Purgatory.

“Do you make it to Purgatory?” Mr. Blue asks her.

Waterbound by The Fretless plays.

“She can’t pick, Lem. Desmond understands that. Do you?” asks Michael.

“But she can move on.” says Lem.

“Yes.” says Lacey.

“Then as much as I hate it, I either have to end your passionate love affair with Michael or say goodbye myself.” says Lem to Lacey.

“Yes.” says Lacey, bracing herself.

“That is a lot to ask of a living human.” says a witch. “You really do love all four of them.”

“Does it feel like you could have been married to them all? Even if you weren’t?” asks The Charismatic.

“No, it’s more like what Scott said.” says Lacey.

“So it’s like choosing between two great marriages.” says Batgirl III. “And then wondering what could have been with Louis.”

“Why wasn’t Joe more worried about this all?” asks a witch.

“We need to grow-up.” says Jack. “We don’t analyze things like this.”

“Even now? Or when is this? 1966?” asks a Catholic priest.

“Or 1968?” asks Jack.

“Be careful Mr. Blue.” says the Catholic priest.

“Oh, I know I’m in over my head.” says Mr. Blue. “I’ve known that for years.”

Party by Clint Mansell plays.

It ends and Gnossiennes (6) For Piano by Erik Satie plays.


Lacey admits she has had a crush on Bill Gates.

“But who hasn’t?” she asks, staring at a Mondrian.

“Could you ever meet him?” asks the Native American woman.

“Like actually date him? In public.” says Lacey.

“Not just sleep together in the Illuminati.” says a Bill. He laughs. So does Lacey.

“I don’t know.” says Lacey. “Is it even important?”

Alien Blues plays.

“I’m hot too though.” says Putin.

Lacey laughs.

“Regardless, she’s over it.” says Louis.

“I am.” says Lacey.

“Your college friend almost slept with me.” says a U.S. President to Lacey.

“It wasn’t that…intense.” says Lacey.

“No. But I did slap her butt.” he says.

“I thought you grabbed it.” says Lacey. “Slapped it?” She thinks, sipping her iced latte. “Do you even remember that? It was years ago.”

“It was. You’re right. And actually…you’re right. I’m not as good at remembering everything as you are.” he says.

I Think I Like It When It Rains plays.

“But that’s kind and funny. The whole sexual six degrees of separation thing.” says Lacey.

“Lacey…if you’re illegitimate…I doubt you’re that separated from a lot of us.” says Wobbly.

“No, I know you don’t mean that like as a whorish thing. And you’re right. I wish I knew. I’m sorry. Sincerely.” says Lacey.

“You will someday.” says Mrs. Wobbly.

“You really aren’t a whore at all. You just tolerate it because you’re genuinely over the bullshit.” says The Charismatic.

“Yup. The thought that we can control evil at all is such bullshit.” says Lacey.

“If Bill Gates could openly date you…would you prefer him to me?” asks The Charismatic.

“Yes. Very much so.” says Lacey.

“He is your type. For real.” says a perfume hater. “What if he was a professor?”

“Could he be a professor? He’s actually quite wild.” says Lacey.

Louis laughs. He understands what she means completely.

“Isn’t that beautiful?” asks Lacey of Louis.

“You’re calling me beautiful too.” he demurs.

I Already Forgot Everything You Said plays.

Lem weeps. “I really did love her!” he says in horror.

“Lem, what do you mean?” asks the Native American woman.

“I told myself I was imagining her innocence. That she was…evil. But she’s actually that innocent. And I’ve distanced myself so far. And ruined so much.” he explains.

“Did God tell you she was well-intentioned?” asks Desmond of Lem.

“He might have.” says Lem.

“Right. And now…Michael has her. Forever. Unless you want to demand her. From God.” explains Desmond.

“Or I do. But…you’ll have to demand her. Not mope around like a buffoon.” says Louis.

“So…they literally possess you. Forever. As their one missing rib. Forever?!” asks a Catholic.

“Yup. No backsies.” says Louis.

“Oh wow.” he thinks. “Huh. So…you’re figuring this out now?”

A saint nods his head.

“It’s so blasé.” says Lacey. “Really. I’m just hurt that it’s taking so long.”

“Like…you just want to be with Lem or Louis or Michael for eternity now? Not even an hour from now?” asks an aging Silent Generation man.

Turtle Island plays.

“Yes. That’s love. At its best. It’s terrifying. But how grand and how wonderful that God in His mercy allows us to be a part of something so profound.” says Lacey.

“Is that how Elizabeth felt about Philip?” asks a witch.

“Possibly. Some people see it. Some don’t.” says Lacey.

“As in, she understood love.” says a man.

Lem looks sick.

“Yes. She possibly did.” says Lacey.

A few minutes later.

“I can handle her. I just feel nauseous from all her home repairs.” he jokes.


“I wasn’t happy either way, but you know I was probably straight. Actually straight.” says Lem in the parking lot of Target.

Lacey has to admit that that’s true.

“But I don’t know so many other things. And you haven’t told me that you love me.” says Lacey.

“No. Not really.” he says. “Here, ask Michael to tell you that he loves her.”

Let Me Love You Love Like A Woman plays. It’s all wrong. But Lana Del Rey’s art is beautiful. And it’s the right vibe.

Michael struggles but he can do it. And when he does it’s almost like he’s drawing her out of her body to get her to hear it.

“Why can’t you say it?” she asks, fascinated and disturbed both.

“Ask me if I do.” Lem says.

“Yes.” he barely manages to say over the darkness.

“A lot or a little?” she asks.

He struggles a lot to get out, “A lot.”

“Enough?” she asks.

“Yes.” she hears clearly.

Michael refuses to leave. He’s cerulean. He’s lightness. It grieves her.

9 Crimes plays. Scott empathizes immensely with Lacey.

“I don’t know what to do.” she says to Scott.

Later. A gay man in the Illuminati tells her to separate Michael and Lem. As in, she has to analyze them separately. It’s useful.

She listens to 9 Crimes again and hears Joe Jr. singing this time. It’s so true.

“You loved Joe in a way that’s…almost…like what?” asks a witch.

“If he’d died I would have refused to cry. Almost ever. I would have found it repulsive. He demanded perfection and so do I.” says Lacey. “We were en league together to create perfection.”

“Where?” asks a Bill Gates.

“I don’t know. But he haunted me. He permeated everything. Always.” says Lacey.

“Did he ever misunderstand you in the past?” asks a the gay man in the Illuminati.

“No. He understood me better than anyone I’ve ever met.” says Lacey. “It feels like half of my brain is his. …I mean he’s dominated my entire life subconsciously.”

“So he instantly understood you.” says the gay man.

“They were best friends!” says a dead Harriet sarcastically. She rolls her eyes.

Lacey wishes she told Harriet more about God. She grimaces.

“I watched Billy Graham.” says Harriet in irritation.

“He was strong enough to truly love you.” says a woman.

“She’s easy for me to love. I just understand her.” says Joe Jr..

Michael looks unaffected. Unflustered. Unflinching.

Lem is not okay.

“I keep measuring myself up to their bond. And I’m not Joe.” says Lem. “I’m a better man in many ways. But he’s-He would never have allowed such evil with kids to happen. …I wasn’t a pedophile. But…I was a vile man. And he wouldn’t have allowed it.”

“Neither would I.” says Lacey.

“Welp. Lacey wasn’t born yet. And Joe and Bobby were dead.” a singer says to Lem.

“I think she’s moved beyond him though.” a Catholic priest says Lem.

“I’m not falling for it, Lem.” Michael says Lem.

A Bill laughs.

“Why?” Lutin asks Michael.

“Because she’s not okay!!” yells Michael at Lem. “Look at her pain.”

“But their love was real.” Lem says to Michael.

“She loved me more.” Scott says.

“Actually, I loved Joe more. …But it didn’t matter.” says Lacey.

“Why not?” asks the gay man.

“The bottom line mattered more, so to speak.” says Lacey.


“Am I the bottom line?” asks Lem.

“Yes.” says Lacey. “But I don’t decide.”

“Did you choose Joe?” Lem asks.

“No. I never did. Maybe that’s what went wrong.” suggests Lacey.

She imagines them separately. She realizes it’s he very difficult to manage without Lem because she loves him so much. But…she can’t choose him.

“No. And I fully understand that.” says Michael.

“Why can’t you choose?” asks a perfume hater.

“Because they never choose me. And I can’t care anymore.” Lacey says.

“So they’ve literally pushed you completely off the cliff.” says a hater in shock.

“I don’t give a damn anymore, Lem. I have no fucking cares left to waste on any man’s bullshit.” says Lacey.

“You’re not Jesus, Lacey.” says Louis. “I understand.”

Bad Things plays again.

“I’m sorry I swore. I’m just trying to get my point across.” says Lacey calmly.

“Who pushed you?” asks a German hater.

“My ex.” says Lacey.

“So your fathers started it, Joe got it off the ground, living men pushed it forward. And your ex finished it and there you went. Right off the cliff.” says the gay man. “And all your saying is…you demand total stability, respect and love.” He thinks. “Or you lose interest. Quickly.” He thinks a bit more. “Do you even care if Joe loves you if he actually exists, loved you and slept with someone else?”

“No. I worry for him. But he cheated. Heartlessly.” says Lacey. “He had no great reason.” She thinks. “So I’m giving him a beautiful reason.”

Lem laughs.

“What’s the reason?” asks Michael.

“Oh, just that we were horrible together. That it was even wrong. That our love was absolute worthless shit.” says Lacey.

An Irishwoman laughs. “Oh no, you believe it.” she says to Lacey. “You think it was a bizarre mistake. On your part, of course. And you almost want to apologize to him.”

“I’d apologize to his entire family, but I think that’s wrong. He has heard an apology in my heart, though.” says Lacey.

“An apology for what?” asks The Loudest Perfume Hater.

“For ever knowing he exists.” says Lacey. Without irony.

“You can’t disown his entire family.” says Wobbly.

“It’s not that I’m trying to be hurtful necessarily. I just don’t know how to process it. I’m sorry.” says Lacey.

Schubert plays.

“I’m sorry.” says Lem.

“Why are you sorry? You’re innocent in regard to this.” says Lacey.

“Your mind. You don’t understand. And no one bothers to explain because they’re too self-righteous and idiotic.” says Lem.

“I think they need to tell you who you belong to. Or I will.” says Scott.

“What if you’re actually perfect for Joe?” asks an angel.

“Do I have to care?” asks Lacey calmly and sincerely.

God ponders what to do?

“No.” says God?

“How bad is it?” asks a dead nun of God?

“Not that bad.” Louis tells Lacey after overhearing God’s response. “You have tried to live a moral life in accordance with your faith. And that’s helpful.”

“What’s the trouble?” Lacey asks.

“God might have been planning it. And He’s not happy. You haven’t ruined it though. You just refuse to be beaten to death.” says the dead nun.

“He loved you. A lot. More than he loved anyone.” says Lem.

“But he still cheated.” says Lacey. “And Pat used him to hurt me for petty reasons.” She thinks. “Right?”

“What if I cheated?” asks Lem.

“I’d move on.” says Lacey.

“I would too.” says Lou.

“I’ll be alone if I have to be. I refuse to spend eternity eating shit.” says Lacey.

“You belong to-“ starts Scott.

“Me.” says Lem.

“Can you mess up?” asks Lacey.

“No.” he says.

“And if he does I get to love you forever.” says Michael.

“Or I do.” says Louis.

“I just felt so guilty taking you from Joe. Forever.” says Lem.

“And that and his other stuff…is why you love me. And Louis. And Harold. …And yet…God will still redeem it.” says Michael.