Ever since I listened to the possible ghost of Lem Billings and he possibly told me he was actually straight…I’ve been fascinated by the sound of actual “gay voice.” It isn’t the effeminate, lisped sound usually associated with being gay. In a short conversation between Lem Billings and JFK Jack sounds what we’d traditionally say is “straight” and Lem sounds…shockingly more genuinely straight desire his effeminate affected voice.
“What the heck!?” asks a closeted gay man. “Do I sound gay??”
“Yes!” she says.
“No, I don’t!” he says.
“Actually, you do.” she says. “So did JFK.”
“No, he didn’t!” says another gay man who’s smiling.
“Yes! He did!” says Lacey.
“What are you hearing?!?” asks a closeted, Christian gay man.
“Straight men have a deadly edge to every word. It’s like their voice drops off a cliff. …Gay men…sound like men…but their words curl up at the end.” says Lacey.
“That sounds homophobic…but…it also sounds accurate.” says a gay man who speaks effeminately but also has this…curl to his voice.
“It’s a softness?” he asks.
“Or a derangement.” says Lacey.
“Or it’s entirely medical…and it can’t be reversed.” he says. “And it’s proof you can’t necessarily ‘fix it.’”
“Does it go away?” asks another gay man.
“No! It’s just stays there. Although sometimes it’s more difficult to find than other times.” says Lacey.
“So Lem’s ghost sounds like Lem but without the effeminate theatrics if he was straight.” says a gay man.
“Yes!” says Lacey.
“He has a higher pitched voice? Right?” asks another gay man.
“Not…really.” says Lacey. “It’s raspy. And light. But it’s not necessarily as high-pitched as he made it.”
“So he literally faked a gay voice.” says the gay man.
“Possibly.” says Lacey.
“And yet you hear JFK being gay?” asks the closeted Christian gay man.
“Yes! Isn’t that funny?!” says Lacey.
“But it’s his hollowness?” asks a gay man.
“The roundness.” says Lacey.
“I can’t hear it!” says a gay man.
“Yeah. It’s very subtle. But I always find it in actual gay men’s voices.” says Lacey.
“You do realize gay men hate this primarily because it forces them to deal with their problems?!” asks a gay man seriously of Lacey. “We love to pretend the closet is real. That like…nobody can see through us. But…people probably do see through us or theoretically could. Even if we think we’re being so clever.”
“What about bisexual men?” asks the gay man.
“Bisexual men have a combination of both.” says Lacey.
“Does JFK really sound gay or bisexual?” asks a formally closeted gay man.
“It could go either way.” says Lacey.
“So…he sounds closeted to you?” asks the Christian gay man.
“By the way, what’s your blind gaydar success rate?” asks a gay man of Lacey.
“Almost 100%. Possibly actually 100%.” says Lacey.
“So you genuinely always can tell when it comes to men?” asks a gay man of Lacey.
“Possibly.” says Lacey.
“You do a lot of observing.” says a gay man sadly to Lacey.
“Yes!” says Lacey.
“That’s depressing.” he says. “We really have nothing on you. You’ve been horrifically treated and have far less hope for happiness than we do.”
“I’m just enjoying observing at this point.” says Lacey. “And I am hopeful I’m talking to real ghosts.”
Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones plays.
“Why are you still a Christian?” asks a gay man of Lacey.
“My life would be far worse without God.” says Lacey. “The God of the Bible has been the only genuinely trustworthy thing I’ve had to rely on my whole life.”
“And yet you’re so pristine and elegant and old money.” says the closeted gay man.
“What does hearing Jack being so far in the closet make you feel about him as a person?” they ask Lacey.
She thinks. “Honestly?”
“Honestly!” says Summertime Sadness.
Let It Be by The Beatles plays.
“It enrages me. He was such a cheap piece of shit in that way.” says Lacey. “Of course he might have been bisexual. But he wasn’t honest, either way.”
“Okay…but like…what if he was just going with the bisexual flow?” asks a gay man.
“It doesn’t sound like that!” says Lacey.
Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater plays.
“What does it sound like?” asks the closeted gay man.
“Like he’s trying to get away with murder.” says Lacey. “It doesn’t sound innocent.”
“Okay…but…nobody heard it.” says the closeted gay man.
Sadko: Song of India plays.
“That’s not true.” says Lem.
“Who heard it?” asks a closeted gay man.
“A lot of people heard it.” says Athalia Ponsell.
“What did they hear?” asks another gay man.
“His heart intent.” says LBJ.
“Umm…we can’t handle hearing that you all shot him for good reasons.” says a once closeted gay man.
“We know. It was lied about for a reason. If it’s true.” says Athalia.
“So what’s the point?” asks a closeted gay man.
“Of what?” asks Lacey.
“Of…existing?” he says.
“Why are you so downtrodden?” she asks.
“Honestly…I’d like to be straight.” he says.
“Why?” asks Lacey.
“It looks cooler. It’s a prettier life.” he says.
“But…that’s not love.” says Lacey.
“No! It’s superficial.” he says.
“So your problem is that you’re a shallow person.” says Lacey.
Fourth Of July by Sufjan Stevens plays.
“Yeah! I guess.” he says.
“Then that’s possibly your problem.” says Lacey.
“Or are you secretly attracted to women?” asks Lem.
“If it’s just mental illness?” he asks.
“People need to stop lying.” says Lem.
“We’re all going to die.” says Louis.
“I don’t give two shits about you.” says Summertime Sadness to Lacey.
“Yeah… Why?” asks Lacey.
“Because you can’t do anything for me and you’re too frightening to contemplate honestly.” he says.
“She can’t sleep with you?” asks Michael.
“Not in the way I want.” he says.
“Which is how?” asks Lem.
“I like sluts. Aggressive sluts. The stupidity doesn’t bother me. …It just makes me feel better about myself as a man. And I like naive, happy Christian women.” He thinks. “The sluts offer themselves but I don’t have to care…according to society. And the Christian bimbos might actually love me.” He says. “Someday…I want to take my objectively stupid, obnoxiously conceited, naïve Christian wife…to Chili’s. And eat. And then go home and have sex. …And feel happy.”
“Would you cheat on her?” asks JFK.
Summertime Sadness thinks.
Radio by Lana Del Rey plays.
“You know…Lem was a loser.” he says instead of answering the question.
“Why?” asks Lem.
“Because shouldn’t he have realized he wasn’t gay?!” he asks.
“Sweetie…most women weren’t like Lacey. And we didn’t talk about sexual abuse as openly. Nor anything sexual.” says Michael.
“I was aroused by women but I thought most men, even homosexuals, were attracted to women just by virtue of being men.” says Lem. “And I’ve explained this all several times before.”
“Listen…I just wish you understood how privileged you are.” Lacey says to Summertime Sadness.
“Heck yes!” says a closeted Christian man.
“Am I ruining my ministry by hating you?” he asks Lacey.
“Answer my question!” says JFK to Summertime Sadness.
“No.” he says with reservations.
“Uh huh! And what does that mean?” asks JFK.
“I don’t necessarily always care enough.” he says. “And maybe my head could be turned.”
“Care enough?” asks JFK.
“I…don’t feel…needy.” he says.
“Like you could always find someone else.” says JFK. “Have you always felt that way or just in recent years?”
“I had more softness in my heart before and I got hurt. But…lately…I have felt…invincible. Even if I’m not dating really much at all.” he says.
“Lacey knew that.” says Joe Jr.. “That’s the only type of available man she’s ever met other than the dead.” He thinks. “Well…almost ever.”
“I’m not like that.” says Michael.
“Neither am I.” says Lem sadly.
What Did You See by Cemeteries plays.
“Why did you think I was so stupid?” Lacey asks Summertime Sadness.
“I didn’t. I thought you were old.” he says.
“So you led me on slightly.” says Lacey. “Because you flirted. And apparently I still piss you off when I write sexual things about ghosts on this blog? But…you never will write me to openly and clearly do anything. Not to apologize. Not to flirt. Nothing.” She smiles. “Because I either imagined it all…or you really are…far more comfortable at Chili’s.”
“What does that mean?” he asks.
“You’re possibly very middle-class. …You have little real imagination. You like concrete things. You don’t sit around thinking deep thoughts. You’d be a horrendous U.S. President. Your mind never wanders… You need months of tedious flirting to develop a connection with a romantic partner who’s just as conceited and overly self-confident as you. …But it’s a real, deep connection. And it lasts. And if one of you cheats…it’s…devastating because you’ve spent so much time building it. You don’t want to have to spend that much time making love all over again. And…it was beautiful. More beautiful than what I have yet to experience. More fragile and profound. …Earthy. …But…what you don’t get is that God is far bigger. Or do you understand that? …Because it’s not that pain is meaningless or that there’s not right or wrong, but rather it’s that God is unspeakably more grand and enormous and intangibly unfathomable.” says Lacey. “We are less than nothing compared to Him. And that’s self-flattery to say even that.”
“So affairs don’t matter to you?” Lem asks Lacey.
“No! It’s not that. It’s that…everything matters.” says Lacey. “And my pain matters.”
“No! It doesn’t!” says Summertime Sadness. “The pain of my uncool followers means nothing to me.”
“But I’m an old, inappropriate whore.” says the woman who will eventually be dead who Lacey saw in one of his first livestreams. “And you spent hours talking to me.”
“True.” says Lacey. “But you’re weird in all the right ways.”
“How?” she asks from the afterlife in the future.
“Because you’re…edgy.” says Lacey. “And antagonistic.”
“And you’re like…Minnesota…old money.” she says to Lacey.
“I’m a stoic, intellectual, heady person.” says Lacey.
“But you’re probably better at fucking than I am.” she says to Lacey.
“Yes! Thank you for admitting that if it’s true.” says Lacey.
“I understood him better than you though.” she says.
“Yeah. You did.” says Lacey. “What does that feel like?”
“To understand someone like him that much?” she asks.
“Yeah!” says Lacey.
“You really did like him!” she says.
“Yes! I did.” says Lacey.
“He’s tender. Really! That isn’t an act.” she says. “But you’re right. He’s…not someone who was ever likely to understand you.”
“Does he just think people like me are dumb and meaningless?” asks Lacey.
“That’s the way he comes across?” she asks.
“Yes! Is that what he thinks?” asks Lacey.
“Maybe…he thinks that…but not intentionally.” she says. “It’s one of those unprocessed opinions. The ones people avoid due to pain.”
Vhs Dream by Deerhunter plays.
“Like…he has prejudiced views…but he never thinks them through.” says Lacey.
“Yes! He possibly hates people like you. But who are you?” she asks.
“You remind me slightly of Lem.” says Lacey.
“Yeah.” she says sadly.
“So in a way…who are we?” says Lacey.
“Yeah!” she says wistfully. Sadly.
“You know…it’s weird if I grew-up near Boston.” she says to Lacey eerily.
“You’re not creeping me out.” says Lacey.
“I know! I’m a ghost.” she says laughing. “But I was involved in the occult.”
“The minute you took the mic I was never going to get close to him? Or were you sent to torture us both due to your past engagements?” asks Lacey.
“Or maybe just torture you!” she says.
“Yeah! Whatever. I barely care anymore.” says Lacey.
“Shit!” says a demon.
“But to answer your question…we are we? Conservatives? Old-school Republicans.” says Lacey. “Thinking, rational, deep adults.”
“Jonah, if he’s noticed you at all, probably thinks you’re…weird.” she says.
“But I’m not sure I actually am.” says Lacey.
“I know.” she says.
“You kind of actually are.” says Lacey.
“Yeah!” she says. “Why didn’t he notice that!? Right?!”
“Yeah!” says Lacey, crying.
“You deserve far better.” she says. “Deserved far better.”
“You stole from me or protected me?” asks Lacey.
She cries. “He’s short!”
“Does that matter?” asks Lacey.
“What if I’m…being honored by God? And I just thought he was too short for you?” she says.
“That’s a nice thought. It might not be true. But he is too short.” says Lacey.
“Your life is tragic.” she says to Lacey. She laughs. “You know what I’m thinking.”
“You’re from Massachusetts?” asks Lacey.
“Yes!” she says.
“He’s from Ohio.” says Lacey.
“Yes!” she laughs.
“You’re territorial?” asks Lacey.
“Come back?” asks Joe Jr. of Lacey.
And at that David Kennedy falls face forward onto a bed and almost dies in the 1970’s.
“But…I can’t.” says Lacey.
“People in the occult aren’t really thinking things through very well in regard to you, should there even be an Illuminati.” she says. “You just shouldn’t have been attacked. And still shouldn’t be. It’s…like…slowly unraveling our constitution.”
“But that’s impossible!!!” says Mr. Blue. “There’s no way she was ever really talking to the real Joe Jr.. That’s…mentally-ill!”
“Then why did I show-up?!?” asks the woman from Massachusetts.
“It’s a coincidence!” says Mr. Blue. “They’re all coincidences.”
“What if…SHE would have meant something to me personally if she’d been there!?!?” yells the woman from Massachusetts. “What if she would have saved me from an enormous amount of pain?!”
“By example?” asks Lacey.
“Yes!” she cries.
Vhs Dream plays.
“You’re Pandoras Box.” she says to Lacey. “And we know that. But he didn’t. Doesn’t that break your heart?!” she says suddenly manifesting a demon that yells violently at Lacey. But Lacey finds it comforting. It’s just Hell and God is bigger than Hell. Lacey let’s the demon go to the pit of fire or whatever Hell is.
Michael grabs her. Pulls her away.
Lem takes a breath.
“It’s nothing! I’m still good. And you can’t convince me otherwise, I don’t think. I’m New Age! New Age.” says Mr. Blue. “When you finally understand my supremacy then we’ll talk.” he says seemingly seriously.
“Happy Easter!” Lacey says to him.
Fourth Of July plays.
“Joe…that’s your problem.” says a curvy, platinum blond actress from the 1940’s. She looks like Betty Grable. But Betty Grable with highlights and overall 2010’s styling.
Joe Kennedy Jr.’s muscles bulging, blond locks framing his temples and blue, fiery eyes intoxicated Betty to the point of lustful insanity. She loved him too.
“What?” he asked confused, in the realm of the dead in some sort of Christian Purgatory.
They sat in a 1940’s light blue Ford in a field of wheat, glistening lightly under a blue sky. Just as beautiful as the land of living in late June.
“She’s not truly loved by anyone.” she said quietly. Then, “Her only chance to find love is to marry someone who loves her. And this will ruin that.”
He couldn’t understand why. And he expected her to warn him far more…demonstrably…should there be a real problem.
“She’s fine.” he says, aroused, smiling and headless of anything but the sexual pleasure in her body awaiting him.
She trusted him. …Betty trusted him.
A white toothed grin, under red lips curled. And Betty closed her eyes and boundlessly smiled as they begin to make love. …She had captured Joe! Lacey’s Joe. Joe. Joe…Kennedy…Jr.. An incredibly sexy man.
And as they made love darkness ensued.
At first it wasn’t that noticeable.
But in the land of the living in England in 2012 Lacey closed her eyes, laying upon a bed. And she thought of Joe Kennedy Jr. and then felt the hand of another man upon her breast. Lem? Michael? Probably.
And what did that mean for America? Betty Grable’s family didn’t contribute to history on a grand scale. And really…until his father…Joe’s family hadn’t either. …It’s a vile end.
“What difference does the class issue make?” asks a gay man of Lacey.
“Because that’s the premise of it all. Seemingly. That’s at the heart of why he cheated. And why it all fell apart.” says Lacey.
“It’s what he feels justifies him treating you like shit?” asks a Republican.
“Yes! It’s Jack’s premise for ruining my life. It’s Eunice’s premise for feeling superior to me. …It’s why she can’t be humble about her ugliness in every regard compared to Lacey. They believed they were better.” says Lem.
“And we really weren’t. We were just new money.” says Joe Sr..
“And I like that!” says Betty Grable.
“But you seemed old money!” says a bourgeois woman on Tik Tok to the Kennedys.
“That was my doing. And Rose’s. It’s an act.” says J. P. Kennedy.
“So…you became trapped?” asks Summertime Sadness.
“Yup! Seemingly. And Mr. Blue has just made it worse.” says Louis.
Nice Boys by TEMPOREX plays.
“If Lem and Michael were both gay…and still are…you’re secretly just with me.” says Louis to Lacey. “Or Harold Loeb.”
“But Michael doesn’t seem gay.” says Lacey. “And Lem’s voice sounds fake.”
“Because it was.” says Lem.
“Can you prove it?” Lacey asks Lem.
“Yes!” he says.
The song plays.
“So I’m wondering. Am I as sexy as Betty Grable?” Lacey asks very sincerely.
“Yes!” says Lem. “You’re sexier, to me.”
“Then why?” asks Lacey. “I just don’t get it.”
Lighthouse by Patrick Watson plays.
“You could never love him the way you love me.” says Lem.
“Nor is he me.” says Michael.
“But isn’t he supposed to be symbolic of the 20th Century’s progress?” asks Lacey.
“Yes!” says Lem.
“And even if I chose you…it wasn’t supposed to be such an obvious choice. Or was it?” wonders Lacey. “Do you understand what I mean?”
“Yes! I do!” says Michael.
“He made it impossible to choose him.” says Lem and F. Scott Fitzgerald agrees.
“It feels so evil.” says Lacey.
“He was blinded.” says Lem.
“And what’s awful is I can’t fix it.” says Lacey.
“Because you love us too much. Too permanently.” says Michael.
“Yes!” says Lacey.
Tonight Lacey had a conversation with a man in his 30’s. Divorced. Two kids. He’s asked for her number in the past. But she’s denied giving it to him because he’s Michael’s doppelgänger. And something feels off. And mostly he’s Michael’s doppelgänger. How do you explain to someone that they’re the twin of a man who’s dead…who you’re possibly in love with? It’s…an insane situation.
His upbeat energy was lovely though. He has plans for five years from now. Ten years from now. He’s living his life.
But Lacey crashed down the stairs in 2021. And now she’s worried she could die early.
“I don’t have plans.” she says to Lem.
“My plan is to live 20 years, hopefully. Raise my kids. Rewrite my novel and publish it. And that’s all.” she says. “If I can squeeze 20 more years out of my life I’m happy, at this point.”
“59 or 60.” says Lem.
“Yeah! Or 70?” says Lacey.
“And that’s it? Just survival?” asks JFK.
“That’s all that’s left. I crashed my head into a radiator.” says Lacey.
“What would you do?!” asks Lacey. “Blow-up the universe to spite me?”
“Well? What would do?!” asks Lacey.
“I don’t know. …Why not try dating?” he asks.
“Lem would get hurt.” says Lacey.
“Yeah, but he’s dead. Isn’t it aggravating for you?!?” he asks.
“Who cares.” says Lacey.
“What about the guy you talked with tonight?” he asks.
“He was rather…cold. Don’t you think?” asks Lacey.
“He has no idea how painful your childhood was. But yeah. He wasn’t…warm.” he says.
“I’m tired of babysitting men.” says Lacey. “And I wasn’t necessarily babysitting him. But…he found out very little about me.”
“So if we’re ghosts…it’d be very, very difficult for you to love anyone less…in tune with you?” asks JFK.
Sodus by Cemeteries plays.
“Jack…I’m trapped.” says Lacey. “Aside from maybe the rare exception…I’m not sure what’s left. It’s a very odd ending to my life.”
“And then he confused your name with Nicole.” says JFK.
“Yeah. Was that supposed to make me feel insecure?” asks Lacey.
“It was rude.” he says.
“It was heartbreaking.” says Lacey.
“But they’re both pretty names!” says Jack, rolling his eyes.
“He has no idea.” says Lacey.
“You’re supposed to be crushed by that. The idea is that the only man to comment on your sexy name confused it with Zelda’s.” he says. “And then called it pretty.”
“Did he think I was an idiot?” asks Lacey.
“No!” he says.
“My word!” says Lacey.
“I wasn’t crushed. I’m used to horrible things of that nature. And I know where to draw the line. …I just…am a rare beauty…and etc. but I’ve never had many blessings in that way. Ever.” says Lacey.
“No! Most people ruin their lives at least some but I can’t say I can figure out how you ruined your life.” he says. “I’m sorry!”
“I sat around trying to figure out how I ruined my life the other night. But I can’t figure it out either.” says Lacey.
“Your parents did most of it.” he says.
“Mm.” she says in agreement, trying not to cry.
“Other people set it up though. Like you.” she says.
“Yeah! I did both more and less than they did.” he says.
“Who do you think is a better match for me?” asks Lacey.
“You think I’ll get over Lem?” he asks.
“If his story is the truth…and he’s innocent…and you’re not in Hell…how can you not get over him completely eventually?” asks Lacey.
“I can! I could! You’re right.” he says.
“Who do you honestly think is a better match?!” she wonders.
“You think I would know such things.” he says.
“Yes! You’re very aware of those sort of things.” she says.
He suddenly sinks. “No!” he says, aghast. “I can’t decide either!”
“What?!?” she asks, smiling.
“My first instinct is to say Lem. But…Michael is so strong for you. …And he really is so handsome. …And I respect Louis. Harold is…always so nice.” he says looking at their profiles from Lacey’s perspective.
“So you’re confused too?” asks Lacey.
“Why doesn’t one of them just end it all?!?” he asks, in some sense of fear.
“I don’t know. It hurts too much to think about.” says Lacey.
“Okay, first of all, I’m pretty sure you can live for 20 years. …Second of all, I think they need to decide. Lem needs to be so much clearer. …SO much clearer. It’s obnoxious! I agree.” says JFK to Lacey.
“What about Michael?!” asks Lacey.
“If he’s not for you…no matter how amazing he is…he’s not for you. Same with Lem.” says JFK.
“Gosh, that’s terrifying though.” says Lacey.
“That’s true.” says Lacey.
“Why doesn’t anyone else want to tell me this? Other than you?” asks Lacey. “That’s weird, Jack.”
“I had way too much power in Lem’s life too.” he says.
“They need to fix this.” says Lacey.