Trouble by Cage The Elephant plays.
Lem stands in an art museum with Lacey. And Michael and Louis.
Thousands of dead artists have taken down their “Kennedy Wing” and Joe Kennedy Jr. is thrilled. As in, they no longer…in Heaven…condone…the entire family. …As in…the Kennedys in Heaven are being “canceled.”
Andy Griffith sits down on his sofa on the set of his old television series. He unfolds a newspaper and his hands shake. He’s…nervous.
I Might Be Wrong by Radiohead plays.
“You’re a cheap piece of shit?” asks Lacey casually of Andy Griffith. “But you know…they cast you well. You remind me of a Kennedy and you always did.” She thinks. “And Barney was Bobby?”
He looks at her and laughs.
“You’re too much like Joe. Joe was dead.” says Lacey. “Jack wasn’t even straight. Lem was there. …And you were Jack?! …You’re too much like Joe.”
He becomes narcissistically irate.
“Did you fly planes over England in World War II?” asks Lacey.
He looks up at her seductively.
She laughs. “See…you’re too much like Jack…in that way…but…really…you’re lying and pretending to be Joe.” She thinks. “Joe went to the London School of Economics and excelled because he was naturally gifted. Are you that naturally intelligent?”
Andy Griffith thinks.
“You know…almost.” says Andy Griffith sincerely. He nods. He thinks. “Not…quite. But…I was naturally smarter than JFK.” He thinks. “Not as smart as Joe. But…yeah. Unfortunately, I was smarter than Jack Kennedy.”
An Englishman walks on set.
“How does that make you feel?!” he asks Andy Griffith. “Or, how did that make you feel? Being smarter than the US President in the height of your career?” He scoffs. “The height of your career as a television actor.”
Andy Griffith laughs. He calms himself. Then he laughs again.
“No, it’s not the lowliest station…but…it’s certainly not US President.” says Andy Griffith with sadness.
“How did it make you feel?” asks the Englishman even slower.
Chopin plays. …Sadly.
“Depressed.” says Andy Griffith.
The Chopin Nocturne plays on.
“We fought in the Great War and World War II and Korea…for…this?!?” says Andy Griffith. “When you’re the star of a hit series…and you start seeing how the cogs and wheels work…and you recognize people’s motives…and people’s pain…and then the sheer stupidity of…some men’s vanity…you suddenly feel like you’re in Hell.” He thinks. “I shouldn’t have been…a better, more stabilizing influence on the American people than their own President. You know?! …I wondered how he got shot! …Like…what did he do?!?” He thinks. “It’s despicable.”
“But Andy people don’t see that anymore.” says Michael Rockefeller.
Andy Griffith looks disturbed. He shakes his crossed leg in growing rage. Thinks.
“Be careful!” Andy says to Michael.
“Why didn’t you support my father?” Michael asks.
“I was a Democrat. …Let’s say I thought about it though.” says Andy Griffith.
“So why didn’t you?” asks Michael.
“You know why, because you were rich. I was like the Kennedys. I related to them.” says Andy Griffith. “They were my…sort of folk. And they seemed…capable.”
Elinor Donahue cringes. “I hope that’s not what Lem was thinking.” She laughs with Lacey.
Michael laughs. “Yes, I went to the Asmats apparently looking for…friends…and Lem went to jolly old Cape Cod.”
“No! That’s not why I dated him. I didn’t look at him and think that he seemed sexually robust enough to help me finally be aroused by men.” Lem says before chuckling slightly.
Elinor Donahue laughs. “Apparently lots of other people did!”
“Yes, it’s funny that you didn’t.” says the Englishman to Lem.
Lem thinks. “I just…didn’t find him attractive. I knew he was good looking in a way. But…I wasn’t gay.”
“But you could have been fooled!” says the Englishman.
“You know…I didn’t really want gay sex. And maybe I avoided more…scary men…so to speak…because I didn’t want to scare myself by almost being aroused. King David was a statue. In person…I’d have avoided him.” says Lem. “I did get fooled. But…not by that lie.”
“More the lie that you were gay.” says the Englishman.
“Yes!” says Lem. “No, I wouldn’t have been aroused by King David…but being sexual with a man who in your estimation is more objectively handsome…is…more self defiling.”
“So if Joe had been the one who met you…you wouldn’t have been able to stomach it?” asks Andy Griffith.
“No.” says Lem.
“That’s what I thought!” says Andy Griffith. “Did you think Jack was ugly?”
“Yes. Slightly.” says Lem. “When he was young he was…awkward looking. And eventually he was more handsome. But…he was kind of…scrawny. Always. Not…handsome. Or gentle. More…scrawny.”
“But he was somewhat handsome?” asks Andy Griffith.
“Yes, oh yes. Certainly. He wasn’t…really ugly. He had…nice blue eyes. And his hair and eyes made a nice combination. But…the rest was average or below average until he was older. And…I wasn’t attracted to men. …It was lost on me. But…I noticed it.” says Lem.
“I aged well to a point too.” says Andy Griffith. “But…you know…he was pretty.”
“JFK?” asks Lem.
“Yeah! Your boyfriend!” says Andy Griffith with some anger.
“Was he?” asks Lem.
Andy Griffith laughs. “Yes! He was…fastidious looking.”
“You weren’t nearly as fastidious looking. Lem…I maybe never thought you seemed gay either.” says Andy Griffith.
“How do you mean fastidious?” asks Michael.
“Oh, he always had his hair done!” says Andy Griffith. “Or…his nails done. And his clothes were so…tailored and prissy. They say Lem seemed prissy. But Jack is the one who looks prim and neat and prissy all the time. His man boobs! Always hanging out! And those sunglasses and his tan?!? …His…skinniness! He looked gay. …Lacey…if you’d been born in 1918 before they got to you…what would you have though?!”
“I would have thought he was bisexual.” says Lacey.
Andy Griffith nods.
“I like men.” laughs Lacey.
Andy Griffith laughs.
“Not gay?!” asks Elinor Donahue.
“No! He looks…slightly…straight.” says Lacey.
“But you wouldn’t have thought he was gay?” asks Don Knotts.
“No.” Lacey laughs.
“What’s so funny?” asks Elinor Donahue.
“He…”. Lacey laughs. “He’s…”. She sighs. “Oh dear. If I was born in 1918 and it was the 1960’s…he’s…well…I’d need a drink to talk about it.”
Elinor Donahue looks at her sympathetically. “Say it!”
“He looks…fluffy.” says Lacey.
A fashion designer laughs.
“How did anyone take him seriously?!?!” asks Lacey.
“What do you mean?” asks Lem.
“He looks…like a joke.” says Lacey bluntly.
“How so?!” asks Elinor Donahue.
“Andy Griffith was right. He looks…not rich…but…ridiculous.” says Lacey.
“Ridiculous how?!” asks Richard Nixon.
“Like…he’s…a rich, spoiled brat. But not just any rich brat. Like…a fluffy one.” says Lacey. “Like he’s always puffed up and perked up and powdered and thoroughly fucked.” She thinks. “I bet he’d shake his flat ass in a night club and think he looked hot. In his neatly ironed pants. Not pants but pants. And his too big shoes or are his feet too big for his body? Either way it’s awkward not sexy. …And that look! He’s…so so soo sheltered. Soo…spoiled.” She thinks. “He’s bound to be a high-maintenance US President. Not…one to get his hands dirty without ill-intent.” She thinks. “He’s…not really manly at all. He’s more…pedantic. If being a meaningless, fussy, bitchy, pedantic person is an orientation that’s what he is?”
“Do I seem like that too?” asks Mr. Paley.
“Of course you do!” says Lacey. “What? Are you going to shoot me now?” She smiles. “You’re a loser. Right?”
“Go on!” says Mr. Paley.
“Why?” asks Lacey.
“I like to know things!” he says.
“It’s sad.” says Lacey seriously.
“Please!” says Mr. Paley.
“Does he have a difficult time pooping?” asks Lacey.
Mr. Paley looks at her shocked.
“What!? I warned you.” says Lacey.
“No! He looks incredibly constipated. But in the most…priggish…self-important way.” says Lacey.
Lem looks down.
“You don’t think he’s getting laid?” asks Mr. Paley.
Lacey looks sad. “No, he might be. But…I bet it’s difficult to anally fuck him. I bet he’s very…umm…uptight. Dry. Peeling?”
Mr. Paley looks sad.
“He’s not loved.” says Lacey. “Oh maybe by his family. But…he’s…dumb as dirt!” She thinks. “Poor thing. He’s too spoiled to understand that he’s not…mommy’s little…magic pony god.” She thinks. “Like…he’s not really…a literal magic pony god.”
“You think he’s that disconnected from reality?” asks Michael.
“He’s happy! That’s why his constipation means nothing to him. …But he’s ugly with his conceit and gross vanity. And he truly doesn’t realize it. His sisters are hideous! …Well Pat and Kick weren’t hideous. They were almost pretty. Maybe in her youth Pat was even pretty. But…the rest were vain or liars. And…he’s become one of them? Through his too tight, dry ass? His…flat ass? He thinks his dry ass that’s barely noticeable in clothes is equal to his sister’s vaginas?” She thinks. “And then he goes around shaking it everywhere in victory like he’s won some epic battle? I mean you can see it! It’s in his walk! He’s constipated…but super confident he’s won. Maybe he gets oral sex from men and he thinks that’s equal to other forms of sex? Like…his flat ass doesn’t…count? Because he’s thoroughly fucked. He’s gotten all his yummy goody-goody treats and he’s unable to poop…but he’s…too spoiled and stupid and vain to realize it.” She thinks. “He’s a gross man. Poor thing.” She thinks. “And he thinks he’s a convincing as a heterosexual.”
Mr. Paley laughs.
“Does he believe in God?” Lacey asks.
Mr. Paley looks sadder. “I don’t know, Lacey.” he says before walking off.
“We don’t talk about God.” says Babe.
“Oh! Well…all I was going to say was that I worry Jack doesn’t understand.” says Lacey.
Suddenly Truman Capote is too upset to be silent. “Lacey you don’t understand!” he yells.
“Oh good grief!” says Lacey.
He stands down.
“What is it?” asks Lacey sweetly.
Truman prepares himself for a story.
“I love Lem. But…Jack…has his ways.” he says succinctly.
“Who’s Lem?!” asks Lacey.
Truman smiles and laughs. “He’s…not a normal man.”
“What?!?” asks Lacey.
Truman looks worried. Covers his mouth with his hand. “Lacey…are you saying…he’s…like you?”
“Who? Lem?” asks Lacey.
Truman thinks. “How do you know that?!?” he asks her.
“His name maybe.” says Lacey. “I don’t know.”
“Or the way I say it!” says Truman.
“Yes.” says Lacey. “Anyway, all I was saying is that Jack…is…absurd.”
“Why would Lem love him?!?” asks Truman, exasperated.
“Jack? Why would Lem love Jack?” Lacey thinks. “Because Jack…forces him.”
Truman thinks. “How?”
“Well…Lem is either a homosexual…and then it’s just like the women who tie a noose around their husband and then pull him everywhere I go in a heterosexual relationship…” starts Lacey.
“Or he’s bisexual and then it’s just the same.” says Lacey.
“Or! …Lem is…insane. And Jack is…disgusting.” says Lacey.
Louis walks in looking disturbed.
“What do you mean by insane?!” asks Louis.
Truman looks thoughtful.
“Well…I suppose all homosexuals and bisexuals might be insane.” says Lacey.
“But see…Truman here…is madly afflicted. Or has been. And to him…it’s…possibly real.” says Lacey.
“Whereas to Lem…if my colloquial gut sense serves me…seems more likely to be insane.” says Lacey. “As in, truly mad.”
“Yes, but could Truman be insane if he was in love with me, per se?” asks Babe.
“No!! No, no. I doubt it. You’re not that much of a bully.” says Lacey.
“Are you a bully?!” asks Mr. Paley emerging out of the back.
Babe shoots a jealous eye at Lacey. Truman looks at her coolly.
“Oh dear God, are you trying to kill me now you fucking freaks?!” asks Lacey incredulously.
They all look embarrassed.
“Well are you were aren’t you? I don’t wanna sit here being tortured wondering what you all are doing to me in some stupid conspiratorial meeting.“ says Lacey.
“I think we all got a bit off-topic when it came to me.” says Truman Capote.
“That is the most sane thing I think I’ve heard in a very long time. What is your problem Babe? Do you care to explain or do you just enjoy standing places feeling smug!?” says Lacey.
“Well what is the point of this conversation if I’m going to be a let out of this room at some point and you’re not going to murder me I’d like to know what we’re talking about.” says Lacey.
“Well, I think you’re a bit of a bully, right?” asks Mr. Paley.
“Let’s see, let me backtrack in my brain to figure out what we’re talking about. OK so I called Jack a bully and now you’re calling me a bully and how am I a bully in your estimation Mr. Paley. I’m lost.“ says Lacey.
Mr. Paley looks embarrassed. Babe laughs.
“I think we got lost in the kitchen.” says Truman to Lacey slyly.
“Who’s kitchen and where?” asks Lacey.
“Oh I don’t know, some kitchen somewhere probably!” says Mr. Paley still embarrassed.
“Well, I certainly wasn’t in it. Were you in it Truman?” asks Lacey.
“No!” he says laughing.
“Lacey, are you insinuating that Lem is basically in a concentration camp?” asks Mr. Paley.
“Oh, like he’s some tortured Jew losing his mind falling in love with the Nazi guard.” says Lacey.
“Well, I have a feeling there were some Jews, who probably did fall in love with Nazi guards on occasion, and it in a real authentic way.” says Mr. Paley.
“Oh, I’m sure there were, but that’s not quite what I had in mind. I was thinking more about a Jew who somehow acclimates to the torture, and their brains sort of starts falling apart and they start thinking that what they’re experiencing is pleasurable when really they’re actually just slowly losing touch with reality and that’s the best estimation their frazzled mind can conjure to deal with their suffering.” says Lacey.
“Like some sort of syndrome.” says Louis.
“I don’t think syndrome is a good way of describing it. It sounds more like a person’s brain is dying.“ says Lacey.
Mr. Paley nods head in agreement.
“Well indeed, and in fact, their brain probably is slightly dying in some way.” says Mr. Paley.
“So you think Jack is killing Lem slowly?!” asks Truman Capote.
“To do what?!?” asks Michael.
“Oh, certainly!” says Lacey. “See now I’m thinking of my father, of course. That was what you were hinting at when you’re talking about bullies and all that.” says Lacey.
Mr. Paley nods.
“The thing is, my father grew up wealthy.” says Lacey.
Truman nods, smiling.
“And he’s really just an incredibly wild, difficult, cantankerous man and I love him very dearly he’s my daddy, but I think the Kennedys are very different sort.” says Lacey.
“That being said as my premise from which I will say the rest of what I have to say… I think we could have things in common, because there are overlapping idiosyncrasies.” says Lacey.
Mr. Paley nods.
“But we don’t have that in common and we could I might have the capacity mentally to be a bully if I so chose to be one, but I’m not of that mindset shall we say.” says Lacey.
“What stops you from being one?!” asks Michael.
“I don’t want to be one. I just don’t want to be.” says Lacey. “But I suppose essentially the reason I don’t is because I have some very strong sense of right and wrong and beauty and truth and love, I suppose, essentially all the things that make God God as much as a human can intuit.”
“I could be a bully too and I’m not one. I think a lot of people could be.“ says Michael as he stares sexually at Lacey with longing.
“Well, that’s that’s good that you choose not to be a bully.” says Lacey.
“Say why didn’t you marry Joe? I’ve always wondered that.“ says Mr. Paley.
“Oh, Jack’s older brother yes the one that died in the war?” asks Lacey.
“Do we want to know?” asks Babe.
“We corresponded for a very short time and then there was some French or British or something woman who he met and after that he just completely lost interest in talking to me.” says Lacey.
“Why don’t you date Lem!?” says Truman.
“To find out if he’s insane?” asks Lacey.
“Yes!” says Truman.
“What if he is?” asks Lacey.
“Then why did we vote in Jack?” asks Louis.
“Say…that’s exactly what I was wondering!” says Lacey.
“Because they bought the election!” says Louis.
“They bought votes.” says Lacey.
“Oh, that’s mean!” says Truman.
“They bought votes. They’re obnoxious!” says Lacey.
Louis looks embarrassed.
“What exactly is it that’s bothering you?” asks Lacey.
“Well they’re poor Lacey. They’re poor.” says Louis.
“Why is that my problem Louis?! Why is that my problem?! Why do I have to worry about that? Why is that my problem my fault my problem?!” asks Lacey.
Louis looks upset. He thinks.
“Well, you should try to be somewhat nice about it though?” says Michael.
“Well yes and I and I and I am…trying to be nice. I really am Michael! I really am trying to be nice!” says Lacey.
Michael sighs. Thinks.
“I think with Michael’s trying to say is that it’s very difficult to relate to the Kennedys even for me. But I try. I try to relate them as best as I can.” says Babe.
“The problem is is that all of you don’t have parents who are bootleggers like I do.” says Lacey. “You can’t necessarily relate to people like them in the way that you are trying to relate to them Babe.”
Michael nods in agreement.
“What does it mean to be a bootlegger, Lacey?” asks Truman.
“Well they’re not like the aboriginals. The Kennedys I mean, not your family.” says Mr. Paley.
“Alright I’m losing patience. Lets try to nail some things down here if you are real people and we’re having a real conversation. My father grew up wealthy. He came from the upper class. We didn’t ascend there through bootlegging like F. Scott Fitzgerald’s character in the Great Gatsby? Can we try to understand that concept please for a bloody second?! We don’t think like the Kennedys, in that way we just don’t but I can somewhat relate to them because my father decided to take up bootlegging and take up gambling, take up nightclubs and restaurants and real estate and bars, I mean he might as well have had an Irish pub, in Boston!” says Lacey. “I don’t think we’re even-I don’t think we’re Irish like we might have a little Irish in us but I think it’s mostly just English.” She thinks. “No I mean English possibly Dutch and German but we’re not the Kennedys were the Banks. And I was raised in a rather old money, stodgy background, you know, hunting and fishing trips with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall and my aunt had me identifying each, and every French designer to have ever existed when I was about six years old. But at the same time during the 1920s, my father was afraid of the police for obvious reasons. I guess you could say that it was a rather eccentric upbringing, but that’s not the point I’m trying to make point I’m trying to make is that we did sort of acquire some knowledge of what they’re like and I wouldn’t call them aboriginals their natives to that scene. I once met Desmond Guinness and he seemed so elegant and serene! And of course his background is alcohol, so is it really anti-Irish is it really racist to say that that’s native Irish scene for the Kennedys?”
“Well your father has dealings in Hollywood. You know what they say about Jews and Hollywood? So I don’t take it as an insult. I think it speaks to the pride of a culture not its downfall.“ says Mr. Paley.
“You know that’s the way I see it too! Anyway, I’m embarrassed by the fact that my father chose to go into something that doesn’t entirely make sense for my family to have absolutely anything to do with even if he was extraordinarily good at it I guess you could say.” says Lacey.
“Who the hell is your actual mom because I know it’s not Reta?” asks Mr. Paley.
“I just called Lem and he would like to take you out to dinner tonight!” says Truman cheerfully to Lacey.
“I was just about to ask Lacey out for drinks because I think she needs one. I know I need one.“ says Michael.
“Well, you know I don’t know what to say to that Michael because you’re so young! You know you’re an incredibly charming man but how old are you?” says Lacey.
“He’s 24!” says Babe laughing.
“I’m not 24. I’m 23 actually.” says Michael.
“I just don’t know what to make of that. I’m just trying to be honest with you because you seem like a very nice person in your own way.“ says Lacey.
“And so do you! I’m an adult, I graduated from college, I’m bored out of my mind and you don’t look like you’re 43!” says Michael.
“Well, I have to consult someone about this because I don’t think it’s entirely appropriate. I’m technically old enough to be your mother, you know, even though I’m not your mother.“ says Lacey.
“Do you find him attractive?“ asks Louis.
“You know I actually prefer a man who’s a little older. Someone who’s a little more fleshy we’ll say as there’s something nice about a man who has a little more weight on him maybe has lost a little hair. I am 43! When I’m 53 I’ll probably like someone who’s even older looking it’s just the way that I am. I find Louis more attractive but it’s really just an age thing. I think if you two were the exact same age, I don’t know. It would be a difficult thing to figure out.” says Lacey. “What does Lem look like?”
“He’s about your age. He’s a year or two older than you.” says Truman Capote. “Oh dear God, you can’t be serious?!? You really think that aging is attractive?!?”
“I just don’t think you know what it’s like to be with a younger man anymore. Matter-of-fact I don’t think you were ever with a younger man.” says Michael.
“My mother was Scandinavian in her 20’s and my parents decided not to get married and I’ll leave it at that. I don’t think that it matters, because how would it matter? You’re more energetic then I am! I am far closer to dying than you are! 20 years closer to dying than you are! My skin is sagging, my hair is thinning, I weigh more! I have preserved myself fairly well because I never got married and had kids but I don’t look like I did 20 years ago and I just don’t want you to be cheated out of having children or being with someone who’s a lot more fun to look at than me. Men age better than women I think you could argue that women are a lot flashier and more interesting to look at than men objectively speaking but we don’t age as well. It’s just one of the realities you have to accept as a woman.” says Lacey.
“You go on your date with this asshole who should be here right now not fucking the US President or you go on a date with this asshole who’s married. And if you don’t walk away from that date tonight, smiling actually smiling not crying your eyes out like you probably do after every date. …I don’t know what’s wrong with you, but it’s strange that you’re not married yet that you never had any kids to ruin your figure. But if it’s because everyone makes you sad and cry I wouldn’t and I’m sorry I wasn’t born earlier. I might not have had any control over it.” says Michael.
“Right! But I am 43 years old and someone as wonderful as you should have kids!” says Lacey.
Babe smiles at him sympathetically.
“Just answer me this: if I was 15 years older, would you go on a date with me?“ asks Michael.
“Well I’d be terrified of you but yes I would of course I would!” says Lacey.
“Why would you be terrified of him?“ asks Truman.
“You wouldn’t be sitting here talking to me you would be trying to figure out if Lem was gay or not because you would’ve already figured out that I would easily go on a date with you, so your main apprehension would be who am I what’s my character I suppose but mainly who is this Lem person?
I don’t even know what I’ve never gotten married but the idea would be that you would be 10 steps ahead of me in a way that you’re not right now because you’re obviously a very intelligent person!” says Lacey.
“Do you think I’ll be that aware of everything in 15 years!?” Michael smiles.
“I think you are possibly the most aware person in this entire room yes, I think it’s extremely likely you’ll be that aware in 15 years!” says Lacey.
“I am a lot more aware than I think you realize!” says Louis.
“Are you really though?! Are you really though Louis? Do you have any idea how sad she is right now?!” asks Michael.
“You obviously know!” says Louis.
“Well my golly I hope that Lem realizes when he meets you dear how sad you are!” says Truman Capote, slightly drunk.
“You don’t think that he will?” asks Lacey.
“Possibly not.” says Truman.
“Well is Jack sad is that how he wheedles his way and tell him his heart?” asks Lacey.
“No he’s never sad. I don’t think that man has any emotions other than constant glee.” says Truman.
“We’ll that can’t be entirely from Lem’s good fucking what makes him so ecstatic?!” says Lacey.
“I love how you make Lem sound like he’s cooking for him when he gives him oral sex. But you know I don’t think that’s what it is.” says Truman.
“You don’t think it’s just that Lem making him him happy, truly?” asks Lacey.
“I think Lem is in for a surprise tonight when you sleep with him.” says Truman..
“Truman the way you’re talking I should go to sleep with him right now to save his life.” says Lacey.
“Yes! You should!” says Truman. He sighs.
“You know I might not sleep with him but you have me genuinely concerned about his well-being. Sincerely! Why doesn’t he just come here or why don’t I just meet him somewhere? …What is wrong with Jack? Is he on uppers or is he just evil or is it both?” asks Lacey.
“Both! I think it’s both!” says Truman.
“You know I think I’m going to have my father called! Give me his number! Give me his phone number so I can reach him directly within the next 15 minutes! Right now!” says Lacey.
“Alright.” says Truman.
Lacey takes the number, marches out and goes down to the drugstore a block away. She calls her father. Then she calls Lem.
“Hello!” says Lem.
“Is this Lem Billings?” asks Lacey.
“Yes!” says Lem.
“This is Lacey Banks, and I was told that you are very, very busy, but that you might possibly have time to have lunch with me or dinner if I’m an incredibly lucky woman.” says Lacey.
“Yes, this is Lem Billings.” says Lem.
“Well that’s good news because that’s who I’m trying to reach. This is Lacey Banks. If I promise you that I won’t bore you, would you possibly come have drinks with me in an hour or two depending on where you are? Or how about if I come to you where are you?” asks Lacey.
“I’m at the White House.” says Lem.
“Can you leave the White House? Or is your mouth too busy fucking Jack’s hard cock, don’t bullshit me I’m Lacey Banks.” says Lacey.
“OK that’s not something to talk about on a phone call before a first date.” says Lem.
“Sweetie can you leave the phone or do those two little Irishman have you attached to it with a chain that can’t be broken other than with an ax or an atom bomb?” says Lacey.
“Those two little Irishman?!” asks Lem.
“Do you have a cock or a vagina?“ asks Lacey.
Lem laughs. “I have a penis, ma’am.“
“Then why are you acting like a damsel in distress? I don’t have a penis sweetie just a vagina. It’s very humble. It’s very simple. And I was trying to go out for a drink with you. It was Truman‘s idea but I’m losing my sense of humor because two pricks are sitting in the background listening to this conversation, trying to make an ass of me and if we have sex darling, you will not be shoving your cock up my ass. Do they understand that or are they all too backward?!” asks Lacey.
“Jack would like to talk to you the President of the United States would like to interrupt this conversation.“ says Lem.
“Oh your mommy would like to get on the phone or your master because you’re a sex slave being used by Jack, an ass who bought the election and commits crimes the White House because as far as I know, sodomy is still a crime. Don’t think I don’t know that it’s happening because I do. You have no idea how dumb that shitbag that you bought the election for is. He can get on the phone and try to railroad me into doing something dumb but I’m not dumb. I’m not like him.” says Lacey.
“How do you know that we bought the election Lacey?” asks Lem.
“Oh shut-up every fucking asshole in the entire country that has any money and power knows that your shit ass family bought that fucking election. Weren’t you born into that family and you’re fucking your brother?” says Lacey. “Stop threatening me. All I’m trying to do is have a date with you and if it’s that difficult, we don’t have a President. We have a terrorist sitting in the White House. Literally. Stand down.” says Lacey.
“All you want is a date with me?” asks Lem.
“Yes can you’re a little Mother Superior freak let you go for a day or will he die of sadness and sexual frustration?” asks Lacey.
“I think he’ll be OK!” says Lem indignantly.
“Then I want you to get out of the White House go to New York City and meet me in a bar of my choosing and I don’t want there to be any difficulty of any sort or my honor is at stake and that is not something that I take lightly.” says Lacey.
“Jack’s laughing because he’s realizing that all you wanna do is have a date with me and you genuinely think that he’s some sort of perverted freak.” says Lem.
“Then use whatever independent brain cells you have left that they haven’t sucked out of your brain and go to New York City and stop explaining them to me. I know them better than you do. All right Princess Pookie Pie.” says Lacey.
“Alright.” says Lem.
“Alright, I’d like to talk to the US President now is he still available or is he too busy getting fucked by some starlet who’s high on sedatives?” says Lacey.
“Actually, he probably could easily right now will be high having sex with some starlet, but he’s not.” says Lem.
“No because you’re in the room and you’re much more interesting to him aren’t you?” asks Lacey.
“So you think I’m homosexual but I’m going to go on a date with you?” asks Lem.
“No I know that you’re going to go on a date with me because I’m demanding it. You don’t have a choice and as far as your homosexual tendencies how about if we talk about them in person not while your little Lord and keeper is watching you with his bought presidency?” asks Lacey.
“Jack’s scared because apparently you dated his brother and Eunice claims that you’re angry because their whole family has treated you like absolute shit.” says Lem.
“Why don’t you meet me in Manhattan in an hour on E. 45th St. at the drug store. I’ll be buying a pack of cigarettes even though I don’t smoke. I’m wearing a khaki coat. My hair is brown and my name is Lacey Banks. We can go out for drinks after that. They’ll be a car waiting in front of the White House to come pick you up in a half an hour. If the driver gives you absolutely any trouble know that had nothing to do with me I like you, you seem interesting. …Don’t try to send anyone other than yourself that would be a very dumb thing to do. I already have a sense of who you are and I will find out as much as I can about you before you get there. I expect you to be there, this is a demand not a request. The minute you get off the phone I expect you to get dressed, grab your belongings and wait for me to send the car which will be there within half an hour. If it’s not you can call me at the following number anytime you have any problems you can call me at this number, because I do expect you to be where I said you should be within an hour. Well actually make that four hours. I’m sorry I’m very upset. Maybe I’m speaking in Russian or maybe my brain is operating in a different time zone or maybe I’m just irritated that the Founding Fathers set up things so stupidly. …So in 4 1/2 hours I expect you to be at E. 45th St. in 4 1/2 hours and there will be a car waiting for you within half an hour and if you have any problems you can reach me at Murray-Hill 5-9975. I’ll be waiting there and if the driver or anyone gives you any trouble just call that number. Alright. Will you comply or will I be heartbroken?” asks Lacey.
“I’ll comply.” says Lem.
“Alright good then I’ll see you there. I am Lacey Banks. I am 5 foot six. I am slim, relatively curvy I suppose you could say, although I’m not exactly a large breasted woman, and I actually am supposedly quite beautiful. So I’ll see you then in 4 1/2 hours?!”asks Lacey.
“Yes!” he says.
“Alright well I’ll see you in 4 1/2 hours then. I look forward to meeting you, truly.” says Lacey. “I’d like to speak with the president now if he’s still available and he’s not busy screwing I don’t know…a lamp or something.”
“I thought you didn’t think he was the president?” says Lem.
“You know how about if we discuss something that serious at this point in the conversation that I am controlling…in person. I’d like to speak to Jack Kennedy, who was elected, possibly illegally as US President. Is he available or is he busy?“ asks Lacey.
“He’s free, he’s available and I’ll see you in Manhattan 4 1/2 hours and they’ll be a car waiting for me in a half an hour to give me a ride?” asks Lem.
“Yes that’s right. I look forward to speaking with you in person and having a nice night or a nice afternoon. …I’m sorry it will probably be a nice night.“ says Lacey.
“Alright I’ll see you in 4 1/2 hours.” says Lem. ￼
“Is this the president I’m speaking to?” asks Jack Kennedy.
“You know it’s funny Jack I do feel like the president, right now.” says Lacey.
“But you know you aren’t actually the president I am.” says Jack Kennedy condescendingly.
“Well, aren’t you special!” says Lacey.
“You know I cried when my brother died. Where were you?“ asks Jack.
“Oh dear, do you really want to have this conversation? Or not?“ asks Lacey.
“You just thought he was funny. You didn’t love him at all. You just thought he was very, very funny.“ says Jack.
“That’s not at all what happened Jack you know that! …Now about Lem! This is actually quite serious, darling. Jack, there are a lot of people in this country who hate you right now and I’m not actually one of them believe it or not. But I will become someone who hates you if I find out that all the gossip is true and you really won’t let Lem Billings have a date with me in New York City. Because then, Jack, Mr. President, it seems as though you’re insane because why wouldn’t you let Lem a man who isn’t even your brother not by blood have a date with a woman when he’s not married and I’m not married? Jack that’s very, very odd.” says Lacey.
“Why were you telling me to stand down? I am the US President.” says JFK.
“Because Jack, you apparently don’t speak English. What do you speak? Do you speak? I just explained it to you; it’s very simple. Jack there are people in this country who think you are a treasonous, evil, sloppy fool. And I decided to call and put my ears to the phone and see what I could hear for myself. You know that our fathers are friends or used to be a long time ago and you know that’s how I was friends with Joe for a while because that’s all that basically ever was was just some stupid friendship. I fell in love Jack, and then your brother fell in love with some Australian woman or something.” says Lacey.
“I am being told to calm down by my Secret Service and everyone running this country who wasn’t elected.” says JFK.
“And how do you feel about that Jack? How do you feel? Does it make you sad? Does it make you angry because you know your feelings are the only feelings that matter in the entire world to anyone anywhere, right?!” asks Lacey.
“I bet it must be a real thrill for you to call the US President and get him on the phone to be able to talk to him and tell him off and make fun of him!” says JFK.
“Do you know it’s really not? You know I had sex not with the lamp not with Lem or you or your mother or your dog but with some Louis. A man who you may, or may not know, but who, in a way is far more powerful than you individually will ever be because men like him are more powerful than you, and that is something that your father maybe never really fully understood. It’s not that being US President isn’t a big deal, nor being a senator, or being a congressman or anything like that it’s just that Jack power is very complex and you can’t just buy something wear it and then expect to be an entirely different person. I really hope you know what you’re doing with all of your power because actually it really isn’t that big of a deal for me to be able to call you. And you should probably know that. That is a huge missreading of my emotional state. I am warning you Jack people are angry, who matter.”
“Who is angry, Lacey?!” asks Jack.
“Jack my friends are angry. A lot of my friends are angry. I came from a party today – just a quick get together – people there were talking about you and they were very upset and they’re good people Jack and they were sad. They were upset and I know my friends and I know that if they were upset that there are probably dozens of people who are upset, who are far less reasonable and kind and loving than them.” says Lacey.
“There should be a car there in about 10 minutes. I expect Lem to be in it. Let him have a night off. He’s not your servant, you’re not paying him and I certainly hope he’s not your slave, Jack.” says Lacey.
“You know Gore Vidal called him a slave.” says JFK.
“Did he? Do you know I didn’t know that that’s disturbing isn’t it that I didn’t know that?” says Lacey.
“Yeah, it is disturbing.” says JFK.
“Well, Jack, the car should be there by now and like I said, I expect Lem to be in it.” says Lacey.
“This is the end of my presidency, isn’t it?“ asks JFK.
“I really suppose that’s up to you isn’t it maybe it should be up to the American people but we don’t elect the CIA do we? Or the FBI or the mob or journalists or the Supreme Court. We only elected you.” says Lacey before hanging-up.
Turns out there may be dead gay Cowboys, who empathize with Jack and his inability to understand that being brutal to another man isn’t good. Yes you read that right dead gay Cowboys. Probably from the 1800s, 1900s or so from the Wild West. Actual cowboys who rode horses and shot people and drank. …Cowboys like the kind that used to ride around in spaghetti westerns in the 1950s on television.
“And by being brutal, she doesn’t mean sex she means rape or molestation. Like actual brutality.” says Lem.
“That’s true that is what I meant.” says Lacey.
“You know I was the one that inspired writing this blog post today because you got woken-up very early this morning having a conversation with God and me lots of other dead people, angels and demons and I can’t get over it.” says Lem.
“What can’t you get over?“ asks Lacey.
“Let’s just try to continue the conversation that we were having on this blog.” says Lem.
“Alright, would you have shown up or not?“ asks Lacey.
“Yes.” says Lem.
“Alright, well I would’ve been there waiting. Let’s just go from there I guess I don’t know.“ says Lacey.
“Alright, so we’re at the drugstore and I walk in and you’re standing there and I see you and I walk up to you and I say, ‘Hello.’”
“And I say, ‘Hello, are you Lem Billings?’” says Lacey.
“And I say, ‘Yeah, sure I’m Lem Billings. Are you Lacey Banks?’” says Lacey.
“Yes I am Lacey Banks I’m 43 when I was 23 I was a lot prettier. Hopefully you’re still interested in going on a date with an old 43 year old single woman.” says Lacey.
And that was where he looked at me and bashfully said, “Well, hi.”
And I looked at him and I said, “You almost look like you’re expecting me to kiss you. Am I imagining things or do you feel like you’re in a movie?“
And that’s when I leaned over and kissed her. And then that was where I discovered that I wasn’t the homosexual. ￼
“And when we were in the hotel, I said, ‘This isn’t our wedding night.’” says Lem.
“I’ve had one or two wedding nights. I’ve never gotten pregnant because I’ve been extraordinarily careful but I’ve had one or two wedding nights and I’ve never been married.“. She laughs apologetically. “I just gave up. I guess. Isn’t that awful?”
Part III by Crumb plays.
Lacey and Lem made love. Of course. But Lacey…can now barely breath.
Because she’s empathizing. Not with children, not with sick people but with adults. With other adults, who then take her empathy and use it in ways that are not only evil, but incredibly ill-advised.
“Because they don’t understand what death is anymore or ugliness is because people lie.” says Lem. “I didn’t love Jack. I lied when I said that I didn’t even know him my whole life. It was a stupid thing to say I lied I lied about how smart he was. I lied about how attractive he was. I lied because I felt sorry for him.”
“How much would it mean to Lacey if behind your back, screwing Jack?” asks a woman.
“Honestly, it would devastate me. But Lem just said that was such emotion and depth that essentially if he didn’t mean it, it’s almost meaningless in regard to Jack.“ says Lacey.
“So then what was the point even be Lacey?” asks a catty woman.
“There really isn’t one. It’s really it’s a it’s sort of a stupid thing to do. I’m not saying that they wouldn’t do it but there really isn’t a point. People sometimes do things without having a point there’s a reason why they do it but they might not have a point.” says Lacey.
“I don’t do it. I wouldn’t do it. I didn’t want to do it and I’m not going to do it and I didn’t do it. I’m not going to. How about that?!” asks Lem. “The reason I would do it is because I’d be lying to Lacey and somehow would enjoy it but I don’t think you seem to grasp but that’s not possible according to me, Lem.”
“But you could just say something different on someone else’s blog because I mean you’re not really Lem and there’s probably lots of so-called Lem’s and there is no afterlife. I mean I can go on and on with all these logical things that you clearly haven’t thought of because you’re an idiot. OK? Like I am a brilliant person compared to you!” says Wobbly’s wife sincerely.
“That’s gonna be really awkward someday when you die.” says Lem. “If you’re a real person.”
“Lem…you sound more resolute every time you make love. That’s also why it’s sorta…dumb. Not that I’m saying you’re doing anything but people lie about that nowadays.” says a man.
“They do! And she’s not illegitimate.” says Tommy Banks. “Why aren’t you all more scared of death?”
“Are you demon possessed?” asks Lacey.
“So…a mistress who’s shamed…isn’t that…loved?” asks Joe Kennedy Senior. He rolls his eyes.
“Yes, do you understand that? Because I’m not sure your sons do.” says Lacey.
“Possibly not entirely and honestly no I don’t know if they do.” says Joe.
“So you loved Janet but you didn’t love Gloria?” asks Eunice.
“I’m not going to answer that it’s really none of your business. I’m sorry.” says Joe.
“I’ve tried to say this now many times, and I am losing patience. You’re not respecting her humanity and I’m saying that to both the living and possibly also the dead who really possibly cannot understand that they’ve been both outed and told off at the same time. I am not intimidated if I have God on my side. Jack can you not handle the probable fact that Lem wasn’t remotely attracted to you at all?” asks Louis.
“And Louis can you not handle the fact that you probably would’ve had a potential long-term mistress if Lacey had been born in 1918? Would you have left your wife for Lacey or would you have just slept with her once after pressuring her into it over a period of years?” asks JFK.
“I have hurt her.” says Louis.
“Well did you love her or not?“ asks JFK.
“Yes!” says Louis.
“Well then why didn’t you leave your wife for her? Why did you go back to your wife?“ asks JFK.
“It’s possible that I have a very hard time leaving my second wife very hard time leaving it’s just incredibly difficult potentially or it’s just a lie and I have let her think that because I don’t want her to feel like she has to be with me, but it’s possible that I have a very hard time leaving my second wife.” says Louis.
“Why?” asks JFK.
“Are you asking that as a son or as a friend?“ asks Louis.
“As a son sort of, you’re right.” says JFK.
“Honestly because I loved her I was probably very in love with my second wife at first very possibly I thought she was like a living angel. I might have a hard time handling the fact that she wasn’t who I thought she was in the way she is and it’s just hard to let go of her. If I was in love with her it’s just possibly very difficult to let go of the actual dream and life that I tried to build with her for decades. Now, if my children die someday, and I find out that they’re not as attached to her as their mother, as I thought they could be I might be a little less attached to her myself, but that day has not come.” says Louis.
“But I don’t think you realize how much you’ve actually hurt Lacey. What? She just wasn’t good enough?! Honestly! But she’s just not as good as your wife?! Because I bet she probably can accept that if it’s true, but that’s what you’re forcing her to accept!” says JFK.
“Lacey is far superior to my wife in every way that’s humanly imaginable. And it’s why I can’t resist her and it’s why and I’m no longer speaking to you as a son – if she were to have pressed me, I probably would have hurt a lot of people.“ says Louis. “And I don’t think that something you even begin to comprehend Jack.”
“Why didn’t she press you?” asks JFK.
“Because she has kids if she didn’t she wouldn’t have then either – I think she just didn’t want to hurt people herself. Of course that means that she ended up hurting me but at the same time I essentially just hurt myself because I maybe can’t figure out what to do.” says Louis.
“You’re not homosexual at all are you?“ asks JFK.
“No, actually I’m not.” says Louis. “Do you just think that because I look like a Lem but I am shorter we do look alike? It’s possible neither of us were.” He takes over. “If Lacey was my wife she would be trying to figure out whether or not we should be together right now and how happy we really were with each other for eternity. Because it’s not like I wouldn’t have married her, Jack, if I was single. And honestly, if I was homosexual and she was a man I would’ve probably ended up with her somehow then too in a committed relationship if I wasn’t with someone else because there’s nothing inherently wrong with her as a human in that way and that’s part of the reason why what you did with Lem looks so strange.”
“But Lem was poor. I was straight, Lacey’s poor and ugly and Norwegian. And you had to lie about stuff like that to become president that’s why you didn’t become president. Do you don’t know that because if you play the game right and marry the woman who you should’ve married, you would’ve been able to become president.” says JFK.
“Oh, I don’t think that’s what happened Jack. I had a first wife and honestly I know it wouldn’t have mattered. Elsie’s Scandinavian heritage wasn’t the problem.” says Louis. “And no, Lacey‘s family is not really poor Jack. They’re not poor. Lem’s family might have struggled but they were from the upper class in a way that your family still isn’t.”
“I know I was just trying to be funny.” says JFK.
“I think that you are mad that I could’ve had a mistress, I think it really bothers you! And you’re right to be bothered by that if you are, it bothers me too it’s atrocious. But I suppose that in a sense it just means that yes I probably do you think my second wife is superior, even if objectively I don’t.” says Louis. “Would I have left my wife for Lacey yes, but that’s the problem though Jack. Lacey knows that love has to be sincere and deep or it really isn’t worth it and honestly I might love Lacey more than I’m letting on. But let’s just say that I don’t she knows that it’s possible that I can’t quite get over her and yet she’s trying to protect me from making a mistake and protect herself from making a mistake too.”
“And I would be the mistake if she’s capable of loving me more.” says Lem.
“You’re right.” says Michael.
“Lem what she was talking about this morning is true. She is going to be struggling for the rest of her life. She’s never going to be happy unless if God does a miracle and if you expect that of her to be happy yourself, it’s probably not a relationship that’s going to work.” says Louis.
“You’d have to be literally raised from the dead Lem for her to ever be happy if you’re really Lem and you’re a ghost. Her entire life has been stolen from her at this point Lem. There is no happy ending for her life. We’re dead there is no happy ending for her life and she’s talking to us she’s alive, but is it possible that with Covid and Illuminati and aging that at this point Lem she’s alive because she needs to be alive. God wants her to be alive. And God is so powerful than Satan. It’s maybe different than it is for most people because essentially, she’s both alive and dead at the same time because her life was stolen from her. It’s over in a way. But God is choosing to keep her alive, again I should say, for a very good reason and also, she is possibly being allowed if she doesn’t go to Hell and we’re ghosts to begin essentially the rest of eternity right now. And she doesn’t know whether or not we’re ghosts or demons or if she’s being evil, so not only has her life essentially ended, and been stolen from her, and never was really happy in the way that it should have been, or was meant, designed by God to be shall I say, as a woman or a person in general, she also doesn’t know whether or not what she’s doing right now is evil or good…but it’s the only way that she has to survive especially if there’s an Illuminati. I mean a lot of the Illuminati is hateful and a lot of it isn’t at the end of the day, though they probably did not handle the situation well whether it’s good or evil, it was not handled well even, which is silly because well is good and these people want some sort of functioning universe. And you’d they’d realize that Satanism is essentially idiocy.” says Michael.
And right after that Lacey saves her kid’s lives…gets hit on the head by a falling object…and realizes yet again how desperate these buffoons have become. Will she be okay? Yes!
“Why don’t you guys just blow up her and her family on a plane?! Like…we know you exist. It’s pathetic at this point that you care so much. Like…let it go! She’s Lacey Banks. Lem was possibly straight. Okay?! Jack was an idiot and an asshole.” this random person says. “We aren’t…shocked anymore. Okay?! Like…we know the reasons. You’re too poor. You’re too dumb! You’re too disorganized. You’re scared to. And you’re trying to be sadistic.”
“You guys are so pathetic! We know. …We know!” says another random person.
“Okay…but I wanna know why…y’all spend millions and millions trying to cover up political corruption…we know is happening…and then you can’t kill this one family that’s driving y’all to ruin everything? She’s right. They’re right. That’s not Satanism. That’s just stupidity.” says another random person.
“Can’t you just stop trying to kill her?!” asks another random person.
“We are all going to die. And it never ceases to amaze me how you think about it all day and every night for your secret society…but you miss the forest for the trees. …You conjure demons and ghosts with a passion and for a living. …You should not be so stupid!” says another person.