In Reality

A Sparrow Alighted Upon Our Shoulder by Jóhann Jóhannsson plays.

Lacey listened to Lem’s voice today and she heard heterosexuality and sadness and frustration and deep depression and just how much he pretended to be gay.

She also read an self-labeled credible article about how JFK “shared women” with men to be sexually intimate with the men. …Except…the only man openly listed was his younger brother Robert. …And…given the vibe of this article it was odd…because that’s not so much homoerotic but rather…more purely incestuous.

The first observation might allude most people. Lacey has bizarrely accurate gaydar. Although…given her tendency to interact with with ghosts maybe it’s not so odd. Maybe Lacey just gets foreboding senses about most things in general. Maybe…she’s brilliant at reading people as characters. Not so much in relation to her…but as objective people. She can’t remember ever being truly wrong about possibly anyone.

The second observation is…obvious. …How could any real thinker ever get that wrong?!

Zero by Electric Guest plays.

“Lacey…you take one look at people and automatically know their sexual orientation. Almost always. …At times more than they know themselves. …You’ve watched the average person try to do it online. It’s not nearly that easy even for people who are queer and have reason to automatically know such things. …Your mind just grasps people’s character very quickly. And it’s a gift. It’s not a normal thing.” says Michael to Lacey.

(Adult content below)

If Peter Kreeft is right…there are people who are destined for us. And while Lacey and possibly Lem’s ghost continue to make love they…are often harassed. So much so that Michael feels the need to protect her.

“You love Lem.” says Michael to Lacey.

“Yes. But I’m tired of dealing with Jack.” says Lacey.

“He’s a freak.” says Michael.

“Why does he choose to be?” says Lacey.

Suddenly JFK figure skates on ice to Zero to an empty auditorium. For some reason it scares him. But Michael is making him to do it.

“Why do liberals not acknowledge that Jack is likely bisexual?! …First of all. Second of all why do they care?! Cause I feel like people still care about this idea that he was the ultimate straight man. Except, even so it really wouldn’t be almost at all shocking to say that JFK was bisexual. …Are people alive today hiding something? …Getting back to what I was saying before: Are people stuck on this cartoon version we have of JFK that was actually created by his father to get him elected? Or do people sort of intuitively sense something is amiss? It’s probably both?” says Lacey. “But I wonder though if part of the reason they cling to that cartoon version of him is because…of the sense they get that something is off.”

Michael smiles. “Like what? Incest?”

“Yes. …Or as in my case…they can sense that Lem wasn’t actually gay or possibly even bisexual or pan. If I’m right about what I’ve heard about him or from him then other people must occasionally see it too. …But then there’s also Red Fay. …And Rip Horton. And Vidal. And Tennessee Williams. …And there must be lots of unknown others. …He had gay lovers?” She thinks. “But like…why don’t we hear more?!? So much more?”

Michael smiles. “About who?!”

“I’m truly objective. Really. …And so on that note, the person who always comes to us hi hi hi hi to I mine for me because I get the sense that JFK and Red Fay had a sort of an on and off again relationship with JFK if there was anything that romantic or sexual between them…but the person who comes to mind the most to me, is Rip Horton.” She thinks. “That photo of JFK holding a man is of Rip not Lem. …And…Lem being tall and hot and possibly not even queer is more easy to handle for those who want to maintain that Jack was straight? …Or bisexual but not like…really bisexual. …But this…mysterious, shorter man named Rip is what? JFK’s first real homosexual relationship? What if JFK had a toxic, weird relationship with Lem? But…Rip was an actual thing? Like…if you look at the way they’re looking at each each other…it looks like they were feeling in love.

“More than he felt for anyone including Lem.” says Michael possibly agreeing. “At least that we have photographic evidence of.”

“And it was Vidal who called Lem the saddest widow? Why is that opinion even valid?” asks Lacey. “…No…why do we oddly ignore Rip?!” She thinks. “Why doesn’t anyone look into Rip and JFK the way they have with Lem?!”

“You’re right.” says Lem.

“That is Rip not you?” asks Lacey.

“Yes!” says Lem.

“Then why do they throw you around through the mud if you’re Lem while you’re a molestation victim if I’ve heard you correctly dozens of times…but totally ignore Rip!?! …Is he too sweet looking? …Too normal looking? …Did he hurt JFK?!” asks Lacey. She thinks. “If I was in love with JFK first I’d ask about you. Then I’d ask about his women. Then I’d ask about his other male friends…but once I realized that photo was of Rip…I’d assume it was likely that Rip was the love of his life potentially. …Sort of like Genevra and Scott.” says Lacey. “Why doesn’t anyone else see the way he looked at Rip as being suspicious?!!”

“You’re right.” says Lem to Lacey. “Because they don’t want to see it or it isn’t there. …But if it is there…then what?!”

“You were the psychologically confused hot chick. You were the hot chick who was seemingly super attainable but then…always wasn’t. He had a lifelong crush on you. And it always seemed so possible to him. Maybe he thought eventually you’d be too impressed not to genuinely fall madly in love with him for real. …But then…you didn’t? And it devastated him but also really made him angry because he felt totally played by you. …But…Rip…was…tender and gay? Rip was a truly safe place for JFK? And…they almost committed themselves to each other but it was too obviously gay a relationship?”

“What if that’s true?” asks Michael.

“Then it likely messed-up JFK’s mind. He likely trivialized real love after that? And if Lem was straight JFK saw the unattainable as the ultimate ideal? …He made so-called meaningless sex the norm. Because he’d only found his experience with mutual, deep, safe love with Rip? And Jackie and Lem were alike. They both were very elite in their own way…and attainable but yet not really attainable. Lem may have been straight and as much as he lovingly watched over JFK he’d not ever love him despite what was said otherwise. And Jackie was in love and attracted to JFK but…she didn’t want his dark side. She didn’t love him in this unconditional way necessarily. …But if the photo is to be believed…Rip was everything?” wonders Lacey. “And yet…he mysteriously is never discussed.” She thinks. “JFK looks so happy. So present.”

“He does.” says Lem.

“But Rip is a submissive, adoring wife in that photo.” says Joe Jr..

“Yes! And he’d likely have cheated on Rip if homosexual marriage had been allowed and they were really together ever. …But…would he have been shot?!” asks Lacey.

“No.” says Joe Jr..

Lacey thinks.

“He’d probably have hurt Rip. But…they’d have stayed married…at least until the 1970’s or 80’s.” says Joe Jr.. “Possibly forever. If the photo is the truth of what they were psychologically experiencing.”

“Why didn’t they ever do a glamour analysis of Rip?” asks Lacey. “Isn’t he pretty enough??”

Lem looks at Lacey.

Joe laughs.

“I mean…if Lem was straight he has a sexual magnetism from decades of sexual repression underneath a thin veneer or faux flaming homosexuality. It’s palpable. …If. And he’s a very deep, passionate, loving romantic. He’s a tender man but he’s very intense too. …If.

However…Rip was like me. I’m possibly far more attractive and…whatever…but…I’m also a calm person. Even being deeply unloved, supposedly sexy and the potential lovechild of a historic bootlegger…I’m possibly like Rip. …I’m so…English. So British. …And they’re attractive but…are they ever as captivating in that dangerous, edge-of-your-seat way?” wonders Lacey.

“People like you and possibly Rip are either seen as milquetoast sweethearts who wouldn’t hurt a fly…or as demons.” says Gore Vidal to Lacey. “Much like how Betty Draper is written as a Nordic dumb blond from some money…or a cold hearted, pedophilic bitch.”

“What is about that type that haunts the Kennedys?” asks a Millennial.

“Taylor Swift uses that societal narrative of that type to her advantage.” says another Millennial.

“I was a bit like that myself.” says Athalia.

“I think it’s a piece of Joe Kennedy Senior that he sublimated to be successful, but that keeps finding its way into their open reality.” says Lacey.

“Or a piece of Rose’s psyche that she repressed.” says a Caroline.

“That also makes sense if she was secretly that deep.” says Lacey.

“Anyway, one of them might have been.” says Gore Vidal.

“And…if Rip wasn’t straight…the LGBTQ+ community really was sold up a creek if Lem was straight, in my best estimation.” says Lacey. “Not that homosexuality is necessarily truly okay…but…regardless…it’s not helpful to them otherwise. If God allows adults to consent outside of heterosexuality…we’ve possibly massacred the history of JFK.”

“What was he?!” asks Rip Horton.

“Bisexual. Wildly homophobic. …And yet he couldn’t truly appreciate or fully stomach women sexually or romantically. He was a predator towards women sure…but also a sort of sexual bulimic with women. …He likely was an unequivocal pervert. But hopefully it was directed at teenagers and adults in his family. …Not that commanding prostitutes he was fooling around with to go screw his brothers automatically after they serviced him was acceptable or not evil. It’s disgusting. …But…at least they weren’t his toddlers.” She thinks. “If the Illuminati of 1962 caught JFK molesting his kids or if he confessed to that possibility to Lem…I’m almost positive that that’s part of why they killed him, if they did.”

Oh Devil by Electric Guest plays.

“My how we’ve disintegrated since, if they killed JFK for righteous reasons.” says Lacey.

“What happened?” asks F. Scott Fitzgerald of Lacey. “Should that be possible.”

“Woah! Woah… Hold-up!!” says a black Gen. X man. “What are you saying?! …Are you saying that…JFK…was…better off marrying Rip?!? Or someone truly gay?! …Not that his kids aren’t worth it. But…if he was harmful to them…one hopes they could have been born to someone else. And…if so…why…him?!? …Like…he’d have have caused less harm not having kids and letting Joe Junior live…and then what? We’d not have a 1960’s as tragic as the one we had. And who else would better off?!” asks the man.

“Here’s what I want to know: why do we have to think Rip is Lem? Who started that lie?!” asks a Millennial woman.

“Like in the photo?!” asks yet another Millennial.

“Yes!! Who first mislabeled that as a photo of JFK and Lem?! …I kinda feel like it’s weird.” says the first Millennial woman. “In other parts of the world outside of the U.S. it’s labeled correctly as Rip in the photo. …Lem…were you a pedophile?”

“It’s probably difficult to believe but no, I wasn’t.” says Lem. “That being said, regardless of what you think of me…nobody really was for the most part back then or if they were they still knew it was hideous.”

Holiday House by Beach House plays.

Lacey sees Jack and Rip parting ways. Or who is it? It’s not Lem.

Rip smiles very awkwardly. Laughs awkwardly.

Jack looks sad.

Jack Kennedy looks confused.

JFK looks confused and sad.

Jack shoves his hands in his pockets. He looks down at the ground stupidly as if he’s suddenly lost in space. …Fading.

The music plays.

Rip never sent JFK messages on toilet paper. If Lem ever even actually did in reality. …No.

Jack looks up at Rip as unwanted, uncontrollable tears suddenly fall down his cheeks. He wipes his nose on his arm. Sniffles. Toughens-up.

No. He’s in some absurd, idiotic conspiracy with Lem. A vile situation for both. …But with Rip…it’s all so different?

“It’s the sort of thing that makes men loose their minds.” JFK says to himself.

Rip’s wool crew-neck sweater. He’d worn it when they’d gone outside to watch the stars that one night on a lark in the spring. Lem was too busy drinking and studying. Listening to music?

But Rip answered cheerfully and so there they went. Off into the night.

Never in Jack’s life had he seen anyone look at him with such objective, insightful knowing. It reminded him of his dad. But…this wasn’t his father. With others he could beguile them…but with Rip…all was already known. And yet…Rip didn’t hate him. A sweet, accepting, quiet smile spread across Rip’s face. Lit his eyes aflame.

“The birds are so happy. I’ve been hearing them all day!” said Rip. “It’s enough to give a guy a headache!”

And moments later somewhere down the path…Jack suddenly embraced Rip. And they kissed.

My Tears Are Becoming A Sea by M83 plays.

And that’s the problem dear readers. If… If JFK was bisexual and Lem was straight…and Rip was gay or queer…

What was this?!?!? What was this photo of:

…Maybe Rip was…mostly gay. Not completely. But it was a real perspective.

So…Rip…lived somewhere. Rip settled down, got married….had his own family…and lived in Nebraska. …Nebraska. …Right?

Did Lem envy Rip?


Why? Because Rip Horton got away and seemed happy.

Rip married Jane and then…they say that his friendship after the war cooled…but…actually…I bet it was Jane. Because Rip probably loved Jane.

The thing is…Rip knew. He knew he had to pretend if I’m labeling him as queer in his so-called orientation correctly. Rip knew what it was to find men genuinely attractive. …I highly doubt Rip was molested and confused. …Instead, I suspect, Rip had an actual sexual interest in men that came to him without attack from without his being. And…as such…he knew…he had to deal with it.

Rip, Lem and Jack

Rip got away.

Rip…knew Madeline Elster would betray him. In my estimation Rip Horton may have loved Jack as much as any queer man can ever truly love another man. But he didn’t…stay with Jack, so to speak. He knew Madeline would betray him. So out of misery or wisdom or some of both and again maybe some real love too…he never chased after her…but married Midge instead. …At least, that’s my guess.

A Beautiful Mine by RJD2 plays.

Whereas when Rip died in 1977 likely of what? A heart attack? Cancer? …With some regret but a happy, adoring family? …Lem was laying in anguish on his dining-room floor injecting heroin into himself avoid painful withdrawal? Because Lem chased Madeline Elster and found out she was a murderer at heart. He found out that she was lying and posing as a woman potentially entirely different than herself. …He found out that Madeline was dead. And where Jimmy Stewart still possibly loved the lower-class girl from Kansas…his seething, epic bitterness rested in his massive disillusionment nonetheless. …If Lem was straight…he didn’t still love JFK when he died right before Jack’s birthday five years later…because in that case Lem never loved JFK. Yet, like Jimmy Stewart…Lem…never recovered? From the shock? And was Lem also secretly seething with rage as he aged and possibly realized slowly that he’d not ever been truly gay at all?

“I watched the heterosexual couples make love at an orgy once and that seemed arousing to me. …And it caught me off guard, because it was so emotional. And I had always thought that my tendency towards emotion meant I was gay. But my guide at the party assured me that they were straight. …And as much as I watched the homosexuals I couldn’t find them arousing to watch.” Lem Billings (seemingly) said to Lacey last year. “And that’s one way I started to realize that I wasn’t a homosexual.”

So what was it that Rip knew? If he knew something Lem didn’t. …He kissed JFK?

A Beautiful Mine plays.

Jimmy Stewart didn’t make-out with Kim Novak quickly…and instead he let her lure him in regardless of the truth. Lem…possibly never truly made-out with or even truly kissed JFK…but…he was lured in as well, seemingly.

Why kiss?

Because if they did…I’d bet it was because Rip longed to and Jack longed to. They possibly experienced that as their real perspective. And then it fell apart… If there even was a thing between them…it seemingly ended.

If Jimmy Stewart had kissed Kim Novak that first night the truth would have emerged sooner, I bet.

Things are often nuanced and complicated.

See…it’s not that being promiscuous is good. No! It’s that…by kissing Jack as an actual queer man if he was one…Rip may have intuited that it was foolish to have a long-term relationship with JFK and expect him to be or his world to be fully accepting and safe. …And so he found Jane and may have been happy, at least somewhat if not fully.

“What? You couldn’t find anyone to take you?!” Lem asked JFK after the war and after Rip had found Jane. Well…that’s paraphrasing but the actual quotation from Lem is similar if not identical.

And so…bisexuality exists. If homosexuality exists so does bisexuality, that is. And Rip might have run off with Jane after JFK stood there, hands in pockets and let Rip go. Tears not to be diminished…of course…should this have truly happened… But something tells me JFK may have slept on the meanings in his heart at some point and flailed idiotically at the catch.

“Were you meaning that unkindly?” Lacey asks Lem about his possible allusion to Rip. “Everyone reads your words as being so lovingly said.”

“You know it’s not safe to post my response.” says Lem to Lacey. “But it’s safe to assume that I might have been very disillusioned in my last years…and I’ll say that…I died aware of my absence of desire for men…if there was such an absence. …And it was a rude awakening from some sort of insanity or rather…a profound betrayal of myself by myself. …And I think that’s the reason Jimmy Stewart goes mad…right? He at least partially can’t stand how much he’s betrayed himself.”

“Like how Jack betrayed himself?” asks Lacey.

“No! Not at all.” says Lem. “No. He’s not a Jimmy Stewart type, really. Men like Jack don’t betray themselves in the same way. …Men like Jack have an axe to grind. Men like me…try to be good but fail to understand something of absolute value and importance to living life at all. And by misunderstanding one thing or learning the wrong lesson or misreading a simple paragraph…we ruin everything.”

“Did you chicken out from sleeping with the prostitute or did you find it gross to share a woman with Jack? And what’s with the toilet paper messages?” a Millennial asks Lem.

“I don’t want to answer that. But I need to.” says Lem (seemingly) who’s a ghost and so finds it disconcerting. “I find it sad to recall. …Truth is…I didn’t want to ruin heterosexual sex for myself. I’d looked forward to it and it felt too depressing to ruin completely by sleeping with a prostitute. That was my first reason. …But also I did find it gross to sleep with her given her activities with Jack. Before was weird. After was gross.” He thinks. “I never satiated that…shared thing…with Jack. I either became too smitten in a real way and lost track of him of course, or I failed to find them almost attractive at all.” He thinks. “Often both. If not always both. …They weren’t my type. …There may have been one prostitute who I kissed before Jack had his way with her…and it wasn’t all that much because it felt so empty and unfulfilling and lonely.” He thinks. “I just couldn’t enjoy her enough and the concept was vile to me.”

An image of Lem in badly lit, concrete, back stairwell with women at a hotel or convention center comes to mind. He’s escorting them to JFK.

Sometimes he dully watched. Sometimes he just left. Always…he felt himself dying.

“Why did you do it?” asks Lacey.

“I wanted to be helpful.” says Lem without intended humor. “I thought it was helpful.

“But why? Why pose for the photos and procure the women?” asks Lacey.

“I wanted success and…to be accepted by the Kennedys as a friend…or…I thought I was helping to cure him of his homosexuality and other ailments. Or…I loved the idea of it. Or…I was bullied into it. Or all of thee above.” says Lem.

“Why did you love the idea?” asks a Millennial.

Michael laughs.

“I thought the idea of heterosexual sex was wonderful even if I also thought I was gay.” says Lem.

“How would curing Jack happen with women?” asks a Millennial man.

Lem thinks. “I was straight. I’ll tell her to write that again. …Anyway…it would have made me straight.” says Lem. “If I’d wanted it as much as he claimed to and then did it.”

“So you wanted that woman? In the photo of you and Jack?” asks a Boomer.

“No…and yes. And no. …I might have been enjoying having my arm around her and…I might have secretly enjoyed the way she touched my hand. …But…it was never worth it. …I’m really that serious of a person.” says Lem. “If Lacey had been there…it’d have been completely different. She haunts me. …Without reincarnation…she haunts me. I can’t handle how far I fell. …But God has to save me, as He does with all of us if we let him. …I made such a fool of myself.”

“Lem if Lacey had been there would you have used your gay voice to talk to her in private?” asks a comedian.

“Yes…and no…because I was trying to be good if I was straight. …But…it wouldn’t have lasted long around her in private. In other words…to a point. To a point I’d have kept it platonic with Lacey and tried to be gay…and then too late or too tired or too many feelings or thoughts exchanged and I’d have become too in love to be so distant. …And my real voice…if I was straight…would have slipped and I’d have become too close and too attentive.”

“How did that never happen?!” asks a living bisexual man.

“I was…very sincere.” says Lem. “I was a very sincere man.”

“So you were a serious man?” asks Michael.

“Genuinely serious. Not queer. Serious.” says Lem.

A moment passes.

“Goodnight.” says Lem.