Above and Below

I saw a post today about being the person our idea of perfection would find attractive. And it sent me into vast confusion.

The thing is…based on the comments I have to take it that this is a useful directive for most people. As in, they have to make it a point to seriously consider it. …That baffles me.

Why?

Because…that’s all I ever think about when it comes to that issue and equation, so to speak. And before you arrive at the likely assumption that I feel downtrodden and like a victim of the patriarchy let me reassure you that I do not. No! It’s more disturbing than that.

It’s more that I have no idea why anyone would find me attractive. But not in an insecure or immature or hateful way at all to myself. More like I just do not understand. It’s like a concept that…alludes me.

I mean, I understand what I look like mostly and I have a solid, unwavering, empirically evaluated idea of it. But…the mechanics beyond that are blank in my mind.

And I’m starting to suspect that most people alive have either psychopathically gate-kept me out of understanding what’s really going on…or they’ve unaware of it themselves and it just comes so naturally to them that it never entered their mind to consciously consider it much.

So what is that? How in the world do people…assume (because that’s what it feels like to me) that anyone will give a rip about them to that degree? Or that that many people will care to that degree, at least. Because finding people attractive is special. It isn’t something we feel for just any and every person we meet.

When I notice a man who I think might like me it’s always very meaningful to me. I can’t figure out why…men aren’t so weirder out by that. In my gut it feels like men alive…go “Eww! You care way too much! Ewww!”

And then what?! …They’re so off. I don’t not care about their humanity. But…it’s like I’m that into them?!

*confused face*

…What in the world…do men like about me?! Sweethearts…as a straight, cis woman…I have no idea. No idea. As a person who maybe wasn’t loved well in a non-sexual, unconditional way I don’t know…I don’t know. Nobody ever told me who I am to all of you in that way.

“We still want to punish you, you rich bitch!” says a hater, foaming at the mouth.

“Why?” I ask.

“BECAUSE!” yells a hater, shaking herself uncontrollably to the music. Because that’s what she signed-up for.

“Because why?!” pleads Lacey.

“Because we’ve decided to sacrifice you! To our gods. And kill your from the inside out!” says a hater.

“It’s what Jesus would want! He hates rich people. He hates vain people like you. He loves prostitutes. He loves us. You’re going to Hell for eternity!” smiles a Christian.

“Why? Why am I going to Hell?!” Lacey asks.

“It’s a mystery! Don’t try to figure it out. That’s not a question I can answer. So maybe you shouldn’t be asking it!” says a Christian.

“C.S. Lewis would say you’re going to Heaven.” says an ex-Christian.

“Where are you going?” Lacey asks the ex-Christian.

“Well, I guess…if I haven’t actually rejected Christ so much as evil…I might be going to Heaven too.” they respond.

“I worry. I worry we’ve rejected God by not going to church.” says Lacey to the ex-Christian.

“But where do we go to church these days Lacey?!” they respond.

“You know it’s funny. This reminds me of a conversation I had with a foreign policy advisor in Washington D.C.. She felt that the best church was the Episcopalian church. But she had qualms with some of their more so-called liberal ideas. …I’ve thought about trying Episcopalian churches. But they scare me too. And yet Catholicism is dangerous these days too.”

“If I’m being honest, it scares me.”

“What scares you?”

“Why do we have to fight to find a decent church?”

“Like, has the American church been taken over?”

“Yes! Like the Catholic Church was.”

“My initial response is yes.”

“Is that why Putin is so angry?”

“If he has any integrity, yes. That’s part of it.”

“What is it then that the church was doing?”

“Before they got taken over?”

“Yes.” says Lacey.

“They were our internal true light on a hill. Our compass. But…it’s all become too political. But not because Christians shouldn’t be in politics but the opposite, ironically. The Boomers gave far too much spiritual authority to forces that oppose the church. And so under decades of psychological persecution they became violent in response.”

“No I get it! It’s not that Christians do or don’t have to be for or against gay marriage, for example.”

“Yes!”

“It’s that that’s not the point.”

“Yes! Ideally there’d be a safe church where real Christians of varying opinions would be able to coalesce peacefully. But…other than the Catholic Church there’s nothing like that. And of course they feel that it’s wrong…but…I think that’s wise whether it is or not. It just shouldn’t be the focus.” says Lacey.

“Hmm. But then what about gay couples who want to get married?!”

“That’s a violent question though. Even if you don’t mean it that way. …I’m not sure. But ideally, it wouldn’t be a dangerous issue. Maybe some priests would do it? Maybe some would not. Officially no one is supposed to. But if that genuinely violates a priest’s conscience then I’m not sure he’d feel comfortable not performing those weddings.” says Lacey.

“Okay. So you truly think it’s safer to say it’s wrong?!”

“Yes. Sorry.”

She laughs. “Maybe it is.” She thinks. “But it would require a lot of spiritual maturity, ethical maturity and maturity in general to do that.”

“Yes! Because some churches might be favorited by wealthy gays. And be richer. Or not. It could go both ways. But it should be a means of ripping apart the church using issues of power and money. What at heart are issues of social class disorder.” says Lacey.

“So the poorer gays need to keep Michael and Lem but they can’t allow you to be with Louis either. Or Joe. Or ideally anyone who loves you. Because that’s too damaging to their grip on power.”

“Pretty much.”

“Was Lem even bisexual?”

“No according to what he tells me. If I’m talking to him through God.”

“Crud. So let me get this straight. Men are trying to gain complete power and control over this country. And they’re either delusional and think everyone is queer and will love them more automatically, or they’re convinced that they can destroy heterosexuality if it’s problematic to their ends because, due to misogyny they think they can destroy or abusively control women if they try hard enough?!”

“Yes.”

Silence.

“But! Not all men are that evil or even subconsciously aware it’s going on.” Lacey continues. “Well subconsciously. If they knew consciously they might be genuinely offended if not enraged.”

“Well not all men are queer. And I bet that’s where their plan falls apart. Because then some fall in love still with women. And it’s very hard to destroy that.”

“Well, one wonders if that’s why they fell in the Garden of Eden.”

“Who are these men?!”

“Well, and I suspect some women have been either brainwashed or are sellouts.” Lacey looks mortified. “But mostly it’s men who for years have been suspicious of women.”

Her mouth falls open slightly in shock.

“I mean, that’s my guess. So, there could be some tracings back to some of the Founding Fathers. I think Arthur Miller was internally ripped to shreds because of it. I think it’s the inspiration for The Crucible.”

“So these hateful men-I mean they hate us like the Nazis hated the Jews…have been conspiring against us since the 1700’s?”

“Well, in essence, yes. I think there are possibilities that it originated in Europe somewhere. But I actually do wonder if the literal Founding Fathers were the real source, in a sense.” Lacey responds.

“So it’s not just misogyny?” asks a Jewish person?

“No. I suspect not.”

“What’s their aim?” asks the woman.

“Honestly, I think Arthur Miller was grappling with that question. I think it deeply bothered him. I think he felt horrifically bothered by it.”

“Do you know what conclusion he came to? If that’s even a Christian thing to be asking.”

“I can’t tell you what he thought, because I don’t know. Although if we read enough we might be able to figure it out. But I do think that the idea was that they’d take land they knew they could control…through both justice and injustice…and then get power and money for no good end.”

Silence.

“But women might have been seen as a problem. Because they caused weakness.” she continues.

Silence.

“So the idea was to viciously control them or harm or kill them to transform them into workhorses or mindless slaves.” Lacey says.

Silence.

“But of course, not all the Founding Fathers felt that way. Not all men feel that way in general. So they had to be dishonest and manipulative about it.” Lacey adds.

Silence.

“So…it was functional enough to be ignorable…until relatively recently. Now it’s just one of our many third rails threatening to destroy us. Because we’re so threadbare.”

Silence.

“But as a Christian I can just say that we have a sin issue. The Puritans weren’t perfect but they had that right.”

Silence.

“But the Puritans weren’t late 20th Century Republicans.”

Silence.

“They could be used by late 20th Century Republicans because the Republicans are the closest we have to what they believed in some ways. But really, they were…more like Hasidic Jews.”

Silence.

“They were very spiritual and devoted and pure. Hence their name.”

Silence.

“Anyway, the point is…they weren’t as toxic as we’ve made them out to be necessarily. And if they were it’s because one truly can redeem themselves. God has ultimately to do it with our acceptance of God. Not other people. God.”

Silence.

“The thing is…democracy and republicanism work. But when you have viruses, so to speak, they fester and spread. Democratically.”

Silence.

“And a lot of the men in this country to have been our leaders have sacrificed their consciences to a trick, perhaps. The belief that men don’t have human needs. They just conquer.”

Silence.

“It’s demonic. It’s Jezebel’s demise. It’s not necessarily her. But I’m sure the evil that she was destroyed by still tries to manifest whether it’s her at all or not. Or your sort of evil she had.”

Silence.

“Jezebel’s image but not her might be used as a way to trick men into being weak and mindless. Or women in Hell might have their feminine identities stolen and used as a cloak for demons in the name of Jezebel, especially if they thought they were in essence worshiping her while alive.”

Silence.

“But essentially…the poorer and more insecure our country becomes the more people who used to be only mildly manipulative become loud.”

Silence.

“The idea is that they think if they are tough and evil enough they can manifest power and wealth again. Or be even better. But…we messed-up.”

Silence.

“When did we really start to get so impoverished?” asks Ron. Or a demon impersonating him.

“I’d bet the Civil War was it. But it didn’t seem like that because we had so much wealth afterwards due to our natural resources and the use of fossil fuels.” says Lacey.

Silence.

“But that’s when we started bleeding from deadly wounds.” says Lacey.

Silence.

“So…whatever happened during the Civil War…is still affecting us in regard to our power and wealth.”

“So basically we couldn’t afford to have the Civil War.” says Michael to Lacey.

“Yes. That’s my thought. It was profoundly costly. And it wasn’t…even necessary if we hadn’t kept slavery. But I think they couldn’t grasp the issues. On both sides. And black people got collectively sacrificed twice then. Once for profit. And then again for security and profit.”

“So they couldn’t figure out how to make enough money without using black people?” asks Michael.

“Yes. And they couldn’t get over the idea that they needed to avoid being weak at all costs.”

“Because.”

“Yes. Because not and.” Lacey says.

“Funny how your grandfather is depicted as caring about women. Maybe being a womanizer. But not necessarily in a truly heartless way?”

“In a way. He did care.”

“Kind of like my father.” says Elliott

“So…they had sin. But they didn’t lie to them in a way that violates the trust they have in Christ?” asks Lacey.

“It’s Capitalism. But not one of the worst kinds, maybe.” says Elliott.

“Not like being molested by a priest or parent.” says Lem.

“So you’re comparing capitalism to molestation?” asks Lacey.

“No. But it’s not exactly Godly either.” says Lem.

“What is Godly?!” asks Winston.

“Perfection.” answers Lem. “Above and beyond perfection.”

“So…you don’t think it’s wrong of me to control you if we’re one. But that requires God.” says Michael.

“Yes.”

“But not in a way that divorces us from God.” says Lem.

“So we have to be truly pure in our heart towards God as men. And divorced from Him too far in a corrupt country it all gets ruined.” says Michael.

“Some men do love their wives. Even in America. But a hatred of women is rampant here. And it’s not homosexuality. It’s greed. But the sort of greed similar to molestation.” says Lem.

“Not the sort of greed you’d see in England, necessarily?” asks Winston.

“I doubt it!” says Lacey.

“What sort then?” asks Edith Wharton.

“A better and worse sort. But possibly just better. It’s more brutal and cold. But it isn’t as gross. It doesn’t molest you.” she responds.

“Did Joe Sr. molest his kids?” asks Lem.

“I doubt it.” says Lacey.

“I doubt it too.” says Lem.

“But the point is, he has that feeling to him…so to speak…and I think that that’s because he fervently gave himself over to the powers that be in this country.” says Lacey.

“Not all the powers that be.” says Elliott.

“Not everyone lived a life of rejecting Christ.” says a ghost.

“And yet it seems Joe ultimately didn’t reject Christ.” says Lacey.

“He might not have.” says a ghost.

“But that’s the thing. A life lived in rejection of Christ is a dangerous life.” says Lacey.

“A country pretending to be a city on a hill when its heart is filled with darkness is a danger to itself and others.” says Lem.

“You think my characters all had dark hearts.” says Edith Wharton to Lacey.

“Yes.” She thinks. “And I can’t believe everyone was that truly dim. That nobody had God’s love in their heart?”

“Well! Meritocracy is dead! Isn’t it?!” says Lem making an incisive, witty comment. (I’m being sarcastic here)

“So what happens if the light of the Holy Trinity is extinguished in people’s hearts?” asks Louis.

“Then there is no city on a hill. It ceases to exist. Permanently or temporarily.” says Lacey.

“God can use a horrible country to spread truth. Or the Devil can use the perversion of truth to try to end the world.” says Louis.

“Well. The truth is the truth whether it’s said by a ghost or a demon.” says Lacey.

“So perhaps it’s best to stay in your own lane. Mind the pedestrians. Keep your eyes on the road. And stop whoring yourselves out to the Devil. He doesn’t want you. Not really. He’d destroy you. Because he hates you? It might be fun for him. But he can’t stand that you exist except to torture you.” says Lem.

“Oh! Oh goody! That sounds like fun!” says a spiritually toothless American woman.

“Too much candy is bad for your teeth, Joe.” says an English aristocrat he once talked with.

“Do you think she’s symbolic of all Americans, Edith Wharton?” asks Lacey.

“What is meritocracy?” asks Winston.

“She’s every female character you read in Age of Innocence. Or saw on screen.” answers Edith Wharton.

“It’s gross.” says Lacey.

“I don’t think Lacey or I were ever in your novels. And who were you writing about?” asks Louis.

“I wasn’t in them either.” says Michael.

“I was vaguely represented.” says Lem. “And yet, only at my absolute worst.”

“Edith were you writing about Harold Loeb? Because I think he wonders if all the men were like him.” asks F. Scott Fitzgerald.

“Maybe Pete Campbell is more like you.” says Lacey to Louis.

Lem smiles.

“I wonder how much you really remembered from your childhood?” Katharine Hepburn asks Edith Wharton.

“I’m sorry if this is hurting your feelings.” Lacey says to Edith Wharton. “I just was deeply offended by your novels. And I felt you were a Satanic liar or unaware. And I felt betrayed by almost all American women because they held you up as a better version of me.” She looks at Edith. “Or perhaps the more sanctified or wise or good version of me.

“Well good luck destroying Mad Men!” says someone.

“I didn’t ever get any credit!” protests Harold Loeb.

“Did Harold Loeb know Edith Wharton?!” Lacey asks. “Around the time she wrote The Age of Innocence?”

“Yeah! Because it seems like you based it off people who you knew as an adult.” says Katharine.

Empathy

The thing is, people really do narcissistically attack Lacey. She’s not just a narcissist making that up. And that’s why she wants distance from people. …Hopefully real people, so to speak, will come along someday.

And if her former crush reads this blog…he should know that she’s rather suspicious of him. He seems narcissistic to her at this point. …But he might not be and she might have just misunderstood. *sad face* Hopefully that’s it…

The thing is…he basically barely showed interest. Enough to seem beguiling but not enough to seem safe to take seriously. And his bizarrely frequent “I don’t have a girlfriend” comments were…not encouraging, obviously. And he seemed cold, dismissive and businesslike of her as a person in conversation eventually…if not always to some degree. It wasn’t a real, clear rejection…because there was some encouragement…but…he was rather chilly. *shrug*

And so she writes about ghosts. And did. And if he believes and believed them to be real…he should have somehow communicated that, given his position. But also, Lacey moved on because he didn’t seem all that interested. She wasn’t sure but objectively he seemed lukewarm at best and that was a very unattractive thing, obviously.

Why was that so unattractive? Because she married a man who was always interested in dates (real ones), seemed very attracted to her but who was ultimately emotionally very hurtful. And at 38 she has no time or energy left for lukewarm men. She’s wasted years of her life she can’t get back at this point. And no one offers any sympathy or empathy.

No one.

No kindness of humanity is offered her not because she’s toxic. * laugh* But because he’s rich, handsome, brilliant, well-bred enough and a genuinely good enough person that most people hate her for being married to him and the most they can offer her is indifference through their selfish, seething, vile envy. She’s too beautiful, too smart and too well-bred to be loved by people not like her nowadays. The poor and middle-class are viciously hateful of the rich. They want to hold them accountable for everyone’s sin. Including her.

So all the normal, decent, loving human empathy extended to women (and men) in a failed marriage that was hurtful isn’t offered. She’s too white, straight and otherwise privileged to be considered human by the masses.

The masses? Yes. The people of lower classes who have loved to pretend she’s a poor, white-trash idiot to feel better about themselves. The people who have isolated her from themselves.

And where will she end up? Richer. More upper-class. More cloistered with other rich people. People who rule the world.

Because the people who still act responsibly are either growing tired of being mean to her and her kind…or they’re in the upper-class themselves. Maybe not as rich as the Obamas…but well-off enough to feel…cold to the poor and middle-class in their growing hatred.

“What?!” says a hater.

“Yeah, I know.” I say.

“But I went to Cambridge and now work for a prestigious old journal!” the hater says. “You have no idea what you’re talking about, your writing is crap and I’m superior to you!” *scoff*

“Did you grow-up poor or rich? And how much do you earn as a salary now?” Lacey responds.

*humph!* “I grew-up…in a Southern family. Just…like…yours!” *humph*

“So you grew-up poor? And your lineage is nothing like mine?”

*scoff* but a nod of the head to indicate yes.

“You’re a terrible person! You should have your head chopped off!”

“Shouldn’t everyone who you’ve known since going to Cambridge including you? Shouldn’t your supposedly elite family?!”

“But, but, but-“

“But nothing!” Lacey grows enraged. “You can’t pretend to be upper-class so toxically and then turn around and want to torture and kill them too.”

“Oh yes I can! I’m an elite intellectual! I’m a first-rate, grand woman of the world! You’re a rich, old-money, snob…but you’re secretly in the lower class for not being-“

“For not being what?!”

“Umm…”

“For not going to Cambridge!”

“The school I went to is better.”

*almost faints*

“How can you say such a thing!?!?”

“Because intellectually it’s true far more pure and true. It’s just not a brand name school bourgeois, idiotic, pretentious fools who want to feel superior go to like you.”

“You think I’m the pretentious fool! Me?! Im prettier than you! See! See! I just posted photos of myself at my apartment pool with my Kate Spade bag to prove I’m your equal!”

“You’re far from prettier than me!”

“Well, I have the same bag as you!” *humph*

“That’s my cheapest bag. I bought that bag ti seem poorer than I am but still look nice.”

“You did not!”

“No, I did.”

“Do I know you?”

“No.”

“Golly…I’m feeling suicidal all of the sudden.”

“Well, that’s terrible!”

“I’ll never be impressive! I’ll never be old-money! I’ll never be like you! I’ll never be upper-class! I’ll never be better than people. And that’s all I was secretly ever living for. That’s what the smart atheists said mattered. And I’m not an atheist…but it’s what a shrewd, progressive woman must do! We must become elite!!!”

“By working?”

“Yes! By working for money! And working for power! And working for…”

“Yes?”

“Value…as a human being.”

“So if you’re not working you don’t matter?”

“No! Being rich and powerful is what counts!”

“You sound like my ex step-mother-in-law who grew-up on a farm, went to a low status state school, worked selling baby wipes and then decided she was elite when her husband made a lot of money.”

“Did she hate you?”

“She loathed me. She narcissistically attacked me and accused me of coming from a con-artist family of gold-diggers. My family is elite. They are what she pretends to be. My grandparents were what my former father-in-law pretended his parents were. He stupidly snubbed my very wealthy, old-money, far more white and genuinely powerful family to seem elite. He has a cousin who teaches at Harvard…but considering there are equally elite professors in my family who have accomplished a lot professionally and graduates of Harvard…it makes no sense. …He’s a Midwestern, Jewish, backward bourgeois snob. …And I love the family’s faith and heritage. But a lot of Jews have no idea who’s who in terms of social status because if their otherness in society. They aren’t fully accepted. …And so they can’t tell fools gold from real gold in non-Jewish white people. I was very insulted for no good reason. …It was toxic and gross. And they should be thankful I’m not anti-Semitic.”

“So he’s Jewish?!”

“Yes.”

“Well…I might be anti-Semitic.”

“I’m supposed to be dressed like Little Miss Piggy like my ex step-mother-in-law and be too dumb to know how to talk to you at all.”

“She was white?!”

“She was from a relatively recent German origin family probably. Maybe a little Eastern European?” *Lacey scoffs* “She was very white trash trying to be rich. And I was genuinely open-minded about it. I didn’t judge people like her in the past. But she started twisting all her flaws onto me and then everyone hated me.”

“Mmm.”

“Yes.”

“Do you think I’m like…her?!”

“No.”

*sigh*

“You shouldn’t be so mean and presume so much of people though. Like Jews.”

“You’re right. I shouldn’t. But I’m sadly not surprised by your former father-in-laws behavior. Just because he makes $500,000 a year and went to two upper-class schools doesn’t make him…a good man.”

“You know Judaism taught my ex-husband a lot about being honorable though.”

“Well, that’s good. …I don’t hate men like your ex father-in-law. I just don’t think he’s a wise person. I think he’s exactly what you say he is. A snobby, blind, bourgeois hick.” *she sighs* “It’s people like him who pretend to be old-money but are actually very new money with pretensions at best who-“

“But I have old-money credentials. He doesn’t.”

“Everyone does! Everyone has rich family from before the Civil War who came over in the Mayflower. Everyone has rich dead fathers who ran the world! Everyone has family with hundreds of millions in oil. Who…are renowned and own wealthy businesses. Everyone is in the Electoral College or has been. Why beggars off the street if you just looked hard enough are connected to that dirt of thing or something far more important and impressive. Everyone looks like you, has your gifts and intelligence and…and…and…if I really wanted to I could fuck hot ghosts too.” *sigh* “You’re an average nobody.”

“Then why doesn’t my wealthy ex father-in-law have those old-money credentials?”

“Because he’s Jewish!”

“What about Harold Loeb?”

“Harold Loeb was Robert Cohn. He was from a wealthy Jewish family…but he was still Jewish.”

“But…they were old money even in Europe on his father’s side.”

“That’s not true. I’m sure he wrote that to sound important! That’s all. It was just a way to compete with Ernest Hemingway.”

“No, I think his Loeb family really was elite.”

“I’m not sure where you got that from, but if wrote that himself it was a lie.”

“I highly doubt that!”

“Well, you’re a Miss Piggy too! And I’m a white imperial goddess!”

…”Aren’t you supposed to be a liberal, elite snob?”

“I’m a secret Trump fan. I love his hatred. It soothes me. It makes me feel better.”

Silence.

“Say…are you Catholic?!” she says.

“Sort of. I’m kind of Episcopalian too.”

“Catholic is barely not Catholic. It’s demonically inspired!”

“My beloved! My beloved! Jesus is calling you to his heart!” yells a charismatic.

“Oh! Oh! I love these uneducated fools. They’re so stupid and religious and yet loving.” *happy sigh*

“He says…come to me!”

“Wait! Why is Jesus your lover?” asks Lacey.

“Shhhh!”

“Do your thing, bitch!” says a liberal Jewish lesbian to be kind.

“She’s trying to fuck Jesus!”

“I don’t care.” says the liberal Jewish elitist.

“But she’s possibly screwing an entity!”

“I doubt that! I’m sorry but I’m a rational person.”

“Did you grow-up in the upper middle-class?” asks Lacey of the liberal woman.

The woman looks deeply uncomfortable. “Yes.”

“You have unending, foolish sympathy for her pretensions to being old-money elite. Because you too have pretensions.”

“Mm! She’s so small and tasty!” says the hater.

“I can’t eat her. I’m Jewish.”

*the hater giggles flirtatiously*

“My beloved!” says the charismatic.

“Is that me you’re talking to?” asks the Jewish woman.

“We should all eat her together.” says the hater.

“Eating people?!” asks the charismatic.

“Yes! To absorb her anointing!” says the hater.

“I’m just a lesbian! I don’t eat women in that way.” says the Jew.

“Well! We’re going to!” says the hater.

“Say, isn’t that what Jews do? Eat people? Or no, they drink their blood.” says the charismatic.

“Why not get her drunk, behind the wheel of a car and then let her kill herself.” says the hater.

“That’s dangerous!” says the charismatic.

“Say! Where did our Jewish friend go?” asks the hater.

“Hey!! Dipshit get in the car! Here’s some cheap whisky like you like it. I’ll be drinking gin I found in your house I just broke into. Because I know you bought that for me. Because I’m elite!” says the strangely already drunk hater.

“Dude! Dude! Dude! You’re like Robin Hood.” says the Charismatic. “Sweet!”

“See! We’re friends. And she doesn’t have friends because she can’t hack it like us!” says the hater.

“Say, what did you get drunk on?” asks the charismatic. They burp.

“Rose! That’s all I drink.”

“Hmm. See, I had a friend offer me pills the other day. But I can’t afford addiction.” says the charismatic.

“Are you two really poor?” asks Lacey carefully.

They look at her coldly. Ice cold.

Their stomaches growl. The Jewish woman suddenly reemerges.

“See! See! This is why I hate you! They’re clearly poor. And you’re too upper-class and privileged to understand their suffering. You should try relating to them. Like I do. Get into the present and stop living in the white 1950’s.” she says.

“Umm. I feel like these people are just demon possessed.” says a wealthy Satanist. “Right?” she says to Lacey.

“Oh! Oh! I get it! This is an elite conspiracy!” says the hater to Lacey.

“No! This is what I worried they say!” says the lesbian.

“They aren’t demon possessed. They’re elite like me!” says a poor, white Episcopalian.

“Say! Where’d you go to college?” asks the Cambridge educated hater to the Episcopalian.

“I went to a state school.” he says condescendingly.

“Why is that a big deal?” asks the hater.

“Because Lacey’s mother who raised her went to a state school. It has to do with lineage and pride in your community.”

“I think she went there because she was dirt poor!” says the hater.

“Yeah! But did your father give you a car and a bank account? Or did your father go to Julliard? Or have a wealthy family before the Civil War? Did they help plan the Lincoln assassination…if Lacey can talk to ghosts?”

“My father bought me a car and I went to Cambridge.” says the hater.

“Say! Are you hungry?”

“Mm. No. I’m fine.”

“Really?! Because I was just about to go eat myself.”

Lacey can sense animosity growing towards her none-the-less. She looks at the Satanist.

“Hey! Thanks!” Lacey says to the Satanist.

“Sure!” says the Satanist in both indifference and surprise.

“Well, I don’t know what they’re going to go do. But I think we should go eat.” laughs the Episcopalian.

“I hate Jews! I hate them. I’m sorry but I hate Jews!” she lunges at Lacey with a knife.

“I’m not Jewish!” yells Lacey as she runs away.

The charismatic stands watching silently. Stupefied. Or seemingly stupefied.

“I command you all to release us! Instantly!” says the Satanist.

And Lacey is saved within an inch of her life.

“Okay! That’s demonic!” says the charismatic. A charismatic prostitute comes on to him out of nowhere and commands him to kill her.

“She’s a demonic whore!” she whispers in his ear, unzipping his pants.

“What about Jesus?!” asks the drunk hater half seriously.

“What about lunch?!” asks the Episcopalian.

“Spirit of Jezebel cease!” says that Satanist.

“This isn’t what’s happening! I’m innocent!” says the charismatic.

“Now Jezebel! Leave!” says the Satanist. “

“I’m better than you!” yells the hater.

The Satanist looks unamused.

“Okay fine.” says the hater.

“Be gonfrom me in the name of Jesus!” says Lacey.

And at that the charismatic runs off. The hater passes out. And the lesbian and the Satanist look mildly disturbed but resigned.

The charismatic prostitute seethes like a rabid animsl, but doubly commanded to retreat she walks off for the time being.

“I’m hungry. And you’re insane!” the American Episcopalian yells at Lacey.

“I’m hungry too. And I almost died.” says Lacey.

“Whatever!” scoffs the Episcopalian. He pulls the fainted hater into a car to be brought to a hospital.

“You should go eat too!” says the Satanist to Lacey.

“And drink some coffee.” says the Jew.

Lacey wonders how a Satanist and a Jew who hates her are her only allies in survival as a Christian. A born-again Christian.

“Because you sinned three times!” yells the charismatic in the distance. “Three whole times! You whorish, backslidden loser!”

“Hey, wanna hook-up!!?” the prostitute chases him. He shrugs in sadness.

“Aww! How sad. He is troubled.” says a ghost audibly. Or is it a demon?

“I’m a ghost.” Lem manifests into a full bodied apparition and watches as the charismatic runs off with the prostitute chasing him. It’s heartbreaking.

“Say! Let’s go shopping!” says Zelda.

Lacey prays for the Jew and the Satanist. But they’ve left.

“You know, wearing that expensive perfume attracts demons. Especially Chanel.” says another hater.

Lem snaps his fingers and the hater faints. Zelda snaps her fingers and the hater is pulled away to the same car the other hater is laying in. Then the Episcopalian drives the two ladies to an emergency room eating his roast beef sandwich with ived Kool-Aid. He seems to feel that he’s just going about his business as usual.

Just the usual.