Who Does Lacey Belong To

Lacey belong to her parent’s class. To her parent’s best attempts to be good in only the way God is good. To the best ideals and morals and virtues and insights they steeped her in.

But does she belong to Michael, Harold, Lem or Louis? It’s unclear. It’s painfully unclear.

Her parent’s upper-class freedom gave her freedom. Their ice-cold distance combined with “There Will Be Blood” parenting…gave her a sense of how to be a genuinely good and loving person but left her waiting for a true love to be love. The only love she’d ever receive. And that’s the thing, Louis and Michael understand that. Michael better than Louis.

The depths of inner self-love…not a selfish love…necessary to survive…combined with a fatal amount of loneliness.

Fatal? Yes. But not always easily seen or right away. No drugs. What good are those? How about outright death like suicide…or…maybe art? God? Drugs, outside of an occasional gin and tonic or a reasonable amount of coffee, only numb or distance you from the self-love you use to survive. They’re stupid. Danger isn’t the point.

“That isn’t you?!” asks Inga. “But it’s so tough and brave like you.”

“No. That’s not me. That’s Lacey and Michael and Harold Loeb. Sitting in Jeep in Minneapolis, California.” Jack smiles at her.

“That’s nonsense then?”

“No. It’s not. It’s not nonsense.” he says.

“She is telling me to apologize to you.” Inga says.

“For giving me a compliment, you might not have meant?”

“I’m sorry, Jack. I do think you’re those-I know you are tough and brave. I’m sorry.”

“Then why would I sound like a woman?!”

“I’m sorry.”

And she leaves.

The question posed to Inga was why she would be confused enough to think Jack was a woman. That’s the point. That Inga made no sense. That she’s petty. Hurt, less attractive and petty. And Jack, as cruel as he was to her, probably got hurt too.

“I don’t despise her. I don’t just see his side. But in this instance it seems she was being very catty.” says Lacey.

“What!? She’s either like a step-mother or an older sister to Jack.” J. P. says. “Or was.”

Harold grasps it. Although he thinks he felt loved by his mother and was. And his dad too, although more his mom…actually.

But Lem is confusing. Does he know what it’s like to be loved by a wall? Not an abusive, clingy, needy narcissist who (as a side-note would make a great son or little brother but that’s beyond the point) isn’t the right gender…but…by Vikings combined with secretly blue-blooded, Civil War-disassembled-plantation-power without…real care? No narcissistic love, as questionable as that is in its existence. But no, just…approval of your best attributes doled out like a computerized analysis. …And a seemingly real, secretly possibly brilliantly faked real parental love.

“I’ll give you the tools to be wealthy. Healthy. Wise and truly good. But you are invisible to me.”

Lacey cries. Then Lacey stops crying when she realizes her mom can’t register her pain on a deep level. Her mom is kind. Her mom is lovely. In a way. She teaches her a great many useful things. Patiently. Lovingly. But her mom doesn’t respond to her real deep pain. It’s not narcissistic. There’s no hope of love. It’s…not grim, necessarily. There are thoughtful gestures. Wisdom… But Lacey’s never had a good birthday once. And she stopped crying uncontrollably without being told to in childhood.

“Lacey holds herself. Well.” Michael says. “And no, she is not nor ever was a man.”

Jazz is jazz. But it’s not something that ever overcomes those of this sort. Nothing does but true love. God’s love. So maybe jazz does warm your soul a bit and you love it…but it doesn’t overwhelm you. You just feel it’s depths. The same way you feel your own depths. Quietly.

“Someday you’ll let loose and find yourself laughing uncontrollably.” said a psychologist to Lacey.

But that’s absurd. Lacey has already done that. She’s not disassociated. Just deeply sad. She was raised in the upper-class. And it’s a singular experience in some cases, indeed.

You laugh. You have consensual sex. You buy things. You live. You die. …And you find out how fallen this fallen world is.

Dear narcissists, it’s not meaningless. You’re terribly wrong. It’s very meaningful. It’s just that the meaning truly does only spring from God and His love for us. Allowing us to love each other in the four separate, distinct ways not without Him like a soul in Hell but as His children should we accept salvation. …And that’s amazing. *smile* And in an evil world not without God’s mercy the love can become marred, lost, stolen, or truly tragic. …Or it might not exist at all in certain people or things or situations, etc..

“So which of us have meaning?” asks Lem of Lacey.

“Yes. Possibly exactly.” she responds.

She doesn’t enjoy hurting any of them. They’re so dear. So beautiful, each of them. She has a conscience and she cares about them as humans.

“Just!!” yells a middle-class woman hatefully. But it’s a half hot narcissism. A dim, idiotic desire to live as a wall…combined with remnants of love still remaining intact. Haunting them and all who encounter them.

Lacey decides to ignore her. She wishes her opinion was helpful. It’s not. Lacey has realized that. …If her parents had been her parents she’d maybe be able to better relate but as it stands…she’s been soaked in almost 40 years of wide open prairies under her possession, so to speak. Watching the Earth surrender under the sky. Literally. It’s a singular experience. Get over it. Right? Get over it?

Can you get over it? Can she help you? Or she and you best off when you decide not to outdo and “shake it” more than the indigenous of the 1800’s? You’re not the most high, generational priestess, ruler of Mandan. Sorry. *smile* Or would you like to destroy the US to destroy us? To do what? Get rich or die tryin’?

Oh well. Oh well. …Oh well?

Chanel No. 22 (Repost from my blog from 2021)

Early 1940’s (or earlier) Chanel No. 22 parfum. This was the first bottle of No. 22 I ever smelled.

I fell in love with with Chanel No. 22 (as much as you can truly love perfume) when I was coming to terms with how desperately sad my marriage was. It was 2014 and I had just discovered my passion for collecting perfume although I’d worn it since age 4. We were also living in an area surrounded by Art Deco and Moderne architecture.

I smelled the melancholy Ernest Beaux work of genius called No. 22 and instantly felt my soul reflected back to me in olfactory form. The original terrazzo floors beneath me and the light from a bank building coming in through the windows of our building from the early 1900’s felt like a whisper from a distant age the way “Rhapsody In Blue” did when I heard it for the first time in childhood (an old recording FYI as there’s a difference). Comforting. Sad. Incredibly beautiful.

The view.

But it was an amazingly well preserved and very old bottle of Chanel No. 22. It was quite different from the versions that followed it. Less sweet and more reserved and serious. It was also a little heartbroken. Perhaps heartbroken in a delicate and youthful way though and as Chanel debuted No. 22 as part of the 1922 White Collection (meant for a bride) perhaps it was just my subjective opinion that it was also sad. Or, I should point out, it might be my nose. While I had Covid-19 last spring No. 22 smelled rambunctious, sweet and saucy to me. Now that my sense of smell has returned to normal it smells more as I recall it originally: Pensive.

I used to wear No. 22 with red lipstick, drink gin and write on this blog. But that was before I had my second child and while my son was taken care of during the day. I had plans even then of writing a novel. It was going to be a very different novel than the one I’ve written.

At 31 my face was losing its roundness but I was still self-conscious about it here so I edited the photo (badly). Ha! However this is what I looked like as I’ve tried to restore it, but the door was…too far gone.

Since then my marriage has been rejoined, separated, rejoined and then finally separated for good. The first time it was out of a slight hope for finding love and some sense that it wasn’t “right” to stay in a bad marriage at only 31 years old. But then my son got very sick, almost died and we reunited. Eventuality, of course, the marriage fell apart again only for me to fall apart from exhaustion and then decide in resignation to “try again” given how kind Mark was when I was literally so tired. …I felt good enough eventually to give birth to another child and having been an only child myself I didn’t want my son to have that experience so we added one more child. And it was actually the right choice. (We adore our daughter too, of course. It wasn’t just for my other child. I wanted one more and I’m indescribably glad we had her.) But…things are what they are and of course now we’re separated because I can’t truly stay in a dead marriage. I just can’t. And it isn’t the concept that it’s “bad” to stay that’s motivating me this time so much as that I can’t handle the suffocating hopelessness of it. It was killing me from the inside out.

(…Again, Mark is a great man. I’m glad we have our kids but the marriage is dead.)

But No. 22 is such a beautiful perfume. Vintage No. 22 in particular. Now that my nose is back to normal and I smell the misty light blue and creaminess with aldehydic edges once more memories return. And I worry it embodies the part of me lost to time and disappointment since then.

Do I even have access to that part of myself anymore? Does it even exist? I use perfume to express myself and what am I expressing now? Where is my soul?

I’ve thought that La Pausa with its iris note is “me”. Perhaps it is. L’Heure Bleue is too though. And No. 22 was “me”…more than any perfume has been or continues to be. But…it’s a part that’s in the past.

Mlle. Coco Chanel once famously said, “A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.“ I do wear perfume! Ha! But… I need to work on getting my bearings and I hope I find a perfume they resonates with me again someday.

Not that I don’t know who I am… And not that No. 22 betrayed me. It didn’t convince me to adore it and parade it around as my signature under false pretenses only to realize later that it was a mismatched love. Of course, it was “stolen” from me and my nose did stop smelling all the notes for a relatively short while. But, really, I just changed and since I wore it as an expression of myself because it’s perfume and that’s how I wear perfume I’ve lost my ability to enjoy it in the same way. I still “love” it but it’s not me anymore.

Coral lipstick instead of red…

I wish I hadn’t changed in some ways. But I also know a lot more now.

If I ever go on a date again I wonder what I’ll wear for a fragrance. Mark really did barely care which perfume I wore. As long as I didn’t stink he was content… *fond smile* It wasn’t that he was opposed to perfume but it certainly wasn’t an aphrodisiac for him on anyone. I read perfume reviews for fragrances like Frederic Malle Carnal Flower or Musc Ravageur and the way it seems to affect some people is entirely foreign to any experience I’ve ever had wearing perfume and all the men I’ve gone on dates with have never worn much fragrance. Well…I had one boyfriend who proudly wore Palmer’s Coco Butter. Gen Z would say he made it “a personality trait”. And, he thought made him smell like chocolate. But he never wore it to arouse or intrigue me although I wonder about some other people. He just thought he was cute when he smelled like chocolate (?) and he demanded I admire it on him as well. I hated it to be honest… It smelled like Palmer’s Coco Butter not chocolate.

And then I wonder again how skin chemistry affects perfume as much as scent perception. But for now it’s a mystery when it comes to No. 22 on my skin (and all perfume to some degree). If I ever have a male opinion on my perfume other than Mark’s opinion I’m going to have to experiment to figure the mystery out.

…Sorry if the posts have been too dreary so far.

In the original edt.
No, I’m not smug. I’m just terrible at taking photos of myself…