Tobacco Road

Lacey has decided she doesn’t like the original rock music. It’s jarring to her. She respects it as art. But to her it’s all sex, poetry and protest…but not much music.

She respects the people…and the art…but it’s not her idea of good music.

Indie music is different. It’s about rage.

“Boy, it must be funny somehow being both the child and the parent to the Boomers.” says Harold. “If you are, of course.”

“Yes. It is, if I am.”

“What happened in Penzance if it wasn’t me?” asks Lem.

“Lem, why do you care?” asks Lacey seriously. Sincerely.

He laughs.

In a separate place, Jack cries about his childhood.

“What happened in Penzance.” says Michael.

“I was there with my ex-husband. In England for about a month in the summer of 2012. We rented a car and drove in circles.

At one point we stayed in Penzance.

…That night we slept in a house from the 1500’s or so? 1600’s? And the pub in town is where we ate. The food was…Heavenly.

It was ten years ago, of course.

I got a little intoxicated. We walked back to the bed and breakfast, and we started talking about the past.

And…we started fighting.

We fought for hours.

And late into the night…exhausted…we sat miserable. And I was determined to find out the truth about how my ex really felt about me. Whether or not he truly loved me.

…And it was a disaster.

By early morning I was desperate. Determined but desperate.

So I prayed to God for a sign of my husband’s innocence. Because the fight was essentially over his honesty in our relationship. And the sign I prayed to receive was for my ex-husband to make a pass at me, tell me he loved me and thereby end the fight.

…From too far away I suddenly felt him come on to me. Like his actual hand. Except, it wasn’t his personality and it didn’t quite feel like his hand either, actually. And moments before it happened an image of Joe Jr. flashed through my mind. Randomly.

I was baffled by all of it. I hadn’t thought of Joe Jr. for a long while. My mind may have wandered to that time period in history…

‘Mark? Did you just just touch me?!’ I asked calmly.

‘No.’ he also replied calmly.

I was saddened at first, because I’d rationally hoped it was somehow still him. But then I felt fuzzy in my head, like I was drifting. I had spent possibly hours praying… And the room had started to feel…odd. …Mark had seen weird lights dancing around my head and not said anything.

Looking back I felt like I was pulled back in time. Like the way a strong wind feels when it tugs on you. But it was entirely in my spirit?

The thing is…there’s no way it could have been Mark. And I physically felt it. It wasn’t like an apparition was touching me in the way some would imagine it. It wasn’t…like pouf and it was gone. It was…like an actual living human male hand had touched me. It wasn’t a tap. It felt like…a real touch. It took at least several seconds…

So we packed our things, got out of the room and slept in our car.

And that was the end of the fight too.”

“That was the end of your marriage.” says Lem.

“How do you see that?” says Lacey.

“He gave you what you wanted when Mark couldn’t.” says Lem.

Silence.

“I didn’t need to say that so-I’m sterilizing it. Or no-I’m berating you?” asks Lem.

“Yes. Lem, you weren’t there. And I was trying to find love.” says Lacey.

“You barely knew I exist.” he says.

“True.”

“But why?!”

“Because you-“

“I already know.” he answers in agitation.

“Well, I wonder if that is why my marriage died though? Interesting. And you know, I’m really not one to cheat. So there was no way I’d have figured out how awful it was in that way otherwise.”

Lem cries.

“I wonder what that did?” says Michael.

“Are you sure it was you?” asks Lacey.

“I want you to repost the one about me.” says Orson Wells.

“I will.” says Lacey.

“He’s hitting on you, Lacey.” says Lem.

“No, he isn’t!” she says with a sweet but dismissive smile.

“No, he is.” he says.

“But he has to know that it won’t work.” says Lacey.

“It was me.” says Michael.

“How did you manage to do that? Was it the location? The prayers?” asks Lacey.

“Ask God in Heaven for a real answer.” says Orson Wells.

“I’m not saying she has no willpower but asking her to resist one of the four of us is futile if you leave her out all night unlocked with the keys in the car.” says Michael.

Lem nods.

The Point of That Last Post

“See…the problem is…Lacey doesn’t know she’s very pretty. She thinks she’s vaguely pretty and my dear, gracious, glorious brother Joe…never told her otherwise. Not once. In all the years he was blabbing endlessly away to her subconscious he never told her even once how pretty she really is or was.” says JFK.

“He reminds me of Benny. But he isn’t Benny.”

“It rhymes!” says a former U.S. President.

“Ahh well. The Devil makes us sin.” says Woody.

*Pat laughs on cue*

Bobby Sr. says, “He gave her some sense that to him she’d be pretty enough to catch his attention, I guess. But not necessarily enough to keep his attention, if you know what I’m insinuating. Marriage didn’t even enter into the conversation. Although I think he told her he felt that serious about her, which actually makes very little sense.” *Bobby scoffs*

“He wasn’t clear. At all!” says JFK. “He was bizarre. Out of a normal context. And he seemed like a hopeful person. For Heaven, maybe if we were that…fortunate. If that’s the right word.”

“And that makes you angry, Jack?” asks a dead psychologist.

“Well yeah!” says Jack.

Gunhild drinks her coffee, sinks deep into a chair and closes her eyes in exasperation.

“We don’t watch. We watch.” explains Ron.

“She’d have loved Joe until she died.” observes someone dead, cooly, on a shady front step in Manhattan, smoking a cigarette in a early 1900’s summer. Because he smokes tobacco.

“Who touched her in Penzance?” asks someone dead.

“Who actually touched her or who claims to have touched her?” asks Hemingway.

“I did.” says Michael.

Joe Jr. looks at him in shock. Somehow…this was not what he anticipated.

“If anything I thought it was one of my brothers. Or my father. Or Lem, of course.” Joe laughs.

Joe has claimed it was him. Joe Sr. has claimed it was him. Many dead men have. Her own living ex-husband has questioned it…but he’s not capable of having done it.

“Why wasn’t it me?!” asks Elliott.

“Because I know you.” says Joe. “I know your thoughts on this.”

Hemingway is calibrating.

“As he would!” says one of his former wives.

“I thought it was Joe. Or Elliott-“ says Lacey.

“See!” says Elliott.

“It wasn’t. It was me. I’ve been attracted to you since you were about 20 something.” Michael confesses to Lacey.

“It’s unfortunate.” says Harold Loeb. Hal. Hal Loeb.

“Which episode of Mad Men did I watch at Hal’s bar?” asks Lacey.

“Carrie?! I dated a Carrie once and she broke my heart.” the bartender named Hal at the downtown bar told her in 2010.

Her ex was considering joining the Peace Corps. Possibly going to South America.

“I’m glad I touched you.”

“I’d be so much more upset if you hadn’t.” says Lacey.

“And that’s why you’re not a homosexual. Lem. I don’t think you’re a homosexual.” says Lem’s father as he can see Lem feeling genuinely hurt in reaction to all of this.

“Yeah. You’re right, dad.” he cries. “I think I need to recalibrate.”

“I love you. It’s just like I’ve written you. I’d say it’s all there in those letters.” Lacey explains.

“Why did you do it?!” he asks her once more.

“I really didn’t know what was best.” Lacey answers. “I’m sorry if that’s too eccentric to be comforting. I’m that esoteric by nature, maybe. It really was about what was best in this objective, cool-headed, sad, logical way. Oh well…the Devil makes us sin?” *eye-roll at human evil being so pathetic in every regard* “And then you hope to be redeemed. Respected. To find someone who won’t get stuck, but who will have a future they can guide you into…and a hope. Do you? Did you? I didn’t know.”

…”It was the first episode of Mad Men in July. I think.” Lacey clarifies.

“Happy birthday to me!” says Joe.