Lasie dabs her carrot into ranch dressing and crunches it speculatively.
“It’s not that I don’t believe in a god, exactly,” she states, an eventual response to Zansky’s earlier half-joking comment about her apparent inconcern with the moral implications of her actions after she had cussed out a small child on the street. She double dips her carrot and crunches again. “It’s that I believe in humanity. I believe in our ability to heal, to recuperate, to learn from our mistakes. Everyone walks around so scared of each other, scared of themselves, tiptoeing around whether you can say this or that to a black person, whether you can wear this color eyeliner to a concert, whether you can spank your annoying brat of a kid or not, I don’t know. It’s stupid.”
Zansky squints and watches her, the way she holds the carrot like a wand and waggles it in between her declarations like a rubber pencil. His function in the relationship is to provide critical counterpoint, to question Lasie’s free and apparently nonchalant ways and discover the philosophic underpinnings that move her, to lay bare the foundations of her behavioral patterns. Her function is to shake up Zanksy’s convictions, rattle his cage and force him to take flight from comfort, to ravage his Angelican upbringing. They complement each other like chicken and waffles, like molasses and tobacco, like a burger with peanut butter. Just fine once you get used to it.
“Does believing in humanity necessitate a lack of faith in a god?” Zansky asks, always bringing things back to the Big Questions. God. Death. Government.
Lasie always wants to laugh at Zansky’s seriousness, yet finds it so endearing that she can only answer him semi-profoundly. She finds herself stating bits of Zen she never knew she contained, flashbacks of Keroauc and shrooms from camping trips in college. She sometimes wishes she could take notes on herself.
“It’s really one and the same, isn’t it?”
“What, human beings and God? Bit of a stretch.”
“I dunno. No, I mean the faith thing. If you lack faith in humanity, then you’ll lack faith in god. But you’ve got to choose, at some point, what you’ll model your god upon. Is it like a human being, or is it like something completely unknowable and unreachable, something pristine and perfect and pure?”
“So what you’re saying is that one’s relationship with humanity reflects, at some level, a relationship with God?”
“I don’t know what the fuck that means.” Zansky loves Lacie’s exuberant use of expletives. His toes wiggle in his Birkenstocks. Although he did think that cussing out a child, even a snotty spoiled child, for spilling ice cream on one’s shoes was a bit over the top. “Basically, all I’m saying is that, to me, a conception of a god is really kind of irrelevant. Yeah, I said it. I guess it sounds blasphemous or whatever, but there it is.”
“She finally admits to heresy.”
“Burn me at the stake.”
Lacie uses a particularly long carrot to smear ranch on Zansky’s nose.