Talia: "How was the sex?"
Michelle: "Talia. It was... Really, really good."
Into some loathsome surfer bar-pub-restaurant run by Mitch Huntzberger in some sort of troll-woman costume that makes him look like the Butterscotch Stallion, and it's so gross and forced and dumb and there's this burnout surfer and his burnout surfer wife and they end every sentence with "maaaaan" and it's just. Tragic. I don't even want to talk about it, this whole thing I don't want to talk about. Michelle is sassy with the guy, but then they talk for a while and he's kind to her, and then he figures out that she's the stripper from Tahoe or whatever, and then Ellen Greene feels, like, this critical mass of cutesy weirdness and is drawn to its gravity like a magic spell. Like Vancouver nudity and old ladies in capes, she comes when called.
But first, a moment: Michelle somehow starts getting the Fanny calls, and the first or second one she gets is from a sitar player who wants to play at the memorial, and won't hear Michelle's protests, and she's forced to sit -- in the middle of this aging-surfer bullshit, and a random old man's dog, and not having a housekey or anything -- forced to just sit and listen until this person is done playing the sitar over the phone. It takes a long time.
There's a Buddhist practice Michelle doesn't know about, a form of Zen meditation called sitting zazen, where the deal is that you just sit there. Dōgen called it shikantaza, "Nothing but precisely sitting." Whatever dreams or fears or sadness come up, and they will, torrents and tumults and horrors and passions, the discipline is in continuing to sit. Fanny doesn't know a lot about her spirituality, and Michelle knows nothing about it, but in this they are connected, because being excluded from the process has become for Michelle what the chaos of creating the process is for Fanny: A way of not sitting. I don't know who this sitar player is, but I think he maybe saves the day.
Ellen Greene has come looking for Michelle, who needs answers but can't get them from Fanny because she's entered "sixteen hours of meditative silence." What she needs the answers about is, like a giant statue of Hubbell including his genitalia, which is what eventually sends Michelle screaming from the surfer bar, but first, this: