In the hotel room, Cass's creative process has moved on to the write-on-the-bed-while-waiting-for-your-room-service-order phase. I believe it was in this phase that Steinbeck finished the first draft of The Grapes Of Wrath, incidentally. The food arrives, and Cass signs for it -- apparently, she's planning on paying her rapidly-escalating bill with Monopoly money and arcade tokens. And soon she's dancing about the room, banging on the metal room service lid with a fork -- I'm sure the person in the adjoining room must be loving his or her stay at this hotel. Seriously, next time, just sleep at a youth hostel.
Grab your grubbies, your work gloves, and your industrial-sized oil drum of disinfectant -- it's clean-up day at the Snug Harbor. There's Palaka -- sore hand and all -- scrubbing out the pool, while Ramon sweeps the pool deck. Dickstein and Butchie -- of all people, because, who better to conscript into a clean-up day than the guy who never bathes -- are marking out what looks to be a shuffleboard court. Only Freddy is not participating, standing in the doorway of his motel glowering and trying to place a cell-phone call. Clearly, this is a deeply symbolic scene in which Milch is suggesting that the entire community must pitch in, metaphorically, to clean the rot inside our souls. Or perhaps somebody just realized that the place was fucking filthy. Either way. Anyhow, Butchie may be trying to help mark off where the shuffleboard court is going, but Dickstein gently questions his ability to pull strings taut, and relieves him of that duty. Perhaps Butchie could help paint. "Paint, I huff," Butchie says. Yeah, so better sit that one out too then, champ. Butchie has grasped the first rule of appearing helpful -- be so singularly terrible at everything that people wind up doing all your work for you. This is the only thing that has kept me employed since about 2003.