THE CHADWICK HOTEL
In terms of the on-the-nosiness of this particular episode, this is the song that's playing when Margaret spots her target:
Man wants his woman
Woman wants her man
What they really need
She thinks it's about life but really it's about the end of the world. Maybe it's both.
Margaret: "Are you drinking a Singapore Sling? So the cliché is true!"
Hooker: "What on Earth do you want with me?"
Margaret: "Are you, um, 'working' tonight? I am hip to the lingo."
Hooker: "And I am about to twenty-three skidoo, Mamie Eisenhower."
Margaret: "Wait, I just want to ask you questions. Like for science."
It takes the woman all of three seconds to figure out what Margaret's problem is, but then the question becomes how to tell her. The song's actually playing in her ear, while she struggles: Men go with women, women go with men. Therefore, something is wrong with Margaret. And maybe this lady can fix it.
Margaret: "See, it all started when I saw him with a very beautiful young man."
Ruby: "Uh huh. Go on?"
Margaret: "I guess he's the kind of man who arranges..."
Ruby: "You think this young guy was a pimp?"
Margaret: "I guess that's what you call it? He was clean-cut and charming and sweet."
Ruby: "So he was a special kind of pimp that doesn't exist?"
Margaret: "Only the best for my husband, who enjoys opera and the like. And doing it backwards because he can't look at my face while we do it."
Ruby: "Girl, your man is gay. Or whatever we call it in 1957. Queer."
Margaret: "Yeah, I agree. It's very queer!"
Ruby: "No, honey. There is no amount of female tricks you can pull out for him. He likes dudes."
Margaret: "Wait, what? ...Oh, I get it. ...Nope, explain."
Her face, that wonderful face, keeps talking as she slowly grasps what Ruby's telling her, and then she stops talking altogether. She laughs, because it's absurd and also because it's so ironic, both at once. And then she doesn't laugh at all. She feels the world click into place around her. It feels like a cage. It feels like the apocalypse.
Which is exactly what it is. The word "apocalypse," apo + kálypsis, means nothing more than the end of a secret. The revealing of something hidden, like for example the world that already ended and you thought was still orbiting. The secret of endings is what a relief they are; you can laugh in the face of any armageddon when you feel the weight off your shoulders of what was just a minute ago how you thought things had to be. The apocalypse is just a door, like any other; the only part that hurts is the part that pushes you through. The house around the door, burning itself to cinders.