But she's not there yet, so all she's got is Jackie Peyton, who she knows -- can tell -- isn't working right, because if she were working right she'd do what she always does: stare death down until he limps away. So all she's got is her need to crawl inside Jackie, and her own natural need to help, to heal, and if those aren't the tools required this time -- and, precisely, they are not -- they're still the only ones she's got: "And I think she's afraid to cry," Zoey says to Elenor, who is amazed enough that it takes her a moment to catch up.
"...Darling, you are absolutely right. You know what Jackie needs right now is... Mountains of hugs. Especially from you." She offers a little tip: "She's going to want to run. But don't you let her. She needs you now more than ever." Zoey nods sagely, putting praying hands to her lips, in thanks. And turns, bumping right into Jackie, who shouts, scaring her, and both women collapse in laughter while she stares back and forth, optimistic "ya got me" grin plastered on, smacking them both and wobbling away.
Mo-Mo massages Paula's feet, talking about her ex-husband and going through her purse. She tries to give him subway tokens, which are useless now and have been for seven years or so -- "How old is that purse?" -- but she pushes them on him, desperate to clean up after herself, to give him something. He takes them, without thanks, and when she calls him on it he points out that a foot massage is more than good enough. She relaxes into it, marveling at how it can feel so good when other parts of the same body, her lungs, feel full of razor blades.
Paula wonders at how she can still crave a cigarette, she says, waving a pack of American Spirits between them, to guilty smiles from both. The secret life of nurses, who smoke knowing what it can do, and then there's Paula, who doesn't have to feel any guilt at all. She blows the smoke in Jackie's face, and Jackie only smiles. Paula produces her housekeys, wondering who to give them to. The last responsibility, and to whom it should fall. She admits to Mo-Mo that all her stuff is "shit," just as Akalitus walks up asking how she's feeling. "Like I'm dying. And every time I see you, I am reminded what a slow and agonizing process it is." Which is not an answer, but then that's not really what she was asking. She repeats the question, in new words: "What are you still doing here?" Paula produces a middle finger from her purse as a final gift to Gloria, buying them more time.