Paul Jamison is getting drunk, drunk enough to call the bartender "Chief," in the middle of the day when he runs into Rugby Slut. His life, he explains, is a complete fucking clusterfuck; Tina can identify, as she relates:
"Last week, my cat was diagnosed with feline leukemia. And then yesterday I drop my iPhone into the toilet while I was video-chatting with a client. And I hope that video fried out before he got a potty shot of my pooter."
Paulie stares at her for a moment, perhaps wondering why he is friends with this woman, and then confesses to her about Cathy's indiscretion. No mention is made of their own indiscretion; he tells her about the divorce and she puts her drink down, on the bar. "Screw Cathy. It's her loss. I say we drink until we get her off your mind," says Tina. "Get who off my mind?" Paulie giggles, and they toast. But the most interesting part of the conversation, the part that seals the deal, the part that turns the embarrassment and shame of a pot-clouded handjob into just another memory, is the part just before:
"It actually feels really good to talk about, you know? To tell someone, and have them listen."
Sean wants to play the game with Rebecca, in her extended-stay, where she tells him all about how bad she is. He can be superior on the sheets, and smell her perfume; she can tell the truth about the terrible things she does for work, and feel unburdened. The topics stand outside the door, tapping feet and rolling eyes, and they bring them in. Eventually they do come in.
But Rebecca doesn't want to pay, she wants more truth than even that. "Cathy has zapped my libido. She hates the fact that I'm seeing you, and I get it. I haven't seen her for twenty years, and I show up and I start doing whatever we're doing, and I've done this kind of thing before..."
The lie compounds, piles up, makes itself into new shapes. Cathy's lies are a butterfly in Brazil, a tornado in rural Minneapolis: "If we could just make this less just about the sex, I'd feel better. We could nurture our friendship, and then maybe I could repair my friendship with her." When sleeping with Sean, she thinks grimly, was her way of trying to do just that. The way the men between them were a form of communication that Cathy never really understood. The way that they were lies.