NEED A DO-OVER?
OUR GOD IS THE GOD OF SECOND CHANCES
She can't take her eyes off of it. The sign.
Paul can't take his eyes off Tina's newly shaven body. Paul's sister's guest room contains her creepy doll collection, so they've moved the counter-adultery to his sister's waterbed. "Besides, there's a nice potpourri scent in here," he says, unironically, chatty and nervous. "It's like country cottage rose, or some lavender..."
Tina used his sister's razor. She slides into the waterbed beside him as he says his litany -- "Old nuns and baseball, old nuns and baseball" -- and for a moment she is a do-over. A sign. They were so young, the Jamisons, when they fell in love. In some ways they have stayed that age, the age they always were. The boy that wanted to see breasts, the girl too scared to bare her own.
Paulie is reduced to his virginity by Tina, by this strange brave world of new sex: When he realizes he hasn't used a condom in nearly twenty years, doesn't carry one, flailingly suggests Saran Wrap from the kitchen, he is shocked to find that women carry their own. She grins and tells him to shush, to calm; he is honest as he is innocent. "It's a big one," he says, looking at the condom she's provided, eyes wide. "It's too big!"
Like a pastor in a tornado, like any false idol, we need our lies pricked every now and then. Sean's iconoclasm is its own god but he's got the right idea, false idols and the automatically misplaced trust of authority. A teacher, a pastor, a president can't fail you if you never gave them that power in the first place. He stands before his sister's class, holding forth, letting light in through the cracks of worship.
"And now, some more fun facts about our former presidents! Let's see, William Howard Taft was so fat that he got stuck in his own bathtub. Conversely, James Madison weighed only one hundred pounds -- Which is ironic, considering that his wife, Dolley Madison, was feeding him Zingers and Donut Gems..."
Cathy appears, late again, and drags her brother out into the hallway. The students ooh and ahh, they will miss him when he's gone; she refuses to smile as she closes the door: "Read. Something."