"I'm not big on giving people advice -- especially when it butts up against my own happiness -- but maybe you should spend a little time making sure that I'm your best move. And if you decide that I am, you call me."
What he means is, don't call him. In a normal world, they would both know this. But because this is a freight train, because she can't help but laugh, she'll take him at his word. And he'll respond, because he trusts her judgment and he respects her and when he looks at her, he can see her. Actually see her.
Cathy leaves her suitcase upstairs and heads down to her cake, Paul's favorite; Sean and Rebecca clap for her, when she blows out the candles. Looking around at them, old friends that aren't really friends, and new friends that might be, family in constant flux, she realizes Lenny was right: There is a way in which she already had it all. Already has it, whatever it is.
This feeling of having no consequences isn't a place, like the Bahamas, and it isn't a person, like Lenny, and isn't a time, like twenty years ago: It's now, here, it goes everywhere with Cathy. Now is a gift like an atom bomb and she takes it with her everywhere. We are all Suitcase Kids, she thinks. Without a future there can't be fear, because the consequences lie beyond the event horizon. Imagine them, plan for them, but you'll never even get to live through them. There is only what you see when you look at the world, and that's the life Cathy Jamison loves best. The facts.
"Thank you, Paul. I mean, I didn't know it but I really needed this. And you have made me very happy today, which is a really big deal," He sighs, happily. "Because I have to tell you something, I... You know, I've just realized I haven't been happy -- I mean, really, truly happy -- in a long time. In years." His blood goes cold; cocks his head. "I mean, in like twenty years. Because I remember, I was happy."
She gets lost in her words, they tangle at her feet like cats, like Thomas the dog, and she's drunk, and the thoughts aren't coming out right. She wants to say we are Suitcase Kids, she wants to say that freedom is a gift like an atom bomb that she thought she left somewhere a long time ago. It comes out wrong. Everybody lives inside their bubble, all the time. It's basic survival. Cathy Jamison talks about what it's like to be Cathy Jamison today, Paul waits for the part of the story about him, Rebecca likes the parts of the story that are about Rebecca: