"I was happy when Rebecca and I... When we broke into that ice cream store in college in the middle of the night, and we took pictures of each other in our bras, eating ice cream. I don't know, what is it about college that makes you want to take your shirt off all the time?" Rebecca shrugs, showily, nodding her head. Paul begins to melt like fresh paint.
"So even though I have my shirt -- I mean my dress -- on... I'm as happy now as I was then. So thank you."
Paul wasn't a part of the story at all. He threw her the party, he surprised her with bukkake, the whole thing, and the story is about skipping over their lives together. What he doesn't understand is that the reason she loved him, and will always love him, is because when she looks at him she sees that atom bomb. He is her joy now, Paul and Adam are the happiness now. She took it out of herself and put it in them, so she could carry them on her back. It's not an insult, it's a fact. And he's the one who gave her this happiness. She trips on her words; he falls off the edge of them. Her gratitude touches all of them, but him.
Upstairs Adam's talking to Brent about the bukkake: They kept saying it, laughing, shoving it in their mouths. "Oh, bukkake! Yum, yum!" He wanders the upstairs, banned from the party, looking into rooms and out of windows. Marlene is in the yard. He stares for a moment and gets off the phone, quietly and without fanfare.
Marlene paces in their yard, looking for her house. "I think one of those big trucks must have picked up the whole damn house and drove off with it." Adam nods, takes her arm.
When Cathy gives the guests her gifts, chosen at random, they think she's drunk but she's not drunk. She's free. When Cathy greets Aunt Allison at the door and tells her what a privilege it is, growing older, she thinks Cathy's drunk but she's not drunk. She's jealous. Aunt Allison wanders away, shellshocked and confused.
Cathy sees her son out in the yard, leading Marlene by the hand. "I know I'm grounded. It's just... I'm gonna walk Marlene home." Adam wishes his mother a happy birthday, and tells his mother that he loves her, and walks the neighbor home. Every birthday, he thinks to himself, and doesn't finish the thought. Somewhere Marlene has two daughters and neither of them are here today to help her, and every birthday leads his mother somewhere, and he doesn't finish the thought. Cathy is touched; she has no idea what's in her son's suitcase.