Rebecca is shocked by Paul's Aunt Allison: "What's with her face?" she finally asks, after Cathy lets her twist for a moment. They laugh. It's terrible, Cathy says, her face. "She can't leave it alone."
Rebecca doesn't know the people at the party, Cathy's friends, and it makes her feel lost. An illustration of time. "They're not friends, the way we were friends: Coworkers of Paul's, a lot of parents of Adam's friends. I mean, Adam's unknowingly been choosing my friends since he was two." Rebecca wouldn't know anything about that, she says, but she doesn't mean it like Rugby Slut meant it: She means we make choices.
"How's about this for an old friend? I'm making What The Hell shots." Cathy can't believe it, the sudden continuity between there and here, but Rebecca shrugs. "They're different every time," remember. And if it's ever perfect, she gets so drunk she doesn't remember how she did it. Every time is the first time. What the hell.
Cathy and Rebecca tip them back -- "What the hell?" -- in ritual, and their faces sour like a pair of freaks. Rebecca stares at Adam as Cathy tells him that of course he can't drink on her birthday. "He's so handsome!" says Rebecca. "You know, he looks just as if you and Paul had a baby!" Cathy realizes she's not entirely being funny, just distracted, and smiles. "We did." They toast to babies and toss back another What the Hell.
Paul ushers Lenny over from the family photos, taking his seat in the hallway, on the antique bench with the embroidered panels she would never let him drink on, when he lived here. "Lenny, help me out. I cannot drink whiskey alone. I mean, I will if it's the last resort, but then I'll hate myself for it." Lenny compliments his house, which is not his house, and Paul gives her the credit.
"Oh yeah, thanks, yeah. It was a little beat up when we moved in, but Cathy really whipped it into shape, you know. I mean, I'm a creative guy, but I need a computer, you know? I'm virtually creative," Paul says to the artist. The man who works with his hands and jets off to the Bahamas and sleeps with married schoolteachers. Paul's life is to be caught between the shell and the soft place, to be free and yet successful; it's the reason Sean bothers him so much and it's the reason he loved Lenny the second that he saw him. And it's the reason that Cathy likes Lenny, too: He's the part of Paul that Paul needs most desperately to live. He's the reason Paul can't help but see her the way that he does: So that he feels more like Lenny and less like the names Sean calls him.