What the hell?
Paul's "rat bastard of a dad" took off on his mother, before her children were grown. Left her high and dry, with two children to feed. Only Cathy knows that Paul had to wear his sister's hand-me-down pants to school. Now Lenny knows, too. "She's a big girl," Paul grins, "And still is, but I mean, come on." Lenny delights in this cruelty, because it is harmless. Lenny knows what cruelty is. "We didn't have enough money to buy me a backpack for school," he admits. Lenny and his brother went to school with suitcases. Known as the Suitcase Kids. Paul laughs, impressed, and looks Lenny in the eye. "I don't have any black friends."
"You're just gonna go there?" Lenny asks. In some ways, this is his favorite thing Paul's done so far. With an artist's eye, he's filling in the shadows and the textures and the strangeness of Paul, between the shell and the soft places. What was Expressionist becomes Impressionist becomes a portrait, figurative. "No diversity in my workplace," Paul explains further. "Who are we fucking kidding, there's no diversity in Minnesota." Lenny smiles: "Even my parents are white!" He's lying of course; Paul laughs a while at that one.
In their glasses the girls take the stage and sing their favorite Heart song, "What About Love?" The song is about someone loving you so much that you can't even see it. It becomes part of the architecture.
"I haven't seen her enjoying herself so much in a long time," Paul notices. Lenny agrees, but not aloud. "Yeah," is all he can say. "Yeah, she looks really happy."
Aunt Allison dances past Marlene, who thinks about kicking her ass.
What about love?
Don't you want someone to care about you?
Adam compliments his mother on the performance -- "Nice singing for two old ladies!" -- and offers her more bukkake. "Just one more bukkake, and then you have to cut me off," she jokes, still wearing her Lolita shades, and the boys nearly double over. Lenny, standing nearby with a slight headache, laughs when she offers him one.
"Do you know what bukkake is?" An Asian puff-pastry? "Bukkake is where a group of men get together for the purposes of pleasuring themselves onto a woman's face," he explains, and she swallows, staring down at it. Remembers Adam's laptop and the women there, and for a moment is shocked sober. "Adam! Brent: Home! Adam: Up to your room! You know why! I'll bukkake you!" Brent giggles; Adam advises her of the impossibility; the boys head away. What the hell?
Sean notices Rebecca's shoes from his vantage point on the floor, eating from the garbage. "Nice red leather shoes you're wearing. Tell me, do you enjoy thinking about the cow that was skinned to make them, or do you just block that part out for the sake of being fashion-forward?" He doesn't know who she is; she hasn't recognized him yet. Her deadpan "Fuck you, man" is totally authentic, bored, and defensive.
"Curse words were invented by people too stupid to think of an intelligent response," he says, finally standing up, and when she tells him to put it on a t-shirt he grins. "Yeah, maybe I will, Rebecca." She stares, jaw dropped. The last time Rebecca saw Cathy's brother -- after the hospital, before his relapse -- he'd left his hiking boots for Bruno Maglis and was making a very healthy income.
"Ironically, income is one of the most unhealthy things there is. It starts the cycle." She doesn't need to ask what cycle. She remembers him now. "Your short stint in the care facility and your subsequent stab at civilization didn't take?" He looks her up and down. "And what about you? Just getting old and angry? Trying to squeeze into clothes meant for a woman half your age, but not willing to change your style until one of your one-night stands pays off?" She'll drink to that.
"So what law firm thought you were a good idea?" She grins and calls him Sassy and tells him she's in pharmaceutical sales: A drug pusher, he says, gearing up for another speech. "You're the reason nine-year-old girls are getting boobs!" For which, she assures him, nine-year-old boys everywhere are thanking her.
"Look, I have a job that is questionable -- at best -- but they pay me very well. And since I have no husband and no children to be responsible for, I pay for my father's nursing home care and I donate 20% of my income to charity. My dime could be the last dime needed to help cure cancer."
But she's still as bad as she is good -- a balanced person in the house of splitting selves -- and that's something they can agree on. He can't take his eyes off her. They're just saying the things that you say, the fight you have, the ideologies, but it's coded: They both know where this goes, where it leads. It's a freight train they don't have to stop.