On her way into Marlene's house, without knocking, Cathy Jamison stumbles over Thomas the dog, who barely notices. She feels terrible about it. Less so does she feel too bad about calling Marlene a "fucking cunt," which escalates the situation as if by magic to a point where she can deliver the full monologue.
"You have never said hello to me, you have never smiled even a little bit, and you sit out there and you scowl at everybody that walks by your rundown house that looks like shit and smells like chicken that you fried 23 years ago. Then I do one small construction project, and you have to go behind my back?"
"I wanted to teach my son the Banana Split & Dive, because I don't have a lot of time. Summers in Minneapolis, they are very short. They are here, and then it's over. It's just over. And I cannot tell you how mad that makes me."
The doctor said to tell somebody her secret, the truth of her life; it is the tragedy of Cathy Jamison -- and you, and me -- that she keeps telling people the secret and nobody can hear it. The game is rigged, but still nobody will call her bluff.
So Cathy Jamison leaves Marlene alone, apologizing to Thomas on her way out. At some point, during that speech, something happened for Marlene. Maybe she heard a little part of the secret, maybe she just likes having somebody to fight with. She saw a glimpse of the real Cathy Jamison in there, and saw a fight and a vitality and an age and a youth, an innocence and an anger, that spoke to her own. And panicking as Cathy makes for the door -- what if this is the last chance? -- Marlene's voice creaks out first in a whine and then a flood.
"My husband built this house! And he loved puttering around in the yard. I accused him of loving that lawn more than me once." He died, of course; Cathy's still mad enough that she doesn't give a shit. "And all my friends are dead. So I just sit out there and wait until I can see them again. Sorry I'm not in a better mood."
Cathy sees something there, too. An acquaintance with something big and ugly that she can't see straight or talk about yet. But it's enough for now to earn her respect. Cathy Jamison loves to be shocked. And no matter how many times it happens, she keeps being reminded that everyone on earth is capable of shocking you. That we are all simplified, cartoonish, that Marlene was just as surprised that Cathy wasn't a Crate & Barrel clone as Cathy is, that Marlene was just as shocked by her admission as Cathy was. That Marlene and Cathy are a riot of color, hidden beneath angry cushions.