"You know what I'd really like to eat?" Earl asks, and the whole diner shivers. "You."
Everybody freezes. Sean jerks, mortified; not the kind of shock he likes. He looks pretty clean tonight; he looks very nice. Marlene takes him in, that measuring look, as Sean demands an apology. "I may be 82 years old but I got a tongue that can lick the paint off an outhouse," Earl tells him. Sean and Marlene slowly look at each other: It's the same surprise and judgmental delight she had the first time she saw Aunt Allison. Maybe she will eat this one alive, maybe she's loving it. Marlene's anger is a constant and therefore a poor barometer.
Paul's drunk by the time he gets to the dinner table. They're still having appetizers. He jokes about getting drunk and they laugh politely, thinking he's downplaying it, and when they ask him about Cathy he blames her absence on a "previous commitment." Words he'd already rehearsed to say.
Along with Paul Jamison, the company is promoting another VP of Creative Services, named Nick. They all toast to the two of them, two couples and Paul, alone, downing wine and scotch without taking a breath: "Where's the dude," he grunts, and waves his scotch glass in the air. The other two couples and Paul, all alone. They stare.
This is what it is like to be Cathy tonight, for now: "I'm so lucky to know you, and I'm so lucky to have met you," says Lenny, and she laughs. Her legs in constant movement, against his, as they lie on the cushions looking into each other's eyes, touching each other's faces. In a whole other world, a story you can't imagine; in a story Paul saw and thought was something only slightly worse.
"I feel really lucky. And I'm beginning to feel for the first time, finally, that everything's gonna be all right. It is gonna be all right. Maybe I don't have to... I don't have to work so hard. I don't have to worry so much." Her feet, as she cries with relief, finally taking flight: "I don't even have to raise Adam. He will be raised... By the world. He'll be okay with the rest of it. And it's not even... it's not even what I say, is it? I just... I should quit talking to Adam altogether. I should exist around him, so he knows that I'm there, but... No words." He thinks it's drug talk, he stays quiet. No words. She takes him to see the hole where her pool one day might be.