Chapter 8: Party of Convenience
We never do find out why Presley wanted Hayden to come to his gentlemen’s club’s birthday party for George-Hamilton-Tan-Guy. But because she’d mentioned said party, Brody can corner her there. (Apparently he’s too cautious to call her, but showing up uninvited at a private party? That needs no caution!) In order to get into said gentlemen’s club, however, he has to enlist the help of Becker, his teammate and best friend, who has a membership, conveniently enough.
Inconveniently, however, Becker’s wife (Mary) already had plans, so Becker going out with Brody meant that, with it being so last minute that there was no babysitter, Mary had to cancel her plans. To that I say, wth? Why is this okay? Brody didn’t even tell Becker why he wanted his help (Becker asks later). So friend shows up on the doorstep and husband agrees (albeit with many complaints about how angry his wife will be) to drop his child-care duties and put on a tuxedo and go out. If I were Mary I would be incredibly angry.
For that matter, Brody should feel guilt, but apparently “he couldn’t muster any. For two days he’d been trying to come up with a way to see Hayden and make things right” (94). I don’t understand how that second sentence means Brody can’t feel guilty for his dragging Becker out. (However, I think Becker should feel far guiltier in this scenario. It isn’t Brody’s responsibility to make Becker take care of his kid.)
They arrive at the club and go inside, and only once there does Brody bring up the scandal and allegations. Why the heck didn’t they talk about this in the car? The narrative assures us that “this was probably not the time and definitely not the place,” (96) but Brody tells Becker about what he saw happen between their captain and Sheila-the-soon-to-be-ex. Nothing happens (as far as the narrative tells us) because Brody chose this moment to reveal what he knows but I still think Brody ought to have talked about it in the car—and saved us all from the chat about Becker’s wife being angry that Becker took off. Then we wouldn’t have had to know that stand-up, wonderful best friend Becker takes off on his kids.
Presley spots the two of them, conveniently after they’ve finished talking about all the secrets and rumors, and Brody can immediately tell that he’s “plastered” (98). Which means either Hayden really is incredibly unobservant (unlikely, despite her inability to know how to read a scoreboard or learn anything about how professional hockey works) or she did a bang-up job of deluding herself that her father was only “buzzed.” Brody heads off to find Hayden within seconds of seeing Presley, and that’s not suspicious at all. (Maybe he’s too drunk to notice?)
Apparently, though, Brody has super-vision. Hayden is on the patio, being all said, leaning on a railing and looking out at the estate.
He paused at the doors, admiring her. To his surprise, she turned abruptly as if sensing his presence. Their eyes locked. And that’s when he saw that her sooty black lashes were spiky with tears (98).
Okay, it could be a small patio, but that seems unlikely at an “estate” and a “gentlemen’s club.” So from a distance of many feet, Brody can tell that Hayden has been crying. So he rushes to her side and she sinks into his embrace. (I’m wondering if her “sooty black lashes” have mascara on them, in which case the tears are likely getting mascara onto Brody’s tuxedo shirt.)
He asks what’s wrong and after a little prompting she spills all, about her father’s drinking and her concerns and how she’s sad that he’s more interested now in power and money than in family. She shares that as a child he used to take her fishing for a week every summer, although she hated to fish. Did this kid like anything that her father liked? I begin to see why her father grew away from her.
Hayden’s former closeness to her father reminds Brody of how close he is with his parents, and how he always makes sure to spend time with them in spite of his schedule.
In the offseason he stayed with them for a month and spent every available moment with his folks (101).
That’s sweet Brody. Too bad it’s downgraded from 7 pages ago, when Becker invited Brody to his summer house for a week.
Brody usually tried to spend the entire summer in Michigan with his parents, but for Becker, he was willing to alter his plans (94).
I point these things out because I enjoy consistency. (Although the inconsistent magic trousers in chapter four still amuse the heck out of me.)
At any rate, when Hayden laments that she needs some peace and quiet somewhere so she can get her thoughts together, Brody says he knows just the place, and his perspective ends.
For those of you wondering about the playoffs, as I was, apparently the game in Los Angeles was not only a loss but a 6-0 blowout. Fair enough, that sucks for the Warriors. But I’m really confused by the fact that they apparently played a game in LA on Saturday night, but only one and came back (this party is on Sunday.) Single game. So game 1 and 2 were in Chicago, which makes sense, and game 3 was in LA but why would they leave before playing game 4, which ought to be on Monday and in LA? (Games 5, 6, and 7 should alternate, but the first four come in sets of two.) Does the author, Ms Kennedy, actually watch hockey? Should we be revoking her Canadian citizenship?