Chapter 9: Plot! And the Pretzel of Guilt
I’m not going to spend time on this next scene because there’s not much to poke fun at and it’s also not very interesting. But it is plot related, so I’ll quickly sum up: Hayden goes to visit Sheila-the-soon-to-be-ex to see what she meant about Presley’s drinking. She says that Presley had made some bad financial decisions which lead to his drinking, which cycled to more bad choices and more drinking. Sheila confronted him about the drinking, after which Presley slept with another woman. He confessed but blamed it on Sheila’s nagging. When she confronted him again, while drunk, he admitted to fixing games.
Sheila also says that she married Presley not just for his money, which she could have gotten by marrying someone else, but because she wanted someone who would take care of her and put her first, “financially and emotionally” (111).
This confession makes Hayden think about how she also is looking for someone stable, someone who would put her first, someone like Intimacy-Bridge-Doug. Obviously this is meant as a turning point, for Hayden to start thinking about the possibilities with Brody. But I don’t actually see their situations as being equal here. Hayden isn’t looking for someone to take care of her every need, just someone who puts their relationship ahead of his career. I feel like this is a really forced comparison necessitated only by plot.
As Hayden leaves her almost-ex-stepmother’s house, she answers a call from Intimacy-Doug. In between the bits of dialogue, the text informs us:
…since they’d gone skating after the [gentlemen’s] Club party, she and Brody had been having fun not only in the bedroom, but out of it. They’d gone back to the Lakeshore Lounge for dinner, gone skating at Millennium Park. Brody had even taken her to the Art Institute of Chicago, where he’d spent the entire day following her from painting to painting and listening to her rave about each one (113).
Doesn’t he… like… have hockey to play? Practices and games? Playoffs are a best of seven, usually with 1 day off between games, sometimes 2. And I know I complained in an earlier post that a 2 hour on-ice drill practice during playoffs is unlikely, but a complete day off for them to go to the Art Institute? No. Besides, half of the games they should be playing ought to be in another city (specifically LA.)
The text goes on to address that, sort of.
He’d had three away games this past week and each time he’d left to catch his flight she’d had to bite her tongue (113).
Wait, what? Okay. The only way for this to work would be if he’d flown back to Chicago after game three, then back to LA for game 4 as well. Then they’d come back to Chicago for game 5, back to LA for game 6 and… even then, that’s only two away games. Because if a game 7 was forced, it’d have to be in Chicago.
If, since this is not necessarily the NHL (conveniently), I suppose that game 1 could have been in LA (it’s never specified), game 2 in Chicago (the one that Hayden was at), game 3 in LA (the one where the Warriors lost 6-0), and thus just alternating each game. Then Chicago would have games 4 and 6, and Chicago would have 5 and 7. But even then, that’s still only two away games “this week” because this would be after game 3 (thus 5 and 7). Also, if this is the case, the series is over.
OR! I may have figured it out. Perhaps they’ve moved past the first round. So they’d have had to beat LA in game 4 (which should have been in LA, so this could be the first of the three mentioned away games) and again in game 5 (in Chicago.) Then they could head out to play games 1 and 2 against another team, elsewhere. Although it doesn’t read that way, since the above sentence suggests, with “each time” that each away game had a separate flight. So the Warriors waste time, money, and jet fuel by flying back to Chicago between 2 games in another city? Also, if this is the case, you’d think the narrative would have mentioned somewhere that they got out of round one.
The lack of hockey playoff understanding aside, Hayden and Doug discuss their relationship a bit. Doug wants to come visit her in Chicago which is enough information for Hayden to finally admit that she’s been seeing someone in Chicago. Doug is pretty taken aback by this information and in response,
The pretzel of guilt in her chest tightened into a vise around her heart (116).
Really? The pretzel of guilt?