“There is no way or reason to be subtle about why Pilar was in Costa Rica. At thirty-one she was still unmarried and Hand was one of her few old friends also still unmarried, and the only attractive old friend she’d never slept with. So she knew, when she hung up the phone with Hand five weeks prior, that she would sleep with him in Alta, and she knew it on the plane and on the drive to the coast.
Was she in any way saddened by the predictability of the outcome? Was it unromantic? She decided that it was not. Sex and things like sex – things people pretend they regret – weren’t about a decision made in a heated moment. The decision is made when you leave the house, when you get on a plane, when you dial a number.”
“San Jose looked like L.A. circa 1973, and she puttered through the city weirdly horny. The heat maybe. The volume of the sidewalks maybe. She watched women through her windshield and they watched her. She found an English-language station and on it Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You” and she thought she would burst. She was happy, and she’d been for a few years able to recognize it, just dumb happiness, when it came, whatever its cause. When people asked how she was, she said Happy, and this made some people angry.”