Chapters 19-20 Summary
Milo arrives at The Best Place, a high-end birthing megaplex, for a meeting with Purdy. On the way he notes that they have archery, breast-milk banks, a spa, and a host of other services to pamper wealthy expectant mothers and their families.
While Purdy and Melinda finish interviewing midwives, Michael Florida keeps Milo company at the bar. Michael and Milo didn’t really socialize directly in college but did hang out in the same group together.
When Milo brings up the home invasion, Michael reveals that he was in on it and knew the thieves. Michael since gave up drugs and alcohol but remains a sex addict. Milo laments being at the other end of the spectrum with a virtually nonexistent sex life.
When Purdy shows up, Milo conveys the details of his visit with Don (minus the penile cancer/bus invective). When Milo attempts to bring up Don’s assertions that Purdy deserted Don’s mother at a motel, Purdy makes it clear that some topics are off limits; included in those topics is any mention of telling Melinda the truth about Purdy’s son. He gives Milo some more money and again puts off any concrete discussion of the give.
One morning, Milo and Bernie arrive at the Happy Salamander school only to find a sign on the door that school has been closed due to pedagogical infighting. Shortly thereafter, they are joined by Denise and her son, Aiden, one of Bernie’s friends from Christine’s daycare.
As they tussle with the teachers about the inconvenience of closing a school a month and half early, Milo begins to flirt with Denise and fantasize about her sexually. He imagines how their flirting could lead to a covert affair. When they take the kids for an impromptu snack after their run-in with the teachers, Milo realizes that he does not want to have an affair with Denise because he loves Maura and does not want to be a philanderer like his father.
Just as he is about to make his exit, Denise abruptly gets up to leave and meet her boyfriend. Milo’s surprise registers with Denise, who silently seems to understand Milo’s misunderstanding about her friendliness.
An embarrassed Milo heads into the city to surprise Maura for lunch, feeling happy about his wife and son. As he approaches her in the park, he notices her coworker, Paul, sitting next to her with his hand on her leg. Before he can evaluate what’s going on, Bernie runs up to them, making them aware of his presence.