There were many different ways to perceive Tess, because she was so moody. For example, she’d been personable and silly as Johnny Carson the night before and now, waking up on the couch in the hotel room at the Sheraton, she felt painfully shy of these new people. Still, she did want to get in touch with Vivienne/Beth for Molly, not only out of kindness but out of curiosity -- what if this interesting woman her ex-boyfriend Tim had introduced her to had invented her identity, perhaps on the spot, for the sake of Tess and the guests at the party? But she also craved a smoke in solitude and a couple hours just to watch a DVD on her own television in her own bedroom.
Ah well, she would just have to try not to act too sullen towards these people, whom she'd already formed an attachment to. This resolution proved immaterial once Molly awoke, because of how sullen Molly was herself. She watched Molly knock on the bathroom door and heard a man who wasn't Richard answer, "Molly, is it you? You can come in." Then Tess overheard a snatch of their conversation.
"I know it's mom, George. What will happen when I go with this girl Tess to the coffeeshop and find her today? Maybe you should go, George, what do you think? Mom really only trusts you. I don’t – I don’t know what I am, but I know that I am not trust-inspiring."
If Yesteryou was the song that expressed George's laments at the inevitable tide of a life, Molly's song was one she'd first heard in a movie a few years ago; it was sung by a deep-voiced tragedy-monger of a woman, long-dead, and it expressed Molly's regret at the way she was letting life pass her by. The singer in the song goes, "I went out walking, I don't do too much talking these days. These days I seem to think about all the things that I forgot to do, and all the times I had the chance to." In high school, she'd been the person whose creativity others commented on and admired, and this had filled her with a false hope of some sort of extra reserve of magic, an imperviousness to the mundane that other adults would lack, when she herself became an adult. But creativity is a word used in school; the importance behind the word, the urgency of creating, doesn't translate well to adulthood.
Maybe Molly could be living with roommates her own age in one of the hipster parts of Los Angeles and maybe be in a band, designing furniture made with recycled materials. But she didn't see the point, though she wished she could. She was already twenty five, which felt old. She saw the point in noticing beauty but not the point in recording it. She lived with Richard and worked at an office she hated as much as people in sitcoms always hate their office jobs, but she didn't see the point of changing. She enjoyed the company of Richard and George. George saw so many movies, and read so many books, and from his high regard for all these stories (all these other peoples' stories) she learned what she considered a trick, of learning other lives.