This was when the two girls were killing time together in the hotel room, waiting until it was time to go find Beth at the coffeehouse. Richard, George and Molly had come back to the hotel room after an hour of unsuccessfully losing themselves in sight-seeing, and had found a note from Tess about Tim's theory that Beth/Vivienne might be at the coffeehouse that night, and that Molly would come back in a couple hours, hopefully with Beth in tow.
Soon the two girls were walking down the block to the Black Cat Coffeehouse, and Molly was thinking to herself, "Something big is about to happen." But Vivienne was only herself, a 36-year-old, dark-haired, too thin woman, a person who always meant well in her heart of hearts but who sometimes acted coldly, disbelieving her own rotten actions all the while she performed them. When Molly saw Vivienne, who was just a stranger after all, she said, "Excuse me, " and already starting to cry, ran out of the coffeehouse onto the street, where she was able to catch a cab back to the room she shared with the two only safe people in the world.
Meanwhile back at the coffeehouse, Vivienne demanded of Tess in a hiss, "Did you really get this girl excited that she was going to find her mom? How could you think that? You knew all the basics about me, Tim must've told you some things about me, that I don't have a child, that my name isn't Beth. Why did you get her excited?"
"It wasn't just to get attention or to be in the middle of some interesting situation, if that's what you think. She said her mom was a little bit off-kilter right now because she’d just run someone over with her car -- I thought a panicked woman like that could lie about her identity. Molly is from L.A. like you are. You look so much like her, and I didn’t really do the math but it seemed you could be the right age, and Jesus, I don't really know you, just because my ex-boyfriend likes showing your around town. You could be anyone, how would I know?"
"Wait, wait. Some of what you're saying to me right now is striking me very weird, because I just met a homeless woman who lives under the bridge, last week; I took some photos of her, and when we were talking, I was sort of spooked the whole time because she looks so much like me, and you're right, I do look like that girl Molly. This homeless woman seemed really haunted, like she's seen or done some really heavy thing. But what is really so weird is that she said she was from L.A., and that she'd just hitchhiked here, like for the fuck of it. Do you think -- I mean do you think that this homeless woman could be her mom? She said her name is Rosie, but you're right, someone who has just been through something really scary and run away because of it would probably want to change her name and just start over."
"Jesus, that sounds like it really could be her. I'm gonna go walk to the bridge and see if she's there right now."
What Tess had said about the savor of being involved in interesting situations, though she'd brought it up to deny its validity, was well put, and Vivienne could not help but linger near this young woman whom she disliked, so unwilling was she to give up her role in this drama.
"I want to come too. I'd like to talk to Rosie more; I'm thinking of doing a continuous series of photos of her."