Finding the Sun:
Running into each other at the beach, Cordelia and Abigail do all they can to hide their dislike for one another, probably because their husbands, Daniel and Benjamin, aren't doing so well at hiding the fact that they themselves were once in love before ever deciding to marry Cordelia and Abigail instead. Gertrude and Henden (Daniel and Cordelia's parents by previous marriages) play witness to their step-childrens' passions which inevitably excite their own, despite their age. Gertrude acts upon her curiosity by investigating what she imagines to be a relationship between Edmee and Fergus, a mother and son whom she meets at the beach that day. Henden, in his own time, approaches the sixteen-year-old Fergus and finds himself answering the boy's discomforting questions about the nature of Daniel and Benjamin's past relationship. All together, these chance meetings and forays into frankness offer a kaleidoscopic view of passion which spans all the ages of man and woman and all the varieties of love we know.
The American Dream:
Mommy and Daddy sit in a barren living room making small talk. Mommy, the domineering wife, is grappling with the thought of putting Grandma in a nursing home. Daddy, the long-suffering husband, could not care less. Grandma appears, lugging boxes of belongings, which she stacks by the door. Mommy and Daddy can't imagine what's in those boxes, but Grandma is well aware of Mommy's possible intentions. Mrs. Barker, the chairman of the women's club, arrives, not knowing why she is there. Is she there to take Grandma away? Apparently not. It all becomes evident when Grandma reveals to Mrs. Barker the story of the botched adoption of a "bumble of joy" twenty years ago by Mommy and Daddy. Mrs. Barker appears to have figured it out when Young Man enters. He's muscular, well-spoken, the answer to Mommy and Daddy's prayers: The American Dream. Grandma convinces him to assist in her master plan. She puts one over on everybody and escapes the absurdly realistic world which she finds so predictable.
Quotations from Mao Tse-Tung
The lights come up to reveal the outline of an ocean liner, two figures in deck chairs: a wealthy woman of sixty and an aged minister. The lady unfolds a convoluted autobiographical narrative about her husband’s death, her unhappy relationship with her daughter, an accident she witnessed, and her own attempted suicide.