His girlfriend is in to this sort of thing, this... female empowerment. Which he finds very, very sexy. She likes to tell her friends that she finally scored a good one, and he's not sure if he is that, in fact he's pretty sure he's not, but it helps that she thinks so. They go to a lot of events like this, and he surprises himself by not getting tired of it after the second slam poem about menstruation. She squeezes his hand. He tells his friends, well, the people he knows at work, that the longer they stay the more vigorous the sex is, afterwards, and they all have an uneasy, macho laugh, measuring him up, wondering.
She tells him from their seats in the theater that the Vagina Monologues is a classic, important work, that Eve Esner, while a little disconnected at times made great strides with her books. Lots of things that she's told him before, but he lets her tell him again, because it makes her happy. The theater, she tells him, is called in-the-round. A unique form where the audience surrounds the stage, leaving those performing vulnerable, and exposed. Perfect for this type of performance.
They flip through the program together, half-heartedly looking for familiar faces among the cast. She's never acted, but in this town, it's difficult to walk two blocks without running into someone you think you've seen before. And maybe it is to his credit that he doesn't lie, doesn't pretend. Maybe it is simple human decency. But his knuckle brushes the page and he clears his throat, "I used to work with her, weirdly enough. One of my first jobs, after I quit acting."
She raises an eyebrow. "I guess you had a common interest."
"Something like that." For some reason, he remembers catching her--Casey--crying, her eyes bright.
She doesn't say any more before the show starts, but when the performers file on stage, and step down to their seats, she tucks her mouth next to his ear and murmurs "She's pretty."
After the show, the performers mingle with the audience, holding their binders in one hand and drinks of choice in another. It makes shaking hands, hugging, awkward.
She turns to him, fresh from the bathroom and nudges his side. "Go say hello. She did really well."
"I'm not sure--"
"Henry, don't be stubborn. I'm sure she'd love to see you."
So he stands in line to congratulate her on a performance well done, catching her eye well before his turn. He downs the rest of his whiskey. He's never seen her quite like this, her hair done up with thought. Casey touches his hand.
"Henry." She grins. "Are we having fun yet?"
He's never quite learned how to respond to that, so he just nods, smiles. "Actually, yeah. We are."