Later that night, Rosemary and Harlow bike to Jack in the Box to get a rice bowl, with Rosemary balancing on the bike’s handlebars. While ordering, they change their minds so many times that the waitress eventually tells them to “go to hell.” They go to another bar, where Rosemary makes out with a guy who is possibly in high school. Later, Rosemary sits on a bench in the train station sobbing, as she has finally thought about what it must have been like when Fern was taken away. She imagines Fern being drugged and waking up alone, then being placed in a cage with older chimps and being forced to accept a low status as a 5-year-old female. Rosemary despairs at the lack of “female solidarity” that allowed Fern to be taken away.
Rosemary’s mind may be jumping around erratically, but her thoughts ultimately turn to the fundamental source of her unhappiness. When sober, Rosemary does not allow herself to think about Fern or imagine what has happened to her after she was taken away from the family. Yet in her state of extreme inebriation, Rosemary is powerless to stop herself thinking such things. In this sense, Rosemary’s sudden friendship with Harlow—and all its ensuing chaos—serves as the therapy she never received (albeit a highly reckless and destructive form of therapy!).
The next thing Rosemary remembers is being at a bar with Harlow and two guys. Rosemary is strongly aware that she is the “consolation prize.” She is aware that she is behaving strangely, but refuses to act any differently. Reg arrives, and Rosemary goes to the bathroom to throw up. She realizes that she is in the men’s bathroom and that Reg is in there too, and begins to flirt with him. He tells her she should go home. Harlow and Rosemary walk outside together, and Rosemary feels “high” on their friendship. Then Rosemary finds herself back at the bar, playing pool. Suddenly, she falls into the arms of Lowell. On recognizing her brother Rosemary begins to cry, but is then immediately led outside by Officer Haddick, who tells her that she can sleep off her drunkenness and reflect on her choices while in jail. Meanwhile, Lowell has vanished.
Due to the drugs and alcohol, Rosemary’s cognition is distorted, and her disjointed sense of temporality makes it difficult to piece together exactly what is happening and in what order. At the same time, it is also clear that—even from an objective perspective—this is a highly eventful night in Rosemary’s life, where a number of previously distinct threads in the narrative are woven together in a chaotic climax. Rosemary allows herself to think about Fern, flirts with Reg, is reunited with Lowell, and is arrested again; in one night, her years of self-control immediately unravel.