Crumb leaves early, after drawing a cartoon on the paper tablecloth, which he tears off carefully when he’s finished. "That’ll pay for another year of Sophie’s school," Aline says. Then she beckons him toward her, kisses him and whispers something in his ear. The Crumbs may have an open marriage, but, most of the time, I suspect, it’s closed.
The next morning I drop by the house to say goodbye. Aline is getting ready to go hiking, and Crumb is standing with his back to me in the alcove off the kitchen — where I first saw him — washing his hands. "Well, goodbye. I enjoyed meeting you," I say.
Crumb skips the formalities. "L.A. is a mistake," he replies, flinging the words over his shoulder. "You can tell ’em I said so."