The flight turns out to be too late. While the couple is changing planes in Arizona, Slater finds out that his mother has died. Slater installs himself in L.A. for the foreseeable future, to put her affairs in order and work on the book. He knows he has to hurry, that this strange chance or shot or opening or whatever it is will likely not outlast his probation. “Who knows what happens in two years?” Slater asks. “That’s why I have to sell as many T-shirts as I can now and maybe sell the book.” “To be honest, I have no idea why his fame has lasted as long as it has,” interjects Rochelle.
It’s hard to say if Slater regrets August 9. He cloaks his answers in recovery-speak: “I don’t believe in regret.” “I believe that each experience is part of the tapestry that makes us who we are.” “It’s just a part of my story.” And so on. He does, however, acknowledge at least one bit of good luck. “By the grace of God, this didn’t happen when I was 20 and drinking and partying. Because I would have probably imploded by now.”