Helene is the toast of the town in Petersburg. She runs the coolest salon (not for hair, but for deep-thoughts-style conversation). Everybody who is anybody goes there to see and be seen.
Pierre is surprised by this, because he knows how dim Helene actually is. But maybe that’s the glue that holds the whole thing together.
But it’s all good, and the same people who think she’s so clever also think that he’s just this adorable weirdo. In a nice twist, he comes off as cool because of how little he cares about his wife and the salon and everyone who comes to the house.
Oh, and the VIP guest at the salon? Boris. Oh yeah, baby, he’s there all evening every evening. Pierre starts feeling irritated by and jealous of him.
Still, Pierre is having a nice little spiritual awakening.