Study Guide

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk Chapter 15

By Ben Fountain

Chapter 15

Temporary Sanity

  • Josh emerges and apologizes profusely for leaving Bravo hanging. It was a foul-up on behalf of one of the clipboard-girls.
  • Billy returns Kathryn's missed call, but Patty picks up, and they chat about the various celebrities Billy has met in his travels. (He can add now Beyoncé to his list.)
  • Patty asks Billy what "that thing" was at the end of the halftime show, where he lifted his face up to the sky. She says it was sweet and really cute. Billy's just weirded out that that moment was broadcast for the world to see.
  • Kathryn steals the phone away from her sister, but she has more serious matters to discuss.
  • She's contacted a group in Austin that helps soldiers who want to go AWOL. They're a bunch of lawyers—with resources—who have been looking for a high-profile guy like Billy to come to them to help make a statement about the war and the unfairness of the whole stop-loss stuff.
  • Kathryn's got the whole thing planned out: the Austin people could pick Billy up at the stadium, and he'd disappear on some guy's ranch for a few weeks until they got all the legal stuff hashed out.
  • Billy doesn't want to even hear Kathryn's plan. His duty is to go back to Iraq with his brothers in Bravo. He doesn't even want the temptation of the idea that he could get out of re-deploying.
  • Kathryn is angry that Billy won't go along with what she's set up. She feels guilty because she thinks Billy got into all of this because of her.
  • Kathryn's already given the Austin people Billy's number. She makes him promise to just hear them out when they call.
  • Billy talks to his mom next, who sounds like she might be three sheets to the wind already.
  • Worried that it might be their last conversation—ever—Billy tells his mom he loves her.
  • Geez—why does it take extreme circumstances to tell your mom you love her? Guys, if you're reading this now…call your mom. Just do it.
  • Billy contemplates what it would be like for his family if he didn't make it back from the war…and that only makes him more determined to survive and come home, triumphant and better, somehow.

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