Present-day Cal tells us about his college girlfriend, Olivia. They were both "emotionally adolescent" (3.7.3) and good for each other at the time, but they didn't last.
He tells us about a few more "incomplete seductions" (3.7.2) before heading back in time to boarding school, and his meeting with the Obscure Object.
The Obscure Object (name changed to protect the semi-innocent) is a red-haired new girl at Calliope's boarding school. Calliope gets the name from the film That Obscure Object of Desire, a film about obsessive love. Guess it's better than naming her after Shallow Halor something.
Being around the Obscure Object arouses Calliope. Quite literally. She starts referring to her genitals as a crocus. "A pink stem pushing up through dark new moss. […] The crocus sometimes felt soft and slippery, like the flesh of a worm. At other times it was as hard as a root" (3.7.56).
Calliope helps the Obscure Object study her lines while they prepare to perform Antigone. The Obscure Object is Antigone, and Calliope is Tiresias.
The Obscure Object makes Calliope feel cool, especially since Calliope seems to know more about sex than the Object does.
Before the play, they have a minor spat. Calliope is trying to encourage the Object, and the Object pushes her away because she wants to practice her lines in private.
Calliope takes the rejection hard, saying "I stood in the darkness, wishing I were dead" (3.7.156).
Be careful what you wish for, Cal: Another student named Maxine Grossinger drops dead in the middle of the play from an aneurysm. R.I.P, Maxine.
Calliope doesn't have time to mourn poor Maxine, though—the Obscure Object is in her arms needing comfort, and Calliope can't be anything but happy.