(with sand, not Nevil Shute whose given name was Norway not Shute at all) enjoying the perfectly blue sky, but finds himself within unavoidable earshot of two prosperous women discussing poverty.
If you aggregate the published data (poorness and age, fatness and whiteness) and then turn the page you will see a picture of Maine with a distended sallow gut above almost no money collected in old pockets.
Mister Chu remembers a story Doctor Thompson told about once going up (uninvited) to Doctor Leary’s house and passing in the yard a veiled figure kneeling, gardening, and also humming tunelessly. No one was home.
Only later did Thompson understand that the constant gardener had been Leary himself humming us away. Mister Chu tries this a little. The women don’t move. He says nothing but is taken by a great desire to ask them if they might have any laundry he could do. A railroad in need of building.
Further along an older man close to Mister Chu’s own age (but not on the inside) toddles down towards the waterline behind his people. He barks good naturedly about matters Mister Chu does not care about nor judges.
As he compliments himself with regard to the calm balance of his true self Mister Chu realizes that the older man is wearing exactly the same swimming shorts he himself bought but a few weeks ago in a shop called Target back in South Austin.
His sudden (odd) shame is only matched by his bewilderment. First as to how this could possibly be and then at the power and reach of the national delivery grid. He sinks lower into his canvas chair. The women continue to talk.