Chapters 15-16 Summary
Milo heads out on his first visit to Don, Purdy’s son. When he arrives at the building, he is let in by Sasha, Don’s girlfriend. Sasha, who seems vaguely high, continually mists herself to combat the stifling heat of the apartment.
Sasha questions Milo about his involvement with Purdy and the amount of money he has brought. At times Sasha seems to be flirting with Milo, but in her altered state it isn’t fully clear.
Soon, Don arrives home and interrogates Milo about his work with his father. Don takes off his two prosthetic legs and complains of the soreness of his “humps” (the word he uses to describe the remaining parts of his legs). Don asks Milo if he knows any way to score drugs in the neighborhood, but Milo cannot help him.
Don demonstrates a spiky intelligence but is full of rough edges. He is obviously volatile and seems to invest in conspiracy theories. When Milo asks Don if he wants to send a message to Purdy or get together to him, Don replies in an angry diatribe about Purdy’s lack of involvement in his mother’s life. He hopes Purdy gets penile cancer, gets hits by a bus, and then has to spend a year or so in excruciating pain, dying from both.
Milo heads in for one of his periodic visits to the office and notes the large presence of international students, particularly one who sleeps outside Dean Cooley’s office. When he arrives, he engages in a long conversation with Horace, the former temp who is now on the climb in the development office. Horace lets slip that the development office is in trouble. Since the economy crashed, parents (even rich ones) have become gun shy about investing in a four-year education in the arts.
Horace cruelly points out Milo’s own thwarted dreams as an artist, something Milo admitted to him when they were coworkers and (he thought) friends. In the current economic climate, many of the asks have withdrawn their gives, and the department is really counting on Milo securing a big give from Purdy.
Milo goes to see Vargina to find out if what Horace said was true or not. She confirms the department’s shaky position and, like Horace, expresses concerns about Milo’s ability to deliver a big give.
Milo thanks her for her friendship, but Vargina points out that they are coworkers, not friends. When Milo tries to find out about the foreign exchange student on Cooley’s couch, Vargina shuts down the conversation.