Chapters 27-28 Summary
Milo wakes up the next morning in the throes of an excruciating hangover. As he tries to nurse himself back to health, he tries to call Purdy, Don, and several others but cannot get through to anyone.
Worried about Don, he heads over to his place and encounters Nabeel, the son of the building’s landlord. After bribing Nabeel with one hundred fifty dollars, he lets Milo into the building and up to Don’s apartment. When Don doesn’t immediately respond to his knocks, he asks Nabeel to let him in, fearing Don may have overdosed.
Suddenly, Don opens the door and lets Milo in. Milo apologizes for the previous evening and Don says he’s about to move back to his hometown; he is fed up with the city and his efforts to connect with Purdy. Don finds Milo’s concern condescending and once again asks him to confront the question of why he is participating in Purdy’s family drama.
When Milo heads into the office, he notices that the computer is missing from his desk. Horace claims it was taken for repairs, but Vargina calls him into the conference room and tells him he is being let go. Even the promise of a severance package does not ease the blow.
Milo gives Maura the bulk of Purdy’s last cash payment and vents his frustration about their relationship limbo. As he walks Bernie to school, he realizes his tender feelings for the boy. He tries to impart some advice to the boy: to squander everything and not hold anything inside because it goes bad. He also relates this to a view of the world he learned from his talk with Lee: that everyone is either enslaved or a slaveholder. Bernie doesn’t understand this, but accepts his father’s love and asks for a dinosaur birthday cake.
Later, while napping in the park, Milo runs into Predrag, the young guy who was working the counter at the doughnut shop the night Milo ran into Kiddie Diddler. Predrag shares a doughnut with him as an act of solidarity.
Later, he randomly calls Sasha, Don’s ex-girlfriend who has moved back to Don’s hometown. Although she finds Milo’s call somewhat creepy, she relays some of Don’s troubles in his hometown. Don had gotten into a nearly fatal bar fight that included Todd Wilkes, the vet who regularly preached positive thinking for wounded soldiers on television. Sasha expresses concern that Don might get into more trouble when he moves back to town.
Finally Milo heads out on the bus to his mother’s house. On the way, he shares a chat and some swigs of hard liquor with Pat, a former alternative musician whose band lost its drummer in the war.