“Nathaniel flutters about our living room and kitchen, yammering as he sets up to play. Caroline, who is used to holding court and being the only one in the house privileged to talk nonstop, looks like a child who fears she might not get the first piece of cake at her own party. When Nathaniel begins playing Saint-Saens, Caroline stops and stares at him and his cello. She saw him play once before, near the tunnel, but now the music is in her house and she can hear it and feel it coming up through the floorboards. She’s mesmerized, at least for a minute, and I envy Nathaniel’s ability all the more. His music has warmed the house and captured my daughter’s attention.” (207)
and that, is a beauty-full and circular passage on the human tendency to need attention.
“For all his troubles, Nathaniel has gone years without a worry common to the rest of us. He has no money, wants no money, needs no money. But, ordinarily, room and board aren’t free. Nathaniel has been getting a free ride at Lamp in part because his story has generated donations to the agency. For other residents, a disability check helps play the bills, but Nathaniel has been off the books for years and claims to have no interest in applying for Social Security.” (239)