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Lorraine relates how John told her about his discovery that Conchetta Pignati is dead, not in California.
At home that night, Lorraine has a conversation with her mother about her mother's job as a home-care nurse for dying cancer patients. Lorraine's mother tells Lorraine about how her current patient "has sex on the brain" and keeps trying to touch her inappropriately.
The next day, John and Lorraine meet Mr. Pignati at the Staten Island Ferry House, and take the ferry to Manhattan. Then they take the subway to Beekman's department store. At the subway station, Lorraine sees a woman talking to herself, saying "Death is coming," and Lorraine interprets this as another bad omen.
At Beekman's gourmet food department, Mr. Pignati enthusiastically buys unusual items such as frogs' legs, tiger's milk, and chocolate-covered ants. He and Conchetta used to love shopping for food and cooking together.
On the way to the toy department, they walk through the women's underwear department, and Mr. Pignati asks Lorraine if she would like anything. She gets stockings, intending to give them to her mother. The clerk is surprised when Lorraine insists that she needs a size eleven.
In the pet department, they find three monkeys in a cage "hugging each other like crazy," (Another symbol alert!! Who could these represent?) and Mr. Pignati stops to talk to them for half an hour.
They all buy roller skates, and Lorraine and John wear them out of the store, enjoying this moment of freedom. Lorraine concludes the chapter by reflecting that they must have looked like the "three funny little monkeys" they saw earlier.