A few paragraphs later, this appears:
"NOTHING APPLIES, I print with the magnetized IBM pencil. What does apply, they ask later, as if the word "nothing" were ambiguous, open to interpretation, a questionable fragment of an Icelandic rune."
"I try not to think of dead things and plumbing. I try not to hear the air conditioner in that bedroom in Encino. I try not to live in Silver Wells or in New York with Carter. I try to live in the now and keep my eye on the hummingbird. I see no one I used to know, but then I'm not just crazy about a lot of people. I mean maybe I was holding all the aces, but what was the game?"