Papa-Lo recalls a rehearsal at the Singer’s house a few weeks ago, when a white boy appeared “out of nowhere like magic trick.” During a break, the white boy chats away to the Singer about racism, God, and music. He advises the Singer to “stop trying to reach mainstream America.” Eventually, the Singer simply walks away, but after that point becomes newly suspicious, including of Papa-Lo, as he believes that the white boy is somehow connected to Copenhagen City. Papa-Lo believes this too, assuming the boy is involved with Josey. At the same time, the Singer has so many enemies that this one white boy doesn’t trouble him much; when Papa-Lo asks what the boy looked like, the Singer can’t remember.
Whereas the Singer was initially presented as being overly trusting to the point of naïveté, this passage implies that this is beginning to change. Clearly the white bo—who is unnamed but is presumably Mark Lansing––represents little threat to the Singer, especially in comparison to the gangsters that otherwise surround him. On the other hand, the white boy represents the secret allegiances, corruption, and duplicity that are very much a threat to the Singer’s pursuit of peace.