Titus’s dad hasn’t been home in weeks, and his mom is angry. Smell Factor runs around, crying and throwing things. Titus stays in his room.
Not only is Titus’s society falling apart; his own family seems to be on the verge of collapse.
One afternoon, Violet shows up at Titus’s house. She walks into his room and asks him if he wants to come to the mountains—this was the weekend plan she had been asking about earlier. She also asks if he got her memories. He shakes his head. She asks about the mountains again, and he says he’s “kind of busy.” Violet seems angry and asks what else he could be doing. Titus hesitates and then agrees.
Titus neglects Violet emotionally, even though she’s clearly reaching out for him in her time of need. Titus is reluctant to offer Violet support because he’s been trained his entire life to pursue pleasure with total, selfish abandon, and has no idea how to handle anything remotely unpleasant.
Violet and Titus drive away in Titus’s upcar. During the ride, Titus asks if Violet has been okay. She explains that she can’t move for hours at a time. She’s worried that Titus hasn’t gotten her messages—this might mean something else is wrong with her. She confesses that she wants to live without her feed. However, she can’t turn off her feed right now, because it controls too many vital functions.
Surprisingly, this is the first time in the book that Violet has explicitly claimed she wants to live without her feed. By the same token, Violet wants to live outside the culture of consumerism and reckless capitalism that dominates her society.
Violet says that her feed has been recommending new requiem masses for her. To Violet’s chagrin, she likes some of them. She wants to get to the point where her feed can’t predict what she does and doesn’t like. She smiles at Titus “like she was broken.” Titus says nothing, but turns up the fan.
Escaping the feed is harder than it seems. Violet has tried to confound her feed by constructing an unreadable consumer taste profile, but her feed has managed to “read” her taste accurately despite this. Titus continues to behave dismissively toward Violet and seems to have no interest in taking care of her.