With the Narrator’s help, Marla has found two lumps on her breasts, and so she starts going to cancer support groups “for real.” They go to a clinic together—the kind of place “where you end up if you don’t have health insurance.” Afterwards, Marla says she doesn’t want to know anything else about her breast cancer, especially when, and if, she’s going to die. Afterwards, Marla starts working at a funeral home. The Narrator makes a brief aside: Marla, he insists, “is still alive,” but she wishes she’d die “at any moment.”
In a bitter, even tragic, irony, Marla ends up going to the same support groups she once attended as a “faker.” It seems that Marla has breast cancer (though the novel never explicitly says so). Marla still seems fascinated by death, hence her wish to die at any moment. Yet she also seems frightened by the possibility of death, hence her refusal to get any more information about her cancer. The dangerous thrill of dying, rather than the certainty of death, is what excites her.
Meanwhile, the police begin calling the Narrator at Tyler’s house, asking about his condominium explosion. Over the phone, a detective explains that a homemade bomb blew up the condo; the Narrator insists that he was in Washington D.C. that night. He insists that he would never have destroyed his beloved possessions. In response, the detective tells the Narrator not to leave town.
The police clearly suspect the Narrator of blowing up his own apartment—again hinting that the Narrator has been doing things he doesn’t remember.