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"It's a lovely sunset," she said.
"I wouldn't know," Chadwick blurted. "This is the first time that I've been here."
While he mentally thrashed himself for such an inane statement, another fellow came along and sat on the side of the tub. Apparently he and the girl both worked at the institute. Their conversation indicated that she designed clothes. An ironic touch, thought Chadwick, considering the circumstances. The girl spoke of a recently completed vest.
"It's polyester, but it looks just like crepe de Chine," she said.
"I can't get behind synthetics," said her co-worker.
Spino was already in the meeting room when Chadwick entered. The instructor was now wearing a gauze shirt, slacks and sandals. He sat cross-legged on the floor and explained the workshop goals while Chadwick checked out the other 20 or so members of the group. He was not surprised that only three of them, two coaches and one athlete from a nearby college, appeared to be serious runners. Spino had said that most of the students picked the course at random from the Esalen catalog; most had only a cursory interest in sports.
Spino gives his clinics to diverse groups of students, many of whom have a history of cholesterol loading. He recently signed for a series of seminars at Sea Pines, a resort on Hilton Head Island, S.C. Spino is able to mingle with most groups. With businessmen he looks like Beau Brummell; at Esalen he looks like Ravi Shankar.
Chadwick could see that many of the people in the room apparently were singles like himself, although there was one married couple in their middle 40s. Chadwick spotted Larry, his roommate. Earlier that evening they had sat together at dinner. It turned out that Larry was an editor who worked at a research lab that had helped develop the neutron bomb. Also at the dinner table was a fellow whom Chadwick thought of as the Prophet of Doom because of his dire prognostications. This man was an anthropologist and, like most of them, he thought man's destiny was worse than his history.
"How long do you think we have?" he asked at one point. Chadwick looked down at his vegetarian meal. There was still quite a bit on his plate.
"I don't know," someone answered.