Down in the basement, Aurobindo sat hunched on a low stool. A cloud of sawdust floated above him. His left hand gripped a rectangle of wood. In his right hand was the carving knife. From time to time he snorted in frustration, and looked searchingly at the row of chisels that lay on the bench next to him. But mostly he felt relief. Here, there was no talk of green cards or layoffs. The fireworks that had begun to go off in the neighborhood in anticipation of July 4th were not audible down here. He heard nothing besides the soft, dry sound of wood chipping.