He’s walking through the shopping center and in one of those kiosks off to the side, he sees a stand selling pearls straight from the shell. But it’s not the jewels that caught his eye, it’s the girl selling them. And he’s reminded of the Chinese poet, Yuen Mei, who wrote:
My beautiful lady goes to see the flowers,
and a flower, she forgets, is she;
Would they not come to blossom in her bowers,
should flowers intelligent be?
But though she’s pretty, with sadness shadowing her commercial smile, he continues walking by because his heart belongs to another. He turns, takes one last look then thinks, “now there’s something you don’t see everyday: a pearl selling pearls.”