‘We’re all on each other’s food chain. All of us. It’s an individual sport. Welcome to the meaning of individual. We’re each deeply alone here. It’s what we all have in common, this aloneness.’
What metro Boston AAs are trite but correct about is that both destiny’s kisses and its dope-slaps illustrate an individual person’s basic personal powerlessness over the really meaningful events in his life: i.e. almost nothing important that ever happens to you happens because you engineer it. Destiny has no beeper; destiny always leans trenchcoated out of an alley with some sort of Psst that you usually can’t even hear because you’re in such a rush to or from something important you’ve tried to engineer.
He and Hal exchanged the very slight sorts of nods people use when they like each other past all need for politeness.
The day-shift nurse standing behind him and inclined over the back of the sofa to hold the monitor very carefully in place, the incline producing cleavage which Hal would gladly choose to be the sot of person not to note.
Life has kicked his ass…It’s like something terrible could happen at any time. Less fear than a kind of tension in the region of stomach and ass, an all-body wince.
If you asked Gately what he was feeling right this second he’d have no idea.
And then it’s stuck there, the weary cynicism that saves us from gooey sentiment and unsophisticated naivete.
The intercom calmly dinged. He heard conversing people in the hall passing the open door and stopping for a second to look in, but still conversing. It occurred to him if he died everybody would still exist and go home and eat and X their wife and go to sleep. A conversing voice at the door laughed and told somebody else it was getting harder these days to tell the homosexuals from the people who beat up homosexuals. It was impossible to imagine a world without himself in it.