She pouted prettily, and he wondered if that was one of the things they taught wealthy young girls at schools like Miss Porter’s. If not, it had been passed down from one generation to another as carefully as the secret of fire.

Tragedy was like that, a razor that sliced through time, severing the now from the before, incising the what-might-have-been from reality as cleanly as any surgeon’s blade.

The measure of a man comes down to moments, spread out like dots of pain on the canvas on life. Everything you were, everything you’ll someday be, resides in the small, seemingly ordinary choices of everyday life…..Each decision seems as insignificant as a left turn on an unfamiliar road when you have no destination in mind. But the decisions accumulate until you realize one day that they’ve made you the man that you are.

The falling apart of a man’s life should make more noise. It should startle passesrby with its Sturm and Drang. It ought to sound like the Parthenon crashing down. Not this ordinary, everyday kind of quiet…He closed his eyes…And still it was quiet, this falling apart of his life, as silent as the last beat of an old man’s heart. A quiet, echoing thud, and then…nothing.

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