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“…he’d been sure that one day he’d be the very axis of the world, that his life would be one of deep impact. But every young man thought that. A condition of youth, your own importance. The mark you’d make upon the world. But a man learns sooner or later. You take your little niche and you make it our own. You ride out he time as best you can. You go home to your good wife and you calm her nerves. You smoke a fine cigar and you hope for an occasional roll in the silk sheets. You by her a nice piece of jewelry at DeNatale’s and you kiss her in the elevator because she still looks beautiful, and well preserved, despite the years rolling by, she really does. You kiss her good-bye and you go downtown every day and you soon figure out that your grief isn’t half the grief that everyone else has. You mourn your dead son and you wake up in the middle of the night with your wife weeping beside you and you go to the kitchen, where you make yourself a cheese sandwich and you think, Well, at least it’s a cheese sandwich on Park Avenue, it could be worse, you could have ended up far worse; your reward, a sigh of relief.”

– Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spin

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