A few miles away across the East River was the apartment he could never get used to, the job where he had nothing to do, the dozen or so people he knew slightly and cared about not at all: a fabric of existence as blank and seamless as the freshly plaster wall he passed. Soon his wife would return from New Jersey. Soon everyone would be back, and things would go on much as they had before. From the street outside came the sound of laughter and shouting, bottles breaking, voices droning in the warm air, and children playing far past their bedtime. It all meant nothing whatever to Lowell. Standing in the parlor of a house no longer his, listening to the voices of people whose lives were closed to him forever, contemplating a future much like his past, he realized that it was finally too late for him. Everything had gone wrong, and he had succeeded at nothing, and he was never going to have any kind of life at all.
From A Meaningful Life by L.J. Davis. Someone give Lowell Lake a hug, please.