Just reread Richard Ford’s Rock Springs, an amazing collection of short stories. Each one is its own little world of isolation and redemption. Where boys or men learn how to feel something new or learn how to let go of something old.
I love them all, but the message that sticks with me longest is from “Sweethearts”:
Somehow, and for no apparent reason, your decisions got tipped over and you lost your hold. And one day you woke up and you found yourself in the situation you said you would never ever be in, and you did not know what was most important to you anymore. And after that, it was all over. And I did not want that to happen to me–did not, in fact, think it ever would. I knew what love was about. It was about not giving trouble or inviting it. It was about not leaving a woman for the thought of another one. It was about never being in that place you said you’d never be in. And it was not about being alone. Never that. Never that.