“Broke my heart is what he broke,” he said when his grandson was out the door. “Him and his mother and her nigger boyfriend.” Given this ugly sentiment, Miss Beryl couldn’t decide whether it was appropriate to sympathize with Mr. Blue, but she did anyway. An imperfect human heart, perfectly shattered was her conclusion. A condition so common as to be virtually universal, rendering issues of right and wrong almost incidental.
Which fit in with one of his theories about life, that you missed what you didn’t have far more than what you did have. It was for this reason he’d always felt that owning things was overrated. All you were doing was alleviating the disappointment of not owning them.
It didn’t pay to second-guess every one of life’s decisions, to pretend to wisdom about the past from the safety of the present, the way so many people did when they got older. As if, given a second chance to live their lives, they’d be smarter. Sully didn’t know too many people who got noticeably smarter over the course of a lifetime. Some made fewer mistakes, but in Sully’s opinion that was because they couldn’t go quite so fast. They had less energy, not more virtue; fewer opportunities to screw up, not more wisdom. It was Sully’s policy to stick by his mistakes…
Carl was watching "Wake Up, America," whose aerobic hostess, to judge from her face, had to be in her forties. Her body was pretty remarkable, toned and athletic, but it wasn't a young body, Sully had noticed. When she danced next to her youthful assistants, she looked merely heroic. Maybe that was what made Sully sad when he watched her. The woman seemed to be dancing for her very life, and Sully would have liked to tell her to go slow.
... at sixty Sully was divorced from his own wife, carrying on halfheartedly with another man's, estranged from his son, devoid of self-knowledge, badly crippled and virtually unemployable–all of which he stubbornly confused with independence.