I could hear the knock and whistle of the water pipes, the purr of the calico cat. And at that moment a happiness filled me that was pure and perfect and yet it was bled with despair - as if I had been handed a cup of ambrosial nectar to drink from and knew that once I finished drinking, the cup would be withdrawn forever, and nothing to come would ever taste as good.
Novels are forged in passion, demand fidelity and commitment, often drive you to boredom or rage, sleep with you at night. They are the long haul. They are marriage. Stories, on the other hand, you can lose yourself in for a few weeks and then wrap up, or grow tired of and abandon and (maybe) return to later. They can cuddle you sweetly, or make you get on your knees and beg.
Obviously any fiction is going to be a combination of what is invented, what is overheard, what is experienced, what is experienced by people close to you, what you are told, what you have read, all mixed together into this kind of soup which, like any good soup, at the end you cannot really distinguish the ingredients.