As a teenager in Brooklyn Quentin had often imagined himself engaged in martial heroics, but after this he knew, as a cold immutable fact, that he would do anything necessary, sacrificing whatever or whomever he had to, to avoid risking exposure to physical violence. Shame never came into it. He embraced his new identity as a coward. He would run in the other direction. He would lie down and cry and put his arms over his head or play dead. It didn't matter what he had to do, he would do it and be glad.