They sat quietly together for a few minutes, Joe holding Fiona's hand, Fiona sniffling. No flowery words, no platitudes passed between them. Joe would have done anything to ease her suffering, but he knew nothing he might do, or say, could. Her grief would run its course, like a fever, and release her when it was spent. He would not shush her or tell her it was God's will and that her da was better off. That was rubbish and they both knew it. When something hurt as bad as this, you had to let it hurt. There were no shortcuts.
Unhappiness. There are all kinds of unhappy people in the world. I suppose it would be no exaggeration to say that the world is composed entirely of unhappy people. But those people can fight their unhappiness with society fairly and squarly, and society for its part easily understands and sympathizes with such struggles. My unhappiness stemmed entirely from my own vices, and I had no way of fighting anybody.
I felt like I was some kind of primitive spring-loaded machine, placed under far more tension than it had ever been built to sustain, about to blast apart at great danger to anyone standing nearby. I imagined my body parts flying off my torso in order to escape the volcanic core of unhappiness that had become: me.