I did not cry at my father’s funeral. Not even when they lowered him into the ground to rot for all eternity. I left my mother who clutched at me like a beast. In her grieving madness she thanked me for being the strong one. As I was walking home I saw a man on the ground. He smelt like booze and piss. I tried to lift him and failed.

I tried again and again and again. Time passed. I started to lose my shit.

"What the fuck is wrong with you? You can’t just lie on the ground defeated. Get up you fucking bum."

I tried again. Same result. I kicked him in the stomach. He let out a groan.

"You fucker. You’re alive. Get up."

I hovered over him, screaming in his face and started punching him around the head and neck. In-between blows he looked at me directly for the first time with his diluted blue eyes. I unclenched my fists and wrapped my arms around his chest and started weeping.

I stayed like that for a very long time. He did not move or say a thing.

Mike LaFontaine
The Secret History
Donna Tartt