He’d recently come out of rehab for the second time and he felt skinless, his bones exposed to the open air. His hands shook. Every light was too bright. He knew he could repair this awful fragility with a pill or two but that was the point, he’d promised his parents, he was wracked with guilt for how expensive he imagined rehab must be although they kept the numbers from him. “You don’t want to drift through life all addled, Jack,” his mother’s voice as she served him dinner his first night home, breadcrumb-covered casserole in a blue dish from childhood, these impossibly moving small details that kept him perpetually tripped-up and on the edge of tears. In rehab he’d spent a lot of time watching videos and now his thoughts were a fog of old movies.
— Emily St. John Mandel, from The Lola Quartet