“Where is Danny? Lonely as smoke on a clear, cold night,
he drifts through Monterey in the evening. To the post-office he goes,
to the station, to the pool rooms on Alvarado Street, to the wharf
where the black water mourns among the piles. What is it, Danny?
What makes you feel this way? Danny didn’t know.”
“There was an ache in his heart like the farewell to a dear woman;
there was vague sorrow in him like the despair of autumn. He walked
past the restaurants he used to smell with interest, and no appetite
was aroused in him. He walked by Madam Zuca’s great establishment,
and exchanged no obscene jests with the girls in the windows. Back to
the wharf he went. He looked over the rail into the deep, deep water.
Do you know, Danny, how the wine of your life is pouring into the fruit
jars of the gods? Do you see the procession of your days in the oily
waters among the piles? He remained motionless, staring down.”
– John Steinbeck
Chapter XVI of Tortilla Flat (1935)