By seven everyone is gone. They all offered to help, and you waved them away. There is a shabby nobility in failing all by yourself.

Excerpt from Bright Lights, Big City, a swift, often funny book with a terrible ending. Another favorite bit:

You have friends who actually care about you and speak the language of the inner self. You have avoided them of late. Your soul is as disheveled as your apartment, and until you can clean it up a little you don’t want to invite anyone inside.