He could hear Donald saying something else but it didn’t matter anymore what, because then and there it occurred to him that maybe the emptiness he’d been living with all this time hadn’t really been emptiness at all, but loneliness gone unrecognized. How can a mind know how alone it is until it brushes up against some other mind? A single mark had been made, another person’s memory imposed onto his mind, and now the magnitude of his own loss was impossible for Samson to ignore. It was breathtaking. He sank to his knees.
“Sammy? I said, are you there?”
It was as if a match had been struck, throwing light on just how dark it was.
Man Walks Into a Room, Nicole Krauss, pp. 192-3