How much time could you spend staring out at the ocean, even if it was the ocean you’d loved since you were a boy? How long could he watch the tides flood in and flow out without his remembering, as anyone might in a sea-gazing reverie, that life had been given to him, as to all, randomly, fortuitously, and but once, and for no known or knowable reason?

Philip Roth, in Everyman