Yes, Clarissa thinks, it's time for the day to be over. We throw our parties; we abandon our families to live alone in Canada; we struggle to write books that do not change the world, despite our gifts and our unstinting efforts, our most extravagant hopes. We live our lives, do whatever we do, and then we sleep—it's as simple and ordinary as that.
Still, there is this sense of missed oppurtunity. Maybe there is nothing, ever, that can equal the recollection of having been young together. Maybe it's as simple as that. Richard was the person Clarissa loved at her most optimistic moment.
What lives undimmed in Clarissa's mind more than three decades later is a kiss at dusk o a patch of dead grass, and a walk around a pond as mosquitoes droned in the darkening air. There is that singular perfection, and it's perfect in part because it seemed, at that time, so clearly to promise more. Now she knows: That was the moment, right then. There has been no other.