“Secretly he had always suspected, feared, that his fate was to be ultimately alone – popular, admired, “well liked,” and alone.”
“For his part, Wexford was not afraid to venture alone and a little drunk into this world. Although his clothes were chosen to be as nondescript and everyday-looking as possible, the way he readily picked up the checks betrayed his difference from them. He felt sure however that he would not be attacked in a dark alley, given a Mickey Finn, rolled. His sense of destiny assured him that these humiliations wouldn’t happen to him. They just wouldn’t. These people somehow wouldn’t dare.”
“Pete was silent, and then said, ‘Because they’re bored. Some people can’t live without, well, you might say terror. They don’t feel alive without it. In the end, they’d rather be dead than bored. They do that when they’re twenty. When they’re forty, if they last that long, they’re often drunks, I believe.’
‘What gets into them?’ Nick asked.
Pete looked up at the steep bowl above them, sheer challenge. ‘Destruction can be beautiful,’ he said, ‘to some people. Don’t ask me why. It just is. And if they can’t find anything else to destroy, then they just destroy themselves.'”
“He’s an icipient monster, thought Pete, and I can’t prove it and I can’t stop him. For the last dozen years we’ve seen in the world how monsters can come to the top and just what horrors they can achieve.
And those monsters were once adolescents.
Here there seems to be one more of them forming, and in Vladivostok or the Belgian Congo or France there are perhaps others forming, and one of these days people will have to try to cope with them, confront them, risk everything on defeating them, defeating them once again, for a time.”
– Peace Breaks Out, John Knowles.