Only one thing has to change for us to know happiness in our lives: where we focus our attention.
The narrator, a time traveler from 2011, scoffs at the despondency caused by the Cuban Missile Crisis -- especially the drug and alcohol use of a resident of 1962 he supposedly cares about. Then he finds his compassion because he remembers he is the exception in being able to see beyond the immediate -- and foreboding -- horizon.
The alley and the music all fell away, and there was nothing but her and the rain and Jace, his hands on her. . . He made a noise of surprise, low in his throat, and dug his fingers into the thin fabric of her tights. Not unexpectedly, they ripped, and his wet fingers were suddenly on the bare skin of her legs. Not to be outdone, Clary slid her hands under the hem of his soaked shirt, and let her fingers explore what was underneath: the tight, hot skin over his ribs, the ridges of his abdomen, the scars on his back. This was uncharted territory for her, but it seemed to be driving him crazy: he was moaning softly against her mouth, kissing her harder and harder, as if it would never be enough, not quite enough
Before drifting away entirely, he found himself reflecting---not for the first time---on the peculiarity of adults. Thet took laxatives, liquor, or sleeping pills to drive away their terrors so that sleep would come, and their terrors were so tame and domestic: the job, the money, what the teacher will think if I can't get Jennie nicer clothes, does my wife still love me, who are my friends. They were pallid compared to the fears every child lies cheek and jowl with in his dark bed, with no one to confess to in hope of perfect understanding but another child. There is no group therapy or psychiatry or community social services for the child who must cope with the thing under the bed or in the cellar every night, the thing which leers and capers and threatens just beyond the point where vision will reach. The same lonely battle must be fought night after night and the only cure is the eventual ossification of the imaginary faculties, and this is called adulthood.
I consider myself spiritual and I'm married to a man who is both an atheist and a humanist, and my kids have been raised with the traditions of different religions, but they do not go to church or temple. My feeling is that everyone should be able to believe what they want or need to believe.