Quote by Stephen King
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.
This quote suggests that the narrator, who is a time traveler from 2011, initially mocks the despair and coping mechanisms used by people during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. However, as the narrator realizes that he is unique in having knowledge of the future, he begins to empathize with those around him because he understands the gravity of the situation and the fear of an impending disaster. This realization prompts the narrator to see beyond the immediate circumstances and acknowledge the importance of compassion and understanding in times of crisis.