That was it, he knew, the damn job. You went along doing the best you could, and one day you realized that you were wasting time and not doing anything at all. There were so many things you had wanted to do, so many you still wanted, and you saw clearly that you weren't doing any of them and never would, and you grew so frantic thinking about it, you could feel the panic forming inside you. You saw how immense the world was, and you realized that you were so limited it was all going to waste around you, and you felt that you had to do something quick before it was too late. There was the job and the girl. It was the job, of course, writing copy when you should be writing plays, but you couldn't get rid of the job because the job was bread and alcohol, so you got rid of the girl instead. When you added it up later you saw that you had gained nothing but had lost a great deal instead.
Excerpted from From Dawn to Dusk, unpublished short story by Joseph Heller.