Dreary and tightly circumscribed described his life, although he didn't see it that way. His life was orderly, and he clung to that orderliness as an alkie clings to a bottle. To him, it was a matter of fulfilling his fiscal responsibilities first and his personal desires afterward. The fact that there was no afterward was merely an unfortunate fact of life.
That his wife was now his ex-wife was not his choice, but it was his life. That there was now a barely habitable apartment to pay for as well as a mortgage was also not his choice. That he barely found time to see his two sons was a lamentable fallout from the necessity of meeting those responsibilities. He ignored the settlement decree and regularly sent more than the obligated amounts for alimony and child support, every last dollar he could squeeze out. Seeing to his personal needs was last on the list and waited until they were critical.