The cellar was black and musty and cool. He leaned heavy against his cane, placed his feet with methodical care. He conquered the darkness light switch by light switch.
There had been parties down here, once upon a time, the after-hours kind where one sends the household staff home. There had been Cuban cigars and Russian women and gambling. Afterwards, there had been companionable regrets.
It was all gone now: the friends were spent forces, like him, or dead; the women had found husbands or self-respect. One couldn't even get Cuban cigars today.
All that was left was the booze.