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Krebs is mired in a state of inertia and withdrawal upon his return home from the war. He quickly settles into a routine of
"sleeping late in bed, getting up to walk down town to the library to get a book, eating lunch at home, reading on the front porch until he became bored and then walking down through the town to spend the hottest hours of the day in the cool dark of the pool room...in the evening he practised on his clarinet, strolled down town, read and went to bed".
Krebs avoids involvement with other people, who do not understand him and with whom he finds he must be fake. He wants his life just to be "uncomplicated", and finds himself devoid of emotion and feeling. He realizes that his experiences in the war have changed him too much, and he can no longer find a place to fit in at home with his family in his old hometown. At the conclusion of the story, Krebs decides to leave, and try to start life anew in Kansas City.
After going back home, nobody wanted to listen to his encounters during the war and so Krebs resorted to lying on several occasions so as to get a listening ear. However, the lies and exaggerations soon wore him out. During this period, he slept in bed until late after which he woke up and walked downtown to collect a book from the library. He would then walk back home to have lunch then later sit on the front porch to read and watch the good-looking girls as they went about their business. When bored with reading, Krebs walked through town to "…spend the hottest hours of the day in the cool pool room. He loved to play pool." During the evening hours, Krebs trained by playing his clarinet, went for a stroll, read again then went to bed.
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