Four paragraphs into the story, Hemingway reveals Harold's isolation upon returning from the war by telling us,
"At first Krebs...did not want to talk about the war at all. Later he felt the need to talk but no one wanted to hear about it".
Krebs thinks about going out with some of the girls he used to know, and remembers girls he knew overseas, but finds,
"...the young girls had grown up...they lived in such a complicated world of already defined alliances...that (he) did not feel the energy or the courage to break into it".
"He wanted to live along without consequences".
"...the world they were in was not the world he was in".
"You did not need a girl unless you thought about them. He learned that in the Army".
When Krebs' mother urges him to find work, saying,
"There can be no idle hands in His Kingdom",
"I'm not in His Kingdom".
Finally, after the emotional scene when he tells his mother,
"I don't love anybody",
Krebs realizes that despite all his mother's pleadings and the lies he had to tell,
"...none of it had touched him".