His friend was in some ways a bigger person, but seemingly with a smaller life on the outside. Even as they sat there on a bench on an early autumn morning in the sunshine, he was experiencing a much wider and richer moment of the piazza, than Vito could. To his friend the smallest little scene of an everyday activity could be almost limitless, in its reflections and impressions on him. It was more a question of managing the absorption and the associations, as each little impulse might set off a long stream of thoughts, activate long forgotten memories, and create a bustle of images and philosophical digressions, some of which were interesting and useful, some of which were new distractions, but that led him to other trains of thoughts.
(This is from the opening of the story of the two old friends.)