occupied vs vacant
- resided in; having tenants
- held or filled or in use
- having ones attention or mind or energy engaged
- seized and controlled as by military invasion
Dylan seemed exhausted, self-preoccupied, and morbidly depressed.
I'd like to have something special planned that will keep them occupied and outside in the garden as much as possible.
It was a responsible situation he felt for a boy of thirteen, and he meant to do his very best to keep it now that he had been lucky enough to get it; in the far-off future, too, he saw himself no longer the van-boy, but in the proud position now occupied by Joshua as driver, and this he considered, though a lofty, was by no means an unreasonable ambition.
- void of intelligence or thought
- without an occupant or incumbent
Already-strapped budgets were being cut further and all vacant positions were frozen, leaving a staffing shortage throughout campus.
He was excellently placed to be the next Poet Laureate when the position fell vacant in ninety-six.
At this point the imagery begins to repeat itself in different iterations, as it will for the rest of the novel: The man is at the station where the woman is now looking at him "vacantly"; the dog appears again, blocking his path; he walks along the street, where "a cyclist is trying to pedal along," the fish in his saddle bag now joined by a loaf of bread on top of it.