“Did I ever tell you about my grandfather? Of course I didn’t. He was nobody. He spent his whole life at the factory, retired, boom, dropped dead. That’s the one thing I’ve been afraid of my whole life, turning out like him, a nobody with nothing to show for himself, nothing to show he ever existed except for a chip of stone at the veterans’ cemetery. Which one? I don’t know. I have his medals around here somewhere.
“After I’m gone, people need to know I was here. They need to know my name, and remember me. I want to be up there with the greats. I want to leave a legacy. For all he did with his life my grandfather might as well never have been born. My life has to mean something. The world has to be different because I lived in it. So thanks for your concern, but I’m fine. And I kind of have to get back to work, so if that’s all . . .”