“I’m alive, confound it,” he cried, feeling mortality chill his bones. “I loved myself enough women to have a horde of offspring to keep my memory alive, but it never took, and here I am childless, no one to carry a trace of my DNA to the next generation. I failed in the prime directive to reproduce and keep the species going, so I sit here scribbling evidence that I was here in lieu of passing along my genes. I pieced these words together so that when my dust is scattered to the winds, something tangible will remain that says I lived and here is my offering to the future, not in the form of a bright young scientist or poet to save the world but words, words that if you read and absorb properly, perhaps you will learn to be what my never-born child would have been, and What I Was will live on, my white plume of honor and glory and words to live by and love by —”
“Are you quite done now?” she asked. “Can you sit down and eat your supper, or do you need to orate a bit longer?”
“I am not quite done,” he conceded, “nor do I expect to be done anytime soon. I see possibilities in every sunrise and the dance of puppies chasing each other, but I also feel the glory of a sunset and the contented sigh of the old gray dog under the dining room table. Here, there is life worth preserving and sharing and loving.”
“Bully for you,” she said, setting a plate of oh so very delicious looking food under his nose. “You’ll live even longer if you eat something.”
He looked at the food and gaped in awed pleasure. And years later, after his ashes had been scattered to the wind, the critics mourned his passing and spoke of the poetry that sang in his description of that meal.