I understand the Pharoahs. I too would build a monument against time. It goes far back in my life. I used not a knife but a hatchet to cut my initials in an elm tree, cut deep, in letters a foot high; it took hours. But after a year or two the edges rolled; the shapes twisted; the letters disappeared in scar. I would read Dostoevski, feel moved, exalted, grateful, but couldn't leave it at that, would put myself in his place and think, "If I had written these novels I would be remembered by others as he is now remembered by me," and so began a straining after immortality with a pen.

I hated work that has to be done over: washing dishes, sweeping floors, paying bills. As a boy I had to chop weeds between rows of corn; all spring and summer they would grow and I'd chop them, and always they grew back. I never finished. So little time to shape a permanence, and this was wasting it; and as I grew older I avoided or minimized everything that gets repeated -- writing letters, even eating. It's quicker to get a hamburger down at the joint on the corner, to stand and wolf it down, than to sit at a table set with linen and silver and crystal. The hunger for immortality makes food plain. I had no flowers; they have to be watered, fertilized, pruned, and put in the sun, and whatever you do to them you have to do again; you're never through. Houses have to be painted, roofs patched, plumbing fixed, furnaces cleaned; I lived in furnished rooms. Pets have to be fed and walked and taken to the vet; I had none. Friendships too have to be looked after; so mine were few. My wish to live forever was in a fair way of preventing me from living at all. The sacrifice upon which talent was to flourish was starving any talent I may have had.

-Allen Wheelis, "To Be a God," from The Illusionless Man.