This is one of my favorite quotes from Nick Hornby’s book High Fidelity:
You see those pictures of people in Pompeii and you think, how weird: one quick game of dice after your tea and you’re frozen, and that’s how people remember you for the next few thousand years. Suppose it was the first game of dice you’ve ever played? Suppose you were only doing it to keep your friend Augustus company? Suppose you’d just at that moment finished a brilliant poem or something? Wouldn’t it be annoying to be commemorated as a dice player? Sometimes I look at my shop (because I haven’t let the grass grow under my feet the last fourteen years! About ten years ago I borrowed the money to start my own!), and at my regular Saturday punters, and I know exactly how those inhabitants of Pompeii must feel, if they could feel anything (although the fact that they can’t is kind of the point of them). I’m stuck in this pose, this shop-managing pose, forever, because of a few short weeks in 1979 when I went a bit potty for a while. It could be worse, I guess; I could have walked into an army recruiting office, or the nearest abattoir.
In the past I totally know what he meant. These days, I’m feeling pretty good!