David was a very important man. There was even a street named after him. His name was forever appearing here and there extolling his achievements. But today for him was quite an ordinary day. He had been standing on his front lawn looking at nothing in particular when a car pulled up at the roadside curb. A middle-aged man got out and checked both sides of the car. He had a puncture.
David stopped staring at nothing in particular and went over to the car.
“Would you like a hand?” David asked.
“You’ve no idea how I would appreciate help,” said the man.
The tire was changed in no time. “Thanks,” said the man. “Look, we don’t usually do this but I’m immensely grateful. I’m a certain type of wizard (people think we’re all the same) and if you would like it I will let you live in the future for twenty-four hours. What say you have a peek at a hundred years from now?”
David was keen. The man drove off and David was transported into the future. He was still in the same city. Some of the buildings were familiar. David went to the library. He went to the city records department. He went to the museum. He went to the family history society. He went everywhere he could during those gifted twenty-four hours. The street named after him seemed to have been replaced by an office tower.
He could find not a skerrick of a reference to himself. It was as if he had never existed. Ain’t that the case for most of us?