Quality of Life
first published in MEN SEEKING WOMEN,
an anthology from Random House
Ive known her for three days. The plane to Montreal leaves in
six hours. What do I do?
In three days it is already so close to love. By tomorrow it would
be love. If I dont say the words I will burst. But tomorrow I will be in Montreal,
beginning the rest of my life.
"Jennifer Jennifer Jenny," I say, each word with a
slightly different intonation, the string a cryptic sentence of philosophy.
"What?" she smiles. Ive teased her.
"I know," she whispers empathically, feeling as hopeless
If it was love, really love, we would know what to do.
Coming this close in just three days is damn good. Makes a man
"Make time stand still again," she begs, and I can tell
that when I do she will start to cry.
You wake up in the middle of the night and it feels like your mouth
is sewn closed. You panic. You cannot open your mouth to scream for help. It feels like if
you force your jaws open you will tear the roof of your mouth off. The involuntary
reaction of the muscles in the neck and cheek is to squeeze the salivary glands and
swallow, but the glands are dead and it feels like you just swallowed a 2 by 4. The
application of topical artificial saliva takes 30 minutes just to get the mouth open in
the morning. Talking is brutally painful. Telling those whove come to see you die
that you love them is impossible.
Ive been there in the room. A hundred times.
"He wants to tell you he loves you," I want to say.
Its like watching the worst stutter imaginable. Come on,
you can say it.
His eyes plead, I want to say it one more time.
I know, I know.
"Dont talk Daddy," they say. "Its
He needs to say it, has to say it.
"He wants to tell you he loves you," I want to say.
"His mouth is just too dry right now," I say. "Come
back in an hour."
His eyes look to me. Hes begging me. Those eyes are screaming.
Fix it so I can say it one last time.
None of this is in the data.
You wake up in the middle of the night with your mouth sewn closed.
The condition is called
I cannot save them, but I can grant them a dying wish.
This is what I must get across.
4 out of 5 will die anyway.
Thats the catch.
I have looked into too many eyes.
I come to Washington D.C. to present my data. Four times a year, the
Food and Drug Administration convenes a panel of 12 eminent oncologists to advise the FDA
on which new cancer drugs to approve for sale. 99 times out of 100, the FDA accepts the
panels recommendation. If Ethyol is approved, first year sales are anticipated to be
over $200 million, and I will move to Montreal to continue research into other uses of
Ethyol. There are significant tax advantages to doing research in Canada. I already have
the plane ticket. I already have the lab space leased. I already have an old girlfriend
there waiting for me. Shes expecting me to move in. It wont be a conscious
choice; Ill simply stay with her "until I get my own place", which I never
will. Were going to try again and this time get it right.
The panel convenes for three days in the grand ballroom of the Town
Center Hotel in Silver Springs Maryland. Swank it is not. Think travelling salesmen
anonymity. Think thread-worn carpets, hollow walls, maids vacuuming at odd hours, art
bolted to the walls so it cant be stolen. I show up two days before my time slot,
book a conference room down the hall from the panel hearings, and begin rehearsing with my
staff and various $2,500-a-day consultants. The double doors are open to the hall.
"Its no use," I say, dropping flat, holding my weary
head in my hands.
Why not, everyone demands to know.
"Only the data matters." Nothing I can say will make a
"Of course it will."
"4 out of 5 die anyway."
"But you help them."
"Theres nothing about helping them in the data."
Quality of Life cannot be measured.
One notion, seven years of development, one hour in front of the
$60 million and four clinical trials.
This has been a huge waste.
Im going to fail.
Then Jennifer walks by. I fall backwards into a huge down pillow.
"Who was that?" Linda says.
I dont have any idea.
"She looked at you like she knew you."
I would have remembered meeting a woman like her. Thats not a
connection a man can forget.
I am going with my instinct here.
"Excuse me guys. Can we break for fifteen?"
I pace down the hall, dart into the ballroom where the committee was
hearing an Upjohn presentation. She is sitting in the back row. Alone. We whisper.
I am rolling in that big down pillow in the morning light.
"We havent met before?"
Little things add up fast: skin, smile, size, warmth, softness,
confidence, keenness in the eyes. Body language, mostly. She doesnt feel like a
stranger. Already I want to have babies with her.
"Will you touch my hand?"
I put my palm out, resting on my thigh.
"I dont know. I just feel compelled that we should
I am going on instinct here.
She puts her hand down flat on mine.
"Take it away if you feel at all uncomfortable," I offer.
"No, its okay."
The current runs between us.
Thats not a connection a man can forget.
A man waits his whole life for that kind of clarity.
Ive known her for three days. The plane to Montreal leaves in
Okay, I get on the plane. When I get off the plane, Jo is waiting
for me with flowers. Waiting for me I can take, but the flowers are too much. She can tell
by my reaction Im uncomfortable with the flowers. Ive been in Canada two
minutes and already off to a bad start. Flowers mean nothing to me but dressing up death.
I take the flowers and get on the long people movers and feel like Im being carted
to my death, all dressed up.
At her apartment, theres hot water for tea on simmer. The
corners of the bedding are turned back. The oval mirror where we can watch ourselves make
love is aimed at the bed. A deep bowl of bowtie pasta salad chills in the refrigerator.
Theres beer, too. And in the bathroom, a second toothbrush. Jo was so ready for me.
So ready for me that now shes embarrassed, and in the car on the way to her
apartment shes afraid her apartment will be like the flowers, too much too soon.
"You want to just drive around for awhile?" she says.
She drives up to Regents Park. The students have just been let
out of school and are running wild. They barely wear anything. We walk around. Jo is so
nice to me. I feel so guilty. I feel ruined. Ill spend years trying to forget a
woman I only knew for 3 days.
Ive known her for three days. The plane to Montreal leaves in
I go to the airport. I get my boarding pass. But I never get on the
plane. I tell my investors Im sorry. Seven years has been enough. Time for something
new. I tell them Im going to North Carolina.
"What will you do there?"
I dont know. Find something. An old door closes, a new door
opens. Start fresh.
I refuse to explain it to them.
"Youre too impulsive," they tell me. "You
I call Jo. I tell her Im not coming to Montreal. Im
afraid shell cry but instead shes furious. If I was doing this in person, this
is about the time shed start throwing things. She hangs up on me.
It takes me only a week to unwind seven years of momentum. I find
that sad. It shouldnt be that easy. Maybe this is God making it easy for me. I
abandon all my fears.
Im on the plane to Raleigh now.
The idea of starting fresh takes root. Thisll be great. I am a
healed man. I am free of baggage. I can truly love a woman now. I have let go of my pain.
I want a little house and a little dog and when I wake up on weekend mornings I will not
be restless. I will be so at peace I can stay in bed for hours. Ill get a job at the
Duke hospital and see patients. This will be my true place in life.
On the plane, three times I go into the bathroom to fool with my
hair or change my shirt.
I walk off the plane into the boarding area, and
Well, maybe shes waiting for me in the baggage claim area.
I go down to baggage claim, and
Maybe shes stuck in traffic. I wait twenty minutes, until the
last bag on the carousel is retrieved.
It starts to sink in. Im in a strange town, I dont know
a single person. Im in a state in which the #1 industry is pig farming and Jesse
Helms is senator.
What the hell am I doing?
I have an address. Just get a cab, Im sure everythings
fine, theres just been a mix-up.
I get the cab. It all comes to me on the way. Im freaking her
out. Im a strange man suddenly invading her turf, taking over her life. Ill be
asking her to love me. Ill be asking her for directions to the supermarket.
Ill be asking her to borrow her car. Who can love a man who needs them too much?
The cab lets me off in front of the address. Its a little
single story brick house. Jennifer answers the door. Shes silent, torn, kisses me
softly and wonderfully but not quite passionately.
Yup, Im freaking her out.
"I thought you would pick me up at the airport," I let
I shouldnt have said that.
She tours me through the house.
It is a little house. There are two bedrooms, and when she gets to
the second bedroom she says, "This is your bedroom."
I just let that disappointment hang there.
"So youll have your own space," she adds.
This isnt what it was supposed to be like.
You get Xerostomia from dead salivary glands. You get dead salivary
glands from radiation therapy. You get radiotherapy for head and neck cancer. 39,000
people each year get head and neck cancer. All get radiation. 58% get Xerostomia. 4 out of
5 will die anyway. They all have a dying wish.
Seven years ago a professor suggested I study the chemical Ethyol,
simply because little was known about it. I put Ethyol in petri dishes with every kind of
cell or body tissue imaginable. Then I mixed Ethyol with other drugs and recorded what
happened. It was merely trial and error. Six years ago I noticed Ethyol didnt
degrade under radiation. I theorized that this chemical could, perhaps, block radiation if
injected into the salivary glands. Five years ago I formed a company and raised money. The
body is a mystery; what works in a test tube wont necessarily work in humans.
Id never seen Xerostomia, only read about it, yet I became convinced I could prevent
it. According to my peers, I made the leap of faith too soon. Doing so is my weakness.
Ignoring warning signs, going on faith.
Four years ago we settled on a safe dose. Three years we began tests
in humans. Two years ago we began receiving reports of adverse events Ethyol was a
neurotoxin, directly causing nausea, vomiting, and dizzyness. We considered abandoning the
study or restarting it with a smaller dose. A year ago we unblinded the data and found
Ethyol worked. Xerostomia was prevented. We saved no lives, but dying wishes were being
The panel would not be impressed.
The FDA emphasizes the saving of lives, not the quality of life.
Quality of life only counts if youre going to live. According
to the FDA, there is no such thing as quality of death. Hippocratic oath, et cetera.
4 out of 5 die anyway.
There was nothing in the data about dying wishes.
We had run one study in France and Germany. Something was lost in
the translation. Doctors there had recorded many cases of "moderate" Xerostomia
as "mild" Xerostomia. What was mild and what was moderate, anyway?
The FDA doesnt let you toss a study out simply because you
dont like its data.
We tested Ethyol on 800 patients over four years on two continents.
619 of them died within six months, same as the control group.
I get one hour in front of the panel.
"Ive got to find a way to get this across," I say in
anguish as the hour approached.
"Were fine," Linda assures me.
"Were not fine."
"Because it sounds like were asking them to approve a
poison for sale so that some people who are going to die anyway wont get cotton
"Youre being cynical."
"Its a band-aid. It fixes nothing."
"The proper term is Palliative Care."
"We have to convince the panel were not talking about a
little cotton mouth."
"We have an overhead slide on milliliters of saliva
"No! No slides! I need someone to bear witness."
"Yes. Bear witness."
"Cry their eyes out?"
"This isnt some Disney movie. The panel wont
appreciate being manipulated."
"Its my only chance."
What was the value of a dying wish?
What was the value of being able to say "I love you" one
Ive known Jennifer for two hours. Were having dinner.
Dinner is hamburgers and thick french fries that we dip into steak sauce and beer in
frosted mugs. Its nothing like a date. Were helplessly drawn to each other. I
hang on every word she says. Shes wearing brown stretch capri pants and sandals and
a short sleeved cashmere sweater under my corduroy coat. Her toenails are painted white.
Her lipsticks umber. She has freckles. Shes real and stunning at the same
time. Her eyes hint at an incredible innate curiosity. We tell each other stories, get the
nuance of each others jokes, listen attentively without interrupting. We feel safe,
so safe that we begin to confess everything we have to confess, trying to scare each other
off, but what doesnt scare us off only makes us stronger. I tell her about Jo in
Montreal and the three years of on-again, off-again attempts to find the sweet spot in
that relationship. I tell her about my tendency to want to take care of women who
dont need any taking care of. I tell her I will lie under pressure, the most ruinous
habit of all. I tell her I drive women away by neglecting them because Im afraid to
confront the moment of truth.
"I cant hurt people." People? Whyd I say
people? Theres a little lie right there. Women. I cant hurt women. To the
point I destroy them with mazes of yesses and maybes.
None of it scares her. She tells me shes always had
long-distance relationships. Her friends tell her shes the most independent woman
theyve ever met. She loses sexual attraction to men after sleeping with them for a
month. Her dead father was a giant in her psyche. Her mother was jealous of her, still is.
Et cetera. None of it scares me off. Its too soon to judge. I just listen, rapt.
We just keep doing this, trying to find reasons not to like each
It doesnt work.
Then she says, "Okay, I have a confession."
Here it comes.
"Weve never met, but
we almost met."
Not once, but twice.
The first time, three years ago, Jennifer came to my lab as a
journalist. I refused to meet with her, shunning the publicity. She sat outside my lab
door for three hours. She figured me for a typical doctor-type megalomaniac. She hated me.
The second time, a year ago, the FDA convened a panel to discuss
standardizing the measurement of Quality of Life. She came to report on it. I was going to
speak. Two hours before the panel, she got a phone call from her stepmother that her
father was in the hospital. Jennifer jumped on a plane to North Carolina.
The invisible hand of history kept pushing us together. Sooner or
later we would meet. A blind date set up by God.
"What do you think this means?" I ask.
"I dont believe in these kinds of things."
"What kinds of things?"
"Soulmates. For every woman there is one right man, yada yada
"Me neither," I lied.
"I dont try to find meaning in coincidence," she
said, but it occurred to me she might be lying too.
The attraction between us is not an everyday attraction.
"You and I are just two people who met," she tries, but
the characterization doesnt fit.
What if she is the one? I only have three days to find out.
Now I need to know everything about her. "Tell me more," I
36, never married but engaged twice, a middle child between two
brothers, her mother a little scizophrenic, her father a polite boozer who sold commercial
insurance. Grew up in the French Quarter of New Orleans, moved to Minnesota halfway
through high school, teased for her accent but learned to speak softly and showcase her
blond hair to fit in. A year into college her father couldnt handle her
mothers scizophrenia anymore, freaked out, met another woman and cut his family off.
Unable to afford tuition, Jenny dropped out. She refused to let resentment destroy her.
She loved music, couldnt play a lick, so sent dispatches about concerts to the local
weekly, which published them. Bands let her in. Music in the Twin Cities was exploding.
She covered the scene for the Chicago Tribune. At 30, she gave it up while she was still
young enough to find something new. She did the bravest thing she could think of: she
tracked down her father in North Carolina.
She survived a life of hurt and the only scratch to show for it is
shes still alone.
Ive known her for half a day and already Im thinking
"Shit! Shit! I have to go to Montreal in 2 days."
She wants to know what its like to be around so many people
dying all the time.
"Im a research doctor, not a clinician."
"Answer the question."
All right. It is a dark master, perversely supple in its slaveries,
adept in its addictions. It makes the heart a knot that only gets tighter when I try to
"Dont be cryptic," she insists.
"I keep people at a distance," I say.
But I cant seem to keep her at a distance. The knot is
We make love holding hands, looking into each others open
eyes, chest to chest. Sensation comes from everywhere, from my thighs on her thighs, my
feet wrapped in her feet.
"I dont do this on first dates," she feels the need
to tell me.
"Its only because we have so little time," I say.
She rolls on top and asks me to lie still so she can kiss on me. I
cant do it. I have to be reciprocating. She kisses on my chest. I try to massage her
foot, but she slaps my hand away.
"Just lie still, honey."
I cant. I cant. I cant.
She drapes the ends of her hair over my belly.
Now I really cant. Oh god.
"Just lie still, baby."
Now Im starting to cry. Shes being too nice to me. I
cant take it. Im groaning and moaning and practically hyperventilating.
Shes being too soft, too nice.
She just keeps her tongue on my belly, right under my ribs, just
this side of tickling me, just that side of taking a bite out of me. Oh god.
"Do you do this to every man?"
"Ive never done this before in my life."
Im a horse being broken. Five, ten minutes, until I finally
can just lie there and let her touch me. She puts my arms over my head and runs her
fingers through my armpits until I stop jerking. Im a new man. Im ruined for
"Now lets do it right," she says, and I find out
what she means.
I look at the clock. Three hours just went by. Time stands still.
Were laying there, shes stroking down my damp sweaty hair, kissing my
shoulder. Were going to lay here all night.
She says, "My father was in your trial."
The next morning I tell Linda Im thinking of not going to
"But your work "
"Seven years is enough."
"Take a vacation."
"I met a woman."
"Bring her to Montreal."
"Jo is there."
"We were going to move in together."
"I cant even imagine telling Jo."
"Youll have to tell her."
No. Its unimaginable. I will never, ever be able to let her
down like that.
"Who is this woman?"
I mention Jennifer walking down the hall yesterday.
"Her! Her! You just met her yesterday! You dont
give up your lifes work for a woman you met yesterday!"
"I think shes wonderful."
"Are you crazy!?"
"Ive never felt like this."
Linda rips into me. Im a stupid jackass with blinders on.
Cant I see that Im just vulnerable right now because seven years of work is
coming to a head? Cant I see that Im afraid of failing and just looking for
something else to hope for? Cant I see that Im entertaining thoughts of
throwing my life away to prepare for the possibility the panel will reject my application?
No woman has cracked me open. My work has cracked me open, and the first woman to just
walk down the hall fell into the crevasse.
I bring up my intuition. This is a big mistake. Intuition = wish
fulfillment, in Lindas book. Im just scared of whatll happen with Jo.
Linda brings me to my senses.
"Weve got a presentation to make tomorrow," she
says. "Lets get focussed."
We spend several hours on spinning the results of the European
trial, where what is mild and what is moderate was lost in the translation. Too many
patients from this column ended up in that column.
On that alone, Ill lose the vote of Dr. Victor Santana,
whos a stickler for statistics.
Ive already lost the vote of Robert Ozols, who could care less
about Quality of Death.
And Krook and Nerenstone usually vote with
Thats four votes. I lose two more and my application will be
What is mild and what is moderate? Thats all Im thinking
But thats not a connection a man can forget.
I start thinking about Jennifer. I havent slept and Im a
"Do we have those big red patient binders?" I ask Linda.
"In the boxes," she says.
"Will you look up a patient?"
She goes to the box. Were eating little turkey sandwiches
brought in by the hotel caterer and drinking Ginger Ale we snuck in from the drugstore.
The room smells like dry-erase marker.
"Last name Boudreaux. Thats E-A-U-X."
"Thats the one."
"Died 8/6/99, age 64. Test site was Duke."
"Did he get
"He was in the control group."
Ive been in Montreal a week now.
I keep seeing Jennifer in crowds. Jo takes me to Trudi, an
incredible restaurant in the gay part of town. The meals incredible. Theres
truffle oil in everything. On a warm night like this Montreal is Europe in the best of
ways. I havent heard English for hours. Everyones clothing is skin tight. We
hail a taxi back to her flat.
Its been a week, and shes earned the right to ask if
Im making a commitment here.
Everything I can say is the wrong answer.
When she looks in my eyes she can see the wrong answer, right there,
plain as day.
I ask for some time. Im new to town, a little culture shock,
She tells me in the real world you dont get to make things
wait. If your kid gets sick, you cant say "this isnt a good time right
now." If you get in a car accident, you cant say "hold on, I have to deal
with some issues."
Shes right. Shes right. But I just need a little time.
"Whatever youre dealing with, you have to deal with it
and love me at the same time," she says. "Whatever it is, I dont care.
Just dont stop loving me."
She needs me to make love to her. Shes thinking, if we just
make love hell remember or hell wake up from this and itll all be fine.
We lie in bed with the window open, listening to the car alarms.
"Youre going to be fine, sweetie," she says.
"Im going to get better. Its just going to take me
Ive been in North Carolina for six weeks.
I took the first job offered to me in order to look strong and
independent to Jennifer. Im a Vice President of Clinical for Bristol Myers Squibb
there are six more layers of bureaucracy above me, and five below. I am thrown on a
team overseeing the development of a protein that we hope will regrow cartilage in
worn-out knees. The trial is a mess; the MRI cross sectionals are inconclusive. Im
in meetings all day long. I work from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm to stay out of Jennifers
When we make love everything is great again.
The rest of the time its almost love. Still.
I do her grocery shopping and she makes me Cajun meals from her
childhood. She has me buy things I cant spell. "Melatons." Its some
sort of green squash. She asks for chives and I bring home chives and she asks
"whats this?," and laughs at me. Those are chives. It turns out she means
green onions, but she refuses to call them anything but chives. I adore her.
I never want the lovemaking to stop. Every other night, she needs to
sleep alone. So after lovemaking I go in the second bedroom and sleep in the bed her Daddy
died in. Shes not over it yet. Clearly.
Ill wait. I have to. I made my choice.
Ive known her for three days. The plane to Montreal is in five
hours. What do I do?
I wake up. Time has started again. I want to tell her I love her.
Tell her you fool. My mouth is sewn closed.
"What are we going to do?" she asks.
"I can see loving you," I say.
"I can see loving you too."
Its not the same and we both know it. Now we cemented it.
"You really want me to bear witness?" she says.
"It could make a big difference."
"And if the drug is approved, youre going to
"My flights in five hours."
"Im going to give a speech that sends my lover to another
"If its a good speech."
She healed me. She taught me to love again. We shower, dress, go
downstairs, share a bear claw.
"Tell me why Quality of Life cant be measured
"It can be measured. But only in milliliters."
"How much time will I have?"
I advise her the two swing votes will be Kathy Albain, from Loyola
University in Illinois, and Richard Simon, from the National Cancer Institute. Do not talk
to them. Doctors dont like to be confronted. Pretend youre talking to the
Seven years, fifteen minutes, two hundred million dollars.
At 9:30 we are called to order. Linda presents data on how quickly
Ethyol is purged from the system. In other words, it poisons you, but not for too long. The
incidence of hypotension trends towards control in 72 hours
I present data on
why a dose of this dangerous magnitude is nevertheless necessary to prevent long-term
Xerostomia. Half the patient population received radiation dose in excess of 6500
None of it matters. The panels faces are blank.
Were talking Quality of Death.
You wake up. Your mouth has been sewn closed. You swallowed a 2 by
4. You cant talk.
What we mean when we say hypotension is, you pass out.
When I inject Ethyol into the salivary glands, radiotherapy kills
the tumors but not the glands. Youll pass out off and on for three days and vomit
for a week. But youll be able to talk until you die anyway.
There are all these other cancers to study its use in: ovarian,
Jennifer is up on the stand, sending me to another woman.
"My father was Richard Boudreaux, identified in the case files
of trial 30-49 as patient #005-513
"He did not receive Ethyol
"For the last two months of his life, my Daddy could not talk
"Every morning Id come into his room and his eyes would
plead with me
"One time he tried to talk and he ripped the roof of his mouth
off and had to receive 22 stitches
"He spent the last two months of his life on the computer,
writing me letters
"He felt like there were all these things he never got to
"Such as why he had to leave Mom
"Or why my stepmother wanted him to cut us off
"All he wanted was to be able to explain himself
"He wrote these gorgeous letters
"He signed them all, Ill carry my love for you to
the other side, and itll be waiting for you when you get there.
"I thought it was a lyric from a song, but I dont know
which song. He died before he could tell me."
Richard Simon is unimpressed. Kathy Albain votes yes. 7 votes to
approve, 5 against. 99 times out of 100, the FDA will accept the panels
Ive been in Montreal a month now. I started working again.
Im injecting Ethyol into the lymph glands of ovarian cancer patients for safety
profile. Jo is a nurse in an organ transplant center. Im getting better. I found out
how to love again. For a long time I couldnt find the romance in my relationship
with Jo. It was too raw, always fighting, the long distance, the disappointments. When you
fall in love, youre supposed to get a halcyon period. Youre supposed to save
up goodwill for the battles to come later. Even Jennifer and I got that for three days.
With Jo, its been a battle since day one.
And then one day Linda emailed me and asked me to tell her the story
of my relationship with Jo. How did we end up together anyway?
I started writing it all down.
How I broke up her marriage. How I lost friends. How she was across
the country. How we got in the car accident. How we broke up, got back together, broke up.
There were other women in there, like Jennifer, and other men for her.
And Linda emailed back, "thats the most romantic
Until then, I didnt see it. We made it, despite all that.
Linda wrote, "If you two can make it through all that, I can
definitely get over my boyfriends snoring."
Sometimes I thank Jennifer for teaching me to let people get close
again. I think theres a person inside all of us whos capable of great love.
Were not as broken as we think.
Ive known Jenny for three days and the plane to Montreal
leaves in an hour.
Were on the way to Dulles.
At check-in I declare the drugs Im carrying. Amifostine,
Doxyrubicin, Paclitaxel. I get a long look from the agents.
"What you did was brave," I tell Jennifer.
"Are you going to get on that plane?"
"I think its the right thing to do."
"You can come with me."
If it was love, I would.
"We just didnt have enough time," I say.
"Make time. Come with me."
"My work is too important. And I dont think youre
ready for me. Im kinda high maintenance."
I get my boarding pass and we sit down at the Burger King for a last
supper. We cant eat our cheeseburgers. We feed each other the French Fries. She
starts to cry, and I start to cry.
I give her my corduroy coat.
She says, "I can take you being with someone else. But just
please, please, dont forget about me. Thats all I want now. I just dont
want to be forgotten."
You will never be forgotten.
I get on that plane.