830. So I began to take classes at the museum, that was my new purpose once I retired, but it was always with a nagging feeling that casting things into plaster had to also be entirely pointless, if indeed all the years leading up to the making of those casts was pointless. How many times did I sit back and look at the things I worked on, and in my mind would arise this image of the sun exploding, and a huge wall of flame coming to consume the earth and everything in it.
831. All my little plaster casts of hands and feet, and the big casts I had made and stored out in the garage where my wife could not see them, burnt to cinders, burnt to less than cinders, burnt to a vapor, along with all the great masterpieces of history, all the special museum collections. Even that old shoe box full of unusual stamps some old man has collected from World War I, at the back of the shelf in a closet where thieves will never find it, burnt to a crisp, destroyed for ever.
832. Those were the images passing through my mind, images all of which agreed with Buboni and his notion that a life could indeed be one long meaningless decent into nothingness. For him it was really worse than that, in that he had built up a career for himself, only to see it all disappear before his eyes in an instant and be replaced by humiliation.
833. But the Duck had to be right in the end, because it was an all or nothing equation, either everything matters for all time, or nothing matters, how can it be both and neither. One is faced in the end with a simple fact, some day none of this will exist, and so everything matters, or nothing matters, since that is so, the Duck thinks that an ant crawling across the edge of a table is just as important as Einstein's theories.