Second Childhood

Story, first published: Galaxy Science Fiction, Feb. 1951

An ingenious solution to the emotional problems of being immortal is found in "Second Childhood" ...
Immortality is not a blessing to Andrew Young, 5786 years old. He is lonely, tired, and as he grows older, instead of forgetting, his memories grow sharper. Suicide is outlawed, and Young's petition to end his life is denied by the authorities. In desperation, Young forces his mind to return to infancy, has a house and furnishings built giant-size and even has an android built as a substitute Mommy. He has hit on the perfect relief valve for future immortals - repeat the life cycle. Stated so baldly, the plot seems inane, yet this story contains some of Simak's finest and most sensitive writing, especially those passages describing Young's feelings at becoming a child again.

Ewald, Robert J.: When the Fires Burn High and the Wind is from the North, p.89