It's great that those nine miners were safely extracted last week from that Pennsylvania mine. It was a feel-good story with all kinds of positive angles, from the commitment and resourcefulness of the rescuers to the bravery and heads-up-ness of the trapped miners.
What I want to know is what was going through that last miner's mind as he waited for his turn. There was probably sufficient time for him to ask some pretty deep questions about Life, the Universe and Everything. Time for some basic fears to come to the surface. Talk about an archetypal scenario for the fear of abandonment. What if the rescuers above, if the entire human race, just forgot? "Alright everybody," he can clearly picture someone saying over a megaphone hundreds of feet above as he frantically taps on a pipe to the surface, "let's wrap it up. Show's over folks." The klieg lights are shut off, the cameras are packed away, the eight survivors whisked to the hospital. "Looks like we're all finished. It's Miller time. Goodbye empty hole!"