The Pupil Daniel T. Pryor There is so much to know and little time to learn.

Unless one pays close attention, the great majority of life will beset itself as lost memories. Such is the case typically, even for the most astute and those most aware. The philosophically inclined have found much of heaven in the great ponderings that are their profession and pastime. Many of them have sacrificed their lives in support of their ethereal contemplations. Scientists seek the logic of the Universe but suspect something much greater may explain it. Sadly, unless the scientist can justify the belief with evidence, the belief may be eventually forgotten. There are the zealots who believe blindly, and there are the believers who condemn the zealots. Many people spend their days hoping for a security they shall never enjoy. Others demand a security that is impossible to guarantee, regardless of one’s station or social standing. There exists among the upwardly mobile and the downtrodden a continual fear of loss or gain, or both. These are people who are lost and do not know it. They can hardly be called self-aware. There are businessmen, businesswomen, alpha males and alpha females, codependents, thieves and killers, leaders and losers, followers and the hopeful; there are the teachers and the students, and there are those who never learn from their own experiences. There are determined people and apathetic souls and many who want, but they know not what. There are the drug addicts and alcoholics and other sundry escape artists who never touch a chemical. This blue marble is full of people who have lost their marbles, and those struggling to maintain them. Whatever the present condition of society, or of international relations or even of neighborhoods, everyone is simply trying to make sense of the senseless or imbue the world with their own version of sensibility. Quite frankly, it makes this planet a very interesting place. But none can know where we are going, not even the historian. Where we have been, in a single lifetime, may provide a clue of what may come next. At the very least, by observing the most recent past of one’s life, one should find little surprise when the fan blows soil in the stead of air. This is the sad state of affairs to which my life has devolved. There was a promising career – two of them, in fact. They were forsaken. Another career was foregone before it began, the training discarded in favor of an unknown venture into treachery. I have lived where debauchery overcame propriety, where despair drowned fortitude and the most unholy of nightmares was lived to learn its secret power. There is only power in nightmares if you live them; they are best consigned to the sleeping world. This is not to

say one should not be guided by his dreams, but to grant them indelible authority is akin to making prophecy just to fulfill it.