Daniel T. Pryor So many random memories resurface without warning the sanity of the moment is forsaken to glimpse the past. There is the carnival in Santa Maria, the road to Santa Barbara where, at a hospital, needles found their mark upon my face. The hemangioma was ruthless, but so were those needles. The memory of Idaho and the warm, brief summers spent sneaking out of the house at night with Jeremy and Ryan. And there is the recall of the fondness for Jonathan and Dominique. For the latter, there was a crush, for Dominique was a beautiful boy. I would get excited every time I saw him. There is the memory of nothing; just equally all memories are seen. Nothing can be accomplished when the memories race through my mind in this fashion. It is as though the brain is dying, and in those dying moments all one’s life is seen; but instead of the darkness claiming consciousness, I succumb to tears. Rage is the product of so many forgotten hurts, and these racing memories suddenly bring elusive and powerful pains to the surface in a fashion unavoidable. It makes me laugh, and I cry, and I wish I could escape the hurt that refuses to die. Death seems a comfortable option, but I despise suicide as God would. Yet, when the flesh is in such pain no comfort of God or any deity is sufficient. Then the flood of tears and all that horrible and delightful pain is felt, and there is a washing of the soul for a moment. Then, in reclamation of composure, the hurting is chased away. The soul begins to throb once more. There are wounds that have festered to become resentment. There is resentment that permits the entertaining notion of revenge. There are plots that are grandiose and so terrible I shan’t pen them here. And I remember the days when fires burned in the deserts of Las Vegas. Those were days when, for a few months, I could allow myself to scorch the Earth as my own heart was burned by the very pains that even now boil the blood. There is the need to belong to some group, as all creatures of intelligence and even some without are so gregarious. There is a need for solitude and isolation. There is the requirement I be noticed, whether for good or bad. Notoriety seems to differ little from quality fame; and at once I desire anonymity. Hope is a lovely notion, but despair is more tangible. Remorse breeds despair, and the child of despair seeks only hope found in a past that never existed. Fragments of the life that have come and gone are reassembled in a collage of beauty; the falsehood of it is ignored. Perhaps the greatest insanity lay there, and the pain is the only way to restore the sanity. I know nothing of the resolution of these things, or of how all these days that came to pass shall influence the nights yet to come. The weeks and months and years hence are frightening, but I would not suffer the musings of eternity without having first explored the opportunities that lay ahead. So I shall trudge further, letting the blood boil through the beating heart that carries the oxygen to the brain that remembers all of these things, and hopes for better.