I reached that point. I went into the novel, strolled around the forest of words and found the trails I’d marked. One was marked Pram.

What was I to do with Pram? No, that was a flawed position; what will Pram do and what will happen to him? Walking about after writing yesterday, I reviewed what he’d done and what had happened.

Then Pram spoke up. He knew what was to happen, what he was to do, his role in the greater arc. He understood how he’d not understood himself, how he’d sheltered himself and hid, safely in the middle despite his colossal size, happy to be considered above average but just far enough above average to gain some trust and some attention, but not too much. He saw better than me how his personality and quiet choices of non-choices dictated his endpoint, and he saw how others saw him and had recognized, accepted and planned for his inadequacies. That directed his destiny. He saw it as not giving up, but as acquiescing.

He dictated a few thoughts to me. These sentences were the seeds that sowed the scene and grew into a chapter, becoming a turning point.

I compared him to me afterward, seeing the similarities and differences, how much of myself was vested in him. He’d been a good corporate soldier but could not stretch himself enough to seek another beginning. He didn’t fear new beginnings but didn’t care for them. He’d had new beginnings before. They hadn’t worked out. He was tired of trying.

He lived almost one hundred years. His parents remained alive and together, and the latter was unusual in Pram’s era. He’d been born well-to-do and had been comfortable in his role. He thought he loved his work. Turned out he’d been placating himself about what he believed and accepted. But then came an unfolding of his protections, welcoming a new understanding of himself. Gladly he went on, happy to understand who he was.


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