I have this protégé now. It’s really strange having someone look up to me like he does, but pretty interesting too. Before this, I never felt like my actions made a difference in anyone else’s life but my own. Now I have someone depending on me, for advice, guidance, the pneumonic aid reminder that the stalactite is the one that hangs down. I mean, sure I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, and maybe I can help push someone else in the right direction, but there’s a lot of pressure there. I had to tell him I didn’t think his girlfriend was good for him. And he listened to me. He broke up with her. Then, at my insistence, he quit his cushy job to start his own company. Now he’s struggling, which is natural at the beginning but still hard to watch. I know it’s what’s best for him. I know he will overcome. I know, I know… for he is my protégé.
[Editor’s note: The author did not, in fact, have a human protégé to whom he would dole out career and life advice. He actually purchased a used Mazda Protégé from a drifter in Hartford. It’s from 2003 and it goes vroom vroom.]