A long time ago on an ocean far, far away, I rode an American warship to the edge of a distant jungle. The ship was named after a B-type giant star in the constellation Pegasus. The name was an Arabic word; مركب, which means ‘saddle of the horse’, and that designation was followed by the enigmatic suffix 23, a discordian number which would reappear mysteriously from time to time throughout my life. I still remember the blissful feel of warm sun on my face in this photo. Although the vigor of my youth was fearless in the face of any physical threat, the challenges of the next couple of years would alter my innocence and my perception of the world around me. It was a time of growing civil discontent, but even then, the seeds of my own personal inner rebellion had been planted long ago.