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February 13, 2010

THE LONGEST ROAD...PART ONE - a John Miller Story - Fictional; based on True Experience

John Miller woke up to the Friday morning he'd thought would never happen. HS graduation! He was 17, and he not only couldn't endure another regimented day, but he had ideas. Ideas that really made no sense. Ideas that encouraged him to find his own way...  It was an idea he often discarded. But it didn't matter, not anymore.

None of it mattered... he realized... within a week he'd graduate. It'd all be behind him, and in the fall, he'd turn 18, he could drink, beer, he was an adult.

Today would be the rehearsals, a school assembly in the auditorium... followed by special guest appearances...

Graduation...

One of the last rides on the school-bus he had to tolerate, and the shuffle by many to run through the doors. Like they had that much desire to get to homeroom? Then the school arranged a couple actual classes to remind us children we were still in school.

The rehearsal assembly, there were two things that stood out in his mind. The first was how he felt so out of place. He was herded in with the rest of his classmates, but it all started to look not right. A thought he put aside, as he had for years... many thoughts. Now he had two new impressions - one's that would stay with him for life:

They had gotten the class president to do the honors... he gave a speech, told a couple jokes, and suddenly onto the stage the school custodian walks on. His name is Elmer, middle aged... what happens becomes a blur for John, as Elmer is booed off the stage... though he didn't do anything wrong. It was his job. No one became a janitor! No one.

And the second thing?

A "special guest speaker"... a man from NYC... a "junkie"... "started with marijuana and naturally needed harder drugs until he got hooked on heroin. The day that changed his life was atop an apartment house in the Bronx, injecting heroin, several needle in his hand, and the police raiding the scene. He told how to avoid arrest he'd had to swallow all those needles.

Based on everything else John knew about drugs, that pretty much settled, then in 1972. No way would he succumb to the madness of drugs.

John was raised to know... "marijuana was bad, very bad". He even had a cousin twice removed who'd done marijuana an leaped out a window.

John never made graduation... the assembly was required, graduation wasn't.

1 comment:

  1. Well written BK. Much info is revealed about "John", without using lots of words.

    Also, I can relate to feeling out of place at hs graduation.

    ReplyDelete