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March 15, 2010

THE LONGEST ROAD - Part VII - John Miller Fiction by BobKat

John Miller popped open a beer... he drank a lot it it these days. He was in his 50's, and on personal reflection, haunted by his past. He had a story, many stories in fact. But to tell them, ah, there was the problem. He reasoned if he was famous others would tell the difficult stories for him. But he wasn't famous. In fact, he knew few people anymore. He was an admitted recluse who went dutifully to his job, and back home when the day was done. On weekends he drank, as time went on he got less and less out into nature, a pastime he used to refer to as "his religion".

Over the years John realized he'd made a wish he now regretted. A wish that came true and though lasting for a few years, it disintegrated and eventually slipped through his fingers. It took many years for the dream to disappear, and the more he struggled to hold it the more it seemed to vanish, like a dream upon waking, though there was no awakening for John, who, having once experienced the fruition of his dreams, it might just as well have been sprayed with paraquat and agent orange.

It's a story he can't tell, yet he has no choice. He went from spinning his wheels in his early 20's to entombing himself in cement, alive, having no place else to go. In many ways John imagined himself a vampire, immortal, and alone among humankind... wishing to reach out, but knowing it's too late. They'd recognize him for what he was in an instant.

Oddly, John didn't live alone. He lived with his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend. They lived in an old farmhouse raising their own chickens, hogs, a goat, and cats to keep the rats away. Hi girlfriend was the kind of woman he wished he'd met years earlier. She was attractive, well educated, down-to-earth and over-sexed. He hadn't been able to keep up, and it frustrated her to a rage sometimes. What they did have, and it was more a curse now to John than a blessing, was a close friendship. He'd been her man for 7 years, and then they knew it wouldn't work. Did he move out? No. They were friends and that meant a lot to John. John had actually become close friends with her new boyfriend too. He like John, was something of a recluse, although he was readily able to start up conversations with almost anyone.

John... he became a recluse so he wouldn't snap. The vampire in him had lived thousands of years. Some might call it his soul, saying "he had an old soul". But John didn't have that luxury... to accept that, though deep inside he found it soothing. But it started the mantra - what if...

What if he'd had the strength way back then to hold onto the success he'd achieved? What if he'd been able to hold onto all the work he'd done to realize a dream come true? What if the nights sleeping on his grandparents porch-swing, where he'd sung "Wish Upon a Star...", and fallen asleep, had lasted?

John is damned... a mother's curse... and John knows, that the only way to vanquish the curse is to expose it. It's not magic, these kinds of curses... they play on the mind, and witch-doctors long ago learned the tricks, that feed on people's minds. But just because one knows that a curse isn't real, doesn't mean they're not affected. We know the common cold of flu is a virus, and we get sick, and in a few days, a week, we get better. Curses, well, it depends upon where they come from. And it depends upon why the cursed was cursed?

You might want to study up on the term "reality" for John's truth. Apparently there are those gifted humans who know exactly what reality is. John learned about reality... along with many other interests, the question of reality was foremost, perhaps due in great part to the fact his parents were so different. The simplest explanation for reality is that it is largely subjective. There are solid facts... but in a big way they are connected together through one's own unique take on reality. On a practical level we view reality through our experiences and education. John grew up to question nothing... it was answers that he responded to. At home he was told want to do, at school, he was told to find the answers, and listen to the facts as his teachers told him.

At age 20 John finally rebelled, not in a violent rage, no, no... John realized what he wanted in life... he realized for the first time what "to work" really meant, if what he wanted was to be reached. His teenage years, his childhood, were behind him now. He had work ahead.

At age 20, something about the pot... it helped him focus, opened his mind to all sorts of possibilities, and he realized he had the potential to accomplish his dreams... He just had to learn, see, and believe.

The curse, as it happened was when John was turning 25... but what you're about to experience in the next few posts are John's early 20's. The 1970's... Pipe-dream or Paradise? In the meantime, you might want to brush up on what reality is...


To be continued...

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