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March 14, 2010

THE LONGEST ROAD - Part VI - Interview with John Miller by BobKat

A continuation of my interview with John Miller, a fictional person from the 1970's...

BobKat: Last we spoke you'd mentioned getting a job as a custodian at a community college. You said it had a lot to do with a book you'd read at age 8. You smoked marijuana around age 19-20 and that book inspired you. You connected your decision to be a custodian with your use of marijuana and that book. You suggested that sexually you were very naive, that you were in college working towards a Associates degree in electronic technology, but things changed. So the question is, what changed and how?

John Miller: The morning after using marijuana I woke up, a criminal. I'd never been a "criminal" before. What was worse, I laid there in bed wondering why? I didn't have a hang-over, I didn't recall any violent behavior... I remembered laughing... how good it had felt. I woke up at home - still living with my parents. As the next couple of months progressed, as I smoked more marijuana, I began to be aware of myself as a person. It was an extraordinary experience...

BobKat: Okay... I'm beginning to see the dilemma here... what you're suggesting is, as far as you can remember, you woke up with the idea that you'd broken the law and began to experience what some might say were delusions... your delusions involved a sci-fi book you'd read at age 8. Until that time, you were growing up with very conservative values. You'd say right-wing conservative. Correct?

John: Yes

BobKat: You changed?

John: Oh, yeah I changed. By age 20 I'd moved out on my own. I wouldn't have otherwise. I got that room on the 2nd floor of the horse-barn rooming house at the edge of the college. I got the job as a custodian at the Fine Arts Center building. I starting writing again, got into photography, and because I was the evening custodian at the Arts center, I could stay after hours and use the darkroom. I also had free tuition... I took every course of interest to me.

BobKat: You were doing drugs... how do you see yourself as accomplishing anything of value? Playing devil's advocate here.

John: LOL's... for the first time in my life I was aware of myself... and I worked hard. I had a full-time job keeping a large building clean. And safe. I had the keys to every door in the building. I had people who needed help all the time, and I enjoyed helping them... this included getting into their car where they'd locked their keys inside. It was hard work... but what I really enjoyed was the freedom... as long as I got my work done, I could go to my office and write, or socialize. It was the mid 1970's... a time where people were reaching out, a time when men and women were accepting one another; a time of sexual exploration. And exploration of oneself.

BobKat: A lot there, but it sounds like you were where you wanted to be? Were there problems?

John: I was exactly where I wanted to be, and yes, there were problems. The problem was my mother. The one person I'd grown up so dependent on. She freaked out! When she found out I was a custodian at the college she made it clear she was disgraced with me... that she had raised me for more than to clean toilets!!!

BobKat: John wants to stop there. He'll be back, but the problem is, what John did wasn't "cleaning toilets", though that was a part of his job. The issue is, the shame and guilt that came from his family when John took this job... a job that to John was exactly what he'd dreamed of. John also feels, a double-whammy, in that, the anti-cannabis supporters would leap on the band-wagon, and agree with John's mother - marijuana made John a failure in life.

Shame and guilt... next time, digging deeper into the life of a real, fictional person who liked and benefited from the use of marijuana.

John Miller's Fictional Autobiography as told by BobKat...

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