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April 03, 2010

THE LONGEST ROAD - Part X - More from BEHIND the MOP

John Miller is sitting at his fictional computer... since he's fictional.

He open's a fictional bottle of beer, lights a fictional joint... and begins to write.

At over age 50 John reflects, all these years he had a sub-conscious fear of becoming a marijuana burn-out. When he began using marijuana around age 20, that was the primal fear of using it - burn-out. 

30 years later, John stopped using marijuana as he got to the age where hanging out with younger people wasn't as easy. By then John realized he was in a new career, a more stressful career... he started drinking more beer. Only, very rarely did he smoke any pot. So, that was now, but he reflected back to what he could remember when his adult life began.

The "Longest Road" was becoming the "Longest Story" he realized. In due part to facing a terrifying reality. Revisiting a story - his life in his early to mid twenties, that held vital significance. Even if it didn't, even if it was simply a personal issue, John felt writing about it was important.

A history from the mid 1970's...

John became the evening custodian at the community college's Fine Arts Center. His shift began at 3PM and ended at 11PM. He lived a block away. He had a room on the 2nd floor of a converted horse-barn. He shared a kitchen and bathroom with five others around his age. They all smoked pot. Anything was available. John preferred just his pot. At the time - $30 an ounce. All varieties, were from other countries. Very little was grown within the US.

By 1975, marijuana was widely acceptable... nearly every party had people passing a joint or smoking a pipe. The more stoned you were the more you tended to get into groups that were discussing interesting topics. The more drunk, the more you'd be playing poker, or out-side getting fresh air.

John knew many students from the campus as well as many staff and professors. Several professors liked to attend the parties, where students also gathered. John was invited to staff parties too... and they were much the same.

What John would like readers to understand is he was a respected member of the college community. He had a ring of keys to every door in the Fine Arts building. He didn't just clean toilets.

What ticked John off... and what he feels he can't get past, is how could getting a dream job such as he did, become the catalyst to what became his self-imposed exile from his family?

In the next post John is going to get back on topic... turn the "Longest Story" into the story it's meant to be.

Expect a change in title...

There is no "Longest Road..." It's a myth.

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