Friday, May 06, 2005

The Smoke-Filled Van of Weed

I'm at my desk writing correspondence, the snail mail kind, listening to David Bowie's "Young Americans". My mind instantly drifted back to a smoke-filled van of weed in the mid 70s.

I was a young kid, grade school aged, hanging out with my sister who was twelve years older than me. Hanging around her was torture at times, especially on those afternoons when we'd drive over to Louisville to see her friends Val and TJ. I'm sure she felt the same way, possibly with more intensity. I was a real straight-laced kid so hangin' out with the burnouts was as bad as hanging out with Bennie, the zombie next door. He was the old guy who was shell-shocked from "the war". I'd sometimes find myself hanging out at Mrs. Klingerman's just to have someone to talk to who wasn't under the influence of something. She was a seamstress and I did actually enjoy hearing her tell stories from the old days. Even as a child I've had a respect for senior citizens even though that Bennie freaked me out a bit.

The fact was, I had nothing to gain from hanging out with any of the people my sister hung out with other than to learn from example: DO NOT GROW UP TO BE LIKE THEM. I'd have been perfectly content to be at home in the sanctuary that was my bedroom. Me, my dog, my cat, my books, my correspondence. I didn't have anything to gain from going with my sister. It still amazes me to this day that my mom suggested I was on drugs one time. She was clueless. I was as straight as they come, until I discovered this package store in Louisville and the delights of cherry vodka.

I suppose I should thank my sister for those days because I didn't grow up to be like them. I haven't got a complaint about weed, I've enjoyed it at time or.... The fact is, I saw what an extreme of anything can do to people. I was surrounded by it in my young life and it helped set the path that I chose to traverse. My sister is still struggling as she was back then. I'm glad to be out of the funky van and the haze that was her life at that time.

2 Comments:

Blogger zazzafooky said...

Good for you. I think most of us find that fork in the road where we could have gone either way. It's a blessing when later we find we chose the right path.

May 07, 2005 1:38 PM  
Blogger Sharron said...

I wish I had an example like that to see at such a young age.

May 09, 2005 7:20 PM  

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