Dr.Hart got me reminiscing about my pot years, when I was working inside the county comfort zone afforded to descendants of veterans, I imagine. I was quite fortunate really, to have been selected verses being convicted. The good smart kids went Ivy League, the bad kids went military, I went where the sent me, and came back when the called me.    

            Rule Number one: Things are seldom what they seem.

       We knew this long before high school. What we all also knew was when my father was coming down the road, and how to stay hidden. We did not second guess our parents. We came, sat, and stayed on command. Without being commanded we were invisible. Above all else this was how we lived. The beds were made, the laundry done, and there was food on the table. 

        We did not know my father knew, as his father had known, how to train dogs and children. We knew nothing else. We did not know we were dog trained while we were all sitting quiet and still at the dinner table every night. We ate on command. We knew nothing else.  

         Pot helped. Pot helped me deal with the anxiety and trauma that were part of my every day. There was no avoiding trauma, it was part of the training process. I was introduced to pot in Boy Scouts, on a Naval Base...live nukes near by, where we camped in the fall of 1971.  I might not have survived without pot. Thank God for Scouting! 

          I made it through the most difficult years of my life self medicating. The symptoms of what is now known as ECT were managed with pot. There was no diagnosis of ECT...aka dog training, child abuse, or as they say in the hood...not being raised white in those days. We were being built to serve our betters, or those designated as such, not to be lap dogs.

          I made it through but missed a lot being self medicated, and shut down, to the point where I only followed perfectly delivered orders from official sources, preferably in writing. The rest of the time I acted as I saw fit. I had no problem walking out of any situation that deviated from my understanding of the regulations and often exercised my right to do so. Pot made rationalizing my actions much easier. I was often guessing. Naturally, I found myself in the business of pot distribution. I started at the bottom. 

           This went well until I decided to exercise my right to quit. I was not so far into the organization that I still could have other options left beside this one that the MIC had  afforded afforded me. I had learned the business from the bottom up, and then I learned what happens to independent thinkers. There were no written orders to disobey. I walked out because I thought I still could. 

             I learned. I learned the price of independence. One could call the process cruel but I’d not argue unusual. I survived because of my dog training.The trauma that I endured paled in comparison to what I had experienced as a child. I recovered, and went wherever they sent me next.

              There was always something to do. Planning a head, was not my job, nor was wiring a head. Heads were wired, and run in the field, as far back as 1976, maybe decades earlier. I was just a kid, who knew nothing, wired or not, working in the middle of the MICs  command, control, communications, and soon to be added fourth C; computers, to the massive  contracting operation, oblivious to all of it, as it was all I knew. Trained I was, being who I was, nobody told me anything. I just stumbled blindly around the MIC, saw what I saw, and learned what I learned, or was allowed to learn, by as much error as trial. 

              I eventually got beyond the pot, and into lots of things, wired or not. However the case was made, I played the part offered, and took it up a notch. There were no written orders, and so there was always room to move creatively  within those roles.

             Today, I’m not driving. I’m half out  in the field, doing what we do, us walking wounded, old men. I’m ok that this is no country for old men . I do not miss being young at all.  It was not much fun, or half as much fun as being out of the cold leaking, not driving, while I am still alive to leak and not drive.  I’m having my best days now, doing less, happily, fearlessly, optimistically, old, pot free, and now finally legal, too. Who would have known that? You know don’t, you? We did. US old guys, we knew, we knew when we were young, planning ahead.

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