Tag Archives: Speed

The Psychedelic Orchestra Bus

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The Common Vision Bus

The Common Vision Bus (Photo credit: Vicki & Chuck Rogers)

In the Spring of 1998 The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony” was high on the charts.  My life was a reflection of it’s message.

No change, I can’t change

I can’t change, I can’t change

But I’m here in my mind

I am here in my mind

And I’m a million different people

from one day to the next

I can’t change my mind

No, no, no, no, no, no, no

I can’t change

I can’t change it

I was truly lost in my own mind.  I was truly “a million different people from one day to the next”, and didn’t really feel I needed an identity anymore.  I was who ever I was around.  I was wherever the party was.

I had never felt before as much as I did then that I was literally rolling with the wind.  It seemed wherever my feelings led me was where I would go.  I had no rules, and no boundaries.  My days were a blur, a mysterious haze of the unknown.  All up until this point in my addictive pattern I hadn’t really had many “sobering moments”.  It’s funny how drugs do this to a person’s mind.  The beginning stages of partying came with a few intense consequences…  I got busted and arrested.  I got into dysfunctional relationships, my grades in school were sinking, and my relationship with my parents was more strained every day.

However, the lure of being high always drew me back in.  None of these things seemed like fair enough warnings at the time.  I got busted, so I would find a way to lie and sneak around more…  which could have potentially gotten me into more trouble but I didn’t care.

I got into dysfunctional friendships and relationships with girls, so I found a way to keep them seemingly functional by lying and partying with these people all of the time.  It’s funny when you begin to surround yourself with “drug buddies”.  They feel like real friends, but really you’re just on the same substances all the time, and without the substances the connection could be lost.  In the middle of the party scene it’s so hard to tell who your real friends are, because everyone seems like they either want something from you or are out to get you.

My grades in school were falling apart, but I was convinced that it didn’t matter.  I assured myself that I would probably be a famous rock n’ roll tragedy someday, like Jim Morrison or Jimi Hendrix.  Who needed good grades when they were headed for a life beyond anything school could offer?  I didn’t have a plan to go to college.  I wanted to get high and make art.  I didn’t care anymore if I made some great impact on the world, and if I did, it would be my own ascent to notoriety and subsequent fall to chaos and oblivion.  Or…  I would work at a Burger joint or something…

My relationship with my parents almost seemed non-existent.  They were workaholics.  At this time in our lives they fought and swore at each other all of the time.  We never talked.  We avoided each other at home.  They never asked me how my day was going.  I would leave the house all night and come home at 10pm, which was my curfew on school nights, and 12pm, which was my curfew on weekends (I realize how lenient this was now!)  Normally, I would show up an hour late.  My Mom would get in my face about it, and I would blow her off and go up into my room.  I was behaving like some adult far before his time, though in so many ways I was a little boy.

Junior year in High School was certainly a time when all my peers were beginning to think about their “future”.  People all around me were studying hard, signing up for college courses they could take in High School to get ahead of the time, and starting to look at where they might apply for colleges.  I, on the other hand, was the guy with a bong and a guitar.  Though to be honest, I hadn’t played the guitar much lately…  Secretly, I resented my peers as they moved forward in life, and left their trail of dust in my stoned face.

And beyond all of this, psychedelic drugs were now a part of my life.  At the time I was convinced that LSD was some sort of window into a new world, a spiritual door.  I resonated with people like Timothy Leary and Ken Kesey who seemed to think that LSD opened up ones mind to the hidden spiritual forces within and without.  During late 1966 and early 1967, Leary toured college campuses presenting a multi-media performance “The Death of the Mind”, which attempted to artistically replicate the LSD experience. Leary said the League for Spiritual Discovery was limited to 360 members and was already at its membership limit, but he encouraged others to form their own psychedelic religions. He published a pamphlet in 1967 called Start Your Own Religion, to encourage people to do so. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_Leary)

Much like Timothy Leary, I wanted to show people about my new religious experience.  I was ready to turn others on to this weird drug, and really believed that I was helping them.  It seemed easy to adopt this religious view at the time, because I grew up being told to find or create my own spiritual path.  There was no thought that I could blaze a legitimate trail to any sort of salvation or redemptive love during this period in my life.  If I would have known what was about to transpire in my mind  in the next few months, I may have thought twice about the journey I was undertaking.

The Orchestra, under the leadership of the sweet and gentle Mrs. Bush, was to take a bus trip to Chicago to compete in a regional orchestra competition.  My good friend Mitchell and I were both in the orchestra together, along with a number of our friends.  Of course, I hatched up a crazy plan to turn this entire trip into a psychedelic experience.  We had an 8-hour bus ride, and 2 days in Chicago.  The choir would be travelling from Cleveland to Chicago too, right in a bus behind us.  My girlfriend at the time, Harmony, was in the choir and on that bus.

Since I had embarked upon the LSD experience, Harmony and I began to experience turmoil in what seemed to be a close friendship and dating relationship.  After her bad reaction to the first time I had taken a trip, I had decided to keep all my trips a secret.  Since that time I had done acid about 3 times, and never told her.  In my mind I was hoping that she would eventually decide to try it herself and then she would join me.  I figured until then the secret would hurt no one.

So naturally, I told all the friends who were dropping acid with me not to let the secret out to Harmony.  This is how a ball of lies begins to spin out of control.  It’s like a snowball at the top of a mountain covered with snow, and as it rolls on in turns into an uncontrollable avalanche.  The torrent hadn’t arrived yet, but the momentum was building.

So we set out for Chicago on a high quality bus, which the orchestra had completely for ourselves.  The inside of the bus looked like the interior of an airplane, comfy seats, bathrooms, and wide windows.  I was thinking at the time that this would be an amazing “trip”- with the double meaning intended.

I had sat next to Mitchell, and our friend Adam, and older friend Dirk, who was a senior and deeply into the drug scene.  They had all agreed to try this crazy drug on the bus ride.  It was an 8-hour trip, which was exactly how long the drug would usually last.  Mitchell, Dirk and I took some.  Adam was pensive.  The bus hit the road towards Chicago.

As mine began to kick in I had a conversation with Adam.  He wasn’t sure he wanted to try it.  “I just don’t know, Ben!”  He said.  “I mean, everybody knows me as this good Catholic kid who loves Jesus and gets good grades…  but I have this side of me that just wants to get high and now even try this…  what should I do?”

Adam must have been looking for a reason to go against his conscience.  After all, he was asking me, Benny White, to give him advice on whether he should keep being a “good kid”, or delve more deeply into the abyss.

“Look man.”  I said, “If anything at all bro, this stuff will make your spiritual life better.  It’s the most amazing experience someone could ever have.  Who knows, maybe it will bring you closer to Jesus!”

I can’t believe the things I used to say.  If I would have known that Adam would have become immersed in the drug scene and given up his faith in Jesus, maybe I would have had a different piece of advice.  I was like the serpent at the tree of knowledge, and it wasn’t long before Adam put the little piece of paper on his tongue and joined us on our kaleidoscopic bus ride.

It’s important to say that I had no real deep thoughts about God or the afterlife during this time.  Jesus was just a vague religious figure to me.  He didn’t have any significance as anyone with deity or preeminence- those things were open to the eye of the beholder in my view then.  If I ever had thoughts about God, they were strange, creative, random ideas about who He/She/It might be.  I didn’t know or think of God as a person that could be understood.  The only times that I had thoughts about any moral failing and desperation were moments when I had upset my girlfriend, Harmony, or when I was having a moment of self-loathing.  These moments may have driven me to some form of penitence, but if things went back to smooth sailing for me I would quickly be able to return to a state of wanton hedonism.  I didn’t care about cosmic consequences or some type of divine purpose, because I was ignorant of these things.

I imagine that we came off like a bunch of goofy fools to every other participant in the Hudson High School orchestra on that bus.  But when someone is that high, at times they can be completely unaware of their surroundings.  I don’t remember much, but I’m sure we were blurting out things that made no sense and acting crazy.

There is one thing I remember vaguely.  We stopped at a rest stop to get lunch, and the choir bus behind us stopped too.  Harmony approached me and asked me to have a cigarette with her.  I nervously agreed, feeling out of control.

As we spent time talking I must have been babbling in strange riddles and acting scary and zoned out.  She asked me what the heck was the matter with me.  I told her I had smoked some pot before the bus trip.  She looked at me with suspicion.  The lies continued.

The bus made it to Chicago.  We spent time hanging out at the hotel, of which I don’t remember much at all.  I do remember that night though.  We had more hits of acid with us, and were planning on taking them when we visited the Art Institute of Chicago.  Mitchell and I were always the impulsive and crazy ones though.  As we were coming off of the other trip, we decided to take 2 hits each of this other stuff we had…  at midnight.  We were rooming with Adam and another friend, Brett Smith.  We didn’t tell them what we had done, though they obviously figured it out later.

They were sharing a bed and Mitchell and I were on the floor in sleeping bags.  As they tried to get to sleep the acid kicked in.  We were up all night giggling like little boys, and mocking Adam and how he behaved on the drug while we rode the bus.  He had heard every word we said, and they had gotten no sleep because of us.  Mitchell and I stayed up all night, hallucinating in the dark…  looking at the streetlights casting shadows on the wall.  We got up in the morning as the sun came up, and walked into the parking lot, feeling like we had been through hell.

Adam confronted us about how we had slandered him the next morning, and we felt like jerks… sort of.  We were so high we thought he couldn’t hear us.  Hard drugs really do make one unaware and careless about other people’s feelings.

Mitchell and I hadn’t entered slumber land for an entire night, and we were then carted in a bus to downtown Chicago.  Mrs. Bush unleashed us on Michigan Avenue, the main drag of metro-Chicago, and told us to meet back at a certain time to visit the art museum.  Mitchell and I were completely out of it.  Dirk thought we were idiots for taking LSD the night before, and he was certainly right.  I was about to be introduced to a new drug as the effects of sleep deprivation psychosis kicked in.

Dirk had these little pills that went by the name of “Adderall”.  He crushed one up for me and told me to snort it, and it would keep me awake.  These were prescribed to kids who had ADHD, and had methamphetamine in them.  He told me it was a light version of speed, and would keep me wide-eyed.  I told him, “Dirk, I’ve never snorted anything before!”  I had always sworn that I would never do anything like that.  Dirk assured me, “Don’t worry man, it’s as harmless as a cup of coffee bro.”  For some reason I believed him.  Again, in the mind of an addict the consequences are never clear, but just the immediate gratification of the moment.

I snorted 20 mg. of Adderall and woke up instantly.  We went to the Art Institute and Dirk and Adam took acid.  The museum was certainly filled with incredible art, and they mocked us more for not waiting to do the drug there.  Adam had forgiven us, at least in appearance, for what we had said about him the night before.  We trudged our way through the art museum, a bunch of unhinged teenagers as we were.

Later that night we went to the orchestra competition.  It had been a long day.  I had blown my mind apart with drugs, and was rapidly deteriorating from the Adderall.  It came time to give our orchestra performance.  We waited for our turn to set up, and before long it was time to play.

The melody of the strings lilted in my mind like a cacophony of slithering amphibians and gooey pudding in my mind.  I was so out of it that I couldn’t even make out the refrains and changes in melody.  This was odd for me, because music had always been such a passion of mine.  But I hadn’t even written a song in months…  my life had become engrossed in the LSD experience.  I was lost.  I was floating like a dingy feather into the ethereal wasteland of the stratosphere.

These thoughts rolled through my mind, and all of a sudden everyone was staring at me…  “Your cue is coming up!”  Dirk whispered to me.  Before I could even think where we were in the piece, I took the handles of the Zildjan cymbals in front of me, and clanged them together with great force… completely off beat.  Mrs. Bush stared and me in shock, and rolled her eyes.  Everyone in the orchestra tried to keep from laughing.  We got last place in the competition.

We got a night of sleep that night, and it wasn’t nearly enough.  Then we awoke early to head home the next day.  I hadn’t barely seen Harmony the entire time we were on the trip.  I was avoiding her for fear she would find me out.  We did make a stop on the way home and I found her.  She looked so mad at me I almost couldn’t look her in the eye.  I had been doing more of Dirk’s Adderall to try and stay alert.  Harmony came up to me and looked me straight into my bloodshot, dilated-pupil eyeballs and said, “Ben, you look like crap.  You look like you got run over by a truck.”  Of course I back-peddled.  “Oh Harmony man…  ha ha…  I’m just all tired and stuff.”  I said this as I was in a rushed speedy frenzy.  “Ben…”  She replied, “What are you on?  You don’t even seem like yourself!  I feel like I don’t even know you anymore!”

“Look Harmony, I’m cool!  I’m just tired, ok?”

“Yeah whatever Ben!  You’re a LIAR!  That’s what you are!”

“Fine!  Just leave me alone then!”

(Of course there were many variegated epithets used in our dialogue which I’m not displaying here.)

We boarded the bus and continued our ride home.  I was more depressed than ever.  Would Harmony dump me?  Would she find out that I was snorting pills and eating acid every weekend?  There had to be a way to keep her in the dark, I thought.  My whole life was beginning to collapse.  Everything that mattered to me was crumbling.  I looked out into the rainy night and the streetlights that lined the route 80 turnpike.  The “Welcome to Ohio” sign rolled up past us.  We were on our way home, but in so many ways, I was further from home than ever.

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Adderall: Prescribed to Kids with ADHD, and Abused by Drug Addicts

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English: Adderall

English: Adderall (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My girlfriend left town, enrolled in an all-girl boarding school in the middle of nowhere in central Pennsylvania.  It was safe to say that I wouldn’t be able to keep in regular contact with her throughout the end of winter and spring of 1999 in Hudson, Ohio (in between Akron and Cleveland).  The months leading up to her departure in late February were filled with an over-abundance of drugs.  We had been taking ecstasy every weekend, sneaking out and going to all night rave parties in the city in the middle of the night, smoking dope all day, every day, continuing daily to be fueled by Adderall– prescription speed that Jaime’s parents had prescribed her to for her supposed ADHD.  When they were available, we’d take mushrooms, or do LSD, and we did a fair share of weird designer drugs like Nexus (2CBs- a designer hallucinogen) and Special-K (horse tranquilizer).

God and conscience had been the furthest thing from our minds, as the powerful experience of the drug ecstasy rolled us into an inter-twined love affair of blindly idealistic proportions.  This drug, technically named MDMA, brought one to an emotionally open state of mind, and a willingness to love and share deep emotions.  There was no moral compass to guide this love.  It was a blind love, a feeling, a moment.  It has been said that ecstasy is used in psychotherapy to repair broken marriages.  Any drug that would release all of the serotonin in one’s brain at once could potentially lead an individual to fall in love with a chair or a rainbow.  Jaime and I were certainly good friends and attracted to each other.  Ecstasy made us feel like we were Romeo and Juliet with the whole world crumbling around us.  I would literally sneak out in the middle of the night and come to her house.  She had a balcony at outside of her bedroom at her parents’ beautiful, large home.  She would tie together bed-sheets and throw them out of the balcony.  I would climb up, we would take whatever drugs we had, and the night would go wherever we felt like.  It was an intense physical, emotional, drug-fueled relationship.  She was a sophomore and I was a senior in High School.

Ecstasy had side effects, also.  I would try to sleep after a night of being high on it, and would have nightmares where my teeth would be grinding together, and I would be weeping and witnessing an illusory world of phantoms and angry minions cackling at me.  I would literally feel at times that I was grinding my teeth to the point where there were cracking and breaking in excruciating pain.  It wasn’t until 2 years later that I would read of the end of time and hear that “the Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt. 13:41-42)  Much like my many horrific experiences on LSD, continued use of harder drugs plunged me into an experience of hell.  A few times, I woke up in the middle of the night after doing X, and my eyes were open, but I could not move my body.  I would begin to freak out, thinking that I was in a coma and would never awake again.  I would look around at the room and it would be hazy, though behind would lurk dark shadows that formed the faces of demons staring at me.  By some weird force of divinely inspired will, I would shake myself awake, as it would be drenched in sweat and fear.  I remember the sound in my ears resembling the feeling of sand being poured in my brain.  It was what I imagined an aneurism would feel like.  Many people talk of the euphoric and idealistic world that ecstasy creates.  Not many people talk of the after effects of this extreme drug.

Whatever idealism existed was now over for Jaime and I.  She was in Pennsylvania, given a new chance to pull her failing grades up and life together.  I was stuck, strung-out and lovesick, in Hudson, Ohio.  I had one semester of High School left.  I had scored nothing but F’s and one D for the first two quarters of my senior year of High School.  I was in the third quarter, and had nothing but F’s for grades.  In some classes, I had done so little homework and miserably failed so many quizzes and tests, that I had percentages of 20 and 15 and 38.  Mrs. Romito, our Assistant Principal, called me into her office…

“You’re on the ‘hot list’ Ben.”  She said into my beet-red, tired eyes.

“What’s the ‘hot list’?”  I apathetically replied.

“It’s a list with about seven people out of the three-hundred and eighty in the senior class who are in danger of failing twelfth grade.  Ben, if you don’t pull your grades up to at least D’s and C’s, you will not graduate High School this year.  You’ll be held back…”

I sulked in despair and despondency.

“But Ben…”  Mrs. Romito continued.  “I know that you are a bright kid.  Your record shows that you were once even in gifted programs in school.  Now what you’re doing in your personal life is not your business, but I really believe that if you pull it together, you can make it to graduation this year.”

Mrs. Romito offered me what many during this dark period of life would not have offered- hope.  I also remember being at home and talking with my Mom and Dad about this situation.  Obviously, Mrs. Romito contacted them about it.

“Look man.”  My Dad, Gary White, the once hipped-out, tripped-out 70’s musician turned successful businessman said.  “I know that you are so bright and gifted Ben!  I know you have done amazing things before!  I don’t see why you can’t do the impossible now!  Pull your grades up buddy!”

My Mom supported completely this idea.  “Yeah Ben!  I know you can do it!”  She would say.  “You’re such a smart guy!  You don’t want to be left behind and watch all of your classmates graduate without you!”

My parents also believed in me when I felt the least worthy.  So I resolved to do the seemingly impossible, and in 3 months time, I would attempt to pull 15%-40% F’s up to 70%-77% D’s and C’s.

Jaime was gone from my life for the time being.  I was filled with sorrow and withdrawal from our Candy Cane world of ecstasy fueled love the months before.  But without her, there wasn’t any point in continuing the wild party.  We would converse on the phone about our dilemma.

“Jaime, we have to get out of this crap-hole we have created.”  I said

“Yeah Ben, I know.  I’m totally going to get good grades while I’m here.”  She answered back from her rural Pennsylvanian, all-girl dorm.

“I will too Jaime.  We can help each other through this.  We’ve just got to stop getting high.  Will you stop if I stop?”

“Yes Ben.  I love you.”

“I love you too…”

Was it real love that we felt?  No…  It was infatuation that began with a heavy drug experience.  But we were leaning on each other more than ever.  We both had a chance to pull it together.

But I was still a drug addict.  By this point, I was smoking marijuana all day, every day, and doing hard drugs whenever I could.  I decided that I would just change my addiction to drugs that would make me function at a higher rate and not slow my brain down.  I didn’t want to tell Jaime, but I connected with other kids that were prescribed Adderall, a lighter form of meth-amphetamine.  I began to steadily supply myself with Adderall pills.  I resolved to not smoke pot, drink, or take hard drugs like psychedelics or Ecstasy.  I would, however, take stimulants.

This is how a day at school looked for me when this shift in habit began.

6 a.m.- wake up in a groggy haze, have a bowl of cereal or toast and then a cigarette or two.

6:30 a.m.- Brew an entire 12-cup pot of double-strength coffee.  Drink half of it at home- dark and black.

6:45 a.m.- Fill up a 6-cup thermos with the other half of the pot of coffee, say goodbye to parents.  Get in my 1988 Buick LeSabre and head to school.  Down an orange, 20 mg. pill of Adderall with a swig of coffee.  Smoke 3 more cigarettes.

7:00 a.m.- Arrive at school.  Talk to no one.  Study or read for 30 minutes before homeroom.  Let Adderall, nicotine and coffee begin to speed me up into a frenzy.

7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.- Go about my day of school in an over-stimulated, over-talkative fit of madness.  Smoke a cigarette in the bathroom in-between every period.  Participate in class and turn in homework at a more consistent rate than ever.

12:30 p.m.- Skip lunch, snort 20 mg. of a crushed up, orange Adderall pill.  Begin speeding.  Depending on sleep and food intake, potentially begin to hallucinate or get delusional.

1 p.m. to 3 p.m.- Finish day of school, speeding out of my mind and making all sorts of new friends.  Some scared of me, some finding me amusing.

3:30 p.m.- Drive home, finish the last of the pack of cigarettes that I had started that day, and open another.

4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.- Arrive home, Brew more coffee.  Snort or eat 20 more mg. of Adderall.  Smoke more cigarettes.  Begin to do homework.

9:00 p.m. – 4:00 a.m.- Snort or eat 20 more mg. of Adderall.  Do more homework, reading and studying.  Talk to Jaime at some point on the phone- telling her that I was staying clean, and hearing the same from her.  Do more homework.  Record music.  Write poetry.  Go outside and smoke.  Play music.  Do homework.  Talk out loud to myself while smoking outside in the dark.  Stare at the carpet on my floor and see demons writhing and gnawing at each other’s flesh.  Try to sleep.  No success.  Force myself to eat a couple of pretzels- they taste dry and disgusting.  Do more homework.  Smoke.  Play music.  Think about Jaime.  Try to sleep.  Cook a can of vegetable soup and force myself to eat it.  Speed wears off.  Crash into a deep oblivion.

6 a.m.- Wake up and do the same thing, with potential variances but consistent stimulant intake, again.

I was drinking 2 pots of coffee, smoking 2 packs of cigarettes, and taking between 60 and 100 milligrams of Adderall a day.  I was a speeding frenzy.  I would barely eat one and a half meals a day.  I was six-feet, zero inches tall, and weighed 160 lbs.  After doing this amount of speed for 3 months, I weighed 133 lbs.  My ribs would show through a t-shirt.  I had long hair pulled behind my ears and deep blue, skeleton-esque circles under my eyes.  Yet through all of this, there would be nights when I would literally do between 3 and 10 days of homework for all 7 of my classes in one night.  I had no study halls in school, because all my periods had to be full for me to even consider passing twelfth grade.  I was running myself ragged and crazy, with speed, caffeine and nicotine fueling me all the way.

During this time, I may have slipped up and smoked weed a couple of times.  I would always tell Jaime when it happened, and she would act disappointed.  I never told her about the speed intake, though.

Granted, Adderall was a legal, prescribed drug given to kids with ADHD.  But this stuff was speed- it had meth-amphetamine as its’ active ingredient!  When taken in higher doses, it kept my brain working functionally.  But there would be times that I was so sleep deprived, that I would begin to dream lucidly while awake.  I would look at the chalkboard in the class I was in and see skeletons made of chalk dust begin to swordfight.  One time I was deeply low on food intake and sleep, and tremendously high on Adderall.  I saw a dark purple figure before my eyes every time that I blinked that looked like a cloaked man.  The ghost of Christmas future.  The grim reaper himself- the bringer of death.  I thought that I was going to die of a heart attack and he was going to take me away.

People saw this drug as a help to society.  Most of the kids prescribed to it abused it as much as me, and were just as delusional and messed-up as I was.  When the drug would take a hold of you, it would give you such intense euphoria that chills would run all throughout your body constantly.

The end of high school neared.  My once failing grades were now all C’s, D’s, and even a B.  I was called in once again to Mrs. Romito’s office.

I scurried in to her room in a frenzied state.  My hair in a pony-tail.  My face all flushed from speed and caffeine.  My pupils dilated and eyes wide open.

“Ben…”  Mrs. Romito said.  “You made it.  You graduated.  I knew you could do it.”

Though I was a crazy, frenzied mess.  I had stayed over-stimulated enough to pull my grades together.  I wouldn’t be held back.  I would graduate High School.  Jaime did well at her school in Pennsylvania.  She got A’s and B’s.  She wanted to transfer back to Hudson High School to be with me and her friends.

But were we strong enough to begin a new chapter?  We were still addicts.  When she first arrived home she saw how skinny and dilapidated I was, and I had to admit to my speed abuse.  I would soon after quit taking speed.  But what was the summer to bring us?  We were to be released into the wild world of graduated freedom, crazy kids, smoke filled air, bright sunshine and ponds where people took drugs, drank beer and had sex.  The dark nights ahead were screaming our name as Jesus lingered, hidden behind the clouds as the prodigal son was knowingly about to squander his property in reckless living. (Luke 15:13)  It seems as if He may have known that one day His arms would be open wide, as the sick child returned in unworthy tears and grief.  Only to embrace and hold close to this tattered mess of a person in reckless, forgiving love.