Jan. 15, 2000
Austin, Texas, USA

12:47pm. Yesterday afternoon, Jack and I went for a walk in the woods behind the apartment complex, on the other side of the dry creek bed. He took me to a small clearing and said, "This is where Kenai is camping."

Scattered around a fire pit were dirty clothes, grungy sleeping bags, liquor bottles and an alarm clock. I envisioned the forest on fire.

We continued to walk through the woods for another half hour, then returned to the house walking up the creek bed. The door was locked. I left the door unlocked. I went around back, up the fire escape, climbed over the balcony and entered through the back door. Loreena McKennitt was spin’n. I left with the machine tuned to John Denver in the tape player. I called Sam at work.

When Sam came home at 10pm, we visited Kenai and got the house keys from him. He was trashed on vodka.

A short time later, back at the house, I remembered the logs burning in Kenai’s fire pit with ends on dry twigs and leaves outside the ring of stones. I’m tempted not to act on my intuitions, to see if they come true, but this time I choose to follow through.

This morning, Trudy’s called asking why Kenai wasn’t at work. Sam said "He’s sick." Samantha hopes Kenai will seek counseling from a friend of hers who is a recovered addict and substance abuse counselor at ARC (Austin Recovery Center). She did all she could. He’ll change when it hurts enough.

"Pain is a sign that something is wrong." - Madonna

I got a reply from Steve. He’s cool. It amazes me how "Jesus" has such a profound effect on so many people. I don’t feel like there is anything to be saved from -- only lessons to be learned. I got a lot to learn.

This is what Steve had to say:


I am a product of the time of the peace, love, and hippies- the late 60’s and early 70’s. My quest for truth also included most drugs available incl. LSD, peyote, speed, ’rooms, hashish, and a lot of weed...a lot of weed. I had been brought up in a Christian Church and had been confirmed, even baptized. All the while, I had questions. How can I believe in a God I cannot see who is supposed to exist, and what about the tooth fairy, Santa Claus? You don’t see them either!

While a senior in high school I was caught stealing beer. I heard a voice, almost inside say, in the midst of the turmoil afterwards, ’everything will be alright’. Now I never had ’heard’ this kind of voice before. It kinda freaked me out, yet, it was calm, peaceable. As it turned out, everything did work out over a few months.

While smoking pot and living with a woman (who is now my wife of 29+ years), we had this minister come unannounced from time to time. He had such a glow about him- such a glow I could not hardly look him in the eye. He spoke of his Jesus, but I wanted nothing of his religion. I continued to reject his message and favor the herbs. But my life was such a mess that I eventually left this woman and went hitch-hiking...to the West Coast to start over, or so I told Julie. In my heart, I wanted to cheat on her and didn't care if the lies I was living in, the pain which filled my body and soul meant anything to her or not. I was going to live for me. Yet, in my heart I loved her. I was on a quest. I had a brother that had been writing me of Jesus, love and such living in Washington State. From what I had read of his letters, the dubee was no longer a part of his life. He was actually reading the Bible! I was convinced he just needed some good smoke, so I went his way after California st!

Sure enough, the shell of a man I knew as my brother remained, but he HAD changed. Same outer man, but a warmth was within, complete with the glow- that same glow the minister man had had back home! I spent a week listening to him, walking with him, talking. I accepted an invitation to go to church with he and his girl friend at an independent Christian Church (one of those Pentecostal churches). There were all kinds of people whit that same glow, with raised hands, smiles, singing around. They didn’t even care about my rugged looks. I listened to the message, song. I was stirred inside. The questions of who am I, what purpose do I serve, and is there a true God- is His Son’s name Jesus or what were all spinning in my head. They were asking for those who wished to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, to stand up. I waited. Then I heard that still small voice...the one when I had stolen the beer, again. I said to myself, then aloud: If you Jesus are the true God of Gods and can save me from my sin, then forgive me and come into my heart. He did.

You see, religion can be defined many ways. We should be religious in eating, brushing our teeth, etc. Knowing Jesus is the act of the will to surrender, by faith, His work done for us at the Cross- for all our sins. No other religion has a savior who can pay the price once and for all. No other religion can promise, truthfully, that forgiveness will be yours upon this act of the will. No other religion has the promises of eternity with God AND the fact/promise that HE will come back for us personally. No more Santa Claus or tooth fairy.

Jesus wants us to know Him personally. Know Him, like a friend. Search His Words by reading, literally, Him exposed in the Bible. In so doing, you will encounter the only answer for anyone’s quest....fulfillment, peace, joy, and purpose...to serve Him in all you do.

No more weed for me. I would not trade my relationship with Jesus for even my wife!

Jesus. He’s closer than your breath!

Keep in touch Max.

In Christ Jesus,

Steve. Clear Lake, IA

8:11pm. "MAX, I have not felt this good in 4 years, because I have been high every day for four years. If I could have a joint right now, I don’t even think I’d want it."
"Why do you drink beer?"
"I like the taste and the warm feeling when I’m kinda just buzz’n, like now."

11:15pm. "Some people like to live the outside like Grizzly Adams," Samantha said of Kenai. "And that’s all good, but the alcohol has been poisoning his body and his organs are shutting down."

"You were preppy-- or at least that was the image you wanted to portray." I replied to Rock, after sharing his intention to dye his hair blue-- now blonde, originally brown.

Sam thinks "earrings are sexy-- especially when it’s just two little, silver hoops."

"I’ve thought of that--" smiled Sam, after a comment Dewane had made. "A commercial with the police bangin’ and dogs barkin’ at the door, and a dude on the couch looking at two brands of plastic bags..." Sam continued. "And the announcer says, "He should have used Ziploc. Which bag would you rather have your weed in? To keep from goin’ to the big-house, look for Ziploc- and the green seal. . ."
"I’d record that commercial and come over there and play it." laughs Dewane at Samantha’s possible marketing ploy.

"It’s easier to study stoned." informed Dewane-- who smokes bud with his buds to study for tests - "Because the mind is more inquisitive" when he is high, he explained. Before to recall the information, he finds it best to get back to the state of mind he was in when he was studying, so he smokes again. He believes that it has helped him learn, because it makes what he is studying more interesting. After 3 years of psychology, he says he has learned intimately about the effects of weed on the psyche. Morally he sees selling the herb as a way to pay the bills and make his friends happy. He has a double major in theater and Psychology.

Last night, Rock was stopped by the cops. They asked if he had anything illegal in the car. "I have a small bag of weed," He said. The fuzz took the bud and wrote him a ticket. Rock is studying journalism. Selling weed pays the bills.

Both boys still drink beer. They say it makes them "more sociable." I call it ’liquid confidence’-- an inhibition eliminator. If you’re drunk enough, you’ll either kiss anyone or kill anyone, or both. Weed mellows. I don’t care what others think when I’m relaxed. I feel like talking. I can communicate better. Thoughts are clearer and comprehension is more complete. If a person was was in a hurry to get somewhere, smoking marijuana habitually will likely slow their life down. Most of the folks I know who smoke herb, live in the flow-- in the "now"-- not too concerned with "getting ahead." They prefer to just go with the flow and let the God-force take them down stream and into the ocean of life were we all go... eventually... no matter how hard we fight against the flow. Weed can be a very good tool in times of contemplation, but it is not the answer.

Rock and Dewane tell me they are going to Vancouver, "Because it’s legal there. Stories about Vancouver are in all my High Times magazines. This stuff is shit compared to what they grow up there."

"Canadian bills are better for rolling joints." Dewane discovered. "Look, they are wider."

Talking about "Loonies," the Canadian one dollar coin, Dewane told me that the loon is "the most ungraceful" bird.
"You know why it’s called a ’loon?’" Sam quizzed me smartly.

"Some of my frat pals are going to be glad I am back... because I am their weed hook-up."

"Drug pusher." I said thoughtfully.
"Is that what you are putting us down as?" Dewane remarked, unsure, disappointed, licking another joint.

We are passing a fatty.

Dewane is blowing rings. I said I could too.

11:45pm. "Check out Rene Magritte." Samantha said with enthusiasm, speaking to Jack at her side peering into a book of the artist life’s work.

"Cave men were really apes," Jack shares with us, looking up from the World History Encyclopedia. "Look, this is neat; check this out. What does this say?"

"So, I’m on the run... the cops got my gun... and right about now it’s time to have some fun..." Jack sings along with the Beastie Boys.

When I was Jack’s age, I was listening to License to Ill, think’n that my brothers music was cool. It’s still one of my favorites. The kid has good taste.

Jan. 16, 2000
Austin, Texas, USA


Do I have a spirit
I don’t know
What makes me... ME
Each day I change
I grow
Do I have the same spirit today
as I did five days ago

Was there a time before ducks had webbed feet?
Did ducks that had more skin between the toes...
swim faster and get it on with more ducky hoes?
Does a duck have a spirit?

Can God think?
I don’t know.

Does a dog love it’s keeper
Does a dog love a mate
Do cockroaches love each other

What if this life
This moment
Yesterday and tomorrow do not exist
What would you do
If you knew it were true?
Would you make love?
Drink a beer?
Spend winter down south?
...maybe never go back

I don’t mind becoming compost
passing on the life force
to plants and animals
evolving infinitely
energy dispersed
through out the universe

The Great Mystery
created me
to be me

Thus far in my life
going on 23 years
I know one thing
I like feeling good
I am going to bed

I thought maybe these thoughts were not good enough for you. Then I decided it was up to you to decided. This is what the herb does: instead of "work’n" I am playing poet.

Jan. 18, 2000
Austin, Texas, USA

7:03pm. Samantha is holding a hatchet-- a birthday present for Kenai.