Hindsight is 20/20. Hindsight in sobriety feels like 20/10; reality and memories infiltrate with no buffers, up close and personal. I feel like Tommy Boy being whacked in the face by a 2×4 a lot of the time. Today, after writing “A Losing Battle,” I realized that chasing a high doesn’t have to be repeatedly returning to a substance, it can be a place. For me, it was the pot farm.
The first year on The Ranch was my high, and it’s what kept me going back. Glorifying my past is a stupid thing to do because it very quickly becomes a resurrected reality within reach. That said some of the best memories of my life were on The Ranch. There were undeniably sublime times…in the beginning.
Midafternoon on August 23, 2010, I arrived half way up a mountain at the mouth of a dirt road. Trees covered in lichen towered over as my driver began driving the bumpy one lane route. The first gate we got to, I got out of the car and was given a combination for entry. The second heavily padlocked gate we got to, I was told which rock to find a key under, and by the third gate a half hour later I was beginning to wonder what I had gotten myself into.
A giant house that appeared to be made mostly of copper and glass sat on top of a clearing on the side of the mountain, and beyond the clearing there were rolling Redwoods as far as the eye could see. My qualifier for the farm had me sit down on a beautiful patio facing what looked like all of Northern California, and we waited for the owner of the property to come out. He was a small man, and older than I expected, but fit. Grey hair, grey shirt, black jeans, dark sunglasses. Sitting down next to me, he lit up a joint the size of a gorilla finger. Without speaking he offered it to me,
“No thanks, I don’t smoke anymore.” I could see his eyebrows rise just above the Darth Vader glasses. After a long inhale and exhale he asked me,
“Do you have goals?”
“Um, yeah, I want to be a writer.”
“Good. It’s good to have goals. You start today.”
**I’ll have to consider this the intro…To be continued!***