Leonard, This cat I Know

I know a guy by the name of Leonard Dohr. I’ve know him a real long time actually, over a couple of decades. The first ten years or so that I knew him, it was just casual, a mutual friend. I didn’t know him well. About nine or so years ago, that mutual friend died. I ran into Leonard at the memorial, we smoked a reefer, exchanged numbers, and have kept in touch since.
Nowadays I know Leonard very well. He is a swell guy. Leonard would give the shirt off his back to a total stranger, as long as that stranger met his approval. I know that seems odd but Leonard has his own charities. I know that he takes in many strays at his home. If you know Leonard, if Leonard were your friend, you’ll never have to sleep outside, no matter what you did to get there.
Leonard’s parents have been deceased many years. Leonard was bequeathed a small fortune and was living a life with few struggles. I am not saying that Leonard is rich, he certainly is not. It is just that Leonard doesn’t need to work. Does not seem to concern himself with the little things in life that drive us all nuts, like paying bills, or creating a budget. I kid with Leonard, I tell him that he leads a life of leisure, the American dream. I tell him that if I had his choices, my own life would be considerably easier. That is not, in any way, suggesting I would live Leonard’s life. Hell no!
Leonard is fucking nuts!
Leonard has an unusual philosophy about life. If you didn’t really know him, it would be easy to dismiss his quirks as perhaps a form of dementia, or maybe you’d feel sorry for Leonard.
I know Leonard and I don’t really see it that way.
Leonard is a bit older than I, maybe sixty or so. Like myself, he grew up in the decades following the Manson thing, after the Zodiac killer, right about the time when young folks started to take their drug experimentation a lot more seriously. Leonard did lots of acid. Leonard would ingest nearly anything that carried the promise of an eternal sense of happiness. I think he has neglected to find exactly that, but he continues to try.
I have spent a bit more time lately with Leonard than is usual and I’m reminded how fucking crazy this cat can be. We’ve sat together lately several times, smoking grass and exchanging ideas on how to save humanity or some such thing. Sometimes it is just he and I, sometimes we are joined by others in our little peer group. I absolutely love to sit with other adults and exchange ideas and information, Leonard says it is the key to the evolution of man. Now that I know what he meant, I think he is right.
Leonard’s conversations are often centered around Leonard. I don’t think he’s especially narcissistic, I believe he’s only just discovering himself and is frequently amazed, or frightened, by what he finds.
About the time I ran into Leonard at the memorial, he had just gotten his first computer. He said he was planning to look into getting an internet provider and exploring this new technology.
The very next time I ran into Leonard, he was high as a kite and really excited about all the cool stuff he was finding through the magic of the world wide web.
See, Leonard is a strange kind of cat. Leonard is convinced that his drug use, is not killing him, in fact, it’s giving him a better, a more fulfilling life.
Granted, his financial situation is unique, perhaps enviable, and that does make a difference in his perception of the damage.
Anyway, now he kind of stays loaded, busy studying the new world he has found online, and he seems genuinely happy. He does not break the law in any other way. He pays his bills, eats good and shares his bounty with anyone in need. He is a great human being really.
I only find it odd that his choices would certainly raise eyebrows pretty much anywhere, any time, but his life seems quite manageable. In fact, he asked me point blank, the other day while we were discussing it, “Brach,” he says, “what would get better if I quit?” “What would be improved so much that I would be better off?”
I really had no clear honest answer.

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