The Epic Story of John Who Was Not Known as the Baptist
He isn't exactly sure about the whole process.
Then he gets born and his memory of everything that happened before gets hidden somewhere deep in his head and it is unlikely that it will be recovered.
For the next few years Mary holds John a lot. He cries sometimes. He learns lots of new tricks. Walking, talking, begging and other useful things. Mary says that he was named after John the Baptist. He was a Holy man that got his head cut off. John does not ask about the father that is not there.
One time Mary leaves him outside of a little store in his baby stroller. Some bad boys come along and throw sand in his eyes. Mary quickly rescues him from the sandstorm. Neither of them know, that in a previous life, they died a suffocating death in a sandstorm. They were only a few hundred yards from a walled city when they died.
Then John goes to school for a long time. He does not like it. Mary works. John asks about his father. Mary tells him a series of lies or maybe simultaneous truths that contradict each other. John gets better at begging. John learns to play chess. John goes to a some kind of after school baby sitting place. One day John sees a cigar-shaped flying thing come out of a cloud then disappear into another cloud. Just a few seconds but it seemed to hover there forever. Maybe he was abducted by creatures in the flying thing and then sent back. Inspected by alien #5. Rejected by alien #5. Back on the ground he pees his pants. Nobody believes his story about the flying cigar. Two years later he breaks his arm on some metal playground equipment. He was playing submarine with some other guys. Sentenced to one week in the hospital. He hates the clown that comes to his room. Big red nosed clown.
A year later he falls down into some bushes. He has a pyscho-spiritual-religeous awakening. He is told to become a clown.
That year John sells a lot of tickets to his school's ice cream social. John learns that begging can be useful.
Next year he learns to play pool. This will help him later in life. His best friend's uncle taught a few of the little guys how to play. The uncle also does magic tricks. He can pull quarters from behind John's ear. For many years John looked in vain for the spot behind his ear that had all the money.
John is still in school. He has already been in school for seven years. It is pretty much the same year after year. But each year it gets more complex.
But now they get really mad if John skips school. He breaks his arm again. Sentenced to another week in the hospital. No clown this time. Maybe he died.
There are no gangs to join in his neighborhood. He does join the Scouts. They go camping a lot. The adult leaders drink a lot of beer in their tent at night.
He learns to cook and survive alone in the woods. Around this time he finds a Holy Place in the woods. It is Holy because he finds a badger skull there. He takes other people there but they say that they do not feel anything special. Just a small clearing on the southern slope of an unremarkable hill. John is now even more convinced that it is Holy because no one else feels it.
Holy places are like that. Not everyone can recognize them. Throughout his life he finds such places. A particular tree down the street, a specific table in a coffee shop, a drier in a laundromat, and a telephone pole in an alley are just a few of the places that he discovers.
John then goes to high school. He learns to play poker. This will help him later in life. He has a job as a janitor. John does not do well in high school but he graduates.
John goes to college. John grows his hair long. John cuts his hair. John works at various jobs. John learns to meditate. He studies meditation in Spain. John likes Spain. John teaches meditation for several years. He graduates from college after eight years. He does not have to attend the war. He is lucky. John begins to realize that he will never be a Senator or the President.
John begins a career of begging. Begging people to buy all sorts of things. John likes begging. Begging is good work because the people pay you for the story that you tell. They think that they are satisfying some need with their purchase. Maybe they are, but they also are buying the story that the beggar tells.
John gets married. They have three children. John is not a great father. John meets his own father. They do not get along. John has a garden. He is a good gardener. His garden was a Holy Place. Mary dies. John is sad. John gets a divorce. His house is sold. The new owner destroys the garden. He did not know that it was a Holy Place. John's father tells him to never call him again.
John drives down the street. Lots of things happen when John drives down the street. John often sees dogs. Most are regular dogs. Now once in awhile a dog will have strange eyes. And John will get a flash of Understanding. Nothing sinister or sick. Just a flash of Understanding.
John sees a circle of big black birds sitting in an empty lot. There is a full moon and it all seems strange and normal. John drives to a party.
John begins to sit with some men in a circle and he begins to understand a few things.
John becomes a grandfather. His granddaughter is beautiful and wise.
John gets married. His wife is beautiful and wise.