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An Account of Johnny Luther

BY BRANDON HOOKS

It is a sad fact regarded by man that life doesnít always turn out to be what you would expect, or dream to be. Some have searched all their lives for the one aspiration they have had since childhood, and have never found it. Some have had these aspirations as a child, and have been blessed with the gift of achieving such dreams. Others are just so gifted in having contentment, so that whatever life throws at them, whether it is marriage with children or the single life, then all is well.

These visions and goals are fine, but what of the ones that are not so fortunate? What if for some reason while you slept one night, you dreamt up something so exciting and wonderful, that when the morning alarm pulled you back into reality, you were back to the same old mundane lifestyle?

It was almost a debilitating disappointment, and you werenít sure you could face the morning commute, the cursing at drivers during rush hour, the 8 to 5 soul sucker, and the afternoon return home. Well, we all get that way; but just count youíre lucky blessings that when you gaze into the mirror, Johnny Luther isnít staring back at you!

Johnny Luther was on the fringes of celebrating his 100th birthday, but something would prevent that from happening. Would he die before the appointed day, you ask? Letís dig further into the trench that was Lutherís story and life.

Johnny Luther was an extraordinarily happy and gifted child, beginning at age 7, and progressing as far as his breath in his lungs would allow him. He kept many friends and had many female companions on his side as well. By the time he was 13; he became among the most popular students in his Junior High School class, and kept an overall A average. He was exceptional and his parents and the faculty at the various institutions that he attended prior to graduation were well aware of just how gifted he was.

By the time he had reached the stage of his life that demanded some sort of rebellious opportunities, he began to take advantage, only briefly. When 16 rolled around he was taking out the parentís car and being gone all night, completely defying the family curfew that had been in place. He never did anything illegal or self destructive, but a side of Johnny that his parents didnít see troubled them to a moderate degree.

Let me first of all say that, his parents instilled in him a strong work ethic, and a kind, well mannered behavior; so because of the demands that they had for young Johnny, life at 16 was spent by him hearing threats of being shipped off to boot camp or boarding school, if he didnít get his act together. It was as if they were trying to mold him into a perfect morally stable robot that he couldnít control.

He knew that he was a good kid, and that his parents genuinely meant well and only had his best interests at heart. Like I said before, he had girlfriends, and had plenty of social gatherings that he was allowed to attend and enjoy. They werenít completely lame or dull in what they allowed their brilliant son to do. Their strict and loving guidelines paid off, and paved the way for future success.

After graduation he took the summer off and decided to go to work full time at the local Food World down the street from where he lived on 1325 Cherry Street, in Taylorsville, Alabama. There he took up basically the job as a ďfloaterĒ, performing different tasks that the supervisor instructed, and helping out wherever he was needed. He enjoyed it and appreciated the honest dayís work that allowed him enough money to go off with his friends, and to have extra accessories, and clothes. One day he was granted a raise, and calculated how much money he had saved up now. With the knowledge of how much he had, he began seeking an apartment, and his parents helped him look, and agreed to pay the deposit, and first months rent, if he considered attending college somewhere.

Johnny desired higher education, but felt he owed his parents something and needed this job so that he could feel the freedom to pay his own way, and to give back to them the best way he knew possible. Six months into his job he requested his hours be reduced to part time labor, and enrolled in a community college not too far from either his house or his place of work. He completed his prerequisite courses and passed with flying colors. His program of study was computer information systems technology, and for a brief period of time he struggled, but with a little extra time in studying, he quickly picked his grades back up.

He turned 21 and was down to his last semester in college, when Uncle Sam found him right where he was. That large finger pointing at his audience, and those dark eyes staring so solemn and viciously, with that enormous hat, did the trick, and enticed young Johnny to enlist into the service. This was the time that he learned the awful news of both parents being killed in an automobile accident from a drunk driver one night, while coming home from dinner and a movie.

Before he had signed the papers at the Marine Recruiting Office, he drank heavily, and fell head first into a pit of depression, and even felt oppressed by the need to take his own life. A year into his career with the Marines, fresh out of basic training, he was immediately discharged due to heavy drinking and suicidal tendencies. He was lost in life and didnít know how to cope with the senseless loss of his parents that he worshipped. There wasnít a significant other in his life, and he had lost friends because of the drinking and fits of temper tantrums. He cried night after night, and prayed consistently for death, but it would never come.

A strange incident occurred one night while he was sitting on his couch watching Late Night with David Letterman, and having a few Miller lights. He remembered sitting there, and suddenly feeling a jolt of some sort race up his spine and all over his body at once, immediately after taking a dose of the bottle of beer. Then not ten seconds proceeding the shaking, he fancied a very low voice speaking in a clear demonic tone, not to him, but as if speaking to someone or something else.

Then immediately after that particular occurrence, for a split second he imagined that he was staring up at a bright light, in the horizontal position, as if lying directly on his back. Then all was over, and the laughter on the television caught his attention once again. He threw down the beer bottle and shunned it all together the rest of the night, and maybe even the rest of his life. He was literally terrified and confused at what happened. He was hallucinating, and getting sicker. It was as if the booze was speaking to him audibly. He didnít know what the voice was!

2

Ten years had passed since that strange and fearful night, and Johnny was cured from the disease of alcoholism at age 31, and his life was back, and he was in full control of it. He missed his parents greatly, but knew they were watching down on him from heaven above. They were undoubtedly proud of him, even in his worst of times. He could just hear his mother shouting down from the heavens, while his father agreed in perfect submission and support, ďDONíT MAKE ME COME DOWN THERE AND SEND YOU OFF TO BOARDING SCHOOL!Ē Those words sank in his spirit ever since he first heard them when he was 16.

He thought about his life as a young man, and how close he came to being a full time marine, had he not have screwed it up with booze and thoughts of suicide. He found himself wishing he could one day meet the loser that ran the red light while intoxicated, taking the lives of the two people that he only wanted to make proud. Anger and retribution were not good for his condition. There was great potential of relapsing if he didnít stay on guard.

He shrugged off the notion of praying to meet the guy, and putting the fear of God into him, and he concentrated on where he was going with his newfound life alcohol free. The voice that he had heard and the bizarre split second apparition of lights, and the feeling of him lying on his back, never returned since pouring out the beer bottles for good.

Life took a dramatic turn when he hit age 40, and if by some act of fate or something, she walked into his life. The best thing that ever happened to him, since the threats of being shipped off to boarding school or boot camp by his mother, was a devout lady by the name of Chelsea Davenport. She stepped in and became the completing factor in his search for meaning and greatness in life. She was his greatness. She was his rock and his support system during the rough curves of the road when Johnny felt the urge to pick up another beer can or shot of liquor.

He didnít need the drink to feel drunk or high in the sky. Her love and devotion to him was enough to encase him in intoxication forever. They dated for 6 months when Johnny finally dug up the nerve to pop the question. She said yes, and both began a life with one another. The first few months into it were rocky at times, but for the most part all was well with their relationship. They spent the better half of the year proceeding the wedding, residing at the address of Johnny, and then when he got the promotion at the Food World they had saved up enough money to put a down payment on a house.

Most of the income that went towards paying the mortgage and the rest of the utilities and other bills and expenditures, came from his wife. She was well known in her Graphic Arts firm, and had received head promotion as supervisor over her department. This allowed for the continuation of Johnnyís degree pursuit. He ended up finishing school and landing a great job at the age of 45.

Johnny was employed with the IT technical supports laboratory immediately after graduation. He loved it and received his first raise after six months on the job. Both the couple was where they wanted to be in life, and their marriage grew and blossomed. A disturbance woke Johnny up one night, and it was something that he was very familiar with. He saw the bright lights blaring down on him and could this time see a slight outline of men or other human-like forms standing over him. Then as instantly as the last time he had this vision while watching Late Night, all was over and darkness took control in the room again.

Johnny confronted Chelsea the next morning about it, and recommendations were made for him to give it a little more time, and if it happened again, then for him to see a physician of some sort. Well that reality eventually came to life. The same bizarre apparitions took place every night now, and occasionally during the days, he would feel that sudden jolt run up his spine and all over his body at once.

It was a relatively cold winter day on February 17, 1997, when he made a visit to an M.D. hoping that maybe it was something physical. A solution had not been come up with until he had visited the physician that he needed all this time, a licensed psychiatrist. He opened up himself completely, and freely admitted that he was a recovering alcoholic, and that his new bride was what brought him into the place of caring for himself and making something of his life. The conversation was positive and progress was being made. He said to the new groom, ďMr. Luther, I am going to give you a bit of homework to do until our next visit.Ē Johnny didnít care too much for the knowledge that these therapy sessions involved homework.

ďOh donít worry; this isnít anything like what you had to do in school or what not. This is simply a little assignment that I think might help you in overcoming youíre feelings of depression, and keeping you on the right track. Because I do believe that these visions or dreams that you are experiencing might be contributed due to the effects that alcohol has had on youíre body and mind. It might even be the bout of depression that has affected you since youíre parents were killed.Ē

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