Saturday, April 18, 2009

The genesis of "There's Hobos in the House"

Last night I was suddenly awakened by my father’s plaintive cries for help. Quickly I ran to his aid when I heard him shout "STOP. You're under arrest". Momentarily stunned, I paused and cautiously peered around the corner not knowing what to expect. Seeing no one but my father lying in bed, I asked him what was wrong. Excitedly he told me that “there's hobos in the house, there's hobos in the house”! I didn’t call 911 or even search the premises further. It’s not that hobos in the house should be so easily dismissed, but my Dad suffers from dementia and occasionally has both audio and visual hallucinations.

In the decade of the 60’s my father, like most men of his generation, was very strict, very conservative and very anti-drug, while as a teenager I spent most of my time rebelling against his values, dropping out of high school and later squandering my limited funds on drugs, including hallucinogens. At 18 my diminutive world came tumbling down when I was arrested and jailed for possession of LSD. Now, 40 years later, Dad is imprisoned by his dementia and his titan universe has been shattered. Ironically, our roles have been reversed. Now I’m the parent and he's the child. I’m now the anti-drug champion and he is the one hallucinating marauding hobos in the house.

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