There’s an old saying about truth being stranger than fiction and it often applies when there’s a really REALLY good story to be told. This one is true.
This is a story of endurance: a man stripped of all his considerable worldly possessions and driven to live on a remote mountain where he builds a home from logs and scrap metal. Sort of like Moses, only he’s not Jewish.
It’s a story of joy: he creates a simple, serene life, devoid of gadgets like a toilet, running water, electricity, human companionship or any form of communication with the outside world. He does however have two dogs. One is blue, and the other is very black. Both are his constant companions.
It’s a story of heartache: a man who epitomises the mantra of the 70’s, ‘make love not war’, yet whose life on the mountain becomes enmeshed in bitter battles for supremacy. Dominated by greed-driven conflicts with uninvited neighbours. And eventually culminating in a psychotic drug-fuelled attack on his life until his ultimate final reckoning.
It’s a story of pain: a man wracked with deep physical, emotional and mental pain. Not the transient sort – the lifelong, grinding, burrowing, relentless sort that has teeth sharper than Stephen King’s evil clown, Pennywise.
But more than anything, it’s a story of survival: a man clawing his way back into civilization, inch by inch, constantly shedding old burdens and taking on new ones, negotiating forks, bends and ditches in the road until finding trust again, and coming to rest in his own personal utopia.
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