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Richard david Renda
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Some years ago I knew one friend in a large circle of friends who had a problem. I am not even going to say
if this was a male or female. The problem was that this person had a so-called cold sore, a blistering of the
lip that was bad. At times very developed. It was what it is ... kindly called a cold sore ... a "Simplex 1" or
"Simplex 2" virus. In its most insensitive terms it is also crudely called: Herpes. This person would not
admit to their own self they had herpes. Therefore that one person was highly "dangerous" to others. And by
not taking precautions could and would infect unsuspecting others -- ultimately changing their lives forever.
This particular case played well in developing what some would describe as "a trained eye." Then some time
after that, another group of young adults caught my eye and interest. This was a local group of kids. 15 or
20 of them that used to hang out in the neighborhood. I knew them well. They were good kids. Clean cut.
Smart minds. 17 to 20 years old. And not sexually over permissive. But one summer something weird was
happening (early 1980's). Their lives were changing. The natural human skin cell construction they were
given in birth was being altered by a virus. I could see one by one, week after week, another person in that
circle of young adults was being unsuspectingly infected with the Herpes virus. A powerful cold sore
appeared in this circle of neighborhood kids and it was very "hot" (active). Not the simple strain of the mild
winter cold sore. This strain was violently oozing, raw, and bloody. As I watched over nearly 3 months I saw
also this strain was reoccurring on these young people often, too often.
Then another week I was at the local Supermarket. And the cashier who had been working there for months
(and had taken care of me 3 or 4 times a week) went to hand me my change. I did not want to even touch it.
When I looked up at this young adult I saw that bloody sore. Suddenly her life had changed. When I went
to the lotto store, a person I knew for years was now looking like the others. Obviously there was a problem,
a big problem. It was really growing. And had to be stopped at the source. These were all good people.
Not dirty or sleazy people, as I mentioned before. And they were definitely not promiscuous. Some were
dedicated Moms and Dads with young families. One case study was even a seasoned police officer, his
wife, ex-wife, and 4 children. So what was happening. What was the common denominator. As I looked at
the wide range of people, the locations, and diversity -- there was no common ground. But looking further
there was one. It was a possibility. They smoked pot on occasion ...weed, marijauna, blunts. Whatever
you want to call it. Considering it was not the marijauna that was getting them sick or causing this outbreak
that meant it could only be one thing. I did some research and learned of a drug dealer who was servicing
customers within a wide radius, many towns. I also learned who his supplier was to see if I could trace the
line and find the core of who was spreading this virus. Once I had secured the infomation I went and saw the
dealers myself. I talked with the supplier and began to backtrack. It was not him. He was not the source.
Then I went to where this other Dealer had his on the street corner depot, "Buddha Hill". And I watched this
person like I was doing a high profile investigation. I was. But it was being done on the private. I saw this guy
-- let's give him a name. He is Mark. I was a sound engineer on one hand and that gave me a flow to travel in
many circles. I went with a guitarist friend one night to this corner. Watched. There were 3 circles of people
at all times. Each with about 12 to 15 people in each circle. The dealer bounced from one circle of people to
the next circle passing joints and smoking with everyone. It was dark. It was nighttime. And it was the sea
of unsuspecting victims. I could see Mark's wet lips glistening in the street light as I stood in the shadows.
People knew I was there. But they did not know why. I could see the problem. I had found the source. I
went by the next day and pulled Mark aside. I told him that he was infecting thousands of people directly
with a herpes virus by putting the joint (marijauna cigarette) to his bloody lips and then handing it to some
one else and them placing that same joint on their own soft lip tissue. What did this guy Mark say to me ?
"I don't think so." I went back to the first group of neighborhood kids and told them what I discovered. They
began speading the word. It was limiting damage to others but not enough. The dealer was still in business.
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