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Back To Bethlehem


Back To Bethlehem

Custom artwork by Jessica Stanley depicting a hitchhiker.

Back To Bethlehem is based on a short story I wrote in high school while living on Canada's West Coast. White Rock, Surrey and Vancouver's landscape dominate the bulk of our story. I can't actually take you to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. I can only take you as far as the Peace Arch border crossing on my Canadian side. Jimmy would have to tell you about his trip home but I haven't heard from him in years. Not since that postcard. Some playmates don't keep in touch. So much for that. Anyway, back to the story of our story …

My assignment was no literary masterpiece but it gave me a borderline pass. And a short meeting with the teacher that graded it. Expand on this story. I never did. I tucked the two page story in a scribbler full of song ideas and promptly forgot about it. In 2007 I re-discovered the scribbler and the story. The song ideas were rubbish but the story nagged at me. And I was surprised. How anything could have followed me around for that long was beyond me. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. And then a funny thing happened. A comedy of errors perhaps. The story began breathing life into a fourth, as yet unnamed, album. And that's how Slouching Towards Bethlehem was born. While writing for the album I penned a song called Nothing (Where's Jimmy Longneck) just to keep in the spirit of things. And wouldn't you know it. The song began turning that little two page story into a novel of sorts. If parts of this story seem a little foggy or contradictory you'll have to forgive me. I'm not seventeen anymore …

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xo RJ

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