Carl a bright, sensitive son of a successful pastor, has dropped out of the mainstream of society. Although at one time he had planned to be a doctor, he never finished his last year of high school. He has literally disappeared from his parents' lives, only surfacing for a few days every six months or so.
These visits are tense times for the entire family. Because Carl is a heavy marijuana smoker, his parents refuse to let him drive the family car. This means angry scenes with much shouting and accusations on both sides. Although they are sad when Carl again disappears, perhaps the most prominent feeling among all the family members is a deep sense of relief; now they can get on with the business of living again. After his last visit, several thousand dollars' worth of stereo equipment and tools were missing from his parents' home.
But however relieved they are when Carl leaves, his parents never stop grieving for him. Both his father and mother are genuinely pious people, embodying many ...1
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