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A day and two nights at Alpha Farm in Deadwood, Oregon, where I was told to sit in the garden and give it my “love energy” (subtext: we’re overwhelmed by our own chaos; we can’t help you with yours). Most people showed up because of the magazine.” I’d flipped through my first Zendik magazine earlier that evening, in the back seat of the car that had brought me to the Farm. When the concert scene is slow, we sell the street.” I could tell that “sell the street” meant “sell merchandise on the street.” What threw me was the word “sell.” “So you don’t just hand the magazines out? Selling is our survival.” Selling for a living sounded intriguing – but I doubted I could do it. I mean, almost all the girls do, every other weekend or so. Before dinner, Eile had led me up the hill, pointing out studios for music and dance, a wood shop adjoining a trash shed, a storage yard for building materials salvaged from demolition jobs in nearby towns. Half of the ten bunks inside the box belonged to a motley crew of strange males who, like me, were “new people.” These would be my roommates.A night at the San Francisco Zen Center’s Green Gulch Farm in Muir Beach, California, whose dense fog of patience made me wonder where people buried their snarls, their irritation, their hatred – and where, if I lived there, I would bury mine. I’d zeroed in on a story by a woman named Karma about a Zendik road trip to Woodstock’s corporate reincarnation in the summer of 1999. Once, I’d spent an afternoon distributing free copies of on a busy corner in Soho. But some of the guys aren’t that good at it, so they only go out once in a while.” As Eile spoke I noticed a bright fringe of scarves, shirts, and sweaters trimming the rail of the loft above the living room. Then I’d followed her up a steep, rail-less staircase to the horse barn loft. Sitting with Eile in the living room, admiring the gaily decked railing, I wished I didn’t have to trek up to the barn in the dark.Tucked in a corner of the living room, I’d sipped surreptitious glimpses of firm biceps browned by farmer tans, frayed cuffs over muddy work boots, roughened hands resting on comfortably slung tool belts. She grabbed its shafts, and I followed her up a dirt track, past a manufactured home on stilts – the Mobile.I’d savored the notes of a new music of male names: Dymion. I’d heard it was overcrowded, and that its residents would ascend to the much larger Addition once it was finished.When it was my turn to pick, my heartbeat accelerated with excitement. Euphoria surged through me as dormant muscles roared into use. She knitted her eyebrows and thrust her jaw into geezer-jowls, mugging for me and a couple other women who’d paused to listen. He would reach beneath my silence and hunch to stroke my soft animal, curled and panting. I’d already begun wondering if this man would find me at Zendik.He would fold me in his arms, set me at ease, sweep me to ecstasy. Earlier that morning, through half-closed lids, I’d watched as a Zendik named Estero let himself into the plywood box at the back of the barn loft. ” With a friendly wink, she sliced her shovel deeper into the ditch.I snapped off the sweet white stem of a leaf of romaine. But the bowl I ate from, the fork I ate with, set me apart. Minutes earlier, a graceful young woman named Eile had shown me to the shelves where bowls, plates, mugs, spoons, forks, and knives were stored.They warned that Zendik warmed as you pushed towards the center. I was to pick one of each and mark it with my name, in felt-tip pen on masking tape.
” The daughter of a Texas-based diplomat, she’d had ample opportunity to hone her hillbilly act. Each thwack of the pick swelled a joy I’d rarely taken in my innate strength. She stood with one foot in the ditch, the blade of her trenching shovel poised to slice into the gray muck beneath the red clay. Knowing I’d be wandering, I’d wished to spare myself the bother of keeping my hair clean – while showing my disinterest in . He would know that when I blushed – when I shunned his gaze for a book, a rug, a traffic signal – I was subtly showing interest.
Then I’d boarded a Greyhound bus to Hendersonville, North Carolina. I waited outside the dance room door, at one end of the day-glo orange line sprayed on the ground as a guide.