Santa Cruz, CA
Through couchsurfing.org, I found the Food Not Lawns house on the eastside of Santa Cruz, a group of college students and recent grads united around the revolutionary idea that a group of people can live communally growing and sharing good food, creativity and lots of love.
And so it was for the week I was there: in the afternoon, Mathew and a friend practicing a cello/sitar duet in preparation for a show at a gallery in San Francisco; in the morning, Jo – the Malibu born half of the lesbian couple who lived out back by the greenhouse and who worked across the street at the food co-op, stealing secret smooches when customers weren’t looking (and sometimes when they were) – wandering in topless in preparation for morning yoga. Under the table slept a musician down from Eugene, Oregon, playing shows at the local Irish bar; on the opposite couch, a northbound cyclist heading from Mexico to Canada, stopping at co-ops and organic farms en route. Ellie, just back from a few days in LA to get her hula hooping teacher’s training, in preparation for a performance at the Burning Man festival in September; dreadlocked and nipple pierced Alejandro, prohibited from studying in Canada because of a suspicious immigration officer and ”a thing that happened in Louisiana … and also Oklahoma”, canoodling semi-secretly with the new French roommate, Pauline; Morgan, working for conservation and wandering in the woods near Big Sur; over plentiful vegetarian dinners, heaping portions of stories, laughter and love were shared. The farther I get into this journey, the easier it is to find intimacy and home among strangers, and the harder it is to move on.