I meet my roommate, K, outside my house as I pull in the driveway from work. While she’s washing out compost buckets we decide to have a beer later tonight to debrief on our busy lives with J, our other all star roommate. J and K have been my rocks throughout this taxing year in so many ways. J is the one that I talk about prison abolition with, talk about books with, and then literally walk into jail with once a week to meet the people we are advocating for there. K is my wanderlust twin- we both get swept away into the flow of life in the same way. Sometimes together, and sometimes on our own solo journeys. We pick up on different things throughout our interactions with others, but are also always on the same page and down for a sleepover when the going gets rough.
I let K know that I need a little alone time to detox from the workday, and she tells me she appreciates me advocating for my own space (which is exactly why I love K and J- how often do you find friends who understand your need to run away at parties?). I walk into my room and a little black cat that jumps onto my lap. Animals are therapeutic as hell. This cat has been living in our room for the past few days, and he has coexisted like a joy. He is a refugee cat- which is another story I will tell someday.
The cat and I crack open a PBR tonight and start our evening out right.
This summer has been a parade of people coming and going from our collective. We had couch surfers from Belgium, Ecuador, Mexico, England, Guatemala, and other countries. And we also had some musical nomads passing through on their way to Ghana. We’ve been having bonfires nightly, and taking what we can from this place and making it ours in the short bit of our time left here.
The couch surfer from Belgium was my guest- and is actually from the same town my friend Loic is from! The couch surfer had been on the road for three years straight. He had sailed across the Atlantic ocean, and ended up in South America. He’s been making his way north ever since- and has seen a lot. He was currently trying to do a bike trip across the US when we met him- but he had busted his knee and had to sit for days with green paste on his knee to heal it while he was here. He was a bonified hitchiker pirate who was fighting anxiety with one of my favorite methods: travel. We were so glad to host him and hope to meet him again someday. The couch surfer from Britain had rented a van out and was traveling the country in it- he also brought beer.
Last weekend we had a huge noon to midnight Solstice party- of which 80–100 people attended throughout the day. There was delicious food, and I even got to take a two hour nap in the middle of my own party. That’s the kind of party I like best. Many people from the local immigrant rights network were there — as J an K are super involved in that organization and have made great bonds. Much of the time this summer Spanish is the only language being spoken when we have guests over! I have much catch up to do, but I am also just waiting on google to get automatic translation headphones and microphones so I never have to study language again if I’m being real.
And through all of this- my library jobs and new library friends have been really great, and I think have really turned around my outlook in life- and my mission in life. My coworker F has a vlog and a blog where she writes and speaks about her mental health issues in an effort to destigmatize talking about it. My coworker JD also has a blog- and writes poetry and is funny as HELL. We vibe on the same laughtrack for most of the day when we work together and read one another’s writings.
With all the chaos that seems to be constantly churning this part of the world these days- my new library job has been a constant. A really good, really reliable constant. And I am so happy that I decided before I was even confident about it to move in that direction. It was the right direction.
And now here I am- defying the rules of the coop by buying myself a nice big $3 preprepared frozen pizza from Wegmans and baking it just for myself. A solo potluck to mark my perseverance through whatever this whole year has been.
The rebel heart is still alive. Anarchism doesn’t come in groupthink, or through compromise.
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© Copyright 2018 Annie Windholz