This morning, after I horrified you with stories of dead cats, I dragged my Sunday blues along to The Troubadour Cafe for a lecture on Jack Kerouac.
Elbowed into the lodge room with skis, eggs benedict and a very mixed group of Beat fans, I was reminded of the time I went mad and thought I wanted to live in a commune on Staten Island.
Communes, eh? They seem like such a good idea, particularly when you’re mad with grief. Essentially, they’re a large group of well intentioned people, interspersed with some proper mental illness and/or drug addiction. The common thread barely holding everyone together is the idea that communal living is wonderful. The sentiment being “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could turn back the clock a hundred years when everyone lived in villages and took care of one another?”
As I’ve said, this sounds wonderful when you’ve just left your husband and you’re going through a bit of a ‘phase’.
I was invited to Wednesday night dinner and house meeting, I took two friends along like onlookers at an accident, luring them with a free meal. All together we sat awkwardly before dinner speaking only to each other, barely making eye contact with current residents and other new recruits.
Huddled in the den, presumably last refurbished and decorated during the 70’s, we ate the free brown food and stared at the man who had clearly gone to shoot up, coming back during the house meeting to gouch out.
It was dark by the time we were taken on a tour.
The commune was comprised of 8 houses joined together by wooden walkways and we behaved like teenagers on a ghost train as we were shown around. The man who guided us made an attempt to grope one of my party and then referred to the communes’s chickens as his ladies. He made a special point of telling us how upsetting it was for him to have to kill his ladies.
After some fact checking for this post I found this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganas
I had no idea about the shooting or lawsuits at the time…
We ran back to the ferry.