Can't sleep. Saw ChiRaq last night. Sour in my stomach. Feels like my clothes don't fit.
Jenny and I have been on the road to Texas or in it for seven days. So many stories have surfaced of people pursuing their passions. We are sleeping in a tent in a living room next to a Christmas Tree. There is dirt under my fingernails from picking out radish after radish down a long row. The surprising warm gives my body the lift sometimes that it's start of summer in Indiana even though it is really the start of Winter in Texas.
Matt Ak rented land in Lyons Texas, just North of San Marcos but went to care for Thigh High Gardens last year when his friend died working the land there. He was lonely way out and found her everywhere, so when the big legendary rental house just next to Texas State University's campus (bright yellow, a century old, accumulations of people's things to the ceiling, empty beer bottles abounding), he said yes to the task. He's making it into a hostel bit by bit; replacing a window on Tuesday, cleaning the glass out of the fire pit on Wednesday.
Thursday he bought a suitcase of Lone Star beer to incite the ten renters of the house to a cleaning-the-back-porch party. By 5:30 we realized the job needed more light than the December evening would give. The beer got drunk anyway. Matt wonders what he has done. In the six hours I spent picking easter radishes pink, red, purple, white out of the ground across from him, he carefully cutting the stem and tail I roughly yanking each end off for lack of a knife, he wondered aloud after a long lull in conversation whether he should have bought land instead of the Yellow House.
"It's going to have a garden out front that the residents can harvest from."
"It's going to be a COOP with community norms for chores and cleaning and stuff."
"It's going to have bikes so people can get around without using cars. What's the point of living so close to the square if people are just going to drive their cars everywhere? That's so stupid!"
We talked about how the Yellow House can grow and grow and lead right into land just outside the city. Might take twenty years but for San Marcos he's in it for the long haul.
Luise is from Leipzig, Germany and she's staying underneath the stairs in the Yellow House. She made it from New York City to Savannah work-trading in the kitchen of a boat. In Miami her backpack was stolen so her couchsurfing host helped her out until his girlfriend thought she smelled a rat and pressured the guy to send Luise along her way. I don't know how she made it to San Marcos but she's working in a warehouse cleaning auto parts until she can find a ride to Colorado.
Luise is twenty and on the way to Rhea's Ice Cream the other night she asked Jenny and I how gay sex worked without a penis. Jenny loves to answer that question. I said it's not so different from straight sex.
Ellie's car broke down at River Bottom Farm so she was stuck with all of the farmer Hank's crew through the whole three days of the farm's 4th of July Party. The whole thing won her over and she's been at River Bottom for a year and a half now. Says there was a lot of people to learn from in San Marcos. On Saturday she took her harvest to the farmer's market in Austin.
I was thinking about these stories in a certain way. I saw ChiRaq and am reminded (and struck with how often I have to be reminded) that the ability to follow passion is a luxury. The ability to choose where you want to stay, where you want to go, should be but is by no means an innate right.
What makes a person relevant? What makes a person irrelevant?