HEADER ART BY JOHN JORDAN

The characters and events described here are fictitious and any similarities to any other persons or events, real or fictitious, are sheer coincidence. Eventually these stories will be edited and prepared for publishing.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Oregon, 1981

The commune in Oregon was different than the communes the boy remembered from his childhood. Not the loose collection of desperate people searching for some sense of security in a group. These were respectable, well-to-do hippies. Trust-funders with loads of cash. Their commune would consist of custom homes equipped with the latest technology in agrarian living. Fancy chemical toilets, instead of an outhouse. Self-cleaning, air-tight wood-stoves. These homes were connected by foot-paths to create a sense of community, but the only thing communal about this place appeared to be the way the owners held title to the surrounding forest.

Tree's house was a large, circular three-story job. His sister made custom moccasins in a shop with no power on the first floor. There was a wood-stove there and the stove-pipe went through the second and third stories to heat the whole house. There was no fancy chemical toilet though. Instead, there was a sort of inside outhouse. Users would utilize plastic five-gallon buckets and cover the offal with ashes from the fire, which were kept nearby with a scoop. It was the boy's job to bury the "honey-pots," split wood, and feed and brush the horses.
He helped his sister with preparing meals or making moccasins, and the men with whatever projects they were working on. He slept under a massive pile of blankets and sleeping-bags in a tipi out front.
They built a still, but they could never get it to work right so they drank the corn-mash they had made, instead.

The boy would take long hikes up to the tops of teh surrounding mountain tops. He liked to try to get as far away from any traces of human civilization as he could. One day on Tree accompanied him on a hike. They found a small rose bush the boy started picking and eating the rose-hips. "These are rose hips." he explained to Tree. "I dont think you should be eating those," said tree, "How do you know they are rose hips?". "Because, they are on a rosebush." Said the boy.


It was a fairly happy existence, but not much social interaction for a boy of fifteen years. The invitation from Tree to live with them had begun to feel a little stale: Tree had probably just been trying to make points with his sister and the boy felt that Tree wasn't really all that thrilled to have him around, after all. He told his sister that he was planning to move into the city to find his own way.



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