I’m here at my father’s house in Hippie City, New Mexico, recovering from an evening of turkey-sucking gluttony. I’m recovering by eating as many pieces of pie as I can sneakily stuff in my craw. Mmm. Pies.
There were the usual T-giving day hijinks, such as miscalculating the turkey-cooking time by several hours, and the Kitchen Queen and Guest Kitchen Queen baring our fangs at each other a few times. So it was really just a nice, normal Thanksgiving. Except that it wasn’t. Because it was all hippies. Of course, I’m part hippie. And Mo, despite being not a hippie at all, could really pass for one if she wore bell bottoms and braids and flowers in her hair. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!
But really, Melissa and I share a lot in common with the hippies. The real hippies, not the unwashed, dreadlocky rich kids begging for money on the Drag. My father, for example, is a real hippie. The only reason he didn’t slide around in mud at Woodstock was because his rig broke down partway there. My father met my mother when he picked her up hitch-hiking in his 18-wheeler on the Long Island Expressway. Then they moved to my grandparents’ commune in Maine and had a small gaggle of dirty, half-naked farm children. They grew pot, had acoustic jam sessions, lived off the land and if the wheat had bugs in it they used it anyway. THAT, my friends, is real hippies.
For the record, Mo and I don’t eat weevils or forage for food along the neighborhood sidewalks. But many of our lifestyle and childrearing choices are, lets face it, hippie choices. We’re bona-fide Natural Mamas. And, I may as well come out to you now, I’m polyamorous. I know! Bitchin’, right?! And also very hippie. One night in Silly Village, Vermont, another hippie couple proposed a partner swap with Mom and Dad Ox. That was the night I was conceived. They say they didn’t do it, and I’m just going to keep choosing to believe them. But the point is, hey, the energy was there!
So yes, a little bit free-love, though not currently practicing. But we eat natural food, and let Rocky and Evander run around nudie-pooty, and we don’t work much and we don’t freak out when Rocky eats dog biscuits. And we don’t hermetically seal our apartment and we watch PBS and we all sleep in one big bed with all the pets. Well, not the fish. But only because the tank is too heavy to lift.
But don’t get the wrong idea. I’d rather wear leather pants than a hemp dress. I prefer piercing to pot. And, unlike several of my hippie-come-New Age friends, instead of claiming my 1/16th Cherokee and wearing dream-catcher earrings, these days I’m claiming my pirate ancestry and wearing a pagan symbol around my neck.
So there we were, gathered around the cooling carcass of an organically-raised Happy-Turkey, talking for hours about Hippie Things – breastfeeding, gardens, breastfeeding gardens, the benefits of dream-work – and then, during the part where Stepmother Ox stands and invokes the Great Spirit and invites everyone to share what they’re grateful for, the other hippie woman starts talking about the “Giving Spirit” of the turkey. For real. Personally, I figure that bird was probably trying as hard as it could to jam its claws into its murderer’s eyes. But I just sat quietly, chewing a leg bone, listening to the elders discuss the turkey’s “Giving Spirit”.
That was Thanksgiving. The rest of the time I’ve basically just been slugging around in my pajamas. Because this is the time of year when I work really hard (for a hippie), and I need a damn break. I’ve been lounging, eating, reading Green Eggs and Ham to Rocky over and over, exploring the surrounding mountains with Dad, eating, lounging, napping, eating . . . lounging . . . napping . . . you get the picture.
New Mexico, at least this part of it, is BEAUTIFUL. It’s all scrub desert and brown mountains dotted with weird pointy plants. You can look in any direction and it’s minimally to not at all developed. I’ve never in my life seen so many miles of unfenced, un-strip-mally land. I’ve been taking walks around the neighborhood, because I love seeing mountains and Austin doesn’t have any and from pretty much every corner here you can see rocky peaks and desert. When I’m not trudging along at 2 mph and gasping for breath (high altitude does not agree with me), I’ve been scoping out the digs. That’s “homes”, for you non-hippies. And I can now tell you with great certainty that if I were a building material, I WOULD BE ADOBE. This is really a breakthrough for me. A week ago, had somebody asked what kind of dwelling I’d be, which is a question I’m frankly amazed I’ve never been asked, I would have said pine-wood colonial, or dilapidated farmhouse, or, well, trailer. But now that I’ve seen New Mexico, everything in my world is different.
I want an adobe house! I want it I want it I want it I want it! A sweet charming cozy little white adobe box with a huge yard filled with dirt and weeds and quince trees, and an adobe wall around it that has rounded corners and all sorts of curved archways, and a turquoise-blue door. Yes. Adobe. Some day, somehow, I must make it mine.
Did I mention that my father is the strongest man on earth? Yesterday at the playground he did a high bar routine that would make your triceps quiver with envy. Yet despite his Atlas-like powers, he still needs a bossy, mountainous bull of a woman to beat him up and run his life for him. Because he’s used to it; my family has always been run by powerful, smart, overbearing matriarchs. Because, if you never learn anything else about my family, hear this: we’re hippies, hippies, fabulous, mother-lovin’ hippies.
So, if you were a dwelling, what kind would you be?