Raised to perpetuate the middle class acceptance of status quo, I revolted, quit school, travelled to Italy, met the artist and dancer Vali Myers in a mountain hut, and absorbed the life lesson that the human spirit can soar.
Carole joined me on this voyage, and then “He” became “They.” The most important decision in my life. Having a partner on the road of what is, by all accounts, a difficult journey, was for me the key to our success. She made the bowls, and I filled them with soup. The core value that sustained us was the understanding that partners are required, and they have to be flexible and adaptive.
Adaptation is going to be the key to success at a time when the foundations of all that we have taken for granted are now subject to radical change. Old school—and old schools—are not going to cut it. Our success, defined as being in control of our own destiny and free of the chains of the master-slave relationship, was to gather financial independence as quickly as we could. Independence is acquired when you can cover the nut. The “nut” refers to those basic life support needs of shelter, warmth, and nutrition. We worked hard and saved everything when we were young and wage earners, so that we could choose when and where and with whom we could play out our future. We earned “fuck-you“ money, invested it wisely, so that when the interest or the need required to develop the next opportunity, we were free to adapt to our new situation.
If I were starting out again, I would accept the fact that where I choose to live, and with whom, is more important than “what am I going to do for a living.” I would go where I had a chance to build life-support networks on infrastructure that was in place but forsaken—rust-belt cities qualify. I would shun all and every temptation to be hip or on a scene and be busy making our own. I would join a gang.