When I was falling in love with J, I was also becoming an anarchist. It was a heady combination. I felt that life as I knew it was breaking apart, exposing something infinitely more wonderful.
One of the first things we did together was travel to Washington D.C. to protest the IMF. This was one of those protests that you hear about in the news and the reporters are always saying, "the protesters' message was unclear." To anarchists, this media cliche is both a conspiracy and a big joke. The joke is that to us the message is clear, obvious, and constant: stop being such fuckers. Another world is possible.
But which world?
At this event we were arrested and held without charge for over twenty-four hours, along with hundreds of other peaceful protesters. A funny thing about this is that now, almost nine years later, a class-action lawsuit has gone through against the D.C. police. The officers who arrested us on one of our first dates us have now helped to pay for the home we needed to close on so we could move in in time for our second child to be born in the kitchen, anarchist style. At the time, though, it wasn't nearly so funny.
Besides being wrongfully arrested, we also met a Mormon punk named Kermit who followed us home and started living in our house. He was crazy and a huge mooch, but also kind of charming in a classic punk-with-a-fake-British-accent way. He was always playing the guitar and singing an improvisational song called "My Father is a Colonial Imperialist (and Here Are the Reasons Why)."
Kermit was always chasing various women, and at one point he actually got a high-school punk girlfriend who came over to our house with her friend, who was a film-making student. She was fascinated by all of us. She told us that she would like to make a film about our lifestyle. "What lifestyle?" we asked. "You know, the dumpster diving and...everything. The whole lifestyle," she said.
I'm not sure how to tie this together, but I think it has to do with some of the disenfranchisement that I often feel. To me we live the normal way (or at least a normal way). I don't really get why other people are the way they are. And yet, for some reason, we are the ones who have a "lifestyle", and our message is perpetually unclear.