Perhaps my life has been random.
Or it could be that every step has been planned.
Why did I extemporaneously quit dental school?
If the stars were different or the sun out that day
maybe I would have stayed.
Calling Mike from the battered, graffiti covered pay phone
and asking if I could join his commune.
The subsequent call to my mother who understood my quitting
dental school but asked that I not join one of those hippie communes.
Mike helping me move in and then finding that I had to be voted in.
The questions and answers in front of the group.
How did I feel about group nudity was a tough one.
The celebratory joints when I was accepted.
The joyous jaunts to second hand stores to buy old rugs and furniture.
The nine-bedroom house for $350 per month rent in Philly’s fashionable Main Line
that was only so cheap because it awaited demolition to become apartments.
The landlord who said we could do whatever we want with the home.
All of this in stark contrast to any other alternative that I faced on that
dark and rainy day in a run down section of North Philly.
There was laughter and creativity and talk about changing the world.
For me it was a pause in my hyped up engine of having to be somebody.
A time to regroup and realize that everything ahead didn’t need to be planned
when you are twenty two.
I gained the strength in that group to then be alone.
And after a seven thousand mile hitching adventure that became the rest of my life
I found a place where the rain wasn’t depressing and a vocation that
captured my fancy and the just right partner for the rest of my life.
All because I was smart enough to know I needed a group to make me
realize that I could be alone which I needed to understand before I could clearly see.