I went to work, missed an appointment
with the dentist
, and then for the hell of it decided to bike (1 hour each way) to New Hope
. I considered visiting Odette's, as I thought I remembered it from JohnnyGoodyear
's writeup here
. I decided not to, as I couldn't really justify paying that much for food by myself, which is just as well, because rechecking it, he was talking about Martine's, anyway.
But that's not what I'm here to talk about.
Since I came back from college, in the absence of anything better to do, I've been hanging out in the center of town a bit. It's a town of around 25,000 people, and there's not much else to do, so I'm not the only one with the idea. There's a parking lot behind this newsstand/bookstore, next to the local Starbucks, that's essentially host to a floating youth community. Having established a claim over the past few years, the police don't hassle them too much, and the local merchants seem kind of ambivalent - for staying out there so long, they don't really buy much, but on the other hand, doesn't "downtown revitalization" sort of imply, well, downtown life? In any case, it's here that I witnessed one thing which has renewed my faith in humanity.
It's 2002, and there are still kids living in a VW bus.
To be technical, it's a T2 camper, white and green, spare tire and rust on the front. Two girls live in the van. One is the archetypal cute white girl with dreadlocks, and the other, between the flowing skirts and the loose, white peasant blouses looked like she wandered in from the nearest Renaissance faire. Just from looking at them, you know they're gentle people.
They just park it in the lot, put the camper top up, and live. They hold court in there, run out giggling when someone they know comes by. They play music in there. They sleep in there. They make love in there. Sometimes you'd see them rolling around inside together, sometimes a third would join them. Yeah, they smoke pot; we all do. Like I said, there's nothing else to do. It just goes that much further to perfecting the image.
Every now and then, there's someone you'd never seen before driving the van. And that's OK. These people are cool too. We trust them.
I haven't learned their names, haven't even talked to them (but hey, there's a whole summer yet for that). Just watched them play out their lives, while I lean against the bookstore wall, taking in the secondhand smoke.
Last night, the police came and kicked them out. Two cars, flashlights, the whole deal. I saw it from just down the street. This doesn't really get to me too much – it appears they just told them to move, and the parking lot is directly in front of the police station, so they were kinda tempting fate. I don't know where they put it at night now, but they still show up during the day.
And after all, that's all I need to know. They're out there. The world is all right.