With apologies to the Beatles, the Federation of Egalitarian Communities, and the state of Vermont.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Chapter Four: They Talk and They Work

   "Luna Lagoon checked around the commune, only to find issues tribal..."

Things were pretty loose at the beginning.  They didn't seem to need a lot of policies and regulations.  Most of the folks got along with each other.

And the arrangements they had with each other were pretty loose as well.  It turned out that Luna had been sleeping with Nancy.  And Sal. And Dan.  And Dan had been sleeping with Stan. And Sal. And Nancy.  And Sal and Nancy were still sleeping together occasionally. And there were rumors about Stan and Sal.  About the only one who wasn't changing beds regularly was Cat--at least as far as most people knew.

And then things got really messy when Ralph and Ed came to visit, and Ed found Ralph and Stan cuddled up together.

But there were actually very few problems with romantic jealousy on the commune.  (Except maybe for Ed's threats to make Ralph actually listen to Stan for an hour.)

Instead, people were complaining about who was snoring, who left the windows open, who left the dishes in the sink, and who didn't clean the bathroom.

"I cleaned!  Last week!  I think!" said Stan.

It was their second ever community meeting. They just had decided to do them every other week while they were getting going.  This one was held in the living room of the middle farmhouse.  It was the biggest room on the place and could have held another six people easily.  Which was sort of the point.

Nancy was facilitating.   She was doing pretty well considering the number of people who were yelling.

"Well, somebody left a mess," Luna fumed.

"It was one of the men," insisted Sal.  "I know it."

"And just how do you know it?" Dan declaimed.  He put his hands on his hips and glared.

Cat appeared to be trying to disappear into the wallpaper.

Nancy raised her hands.  "Let's take a minute of silence," she said.  She got dirty looks from almost everyone, but there was nearly two minutes of silence before anyone spoke again.

"Look," Luna said finally.  "I'm sorry I lost my temper."

"Me, too," said Dan.  "I know I was getting defensive."

"I'm sorry, too!" said Stan.  "Really!"

"Well, I'm not," Sal said sternly.  "The bathroom is still a mess and I want to find out who's responsible."

Immediately the meeting re-erupted into chaos.  Sal, Luna, Dan, and Stan were all yelling, Nancy was waving her hands, and Cat seemed to be inching toward the door.  The meeting lasted into the night.

   "This earful it seems, disrupted their dreams..."

The next day, people tried to get back to their routines.  There was lots to do.

Nancy and Cat were in the kitchen baking.  Nancy was preparing a sweet dough for the loaf pans; Cat was testing how well done the cupcakes were with a knife.

"Well, that was a healthy meeting," Nancy said.

Cat stopped, knife still in the air.  "What do you mean?"

"Everybody got a chance to air their feelings.  I'm sure everyone feels better now."

Cat stabbed the cupcake until it crumbled.

Out in the fields, Luna and Dan were checking on the growing veggies.

"Looks like we'll have a lot of kale," Luna said.

"And zucchini," Dan replied.

"Oh, yeah," Luna said, tugging on her hair.  "Lots."  She stopped and thought a moment.  "Ya know, I don't think that starting a commune is going to be as easy as they said in the brochures."

"Did they say it was going to be easy?" Dan asked.

"Well, not exactly.  But I didn't think it was going to be this hard. I wonder if we need to do more concentrating in the meetings."  Luna  sighed and kicked a rock out of the soil.  She looked beyond the two fields they had cleared.  "Maybe we should plant some berries and trees over there.  I've heard you're s'posed to do that if you're doing Protoculture."

"What about the commune building?"

Luna kept looking at the fields.  "It will happen.  It will. Somehow. I know it."

Back in the main building, Sal and Stan were cleaning the bathroom.  Together. Sort of.

"You missed a spot," said Sal.

"Oops!" said Stan.

Sal looked at the ceiling and counted to ten in her mind.  "Why did I think you'd be a good person to live in a commune with?" she mused.

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