Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Bacanale

My friend and true love Lin did not find my love true enough. One night, he said it was over. We flipped a coin for the apartment. I lost. I found a wondeful little hidden away studio which I called the Neo-Cappadocian Residence. I painted it. I built a beautiful Japanese garden. The telephone at work rang for me: my daughter had accused her mother of child abuse; could she live with me? Yes, of couse, I'm on my way to pick her up. The same day Lin said could we get back together. Life is so seldom simple.

There was not enough room for three in either the Neo-Cappadocian hideaway nor the coin-toss one-bedroom on Don Diego. We rented a place on Baca. The fence in the picture above has been added since we lived there. It was an old rambly hand-built adobe, put together as children were added to the family. Lin had his piano studio in what had been the girl's wing. We slept in the parent's room. Rachel had the two rooms that had been the boys'. Alas, it was too wonderful a place, and it soon became where the Bad Boys preferred to hang out. I loved it. Lin hated it. He moved out. Two other Bad Boys moved in. Rachel had a complex parenting while she was at Santa Fe High School. We quickly came to call it the Bacanale.

Life at the Bacanale was rather wonderful. It became a rather famous place. Some days I would come home to find dinner being cooked by total strangers who had dropped in to share the mystic faeriness. Usually beautiful strangers, usually good cooks. The night of Bill Clinton's inauguration, one of the Bad Boys took off all his clothes, put all our wood in the stove, and danced in (premature) victory celebfation. We made a donation to Open Hands, a local charity, and they gave us several tons of clothes which had been donated to their thrift shop but for which they had no room. We could dress-up with no repetitions. We were given a flat-bed trailor-full of largely titanium waste from Sandia Labs for a post-industrial-wasteland-themed halloween party we put on at the Design Center to raise money for something or another. We had a give away of the clothes when we moved out. There were a lot of children's clothes, which were very appreciated. The titanium we gave to a young woman who was a sculptor. (Your tax dollars at work.)

Life at the Bacanale could also be trying. Because the Bad Boys considered it their club house, it was hard to claim it as our home.  We tried to have closed nights, but that just made people mad. There were some Bad Boys who thought they should be exempt. The land lords were horrifying examples of Northern New Mexican Hispanic Catholic Family Values at their worse. The property was in a trust for three children, a daughter with whom we had dealt, and her two brothers who thought a woman should have no say. The brothers also expected us to maintain the whole property--there's a bit of open land on the side not shown in the photo--but not use it. One Easter we were celebrating the Resurrection in the side garden when one of the brothers drove by. He began harassing us. He had already told us we shouldn't have put the clothes in the barn. The lease said nothing about restrictions. I was embarassed to call the sister on Easter morning to say if her bro ceased not and desisted, we would be out of there. He ceased.

Life at the Bacanale was entirely the sort of surprising episode which makes me glad life turns out in ways I hadn't planned. I could never have planned it. Certainly it was an episode which was difficult for Lin, although P. and I did arrange for him to get back to the coin-toss apartment, eventually. It was the only place I've lived which was photographed for the newspapers: Pasatiempo did a big spread about us; I was on the cover, wearing one of the frocks from the barn.

I left the Bacanale for a meander, having bought a Suburban with the money from some artsy-fartsy stuff I made, and took a vacation to the Ozarks. Rachel finished high school at a boarding school in Connecticut. David, one of the room mates, moved to Hawaii to practice Hinduism. (He had had us reading big chunks of the Mahabharata on Sunday afternoons.) P. moved into a much smaller place, where I would join him after my meander.  The Bad Boys were never again so Bad as we had been on Baca Street.

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