So the story goes: Joe was a big attraction when he first came to Floyd. He came from D.C. to be teacher at our independent Blue Mountain School, where my sons went and where I taught a weekly creative writing class. The first time I saw him was at a community gathering for Harmonic Convergence in Riner. I decided not to fight for a place in line to meet him. ‘He’s green but has nice energy,’ I thought.
I actually met him at the laundry mat. Isn’t there a song for that? He was tie-dying shirts with a couple of Blue Mountain parent-friends to sell at a Dead show for a school fundraiser. I had been picking apples from a tree on the side of the road and came in to say hello. He still talks about how enthusiastic I was about my trunk full of foraging and the apple crisp I was going to make. We talked and I remember being impressed.
The next thing that happened was a kind of like a scene in a movie. We bumped into each other on the stairs at the school, and whatever I was holding onto at the time tumbled to the floor. It was November and I had heard that he was looking for a place to rent for the winter. I had recently left a marriage, rented a big old farmhouse and took in roommates: women. One of my roommates had just moved out. I wasn’t interested in male roommates at the time, but when we collided, I heard myself say, “I have a room to rent. You should come by and see it.” He did.
So, we were roommates. We liked each other. Sat close on the couch. But he was young and I had two young children. Then, I had a sensual dream about him washing my hair at the sink. Hmmmm. A couple of weeks later, the dream came true. It happened while I was in our friend Karl’s wood-fired tub at Woodsong Farm (this was Floyd in ‘87, don’t ask). The steam from the bath was rising and the night stars were sparkling. “Can I kiss you?’ he asked after washing my hair. “How about we kiss each other?’ was my answer.