Over the last several years I’ve talked with punks who would work on organic farms through the summer, and I listened to their tales of farm life. I’ve since met people who have gone further with that desire to leave the cities and all the trappings of the modern world. Some have gone to work on farms, some just left the city for smaller communities, and there are those who made the leap and are truly living off the grid.
Over the next several weeks we will feature some of their stories. Here it Gretchen’s.
Escaping the Cesspool
By Gretchen Fawkette
What’s so punk about living in the bush? Sitting around twiddling your thumbs in isolation. The city is where the fun is. It’s where the action is. There’s shows, bike rides, dumpsters, Food Not Bombs, people to bum change off of, people who share your ideologies about Anarchism, Feminism or Equality, plus there’s lots and lots of punks.
On the other side, there’s also cops, yuppies, pollution, gentrification, drug problems, cops, pavement, landlords, garbage, and way too many cops. And if these things start to get you down, you can just drink your worries away. And if shit gets hairy you can always take to the rails, blast through some nice scenery and go hang out in another city for a while.
That’s what I did. It’s all I knew. Where I grew up, Nashville, I just saw the country as full of deliverance-style rednecks and meth labs. Why would I ever go there? And when I escaped that place I just travelled from city to city. Sometimes I would settle down for a bit, but soon enough I would get itchy feet and have to take off again. Rural living for me was living on a train for 3 days as I went from Minneapolis to Seattle.
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