Even though I haven't seen Caitlin for at least six years, I still claim her stories as my favourites, and retell them as my own.
One such story is of the summer she was learning Somali in Athens, Ohio. She had two housemates: I'll call them The Survivalist and The Fruitarian:
The Survivalist did interesting things like build stoves outside, hunt squirrels for meat, and make his own clothes out of fabric he wove. He wanted to live as though he was in eighteenth century Britain, I believe. I felt sorry for the unwitting squirrels.
The Fruitarian always looked like she was going to collapse dead from lack of nutrients. She only ate things that had died, and was a raw foodist I believe. At the same time, only eating things that had already died limited things quite a bit. She could only eat fruit that had already fallen and got all eaten by bugs, basically. She did try to sprout stuff, which doesn't seem totally consistent-- sprouts are totally living.
I would laugh a lot at the stories she told-- given that Caitlin is a good mix of hippy crunchy and practical herself-- but found The Fruitarian, at least, almost impossible to live with. Recently, I was thinking about the two roommates, and realized that, rather than mocking (which had been my original motive, I think), I had some admiration mixed in. There are probably many things that they did that I'd be excited to do. Yay roommates for being radical! Which made me wonder if I've become the Crazy Housemate.
I'm going to say that I'm not, because I recognize and own the fact that my life demands the death of at least some living creatures (be they plants or animals- hopefully fewer animals). The dead squirrels are another line, though I have a lot of admiration for The Survivalist. Perhaps that, together with the poor health of The Fruitarian, is the indication that she crossed an invisible line that I hope not to cross. But there are plenty of other lines I've crossed. Any lines you're toying with crossing, or have crossed?