I find LA uninspiring, perhaps because I find no one like me; I only really feel comfortable with people living on the streets, trying to survive. If I want to survive in the city I am going to have to go out and find a job doing something other than who and what I am, so I have decided to leave LA and move to Slab City, a dwelling place known as the last free community in America. I have to admit, since coming here in November, I have made little progress in my attempts to ingratiate myself into society; I have not made much money and even fewer friends—there is a loneliness in this city where no one seems to talk to each other, which is worse than being alone. The only advantage of being alone in a city is you are alone with a lot of other people who are also alone.
Because the novel I just finished has the subtitle of The Book of Life and I am going to soon start on the last of the trilogy with a subtitle The Book of Death I began exploring the possibilities of living in Death Valley for the winter. It was in my search that I came upon Slab City, a abandoned military base with slabs of concrete throughout. The government has actually ceded the land to the people who dwell there in an anarchistic revelry of artist mob rule. I need to go there before I go crazy. The living is hard at the southern edge of the rotting Salten Sea about twenty miles from Mexico. The weather fluctuates between 120 in the summer and 20 in the winter. It will probably kill me but I would rather die sooner living free in an inhospitable terrain than the insipid false security of city.
I long for a place where people talk to one another instead of conducting life through the entrails of atoms entertaining the brain. The furthest away place I can find is this desolate forsaken land off the grid and almost out of the world where people do art and writers write books. Sure there are rattlers, scorpions and tarantulas but there are also people looking to be free and creative. Though there is a mound called Salvation Hill with a cross on the top and a artists district called East Jesus, there is nothing religious about Slab City; on the contrary, there are no laws and no government—just people living together day by day.
Though I have never been there, my way is to set my sights on a destination and then go there. I will find out then, after I arrive if this is a harsh paradise or just a harsh place or maybe somewhere in between. I have always felt as a writer the necessity of movement, changing environments so life does not become rote. Life is a story and I am about to start a new chapter.