So I am sitting around the commune in Denver, all loose ends and lonely, when suddenly I remember Peter back in Vermont. I think to myself, even though he is pretty awful at least he is familiar. Maybe I owe it to Caitlin to give him another chance. I look over at Caitlin and think, maybe I should call him and invite him to Denver. So I do.
And this is the first best thing that Peter ever does, the second best thing happens years later. He actually quits school, says goodbye to his friends and hitchhikes to Denver. It takes him some time to tie up loose ends and make his way across the country, but three weeks after my telephone call he walks into the room that Caitlin and I live in and throws his backpack on the floor.
Peter and I decide to move on to California so we load up the VW bus again and take off. He doesn’t yell at me for stealing his record collection, just mentions it wistfully, although I admit I had been nervous about what he might say. This turns out to be another convenient part of dealing with hippies, it isn’t socially acceptable to be too attached to material possessions.
When we get to San Francisco, we rent a room in a communal house in Haight Ashbury and I apply for welfare with Caitlin while Peter waits around the corner. We sell the VW bus for a lot of money, more than we paid in Vermont, because they are at a premium on the West Coast. Everyone wants one so that they can be psychedelic nomads like us.
The communal apartment isn’t a real commune, more like a rooming house, nobody knows anyone else ahead of time. We share a bathroom and kitchen, but each person or family has a separate room and just pays a portion of the rent and utilities. When we arrive, the residents are Joanne, her little boy who is Caitlin’s age and her dog Loopie, Douglas the astrologer and his girlfriend Susie, David and Sherry and their baby, and Stephen. Loopie gets his name because he can do a back flip.