New Myth #8: Che-Lou's Black Bricks & the First Supper by Willi Paul
Out thru the Cave Door
Che-Lou never had a solid sense of direction, his internal compass shows counter-clock wise. Living in the basement of a skeletonized downtown parking garage wasn't helping his view either. Skylights? Never gonna happen. Underground, it is dark to shadows, 24/7. This is his cave. The lay-out starts with the drive-way down, into two sub-floors. A rusting steel frame-surround-skeleton cage above.
A San Jose techie turned community permie press man. A peeling metal & wood printing press from another Century was lifted from a water-logged 17th Street warehouse. In 2045, fresh paper is endangered.
After the gas wars, which we all lost; after the final cars and jets crumpled and the SF Bay flooded then lost to hydro thieves; after the suicide of the corporate grid and the re-birth of the windmill on the parcel above him, catastrophes galore overwhelmed Oakland and sank the rest of the Bay coast that depended on the goods and services it once provided.
The temporary construction fence around his parcel has come in handy. Che-Lou has to untangle and release harried climbers often in his barbed wire. The place is a post-urban treasure, a permaculture drive-by spectacle where the burning man tribes circle him with nation-sized hunger.
These transparent strangers & neighbors alike come gawking to his compound daily, their flakey belly laughs & hungry smiles desperate for the "dirt."
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Re-Use Anything Man
Che-Lou steals aircraft aluminum, plastic jugs, dishes - anything he might need to keep the "farm" twirling, late at night, with his home-made three wheel bicycle and a crinkly two-wheel trailer. There are no street lights or cops so a bike light would make him easy prey for roving residents.
Here is his permaculture-rigged system that keeps him fed, bathed and high on the community barter totem (see graphic).
Che-Lou's Green Machine -
- powers multiple battery power source
- pumped up from SF Bay Aquifer by wind mill
Grey Water System
- secondary water system that re-uses water from crops in greenhouses and sub-grade cooking & bathing for the air purification machine
- re-furbished multi-battery array collects and stores power derived from wind mill
Air Purification Machine
- purified air supply for green houses and sub-grade quarters, unfiltered residue is the printing press ink; processed residue is the highly prized gold soil extractant
Green Houses (2)
- air tight space capsules for food production, seed propagation and fruit ripening
- garden soil helper combined from meal scraps and garden pruning
-final nutrient extractant from air purification process, rich in nutrients
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The 37' goodwill wind mill swirls, scoops and directs concentrated dirty air from the East Bay Tribal zone into the interconnected bowels of Che-Lou's Air Purification Machine. Grey water circulates and filters the air, powered by the battery house. Che-Lou cleans the unfiltered residue from wing #5 to make printing ink for the community paper.
At the base of wing #6 the so-called gold soil dumps out of the system at the rate of 2 cups per day. A super compost and a highly prized eco-alchemic stew by the gardeners around him, Che-Lou forms bricks of this material for the local barter fairies and coop groceries in Berkeley and SF. He also makes extra barter by charging folks batteries through a special station in the corner of the compound.
Here "sustainability" is secured only with a high barb-wire fence and a slow electrical drip. Sacred... just a memory.
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The First Supper
The rag tag survivors of the Costco take-overs and Nature disasters try to gather at a former playground down the street from the gold soil compound. The steel pole equipment is long gone, stolen for tee-pees and other re-use projects. Somebody tagged the dinner and the barter gig "The First Supper" after a dusty Christian story - long forgotten by 99% of the territory. Food is prepared and shared, blankets made and bartered. Che-Lou gives out his black bricks and gets whatever he can in return. No one eats animals anymore. Prized for fur or milk, the last mammals of the Bay Area are highly protected, almost God-like.
A seed exchange and circle group meditation complete the First Supper gig each week - a faint rainbow community ritual, blessed and propelled by a kind of bruised pagan dream.
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