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(Saphia walks away from the camera so that the image shifts from black to a view of a long dirt road amidst a field of transmission towers. The sound of cawing crows scores the scene.)
SAPHIA (V.O.): Interdependency sustains the life of the planet. That’s what bell hooks says in her chapter on communalism in Where We Stand: Class Matters. I’ll be honest—I’ve been dreading this chapter.
(Saphia stands in front of a wall made of wooden planks.)
SAPHIA (V.O.): Not because it’s not well-written or pithy or all the things bell hooks usually is—quite the opposite.
(Crows swarm in the sky, still cawing.)
SAPHIA (V.O.): It is precisely because she is so right—communalism is integral to communal liberation. Obviously. How are we to obtain liberation in community without…communalism? The only thing is…communalism terrifies me.
(Saphia strips a stalk of weeds as she walks on the dirt road.)
SAPHIA (V.O.): Now, if it wasn’t clear by the lack of supporting actors in these little slices of my life I’ve been showing you—I’m an introvert. And if the bell hooks fascination didn’t give it away, I was kind of raised…a hippie. Maybe not hippie, but definitely hippie-adjacent. Hippie enough to have been raised around enough honorary aunts and uncles with free-lovin’ spirits. And to no one’s surprise, many of them attempted the whole communalist-commune thing.
(Saphia now sits by a stream. She throws a rock into the water.)
SAPHIA (V.O.): One of my first jobs was babysitting at a summer communal living space. I took care of the children, who played in the dirt while their parents made up-cycled jewelry and cooked communal meals in the kitchen. And don’t get me wrong, I had a great time—but probably ’cause it wasn’t my house. No one was in my space. And one thing about me…I’m serious about my space.
(Saphia sits in front of the same wall made of wood planks.)
SAPHIA (V.O.): I don’t particularly like people in it unless they are inherently attuned to my particularities. But of course, since I was also raised in a Puerto Rican family, hospitality comes above all else.
(Crows fly across the sky, still cawing.)
SAPHIA (V.O.): So, I would never tell you what you can and cannot do in my home. But if you cross those imaginary lines, I will be pissed.
(Saphia is back on the dirt road, walking away from the camera.)
SAPHIA (V.O.): Now, I’m not saying this is healthy—far from it. I’m well aware it’s very unhealthy, and not to worry, I am currently seeking psychotherapeutic help. But my point is, at this particular point in my life…I don’t think I’m ready for communalism.
(Saphia disappears into the distance, a dot in the landscape. Fade to outro.)