Step 1: Those short-sleeved faux-flannel shirts with the poppable buttons. Acquire several.
Step 2: Skim read Alan Lomax’s Wikipedia article.
Step 3: Find an old-time music jam sesh at a coffee shop in a gentrified neighborhood and chainsmoke American Best outside.
Step 4: Love, bed and leave at least three women who wear braided ponytails and use Mooncups.
Step 5: Pretend to shop at the local farmer’s market. Maybe buy some blueberries if you get a hankering.
Step 6: Take a hike. Or, more precisely, hide in the bushes near the end of a trail until dusk, and then come out with a beatific smile on.
Step 7: Memorize the shortest poem by Walt Whitman you can find.*
Step 8: Brew a cup of coffee over a campfire once – no combination of Netflix subscription and Jimmy John’s delivery boy can ever take that from you.
Step 9: Get a relative or a really understanding friend to drop you off a half-mile outside a music festival, and then walk the rest of the way in so it looks like you hitchhiked the entire time.
Step 10: Trip mushrooms in a rocking chair and try not to think about the many earthly sorrows your dear old grandmother endured.
Step 11: Crossroads. Midnight. Bring a copy of your birth certificate in case the devil is real.
Step 12: Buy a harmonica. Put it to your lips and blow. That’s the sound of a thousand hobo camps and a hundred wildcat strikes and a dozen hillside funerals and one child laborer’s tiny arthritic hands.
*”I Dream’d in a Dream” is fairly manageable. And that poem uses the phrase robust love, which might remind hipster girls they haven’t been let down by a guy in Bob Dylan boots lately.
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