Sebastopol, California


Born Maia Perizzolo, she shortened her name to Mai legally when she married Rick. Classic Gen-X’er, she was born in 1972 to hippie parents enrolled at Cal Berkeley who then migrated with the back-to-the-land movement to the Northern California idyll of Sonoma County. She grew up in a geodesic dome her parents built from recycled beams and hand-hewed redwood, with solar-powered lights and a composting toilet. The commune was a short drive from Sebastopol up Highway 12 in the Redwoods, called New World Utopia. It attracted dreamy idealists from the city who wanted to get in touch with their inner wa—harmony and peacewith the help of a little LSD, plenty of pot, a couple of hot tubs, and free love. 

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Wounds of Attachment

Looking out the windows at the office or from the flat, the view was the same:  tall buildings in the distance smothered in a gray shroud, all familiar features hidden from view.  It's a dismal, freezing morning like all the rest when an email from her lands in his inbox.  Eagerly, he read each line and ran her JPEGs through a personal slide show, making Beijing seem less cold and nasty.  The city gradually emptied; the feeling of loneliness was almost unbearable.  People queued up for train tickets, cars mobbed the airport lanes.  Finally, it's his turn to leave the city.

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