We shared many of the same lifelong habits and insecurities, I learned.
But he wasn't a bleeding-heart Democrat, found my plan to volunteer in Namibia peculiar at best, and was unsettled by the idea of adopting older children, the only way I'd envisioned having a family.
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He showered infrequently and didn't wear shirts or shoes.
I sat with him at the hospital when his calluses became infected.He stayed with me one summer in the cramped studio I was renting in someone's backyard, and we spent our days smoking, playing music, going on long hikes with meat-free snacks in our daypacks and discussing how everyone but us, man, had strayed so far from the natural way.
We butted heads, but I still liked him a lot, and eventually I learned to stop taking his opinions so personally.
We spent more and more time together, mostly over Scrabble in my little apartment — Silicon Valley irritated me and I refused to drive there that often, so for a year he came to me — and then I was telling him I loved him.
I should back up and disclose that I'm not a hippie the way Mike was — personal hygiene is a priority for me — but I was born and raised in Northern California by two women, and I'm an idealist with laughably little ambition.