From the time Johnny and I got together in 2012 we spent our dutifully-spaced nights together at my mother’s house where I lived, with occasional overnights at friends’ houses when we played an out-of-town gig or went to a party far from home.

In December 2012 we made our one and only appearance as a couple at Camp Harmony, a multi-day New Year’s camp-out put on by the San Francisco Folk Music Club. I had been a club member for decades and often spent five days at camp in late December and early January.

One of the features of Camp Harmony was a swing dance or rock and roll dance that took place in a rotation of contra dances, French dances and other dances during the week. In 2012 somehow I got wind of the fact that some of the people who had traditionally led, managed and played for the Swing Dance would not be attending camp. This gave Johnny an opportunity to put himself forward as the bandleader/organizer for a Rock and Roll Dance (I wanted Johnny to go to camp with me and I knew it would sweeten the pot if he got to bring his Telecaster and amp and lead the band, a volunteer group of musicians — you never knew who would show up to play keyboards or bass, to sing back-up, to lead a song).

Johnny corresponded with the powers that be, collectively known as Ralph, and convinced them to give him a try. He hired his friend Sunnia Eastwood to bring us and our gear to camp. I gave him a rundown on how camp usually functioned. We bunked in a cabin with friends from the Ballad group and Joe Offer from the Mudcat Cafe, who had been a kitchen crew buddy of mine in years past.

Johnny threw himself into the job of managing the rock and roll band, as he always did, recruiting players he knew that were on site. I don’t remember too much about the actual dance except that Bob Reid and Art Peterson sang back-up parts on “The Weight” and Johnny and I reprised our duet on Springsteen’s “Fire.” People danced and sang and played and Johnny helped people have a good time and kept things moving.

Sunnia came to pick us up from camp after our two nights there. She was to take us to another party for the night, but just as we left camp we got into a car accident. Air bags deployed, gear moved about, and all three of us got thrown around and battered. Johnny’s friend Dale came to get us, to take us to his house for his party and to bring us back to camp the next day. At that point, my long-time friend Deborah, who was leaving camp to attend a choir rehearsal, offered to drive Johnny and me back to Kensington. I called ahead to tell Mom we had been in an accident and were shaken up and she kindly allowed us to stay the night on New Year’s Eve, the night before her birthday.

We did not stay up until midnight to ring in the New Year: I retreated to the bathtub to soak my bruises and scrapes from the accident after setting Johnny up at my computer to check his email. We did, however, begin to talk about the coming year, during which we planned to move in together. I thought I would move during the summer after I got back from a meditation retreat in France, while Johnny advocated for my moving in in February, our mutual birth month. I pointed out that, although I had been to his house, usually for rehearsals, that I had never seen the bedroom or stayed overnight there: whenever I had been to Marcella St. the door to the bedroom was closed and I had taken to referring to it as “The Forbidden Zone.” He assured me, as he often did, “Soon come,” saying he thought the bedroom would be ready for me to visit in February 2013. I didn’t think I would be able to begin visiting and move in the same month — we had Valentine’s Day and two birthdays to celebrate, there was a President’s Day holiday as well, and it was the shortest month of the year besides. It turned out that neither of our predictions were correct: it would be January 2014 before I moved to Johnny’s house.