I don’t actually hate hipsters. The thing is, I kind of envy them. I would give anything to be one of them, but my parents aren’t rich enough, and I can’t conform enough to their individuality. Every time I go back home I’m reminded of how inferior I am. No matter how tight my pants are, or how genuine my cold disdain for humanity is it must shine through that I still thing The Black Keys are cool, that I work, and not at an approved profession, (I was unable to score the position of telepathically taking patrons orders at the local vegan brunch nook) or that I unironically think the Belushi Brothers are funny.
The last time I was home I was determined to get invited to one of their awesome, drug-filled snobfests. I hadn’t realized how bad the hipster epidemic had spread since I’d last been back, but I could almost make out the sneers as I walked down LoJo, as lower Johnson Street has now been renamed. I wasn’t off to a good start, especially since it was impossible to make eye contact with any of them. I checked to make sure I hadn’t accidentally worn my Gap sweatshirt by accident. I quickly realized I needed a little assistance if I were to make any progress on my way to hipsterdom.
Many Canadians associate the west coast with granola munching, pot-smoking, mountain trekkers, that and Asians. In Victoria, the hippies still reign, and not the burnt-out zombies roaming Height and Ashbury, leather belts permanently embedded in their skulls since 1962. These are hippies 2.0. They may not have a war to protest or anyone shunning them for their long hair, although their habit of not bathing does provide them a wide berth, but they still profess ideals of living off the land, AKA not working, free love, although perhaps with a little added protection, and drugs. Therein lay my connection. Alcohol is said to bring people together, but as far as hippies and hipsters are concerned, it’s drugs. I have a few hippie friends left back home, some of my friends would even consider me a bit of a hippie, but I failed to pass the crystal healing test, so I don’t qualify. Nevertheless, I still managed to get myself invited to a Cosmic Caravan Carnival. Before going I made sure to down a bottle of raspberry vodka, which I shared with some Swedish exchange students down by the harbor, but I was still relying on obtaining something in the stalls to keep me going through the night. I can only feign enthusiasm for electronic music unassisted for so long, let alone the accompanying spastic dance moves. After ingesting some organic shit labeled Scooby Snacks I was beginning to have doubts about the success of my night. I had trouble convincing myself that the ginseng and honey were eventually going to start to kicking in. It didn’t help matters when the friend who I had come with, and whose house I was expecting to crash at, started making arrangements with several of the girls gathered around him. They were obviously attracted to this free spirit, who wasn’t even letting the frigid weather stop him from baring his chest, with only a thin layer of sequins and feathers to protect him from the elements. When I realized that I wasn’t going to fit into his plans for the evening, I stood awkwardly between the crowds of multi-colored folks, feeling as out of places as I always did in my hometown. I weighed my options, I could find a park bench, preferably away from the addicts, to rest until the first morning bus, or I could finally find out how long it would actually take to walk home from the city to the suburbs, my estimate being between 2 and 7 hours. That’s when a mustachioed boy approached me. He was wearing a coonskin cap, with a long feather earing dangling from one ear and the signature painted-on red pants. It was just a relief to finally have someone to talk to. He then proceeded to invite me to this after party that I had heard the others talking about as being impossible to get in to because it was sold out. As we started making our way, accompanied by his equally fabulously dressed posse, he pulled out a pill case and invited me to have my pick. I couldn’t believe my luck, and should have realized that he had ulterior motives for me, but I still had at least 6 hours to while away until dawn.
I had heard of this Sunset Lounge before, it was Victoria’s only after hours club, and it’s the closest we could get to a rave scene. Alternative seems like a half-ass way of describing it, just like calling someone who meditates occasionally, ‘spiritual,’ but I fail to find a way to sum up nicely the crowd I encountered there. That night I got invited to a swinger’s party, was confronted for advice on how to get rid of constipation in the toilet and given a pair of angel wings to accompany my flower child dance, which was finally accepted as a perfectly reasonable form of dancing.
Throughout the night my new friend kept a constant check on me and repeatedly told me how much he and his girlfriend liked me. I should have known something was up, but I really did need a place to stay, and they seemed nice enough kids. The girlfriend seemed even innocent of the fact that her nipples were clearly visible through her white lace top.
Back at their place, after showing me a trapeze they had constructed for their acrobat act and feeding me some gluten-free cake and an herbal energy tincture, the girl began to set up a bed for me in the living room. The boy chirped in that that wouldn’t be necessary, as I would be sharing their bed with them. I received this news as naively as possible. Perhaps they wanted to continue our discussion on how best to raise a captive monkey, or maybe they were just trying to lower the cost of heating by sharing body warmth. As we snuggled into bed I was informed that they had chosen me because I was special. I wasn’t sure if I should have felt flattered or insulted that they would think I was that easy. I wondered what sort of vibe I was giving off that they would perceive me this way. Was it my kinky hair or the curious owl tattooed on my back?
The next morning, as I made my way to the bus stop, I realized that maybe I didn’t quite belong with the hippies or the hipsters. Maybe it was all just part of another passing trend, like the emos and goths, and all I had to do was wait a little while and make sure to catch the next one early. Hopefully the next fad would harken back to the puritanical days of the early settlers, with laced up collars and proposals before kissing, and maybe by the time it rolled along I would realize that I was getting too old for this shit.