There are two people someone might refer to as “hipsters” posted up directly in front of me. I saw them at the coffee shop earlier, her in a pair of baggy, split-legged pants, a black top with plunging neckline, long, un-blowdried hair twisted up into a loose bun on top of her head. And he in a fedora, a bird’s feather tucked into one side, baggy, cloth pants, and deeply sun-tanned skin. They both sat and typed away on their shiny laptops, no doubt working away at freelance or remote jobs, their only connection to the real world.
Now, as I sit on this bench in the shade, they chatter in their—yes, you guessed it—van about what to do next (go to the post office, to the grocery store, or back into the cafe, where the “wifi wasn’t that great”), I find myself irritated.
I’m irritated by their attire, their looks, the impression they’re trying so hard to create. I’m irritated at their stereotypical van , crammed with boxes and crates of what is likely their only belongings, irritated at their perceived lifestyle, worn so loudly and boldly in their clothes, their hair, their conversation.
Why does this irritate me so? Is it because I once imagined myself living like them—road warriors, detached from the trappings of conventional society, self-employed, free? Is it because the dream blew up in an explosion of bad decisions, bad luck, and financial devastation?
Is it that I no longer trust this idea of freedom, of an alternative to the conventional, because I couldn’t make it work? I’m embittered, that’s the problem, and my bitterness is like a poison seeping out of my skin to coat the impressions of others, to steal their happiness away and replace it with a sheen of falsity. I am a scorned and scornful woman, slapped firmly in the face by this world, and the blow still stings.