It’s happened. You reach that point where you look back at the past few months and wonder how it occurred? You were normally indulging in your morning caffeine hits of eggs and lattes, lunchtime sandwiches and meat laden roasts in the evenings. Water and the odd glass of wine were your menu of beverages and the closest thing to a beard you had was the rugged stubble of a 1-2 day growth that was kept in check with a regular shave and clipper just to hide the few grey hairs that were beginning to ‘freckle’ your pepper.
The next time you looked, you’ve let your beard grow to an indiscriminate length, you’re buying almond milk at the supermarket and even contemplated hair product for your facial hair and perhaps for the first time in 15 years, purchasing conditioner. And then the quantifying moment that clinches the discovery - your lunch box consists of chick peas and (god forbid I can barely bring myself to admit it) KALE! That ugly, fibrous, vegetable that strips away all senses of pretense that you are the good natured, well mannered, western suburbs grown lad with 1950’s moral fibre instilled in you from your Queen Elizabeth fearing mother. Instead this sanctimonious and self righteous cabbage infects your soul and reveals to you you that you are part of the mutton following herd groupie that is THE HIPSTER!
How did I get here? When did I fall from grace so far and so illogically? I mean, it’s a ‘superfood’ for god’s sake. That is usually the realm of the white linen, boho chique, crystal wearing crowd that resides in posh residences in slightly un-uber ghettos that struggle to free itself from the shackles of working class cottages whilst still retaining it’s blue collar makeshift appeal but maintaining an above average property return of 10% on the selling market.
I’ve always maintained that I have a fairly liberal approach to life. I mean, I do yoga, not the chanting kind that meditates and groans like a lion on heat with your tongue panting out – the power kind. That type that takes place in a hot room at 43 degrees and means I have to purchase extra light breathable skimpy shorts that show off the best parts of my legs as they rench sweat from my pores and make me do flashy headstands and power push ups with my arms in impossible positions. GYM YOGA! I’m hard core, power puff to the max, linen pants but easily changing into SKINS with my yoga mat secured to my back as I ride along on my fixie! OMG – I have a fixie! A fixed wheel bike that has no gears and means I have to keep pedalling at impossible speeds are work super hard just to get up a hill because I have no chance to change down a gear! It even has the shortened little handle bars on it and (oh dear I am gone) BLUE RIMMED FAT 25c TYRES!
But come on – I was a student. I did my time and had my days of being a vegan, only because it was the single financially viable option at the time. I only know how to make a good cauliflower curry because that really was the only vegetable left at the markets by the time I managed to get there after having my 5th morning latte at my run down ex-butcher-shop-come-café/music venue/art gallery and pondering the Arts Section of The Age and checking out which of my friend’s musical gigs is getting press at the moment. I was forced to restrict my diet and waste away to nothing so I could actually fit the child’s sizes at the vintage shop where they were selling my hemp clothing and let’s face it , the only way you can look good in hemp is to be impossibly thin and have the fabric cling to your exposed hip bones to accentuate that effortlessly cool ‘hanging out’ pose on the street corner.
My cooking partè was nothing to do with adjoining a movement that prided itself on being green. I was always interested in organic food. I didn't want to put chemicals in my mouth, on my face, in my hair or even wearing it in my clothes. And the only reason I put those tomatoes in the pots in the front balcony was because an Italian client of mine insisted that I had to try it with some biodynamic gardening advice with marigolds or some such flowers to get the aphids off.
Who stole my identity and turned it into a movement? I was quite happily going along being my unusual, non defined and atypical self when all of a sudden, I’m getting labelled as a groupie of a movement that won’t even allow itself to be named the movement that everybody is calling it? I mean of course, everyone was going to catch up to my bow tie wearing style eventually. It was just that I didn’t consider that I would be unwittingly drawn into it myself. But perhaps worst of all, is that I made this choice. Looking down at my lunch salad of quinoa, kale and chickpeas I’m wondering was it me who made this choice – or did society take advantage of me when I wasn’t looking? When did my slightly leftist leanings take me over the edge to join a state of casual chic and demographic that defines me? The worst thing is – can I actually let this upset my apple cart? Do I start wearing beige chinos just to cast off the shackles of my own predisposition?
Perhaps I just need to accept it and move forward. Me with my almond milk lattes, my conditioned beard and my slightly geeky but hairy fashion sense. I will keep my Russian novels, my Kerouac poetry and political science essays and I’ll just move on with the herd. Eventually I will find myself once again in my indiscriminate paddock being unlabelled and out of fashion - but probably still eating that bloody KALE.