The 47-Year-Old Hippie

October 11, 2008 at 3:42 pm (The Easy Chair)

I’m having one of those days. A sign of impending old age? Things are falling off, or out. I’m forgetting stuff. I have fits of ambition, followed by attacks of meh.

The last few weekends have seemed like the sentence I have to serve after working all week. It starts off fun, but as it wears on I wish I were back at work so I’d have something purposeful to do.

I’ve decided this weekend won’t be like that…

Friday started off with a trip to the barber shop. I didn’t need a haircut; I won’t be getting one of those until Halloween. (Oh what a haircut that will be!) I needed a dose of Clairissa hugs, and had a present or two to drop off. She’d requested a copy of an old photo of her ex and her, dressed as Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson respectively. (Her ex was so convincing as Rob Zombie I didn’t know it was a girl under all that beard and dreads.) Clairissa’s makeup and outfit were spot on, but she’s too pretty to pull off an authentic Manson. Then there’s the whole giant boobs issue; Manson looks like two halves of a L’eggs pantyhose container. Clairissa is built more like two canteloupes. I printed an 8X10 and slipped it in with her other present, a Slipknot hoodie. The girl looks positively rock ‘n roll.

As the bus approached, I saw Clairissa and her new GF walking hand in hand away from the shop. By the time I got there, they were out of sight. A co-worker told me they’d went out for barbecue, and it usually took forever. I tossed the hoodie on the barber chair and went back to the bus stop. A couple minutes later I saw Clairissa running toward me.

“I love it! Thank you!” She was wearing the hoodie. “I’m booked solid until eight o’clock, I have fifteen minutes for lunch. Wanna walk me to the barbecue joint?”

I escorted her to the restaurant. We were joined by her new partner. They had exchanged rings and vows the day before, and the air was lovey-dovey. We caught up while waiting for food, and I got a bite of delicious collard greens. I’ll be going back.

There were three people waiting at the shop for haircuts, so I slipped out quietly. I’d been hoping for one of those quiet, boring afternoons at the shop that never are, if you get my drift, but she needs to pay the bills, so I should be glad times are good for her.

On to the next phase; downtown to see what mischief I could find there.

Dr T wasn’t where he was scheduled to be. I’ve been meaning to catch up with him on a few things, and it seemed the perfect opportunity. Nope, not today. I grabbed a coffee at my favorite spot. The guy who rang me up gave me an odd total.

“Are you sure? Usually it costs $4.20.”

He repeated my order. “You’re a regular, and technically since I’m the boss here, I can charge you whatever I want. Got a problem with that?”

I thanked him profusely, wondering, since I’d not seen him before, how he knew I was a regular. “Just shut up and accept the niceties,” my inner voice shouted. After ten minutes of advanced math, I’d deduced that he’d given me 10% off. Math shouldn’t be that hard. The mall was overrun with teenagers, so I moved on.

Next stop, the Mothership.

“What are you doing here? Don’t you have a life?” Tater ( nicknamed for his love of distilled potato products) was flitting around, irritated that so many co-workers were invading his space. Grinder and Art East were messing with the video security system, so I watched, providing color commentary. After half an hour, I realized Tater was right; I had no life. I moved on.

I stopped by the Waterfront store, to say hi to Whitney and check the upcoming week’s schedule. As I watched Whitney smoke, Master P walked past and clapped me on the shoulder. “Just can’t stay away, huh? Three days off and he hangs out here!” He grinned, shook his head and went back to his office.

Man, I’d better get outta here, or they’ll start scheduling me!

Having not eaten all day, except for that bite of collard greens, I craved a burrito, so I hopped on the Hawthorne bus. I hadn’t cruised the dirty Boulevard in a while. This could be fun!

On the way to Cha Cha Cha I saw the Dollar Scholar. Having read about it recently, I investigated. While I didn’t find the fake blood I sought, I was shown a rubber chicken that outshined mine. It had a widemouthed expression. The owner, a playful fella, pulled the yolk/embryo out of its middle. “Now he’s a rooster!” He stretched its neck and blew into its mouth. With a harmonica-like action, it cock-a-doodle-doo-ed. I was impressed, but not enough to drop a dollar. I felt I should remain faithful to my own personal rubber chicken. I moved on.

I had a quick burrito at Cha Cha Cha, sitting outside. With temperatures around fifty degrees, I was alone. I’m not one to eat out by myself a lot, so it felt less lonely being the only one in the dining area. (The indoor area was packed with families.) I made quick work of the El Patron. I moved on.

I walked past a head shop. I hadn’t been in one of those in a while. When you reach a certain age the novelty wears off. The smell of incense almost stopped me at the door. For the last several years incense has set off an allergic reaction that make my lungs feel like I’m inhaling flames. At the first tickle I’d run for the door. I thought of an old underground comic from the ’70s, The 40-Year-Old Hippie. Is that what I’ve become? (They were spot on predicting the ‘Underwear-on-the-Outside’ fashion trend of the ’80s… uh oh.)

I stepped inside. The gal behind the counter was talking on her cell phone. Her eyes got wide, and I knew the expression. My short hair and comparatively advanced age set off her ‘cop detector’.

“I gotta go. May I help you?”

“Just looking,” I replied. I spotted a small bong that looked cute. “How much is that? Is it made of glass?”

“Which one?”

Oh crap. The last time I was in a head shop, I’d inquired about the price of a hash pipe and was evicted from the store without mercy. (“We don’t sell anything that is used for drugs!”) How do I say “bong” without violating some obscure store policy?

“Um, it’s the black and red, um, water bubbler?”

“Oh, that. Sixteen dollars.”

Yikes! I moved on.

Next stop was a vintage store. It used to house oak furniture and and the best collection of dollar paperbacks in the city. Nowadays it’s like Value Village, priced times ten. There were lots of cool things, but $13 for a Chuck E. Cheese trucker hat? I moved on.

It was time for a place I could afford, Fred Meyer’s. I picked up a pint of half & half, survival lunch meat, (payday’s still a week away) and a tube of fake blood for ninety-nine cents. I still need a throwaway tee shirt that’s evil-clown worthy, but my costume is coming together.

I was home by 9 PM, and in bed by midnight. The last few weekends have been like that. Start off with tons of fun on Friday, followed by high hopes on Saturday which end up fizzling out, and then I end up sleeping all day Sunday. This time I’m pacing myself. I’m leaving later on Saturday, so that some sort of night life is happening by the time I get downtown.

If I’m gonna sleep all day Sunday, I’m gonna make it for a good reason. I showered, getting spiffy ‘just in case’. The water was freezing cold, which set off red flags. I was the only one using hot water. Crap. The hot water heater is going out? Fuuuck…

I turned off the shower, and still heard running water. No wonder the water was cold. I’d left the hot water running on the sink faucet.

Durrr… Between senior moments like that, and losing most of the rest of my tooth the other day, I’m starting to get a complex. The cold shower did serve a purpose, though. I’ a little more awake now.

Now? I’m gobbling a couple of happy pills that make walking less painful and provide an ethereal head-space. I’m going to cruise about, letting the world entertain me. If something cool happens, far out man!

So sayeth the 47-year old hippie…


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