Hipsters, scenesters I don’t wanna be-sters. At one time I thought I wanted to be one. I always loved the word “hip” but I found out that there is a “crowd” for everything including the “hip”. Ever day, every month and ever year I realize more and more that I am a misfit, an outsider or a freak as I was called in High School.
Not that I ever tried to fit into a group but found myself hanging with different “in crowds” through the years and I always come to the same conclusion. I don’t fit. I won’t fit. Now I realize that I don’t want to fit. I don’t really care. I have enough trouble fitting in my own skin at times.
The other day I went to Fishtown in Philadelphia to do a book reading and signing of my novel at cool book store called Germ Books. They specialize in UFO, conspiracy theories and occult literature. I might have called it hip at one point. I was semi-early and the owner wasn’t there yet so I went to the corner to a coffee shop. I walked into the shop and the place reeked of hipsters. They didn’t literally stink but there was an aroma of another kind. An aroma of pretentiousness. Maybe they all weren’t pretentious but I got that feel.
Now over the years I have gown less and less tolerant of “clicks” or “gangs” of people. I get extremely uncomfortable around a group of more than 3 people especially if they are of the same age, race, uniform etc. This is no different.
The band King Missile had a song called I Want to be Different. The lyrics were spoken and the singer says “I want to be different. I want to fit in with the different crowd.” I used to feel that way.
For a moment I thought “This is where I should be reading my novel.” Then immediately thought the opposite. These people would be too worried about how they appear in front of one another and not paid any attention. I assumed that they probably couldn’t afford my novel anyway. Ha. I can be so judgmental at times. Hey- I’m human.
As I waited in the long line watching these people and feeling uncomfortable it hit me that I was dressed and carried myself like them. I had the look and I wish I didn’t. These feelings combined with my claustrophobia and semi-social anxiety I fled as fast as I could to get out and drink my coffee and have a smoke before the reading.
When it was time to read I looked around at the sparse room of a handful of people and thought how much better it was in the bookstore with people that are truly themselves and interested rather than part of a click. I don’t want to be the “in” event or the “hip” person to see. I want to be me, whatever that is at any given time and be around people that are themselves. Outsiders, freaks, misfits.
“I’m Hip” -Maynard G Krebs