Yeah…erm…I used to be the kind of person that often got described as being a “Hippie”. Between the ages of maybe fourteen to around twenty five I was ok with this.
I all began with me gazing in bewilderment at 1960′s footage of young, attractive people wearing colourful clothes and make up, having an amazing, fashionable, photographic time dancing around and smoking pot at festivals (before festivals were shit and full of Chavs).
Oh, how it appeared to be such a magical contrast to my humdrum existence in small town Middle England in the 90′s.
Fast forward ten years and I’d smoked myself from an “A” student with masses of potential into a none achieving, always dreaming peasant who barely scraped a bad grade at Art College and had no idea how the hell I was going to really survive in the world.
Still, it took me ages to figure it out…I had to stop the smoking, I had to start getting my facts right with regards to moral issues before deciding that things were wrong and I had to stop being interested in pointless ventures like divination and veganism.
I got my life back, but along the way I met a collection of humans that were possibly the most fascist and uptight that it is possible to be. They all fit (deliberately) into one social category…one that advertises itself as being about open mindedness and peace and love. They were all Hippies.
Following is a brake down of SOME of the worst:
Mark: I have to mention this one first as it explains in part the tragic circumstance with which Smelly Ben became my close ally. Mark was a friend throughout Art College whom I lived with in the third year of our course fairly successfully, in that we remained friends and chose to live together, with others for our final summer after graduation. In hindsight I should not have moved in with two male friends and their new girlfriends, said gf’s being eighteen and in no way bored yet by all the pretentious bullshit flying about the place. I was the only house mate to have a job. Importantly, I needed to maintain my employment for reasons of not wanting to starve to death, an alien concept to everyone else around me. I would return home from the Pub I worked in at past midnight to find the electricity meter had all been drained, as had the gas. The fuckers had even used up the emergency instead of purchasing more when it was their turn, leaving me to sit in the dark, with no entertainment or way of winding down and with no way of cooking food. They, on the other hand, were lying around on mattresses upstairs, with a ton of candles on and some shit guitar or bongo playing for entertainment. When we first moved in there was a bed in my room that had a mattress on. Mark’s room had no mattress so he took mine. I remember this well as, when kicking off about it (I got it back!), he reasoned that there were two of them and only one of me, so they deserved the mattress. I screamed at them (maybe) to contact the landlord and get a fucking mattress sorted, which they did, I think. I wrote to my friend in London about it and left the writing pad in the lounge whilst at work. He did not like being described as an arty little cunt who’s poems were shit and who’s feet stank, apparently. Oh well.
Smelly Ben: This one moved into the flat after Mark and the Gang left me to go travelling with some imaginary money. He was famously a bit mental. His girlfriend had recently been caught cheating on him with some other smelly hippy and he fled the caravan they were living in and took to the streets. I let him stay as he was excellent at paying his share of gas and electric and even used to cook for me and stuff. He was a really nice guy, but tragically, drugs had taken their toll. He had been sectioned once or twice already. We were twenty two! He used to walk around barefoot, claiming that feet grew their own leather if allowed to harden. My dad travelled down to visit on the day that Smelly Ben decided it was a good idea to put an OM symbol tattoo on his forehead. One night he sat on my bed crying for hours about all the bad things that had happened in his life. He passed out fully clothed and eventually, so did I. At some point in the morning I was pretending to be sleeping still when SB put his hands in his trousers for a good scratch. On pulling his hand out, I was met by the most potent and offensive smell I’ve ever received from another human. He had a sniff. Shortly afterwards he asked me if he could use the shower and I had to explain to him that, as a resident, he was free to use the shower all along. He went on a massive ketamin bender, did a load more crying and left to go to Exeter or somewhere to make a probably shit film with some probably shit, unfocused dreamers. I got home from work one night to find a load of homeless travellers with obvious drug and alcohol issues and a smelly dog in the flat (no pets allowed!). Its making me angry to recall this as SB was actually still out clubbing, he had simply let that bunch of losers in for me to find and gone back out. All you need to know is that they were gone in two days and so was I a week later. Exhausted and in need of some incredibly dull normality. Cue home town!
Jenny Tree Woman: That was our un-original name for her. She claimed to have actually spent time protesting in trees and have done some actual magic spells with actual magic crystals. Her hair and clothes smelt of cheap incense. I had the displeasure of visiting the house she rented with some other crusties. They were arguing about which washing powder to buy. One of them was insisting that they started buying the eco-friendly detergent at a greater expense, to the others disagreement. Rather than being an individuals choice it seemed that they shared all of the household goods. The words “cult” and “commune” came to mind and I wanted out of there. My friend came back from the toilet claiming that there was a soiled sanitary towel on the radiator (which was on), just cooking there, stinking the place out. We left.
Hippy Jim: With no contest he is the most violent of all my ex boyfriends. He seemed quite proud of his “Hippy” name as if in his opinion he had truly earned it but the only things he did that were even vaguely “hippyish” or whatever were smoking weed and burning incense to hide the smell of weed. Oh and liking things to do with India (sigh). He was secretly consuming a lot of cocaine and borrowing money from me every month. When I found out about this so many things became clear and I felt so stupid. He always seemed pissed off that I would actually claim it back. One night, when I was lying on the floor in our lounge listening to music and he was passed out on the sofa, he got up very suddenly and started kicking me and shouting at me. He reasoned that I had got up, stood over him, and called him a loser. I hadn’t. But he was a massive loser and that obviously really bothered him. I boarded a door shut that night and left in the morning.
Confused.kim: Kim is a sweet natured person. She plants trees for charity for a living, with the unemployed and people with learning disabilities and mental health problems. Wow! Hippy checklist so far…tick!…tick!…tick!. Vegetarian…tick!…no, make that vegan…tick! What upsets me about her is that she seems so insecure, confused and dangerously impressionable. Like she could literally be anybody if her life had veered off path slightly somewhere. She rang me up one time to check whether there was a wine suitable for taking to a vegan dinner party. I recommended that she went to The Co-Op to buy their own brand wine as it was made in a vegetarian friendly way and I’m sure that it would be vegan friendly too. I had to explain about the use of animal products as finings in the wine making process. Something that any true vegan should be fully aware of. She sighed and asked about taking chocolate instead. I am not joking! So I then explained about the MILK in chocolate and that maybe dark chocolate was ok but I was very unsure. This dinner party sounded like it had AIDS. She went with a box of After Eight chocolate mints in the end. Just to impress her new vegan chums with not just some milky choc but a nice bit of gelatin too, which they love. So…she had some sound advice and ignored it…why ask?! This is something I have observed in many a hippy. If you don’t give the answer from their dreams, they ignore it. This was at the time when she was new to veganism and was considering living with a group of fellow vegans. She mentioned to me some kind of money share scheme they had going on where, from what she was trying to convey in her confused way without making it sound bad, was that you basically went to work so that you could share your money with them. “CULT!” I declared, but she just thought I was being silly and joined anyway. Two weeks previous, my sister caught her in Tesco buying Parma ham. She now looks about fifty and I give her six months before she cuts her hair short for reasons of manageability.
Posh Dreadlocks Girl: No…actually, just thinking about her is making me all tense. I had forgotten about her until now and I do not think that I am ready to bring all that she said and did to the forefront of my mind, now, when I am doing so well…Oh god! How I despised that moron!