After watching on average of four hours of TV each day, Jameelah and I have taken the first steps to doing more self-actualizing hobbies (i.e., we ordered a bunch of art supplies from Amazon). Before I became addicted to Netflix and reruns of Friends, I drew crap, wrote a lot, and took pictures of stuff. Now, it has been endless slogs through the 11-hour work day, followed by watching other people do stuff. Sure, it was stress-free, but life is not about relaxation. It’s about the struggles to create! To express! To livvvvve, livvvvve….

And there is no better place to do all the above than Portland, Oregon, one of the most interesting cities we’ve been to. We went there to visit our friends. Portland is an awesome vortex of weirdness and kick-assery. Sure, we were only there for a day and a night, but it’s enough to get a good sense of the city, which is a beautiful place and very clean.

Fifty percent of the people there are hipsters. Hipsters are wackos who wear horrible clothing, including impossibly skinny jeans, stupid hats and scarves, lens-less glasses, have asymmetric hair, one or more piercings, don’t bathe for days, and project an aura that make you want to throw bars of soap at them. Portland seems to be their natural habitat, so it was fascinating watching them. At one point, one of them passed by. He was wearing tight blue spandex shorts, a button-down yellow shirt with a black vest, a pink hat, and his lips and brows were pierced. On his back, I swear, was a wooden sword!! Seconds later, a goth hipster waddled by with her equally bizarre-looking hipster boyfriend. I didn’t notice the boyfriend much, since I was distracted by the girl’s yellow and black Batman underwear, which was showing because her extra skinny black jeans were sagging. The courtship habbits of hipsters is something that would make an interesting research dissertation topic.

The rest of the city comprises hippies, yuppies, and homeless people. On every street corner were homeless kids begging for change or some Voodoo Donuts, which is a famous donut joint in Portland. They are famous, by the way, partly because of the phallic shape of one of their pastries, which we will subtly call “C & B.” The line wrapped halfway down the block, past an adult video store/movie theater. 

So there we were, waiting in line for our donuts, observing the hipsters as they socialized, hunted for food, and avoided natural predators, which is almost everyone. Jameelah was ordering for me, but she can be excessively indecisive when the stakes are low. “Get the maple bar and the vegan C and B,” I said. “What’s C and B,” she asked. “@#% and &^%$,” I whispered. “OK,” she said, though it was obvious she was distracted. Five minutes later she asked, “What did you want again?” “The C and B,” I said. “What’s C and B again?” she asked. “@#% and &^%$!” said our friends. Five minutes later: “OK,” she said, “I’m getting anxious. There are so many options! What do you want?” “C and B,” I said. “What’s C and B?” she asked. “”@#% and &^%$!!” we screamed in unison, drawing the attention of several people. The donuts were delicious, even better with the dirty jokes we made while eating them.

At night, we ventured out to observe the nocturnal hipsters, hitting a dance club, where a dozen or so Yager Bombs later, we were bouncing along with the music and the scantily-clad women on the platform overlooking the dance floor. I noticed something. There were no hipsters in the club! Hipsters, apparently, are averse to dancing.

Overall, I was quite fond of Portland. The combo of hipsters, yuppies, hippies, and homeless and how they interact is fascinating — kind of like a movie or a TV show, actually. The night scene is also pretty nice, and there is quite a huge population of vegans, so there was vegan food everywhere. And all sorts of art and handmade jewelry and crap like that. Hipster lifestyle is the opposite of ours right now, and I can’t help but envy it a little: to live without caring that you look like you were dressed by blindfolded monkeys, to be free of societal rules of normal behavior, to wear a wooden sword on your back for no reason, to be free, free. Maybe the hipsters are on to something.

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