I'm too young to be a hippy. I missed that bus by about ten years. I mean to say, I don't have the means to carry the look off. I hate the odor of patchouli; when we lived on Southeast Belmont, our downstairs neighbors' liberal use of the stuff was made evident by that miasma wafting upward into our apartment (that couple eventually birthed their child at home, and so now I associate the smell of patchouli with blood-curdling screams). I can't wear my hair long anymore because it'll just clog the drain, my personal biochemistry threatens to punish me and all those near when I dare skip a shower, and I find neck-beards unsightly (shame me if you must, but in his later years I began to refer to Ringo Starr as “the lesser Beatle” simply on the strength of his under[chin]growth). Ah, and I'm one of those people who truly need underwear.
The boys need a house!
I suspect I'm a tad curmugeonly for the hippy classification anyway, because although I have a certain hippy-ish mindset (love your Mother Earth and respect all living beings, hate war and violence in general, despise inequality, etc.), I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the huggiest guy on the planet. Actually I have what I like to call a Personal Sphere, inside of which there is only room for one, and that one is moi. “Respect The Sphere!”, I have actually demanded aloud when a friend-slash-coworker has drifted inside the invisible perimeter. I always assume others have a similar sphere in place; NEVER will I poke you to accentuate a point in our conversation, NEVER will I throw an arm around your shoulders unbidden (unless I'm drunk; I get a little feely when I'm drunk in social situations. Also I adopt a cockney accent to ensure that you remember an extra-special experience. I have no explanation for this. It's like having drunky Tourette's).
I also get plenty mouthy, usually over thoughtless things people do. What does this have to do with Portland, you ask? To be honest, it's all a preface to a plea, one that I would like you all to pass on to others who need to hear it (I'm not preaching to the choir here because I know anyone reading this needn't be reminded; I mean, you all read PortlandNeighborhood.Com because you enjoy and care for your community, right? So I'll include quotation marks so you can envision saying it yourselves:
“Please, people, pick up after yourselves! Portland is overall a very clean city, due in part because of people like me (“me” meaning you folks reading this too, of course!) who will take the time to pick up YOUR trash and put it into the proper receptacles. Proper as in trash into trash cans and recyclables into recycle bins. These are NOT interchangable, see? When I take out our trash at home in our apartment complex, I often have to re-sort other people's junk when I see it's been tossed into the wrong receptacle.”
“Why you gotta throw your food wrappers onto the ground when walking or biking the Springwater? Who hikes with burritos at Forest Park? I hope you had a lovely shopping experience at Nordstrom, but why toss the bag on the grass at Waterfront Park? I really so hate having our environment besmirched by the Deliberately Unconscious” ('Du', for short; I like to call this after them whenever I have to snatch up the Big Gulp they just chucked onto the sidewalk, “Du! Du!” Pronounced 'duh', fittingly).
Do I seem outraged? Sure I do. You may have noticed that some deftly-managed outrage has always been the impetus for any positive change in the world. I'm not advocating shouting matches and fisticuffs, but I DO suggest some righteous indignation. Puff out that chest, plant your feet, thrust out that lantern jaw (if applicable), and get to belittlin'! You don't litter, and you don't tolerate those who do. You are a citizen's citizen, a Portlander's Portlander!
Thanks for reading. Now, let's talk about those baggy low-riders.