I am Just Not Hippie Enough for you

We are both sprawled out in the soft sand, side by side on this weekday morning (Tuesday? Wednesday? We keep losing track). We are happily gazing into the ocean through our oversized sunglasses, watching the waves crash in and out, feeling the sun kiss our necks as it makes its morning appearance. We are sipping on our shakes, mine coconut and yours mango, and we don’t feel the need to trouble the moment with words. We both love the energy of intentional silence.

You are rolling a big joint for so early in the morning. You turn to pass it to me and I notice your rasta rings and hemp bracelets. Your dirty fingers and your unwashed hair.

I may or may not take a puff of your joint. I probably won’t, because it’s still early and I’m not a big smoker. But I do have a confession. Although it may appear otherwise, I have to be honest and tell you that I am just not hippie enough for you.

Sure, we both carry these rugged backpacks around India, fluttering from this village to that village on a whim or a hunch. Sure, I am currently sitting next to you on a deserted beach which is named after the sound of a meditation mantra, and it’s true that I am carrying books around with me about the seven chakras and the healing powers of our internal energy. Yes, I use words like “calling”, “zen”, and “vegan”. And yes, it’s true that I slept in a bamboo bungalow last night with nothing but a mosquito net and a fan. But trust me, I am just not hippie enough for you.

I’m aware that we reside in the same bungalow community, and that the walls of our crumbling huts are side by side and may collapse into each other shortly. And I know you may have your doubts, rightfully so, since each morning you wake up to find me swinging on a hammock and furiously writing down my thoughts, realizations, and detailed plans for the present moment. I know you catch me meditating every day as the sun is setting, which definitely doesn’t help my case. But really, I am nowhere near hippie enough for you.

I do enjoy your music, especially when you play it late at night in a drum circle with the other hippies on the beach, while a bonfire burns and women sway and convulse to the sounds of the drum and the ocean. I really love your drum and I actually have plans to buy one of my own from an angry Muslim man who owns a small instrument shop in the south of India. I even plan to have this angry Muslim man engrave “Om” into the side of my jambe which loosely means “peace”. But despite all the evidence, I am just not hippie enough for you.

So, why? You ask. How am I not hippie enough for you?

I am just not hippie enough for you because I brush my hair every morning and brush my teeth at least twice a day. I even floss. I would never dream of growing dreadlocks, and if there is a hot shower around, I am excited. If there isn’t, I will take a cold one in place of not showering at all. I’ve seen the look in your eyes as I strut past you with my towel and Dove-brand soap to the community “shower” which is really just a hose behind a bamboo contraption. I know you look down on me when you see my Pantene Pro-V conditioner in tow that I plan to detangle and soften my hair with, but I refuse to conceal it. I know that this is the moment it may cross your mind and get you thinking, maybe she just isn’t hippie enough for me. And you are right. I’m not, and I’m okay with that.

I believe in the beauty of shaved armpits, and I believe in the miracle of deodorant. I believe in washing my clothes, even though I am traveling through India. And I can only spend so much time swaying in hammocks, passing around joints, talking about the origins of philosophy and the arrangement of the cosmos. I get restless. I write postcards. I shave my legs religiously. Sometimes I wear mascara. I am just not hippie enough for you.

I love this beach with all my heart, and I will miss it when I leave here tonight on a midnight train. I have a plan and an agenda, and these things are not conducive with being hippie enough for you. You will remain here indefinitely, rolling your fourth joint of the day, speaking in circles about philosophy and the true differences in the effects between marijuana and charas. And guess what? I just don’t care. We exchange a final smile, and in that smile we finally see that we are cut from different fabric. I will always remember you, have respect for you, and will always wish you nothing but happiness. But this could never blossom into anything substantial, because you will stay and I will move on. I am just not hippie enough for you.

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