David Noonan

Attempted hippie

I was not a hippie myself, though I aspired to be one. I had the clothes but not the hair; I was stuck with a kind of winged haystack on top of my head, a shapeless mass that was too short to part in the middle and too long to part on the side. The right hair was essential, of course, and the longer the better. At the very least, you had to be able to tuck it behind your ears. Ideally, it had to hit your shoulders and you could pull it back into a righteous pony tail, like George Harrison’s hair after the Beatles broke up. I also had the wrong eyeglasses. Visually challenged hippies wore round wire-rims, like John Lennon, or tiny little “tea shades”, like the ones Roger McGuinn sported when the Byrds played “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1965. I was stuck with brown plastic rectangles that made me look like a junior accountant.


I also lacked the laid back temperament that I associated with true hippie status. sure, there were a lot of political hippies around me who never shut up about Nixon and the war and all that. But the hippies who fascinated me most were the cool ones, the genuine dropouts who were beyond politics, who lived in a detached defiance so mellow and complete it was like they came from another planet, like they’d never really had parents at all, or lived in that ranch house or played Little League or been elected to the student council, though they had done all those things in their time, before they grew their hair and left it all behind.


Attempted hippie – David Noonan


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