Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hipsters on the Porch

I don't remember the first day I saw them. It must have been about 30 days ago. And now I might never see them again.

That first day, we rounded the corner and out of the corner of my eye, I saw him, half reclined across a camping chair, fedora askew, neck tattoos glistening in the sun. She sat primly on a velour ottoman, a cooler between them. "Hey!" I said to Richy. "There are hipsters on the porch!" That house has been abandoned as long as we've lived here, and the landlord had started offering free rent for someone who wanted to live there and work on it, putting up sheetrock, installing cabinets, etc. When he told me about it, something inside me wanted to do it, but then I remembered that the MOG and I sometimes stonewall who's going to replace the light bulb in the hall for WEEKS.

After that first sighting, I admit I had my doubts. The whole posture of the porch inhabitants was casual, confident royalty. There was no air of the common man, with his need to install cabinets.

not actual porch couch
Day after day, I passed by, and eventually I started slowing down, to see what they were up to now. Very soon, there was an old painted piano on the porch, another recliner, an infinite number of hipsters in relaxed posture. Sometimes there was a guitar. One day, I think there was a girl, playing a banjo. "I wonder who is working on the house?" I thought, still caught in the rat-race mindsets of the mainstream. They did not worry, sitting on the steps, gesturing with a pipe as the grass grew ever taller. A dog came to join them, sprawling across the porch near the upended bicycle, presumably there for repairs. At night, sometimes you could just see them lighting the single candle on the piano, and then settling into the chairs to read their iPhones, bluish light shining like a beacon of hope, of rest.

A week or two ago, I noticed a medium sized child sitting on the steps of the porch, steps that still needed to be stripped and painted. "Hey!" I said to Richy. "The hipsters got a kid!" I should take pictures, I thought to myself, because the tableau changes every day and it's totally fascinating to me, to the point that I slow way down and try to take it all in, even if there's a whole line of cars behind me.

Two days ago I passed by to find a yard sale of sorts, with the mostly-painted piano and a cacophony of furniture and clothing strung on makeshift racks around the yard. "Hey!" I said to no one, because I was alone, "The hipsters are having a yard sale!" When I came back by, there was a large man with long curly gray hair and a long beard, just your average neighborhood wizard, inspecting the goods. I wonder if he bought the banjo. I guess I'll never know. The yard sale was still going, late at night, a nearby car's headlights providing the light for no shoppers at all.

And then it was over. No chairs on the porch. No guitars. No girl in a vintage dress, curled up on the porch couch, sleeping in the afternoon sun. No shaggy dog resting by the Toms of a guitar player. No kid, looking bored, sitting on the cooler. Nothing. Just an empty shell of a house, no different than it was when they came, approximately 30 days ago.

I don't have a lot of regrets in life, but I regret not taking their pictures every day and making a viral Tumblr called Hipsters on the Porch. I regret that very much. Wherever you are today, chilling hipster friends, I hope you have the dog, and another banjo. Play on.


  1. I'm not gonna lie, when you post something called "Hipsters on the Porch" I get pretty excited for a beautiful read to start my day. It didn't disappoint.

  2. I say "fiction" because it's too romantic to have actually happened.

  3. Oh, it happened. Ask Traylor, he's not romantic.


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