Despite my childhood wishes…
I am currently devouring Julie and Julia, the book about a blogger who lives in NYC and decides to cook her way through a Julia Child cookbook (Mastering the Art of French Cooking) in one year. She lives in a crappy loft with her husband and had lots of wacky friends and only temps for cash and seems very bohemian and free-spirited. Everything I’m not.
Remember in the mid-90s when everyone kind of went through a nouveau-bohemian phase? You know, people were suddenly dread-locking their stinky hair and wearing tight pants and smoking and showering only when the rain fell on them. This happened when I was in college, and I tried so hard to be a part of it. It was silly of me, really. I’m decidedly not bohemian. I enjoy the smell of Lysol and hate BO.
One warm afternoon my friend Jeff Gibson and I took the T downtown to go to the Buck-A-Pound to get some new clothes, a very bohemian endeavor. The Buck-A-Pound was a giant empty warehouse filled with massive piles of clothes. Acres upon acres of clothes piles. You dug around on these minor mountains, finding this or that cast-off that would fit, and then on the way out they weighed your pile, and you paid a dollar per pound of clothes. Jeff, of course, found scads of clothes, tight pants and cool shirts and coats and hats and Doc Martens. I found exactly nothing. I’ve never been very easy to fit, being 6 foot 6 and roughly shaped like a brick shit house. Jeff was the opposite of me.
Jeff was that boy that everyone sighed over – straight guys want to hang out with him, girls wanted to help him by co-operatively praying away his “bad boy” image or by being bad with him, and young gay freshmen had crushes on him. He had a glorious blond mullet that was feathered just so, and he was an actor, and properly angst filled. Everyone loved Jeff. He was charming and kind and caring. Luckily he was appropriately clueless about (or thankfully ignored) my schoolboy crush.
Oh, yeah – he always answered his dorm door naked. For some reason that sticks in my mind. No idea why.
I wonder what he’s doing now? Jeff? You out there?
Anyway. Bohemia, bohemia. I just never could master it. I like clean and bright things. I like pop music. I like Sandi Patty. I like mainstream. I like real curtains, not a towel tacked up haphazardly over a window. I feel itchy and grody when I skip a shower. I don’t want to be a starving artist. I want to be a pleasantly full person who dabbles in art.
Although I do have a bottle of patchouli in my top drawer that I sometimes open up to guiltily sniff while imagining moving to New York.