Slouching toward extinction

16 September 2012

Salt Lake City is quiet on Sundays. The streets are slow and the sun is warm, but beginning to lose its power to the coolness of autumn. The residents of the LDS capital are shopping, indoors with family at church or in cute coffee shops and Whole Foods.

I go to brunch with GF and her brother, Adamantium. GF and I drive to the University of Utah dorms to pick up Adamantium and drive back down to Caffé Niche on 300 South and 800 West. We walk in with the hopes of eating on the patio, yet the patio is full. The hostess with the braid tells us we may have to wait for a table. She explains there is a table by the window, but it is having a “fly situation” at the moment. Due to her further explanation, I am able quickly to dismiss two possible scenarios: (A) The table is having issues zipping up its blue jeans and is too embarrassed or ill-prepared for company. (B) The table is experiencing the height of 1990s cool, yet that acme of awesome has landed it into some sort of kerfuffle, similar to the ones Kid N Play frequently found themselves in. The truth is the simpler version: (C) Several flies of the insect variety buzz around the table. I excuse myself to the restroom in which the reggae music is loud. I return to find a suitable table is ready. We sit, look at the menu and prepare to order.

Throughout brunch, I realize the patrons and restaurant staff are too cool for me. I am resigned to perpetual unfashionability. I cannot hang with hipsters in tucked in black shirts, hipsters with tattoos that have deep meaning and are lyrics from Bon Iver songs, hipsters with thrift store ensembles nicer than anything I own. I am getting too old to matter or fit, not that I ever have found myself comfortable in any setting. I am the gorilla in the midst of glamorous gibbons.

I am becoming irrelevant and anachronistic. GF and I listen to the radio while driving because she prefers the radio and I frequently commandeer the musical choices, which almost never include music found on popular radio. (This statement is not to imply I have any sort of taste, but to highlight the fact that I prefer intolerable music that causes indigestion and has no appeal whatsoever. I am a difficult person to be around.) GF tunes the dial to the “oldies” station. We hear Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing,” both of which are admonishing us to refrain from quitting (at least until we get enough). These are now oldies? When I was younger, oldies were songs from the 1960s and 1970s, but I suppose we made the leap to the 1980s as the distant past sometime in the last 10 years. Instead of paying attention, I was busy slouching toward extinction.

We are now in our apartment after dropping Adamantium at the dorms and after I purchase a pumpkin spice latte at Whole Foods. While GF does work, I listen to “Armagideon Time” by The Clash and “Sitting Still” by REM. I suppose the songs are fitting for my mood, as I am reaching my personal Armageddon of appositeness. I am sitting still, refusing to upgrade my many-years-old flip phone, thinking that human connection can still exist via email, phone call and letter and postcard writing.

I am the oldies station tuned to only for a second of rosy nostalgia. I am quickly switched in favour of glitzy, ADD rock and Autotuned technopop. I am the post-apocalyptic curmudgeon in self-exile.

-JPR

[Typed on my MacBook Pro, posted on my online blog and promoted via Twitter.]

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