I’ve been meaning for about a year to go to this consignment shop near my house. It was on my old walking route so I’d regularly look in the windows and knew they had some cool furniture and knickknacks I might not know I needed. I finally stopped in last week. It was overpriced compared to the flea market I drop into every few months at the county fairgrounds, and it had a lot less stuff so there wasn’t the sense you were really digging for a gem, but what made the trip worth while though were the hipsters.
The building was very quiet, almost like there was no one there, and so after looking around a bit I was I startled to turn and see a man behind a glass-front counter working at a computer. He had a shaved head along with one of those long, mangy, puffy beards and wore black plastic glasses with skinny jeans. He didn’t look up when I turned toward him, so I wasn’t sure if he worked there or not. But if not, what was he doing? I walked in a little further and there was his female counterpart at a different display but also at a computer, wearing over-sized glasses and a knit hat, some complicated layering system of shirts, and colored tights with a short skirt. She also didn’t look at me but kept her head down, intent at whatever was on that computer. These two were so purposefully unengaged with the environment, so hellbent on being silent, I actually wondered if I’d walked into some kind of art installation it was so random. In a later room I saw a third hipster, but at least this one was moving around, although again, he didn’t talk to me or make eye contact. I finally scanned the last room very quickly and left as another hip guy–he looked like an art collector, wearing a multi-colored scarf, all black clothes, and very severe glasses–came in as I was leaving. And no one spoke to anyone the entire time I was there.
I don’t think I’ll go back to buy anything, but I might stop by in another week or so and see if they’re still there, being hip, not selling anything. I know a few hipsters; maybe I’ll send them in as bait and see if they can get these people to talk to them, like trying to see if you can make the Queen’s guards laugh. Although even the guards at Buckingham Palace probably have a better sense of humor about themselves than some hipsters.
What environment have you been in lately that feels a bit off? How could you use that setting in a story?