That Hippy Lad – A Short Story

Ya know that dickhead from Irene Moore’s estate? Got into the hippie thing first. He thought he was hot shit and didn’t we all have to know about it. He grew his hair long and got some buddie that was going to London to buy him one of those scraggy hoodies. The scratchy ones ya know that seem to be unwashable. Or maybe stinking is just their choice. Ya’d see him the odd times with a tower records bag sitting at the bus stop on Eden Quay. Before they moved it to Abbey street. I prefer Abbey now. You weren’t standing out on the river like a show for all to see. He got the bus on those cold saturdays were the sun’d heave right into your eyes. On those days where no matter what you had in you account you’d not enough for what ya wanted to get. And you’d have to sling your hook back home with a “maybe next week”. It was always that dickhead that’d be in a good mood. He would sit on the bus and look at whatever darkly coloured CD he’d bought, brimming. How’d he keep that up I didn’t know. But he did.

His mother must have been ran loose with that bleeding guitars and all hippy shit blaring out of his room from morning to night. I’m glad my kids aren’t into anything that I don’t play for them first. I couldn’t be doing with that on top of all the other shit I do be having to do with them. The last thing you want is some hippie hymns screaming at ya around the house. Did you know they played that shit to the terrorists in the torture camps. That just goes to show you. The Army thinks that’s torture good enough for the taliban. That says it all.

I’ve never known anyone that’s been in his house. His Ma is a funny one. Irene says she’s all smiles when they catch each other in the street but would sooner die a thousand deaths than invite you in for a cup of tea. She can shove herself. Irene hadn’t heard about her husband roping himself til she seen it in the paper and that was the day the hearse came. Irene was out in the street in her pyjamas, some faded set with palm trees and Miami written on it  looking like a kid that’s been sent to bed too many times that night. Ya’d think Irene, a neighbour, the woman who lives four houses down for years, would be amongst some of the first to hear about it. But no, that bitch lives in her own world. Fuck her, her and her hippy son.

Oh yeah the thing was the last time I’d seen him was in Stephen’s Green. It was a summer back. One of the nice ones. I was walking through the centre bit looking for a seat to have me burger. I didn’t find a seat so had to lean on one of the fountains. I hate that. Any drunk or cruel could push me into the water and ruin everything about me. But I’d to take the risk cause I couldn’t wait any longer for my burger. Bit samey but it was alright in the end. Not great. But yeah i seen him, the hippy, sitting over by the bushes. Typical. And he was grinning like a sinner with a couple of other hippies he must have met on the streets or in the record shop. The were passing around something I’m sure. A big lump of dope or whatever the braindeads’d be killing themselves with. He must have thought that he was king of all asunder. I wasn’t impressed.

But yeah so just this last week I was in the vinny shop looking for something. Not for me. The mother-in-law. And I seen herself come in with a box and a half of hippie cds. Just dumped them in and then walked out in a strop. Not a glance or smile I got. I’m only Irene’s oldest friend. Irene, her neighbour. The woman that lives four doors down from her. That bitch lives in her own fucking world. Lucky though I didn’t say a thing to her about her son being a hippy and a drug addict. Nope. I’m not petty like that. I haven’t seen him around the bus in a while. Whatever. No skin off my nose.

by Mark Baldwin 2016