October 18, 2011

Eco Boy vs. Yoga Girl: First World Problems.

Eco Boy vs. Yoga Girl.

The below is an excerpt of a forthcoming novella. It’s autobiographical fiction (with the emphasis on fiction). Book forthcoming in Spring 2012.


Chapter X: First World Problems.

“Human beings have a remarkable capacity for self-involved dissatisfaction—even in the best of circumstances. Winning the lottery of life is hardly an obstacle to feeling sorry for oneself.” ~ Dr. Willard Evans.


Hipster Hippie Eco Blogging Boy was in a bad mood.

He was in the press room, working on his laptop, he’d had two cups of free, light roast organic, fair-trade coffee but was so tired nothing was happening—the caffeine apparently had found no life left in him to spark up.

He was at Gaiatopia, a famous old eco/social-good conference out near San Francisco held in a big complex that looked like it’d been beamed down from 50s Mars.

So did many of the conference attendees. A man in a hat made out of mushrooms walked by. A barefoot former model jostled with an ambitious social media consultant for heirloom caraway seeds. A ponytailed Peruvian boy hugged a unibrowed woman wearing a TV. An astrologist led a singalong.

These were the kind of liberals who turned moderates Republican.

To be fair: there was real socio-economic and cultural diversity here. And there were plenty of brilliant minds among the speakers: [Little Professor]—a little bald man with a big moustache who looked like he’d stepped out of the cartooned pages of Tintin. His mind wrapped around stats and solutions to war, climate change, social issues like hypocritical plastic on a day-old organic muffin. A man who, when you in your dreams become President, you just name him Secretary of Whatever and say “get ‘er done”—give him the baton and let him run.

Still, we can’t all be Amory Lovins, I mean Little Professor.

A few feet from Eco Boy’s flourescent-lit pressroom table, a headbanded lady was moaning in the massage chair about how her “energy wasn’t right” and a corporate goon hired to run the eco/hippie conference was stressing her out, insisting she go to the hospital. A lugubrious (nice scrabble word) hippie lady was wandering around looking lost—frizzy gray hair and mouth permanently ajar, reminding him of his Boulder Buddhist roots and somehow making him miss his ma. His Mac Air’s trackpad wasn’t working right—some (plastic-wrapped) Clif Bar sample he’d been eating had got some sticky honey stuff on it—he was missing the Mushroom Guy’s headlining lecture (he knew it was good ’cause Inception Celebrity had tweeted it up, twice) and he couldn’t figure what to blog about—he was writing up Occupy and nothing was popping.

(Within the context of living in a First World Country, being healthy, reasonably good looking, occasionally charming, lucky as hell generally, doing what he loved for a living) life sucked.


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Kate Bartolotta Oct 18, 2011 1:11pm

Ooooh…just enough to make me want more! The rhythm of it has sort of a Douglas Coupland feel to me.

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