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Hippie vision quests are the province of young persons, many of whom hail from the West coast. Hippie vision quests revolve around an existential search for meaning. This search may involve rail-riding, dumpster-diving, sleeping outdoors, and the consumption of alcohol and psychedelic drugs. I support existential searches for meaning but, in my life, have busied myself with my rearing, education, failure to attend law school, and subsequent aesthetic pursuits. For this reason, I have not had time to pursue hippie vision quests.
Last night, I met a dreadlocked youth at a house show in Goleta. I suspect that this youth had embarked on a hippie vision quest. After all, Goleta is very dark at night and home to a university. The seductive Pacific Ocean beckons through whispering vegetation. A fine environment for a hippie vision quest!
The dreadlocked quester and I stood in the kitchen eating vegan hotdogs with collegiate youths who had thrown the house show. During a lull in the conversation, the quester spoke.
“I hope it’s cool if I stay another month,” the quester said to the collegiate youths. He described a state of homelessness. “If I can’t stay, I’ll be on the street,” he concluded.
The quester’s “housemates” did not respond. I intuited that the youths doubted the sustainability of their “houseguest’s” vision quest. I inserted myself into the conversation.
“Shit, dude,” I said, employing casual profanity. “Your housing predicament sounds quite dark. Is all well with you?” All heads in the room turned to me. I intuited that I had committed a faux pas.
“No, it’s cool,” said the vision-quester. “I live in an R.V.“
“Oh,” I said. “And you park this R.V. at various locales?”
“Yes,” said the vision-quester.
“What freedom!” I exclaimed. Then, I made various comments about how cool R.V.’s are. I must confess that I do not understand what R.V.’s are, who purchases R.V.’s, or the R.V.’s function in American society.
After this ill-fated exchange, I played a show on a back porch for twenty teenage marijuana enthusiasts. I received $18 for my efforts. I split these receipts with Black Fiction, tourmates from San Francisco. Nine dollars remained. My portion of these proceeds was $3.
This is a very small amount of money, I thought. Many hippie vision-questers earn more than this via “temp” employment. Does this mean that I am on my own hippie vision quest? In answer, the seductive Pacific Ocean beckoned through Goleta’s whispering vegetation.