Beardless Man Terrorizes Aesthetic of Portland’s Trendiest District
Anxiety is high in the Hawthorne/Belmont districts of Southeast Portland, as increasing reports of a so far unidentified beardless man are flooding newspaper tiplines and trendy bars alike.
“Look,” said minimalist visual artist Hector “Scoobs” McClatchy, 31, of Hawthorne, “I didn’t move here from Santa Monica, pay 140 percent the asking price of a home off Belmont and 28th in cash, and spend thousands of dollars to replace my entire wardrobe with far shabbier-looking clothes to be surrounded by clones like this. It makes me want to puke. …But, but, I don’t mean that in any kind of a way that trivializes eating disorders.”
McClatchy says that the man’s presence is a serious and alarming challenge to the values of the very unique Portland district.
“We are drawn to this area because people appreciate each other for being individuals and not sheep. I saw the loose jeans and thought maybe this guy was heading to a theme party — hilarious. Then he turned around and I saw he had no beard, and I knew this was trouble.”
Sightings have been reported in the hardware section of the Fred Meyer at SE Hawthorne and SE Cesar Chavez, all the way to a bar — whose name patrons pleaded with Portland Bugle not to publish for respect of cultural credibility preservation — near SE Hawthorne and SE 18th.
“You know, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, so I sort of stared,” said El Perry, of Hawthorne. “But then we locked eyes, so I lowered my head and walked away quickly. Besides, this MacBook … Pro… isn’t going to light up its own glowing apple at the most conspicuous table at the cafe, and this screenplay isn’t going to write itself.”
The cut is deep for Perry, a Newport Beach native, who explained that much of the angst he feels from the situation stems from the sacrifices he has made to maintain his own image and the neighborhood’s environment. Before his beard was growing as full as he felt necessary to maintain his personal credibility in the community, Perry would fill it out with keratin hair fibers designed for balding men’s scalps. He explained the process as taking minutes.
“I spent an evening peering down at all the happy people milling about Hawthorne from behind a curtain, stroking my patchy-haired face waiting for that product to ship next day air. It was brutally depressing. I felt less than human,” Perry said.
“Then this guy comes along, and he clearly has no respect for the struggle some of us have been through.”
McClatchy describes his own, similar sacrifices for the same purpose as Perry.
“Do you think I like wearing jeans this tight?” McClatchy said. “Have you ever had one buttock fall asleep? One? No one likes wearing skinny jeans.”
The first reports of a man that witnesses describe as tattoo-less, wearing some bull-[expletive] college athletics fleece pullover, and probably in his mid-to-late twenties, began in the second week of October.
“It’s unsettling,” said minimalist interior designer Matilde Stewart, 29, of Hawthorne. “I might have stayed in Calabasas if I knew I would be sharing a neighborhood district with people presenting this kind of unoriginal aesthetic. As if it’s not enough that he drives some F-980, or whatever, but there isn’t even a Bernie Sanders bumper sticker on it. That may sound like a joke, but seriously, it’s true: No Bernie Sanders bumper sticker.”
Others are being more proactive with the matter at hand, such as minimalist pet groomer Chip DeMont, 26, of Hawthorne, who has started the Hawthorne/Belmont Neighborhood Awareness but Not Racist or Anything Association.
“The HB-NANROAA was designed to just let people know that their surroundings can be unpredictable. In Cameo Shores I’d expect to see meatheads driving Navigator’s on gigantic wheels, drinking out of disposable plastic water bottles and whatnot. And since I came from there I think I’m in a unique position to educate the community here. The message is, that as long as they don’t engage in discussions about food, music, beer, politics, clothing, exercise, the Toyota Prius, sports or women, they should be just fine.”
The work of DeMont has not calmed all nerves.
“I was walking to my yoga class, and this gigantic truck drove by,” said employed in uncategorical ways, thank you very much, but definitely minimalist, and she guesses if you have to write something, write ‘candle and hand soap maker,’ Greta Teller, 27, of Hawthorne. “It was playing some song that went something like ‘pour that sugar on me in the name of love,’ rather loudly. And you could just tell that he wasn’t being deliciously ironic, either. It’s upsetting.”
This was not Teller’s only encounter with the man, however.
“Later I was walking my Boston Terrier toward the Whole Foods on SE Division and I walked right by him. Bartholomew started pulling real hard toward the guy, and the guy sort of smiled. It was too much.”
Teller, like many interviewed witnesses, worries that this isn’t an abberation, and is a “message in the fair trade, single source tea leaves” that this area of Portland has reached its cultural and stylistic peak.
“Maybe back home in Yorba Linda, right? But here? You know, if he had a top knot man bun or something… even in those clothes… You know they’re saying Pittsburgh may be the next Portland. It might be time to look into that. That guy had a gold… [Expletive] …That guy had a gold hoop earring.”
McClatchy is also exploring his options.
“There’s [old guard] credibility in Austin. It was Portland before Portland was Portland, and maybe it will be Portland after Portland is Portland and you see guys like this are all over the place.”
Originally published at portlandbugle.com: Portland’s finest, least consumed news source.