This underground bohemian arts culture overflows with young, sexy, unconventional and unwilling trendsetters who never take their ever changing interests seriously. Hating the trendy young people who try too hard, these people were different, they held private parties ,they reveled in their own private culture, their mini-society, separate and original compared to the rest of the world.
Everyone was beautiful and talented, and yet no one felt the need to show off. It made me want to be a part of their social circle and be one of the sincerely dressed people chewing twenty times on a crusty piece of bread amongst beautiful people, white sheets, aluminum foil platters, medical illustrations and no name vodka.
The narrator judges Raj’s physical attributes, meticulously analyzing his carefully trimmed beard and spiked hair. According to our humble narrator, based on Raj’s ordinary good looks, there is no chance of depth of personality, or credibility. The assumption is that handsome men are doomed to become boring and unintelligent because everyone seems to assume that they don’t want to have serious, intelligent discussions. But to me, the narrator seems stuck-up and self-righteous. Does he not realize how many other people wear the same ironic nerd ensemble as him? The narrator manages to swallow his distaste.
To me, the narrator comes off as condescending as he tries to reverse his judgment of Raj half-heartedly when he says Raj is “a little suburban, a little bland, but sweet enough.” It’s like the well feared back-handed compliment that stings like a slap. Obviously, to the narrator, Raj does not fit in with his unconventional and unique group of friends. Raj’s “occasional shot at self-deprecation” is surprising, he’s not expecting that kind of sense of humor from “someone like him”. When he moves to sit beside Thanh in his attempt to take her home, Raj graciously moves aside. The narrator describes himself as “gratified” when Raj moves away, letting him take control over the conversation with Thanh, and it’s as if the narrator likes him more for knowing his place, which was obviously not with her. The narrator’s views annoyed me a little, thinking that he and his friends are the only original and unique people out there with new ideas and lifestyles. How many people out there are getting high and spouting out all the same ideas him and his friends? Perhaps this leads to his expulsion from his clique, his friends did not seem to share his points of view eventually.
Though parts of Raj, Bohemian tended to be condescending, I still longed to be a part of this beautiful, arts-orientated, unconventional group. I wanted to be invited to their dinner parties, the after hours clubs, I wanted to lie on the carpet with them and listen to music. I wanted to consider myself unique and original; even though I’m sure many have thought the same.