JJ’s Memoir- The Trustafarian


I recently read a memoir by a very funny author named Gary Shteyngart. His family came to the US from Russia during the Cold War and he has to deal with identity crises, culture clash, and daddy issues. Gary’s family was allowed to come to the US during the Cold War because they were Jewish. From the little I know about history, Jewish folks are always moving on from one place or another, sometimes by choice. These events made for interesting writing. Me, I come from suburban Connecticut. Coming from suburban Connecticut does not make for interesting writing, unless you want to write about traffic, snobs, or business parks off of exit ramps. Business parks are not the fun kind of parks, despite the grass and trees. Anyway, here’s the next part. I’m leaving, on a jet plane…

On the plane out I sat next to some well funded pseudo-hippy named Kyle. Kyle was a Trustafarian. A Trustafarian is a rich kid, funded by parents, who gets to live without working. Predictably, he then stops bathing, gets dreadlocks, skis or snowboards or climbs or hang glides or just sits around talking about all those things while smoking copious amounts of pot. In other words: Person, in early twenties, with lots of money, who doesn’t have to work. Trustafarians would be my most lucrative customers when I started working for Matias and the Rocky Mountain Mafia.

“Right on, dude,” Kyle said when I told him I was leaving my troubles behind to live in Colorado. “Me, too.”

“Did you run from the cops, too?”

He looked at me. “Uh, no, not really, dude. My parents were after me. To

finish college. What a racket, man. Corporatized education. I won’t become their robot.”

“Do you work out there?”

“Work? Like a job?” Kyle smiled and rubbed his hands together as we cruised 40,000 feet above Iowa. “Working is not the way for me.”

“So, help me out here. How do you live? I mean, are you in a commune or something?”

“I live in a house. In Boulder.”

“Are there others like you?”

“Dude, that’s a weird question but, yeah man, we’re everywhere out there.”

Kyle was getting a bit tense with all the questions so I let him nap. But his insouciance, his pothead with money and not a care in the world demeanor, it was stirring something in me. The flicker of an idea. Who sells weed to these lazy, well-funded, and nonviolent freaks? Also, where does Kyle get his weed? Because I wanted to smoke some as soon as we landed.

“So,” I said as we started our descent into Denver. “When we land, where can I get that good bud that you so obviously partake of and are so obviously a connoisseur of?”

Kyle looked a bit alarmed but then a sly smile, a little coy, crept into his face. He was proud of his connections and his connoisseur status. That’s the way into these Trustafarians’ hearts. Like some high powered businessman with a bimbo on his arm. He wants you to stare, but not too much, just enough to acknowledge his superiority. For Trustafarians, you compliment their taste in marijuana, Frisbees, and old Volvos. Then they can’t help but let you into their secret.

“Where are you going when we get there?”

“Wherever you are,” I said. “For a little while.”


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