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Don’t Be That Guy: Who Is Known As “Coachella Guy”

Don’t be that guy who everyone knows as “Coachella Guy.” You may not literally be called “Coachella Guy”—but you are he. You are the guy with the Coachella shirt. You are the guy with the Coachella decal on the back of your white MacBook. You are the guy who has the Coachella bumper sticker, who brings up the festival, who serves as a surrogate minister in the Church Of ‘Chella. Don’t be that guy.

You just got back from Coachella: I understand that. “It was hot,” you tell everyone, fan pantomiming your face. “The music was great,” you give a thumbs up. “And you know I’ll be back next year,” you take a seat. There is discussion of your favorite act and how this was the second year in a row you camped. You didn’t get backstage—but you did get to high five someone like James Van Der Beek at a bar. You smoked a blunt with a guitarist from a band you think you heard of. You don’t even look like Jared Leto, either.

You didn’t have to come into work on the Monday after Coachella, which is fine. There seemed to have been some sort of out processing or decompressing necessary from the affair, a reprieve away from the reprieve. You did wear a Coachella shirt when you came to work, too. I wasn’t sure if it was new or not but it was a Coachella shirt. Any time someone mentioned any musician, you definitely mentioned something about Coachella. “It wasn’t as good as 2011,” you say. “But Coachella is always great.”

The thing missing from this wonderful entire performance routine is the meaning: what is Coachella to you? There are a few possibilities—branded swag, rugged vacation, musical tour, drug den—but no emotion is prioritized in relationship to what you took out of the experience. Was it simply something to talk about? Was it a golden carrot for you to dangle around conversations? Was it to impress girls?

You went to Coachella. You are “Coachella Guy.” Do you know you are “Coachella Guy”? I don’t think so. Would you mind being “Coachella Guy”? I think so. You might reluctantly claim the title—but you would enjoy it. Despite all the smiling and nodding around you, the glances to clocks on the wall and funneled coffee swirled around straws responding to the start of yet another Coachella story, you are “Coachella Guy.” He is a guy who only talks about Coachella. Don’t be that guy.

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