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The Loneliest Goth in the World

Our new friend Simon was the only goth in Camden on World Goth Day.

Yesterday was World Goth Day. According to the semi-official website, it’s “a day where the goth scene gets to celebrate its own being, and an opportunity to make its presence known to the rest of the world… make the goth scene a success in your part of the world." As you can imagine, we were pretty excited. At last, something to fill the gaping void between Easter and my mum’s Jubilee Street Party. In a celebratory mood, we high-tailed it to Camden, the spiritual home of the goths. The day was obviously going to be so well-observed that we found our first goth before we even got there, on the bus. His name was Simon and he was a floor salesman from Woolwich.


We asked Simon what World Goth Day means to him. “It’s basically an excuse to have a few beers in the middle of the week,” he replied, admitting that this was the first time he had made the effort to attend this celebration of glee and self-esteem.

While I had a tame goth here right in front of me, I couldn't help but ask him a question—it's something I've always wondered about, in the same way I've always wondered what it'd be like to go to a girls' sleepover party or work in a slaughterhouse: How do goths see themselves? What is a goth, Simon? “We’re mostly characters out to enjoy life who don’t need to conform to the masses,” he told us.

Despite Simon’s insistence that he was “actually more of a metalhead at heart," we decided to join him as he searched for some goth buddies to hang out with. Goths, he said, are “more interesting to be around than the mainstreams.” The first stop on our journey to the buzzing epicenter of London's goth community was a place called Elixir Bar. But there was no one there :( No goths. No one at all, not even one of those old, red-faced daytime drunks you see dotted around places like this like furniture. We made our excuses and left Simon to drink in solitude, because it was incredibly awk. We continued walking down towards Camden Town hoping to meet a few more goths. It was World Goth Day, surely some of them would be out and living it up in the sunshine? After some fruitless searching, we decided to check out some of the goth shops in Camden market, where we met Francesca. She was from Italy and didn’t speak much English, but for some reason she managed to hold our attention anyway. She hadn’t heard of World Goth Day, but did tell us she preferred England to Italy because apparently Italians are more closed-minded and there’s more freedom to be what you want to be here.


Hooray for freedom.

When we left, who should we run into but Simon again?! He was on his way to a place he called "The Dev," even though it was actually called the Hobgoblin. We were beginning to doubt Simon's goth credentials at this point; did he really know where he was going? Do all goth drinking holes have free wi-fi? Was Simon really a goth? If he is, how comes I can see his reflection in that mirror up there? Anyway, "The Dev" was closed, so we ended up at a pub called The World's End. Simon didn't seem very happy about this, he described it as "tourist-y."

Tourist trap it may be, but once again, other goths were nowhere to be seen. We were beginning to think that World Goth Day is a bit ill-conceived as most goth places are closed in the daytime. We decided it was time to leave. Perhaps we were cramping Simon’s style. I guess other goths must have seen Simon enter with a pair of “mainstreams” and run a mile. Throughout our time with him, Simon repeatedly pointed out that World Goth Day isn’t really necessary, because for goths, every day is a goth day. Alas, the goths of the world seem to agree with him, to the point where none of them bothered to come out to celebrate.

Follow Simon and Kareem on Twitter: @simonchilds13 and @kareem_ghezawi