Friday, May 18, 2012
sk8 or die
three summers ago, when david and i first started hangin' out (and, it turns out, a scandalously short time before shoshi came to exist in the world), i was recovering from a hard time in my life and was, at the age of 25, strangely out of nowhere fascinated with skateboarding. i was like a twelve-year old boy who had suddenly discovered boobs, mtv, and skateboarding (maybe not in that order) for the first time. the thing about skating is that it looks easy, but as soon as you step on your board and kick off the cement, you realize how little control of your destiny you really have. i fell so many times. i was way too old to be failing like this, at simply stepping on a board and kicking off.
but i kept going back for more. i started to realize that the more you just sort of let go, the better you do. the more free and wild you feel, the less you fall. dude, it was so totally symbolic. i ran into david, whom i'd known for ages, one night at bell's, and mentioned my recent skateboarding passion (it was sort of all i could talk about at the time, like any freshly twelve-year old dork-skating devotee). he said that he, too, had been 'boardin it up more than ever lately. we met up downtown, i carrying my little brother's scuffed skateboard from back when he was a twelve-year old skate fanatic. i felt like a total badass anytime i could coast on the board for longer than ten seconds.
we skated together a lot that summer, kicking off from the rough pothole-strewn north side pavement in front of his brand new hundred-year-old house in the ghetto, and going as far as the heat and our scraped knees would allow. this video still sums up so much of what i remember from those days, and this song. i will never listen to either of them without remembering those barely pre-shoshi days, for as long as i live.
soon i was knocked up, and far too consumed with turning that old north side house into a dreamy babyland to skate much more after that. but i will always smile at any skateboarder i see racing past, feet kicking ferociously and hair swirling in the gliding breeze...'cause without skateboarding, i don't know if there would be a shoshanna mary today.