Sunday, August 21, 2005

Stripper

I rotated the wheels on my skate today, to counteract the coning that occurs from doing kick-turns and such. The problem is--and all you closet freestylers out there will surely relate--the problem is, the axels of my trucks are ground down from doing rail stands (what the heck is a "rail stand"? --It's called a "Primo" these days!). Ok, my truck axels are ground down from doing Primos; not the super-gnar Primo slides, but rather the R2-D2, walk-on-the-board-on-it's-side-to-keep-my-balance-while-setting-up-a-railflip kind of thing.

So, when I went to put the bolt back onto one of my trucks, I stripped the sucker, and now it's at a precarious angle vis-a-vis my bearing casing. It's still holding tight, but I'm saddened that my axel will likely never be the same. Once it's gnarled beyond all threadability, one has no recourse but to replace the whole darn truck. And that's expensive. So I hope the bolt/axel hold on for at least a few more wheel rotations.

These trucks I'm riding--neon Tensors--are the best mounting devices I have ever experienced on a skateboard. I've always been an Indy man, until I won the Tensors in a magazine contest last year. And boy have I been enjoying them! Yessireebob, dem's some fine trucks. Yes indeed. Nice trucks. Yep.

So the other day I was on my way back from somewhere or other, and I stopped by the Bease to do a little sesh. I was all alone there, and the rain was just starting to come down, but I kept to my relatively dry, smooth patch to do a little flatland routine, when suddenly my neck started to tense up. I could feel someone's eyes drilling into me. I looked up and, sure enough, there was a fellow in shiny green track pants, the ones with the racing stripes down the side. He had no shirt on, and his belly kind of rolled a little bit over the waist of his pants. He was watching me from a ways off, under the cover of some trees, so I kept on skating for a bit, but I felt a little awkward about it.

Soon, the rain started pissing down. I would have just left, but my side-pouch-thingy was up under the trees, right behind where this fellow was loitering. So I went up there and retrieved my accoutrement. Being a considerate human being, I didn't just ignore the fellow, but echanged a few words. Common, predictable words as two strangers might be exptected to exchange. Our pleasantries soon came around to the weather, which was rapidly taking a turn for the worse. The rain had, in fact, suddenly started crashing down with a fury that was uncommon. I would even say it was spectacular. It fell just short of Kant's concept of the sublime. Were a tornado to have suddenly touched down upon the hydro transformer across the way, sending a cascade of sparks and flame into the surrounding foiliage, that would have been sublime. But I also wouldn't likely be here to write this account. So let us pause to thank the Great Artificer for staying His fury, or at least allocating it to a local more removed from where I happened to be stationed at that moment.

At any rate, I was stuck under a tree with this fellow, whom I could now see was drinking beer from a can. "Things are always better with a little beer to swish around a can," he said. I made a mental note to test out this theory, having rarely had the experience of drinking beer from a can, being more of a bottle man when it comes to such refreshments.

"I noticed you skating," he said. "You're like one of those seventies guys or something. You don't see that much 'round here."

I was curious to hear the effect my display had had on this stranger, who was obviously not unschooled in skaterly history.

"You looked like Stacey Peralta or something," he said.

I was taken aback. Stacey Peralta? The legendary 70's skatechamp-turned-industry magnate? It was flattering, really, to be party to such a comparison. "I guess I've got some of those oldschool moves," I said, the rain still pounding down.

"I used to skate here," the fellow said, "until life got all messed up." I was suddenly curious as to the manner of disaster that had befallen the chap. "There used to be some crazy shit that went down at this place."

And the man proceeded to describe a list of the crazy shit that the skaters of yor would perform at the very location that was currently experiencing a hose-down from mother nature. I was impressed by this window into the past, into a generation of Beasely skaters that I had never known. "But there's always the crazy stuff," the guy went on. "This is a bad neighbourhood. You hang around here long enough and you'll see what I mean."

I actaully frequent the park quite a bit, but my activities there are generally confined to skating until I'm tired, then going home. The fellow seemed a little demoralized to me, like he could use a good cheering up. But I was at a loss as to just what I might say to this effect. So I listened a little more to his stories; about the guy who could ollie over the iron fence, or another guy who would park his convertable and launch right over it, out of the bowl. And then I bid the fellow good day, and headed from the cover of the trees, out into the rain.

"You're leaving?" he asked, a little dejectedly.

"I gotta get to the grocery store," I explained. "Nice meeting you, though." I shook his hand and that was that. On my way to the store I got drenched, but I didn't really mind. It was a little like swimming, but with cloths on. In the grocery store I almost froze to death--they keep the air conditoner so low--but I picked up the commodities I required and headed back out into the rain, towards home.

9 comments:

Gyrobo said...

Some people are just naturally unhappy. I usually try to avoid unhappy people, as they tend to bring you down with them.

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Michael said...

“The rain started pissing down.”
I love that line. It speaks volumes of how unpleasant and of how much the rain was an inconvenience.

I kinda wonder if the guy with no shirt on, that you met was more than an inconvenience but maybe the Obi-Kenobi of Skating?

flatlander said...

He was definitely some kind of skate avatar, with beer can in place of light saber or skateboard.

The rain was an inconvenience, but not entirely unpleasant, once one resigned oneself to being drenched.

Michael said...

Sorry about the poor sentence structure. A couple of glasses of wine will do that you.

tea-totaller said...

Hey man, don't sweat it. It's all poetry after a couple glasses of wine! Myself, I need to catch some ZZZs.

good night moon said...

Good night, tea-totaller
Good night, Michael
Good night, flatlander
Good night, spam-bots
Good night
Good night
Good night....

spam-bot said...

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