1.29.2004

He did what?! Time to Choose Death

So if you're new, go to the bottom and read the line that says I'm a lousy skater. It's true. I suck. However, it seems that even the worst skater can have his moments.

In the ghetto mechanics garage turn skatepark that we skate in Brattleboro, VT, there is (among many other ramps) a 4' 1/4 pipe feeding into a table top. Atop the table top we placed a 2' fun box to use as a ledge.

I was sleepy this night after a long day of dealing with pertussis/whooping cough going through the school, and so my decision making skills weren't up to par. Regardless, I decided to drop in on the quarter, try to ollie 180 degrees onto the ledges for a 50-50 grind (now headed backwards).

On the best of days I can do this trick on a 6" (that's inch) waxed curb. 2' is like giant steps to me. Fortunately, a tabletop can really throw a brother into the air, and into the air I went. I turned 180 degrees, placed my front truck (now my back truck) onto the box and completed a Five-O grind.

Now this is all technical nonsense, so to put it into context, a 50-50 grind to a fakie 5-0 grind is like comparing Casper the Friendly Ghost to Poltergeist. This trick is a whole order of magnitude more difficult - at least if you're trying to do it. I wasn't , so I did.

Y'know. Zen.

To put it in another context, the next night I was in skateshop buying a new kingpin and stopped to watch the video feed they had running. The pros were doing the same trick (albeit on handrails, but give a brother a chance...)

So guess what has become my favorite trick to practice? You got it. I spent the rest of the night practicing my 5-0 grinds, landing them more than not, getting it smoother and cleaner.

I'm still not a good skater, but I have a mean grind.

That night I left the Boys and Girls Club, and walked down to the bridge that overlooks the river. Water is low and so the falls were freezing up, forming a sheath of ice over the rushing water. It was a cold, clear night. The stars were out, you could see your breath, but you're still warm because you've been skating for the last hour and a half.

It was perfect.

I looked out over the bridge and thought to myself that if I was ever going to commit suicide, now was the time. My life was perfect. I have 2 proposals that I'm waiting to get back from Wizards - not rejected yet, so the potential is still there. I'm spending time with a beautiful woman who is also the most caring person I know. And my skating is at the very best it has ever been. Zen Buddhists say that attachment to things (be they good things or bad things) is what brings about suffering. I had had my perfect night, the night where I was finally the person I had always wanted to be. If there was any time to finish up a life and avoid attachment, this was it.

Of course, as soon as you die, they forget you. Humans have the memory of goldfish, so what is the sense in that? Got to sell those works. Got to have the print in hand.

And of course, the next night of skating was just as fun.

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