SK8 or DIE

September 18, 2012

When I was in Junior High I started volunteering my Friday and Saturday nights at a drop-in center called The Vault (très 90’s, no?).  Its purpose was to exist as an alternative for kids getting in to drugs or gangs or whatever. They had pool tables, a DJ cage (it was in a cage! for reals!) and mini ramp out back. It had a dive bar feel, but without the booze or sexual predators. Well, no booze.

I was a very impressionable fourteen when I started out there and quickly became enamored with the other volunteers, most of whom were dudes and all of whom were eight to ten years older than me. They all loved hardcore and punk (mine virgin ears!) had tattoos and piercings (mine virgin eyes!) and were reformed satanists (ok, not ALL of them). Oh, and they skateboarded.

From that point on my personal “style” morphed pretty quickly.  I traded in my bootcut corduroys for all black everything, got one of those lesbian-mom spikey haircuts (which I promptly died red) and became obsessed with SK8R BOiS and beaded wooden jewelry. Oh Lord, dark days.  I wanted to learn how to skate too, but like most tweens was hindered by my desire to look cool at all times and not suck at anything ever.

Fast forward 14 years and I am learning to skateboard for the first* time. Jonny modified one of his old decks for me and for the past few nights has been patiently and lovingly teaching me the ropes. Watching a grown-ass woman teetering around on a wobbly plank would not be my idea of a good time. Especially if said woman punctuated every outing with fits of verbal abuse and/or baby-la-la tears. What a guy. Seriously. I would have curb-stomped me by now. His encouragement makes me want to keep trying though and I think it’ll be fun once I stop being so bad at it.

*Technically, this is the second time I’ve given skateboarding a whirl. The first time was short lived due to a freak accident that left me with a cracked rib and a <temporary> hatred for anything on tiny wheels.



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