SKATEBOARDING AND THE FERAL PRODIGY
A WORK IN PROGRESS AS COMPLETED BY JAY LEE IN A
NERVOUS FERVOR,DIRECTLY AFTER HEATHER DAWN CARDEN
CALLED HIM OUT OF THE BLUE, THE FIRST TIME HE HAD
HEARD FROM HER IN ATLEAST A COUPLE OF YEARS, WHEN
JAY HELD THAT YELLOW RECIEVER OF HIS MICKEY MOUSE
LANDLINE PHONE NERVOUSLY AND ANXIOUSLY AS HEATHER
TOLD HIM SHE WAS GOING TO BE PASSING THROUGH
LA THE NEXT DAY, AND WOULD BE IN THE CITY FOR AN
INCREMENT OF SLIGHTLY LESS THAN THIRTY SIX HOURS-
INVITING JAY TO MEET HER ALONG WITH SOME OF
HER OTHER FRIENDS WHO ALSO CONVENIENTLY LIVED WITHIN GREATER
LOS ANGELES COUNTY OR IN ANY OF THE SMALL CITIES NEARBY,
TO MEET FOR HAPPY HOUR DRINKS AT THE BELMONT- JAY HAVING A BAD
FEELING IN HIS STOMACH, BEING SLIGHTLY OFFENDED,
THINKING IT A BAD SIGN SHE DIDN'T WANT TO SET TIME
TO MEET UP WITH HIM ALONE, JAY BEING OFFENDED- HURT BY THE
UTILITY OF HEATHER'S LOGIC- JAY COMPLETING
SKATEBOARDING AND THE FERAL PRODIGY
AFTER HANGING UP AND THEN PACING AROUND HIS APARTMENT
NOT KNOWING WHAT TO DO WITH HIMSELF, THEN FINNALLY
LETTING THE NERVOUS WIND DRIVE
SKATEBOARDING AND THE FERAL PRODIGY
SKATEBOARDING AND THE FERAL PRODIGY
Here is how you pull over your head a heathered grey sweatshirt that has "Property of Stereo Athletics" emblazoned across the chest in collegiate dark blue lettering.
Here is how to wrap your torn ankle so tighly in flesh-tone Ace bandages that your left ankle has a hard time flexing to flick and feels dead and stiff.
This is a saftey orange adjustable flat bar that you had to go all the way to the Vans park Milpitas to procure, because although SF is skateboard city, the Vans park in Milpitas is the closest place that sells adjustable safety orange flatbars on a consumer level. Take the flat bar and set it up on the side walk in front of the duplex house you live in, which lies on the side of the hill on 25th avenue. Make yourself carve the sidewalk without foot dragging so you eventually have an uncomfortable amount of momentum to go through your ledge trick repertoire where with each successful pass done you have to walk back up the hill and go back down to the next trick progression, starting with: backboard slide, frontboard slide, front fifty fifty, back fifty fifty, front five-o, back five-o, front nosegrind and so fourth. Don't forget switch. You won't necessarily get any coverage skating rails, because you are naturally averse to the psychological associations that go with handrail skaters/skating, but you are aware of the concept that one is only as strong as their weakness and this is done more out of mental excersize than for covey/footy training/practice. Make sure you progress to ollieing a foot in front, of the flat bar as to give the maneuver the dimension of being "gap out".
Go your whole career with out ever finding a suitable spot you feel comfortable doing gap out, nor ever get any photos in magazines or covey footy in skateboard video cartridges doing such a type of maneuver.
This is how you hold your stick. Learn to call your board a stick. Everyone does, here. It's a tradition:The Stick. Something so much an extension of you deserves a sobriquet.
Please look. You'll be shown exactly once how to hold it. This is how to hold it. Just like this. Forget all that stupid east-coast-wheel-grab bafflegab. Just say hello is all. This is how to hold it. The stick is your friend. You will become very close.
Here is how to wake up at seven o clock in the morning and take the Geary bus all the way to the opposite end of the penninsula to Pier 7, to set up your obsolete hi-8camera on a tri pod far a way from the manual pad so that you and the manual pad fit in the frame and so that you can film and practice filming a nose manual nollie tre flip out in the lame morning light. The footage will be so tedious to even try to study or critique your form and approach, but having the camera there rolling helps you imagine the pressure while trying to land a nose manual nollie tre flip out, the scrutiny of the filmer who will most likely secretly hate you and who with each pass is secretly thinking in his head "don't make it."
Have a father who's father gave away and or lost the family business. Have a father who perhaps didn't live up to his full athletic potential. Keep trying over and over again as there is nothing else you can really think of to focus yourself on, leaving yourself in a kind of feral and flux riden state with respect to talent.
Here is how to avoid thinking about this while pushing around or trying a trick as would doing so would annihilate your concentration and thus by doing so you would spend more time flailing around than landing four down and rolling away. You must learn this by skating so much you appreciate how it is mandatory to run on auto pilot and skating becomes an unconcious excersize of muscle memory and becomes a way you escape, a long waking dream of pure play.
The irony is that this makes you very good, and you start to become regarded as having a prodigious talent to live up to.
Here is how to handle being considered by people who know a lot about skateboarding and people who know almost nothing about skateboarding as a feral prodigy. Here is how to handle making it through the preliminary qualifiers in contests- here is how to keep your composure and hold cool poise while doing a succession of street tricks on a course that doesn't resemble a street course whatsoever. Here is how to enter contests even though you will not want to be considered a "contest skater".
Here is how to beat unsponsored or sponsored ams who would like nothing more to take your spot on the enigmatic skateboard company that you broke your back trying to help establish. This is how to skate with an integrity and casualness that to almost no one else execpt you and the six other people in the industry who are smart enough to realize attitude is everything and that you possess a power of not caring, even though skateboarding is your life. This is how not to care when someone snakes you during practice, but you don't let it get to you, as you are aware of the nervous gallop that which almost every skater there is involved in by trying to land everything every where so everyone can see it, and that this only enforces the weak thinking and will thus touch their skating. This is a poorsport's punishment and you are aware that this punishment is indeed self inflicted.
Try to notice what is unfair to you, can be delt with as a teaching experience.
Here is how handle sleeping on the floor with fever dreams from the aches you put yourself from over skating an un-natural ammount- for getting through a sleep that you think would come easy because you spent eight hours excersizing and scooting and juming around, but where your body still insists on making you suffer because you don't have access to narcotic pain relievers nor enough per deim money on advil because you spent it on over priced out of state tariffed marijuana and budget beer or you just simply did'nt think about buying any at the convenience store because you were so focused on getting faded.
Here is the whrilpool at SF City college you gain access to that is your friend and along with the campus weight room is soley the only reason you take the bus to the fringes of the city and you must spend around five hundred dollars on a full time schedule- even though you won't have time to actually attend classes, because Rocco or Theibaud or your filmer will resent you and accuse you in their head of not pulling your weight. The classes you decide to unroll in with total disregard to a curriculum plan as to where you could actually transfer to a real college can be: a measly one credit guitar workshop, begging painting, begging life drawing, history of cinema- where at the very last class that you coincidentally attended, the teacher announces her retirement, shows the movie Zelig and then at the very very end unprofessionally solicits her services as psychotherapist to the class and then hands out business cards and pamphlets that which she created through the early advent of desktop publishing.
Here is how to sweat from perpetually being on you board in the city and not owning a car. Although peer theory dictates that girls are actually attracted to the pheromoneal function of male body odor- this yeilds little in the way of actual female companionship- your shoes are blown and never not damp, your apartment has no access to a washer and dryer, nor would it be the sort of place the type of woman you are into would even want to hang out at, and also you don't have a car as to go on an actual hypothetical date and you can barely affford to buy your own drinks when you go out solo and even then sometimes you have to sacrifice bar drinks for stealing food at Castro or Oceanview Safeways or the Cala Foods on Geary.
This is how to try to forgive yourself for blowing Heather off that one time you were so focused on what you though was your career- that time you went to go hang out with that wack influential rep and blew off plans to go dancing with her. You felt pathetically powerful and in control of your own destiny although for the next decade you will beat yourself up for doing this - for just that one time, that she probably doesn't even remember. At that time you had no awareness that actual life is more important than skateboarding because you though it was best to make skateboarding your life. You thought it was frugal to put Heather on the back burner and you couldnt see at the time that she actually still loved you. Here is how to even think about trying to even start to attempt to resolve and forgive yourself for this that which you literally punched yourself in the face drunkenly years later in your room alone because you where so frustrated and hated yourself after she told you about her new lover -that guy who would end up having a sensative man beard and wore a southie hat that made him look like an overaged newspaper boy from the nineteen thirties.
Here is how to futily try to bond smoking crack with your boss while overseas, eventhough you did'nt bond at all, eventhough in hind site he would have rather not shared with you and never even liked you in the first place and always held an irrationally unjustifiable contempt for you but still needed to use you to blow up a company that he would later sell off and soley profit from for selling the company off to another bigger conglomerate who made yo yos, Bandi boards, Slip n Slides and Wiggle Waggle boards.
Discourage any outside advances for friendship with anyone who had nothing to do whatso ever with skateboarding eventhough you steadfastly cultivate the image appearance of not being a skater- that you were an eclectic personality, an island of such great complexity who is more interested in free form jazz, traveling contemporary art exhibitions, french poetry, and black and white photography and it just so happens that you are good at skateboarding.
Youre going to have regret dreams, tension dreams brough on by every bad mistake and fear you have ever had. Learn from what they are trying to tell you.
Sleep with the lights on because of the nearly psyhe shattering dreams you have suffered from since being a child, those nightmares that unmistakeably involved some outside sinister supernatural force. Sleep with the lights on because you are convinced that you have actually seen the angel of death.
This is how to get free trucks and wheels and be in unpaid ads and have checks from your board sponsor bounce. Heres how to sell barely skated prototypes on Haight Street to get money for drinks to go out to try to meet women. Here is how to get too drunk and almost always never meet anyone or get chicks phone numbers and end up spending all your money on alcohol that which never helped get you laid, that which always lures the false promise of female companionship, that which always gets you too drunk and you irrationally spend even more money on unnecessary drinks you don't need, that cost about ten bucks a pop and inevitably starts really messing with your state of mind, starts messing with your attitude towards life and not to mention starts fucking with your skateboarding.
Be a student of the game. Like most cliches of sport, this is profound. You can be shaped, or you can be broken. There is not much in between. Try to learn. Be coachable. Peers who fizzle out or stop apearing in 411 commercials or stop showing up to skate spots during business hours should be a mirror to yourself. New kids who skate better than you can be scary, but you now know that the overaged man ams can be especially scary.
See yourself in your opponents. It is all educational. This will bring you to understand the skategame, until you come to the final conclusion that it all rides on the skill set of managing fear. Not just the fear that comes with going to the emergency room from eating shit, or getting hit by a car, but the fear that rationalizes not to seeing out the discipline you originally planned out in your head, the fear of perhaps putting all your eggs in the wrong basket, the fear of being not good enough, the same fear that makes ones hemorrhage confidence, that fear that which will never go away.