Timbre #48: Paradise Localized

I live in the most amazing place.

All my friends are here—I mean even all the friends I’ve met from other states and countries. Relocated, fool. Plus my entire well-adjusted, extended family. We’re thick like a German accent. The high school I dropped out of is like second or third globally when it comes to placing their graduates in meaningful and lucrative management jobs. They just retired the number I wore in all three years of intramural basketball. The ceremony was glorious. God bless ’em … those folksy folk in my amazing town.
Grant Taylor wakes up around 11:00 every day, and commences with the shredsticking. Photo: Ryan Flynn

You know what? You’d love it here. I got spots coming out of my ass. So many spots that it gives other people diarrhea. The parks and rec department in this place I love to call amazing is completely made up of young, hip friends of mine who owe me favors, plus they all grew up skating, smoking weed, and taking acid, so, you know, they’re cool as fuck.

The mayor’s kid is sponsored by some new, arty Belgian board company, all the shops here are owned and operated by skaters, and they’re freestanding, OG, mom-and-pops that sponsor like fifty of the best pros, so dudes are always cruising through to sign posters, premiere videos, drink Stella in the backs of fifteen-passenger vans, and build respectable relationships with the thousands of eligible single women who populate our fair city. Shit. I’ve been the best man at like seven or eight skate weddings in the last year—a groomsman in dozen more.
Get in the van. Photo: Ryan Flynn

The weather’s so good that the cable company stopped offering the Weather Channel. I can’t even remember the last time it wasn’t 70 and sunny. And I got behind-the-counter bros and sistas at every coffee house and pizza parlor and bar—even that cleverly named coffeepizzabeer place where everyone hangs out. So every day it’s like, wake up, don’t check the weather, skate one of the new parks that the acid freaks got funded through some secret federal grant, then hit a few perfect spots on the way over to eat and drink for free until I’m good and comfortable. And then I might just sleep in until 11:00 at one of my awesome cribs. Yeah, cribs … plural. Property is so cheap here that I’ve been able to buy a few homes. Anytime you need a place to stay, let me know. Seriously. You just say the word, man.

Needless to say (but of course, I’m saying it), I love it where I live. And I’m never leaving.

As a matter of fact, I never have left.

Nope, why would I? I mean all I hear from everyone else, everywhere else, is that the scene where they live sucks.
Hot on the block. Vincent Alvarez chills the hell out. Photo: Mike O’Meally

It’s too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter, or too transitional in the spring and fall. Their parks were built by old slashers or young tech dogs or dumbasses at playground companies. And you have to wear helmets or pads or both. In their streets, security is tight. The cops are dicks. The driving is terrible. No one skates anymore or there are too many kooks, their video cameras are all broken, and no one shoots photos. The jocks and the hicks and the old people and the college kids and the posers are ruining everything. All their shops are in malls. All their friends are jerks. And take it from me, their parents just don’t understand.

So rather than subject myself to the grumpy flight crews of a zillion delayed aircraft and their out-of-control system of overpriced cancellations and feigned competence, or pay for the fuel to drive to one of these godforsaken scenes to skate with their godforsaken skaters, I think I’ll just stick around where I’m, like, the most local local. Rooted not rutted—that’s what everyone says here. We sell T-shirts with that shit on them. Ready for more of what’s amazing; all day, every day—that’s another one of our breathtaking slogans.
Kyle Leeper knows nose mannys are easy in paradise. Photo: Mike O’Meally

Who needs outside influence or culture when I got all I need right here? I mean, why would someone like me—and the other people like me—with everything going for them, choose to volunteer for the dooty duty of exporting our brand of hometown awesomeness to the city limits of one of those rotten places?

Fuck if I know. Fuck if I want to know. Plus that’s not how we do it where I’m from.

We stay put.

Look, we rule. And by default, the rest of the planet has to be lame. And if they want to change their lameness, we let them know it can be changed here. If they want to make it anywhere, we serve notice that they have to make it here first. If they want what we got in our awesome, amazing, little place of perfection, then we’ll give it to them, but they have to come and get it.
Andrew Allen hits the bricks and he only had to roll down to the corner to get what he needed. Photo: Ben Colen

So, really—and this isn’t just an empty invitation—you’ll have to come out here sometime.

It’s the best.