Timbre #55: Not Happening

Pushing around on a skateboard, and all the things that go along with that simply truthful exercise, would appear to exist gleefully and almost exclusively in the last minute—that magical instant just before any moment. And the idea that anything associated with skating might be destined to take place—no matter how premeditated or prearranged it appears—is complete and total caca.

You never know if you’re gonna find a bent bar. Julian Davidson transfers to the rough streets of anchorage. Photo: Brian Gaberman

Why? Because (Yoda says) a society of procrastinators, we are … serving our sentences in the infinite space preceding what’s supposed to happen. Consider the endless roll-ups you’ve amassed in the seconds just before another bailed, failed, or hailed ollie variation. And when and if you do finally break on through—quickly tagging the bottom edge of your desired outcome—instead of reaching the headwaters of some enlightened skateboarding mindset, you instinctively anchor yourself in the fluidity of the next “last minute”—you know, just in case something else goes down.

You never know you’re racin’ until you’re rubbin’. Jake Johnson throws elbows. Photo: Mike O’Meally

However trivially this tints many tens of thousands of lives, it’s the biology in which the skateboarding virus flourishes—infecting more and more last-minute victims as time passes. How else could we endure the weatherman’s seasonal guesswork? Reconstructive surgery? Three-shift security? Silly, repetitive lists? Lost friends? Broken boards and no money? All the generations shedding childhood actions? Organization? Chaos?

How, we ask (and answer) again?

Because you never really know.

You never know about the giraffes of WEHO. Alex Olson sticks his neck out for a spotty handi-Smith. Photo: Ben Colen

And while planning for not knowing sounds funny, you’ve got to give a nod to the world’s musicians, painters, martial artists, poets, and gamblers as they live on the run, practicing to remove as much ego as possible, getting their chops down, and preparing to be unprepared. For them as well as for our developing activity, the learning and the life come not from some standardized test but from that teetering, tottering love of the last-minute, of the stress, of the ensuing mistakes, of the awkward trips, and of the embarrassment that comes with not being afraid to fall and fall hard.

I mean, if that’s even going to happen.