Timbre #57: The Funny Thing About Regret

When sitting down to work, it’s rare that I don’t struggle. Actually, my struggles with most everything are becoming more and more common. If it’s not struggling to find something to do instead of what I’m supposed to be doing—like cleaning out the garage or sweeping floors—then it’s sitting here attempting to smash writer’s block with a flyswatter instead of a sledgehammer. And—on top of it all—not skating? I don’t like that. It makes me want to kill innocent adult beverages.

Spanky rides the waves of yet another hurricane season. Photo: Brian Gaberman

The connections can get soooo rusty, too. They still work; it just takes a minute. But why the avoidance? Why the dragging of feet? Why do people put off today, what they’ll hate doing even more tomorrow?

Some say it’s because that’s when the best things happen. This procrastination is a means to an end and we shouldn’t regret the fact that it takes place, because it’s only the best who put themselves through hell for hell’s sake. Others say you can hurt your arm by patting yourself on the back like that.

Breaking ground on a monument to no regrets, Craig Johnson swings a mean sledgehammer. Photo: Windy Osborn

As skateboarders, we’re supposed to resist everything … aren’t we? It’s the self-imposed exile of the self-absorbed, self-declared lifer. I asked a friend the other day if given the chance, would he make a deal for diminished skills if it meant he could skate forever and ever? He said no. Fuck that. He’d rather fight for a harsh today than for a low-level eternity of totally not struggling.

And I kinda like that. The here-and-now chase of progression and its priceless prize that only comes alongside our own potential destruction. We’ll happily try to figure out how to get our feet in the right place even if it means a rough-deal rolled ankle, a bloody hip, or some lost teeth first, and then getting ready for work, writing that book report, or laundering our unmentionables second.

Keep Austyn weird. Gillette hip checks first and asks questions later. Photo: Mike O’Meally

The perfection comes in splinters and specs, allowing us to feel right one little grain at a time. But the truth is, it all happens the most and is potent the most when we’re not supposed to be perfect. Like first-try anything. Like the 100th try that you’re sure you’ll miss again. Like laughing after breaking your tail off, turning your board around, and then landing what had previously been so far from home.

And if you want to feel an even more perfect perfection, try to get one of these moments going when you’re late for work. Or after you’ve snuck out of some situation and you know someone’s pissed at you for not being where you’re supposed to be. Or twenty minutes after class has started. Or when you’re hurt. While the perfection might happen—making everything before and after suddenly feel worth it—it also probably won’t happen. But a stolen ride goes so much faster than one you’ve been religiously making payments on for the last 27 months—how could you not give it a spin?

Grand theft crailtap. Mark Gonzales takes a little joy ride. Photo: Brian Gaberman

So, whatever. I’m off.

Fuck writing this thing.

There’s my board. There’s my door. There’s my procrastination gladly pushing me through insufficient surroundings, looking to link together the one thing I know I shouldn’t be doing with the one thing I know will never happen in one glorious collision—a crash so violent and loud that nothing smashes, nothing dents, nothing breaks. It just kinda smooths everything out for a second and reminds you what Gibby says: “It’s better to regret something you have done than to regret something you haven’t done.”