Timbre #65: Baggage Claim

On purpose, like I mean it, on the real, and all the rest of those jingly qualifiers … For the last few months I’ve been carrying around a bit of baggage in hopes of something good following it into my days. It ain’t heavy, brothers—just a scrap of paper. But its scuffs and folds have begun to remind me of things other than the faded note I scribbled down, so I think I better get to it before the time passed means more than the note-to-self.

“Don’t know what’s gonna happen,” it says.

I told it to say that.

Ryan Lay talislides straight through the greasy portal of John Malkovich’s cranium. Photo: Matt Price

This uncertainty—this not knowing—I’ve realized, is the common denominator in almost everything I’ve ever done, experienced, or been a part of that’s worth a shit. And while I know that using the value of a single shit isn’t the preferred gauge for measuring anything, it is true.

I appreciate familiarity as much as the next bro, bro. I also understand that, more than likely, it’s the foundation that everyone’s existence (and every single comfort) is based upon, but that’s not where the new comes from. That’s not where the surprises are. That’s not where the levels are reset.

And it’s hard with skating because while I want to know that I’ll still have pivot fakies when I dust them off after a couple days, I also want to be shocked by them somehow. Not slam-to-the-teeth shocked. I mean bonk-your-front-wheels-on-the-way-back-in shocked, with just enough distraction to glide you mindlessly into the longest fakie Smith everrrrrrr. It’s an impossible equilibrium, but a kid can dream.

Tristan Rennie plants one in Eugene’s Eggro Zone. Photo: Matt Price

Give me ignorance, bliss, and the first time I tasted a McRib—all day, every day. But can you make it sweet? Or at least not bitter? Because there’s a smelly tonnage of things that I know are locked in and ready to unload on me, and the bad surprises don’t seem to balance the scales as much as a kickflip that pushes my back foot up when (or if) I catch it.

My note has a sub heading.

“Why we skate.” it says.

High five, me. Well done.

You wouldn’t even know there was a dark side if it wasn’t for that light. Chase Webb gets all FSO around zero dark thirty. Photo: Brian Gaberman

“Ignore the action, the sport, the risk, and the bastardized stoke” is what I think I’m telling me.

I don’t really know, though.

I do know that something is going to happen. And I’ll try to be ready for it—get my chops down—so that when whatever it is does happen, I can kind of take a big breath, smile, and just cruise, knowing that it’s all completely worth a shit.