People used to make things with their hands when nobody would do it for them.
A few mates with a few bags of cement and some stolen wood from a building site. Make a frame. Fill it with rocks. Put chicken wire over it. Mix some cement up in a wheel barrow and pour it on. Drink beer until it dries. Skate it. Repeat.
It a rough, lumpy and usually pretty ugly. But thats the charm.
Now skateparks are everywhere. Clean, smooth, un-cracked bowls and street courses popping up all over the place.
So people don’t need to get their hands dirty anymore. Not if they don’t want to.
But, some still like making things for themselves.
I think I drove 12 hours this day. Over mountains. Across dry grass plains and cotton farms. Through thunderstorms and lightning. And after that, the most vibrant red sunset I’ve ever seen in my life.
Then in the dark. Past penitentiaries and towns with no lights on, through fog and across long black rivers running for the coast.
And I slept under the brightest moonless sky I’d seen for a long while. In the back of my car in an empty rest-stop.
That fucking sky man. Can’t shoot it. Can’t paint it. Can’t write a song about it. Not without coming up short.
Would have been a fine thing. To get a shot of me face as I watched my old friend shattering on the roadside.
It hung in for a few k’s. I heard a bump and a rattle as I pulled into the bottle-shop but wrote it off as a tick of the car. Maybe the suspension was shot. I was heading back to camp along a dry wooded backroad. Fast. When I caught a glimpse of something black spinning through the air. The light catching it.
I thought I’d hit a crow. It’s greasy feathers shimmerin in the light. But nah. When it collided with the tar for a second time familiar parts flew from it.
Lens cap. Lens Hood. Battery. Flip out screen.
I found them all scattered in a line when I got back to the scene. I followed and collected the fragments that led to the brush. Tramping through the long grass in arcs I finally found it. 20 meters from the road. The Camera body. Lens covered in dirt. Cracks on the body. The rear menu screen was a flip out. Shattered now. The back casing had flown off onto the road.
I turned it on and took a shot.
It still focussed. It still seemed to go.
So I got back to camp, drank my drinks and went walking. Taking pics with the cam. Not sure how they would go.
Far up the beach was a man too well dressed to be on the beach reading a book. I talked shit to him for a while and really tested his geniality. He’d come so far out of his way for solitude to have a pished blood-eyed cankersore of a man poring all over his cool Russian literature and snapping photos of him with a busted ass camera to boot.
Upswing: The camera still goes after all the shit I’ve put it though. Man. The Nikon D5100 is a tough SOB. Totally obsolete tech but still. Tough. And still takes a nice pic if you’re in the right space, at the right time, 95% of the time. Isn’t that the game we play people! Right right right?
Down the coast before the sun got up. Pulled off the new highway for a leak in the dark and thought I’ll roll past a few points I hadn’t looked at for a while.
There was a clean groundswell and light winds. Waves wrapped around the points and I took some time watching them while I tried to remember how to use my camera. I hadn’t taken it off the shelf for a while.
The north coast is still a beautiful place it you get up early enough.
I went for a skate in a dewy concrete bowl by the river. I had a lot of miles to go and wasn’t ready for a long stop yet. I didn’t know where I was going. I was still making a plan.
I wanted to keep going. Chain smoking down the highway with the window down till my throat was sore and my eyes were bloody. Passing by the towns.
All the way down.
She wanted to get away. I wanted to go anywhere.
But I had no idea here to go. A year of immobility had numbed my spirit and shortened my horizons drastically. Luckily she had a plan.
We jimmied the lock on a Wicked camper parked on the Burleigh esplanade whilst the campers were enraptured in a drum circle on a Sunday evening, then crossed the border in the setting sun.
We crossed rivers and passed small towns propped up by roadtrains and greasy food. The sky fell down on us and we pulled down a dirt road and parked on a sloped hillside. I was skeptical, my adventurous spirit deadened by the comforts of apartment living. She assured me this was the place.
This would be the cure for our city woes.