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.
I was so worked up.
Driving down the main drag. A two lane, road riddled with potholes and traffic lights they have the audacity to call a highway. Arms beading with sweat, hot air blasting me in the face. The tip of my tongue burned as I took a hard drag from my hastily rolled cigarette.
Head full of bullshit no good thoughts running in a loop. This music was no good. I needed something mellow to un-knot my brainpad before it goes full meltdown. I flick though the phone and fumble my cigarette. It falls between into the leg-hole of my shorts falling all the way back to my damp ass. It burns.
I brake hard. Stop hard. The guy behind me nearly goes right into me. Horns. I hate them, obnoxious. When they’re directed at me though, it’s funny. Even if I’m the biggest dickhead in the world, the guy on the horn looks like a bigger one. The cigarette has burnt me a new asshole. I reach into my crotch, pull it out and take a drag. Then I laugh a little. The lights go green.
The suns at the nice point where all the tall buildings are real orange and the streets are dark wth shadows. I’ve pulled the car over and sit on the hood for a bit looking at the scene. Red taillights going towards red lights. White lights coming the other way. Neon signs turing on and an LED billboard in the distance looking like a second sun Rising from the west. I like Neon Signs. The inventor of LED billboards should be dragged behind a horse-cart.
Yeah, it much better scene to looks at than be a part of. What had me so worked up? Some really small shit. Something I would build up into an elaborate story to complain to someone about at some point, but it was pretty insignificant. And it was petty to get so jacked up over it. Sometimes, you are the problem. You’re the badguy, the dickhead or in this case the jackass customer wants to bitch to two jerks about how they fucked up your order and how now you got to make TWO trips instead of one.