20 February 2015

Pocket to pocket

It was Dave's birthday on Sunday. I'm not sure how old he is; a few years younger than me, I believe. We met for a skate at Fitzroy bowl because it was a convenient spot for us to meet and meant he could slip away to work on his next comedy show instead of coming along with us to another skatepark in the 34 degree heat.

I promised Dave I would do the 'pocket-to-pocket' transfer in celebration of his life thus far, and he agreed to do it as well. It’s a deceptively simple looking trick in which you sort of ollie/float from one bowl into another via the bowled corners. The last time I did it was nearly a decade ago, when I first moved to Melbourne and used to skate the bowl on a daily basis. I remember it feeling easy, but I've tried it many times since and always found a way to talk myself out of it at the last moment. My feet will be in a slightly weird position or some idiot will be doing something in my peripheral vision, like sitting on a bench. Sometimes I think I’m going too slow or too fast or I've carved in at the wrong angle. It just doesn't feel right, so I don’t end up doing it, and it kills me.
With skating it's often as simple as saying you're going to do something, because that takes the idea of the trick out of your brain. It becomes something you have to do, and doing it only takes a second. There is a chance you will fall and hit your head and die, but considering that possibility is the most likely way of making it happen. You have to suspend your disbelief for that second (and a few seconds preceding it) and trick yourself into knowing it will be fine. You have to become an idiot, basically, or sort of aggressively meditate. It really is a head fuck if you think about it, but it isn’t if you don’t. It’s sort of like most things, really.

After a few (dozen) attempts, Dave landed the transfer with ease. I got it a few minutes later and it was as easy as I remembered it. We congratulated each other and vowed to return and do it again, many times, on a regular basis.

I saw Dave again today. He was working on his comedy show and I was ... I'm not sure what I was doing. Trying to make a spreadsheet work in Google Drive, some bullshit like that. We got talking about how funny and ridiculous it is that we both still skate, and how great a thing it is to go for a skate on your birthday.

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