Why can't we be friends? from Max Olijnyk on Vimeo.
We went for a skate yesterday at Gisborne. It's one of my favourite skateparks in Melbourne (well, you know what I mean) for a quite a few reasons, only vaguely to do with the actual skatepark. For one thing, there are trees there, and hills. The air is cool and fresh. Especially at this time of year, it's a really pretty place to be in and makes a nice change from the industrial backlots and office buildings we usually find ourselves in of a weekend afternoon. This sounds quite hippyish and maybe it is, but even Sam is fond of the nature vibes of Gisborne.
'Is that the one in the forest?' he asked when I proposed the trip the night before, over a bracing round of chicken parmas. When I replied in the affirmative, he said, 'Yep, I could go there,' which, as anyone who is familiar with Sam knows, is a glowing endorsement.
Anyway, there's also the fish and chip shop. There are actually four fish and chip shops within walking distance of the skatepark, but I prefer the one just over the road. We order chips with chicken salt and, for while we're waiting, a cheeky potato cake. They sell tomato sauce in strange plastic containers that look like oversized Nespresso pods. We take the chips back to the park and eat them while continuing to skate and laugh at Jason who is having a hell of a day.
The park is rarely crowded, which is maybe the best thing about it. Yesterday, there was a sprinkling of scooters, both supervised and dreadlocked, but they only got in my way a few times. It's a strange mixture of fear and anger that boils up when a scooter gets in your way - because oftentimes, they have no idea they're in your way at all, and that makes them even more dangerous. Sometimes I turn a particular scooter kid into a villain in my mind. 'Greeny is a nightmare,' I comment to an offsider. 'He's everywhere you want to be.' After five or six near misses, I'll yell at the kid or talk to him or something, and realise he's just a kid, and even if he knows he's getting in my way, that just means he's a little shit, which is what most kids are. I'm a 38 year old in a playground, yelling at kids. I'm the villain.
But that didn't happen much yesterday. The park is nice and spread out, and while not exactly groundbreaking, its design is clever and caters to most tastes. I always get puffed when I skate at Gisborne, and it feels good to be puffed.
The drive to and from the skatepark is also always enjoyable. As the driver, I much prefer sitting on the highway for 40 minutes to lurching my way around the suburbs. We listened to French's recap of his night seeing not only Carcass but Napalm Death play live in St Kilda. We stopped at McDonalds and got a coffee. We dissected several video clips and discussed how Consolidated was Anti Hero before Anti Hero was Anti Hero. And on the way back, we talked about Asian game shows and I was home by 4pm. And that's why I like Gisborne.