Volume 21 Number 11
file: Toner 21#11
Close To Kings
Much has been said about the evil that men do to live life close to kings.
Surprisingly, much less has been uttered about the opposite side of the coin–the positive and single-minded sacrifices made in the name of getting as near as possible to the affirmative qualities of these uncrowned world rulers.
That seems like a lot of words just to say something simple, so let's shorten it up a bit:
We'd do anything to skateboard.
The part about kings almost just serves to separate and delineate the cream of the crop–skateboarding's pros, sponsored ams, creative bulldozers, and bright personalities–from the rest of us. But the fact is, the separation between “them” and “us” is barely discernible. Skill levels aside (I'll never, ever tre flip, front blunt anything), by just going out and skateboarding, we're closer to those kings than any of society's sub groupings are to their heads of state.
There are no Secret Service guards running beside P.J. Ladd's car; there are no cops standing cross-armed, patrolling the borders of the IPath demo; nobody's posted up at the door of McCrank's dressing room keeping the stalker hordes at bay.
In fact, skateboarding's most skilled are less kings then they are serfs, laboring right along with the kid who obsessively ollies the overturned trash can in hopes of breakthrough outcome–effectively trying as hard as they can to get as close as they can to the feeling that drives all of us.
It's that fleeting sensation of control over a particular moment in time when pushing, carving, or backside Smithing some bench feels better than it ever has before. It's at that juncture that close counts more than in horseshoes, hand grenades, or shaving.
Then the one-eyed man, the happy, the meek, and the dweller of Turd Island are all truly King Shit, and the focus ring turns instead to the good that kings do to live life close to men.
All in favor. All in the mind. All for one and one for all.
All skateboarders are closer than farther.
All of us are the kings.