Toner 28

Toner 28

Now Tense

Left books in car. Said I was going to the library. Didn’t do homework. Quit cross-country. Quit school. Got someone to cover shift. Called in sick. Quit without notice. Told my girlfriend I had to work. Snuck out of the house. No-showed for my dentist appointment. Skipped church. Forgot to brush teeth. Ignored friends. Ignored new friends. Made stupid lists. Smoked a cigarette. Quit smoking. Smoked another one.

Moved away from home–said I’d never return. Moved away from home again–said I’d never be back. Will probably never move away from home again.

Bought ibuprofen and bandages before I was hurt. Skated when I was hurt. Ritualized ice therapy. Stretched. Got through. Lost temper in traffic on the way to skate. Lost temper while skating. Lost temper driving home from skating. Can’t find temper.

Only wore skateboard-company T-shirts. Only wore blank T-shirts. Only wore basketball shoes. Only wore skate shoes. Only wore thrift-store shoes. Only walked in sandals. Only skated in skate shoes. Got stuck breaking own rules.

Skated desk with fingers. Made small skateboard out of Hot Wheels car. Stared in disbelief at entire Target toy aisle filled with fingerboards. Drew what Smith grinds felt like. Drew tricks that hadn’t been done. Drew tricks I’d never do. Rubbed drawings of skateboards onto foggy windows. Still can’t draw a decent skateboard. Introduced myself to other skateboarders. Had other skateboarders introduce themselves to me. Spoke to skaters who didn’t speak my language. Sat and watched from afar while strangers sessioned a ledge. Saw a waxed ledge. Waxed a ledge. Yelled at kids for waxing a ledge.

Washed, rinsed, and repeated.

Horded shoelaces. Retaped old boards. Removed shields from bearings, oiled them, pressed them into hand-me-down wheels, and loved it. Set up two different boards. Set up two identical boards. Smashed board to pieces and put trucks and wheels in my backpack for later. Called the shop every day to see if new mag was in. Complained out loud that mag sucked when it finally arrived. Skated for an hour in my hallway. Skated all night in the rain. Drove eight hours to skate a mini ramp. Skated for two minutes at a perfect park. Didn’t skate once for six months. Spent a week building a box and skated it only once.

Gave the wrong name to an adult. Gave the wrong name to a kid. Gave a cop the name off his own nametag as my own. Ran from cops. Didn’t run from cops. Crumpled up ticket. Talked my way out of ticket. Talked my way into getting my board impounded. Talked myself into believing it didn’t matter. Had trouble sleeping that night. Borrowed money. Spent money I didn’t have. Activated credit card, got new setup, and skated right back to the scene of the crime.

Gave a shit. Give a shit. Will give a shit.

Maybe two.