Toner 23: Not Happening

TransWorld SKATEboarding

Volume 21 Number 5

file: Toner 23

Toner 23

Not Happening

Pushing around on a skateboard, and all the things that go along with that simply truthful exercise, would appear to exist gleefully and almost exclusively in the last minute: that magical instant just before any moment. And the idea that anything associated with skating might be destined to take place–no matter how premeditated or -arranged it appears–is complete and total caca.

Why? Because (Yoda says) a society of procrastinators, we are–serving our sentences in the infinite space preceding what's supposed to happen. Consider the endless roll ups you've amassed, thoughts as cluttered as an air-traffic controller's, in the seconds just before another bailed, failed, or hailed ollie variation. And when and if you do finally break on through–quickly tagging the bottom edge of your desired outcome–instead of reaching the headwaters of some enlightened skateboarding mindset, you instinctively anchor yourself in the fluidity of the next “last minute”–you know, just in case something else goes down.

However trivial, this may tint many tens of thousands of lives, it's a biology in which the skateboarding virus flourishes–infecting more and more last-minute victims as time passes. How else could we endure the weatherman's seasonal guesswork? Reconstructive surgery? Three-shift security? Silly, repetitive lists? Lost friends? Broken boards and no money? All the generations shedding childhood actions? Organization? Chaos?

How, we ask (and answer) again?

Because you never really know.

And while planning for not knowing sounds funny, you've got to give a nod to the world's musicians, painters, martial artists, poets, and gamblers as they live on the run, practicing to remove as much ego as possible, getting their chops down, and preparing to be unprepared. For them as well as for our developing activity, the learning and the life come not from some standardized test, but from that teetering, tottering love of the last-minute, of the stress, of the ensuing mistakes, of the awkward trips, and of the embarrassment that comes with not being afraid to fall and fall hard.

I mean, if that's even going to happen.