In hopes of making future moves-out and moves-in less of a pain in the ass, I brought a few things home to my house in Hollister: books I don't want to look at but can't bear to give away, clothes about which I have lukewarm feelings, an empty fishbowl and my skateboard.
That last one troubled me a bit.
I went to college not having a clue how to stand on a skateboard without cracking my head open, but I decided sophomore year that I'd look cooler riding one of those than I would walking around. You know, like a sucker. So I dragged Nate down to a skate shop, picked out the individual parts of a skateboard and had one made for me. And I learned. I was never phenomenal on the thing — no tricks and, as a rule, as little distance as possible between the ground and the wheels — but I could ride it. That skateboard faithfully took me from the 6700 block of Pasado and to class every weekday afternoon. (More often than not, however, it took me as far as Storke Tower, where I'd rest it under my desk and then return back home on it in the wee hours of the morning. Class, sadly, would go unattended.) That skateboard was my transportation. And aside from a few fender-benders — most notably one in which the back of my tire became wedged under the front tire of a bike ridden by this guy Marcy had a crush on freshman year — I rolled around at dangerous levels of cool.
I skated over those treacherous bumps that tell the blind and stupid that they're about to tread across the bike path. I weaved through crowds of my fellow students, many of them transforming themselves into obstacles of imminent death by either their sheer inability to not walk into the path of an oncoming skateboarder or their reliance upon cell phones, walkmans, and iPods. I even cruised that stretch of perfectly flat, smooth concrete heaven that is the golden spiral design outside the campus art museum. (Flat concrete, I learned to love you.)
But now I've brought the skateboard home. Since I got back from Washington, it formed a nice scalene triangle with the wall of my bedroom. Living downtown meant driving everyday, which somehow made me not want to ride it around campus anymore. Now I live so far from anything worth skating by. And I'd imagine that wherever I end up, a skateboard will not be the most efficient means of delivering me there — especially in any kind of professional manner. It's now resting in the old toy box, alongside a partially deflated soccer ball, several water guns and a Fisher-Price xylophone that, notably, also has wheels.
I'm slightly consoled by the fact that the dog hates the skateboard. He saw me riding it and freaked. I'd like to think he hates the skateboard because he thinks it's somehow glued me to its surface and is trying to steal me, but I'm fairly certain his doggie brain just doesn't understand it. I even tried nudging the thing across the driveway sans-rider and he still barked at it and tried to bite it when it slowed to a stop. I flipped the skateboard on its back — you know, so its wheels were in the air like how I picture a dead animal — and he mustered the courage to approach the thing. But when he licked the right front wheel, it started spinning and he took off behind the house.
Border collie antics aside, I feel the end of my skateboard years, however few they may have been, is one of those awful, awful signs of encroaching adulthood. I can either accept it — or I can go watch cartoons.
Considering that the aforementioned Fisher-Price xylophone is roughly the same size as my skateboard and has wheels, I think I would have been much cooler had I just ridden that around campus. It couldn't do tricks, but neither could my skateboard — at least not while I was riding it. And the xylophone has remarkable benefit of also being musical.
Hindsight, the wise and tall say, is twenty-twenty.