“My skateboard is better than yours”, I mentally mumble to myself. It is awesome and it isn’t a regular skateboard, it is an e-skateboard. I glide, I slide, I roll – effortlessly, like a swan. You see, I’m going places, I’ve got places to go, people to see. I might high-five you along the way but don’t expect me to perform for you. This e-skateboard ain’t for doing tricks. No Ollies, no 360’s and definitely no intentional jumps. These four wheels are made for direct and constant contact with the ground. Because I’m grounded like that. I’m careful but excited when I step on my e-skateboard – she’s actually called Nora. Nora and I are recent friends but damn have we hit it off like a house on fire. Wherever I go, she goes. I look after Nora like it was life and death, like we are soulmates. It isn’t about me, it isn’t about Nora, it’s about ‘us’. We roll on by you, you don’t know whether to look up or look down. Either way I’m… I mean ‘we’re’, like a ship in the night, powered by the natural thrust of the air in our sail…or the electricity in our battery. My arrival is not shouted, it is noticed – and when I’ve left you’re left looking around like “damn that’s an exit!”. No sign I was there other than my positive vibes etched on your soul. Like Batman, I’m an e-skateboard…man!
I woke up today around 9am. I stayed in bed for forty-five minutes trying to beat my Tetris score from the previous night. I got an old-school GameBoy for my birthday two years ago and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. I don’t care how much games have developed, you can’t beat the levels of skill it takes to place that nine square smartly. Just like life, I can move left, I can move right, I can speed up but you can’t slow down. Just like Tetris – you gotta keep on moving forward, one ‘square’ at a time. Don’t accuse me of wasting time, don’t suggest I find new hobbies. I’m out here perfecting my dismount from my e-skateboard, levelling up on my Game Boy. I’m doing the opposite. Those forty-five minutes set me up for the day – the smile never left my face, because I did it, again. I beat my top score!
At 10am I got ready to work, I photograph gamers and skaters all day and I make a handsome buck from selling my wares to whomever I can. Today there is a multiplayer game happening online and I have to make it to three different houses before the game ends so that i can get actual shots of all the guys playing – it is no easy feat but having an e-skateboard helps massively. It also means I don’t get sweaty and can arrive fresh and ready to go. People think these guys are some underground subculture that isn’t accessible. I don’t believe this at all. These guys are living future ready lives. They’re creating new industries every day, new ways of communicating, evolving formats and concepts – I’m so happy I get to document them all day.
By 4pm I’m done for the day and I’m meeting my friend Gilbert downtown to see a retro gaming art exhibition. We’ve pulled our money together into a small fund and have been buying pieces we like for the last few years. Our collection is so deep now that we might put on our own exhibition one day. I don’t believe in pensions – art is my retirement fund and I’m going to keep ploughing my savings into it until I’m broke.
At 8pm, we are meeting some friends at our local bar where we are having a mega YoYo battle – we do these once a month. It starts off pretty civil but by the end it’s like drunken YoYo parkour – the tricks are unreal but nobody remembers them exactly the following day. All we know is that it is always a great night.
I try to jam pack as much into my days as possible, whilst allowing for the things that I just want to do. If i had to sum up my life i would say that I turn heads – boom! It isn’t so much a plan, it is a consequence of being me. I’ve never been so consumed with others’ perceptions of me that it causes me to act differently. But I’ll never lie and say it doesn’t give me a boost when i catch your eye and you’re looking at me and you have that tint of envy rising from your soul and through your eyes – in your head you utter the simple word….”wow”. I’ll nod at you, let’s share the moment together – it isn’t magic, it’s effort and dedication. Being obsessive about others perceptions of you is a curse, it will slowly but surely erode away at your belief in yourself. So why do it? If I can find enjoyment in it, if I can grow confidence with it, if I can revel in the attention, why not? I get it, it’s contradictory, but who isn’t? What isn’t?