By Larry Narron
I call the boss to let him know that business has been slow. We sold a pair of Ishods, I re-gripped an Element deck for a grom who was probably pushing mongo when he rolled clueless as a scooter kid through a smear of dogshit.
There were no other customers, so we lazed through the afternoon, watching Misled Youth again. The kid hung around,
didn’t buy anything, drooled over the Santa Cruz skate wax & stickers so long he missed most of Ellington’s part.
I tried telling him that no one gets into skating for money, that surgery is sure to come with fame. If only you took better care of your bearings, I told him, they’d last long enough for you to soak in the dry, metallic frequency
of their second life. He didn’t seem interested. It’s not so easy for an old head to advise a skate rat to savor the short-lived strength of their knees, to relish the way a well-loved wheel yellows & flat-spots.
No Quikrete or Bondo is needed, only a steady hand to apply a glaze of skate wax to make your fire engine coat gleam once more. Look how these pebbles dig into my knees as I crouch over you now just as the streetlamps flick on. The no skateboarding sign on the custard shop window looks to have seen better days. The owner is probably just getting ready for bed, knowing I’m out here, up to no good. It’s gnarly to be the derelict again, this time at forty, to have to pretend to want to conceal this tangle of shame & elation, especially when caught in the eyes of the drivers slowing down to witness the animal on all fours.
Larry Narron is a writer from San Diego County. His poems have appeared in Phoebe, Bayou, Hobart, Booth, and Berkeley Poetry Review, among others. They’ve been nominated for the Best of the Net and Best New Poets. Larry’s first chapbook, Wasted Afterlives, was published in 2020 by Main Street Rag.