Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My shades are dark, can't see no art

This is an unpublished introduction to my review of R. Zarka's skateboarding chronology that appeared on Quartersnacks

The Snackman was supposed to have been here forty minutes ago, but there are worse places to wait for a meeting than the rooftop of the Standard Hotel. The magic of that second vodka gimlet coursed through my veins while Anabel Dexter-Jones walked past laughing at something Lou Doillon told her. As the sun set over New Jersey, I BBMed with the Two Foot Gangster about unemployment benefits and listened to an advance copy of the Slicky Boy and Mr. Gorgeous mixtape.

On my next drink of the gimlet I could hear the straw slurping the bottom, a sound that would bring any attentive waitress over momentarily. I hoped the Snackman was still coming, since I had spent nearly all of my money at Sin City last night and looked forward to charging these drinks on the Quartersnacks black card. I felt a vibration on the table and my phone showed the Snackman had texted. He would arrive in ten minutes. I looked up to see my attentive waitress asking if she might serve me another of the same.

“Yes, please.”

Once Snackman arrived, he placed an order for a Henny black.

“You mean the Mr. Moya special,” our waitress confirmed.

“Yes, please.” He turned his attention to me. “Sorry I’m late. I had to meet with Lomez up at the polo grounds and he was behind schedule because the homie Chlorine was late coming through with the Lemonheads.” I assured him that I had not minded the delay and asked about the business that brought us here this evening.

“Right,” he said, as he took his first sip of Henny, set the glass back down and opened his drawstring backpack to produce a book that he set on the table before me. The paperback edition bore a black cover and read On a Day With No Waves. A Chronicle of Skateboarding 1779-2009 by RaphaĆ«l Zarka. “Have you heard about this thing?”
I hadn’t.

“Scott Bourne gave it to me in Barcelona last week. He said that ever since Slap stopped doing his Black Box column, Quartersnacks has been skateboarding’s most literate institution so he thought we might enjoy it at least, give it a review at most. It’s financed in part by Carhartt Europe, presumably in lieu of opening their shop behind Supreme. Would you be interested in reading this and doing a write-up?”

“You know I am, daddy.”

“Good looks, G-Man. I knew I could count on you. I would do it myself, but between keeping up with Travis Porter singles for the Rap Desk and preparing that Comme des Garcons line with Rei, I doubt I’d find the time.”

I assured the Snackman his faith in me was well founded and he said cool. I was grateful my camouflage pants had cargo pockets as I stowed the book there for safekeeping. Reading and writing the review would only take time. Making sure the book made it home with me was the difficult part. We clinked our glasses and set about enjoying the evening. Traphouse Conner would start spinning in the Boom Boom Room at 10, and Doug Park, Boss Bauer and Roctakon joined our table as the hour approached. Bauer caught Dree Hemingway’s eye and she came over to ask after Marquez. We told her that he was hot on the trail of Ayman al-Zawahiri so she suggested we drink to Marquez’s patriotism and back tail 270s reverts.

The drinks, girls and Brick Squad songs soon began to run together, then the last thing I remember is Snackman walking through the pool with a topless girl on his shoulders while Mooney’s surrounded by two blondes giving him a beard of foam and calling him the Santa Claus of Spring Street. I woke up in the morning, fully dressed, alone in my bed with my laptop opened to my last girlfriend’s facebook photos and the book still in my cargo pocket. I scraped under the sofa for enough change to go out for a bagel, came back from the deli and sat down to work.