By Shivam Chhuneja

That Night In The Skate Park

That Night In The Skate Park

A new age kid with curly brown hair, with his deep big brown eyes. He had kind of a bigger than average nose.

Loosely dressed in his casual denims, a size bigger than what fits of a t shirt,  with the cool new Yeezys, he had bought early as a gift, a month before his birthday. He all in all had a great smile, but with a broken tooth from an amazing skateboarding accident in the final run of the X Games skateboarding qualifiers that year. Something that he used to boast about though.

He was someone who was always alone, in his own thoughts. He liked to imagine these elaborate and vivid scenarios, daydream all about being the best skateboarder and have a cute little family, teach kids how to skate and then take his daughter for ballet lessons in the evening. He had what we would describe as a cheezy dream for “guys”.

He also loved to spend hours in the skate park, not skating. But thinking about skating, he always would come up with these cool tricks that he was famous in the town for.

Once, on a similar leisure skate run, which he usually did at late night in order to have some alone time,  he stumbled across an old guy sitting by himself in the skate park.

The guy was not the typical old, he was well built, and he could feel that this person was different. He was kind of those bright aura-ed old people we sometimes come across, people whose faces have the marks of the years of experience they have gone through, but they for some reason never feel like they are old. This guy had a pair of loose light blue denims, a white(now almost cream color) polo shirt tucked in, with a nice chrome watch on his right hand.

Eli, intrigued by this guy, asked him what he was doing so late at the park. The guy replied “exactly what you are doing here”. Eli, a bit weary of this stranger, a strange feeling in his gut, and a small chill through his spine, managed to gather some courage and uttered, I don’t understand. The guy asked if he had 5 minutes and he would tell him all about what he meant by that.

He told Eli that he used to skate back in his day, not the skateboard. But roller skates with a partner, for years he had ruled the roller skating world with his wife. Roller skating he explained had a lot to do with depending on our partner, knowing that they are there for us, no matter what.

Trust, the most important word of the sport, he explained.

She had sadly passed away last month, and the local skate park was the only place which gave this old some sort of peace, time to reflect, and enjoy some alone moments. Now Eli knew what he was doing in the park.

Eli, had always been inclined towards spending some time by himself, thinking about things, tricks, what he wishes to do in his life. He would often imagine a whole life within a matter of a couple of hours, built around skateboarding professionally, getting a sponsorship, becoming the X Games champion before he turned 26.

Recently some of Eli’s family and friends had started to worry about him. He had turned 25, but would spend hours daydreaming about all of the things he wanted to do, and then spend hours on trying these tricks and things he believed would help him fulfill those daydreams.

Everyone around him had started to remark about the usual stuff like, he is 25, what is he going to do with his life, his family would ask him to get a normal job like a normal human being.

Get a great living, it is a secure pay, and you even get 20 paid holidays a year if you go for it.

Even more so, his friends had started asking him more and more to accompany them everywhere they went, they were worried.

Truly.

They were worried of the fact that he would spend so much time alone, not socialize, not go out with them. They believed that because of the qualifiers he had failed that year, he might have fallen into depression, and loneliness they thought increases the side effects of depression.

They were all truly scared. Since he stayed alone all the time, he was lonely, and something had to be done, they thought.

The old man continued, so when we used to skate at such a high speed, perform those intricate tricks, the only thing that held us together as an act, was our never ending trust on each other. He had been sad after she’d passed away, but he had started to feel that feeling of trust since the past few days in the skate park.

 

That feeling of trust he explained had started to emerge from within.

 

“As in?” Eli asked

 

As in, as weird as it sounds, I believe she is me and I am her. I like spending time by myself here in the park, because it reinforces my trust in myself now. I realized, someone has to trust in me. And I found that I have to trust in me now.

But, the skatepark is a place which looks uprooted and messed up pieces of concrete to someone who does not know what the place is. But to the person who is familiar with the place and the objective of these ramps, knows they have a purpose.

The same way he explained, we feel that sometimes the results are not as we expect, such as you losing the qualifier, but can yield to powerful outcomes in life, as the final trick you almost completed in your run.

 

“He knows all about me!” Eli, thought to himself, chill through the spine ran once again as fast a rat running through the house when the owner enters.

 

“Do you trust yourself son?”

 

“Umm” Before Eli could go further with his sentence, the old guy blurted out:

 

“That Umm there, if you can eliminate it, you can reach the peak of your potential”

 

The old man got up, and started walking towards the black Camry parked right at the curb.

 

“How do I do it??” Eli shouted at the guy

 

“Imagine, Dream, and Trust Yourself”

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