The broken.


one of the broken sleeping at shallow end of pool.

stu graham amidst the graffiti…

skreech w a wicked front foot decision.

I was scrambling all day today. I had to go to court & pay late fees on a cell phone/driving ticket. My car registration is due at months end so….a visit to the DMV followed & the day just seemed to get dirtier from the ‘go’. Parking the ‘shitbox’, I walked the 6 blocks over to the courthouse. I passed  brightly -clad office girls enroute, all gossiping among themselves or mumbling into the ever-present cell phones, that -seemingly -sprout from peoples heads these days. I cut across a greasy street and through a small alleyway. The alley was dark and gloomy. Dumpsters sat askew against brick & mortar buildings; festering with trash & god -knows what else. Refuse littered the ground in heaps and nauseous puddles had to be avoided at every step of the way.

Turning a corner, I almost ran into him. He was probably 50 years old, but looked much older. He looked like 70 miles of badly traveled road. He reeked of piss & shit. I side-stepped him and slowed down. He was mumbling to himself or so it seemed. The ragged man was wearing threadbare, blue sweatpants , a red t-shirt that had a huge green palm tree on front with the happy moniker–‘Beverly Hills 90210’. This guy was a long way from being Beverly Hills material. I almost smiled in spite of myself.  His shoes resembled clogs of some sort until I noticed that they were sneakers worn through at the tops. He had a grizzled face & vacant eyes. Always keeping myself out of reach, I asked him if he was alright.  He peered at me briefly and told me , quote; “Fuck yourself, Batman!” I laughed ….watching him shamble down the alley.

I then continued on my way to the courthouse. I must have passed a dozen such people on the way. Scarred, scabbed and downtrodden. I saw piss-stained, dirt corners behind shrubs where they slept in huddled piles. I saw discarded cheap vodka bottles strewn about and tattered clothing in filthy heaps. Graffiti spelled out ‘E Narko Koiks’ on the walls adjacent…it meant only sadness to me. The broken are in the gutters, alleys and -I noticed-the courthouses of our cities. I looked on as people were shackled by the police and led away to whatever fate had in store for them. I gazed on children, snot- nosed  and disheveled, clinging to their mothers as the mom desperately tried to find a haven from a tyrannical, wife-beating spouse.

I witnessed horror and broken humanity. Once I had finished with my business, I left and drove to ‘Ridiculous’.  I felt like I needed a shower. It seemed as though I had rolled around in shards of glass. Driving in silence, I pondered my day; watching the world & its human depravity. I am thankful that I have skateboarding. It has truly saved me from -not only-myself…but it saved me from being one of the broken— forever. Thank you to Dan Bourqui & MRZ for the images…I am truly grateful. Skate Long-Ozzie


6 thoughts on “The broken.

  1. The sign of a fallen warrior is forgotten faith…When I lived in the housing project it was the same. The light had died and every one seemed like they surrendered to the blanket of oppression that suffocated their spirits.

    There is an evolution beginning in our species, however. I witness it often these days. Those who don’t, can’t or won’t evolve will have an agonizing journey ahead. We will see more of these souls…the fallen…those who resigned themselves to their own grief, anger, bitterness and soul-rot.

    Yet at the same time, we will begin to see more of those who are evolving.

    You write so well! You totally rock!

  2. wesley willis “batman got on my nerve”. wesley willis r.i.p.

    one of the pools we have going here is at an abandoned crack house. it was so bad, people didn’t go there to skate for a couple of years. now there’s no backdoor because someone stole it… empty jelly jars and random debris (old shoe, pee in a pepsi bottle) laying around the yard… the excitement of skating takes over for a bit then you sit and look around… and it’s like a cloud of dark emotion takes over for a minute. imagining what goes on there… i find myself looking around for a sign to give me even worse thoughts. i just try to look at the deep-end and remember how it feels in there. and then leave and thoughts of the runs try to take over concern for the vacant people who visit there not to skate.

  3. great writing, ozzy….for real conveyed the seen quite well. in regards to the cell phone ticket..can you make payments on those..i got one that is 400..

  4. robinhood to batman:dont wear your cape in the ghetto.remember to steal from the rich and give to the poor always.

  5. I would be except I have a 16 month old son. Watching him everyday is amazing. I see a human the world hasn’t beatin down yet. I see someone who enjoies the simpilest of things and is eager to learn, doesn’t know the meaning of hate only knows the love of his mother and father. I see someone who doesn’t judge people or expect to be judged. I see in him what I see in true skaters who don’t follow fads and trends, those who skate because that is what they do, not for money but for fun. In him I see hope that maybe mankind can change. Not in my life time but maybe sometime before its to late.

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