I dreamt of dragons. Fire-eyed… they burned across the world. Smoke. Ashes. The earth grew colder as the sun turned her face from us. Dystopia. I stared into a bleak future. All the trees in the world withered and all of the rivers were clotted with bodies. The stench of burnt flesh hung in the air. It wasn’t long before food ran out. Not long after that, people began to get their meat in ways too grim to describe. I watched and waited. I wished for a miracle. I asked myself a million questions. How long can winter color my every worry? Storm clouds boiled on the horizon. They knifed across my vision. I looked forward to nothing and back on my memories. Voices called from the high stone towers… “They are coming!” Fear. Panic fueled activity. We had been watching for them for the past several months. I saw the black specks darken the sky as the engines of destruction grew near. Death flew. Wings teeth and talons… The first two came at the Citadel. They were the size of small airplanes with black leather skin. They spat ropes of flame into the fields below. People ran. They were on fire and I couldn’t look away. I lifted the M203 Grenade Launcher. I had a few 40mm HE rounds left. I guess this is it. The first of them blasted a path of liquid fire up the walls to my left and banked sharply. The second roared over the top of the Citadel. I grinned. The first one turned and I didn’t take my eyes off of its menacing face. It came straight in…. I awoke with a start. “Jesus!” I rubbed my eyes and shook my shaggy head to clear it of the remnants of such madness… I sat on the couch in the half light. It was quiet and nothing stirred. I realized I was fifty years old. I chuckled to myself. My dreams sure hadn’t changed much. I have always suffered with a vivid imagination and horrific dreams. Sometimes, they were grotesque and unreal… I learned to love them.
I pulled the curtains aside and briefly ran my eyes over the street and houses outside. I was thankful not to look on ashes and destruction. My birthday. Ray and I were meeting Tony Alva today. We were going to skate somewhere. When I was young and living in Pennsylvania, I never would’ve dreamed that I’d be skating pools with Tony Alva. He was untouchable. His world was a billion miles away from mine. Much like the dragons… he almost couldn’t exist. My dreams were vivid even then. On cold and snowy nights, the earth slept. Snow silenced the loudest sound until the silence itself became deafening. I would dream of comforting things. California. Pools. Tony Alva and the Dog Town crew. I was there. Long blonde hair swinging across my face…. carving high on a side wall. Balanced on the pools edge. An impossible dream. Today… a reality.
We drove up to Beverly Hills. Los Angeles spread out like a concrete cancer and oozed away from the sea. I tried not to think of those that have nothing. The city teems with such people. TA met us at the pool. He had bucketed the small amount of rain water and swept it clean. He pushed in and cut a sharp arc over the light. He flew towards the corner and cut down below tiles. I dropped off onto an impossible side wall and stuck a wheel in the deathbox.
The sun spilled through the trees and left soft splotches of light on the old pool plaster. I was living a dream, just as I had on other occasions. I was with two of my really good friends. I was in Beverly Hills and in a backyard pool. I was skating and I was fifty. I needed nothing more. Thanks Tony. Thank you to MRZ for the friendship and images. Skate and dream- Ozzie