The fairweather friend. The user. We all have or know of at least one in life. The person who phones when they know you’re having a party. Selfish sponge. The person that needs something… They want what you have and although they rarely feel anything for anyone, they certainly feel you out for a space between your ribs so they can stick the knife in. Tony Alva called them “parasitic people”. Perfect. I had a recent weekend start with such a thing. It’s okay. I know what they are now all about and have banished these people from my life. Their inferiority complex is fully justified. I try and keep only quality friends. These are the friends that know me well and love me anyway. My past is not so laudable. I’ve been a fecal pile in two shoes and I try everyday to do well. It is good to have a few real friends. I phoned up some of these people recently and set up a pool day. Low key. The weather was perfect. We met up at the appointed hour and Brandon Wong and I looked into a few early morning possibles.
The house sat at a twisting bend in a gritty neighborhood. Huge trees sagged over the run down home. Dawn was only a few short hours behind us. Quiet. Sunday. Sleep. I pulled myself over a wall and looked the pool over. The pool had a lid on it. The plastic had long ago gave way and hung in tatters. I peered down underneath. The transitions were strange. Sloping walls led down to a radius at the pools bottom and I ran an experienced eye over the whole thing. I checked for water, power and squatters. Soon I was in the truck again. The entire recon had taken just under three minutes. I pulled the truck around the corner, punched in the satellite and scanned the rest of the neighborhood. We drove to meet up with the rest of our pals. We were skating with Kevin Burke, Shawn, Gopa and Scott Ward. It would be a fun day. Enroute, Brandon told me about a possible pool nearby in a really seedy area. We agreed to look into it.
We consolidated cars and drove to the first pool. A neighbor came out in his yard and spoke briefly with us. He was young. Tattoos covered his arms and neck. He had hard dark eyes. I approached him and asked about the house. He was surprised when I told him we were planning on skating in the pool behind the house. I asked if that were okay with him. “Yeah, that was once our house. I used to swim in it.” He said they lost the house and he looked away. I asked if we were cool to check it out. “This neighborhood is run by my uncle so you guys are good.” I nodded and we slipped behind the house in short order.
The pool was a funnel. A pit. The walls were flat, sloping and steep. It was a pool nonetheless and we were happy to be in a struggle with her… Decaying. Old and broken. She wouldn’t always win. We abandoned her after a short time. Visiting an old favorite, we then checked a few more, knocked on doors and every time I looked around, I saw happy friends. The fairweather friends had been abandoned and discarded until only the good ones remained. Thank you to Scott Ward for the images and thank you to my good friends. Skate- Ozzie