reflecting perceptions

by tobias crabtree

who to be angry with. there’s gotta be some blame to place somewhere. that fella lingering next to your vehicle with his hands in his pockets, hell, i wouldn’t trust him. someone has to say something if anything should ever change.

then there’s me. i’m standing waiting for my buddy with my hands in my pockets. i’m waiting in the shade of a tree that is also next to a real nice landrover (that i kinda admire). i’m waiting for my buddy because i’m on someone else’s bike and i don’t have a lock. i can’t use my bike because someone stole the forks and stem while it was locked outside a restaurant about a year ago. i haven’t quite got the funds to buy a new set and so i borrow…i borrow…i borrow. i’m a little behind in the field of finance, but i’m rich in the friend department. anyway, i’m waiting for my buddy.

what’s he doin’, standing so close to my rig? no good. no good. “hey buddy, what’s up?”

i’m waiting for my friend.

“why don’t you wait somewhere else?”

you mean, like, some other place than here, like, right here?

“why you so close to my vehicle? i’ve been watching you.”

so this is me, and some big angry fella. i am waiting because someone stole from me and he’s mad because i might be stealing from him. this stuff happens, it does, it just did! it’s ok.

we got through it. i ain’t the dalai llama, i’m not even my dad, but i managed. you know, i used to like to fight, but it’s really pretty stupid mostly. besides, this guy was with his wife and it’s just bad for that to go down.

my buddy showed up. i locked my borrowed bike up. we ate. i rode back to hunter’s forge over in the light industrial area of bend. as i pedaled back, i rode up behind a skateboarder in the dark. it was on a path. i said something and it scared him. it was super dark out and i saw his skateboard sail in front of my wheel.  i skidded to a stop and checked his skateboard with my foot.

“i didn’t hear you coming.”

i know, sorry for scaring you.

“no, it’s all cool, man. sorry.”

he was a kid. i’m 45. we spoke the same language.

maybe the dark is good. maybe we should go off of real feelings sometimes.  once upon a time, i crawled out from under my jeep, in a raging rain storm and explained to a cop that i was just taking cover until the rain was over. it was the middle of the night and he said, “well people don’t usually do that but, you’re young…”, and he let me stay. when you are farther along in life and you rally out of the back of some rig in a neighborhood above your favorite surf break or your favorite rock climb, people look at you different. i guess it’s not as acceptable to be so free once you’re older. that’s a shame, because i think it’s all the more reason. i believe the fire should burn hotter as we age. like stars.

we are all reflections of one another. it’s true, like it or not.  i was the kid on the skateboard at some time in my life. now i’m this age, and i ride my borrowed bike home to a friends house in the dark on a tuesday night and think about how i stayed out of trouble by thinking bigger.

hell, that ain’t too bad, i guess.