Saturday, August 22, 2015

For the Moment, It Is Ours.

I often skate this curb after work. I get off shift around 2:45am. My sessions are alone, and very late. One night I noticed that black car in the background. Looked like a cop car. Thought I would soon get kicked out. Nothing happened. After a bit of time, I realized it was just parked there. No one seemed to be sitting in it. Prolly an overnight worker at the near by building. Didn’t think anything of it.  

Every night I go skating, it is there. Sometimes in a different spot, but always at that exact same far end of the parking lot. With time, it became part of the background. I never noticed it anymore. Until one night, about 3 months ago. It was about 4:30am. I had been skating for about 45 min at that point. Suddenly, a light in the car went on. Then one of the doors opened. Someone got out. They started walking towards me. I am a security guard (e.g. bouncer) at a bar/night club, and I took Shotokan karate for 5 years. I am not afraid of conflict (nor do I seek it). "The life of a Repo Man is always intense."

As the person walked towards me, I just thought, “OK, let’s see where this goes.” The person then turned off into the bushes, took a piss, and went back to the car. I now realized what this whole car was about. Someone was living out of it. This is where they parked at night. This was "home." A mix of feelings came over me.

First, was annoyance. I liked this spot because I was all alone at night. Now there was an invader.

Second, I was wondering if the noise from skating woke them up/kept them awake. Should I feel bad? No. Huge parking lot. They could move to other side if that was an issue.  

Third, was the realization that they were most likely thinking the same thing about me. Who is this invader freak that comes skateboarding at 4am? GTFO. 

Forth, and most important, was a sense of solidarity. This parking lot is normally filled with normal people, going about their normal lives. At 4am, nothing normal is going on here. Rather, it is a place of exile. A place for rejects, losers, and outliers to escape. Tonight, the auto-dweller was watching me skate for a while. In turn, I was watching them, watching me. There seems to be an unspoken understanding between us. At 4am, this parking lot becomes a sanctuary for the underclass, a place where we are free from the judgmental eye of  normal people. Here, at 4am, we share a space and time, knowing that for the moment, it is ours.

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