Just last week I was sitting across the room from my therapist, going over the many regrets in my life. I guess relishing in my inglorious past is supposed to spur self-improvement, or something, but dredging up my abundant failures didn't do much for my mood. But that's not the real issue here.
The thing I've been holding on to and thinking about every waking second since the therapist's door shut behind me was the look of smug condescension I received when I revealed my greatest regret of all. I don't regret becoming the foremost tattoo journalist on the planet, nor do I regret being the humblest human to walk this Earth. What I regret is deeper than all that, far more existential. The kind of thing that shakes a human down to their very core every time they even consider the topic. What is it, you ask?
I regret never being able to skateboard.
Growing up, it was the only thing I ever wanted to do.... and I could not learn no matter how many hours I put in. It wasn't that I wanted to be hitting the half pipe and pulling out a sick Christ Air à la Rune Glifberg, no my expectations were much lower than that. I wanted to go in a straight line for more than 20 yards without falling on my ass. And despite hours and hours of practice I never really mastered this incredibly simple task. My balance has never been spectacular, or really even serviceable to be honest, so I don't know why I ever imagined that I would be able to skate. But I liked punk rock. I liked the cool graphics. I played hours of Skate or Die and Tony Hawk Pro Skater. Plus, all my friends skated. I figured with enough effort I'd be able to learn.
It took me years to finally admit that it was never going to happen. I'd put the board away for years at a time, then something would rekindle my urge to skate, and I'd put in a couple more weeks of earnest effort. In the end all I had to show was a phenomenal bruise running up my back from my wallet chain (I know) in which you could see the individual links.
There was one time when I accidentally landed a kickflip. And by "landed a kickflip" what I really mean is that I started to lose my balance, did some weird thing with my heel where the board flipped as I jumped and then I landed back on it for a fraction of a second before falling on my ass. This should not be the lone highlight of decades spent trying to learn a skill, but it's all I got.
Wait... did I just make a breakthrough? I think I did. I'm done with therapy, I'm just going to work through all of my problems here. Thanks for listening, and now, the reason you're here—a shitload of rad skater tattoos.