Mark Gonzales displays hippie tendencies. Photo: Ben Colen

Timbre #33

About Much Else

What do you got?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
And there are little tiny parts of us — parts that scream and burn and give us headaches and make our hair feel like we’ve been wearing a hat for too long — that really do believe it. “NOTIHNG!” they yell in twelve-story-tall letters that you can see from ten blocks away.
Walking through your day, they tell you it’s not even your damn day, it’s their damn day and you owe them for the privilege of living in it. You get bumped by ten of them on your way to the shitter and they all laugh — toilets full, rolls empty.

They tell other tiny parts to play along. And of course, they do.

Relief, none.

Reason, none.

Honor, none.
Answers, none.

You get it, right?

And they seem like everything. Like the whole fricking universe. And, “Shit,” you figure. “The opposite of what I got, must be what they got.”

Well even if you’re right, you’re wrong. You don’t really “get it” because “it” is theirs too.

And on top of it all, they’ve got you and your money and your freedom and your liberty. And what do you got again?

That’s right, twelve-story-high letters.

And when they ask in their little voices, yelling at you with those big words, “WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?” you get a little bummed.
But not that bummed. Actually, you’re kind of used to it at this point.

“Wait,” you think. “Were those letters always there?”

Push over to that sidewalk and lift, pop, elevate up over the curb to get a better look.

Drag your foot to stop.

“Man,” you whisper, “I don’t think those letters were always there.”

And that’s when you see it.
They spelled it wrong.
In twelve-story-high letters, they spelled “NOTIHNG” wrong.

And you smile and look down at your shoes. And your board. And your past — from your last ollie all the way back to your first push ever and all your friends and family and tricks and travels and mistakes, and it seems like absolutely everything … or at least quite a lot.

If they’re wrong about the things they yell in twelve-story-high letters, they can’t be right about much else.

And what do they really have, anyway? Gas prices, interest rates, security risks, trans fatty acids, and acres and acres of really tall misspellings.
And we think, “What do I got?”

Well, there’s “now.”

That’s a good start.