One Late Skate

I always thought the radio on my stereo was broken, which is strange ‘cause they’re never broke, there’s a radio in everything these days or is that digital clocks? Anyway, after a bit of tuning, I get to some funny local radio station and hear the opening guitar notes to Midnight Oil’s Surfing with a Spoon, off the Blue Album. What a first song to hear: “Surfing with a spoon all the rest of the time, oh yeah, all the rest of the time”. The song flashed me right back to the early days in Bondi, Scum Valley. Skating in the streets, wearing our favourite flannos and footy beanies, just full of that young energy. Lying on the south hill after a run down Bondi Road, your skaty upside-down beside you, the sweat between you and the three tee shirts you’ve got on to keep the howling southerly out. Fuck, the heaving chest, the blood pumping through your body like a nuclear reactor that’s about to blow. That’s real fun.

What great dreams have run through your mind in this state. It’s a similar high to that experienced after sex—the thoughts of your future, your imaginary wife, a house on a farm up north, big tubes on a right hand point, honey toast and tea. Then you hear it. Adrenaline shoots through your veins like buckshot down a fluro tube. Screech, car doors open and slam, voices and boots tearing towards you. “Okay, you fucken little bastards, which one of you fuckers put that brick through me window?” A couple of your gang are up and bolting but the rest are too entrenched in dream. It’s a couple of Leb guys. I recognize them, they own the pizza joint up the road. “We don’t know nuffink about that”, says one of the boys. He’s promptly slapped across the head. I’m on the verge of pissing my pants, but that’s okay ‘cause I’ve got boardies on under my trackies. After a lot of yelling and threats to take us to the cop shop, the wogs, oh, I mean, the guys, hop back in their suped up Mazda, revving the guts out of it for awhile to show us their position in the food chain, then screech off. “Phew that was lucky, fuck who smashed the window?” I asked, followed by, “Na fuck them, their pizzas are shit! . . . Oh well, there’s my bus, it’s the last one tonite, I gotta get home. See you guys for the early okay.”
We all split. Skaty in hand, I jump on, pay my 20c, walk up the back, sit in my usual seat, pull out a coin and scratch some graffiti into the paint. 15 minutes later I’m home. Mum and Dad are already in bed, so I quietly make myself some Vita Brits and creep into my room. I remember now the little snigger I let out as I pulled my blankets up that night. I laughed thinking about the look on the bus driver’s face, the look of shock as he would have looked at the back seat, where in the paint it was scratched in big jagged letters, “I threw the brick, ya dumb wog!” Ha! Too amped to sleep, I reached across and put the needle down on my only record and there’s those opening notes. Fucken hell man, The Oils rule.

Will Webber


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