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18th August 2023



by Rory Bradley



Skateboard wheels whirr over concrete. A male YOUTH skids around the corner of a busy city street — hooded head, gnarled sneakers, tinny music emanating from dangling earphones. He weaves through a crowd of identical suit-clad 9-to-5ers, a human wake forming behind him as the dazed office drones stumble back in fright, their ties flapping limply, their latte foam slopping to the ground. The adolescent pays them no mind, kickflipping effortlessly over a discarded broadsheet, soaring clean over yesterday’s news. He lands the trick and inserts his earphones, the tinny rock music gaining bass and volume, becoming the soundtrack to the scene.

The youth continues up the street effortlessly pulling off another impressive skate trick, gaining momentum as he slaloms through the crowd. Determination is etched on his face — nothing can distract him from his goal. At the top of the street he skids to a halt. Before him is a large set of concrete steps leading down to another street. The youth exhales, narrowing his sights on what’s in front of him, like a hunter preparing for the kill. A group of passersby turn their attention — “He couldn’t possibly be about to…”

The youth kicks his foot on the ground, propelling himself at speed towards almost certain death. The newly formed crowd collectively inhale, unsure of what they’re about to witness. As he reaches the descent he kicks down on the board, launching himself high into the air. Time slows. The city freezes. The look on the boy’s face says it all. Eyes wide, mouth open, breathless. This moment is his for the taking, if he can just… *THUNK*. He lands, the momentum carrying him a few meters more before he comes to a halt. He lets out a deep sigh, his body heaving, his legs weak. He looks up, surveying the sick gap he’s just absolutely crushed, then raises his fists triumphantly, releasing a cry from deep within:

I’m depressed!

The crowd breaks into rapturous applause.


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