"Ice-T" & Me? We have an understanding.

Several years ago I was sharing a shoebox two-bedroom apartment with three friends on the upper-west-side of Manhattan. Two roommates had to sleep on an air mattress in the living room. They were allowed cheaper rent as they were responsible for moving furniture and inflating and deflating their mattress every night and morning. The apartment was right behind Lincoln Center at 63rd & West End Ave., NYC.

There is an ultra-luxury building right across the street from the far-less-than-luxury building I was living in at the time. The property across the street had huge windows that were always freshly Windex’ed. The people that came in and out of the building were always dressed impeccably, like senior level HR women, or investment bankers, or high priced prostitutes. There were always taxi cabs waiting outside of the building. The drivers knew that these people were loaded.

I know all this because I love to skateboard. The luxury building across the street had these amazing curbs with angle iron attached to them. For those of you that don’t speak “skateboard”, just believe me when I say that it was awesome.

On the weekends during spring and summer, I loved nothing more than to skateboard on the curbs of the luxury building across the street. The best parts of the curbs were right by the exit of the building’s parking garage. As such, I would often have to stop, pick up my skateboard and step aside as the garage door would raise and a resident would pull their car out of the garage.

There was one Saturday when I was skateboarding early in the afternoon and I heard the ‘click’ that I had come to know as the sound of the garage door beginning to open. I picked up my skateboard and stepped aside.

The garage door slowly rose to reveal a cherry red Ferrari, its engine purring in idle. I dreweled for a hot minute and then wanted the car to move so I could Skate-or-Die.

The car just sat there so I looked through the windshield to the driver’s side.

It was Ice-T.

Ice-Fucking-T.

Cop Killa.

He had his left hand on the wheel, and his right hand between the legs of a ho (literally a ho in every sense of the word, you’ll just have to trust me) that was sitting in the passenger seat. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. As he idled his Ferrari in the driveway of the garage, he seemed much more focused on his right hand than his left.

Ice looked up and seemed startled when he realized that the garage door was already open. His eyes immediately fixed on me standing there with my skateboard. I did the stoic-chin-raising-head-tilting-back gesture while I looked at him with my eyeballs as if to say, “I didn’t see nothin’ man. I can keep shit on the DL, for realz.” Ice nodded at me with stern eyes and he drove away with his ho.

I took a deep breath.

I spent the next hour nervously shifting my eyes in preparation for men in black ski masks carrying silenced oozies to come and silence me. They never came. I continued to skateboard.

Over the next year this became a regular occurrence. The only difference was that Ice had a new ho and a new car every week.

I think this is what they call “The American Dream.” A new ho and a new car every week.

So basically, here’s how I figure:

Ice-T is cool with me skateboarding on his curb as long as I’m willing to keep my mouth shut about his hoes and his cars.

Well, Mr. Ice:

I don’t live across the street from you anymore and I’m busting the lid off of this story. I’m not scared of your silenced-oozie-toting ski-mask-wearing goons anymore because I live in Washington Heights now and I just downloaded a freeware security suite for my computer so there’s no way you can find me. Not even on my myspace account.

Take that, Cop Killa!

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All Eyes on Me

This is me doing a wicked 540-back-flip three stories in the air with eight wheels attached to my feet… no net, just a plywood landing ramp(left).

I do shit like this all the time so I’m totally braver than you.

(Click picture to enlarge)

Mace, an Axe and a Crowbar: A Love Story, Part II

Read -Part I- first, if you haven’t already.

About a week later, I was waiting outside in the back of my school, standing on a curb waiting for my father to pick me up. I had stayed after school for an extra curricular activity of some sort so almost everyone on the school grounds was long gone.

This was a particularly exciting day for me as my long distance girlfriend of over a year was in town and I was going to get to see her. I only got to see her once every couple months. This was a gigantic fucking deal.

As my father was running late, I shifted my focus east for a while, then west, as I didn’t know from which direction he might be coming. I was standing there, zoned out in my own little westward facing world, counting down the seconds until I get to make out with my furiously hot long distance girlfriend in the photo booth at the mall.

Then, out of nowhere, I heard a loud bang and I immediately fell unconscious. Knocked out cold.

I woke up a few seconds later staring straight at the dirt on the ground. I had no fucking clue what had just happened. Very groggy, I slowly got to my feet. When my eyes finally came into focus, I looked down to see a single red clay brick lying at my feet. I also felt an overwhelming pain on the back of my head.

My eyes rose from the ground and I saw a kid sitting on a bike in the middle of the street smiling from ear to ear.

“Where’s your mace now, motherfucker?” he asked.

I didn’t have a good answer for him, as I was completely fucked up from his generous brick to the head. I just stood there, looking like a boxer who had just returned from a trip to the canvas.

The little shit rode off on his bike, laughing. Fighting every fiber of my being, I had to let him go.

Even in my diminished state of awareness, not to mention my young age, I knew to cut my losses right there. If this kid was crazy enough to chase me with an axe and blindside me in the head with a brick, who fucking knows what he’s capable of? I was happy to still be alive.

My father drove up in the family Buick a couple minutes later and I got into the car.

“Well, hell of a day to be late, Dad.” I said, while secretly wiping the blood from my head into the inside of my right front jeans pocket.

“Watch your language. Why? What happened?” He replied.

I didn’t even know where to start with the story, so I just said,

“Nothing. It’s no big deal.”

I was a little worried that if I told my dad what happened, he might make me go to the hospital and I wouldn’t be able to see Sarah at the mall, as she is only in town for one afternoon. I also didn’t want him to know that I had a habit of borrowing his can of mace when I went skating, as that part would be hard to work around if I were to tell him the story.

My Dad dropped me off at the mall, I met up with Sarah and her mother in the food court. We all sat and shared a giant pretzel before Sarah and I would go our own way(photo booth) while Sarah’s mom shopped. I was really spaced out and rubbing my head on occasion. Sarah’s mom asked if something was wrong with me and if I was okay. I mumbled something about axes, crowbars, rollerblades, mace and bricks.

Sarah’s mother immediately excused herself and Sarah, they never came back.

Sarah’s mother never allowed Sarah to speak to me or see me again.

End of a chapter in life.

Untill…

Five years later I got a phone call from Sarah. No shit. We had both just graduated high school in our respective states and I was heading off to New York in the next month. Sarah told me that she was going to be in town overnight and she really wanted to see me, after five years. Holy shit. This was one of the happiest days of my life, especially because my parents had just left town on vacation and had left me home alone–something they had only done one other time in my life. Talk about some fantastic fucking timing.

As promised, Sarah showed up on my doorstep a few hours later. She looked incredible. I hadn’t seen her or spoken to her in five years. Suffice to say that we were able to tie up a lot of loose ends, now that we were both consenting adults.

I saw Sarah off early the next morning. We haven’t spoken since.

End of a chapter in life.

UPDATE: Holy Shit! Sarah found this post. See the comments. Possibly not the “end of a chapter in life” after all… again.

This insane development leads us to present day, and-Part III-. Click and enjoy.

Mace, an Axe and a Crowbar: A Love Story, Part I

When I was about thirteen years old, I was going rollerblading with a friend. We were heading across town to go to a cooler older kid’s house. He was Oklahoma City’s stunt rollerblading answer to Tony Hawk, at least in our eyes.

We got all of our gear together. Knee pads, Gatorade, a couple granola bars, and a can of mace.

Why mace, you ask? Easy. There must be something strange in the water in Oklahoma City because every stray dog in town seems hellbent on attacking anything that moves on wheels at any cost, specifically rollerbladers and skateboarders.

Mace is a very effective deterrent against dog attacks.

Dear PETA:

This letter is meant to serve as a preemptive shut-the-fuck-up. Seriously, no one wants to hear it.

Best Regards,
Ryan

Moving on…

My friend and I set out on our trip. After a semi-uneventful trek of four or five miles we rounded the corner onto our friend’s block. He lived at the end of the street.

We skated by a house where there were eight or ten kids playing in the front yard, ranging in age anywhere from two to maybe twelve. As we passed the house one of the oldest kids ran to the curb and yelled,

“Whutchu rollin’ through my hood fo’, niggas?!”

I gave him a dismissive what-are-you-gonna-do-about-it glance and we kept skating. This was such a common type of occurrence that my friend and I both forgot it ever happened about thirty seconds later. I was attending an ultra inner city public school at the time, so I was used to dealing with stupid ghetto idiots. I had been punched in the face more times by age thirteen than most people have in their entire lives, if ever. Antics like his were old hat.

We got to our friend’s house and rang the doorbell. No answer. He wasn’t home. Oh well. We’ll show him our new badass skate moves another day.

We decided to skate back across town to our neighborhood, so we headed back the way we came. About half way down the street I noticed that all the kids who were playing outside were gone. I didn’t think anything of it.

We had just passed the kids’ house and were starting to skate up a big hill to leave the neighborhood when we heard from behind,

“I told you not to be rollin’ through my hood, niggas!”

We both turned around to see two kids running full speed straight at us, with the other eight kids cheering from the yard.

One kid was carrying a crowbar.

The other was carrying an axe. Not a hatchet, an axe.

He looked something like this, only with an axe in place of the gun.

Oh fuck. This is not old hat. This is some completely new shit.

We started hauling ass up this monster hill looking over our shoulders every couple seconds. The lords-of-the-flies were closing the gap on us at an incredible rate. This makes perfect sense because my friend and I were trying to rollerblade up a steep ass hill and the people who were chasing us were, well… black kids on foot. You tell me who wins that race.

We kept skating up the hill, but the kids were getting closer with every stride. It was useless. They were gaining on us and my friend and I were running out of gas with every push.

“I think I’m gonna have to do it, man.” I said to my friend.

“Fuck yeah man, do what you have to do!” He yelled, as if I’m retarded for having to say it in the first place.

Our attackers were close enough where I could hear their footsteps over the slow grinding of polyurethane wheels on asphalt. I took one more look over my shoulder. I stopped dead in my tracks, reached in my pocket and grabbed the mace.

I twisted the valve open and turned around. I held my arm straight out in front of me, squeezed, and let the little shit have it. He immediately stopped and covered his face with one hand and threw the axe in our direction with the other hand. Luckily, twleve-year-old kids can’t throw axes very well with one hand. His little brother was behind him and caught a lot of the spray too. He immediately turned and ran back home, smart kid. The older brother, the original aggressor, was still coming at us, or trying to. Leave it to say that I emptied the entire can of mace and stopped him in his tracks. The kid was just getting back to his feet when I looked back down from the top of the hill. He’d had enough. We made it out of the neighborhood and onto a main street.

I was in complete shock.

“Wow that was really fucked up.” I say to my friend in the understatement of the century.

My silent friend looks at me again as if I’m completely retarded for thinking its actually necessary to say that out loud.

As the adrenaline wore off, my mouth and eyes and face and skin and throat and hands started to burn. It really hurt, a lot. I guess emptying an entire can of mace upon a would-be axe murder on a windy day doesn’t come without its consequences. Who knew?

–To be continued in Part II.