Ozzie Ausband


On a wooden shelf to my left, there is a lonely photograph. Its edges are torn & wrinkled–like me. The photograph is of Q. When I met his mother, he was around two years old. In the beginning, he was the only thing I didn’t like about her. Eight years later–at the end–he was the only reason to stay. His mother & I were in a bad relationship… well, it was bad for her. I put that woman through hell. I thought she was killing me but I was definitely killing her… They didn’t deserve what I did to them. I could justify my actions and say–“Yeah! But I paid the bills. I never missed work. I had an alcohol & drug problem.”  That is nothing but a trite excuse. Weakness. They definitely deserved a far better man than they received. They are truly blameless.  I did try. I tried to be there. I made an effort to do good with him and teach him well. I took Q skating everywhere. I introduced him to a bunch of great people. TA gave him lessons at Bronson Canyon ditch in L.A. & Wes Humpston drew skateboard art with him…  He is a great kid. After a few months  sober, I left.  I had to go. It was the last time I hugged the little guy. What good would come of me staying any longer? The relationship was irreparably damaged. His mother decided that I couldn’t see him any longer. ( I deserved that ) Before I was sober, all she found in me was dishonesty & lies. I was not a nice person then. I have Q’s photographs up beside my bed & at my writing chair. I see his picture everyday. At night–alone in bed–ghosts come and whisper to me. They tell me the truth & it is terribly painful.  Cruel- like a stone knife. Being sober, I feel everything. I never knew I could hurt so much. He’s a wound that is always bleeding. I don’t think he’ll ever return to this place.  When I have bad days and I’m on a ledge, I think of Q and hope that he thinks of me. I hope he remembers good things. I wait …  I am mine alone. Maybe someday we will skate together again. I love you kiddo …  I miss you so much. Skate- Ozzie