Ozzie Ausband



I sit here at Ray’s house in Long Beach. It is the eve of my fifth decade. I turn fifty years old in a few hours. I’ve been terribly vexed over my upcoming birthday… No other birthday has affected me so. I’m unsure as to why. Do I feel like there is something left to give up? Am I feeling my own mortality in some strange way? I knew I was getting older, when college girls stopped looking at me like I was a threat. They started calling me, “Sir”. That stung for awhile…  One morning a few months ago, I was cleaning the bathroom at Ridiculous. People were coming over to skate and I try and keep things tidy. I was reaching for the Comet cleanser under the bathroom sink and caught my reflection briefly in the mirror. I was shocked as I saw my father’s face! I sat down for a second… It was really strange. I wasn’t me. Advancing years. I wish a camera and a mirror would agree on what I look like as I get confused. Anyway, I wanted to learn something new on my skateboard before my fiftieth. I had a childish fantasy that I’d learn something radical. Then I realized that maybe I didn’t need to do something new. Maybe it was enough that I was doing something… I’m fifty. I surmised that it was a good thing that I was healthy enough to roll around at all. I’m grateful that I can go to a pool and carve around, grind and throw up an air or two. Gratitude. I’m grateful that I made it this far. MRZ and I went to this pool a few weeks ago for twenty minutes. The image is pretty appropriate. There is a five foot marker in the foreground. Shallow end. It says 50. My age. It could also say 5. My current years of sobriety. I guess this sums it all up. Thank you to everyone that supported what I do these last few years since I became sober. I appreciate it. You’ve kept me where I need to be. For that, I owe you all… Thank you to MRZ for the image. Love- Ozzie