It’s March. February came and went so fast and finally it’s getting warm. It’s the season to rock spring clothes (the new LIBE!) and push through the streets. It’s so fresh outside, so let’s get outside and skate. And this month I have some announcements too. I wish I could just skate… So how are you all? This message update had been delayed for a week… sorry. Last month we had LIBE BRAND UNIVS exhibition and many supporters came from far cities. How did you all think of the new summer line? Starting with the first Ryoma tee in ten years, many important messages are incorporated in the graphics. All designs have something to do with the new DVD I’m working on now, so I think you’ll get the message of the graphics easier if you watch the DVD. It took so long to complete the DVD but finally it’ll be time for the release soon. I gave everything I’ve got for this piece. I’ve used so many new expression methods, did and asked things that are new to all of us. And now the time has come. Heads up. Also there’s a ten-page article on my DVD in Transworld Japan, a feature article on Go Miyagi and I with skate shots. For those who are waiting for the DVD, enjoy the ten pages first before you see it. Enjoy.

We’re having Midnight Express on the first Thursday and the 7th ROTF on the 13th. DJ Dye of TBH will be playing as guest. Like last time, we have DJ Rise, DJ Duct, Yousuke Nakano and Jakucho are the resident DJs. We are planning an improvised jam session too and you can only experience something like this in Nakano.

OK, enough for the announcements. Let’s continue where we left off last month. I’m looking back and reminiscing how I was feeling back then and maybe there are people that are feeling the same way right now…

“ What are you doing that (skating) for?”

I think it was June and I was 18. I was skating in a contest at Harajuku organized by Murasaki Sports. Like I said last month, I got injured big time for the first time. It hurt so much and I went straight to the hospital. When I looked at the x-ray, my ankle was broken in half. I had to use a crutch for the first time in my life.

My school was on the Marunouchi line, so it was pretty easy to go and I was going with a crutch. Oh man, it was a pain in the ass. It was tough walking a kilo with a crutch. It’s tougher than you can imagine. When the station is crowded, it’s super scary. Going up stairs is fine but going down is the hard part. I realized a little how tough the disabled people were.

So I had to deal with a crutch for a month and eventually I didn’t want to go to school anymore. There was a skate shop that I used to ride and work for in Asagaya. The shop crew was known for their power in the nightlife in Tokyo streets. I was one of the crew as a skater and I was also working there everyday when I was hurt. It was an amazing shop. So what was amazing? All the older crew came to the shop when closing time to plan what they are going to do that night. It was Roppongi, Shibuya or Ikebukuro, and they never went home until morning. They just went home so that they won’t be late for work the next day. That went on every single day. I had my skating so I didn’t have to go out all night, but when I was hurt the things that they were doing was super appealing to me. And I was in it. Roppongi R Hall, Shinjuku Kingston, Yokohama Heaven, Nishiazabu Yellow, Gold… I was going to so many clubs. The older guys knew people at almost all the clubs and I was also furthering my territory. On the way home, some one would say, “Let’s go play pool” or “Let’s go eat” or “Let’s go to the beach”. And they listen and actually do whatever on the way home. They taught me how to surf and snowboard like that. ‘Flow’ was important for all of us. If you didn’t go with the flow, they would get upset. So I was with them with my crutch and the only weapon was the ‘flow’.

One day the older guy said to me, “How many girls have you slept with?”

“About xx girls?” I was embarrassed and told him more than the actual number.

“What! Are you kidding me? Get laid with more girls! Skating good doesn’t means shit if you can’t even get laid!”

Then I asked, “How many girls have you slept with, Tsuyoshi?”

He said, “I don’t remember, but probably xxx”

What? Is that even possible? I was blown away. He must be an AV actor or something!

And he kept on. “Hey man, we grew up in Shibuya when it was sketchy. If you weren’t skating and only going after girls, you’d be sleeping with that much girls”

I don’t think so… and he continued. “You gotta work harder as a man”

So this is how it was like. They were with different girls all the time and sometimes they were with girls you see on TV. And I decided to work hard as a nightlifer form the age of 18. I was looking forward to the Fine Night on Friday and was on the mission every night. As you go to the same club every week, you get to know people and that made it hard to get girls. You know, you bump into girls that you’ve slept with and they’re talking to each other. Well, you gotta go after as many girls as you can, right? Ladies reading this will hate on me for writing all this, but almost every young man are like this.

One day, the older guy said to me when I was about to go into a club.

Older guy: What’s up Morita. You see any particular girl you like?

Me: Hmmm. Maybe that girl?

Older guy: For real? Don’t lie. You’re saying she the best girl here for you? You really think so?

Me: Maybe she’s not the best…

Older guy: If she’s the best for you, that’s good. But just look at other girls in the VIP room too. Did you see them too?

Me: Well, they’re too pretty, don’t you think? They look like models.

Older guy: Don’t be a pussy. You gotta go after the best. Don’t go after a girl that makes you think you can get easily. That’s rude to the girl and you’re gonna devalue yourself.

I kept doing what he told me since then. All of the older guys were amazing and they taught me so many things. How act and behave in the streets. They taught me pretty much everything.

When I was out every night, I had no place at home. I was never home until morning and didn’t even go to school. I was deceiving my parents but my dad couldn’t take it no more. I had to start something. I couldn’t just collect girls’ phone numbers. And that was it, my dad exploded and I was forced out the house. I was a homeless. I said everything I wanted to say to dad and just left. The skate shop was the only place I could go and there was a bed. But my dad knew I was there so I couldn’t stay for so long. I went to friends’ homes and had no money. While I was homeless, somehow I happened to go on a snowboard trip and went home once to go get my snowboard (my parents doesn’t know about this still). I was enjoying my homeless life and was still going out at night. I was careless and left my skateboard at home.

I didn’t care about skating. You get hurt and I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it. Everyone knew that you can’t make a living off skating. Snowboarding was in back then and nobody wanted to start skating. I had no clue what was happening to me and I didn’t even care. I was blaming my broken ankle. I was just protecting my little pride thinking I’m sponsored and that I get free gear. I was scared of what people would think about me. I was a kid and got hurt so many times. I broke my fingers three times, broke my ankle twice (one more after this), I tweaked my ankle too many times too. I dislocated my right elbow and broke my heel too. All of these injuries came from my doubts. You know, there are certain things that you get to see when you’re hurt so much. You start to look at yourself as the third person’s point of view. I was asking myself “Why did I get hurt?” every time I was hurt. You have to face yourself when you’re hurt or the time will be meaningless. But I came to think this way much after this time period.

My homeless life ended on new years day when I was 18. My friend convinced me to go home. My dad said to me, “So you learned your lesson”. I felt like going back to my homeless life again when I heard it, but my mom made me stay. It’s a fact that I obeyed my dad and said “Yes sir”…HAHA.

I didn’t learn shit from the homeless life. It’s just that your relationship with friends got much tighter from living with them. We talked about many things that you don’t normally talk about. We talked about our dreams. We talked shit. We watched so many movies together and they weren’t skater friends. That was probably what was good. I was away from skating and left my board at home.

“What are you doing that (skating) for?”
I still didn’t have the answer to my dad’s question. I think I didn’t look like a skater back then. I didn’t even have a skateboard with me. I didn’t care. Before that, why the hell do I get hurt so much? Why me…? Injury sucks man. I was sick and tired of it. I had doubts in me and was scare of what people thought about me. And there it was again. I tweaked my ankle. I was feeling down every time I went out to skate.

And the older guys’ nightlife started to escalate. It was something that I couldn’t even take. They were going to a bad and dangerous direction. I was scared of them and I had no place. My place wasn’t home, the skate shop, clubs, school… where did I belong?

It was time for me to start something. I just had to make a change. And there was something that my dad kept telling me.

“No one is there to help you. We parents will be gone before you. Take care of yourself!”

OK, that’s it for this month. This is the first half of my prime that’s still going on. It’s nonfiction. It was hard to look back on the injuries but I’m here because of those experiences. I’m gonna live my life to the fullest so that myself in the future can say the same. We’ll be at Heavysick every first Thursday so if you have to come over and party. See you all next month!

FESN director, Takahiro Morita