It wasn’t until our paths crossed the second time, when he followed me home on his board like a lost puppy dog one day after an art opening in Bed-Stuy, that I even realized he was a skater boy.
Growing up in London, I had fallen prey to my fair share of flamboyant douchebags—soccer stud, club promoter, wannabe rock star—but skater boy lust wasn’t something I knew, and yet it hit me like an ollie gone wrong on the sidewalk—hard and fast. The cheeky grin, the scruffy Afro, the dirtbag zero-fucks-given attitude all worked in his favor, but it was his unstudied sense of cool that really had me hooked.
His Nikes were always scuffed just so; his flannel shirts had a rumpled, partied-all-night swagger about them; he cinched his baggy jeans around his gangly frame with shoelace strings, a styling trick that was as punk in spirit as he was.
It wasn’t long before I was sleeping in his Supreme T-shirts, claiming his free skater swag as my own—beanies, hoodies, you name it.
Finally I’d met a guy who got my rough-and-tumble tomboy looks—the oversize coveralls, the vintage bowling shirts, the retro Adidas tracksuits—a guy who didn’t subscribe to the notion of sexy as some trussed-up, spandexed idea.