Why I’m always at Home

I’m 45 years old. I started Skateboarding when I was 15. About the same time I picked up photography and started my own Zine which I turned into a clothing company by the age of 18. Once I finished school I took up photography professionally and played in a band called Cheeseslider. By 1996 I scored a record deal which eventually lead me to directing music videos for the next four years. I played Golf with James Last in Miami and crashed a Mini-Van full of Rap artists from Berlin somewhere in the outback of Sweden in -30 degrees (celsius) weather. In 1998 I spent a summer in Hollywood interning at the Set of „Being John Malkovich“. I had lunch with Cameron Diaz and almost got punched in the face by John Cusack. That same year I married a rock singer from Texas. Two years later I was managing a band called Montana Chromeboy. We went on a tour called „War on the Bullshit“. The second day into that tour was September 11th, 2001.

That’s when I got drunk for the very first time. I was 30 years old. A year earlier I had picked up smoking weed and started my own Skateboard Company with a heavy emphasis on the board graphics. Hessenmob started out with three decks featuring artwork by Evan Hecox, Andy Jenkins and Shepard Fairey. With no money in the bank from skateboard sales, I travelled to Brasil on a comission to shoot photos of professional soccer players. I kicked ball in a Favela in Sao Paulo and dipped my toe in Zé Robertos private pool. Back home, the skateboard business had picked up and I have been a full-time Skateboard Pusher since then. 2005 saw the birth of my first son. 2007 the second one followed. Around that time I was reborn as Cpt. Cracker and as any good Captain would, I took my crew on two Mission (King of the Road Style) tours and slept on floors from Vienna to Rotterdam. In 2009, while on tour in Poland I fell in love with a girl from Wroclaw. Jestes Piekna. In 2012 my marriage started to come apart at the seams and I was divorced two years later. That was in 2014. Fueled by confusion I went on a six month rocket ride with a girl almost half my age and travelled 1000 km Roundtrip every other weekend to get my promiscuous fuse lit. Early in 2015 I finally hit rock bottom with my personal life and emotional household torn to shreds. In- and outwardly. I felt like I was buried alive. It took me a year to catch my breath and get off the emotional charley horse until I started to dig my way out by breaking up what was left of what I once thought was meant to be a life-long foundation. I tore down the whole house and started to build a home instead. I’ve been on holiday at the Crackhouse ever since then.

All that is just to show that I wasn’t always Always at home. It’s true though that I do spend a lot of time pinned to my hometown in the middle of nowhere and a 100 km Radius around it nowadays. One of the main reasons for me to stay put are my kids. I’m a single-parent half of the time. One week my kids are with me, while every other week they stay with their Mom. I’ve learned that raising kids is a full time job and I have the highest regard for every single-mother (and -father) doing that job on their own all of the time. When you are balancing a job and the welfare of your kids all on your own, it leaves you next to no space for tending to things of your own mind. It takes about two days of transition for me to alter my mindset from being with my offspring to being without them. In the „Off-Kids“ weeks I’m still left with my job as a Skateboard enterpreneur which pins me to a desk in an office and since I’m only working half-days in my „On-Kids“ weeks, I have to get on top of my game when I’m able to work 8 hour days. Not that I really do work 8 hours a day – but it’s a comforting thought that I could. Let’s just say, I feel like my attendance is required. I have always been the conscientous type.

Another reason why I’m home most of the time is that I really do like my living quarters. My apartment has a lot of space. Six rooms. Three of these rooms are filled exclusively with my stuff. I have one room dedicated to records, books and movies, another one is dedicated to arts and crafts where I tend to my bicycles and build Science Fiction themed scale model diorama scenes while the third one, the wood-panelled Crackhouse, functions as my study. That’s where I do my reading, writing and weed smoking. Yes, I do like to smoke the devils green parsley, the afghan poison ivy and I like to think that I don’t do it so much out of escapism but rather out of a desire for exploration of the mind. I do a lot of inward travelling when I’m stoned. My thoughts have been around the world a couple of times in my head. I like to listen to records while my mind wanders off into the depth of thought. I love to decipher my feelings and get to the bottom of my soul in search for their origin and provenance and, yes, I also do fall asleep on the couch watching „Seinfeld“ Re-runs occasionally.

But to paint a picture in which I condemn myself solely to voluntary captivity inside my rented four walls would be a little too far from the truth. I do get out of the house but when I do, it’s rarely on a skateboard anymore. Over the past two years I’ve developed a love for riding road-bikes. I’ve always ridden bikes as my preferred choice of transportation but only since I invested in a modern, carbon-framed road-machine I started going on day trips of around 80 to 120 km. As many bicycle enthusiasts will tell you, going on longer distance bike rides is a pure form of meditation. I never carry a GPS or any other performance tracking device or plan a route ahead of the ride. I just go in the direction my fancy is taking me. I always go alone, taking the back-roads, the bike paths and dirt-roads which lead me into what seems like No-Mans Land. Away from everything abuzz with mankind. Out of the city and out of cellphone reception. Getting lost is part of that journey and coming back home on your last leg is as much a reward as the adventure of having pushed yourself to your physical limit between leaving and returning.

So, yes, it seems that, at least for now, my travelling days to exotic destinations or the buzzing metropolises afar are gone but I have never been one for looking back or forward in regret. Actually, I haven’t felt more centred and content for a long time. It feels like I belong where I am at right now. At home – not always but all the way.

(This text originally appeared in Place Skateboard Magazin #59 because Danny Sommerfeld was under the impression that I never leave the (Crack) house anymore. Now you know my excuse …)