By line: Photos and Text by Jeff Zielinski

That more or less sums up my life. The fact that I’m sitting here on a Friday night typing this is proof without a reason of a doubt. Tonight is basically a rerun of last night. Why have I remained isolated in my room for three nights in a row?

Joe Milioti, tailtap inside of a guardrail in Seacaucus, New Jersey.

With some serious soul searching, I could probably find a million reasons why I’m unintentionally becoming an introvert. Perhaps it’s my disinterest in a form of vehicular transportation or because I can never meet an entertaining girl who lives around the corner. An even more feasible idea would be to look at the big picture. I’m referring to high school. If only I had spent more time with the kids I went to school with instead of devoting the last six years of my life to riding my bicycle. Maybe then I would have a few more numbers in my phone book.

Furthermore, what about the punk rock scene? At times I would attend as many as four shows a week. I knew countless people at these venues. Apparently most of them were merely acquaintances.

Is this an attempt to regress? Of course not! I’m perfectly happy with the decisions that shaped my lifestyle. Especially with those choices made in my teenage years, (which I believe is the time span that most influences one’s life). By the time most people are twenty they already know if they if they like boys or girls, have a knack for art, want to go to college, plan to join the Army, or move to Alaska. Evidently I miss the simplicity that comes with being a teenager. I could still be living relaxed and carefree, but I have an overwhelming desire to create things and express myself through every possible medium.

The “Etch A Sketch” of my life is beginning to take form. All my longing for creativity is best expressed through my bike riding and the images of bike riding I produce with photography and videos. Most of the money I made from my long list of odd jobs went towards maintaining my bike, photo junk, or making videos. Every minute that I wasn’t working to support my habit I was out practicing it in one form or another. With all the time I could have used getting to know the kids in my school, I was probably still better off lying in a hospital somewhere after falling off my bike. As for not having an interest in a car, well that isn’t entirely true. I would like nothing better than to own a car. Clearly the cost of my BMX/struggling artist lifestyle doesn’t permit me to purchase one.

Bob Scerbo, hip table in Roxbury, New Jersey.

Nonetheless, a resolution is at hand…I realize that occasionally my life may seem ordinary and even uneventful, but my shoes aren’t easily filled. I have very high expectations for myself. Due to a recent injury I sustained while riding I’ve been on a three-week stint of boredom. Without riding or the documentation of it I have absolutely nothing else to do. I get angry with myself for the lack of knowledge I have in so many other areas. I begin to question what I’m doing and where everything I’ve done thus far is going to take me. This train of thought only occurs when I’m stranded at home in my sweltering hot room.

Unfortunately, most of my friends who ride lead very diverse lifestyles outside of riding. In fact if it weren’t for BMX, I would probably never associate with a number of them because we have nothing else in common. I do have friends who don’t ride, but most of them skateboard. I’m more or less a thorn in their side trying to hang out with them while they’re skating.

Will Taubin, nightime bank to rail icepick.

Seemingly I have run out of options, but I understand my predicament. I realize that the choices I made earlier in life have indeed led up to this very night. Nothing but good things await me. I guess that sometimes you have to burn before you shine. Bored out of mind, contemplating the direction of my life in between my creative spurts is a small price to pay for all my experiences both past and future.

Jeff Zielinski1:17 AM7/17/99