Thursday, February 5, 2015

Professional Loitering

Ya know- Loitering, man- it's not at all as easy as it looks, and the trick is to MAKE it look easy- that's how you can spot a big league pro like myself. First of all, there's a mindset: You have to be able to attain a Zenlike mindset, and be in 'The Now' at all times. You have to be able to forsake productivity. The drive to productivity is a hard one to shake. I mean, even for me; the simple act of sitting down and writing this blog is proof of the difficulties in that area- and I'm a professional. Secondly, there cannot be a goal or purpose of any kind, other than to 'hang out'. But here's the rub: it isn't about just standing somewhere- there all all kinds of little skills and tricks to learn. Smoking helps. Learning to properly spit is another. Finding a proper spot. Leaning- is there a good place to lean? Hand placement- do you have pockets? Also- remember: thew line between 'lurking' and proper loitery is a fine one; If- for instance- you think you're loitering, but you're just hanging out in a public parking lot- you're a lurker, and that's called 'being in the Creep-Zone'(not that that doesn't have it's own skillset, but that's not what this is about, and not really where my strengths lay.); What you need to find is a convenient store, or maybe a sidewalk in front of a bar or coffee shop. and of course- PRACTICE. Now, I've been 'hanging out' since approximately second grade. Usually with a good Loitering Team- when you're young, it's important to have a good team- it helps hone your skills. But TOO young, and you're basically into the 'Hijinx' field, or even 'Public Nuisance'... It's not really until you're 12 or 13 that you really reach the proper loitering arena. Now- I was spoiled; being a child of the 70s and 80s, and living in the suburbs of Los Angeles until I was 15 years old, I had a lot of great loitering spots, and very little distraction. No cellphone, no Ipad- you get the idea. Also, there were a plethora of 7-11s, with one arcade style video game in each one, so to be able to hang out by say- a Dragon's Lair game, or a Bowling Alley parking lot next to a pizza joint, or a Pioneer Chicken at a fairly frequented intersection- I mean- it was prime real estate for some top notch loitery. By thirteen, fourteen, we were so good at loitering in San Fernando Valley, we'd take the bus (bus stop is a good spot to hone your skills between those pesky 'points of purpose', by the way!) to Hollywood, and although there were some record buying goals, and some skateboarding, and maybe blowing money on a tshirt at Poseur on Melrose or something, the true endgame, was the chance at loitering with some real pros. Loiterers from all over SoCal would make the trek to Hollywood to hang out penniless in front of record stores, crappy eateries, shows, and stores that represented the vibe ones loitery team wished to project. Making people uncomfortable and nervous on the bus, is another event best practiced with your team when you're young. Other good destinations were Venice, Santa Monica, Hermosa... you get the idea. Places like this honed our skills so well, those lame Mall Loiterers didn't have a chance. We smoked em. At fifteen, my mother and I relocated to San Francisco, and man- between SF and Santa Cruz- you really are talking about the Loitering Capitol of California. But again- and I stress- it takes discipline. You have to be willing to get up at the crack of noon. If you're living at home, and you're young- sitting around watching shitty reruns of Love Boat and My Favorite Martian in your underwear, and eating a serving bowl of Cap'n Crunch can really get you stretched and ready... Things like that are helpful. Now- I don't expect everyone of you kids at home to put 100 percent into it, like I did- I mean, not EVERYONE is bound for pro-glory- I had to sacrifice a lot of school hours in order to loiter, for instance- but I hope these tips offer some insight and inspiration to those aspiring to go pro, or at least help those who just want to be able to hang out better. Loiter on, brothers and sisters- See you in front of the drugstore! - Hangin' Hank the Tank Hanke