[messengers] It's not you. It's me.

Date: 6 Jun 2012 01:12:10 +0200
From: Joshua Weitzner <whitesnake@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Actually, that's bullshit cause it's you too.  And you've changed too.

We were a community.  Now we are a scene.

It's not an improvement.  It's not a declination.  It's just different.

We were zines and list servs and talking once a year - in person. Now we are blogs and glossy magazines and skype and sponsorships and private forums and movies and reality tv.


I delivered my first package when Bill Clinton was still the American president. I had an email account, but received more letters than emails.

It took hours and sometimes days to download and look at porn on the web.

The fax machine was old hat, but the electronic signature was still years away.

I had coworkers and friends prescribed CIPRO by federal doctors because they were in the Hart office building when the Anthrax scare went off in Washington DC.

I had done an alleycat or two, drank a few beers at The Asylum, and hung out in Farragut Sq. But the world of Bike Messengers was hardly my life.

And then the summer of 2002 ended and two events changed that.

The first was The Warriors alleycat, which is the stuff of legend, but sort of besides the point for this email.

The other, the following weekend, was the 10th annual CMWC in Copenhagen, Denmark.

I drank, broke Denmark's fairly liberal drug laws, got it on, raced (poorly), climbed the walls of Kongens Garde to play soccer with strange girls at three am on a Tuesday, had breakfast at city hall, and avoided sleep for a week.

Of the literal hundreds of people I met that weekend, and the following weekend at a post-event in Hamburg, Germany, less than 50 are still active couriers.

Many haven't been to an international messenger event since.

A lot are married (myself included).
Have kids(not yet).
"Real" careers(nope).

Some are dead. Taken by the road, addiction, their own hands, cancer, other disease. (RIP Nestor, Michelle, Melissa, Kristine, Nate, Marc, Jon, Pokey, Page, Suss, etc)

In the 10 years since Copenhagen, I've been to 6 CMWCs, 6 NACCCs, 3 ECMC (including the one I co-hosted in Brooklyn), and countless Alleycats and international events.

I've lost teeth, gotten stitches, pins, casts, physical therapy, been chased by the police (in several countries), arm wrestled skinheads, brawled with Nazis, broken into national monuments, sleeping berths, and friends apartments, and been part of countless other adventures.

And now I'm saying goodbye.  Not to the job, but to scene.

I still love you. You can still sleep on my floor (although I'd prefer not to set up your friend I've never met, and my dog may or may not try to eat you). I'll still visit you, but probably not race your alleycat or championship.

If you are one of my friends, and you know who you are, you've likely also been on the streets for 10 years or more, you're probably in your 30s, your 40s, and in some cases your 50s. You've lost friends, family, blood, sweat, and yes, tears in your years.

Now, I'm asking you to come to Chicago and party with me one last time. I've seen many previous generations of messengers fade away without saying goodbye.

That's not my style.

Chances are you've already written it off and decided against going. You've possibly mocked the kids at the bar that are going.

That's fine.  I don't want to hang out with them either.

Let the shit talking commence!

I'll see you in Chicago for eine kleine absakker (possibly for the last time) or I won't.

As Luk has said to me, at least a half dozen times, "It's my last one!"

Joshua Seth Weitzner
Samurai Messenger Service, LLC


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