I’ve been writing on the theme of masquerading, and I want to share this short documentary (16 minutes) which shows beautifully the story of one man who lived his own masquerade for many years. Filmmaker Josh Izenberg chronicles the story of Dr. John Kitchin, who is known as Slomo by his fans on the Pacific Beach boardwalk in San Diego.
Dr. Kitchin describes himself:
“I’d say that before Slomo I became a typical, institutionalized, educated Western man. In other words I was driving a BMW to work, I was working long hours, I was paying my taxes, and doing everything by the standards of society and so on just like everybody else in the work force. And frankly, I intended just to work myself on into oblivion and get old and die. That was pretty much the scenario.”
You can hear in his own words when the masquerade began:
“When I graduated from college I didn’t have a plan, but I had been ushered in the direction of medical school.”
He was credentialed in neurology and psychiatry and went on to have a full practice. While there is nothing wrong with becoming a doctor, if it isn’t what lights you up, it becomes a grind that drains the joy out of life.
As Dr. Kitchin says:
“It occurred to me one time when I was driving to work and I had a lot of reports to dictate that day, that I was still shoveling shit which had been the way I started my life on a dairy farm. When I look back on it, I’m just thinking this is the most absurd, stupid way to go through a life that a person could ever dream up, but we are all being pushed on to do this.”
After Dr Kitchin experiences a wake-up call in his life, he gets clarity on what gives him joy: “I found out all I really wanted to do was the basic things and skate.”
And that’s what he does. He skates. Because he loves it.
“For a while I thought I might be going crazy or something because I’m too happy. And I kept waiting for whatever this was, this obsession with skating, to differentiate itself into some sort of diagnosable problem. That was 15 years ago.”
Watch the video.
“The people that love Slomo are cheering for one person that got away, that escaped and got to real freedom where he skates all day. Doesn’t apologize. He’s simply doing what he wants to.” – John Kitchin aka Slomo