display | more...

DISS BOMB AZER, one block each. One of those ideas you get during a late session where everyone is lying around, almost asleep, and then you all just catch fire, and want to do it NOW.  So, we shared out the paint. I got silver and blue and the crap orange that was too translucent. Jamie got the green I really wanted, a sea-green turquoise layered on jade colour. He made sea-letters with it, the O in BOMB bursting at the top to let out a shoal of bubbles tipped with silver. It was the best of the three but I didn't say so, for Finn's sake.

When I was doing mine I looked across the sky to the block opposite and saw Finn, a black shadow on the edge of the roof, hundreds of feet from the ground. If I squinted really hard I could just make out the spraycan in his hand, hanging limp - of course he was only thinking, but for a moment I thought he was jumping. Sixteen, clueless, back then if I had seen him jump I would probably have jumped too. That's how it was.

But nobody jumped. Coming out onto the roof of the fifteen-storey block, I stared at the blank walls of the little concrete building that held the works of the lift shaft for some time, juggling the possibilities of blue, silver, and orange over in my mind. I lit a cigarette, and suddenly saw it: flame! It took about 20 minutes from throwup to finished piece, sloping up from the D through the I exploding to freeform flame Ss blazing away at the other end. 4am, and done. Time to leave.

Later, regrouped,  we climbed the cliff beyond the estate and watched the dawn come up over our work. I don't think there is any art in the world that could give me the same feeling of awe we had then, as the sun rose like a stage curtain on DISS BOMB AZER. One block each, crowned with our names. This was our place. We owned it.

Notes on the above :
i) Do we, later in life, just imagine the feelings we felt as kids to have been so much sharper, clearer, keener? Or is that just nostalgia? Nostalgia is an ugly word, sounds like a disease, something to be avoided. But I'm not sure it's properly understood. It seems an irritating waste of time, but the things we once did, the people we once knew, are what makes us, and to live in the present is not possible without understanding how you got where you are now.. It runs deep, whatever it is. Viral. And self-propagating.

ii) The piece above does not describe the AZER tag, which was white and yellow and red and gray. No curves but angles instead: squares, flying planes, an architectural blocky style which at the time I didn't like much but now prefer. I think of Delta and I see Azer. I can remember his face and his clever hands, long-fingered, adept - but I can't remember exactly what it was that made me like him so much.

iii) They were brothers. There were in fact six brothers, all of whom I knew pretty well. Three of them hit on me after Finn got locked up. Jamie won: he was by far the smartest (and the purtiest). He even had a job of sorts, delivering stolen cars over the river. All these years later I play Grand Theft Auto and I think of Jamie, wonder what happened to him. I'd like to think his star quality shone through, but I am betting he's probably a used car salesman with 2.2 kids by now. Same goes for Finn.

iv) No, we never took pictures of the pieces. But somewhere I have a photo of Finn, standing in the lobby of the block of flats he lived in. He has dark untidy very short hair, and good Irish cheekbones. He is tall with long floppy legs. He is wearing a paint-stained MA-1 flying jacket, a grayish sweatshirt over filthy jeans, and a smile.
It is the kind of smile which explains everything.


Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.