The little playful knocking, rapidly shaking a canister of spray paint up and down. Tagging walls Tony Hawk American Wasteland style. Nothing quite like graffiti aesthetic, combined with the finesse of skateboarding video games. I’ve always said, if I had to be reincarnated, I would choose to be reincarnated as a professional skateboarder. So much fun, daring, and adrenaline. Eating the salty blacktop trying to nail trick after trick. I’ve never spray painted anything before. But I’ve smelled the fumes, up my nostrils and right to the third eye of my head, making me feel funny. Touching smooth colors as they run along the walls. When I take the train on the Montclair-Boonton line (or back when I took the Newark Light Rail), I see the graffiti adorning the sub-ground corridors that line the tracks. I wonder about the stories of each and everyone. What kid came here and made his piece of art, or painted this word? What time was it? Did his (or her) mother know they were out and about, vandalizing and making trouble? I wish I could see split-screens for every story.
The aerosol canister letting out a long exhale as its pressurized contents are released in some artistic swirl. Dressed all in black, climbing down during a time when the trains have stopped running. Did they ever get in trouble or found out? And who is Banksy? The rolling rattle of a discarded can, rolls all the way down the street where it is stopped by the foot of a policeman. The gaze that goes up from his polished black shoes to the blue hem of his pants, yellow stripe down the side, all the way up to look at his beat red, maddened white face. He has a brown and grey mustache and the cap on his head. Guilt spells itself out in paint-stained hands and clothes. Dryness of mouth at the reality of the situation. It’s like encountering an animal in the wild, on the edge of confrontation. There will be a moment that will break this silence, as the artist decides to make a run for it.
Sometimes grey walls need color. Sometimes a message needs to be received. Dime a dozen watercolors don’t have anything on this. It is permanence with the only fix to be painted over. Distracted visual landscape, constantly reminding us that it is not 1956. Revolutionary rebellious act.