Thursday, September 22, 2011

Chance Encounter

Sometimes you meet a random hairdresser on a drunken night of revelry because you are waiting for your friend who parks cars under the FDR at the seaport, and he has to get the hairdresser's car and you're stumbling around making stop-motion of everything because you can't afford a video camera. And the hairdresser wants to collaborate and you get locked out of the apartment so you pass out in the car with a friend who has malodorous digestive difficulties and you're freezing cold and you have to piss so you beg your way into a McDonalds bathroom somewhere in Brooklyn and your fly is stuck and you get a phone call from a number you don't recognize but you're too fucked up to think not to answer it, so then you're left waiting at Coney Island for no pay and some jokesters who are four and a half hours late because they had a hard time with her makeup, which appears to be toxic silver spraypaint, and her costume, which consists largely of 80's weightlifting gear from the salvation Army. And the spraypaint is flaking off of everything, making her face crackly, and you are doing your best to be encouraging to this poor girl who looks & feels like a drowned rat from outer space and has no modeling experience and you have no time to ease her into it because you're losing the last good light. So you are cursing this damn hairdresser and wishing this experience on someone else.

Other times you explore an old abandoned cold-storage warehouse that is probably the biggest thing in the world made out of nothing but concrete, pipe, and cork, and you feel like you're wandering inside some sort of underground bunker even though your legs still burn from the ten-story walk-up, and you take these really fun pictures of friends and crazy art on the roof and it's a perfect fall day and then you pocket some glasses you found because they remind you of an ex you once had and how these yellow shades always made life seem so cheerful but then you lost them so now you've got another pair, from another explore, free from ties to the ex and you're with this other girl, who you're not dating or even fucking but who has largely replaced the ex, and there's a train station built into this place, and the paint is peeling off the wall like lichen, so some kid spraypainted they decorated for us and you're so amazed by the beauty of your friends and of the graffiti and industrial grandeur. And then a week later you find out the whole place caught fire in what amounted to a holocaust of cork, and they pin it on some scrap-metal welders who were cutting out pipe illegally for months without a problem and then a few days after you took the glasses which were lying on some welding equipment (you wondered why it was there and commented to your friends that it was sketchy) the whole place goes up in smoke and burns for a week even though they pump water into it day and night, hundreds of thousands of gallons. So it was basically your fault but you post your exploration pictures on the internet and the guy who painted on the roof contacts you and says, hey, nice picture, and you say hey, want to collaborate? And life gets in the way but then about a year later you're back in town and you hit this guy up and it's back and forth and at the last minute when you've resigned yourself to religious rites at would-be jazz festivals he calls you up and then leads you to a secret lair of underground artists, and their leader is built like a greek god or at least an important warrior and they all make this amazing art, so you help carry cans of paint and they show you this jaw-dropping old church and take you inside and say: go forth, play! And you take lots of pictures and wrap up the day by photographing three of these amazing artists putting up big wall paintings in a huge industrial site until the sun goes down. And I feel like running into you is more likely the second kind of experience.

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