It’s 3:30am on Saturday night in the Lower East Side of NYC. March 9th to be exact; I’m walking down Allen St. Daylight savings time put us an hour ahead, so we lost an hour of life. That fucking snakey promoter that makes you feel like you’re his best friend jumped in a cab and ditched me for a party at Gospel that I wasn’t dressed enough for. I go out in Nikes now and I don’t really give a fuck. If I wear heels I’m too unapproachable; if I wear sneakers I’m not commanding enough. They won’t let me back in the bar because it’s after 3am which is a stupid business decision for daylight savings. So here I am, outside of Sixty LES, trying to figure out what to do with my life.
I’m running away from my problems by burning my energy into the night, untethered as fuck. There is this man next to me standing alone, solo, wearing black. His face is tan and a little weathered, but in a sexy, knowing way — contrasted with the bright blue eyes, it really did it to me.
Do you ever have those moments when you meet someone and there is an energy? It’s a lightning bolt in your life. Do you have the awareness / are you in tune enough to recognize those moments? I think this is what people mean when they talk about love at first sight, but it’s not that exactly. It’s more just a realization of “this person is going to impact my life in some way, but I don’t really know why or how.” There will be a lot of that in this blog. It’s an electricity.
“Give me cover, would ya?”
He bent down quickly and started writing in purple pen paint. Right there on Ludlow Street. CB FTW. FTW stood for Fuck the World.
“That’s my tag. That’s my group.”
“So you’re in a gang.”
“No, it’s just me and my buddy in California. Just us two. Everywhere we go we write this.”
I looked at him in his piercing blue eyes, kind of crazed but beautiful. Really just beautiful.
“Never stop doing that, okay?” I said.
It was so important that he never stopped. It was just about the worst gang in the world. It was a small act of rebellion. He never let his voice go out. I was looking at a soldier of some kind.
“You gonna let me try?”
“You want to?”
“Ok, your tag name is gonna be Al. So whenever you write, you gotta write Al FTW.”
So, I wrote Al FTW in purple paint pen on a door of a restaurant in LES. (@restaurant If you’re reading this, my bad.)
He looked at me and said, “You’re an artist, huh? That’s what you are.” Just two strangers there painting doors and stuff.
“Are you going to kiss me or what?”
He leans me against the vandalized door, grabs the back of my hand, and kisses me in earnest. It was a weird moment of love and understanding. Then I walked away.