Thursday, April 26, 2012

Meeting Sam

We never would've met if I weren't a nosy little fucker sometimes. I've lived in the City for years, I know all the gang signs, the taggers, the showoffs. Some people go to school to learn how to dissect 'fine' art, but I've got an unused degree and a desire to do anything to prevent mental stagnation, so I started doing the same with the graffiti.

Call it a stupid hobby, but even a bum has to have something to do, right? I don't spend all my time busking or doing odd jobs any more than you do. So when I noticed a new sign showing up, over and over, in this certain shade of turquoise blue, and always on buildings with accessible roofs, I got curious. I mean sure, I've seen it occasionally before, at random,  always done by scared runaways, but this was /methodical/. Like hobo sign, which I'm passingly familiar with, but one I've never seen.

So I started looking for whoever was doing it. Hard to find a good tagger, really, their work depends on secrecy, but the homeless around here keep their eyes open. People never think we see anything, we're just part of the furniture. But we do. We see everything.  So I heard about the sweet looking blond kid. One of us, in fact. Though he did have a laptop-no one was sure if it really ran. But the kid is pretty much only ever seen on rooftops, which isn't a bad strategy for a  homeless kid, the gangs don't bother you up there  unless you owe them something.

From there, it was just finding the right rooftop. And there he was, with the laptop out, though he stashed it when I came through the door. I wish I could remember exactly what was said, but that was a year ago and my memory's not that good. But I introduced myself, got his name, and asked about the tags.

He got scared then, I remember that specifically. I think he thought I was a cop or something, there to arrest him for vandalism. Sam was so scared, so outrageously skittish. Very secretive, even after I'd known him for as long as I did. Even after... well, that's another story.

As it turned out, they were X-Men symbols. He'd been trying out tagging as an outlet, but he wasn't actually any good, so that was about the best he could do. But it got us started talking-nerds of a feather and all. It'd been a long time since I'd had someone I could have a conversation about comics and the like with. It was nice.

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