I don’t understand chance or why strangers in the dark can change everything. There is something about graffiti hidden in a dive bar. It’s penned by us, penned by you, penned by words or pictures we wanted to add.
There are stickers of stencils, spray paint, and markers. The place is extremely busy, art can be a lot to look at. There are love notes and numbers forgotten, only seen by the ones willing to look. The graffiti around reminds you of others. You weren’t the only one here, this space existed before. Someone else touched this. Someone else changed it, whether momentarily or forever. These walls are filled with intent, talents from all of us without care of who appreciates it. In the darkness we drew, I put words on the wall. A poem for me and who ever sits down. Maybe no one sees it, but I changed, added my piece to the place. Forever the time I wrote. Forever me.
I wrote, “This is where he told me.” Because how do you encapsulate a conversation? I could write essays all over walls, prose of life and cons of feeling. I can only draw an emotion, a stranger who risked everything for his goals. A forty-year-old man with an undercut told me he found his passion. It was late in life, but that’s how it goes. His heart was broken three times and told me to keep it up. He said the more it’s broken, the better you are. You find yourself in the cracks, it’s another way to create more space. Date everyone, try everything, your heart can break from any angle.
He said be twenty-four as long as you can, the summer is forever if you want it to be. Contribute, be kind, live in California, New York, London. He said he left twice but ended up back here. It’s never too late to start over. Don’t be afraid to start over, sometimes it’s the best thing you can do. A clean slate is how you look at it, flood it, and make it as dirty as you need. Normality is subjective, but remember to have your heart broken.
He said there is art in spreadsheets if you look at it long enough. You can make it what you want, choose to be happy. He told me he thought he’d be married by now, have a daughter. This was advice he’d give his daughter, to look. Consider what you see, there is always more to the story. He bought me two beers, the first one was for chugging, the second was to enjoy. He said knowing the difference is the only advice worth remembering.
He handed me the sharpie, said this is where you can start. We wrote a poem together, made art together. He drew a circle around the “me.” We wrote it for us. At least two people have read it, enough for a lifetime. He said, who cares if anyone likes it, at least we are contributing. The next time I go, I’ll have my graffiti ready.
Break your heart as much as possible.