Response to Day 5 of Boot Camp of Writing Prompts: American Graffiti

I’m walking towards an abandoned train station. I usually go here because I have acquaintances who like to read and paint. This place is abandoned and no one, not even the city complains. It’s an abandoned railroad tunnel near a forest park so who would make a fuss, right? Anyway, I meet my friend, Terry. He’s in his late 30s to early 40s. I met Terry when I was volunteering at a library a few years ago. Terry keeps to himself sometimes, but he’s a friendly man.

There are also three other people who frequent this tunnel, Lenny, Krista, and Miles. They’re in their 20s like me, but they aren’t here today, just Terry. I see Terry sitting on his collapsible chair staring at the wall opposite of him. He looks forlorn as if his pet died. “Hey Terry!” I said in a cheerful voice.

“Oh, hello Louis. How’s it going?” He responded, looking at me and back at the wall. I look to see what was making him sad. It was graffiti on the wall. Not the regular graffiti that you see that’s done in an artistic fashion, but this graffiti was filled with hate, anger and despair. The spray-painted mosaic displayed an anarchy symbol, “the fall of Western civilization is upon us” in bland block lettering, and an eagle wrapped in an American flag with a dismal look on its face.

“Who done this?!” I asked in shock, “It couldn’t have been Lenny, Krista, and Miles, could it?” I wondered.

“I doubt it.” Terry responded.  “They’re not as pessimistic as some folks I know. I thought maybe you have done it.” Terry stated “I’ve mentioned before that artwork isn’t in my expertise. Sure I can be a pessimist but I wouldn’t do something like this. All the other artwork on this wall is ruined now.”

“It looks like it was done last night it seems. It wasn’t here yesterday. They work fast too, considering that eagle artwork would take at least a day or two.” I walk towards the spray paint covered wall to examine it. The anarchy symbol and “the fall of Western civilization is upon us” tags were spray painted. The depressed eagle was nothing more than a poster that was Xeroxed.

I walk out the tunnel and Terry followed suit. I take out my phone and call them. An hour later, Lenny, Krista and Miles arrives and see the wall of negativity. “Well whoever done it doesn’t want us here it seems.” Lenny spoke. “So what do we do now?” Krista wondered.

“Move somewhere else.” Miles replied. “Why? This has been our spot for a couple of years now.” I said. “Just because some idiots decided to put bad vibes on this wall, doesn’t excuse them for tarnishing your work.”

“Louis, as much I like your ideas and strong sense of justice, these are one of those times we should back off. Who knows what these people are capable of?” Krista noted.

“As much as I like this place. We’re going to have to leave. It’s no use getting into trouble or murdered if these people are doing this.” Krista continued.

“I don’t want to scare most of us, but I think we should stop doing this altogether and stick to a canvas or digital art.” Lenny said, looking at his phone. “Why is that?” I wondered.  Lenny hands me his phone and there was a headline “Graffiti Vandals Spray Painting Fear Mongering Art Police On The Hunt”

I knew there was no point in trying to find an alternate solution. “Well that’s that it seems. We’re going to have to stop coming here.” I declared. We all leave the tunnel and take one last look. Going on our separate way we decided to keep in touch with one another. The police still searched for the vandals but they continued to elude the police. Lenny, Krista, Miles and I returned to school after a long, uneventful summer. Terry still continued his physical therapist job.

We occasionally see each other every once in a while. Lenny, Krista and Miles had their artwork displayed at a modern art museum. They found something other than a tunnel to display their talents.


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