The Mindfulman's creed iI
And the Unamused Ladies
“Do you still want to do this? What about the rain?” my friend asks. Rain? What rain? According to the trusted weather service, rain is projected at 4pm, then 2pm, no 7pm, and now back to 2pm. My friends will come from San Antonio to help me if I say the word.
I’m going back and forth about this… Will the walls be wet? What about the humidity? The glue I made of cornstarch last night isn’t working! Will the paint dry in time for the actual posters? Will they even last if I got them up? Are we going to be rained on halfway through? I tell my friends to stand by… I need to think.
I rush around collecting the last of the necessities. Good ole white, school glue will have to do. It’s so cloudy… The fates are against us. I scarf down a quick meal purely for the glucose, then stop for a coffee, my true fuel. With the first sip, mixed with some motivating song, a switch is flipped. I feel it in my brow and say to myself, “This is going up. Today.”
And with that, I am committed. I rush home to gather everything and tell my friends to meet me at Hope as soon as possible. I am going to paint the wall, so that by the time they arrive, it should be ready for posters. Humidity permitting. Once I have everything in my car and start heading to the park, as if by the graces of the Cosmos, the skies part revealing the glorious sun! Thank you, skies!
The park is bustling with life. I scout out my spot once more before unloading. There may be some newer pieces, but even those have already been tagged. I always worry about stepping on people’s toes… No one likes their work to be covered over, but such is the nature of our ephemeral graffiti children…
I haul a gallon of flat black paint, a pan, a roller and extender, my journal, and large iced coffee up the hill. I dip the roller into the goop. I lift my sabre and slice through the wall, leaving behind black gashes. I haven’t been working longer than 10 minutes, but I am already dripping in sweat. I appreciate the sun right now, but good lord. Take it easy on me Ra.
I finish the main wall and a small segment to the left. The paint dries remarkably fast and will be more than ready once my reinforcements arrive. My head is starting to pound. Damn, heat exhaustion. My reinforcements are no less than 45 minutes away. I can’t leave my post… I pour water on my head and sit in the bit of shade the wall casts. I see a few people eye the fresh blank, black canvas. I give them a glare as a warning.
I spot my friends. We say hello, but forgo any prolonged chitchat. It’s time for work. Before we start, I apologize in advance for any potential control freak, order barking. “We are here to do your bidding!” they reassure me. We get the logistics down quickly and start on the large sagittal head that is broken into three large pieces. We roll a thick layer of watered down glue on the paper and on the wall. My lady friend and I pick up the soaked sheet and cue the male to guide us. “Looks good!” And with that, she and I press it into place. Perfection. The second goes up just as easily. The last piece requires one of us to climb up and around the back of the wall. Though I initially volunteered, my friend asks, “Are you sure you wouldn’t rather be down here to control it more?” She knows me so well. We switch spots. Got to get my head on straight!
It’s up and glorious. We roll a few more layers of glue over the nine-foot beauty. We eye and mark the wall for the next one piece. The Mindfulman’s Creed. It is a play on the Marine’s Rifleman’s Creed with a few choice words replaced.
We are done! We step back and take in what we’ve just accomplished. I bombard my friends with thanks you in-between numerous pictures. We did it. As we snap the last few photos, I notice the background… The storm the weather services predicted is right behind us, minutes away.
As we walk away, I look back one last time to my graffiti children I have just given birth to that will survive maybe a few hours or days at max. Maybe. I have more experience this time, but I still that moment where I have to tell myself, “Let them go.” I kiss the walls, my children, goodbye… And as I do, it starts to rain.