This should end up somewhere… Best regards, Richard Lewis firstname.lastname@example.org 917-913-4466
“Alright little Jimmy, you can bike only as far as the end of the block. Don’t go any further.”
“But I want to go to the end of the world” Jimmy said dejectedly.
“This is a Brighton Beach bound B train. The next stop will be Prospect Park.” I turn around, face the door, and look through the window.
The tunnel is covered from top to bottom in graffiti. Most of it is weatherworn and might be from the 90s, maybe the 80s. Some of the newer pieces, the more complex tags, are in bright fluorescents outlined in thick black strokes. Their geometric forms intersect over and over; letters are simultaneously in front of and behind each other. They form an increasingly intertwined web as the train speeds up.
I can make out some of the tags. A CERN here, a KAS there. COPE, COCO, RIPE357, PICU, JASU, PHASE, LEE, NICE, MAYBE, Maxi. I see JOE, abe, Baby Face, TRO, KWES, HUGE, GF3. The new obscure the old, the old hide the older. My friends are reflected behind me in the window. The new guard digesting the work of the old guard. We’ve seen these tags for as long as we can remember. They haven’t changed much since people stopped entering the tracks with bags full of spray paint.
We set up our equipment, press the laser writer to the window. Its 4096 tiny beams of light will shoot harmlessly through the glass and coalesce on the tunnel walls to carve out each of our respective tags. It’s a quick and surgical process. The machine calibrates itself to take the speed of the train and the distance to the tunnel wall into account before making its lightning fast carvings. We select the appropriate file to be transferred and I press the start button. Less than a second later, the design is on the wall and we’re on our way.
The next kid trying to make out tags can add HOKY, KATHY2874, TITUS, and HESS to his list.