“We don’t sneak into parties we sneak out of them”
Peter Pan Posse
Great, 3 hours to Baltimore and I get to sit bitch in between some random intern I’ve never met and a young in the face Mr. Rogers. MI** and **RF rented a minivan with 1 person too many, and that person was me; Mr. Take A Picture & Blog About It. We were headed to The Virgin Free Music Festival and to be honest I didn’t know why I was going. My graffiti was limited to whatever bathroom I did drugs in and the 5 block radius of my apartment in South Williamsburg. Mint thought it would be cool If I took some photos and documented the trip and all I kept wondering was “Has MI** even seen my blog?” I’d be the last person I’d trust to preserve a moment or to photograph an event that you would later need for its promotional or commercial value. I’m horrible when it comes to deadlines and guidelines. But whatever, I devour my egg & cheese from McDonalds’ and ready myself for the most uncomfortable ride of my life.
Let’s go back for a second. I knew The Wonder Twins that combined to create M**F and S**E, but the rest of the crew was new to me. One kid was trying to get us Ecstasy from a bodega in Harlem at 8 in the morning (later I would find out that was S*), and the Asian intern from the far east – whatever that’s just an intern… Who was Mr. Rogers?
He didn’t say much during our ride down there. The entire time he was on the phone with who I could only assume was his beautiful wife and 2.5 kids. Since when did MIRF start rolling with dads??? He had the type of haircut you would only find on an episode of Mad Men with the immaculate jaw line you would find on a 70’s Cognac advertisment or on James Bond no matter who played him. This man was the real deal. Was this the M**F manager or accountant, maybe a reporter for the New Yorker? I was absolutely clueless.
Before we arrive in Baltimore we stop at a Home Depot with a rest stop to buy spray paint. A bunch of graffiti writers buying paint? This wasn’t the graffiti I grew up with. We stole everything, and if it was nailed to the floor we stole a hammer to pull it out of the ground. Now it’s 2010 and we get hired to spray paint all over a music festival as part of its “art” installation. Ok, cool. As we load up the van as I plot a way to maneuver myself towards a window seat. Total fail. Mr. Rogers is the last one to walk out of, out of all places, Roy Rogers. He is wearing a Roy Rogers french fry gun holster on his belt, complete with the fries and dipping ketchup you would get in a kid’s meal. MI**, **RF, SI, and S**E can’t stop laughing. I’m thinking this is what white dads do when they are “out on the town” and the “wife” is “back home” and all of his “office work” is “done”. This is all a little too weird. He enters on my side of the van and once again I’m playing bitch. He offers me a French fry as a consolation prize. Thanks dad, Baltimore can’t come soon enough.
We opt out of going to the hotel and go straight to the festival. After some minor haggling we get our VIP passes and are led to the 2 walls we are supposed to decorate with our extensive knowledge of street vandalism. I’m thinking they will be doing some elaborate graffiti art piece with fancy letters and colors like we were redesigning the Graffiti Wall of Fame in Spanish Harlem. No. MI** and **RF go with fill Ins, stompers, and basically rag the shit out of both walls in what looks like we all have eternal beef with each other. At first I’m like “ok this is probably not what the organizers where looking for” – but then I see the vision. The wall looks like a wall you would see along the West Side Highway or on a train coming in or out of the JMZ Essex Street train station. This wasn’t graffiti, it was “performance art” on dust, a moment in the streets of New York City captured and placed on a fake wall built in Baltimore. One by one, rave faced spectators surround us, curious as too what exactly we were trying to do. M**T rocks a floater that’s crossed over by **ME who then gets covered by stomper made by SE** who then gets crossed out by *I who then get’s half his shit blocked out by N***S. Everyone rags me and the intern.
Oh yeah, in case you just missed it, Mr. Rogers has a graffiti tag and it’s N***S.
The crowd surrounding us looks like extras from a Blink 182 or Moby video. Everyone tells us what we are doing is cool but no one really knows what’s going down with the exception of some local toy writers that hoover around in hopes of catching a quick tag. Soon we have a gaggle of girls watching us vandalize and re-vandalize this poor wall that’s collapsing from the weight of the spray paint. For every girl we saw with a nice ass in skinny jeans we were greeted by bedazzled tank tops and dusty ballerina flats or poorly executed wedges. Mostly everyone at this music festival has bad acne. My entire crew is aggressively New York snobby so we come to terms that none of us are getting laid tonight.
We start popping the first of many E pills. After we decide we are done with the wall (how we came to that conclusion is a mystery to me) we stumble around the fairgrounds hunting for free food and liquor. N***S is already breaking in and out of shit and showing off whenever we find him. The intern is slightly drunk and we then find out he’s only 16 and MINT might have dated his mom. Shits and giggles for hours. LCD Sound System closes the festival with a loud “electro-dance” set and we are left alone in a field of dust and garbage. The ecstasy has me already seeing doubles – and now it’s time unwind and party.
We stop at a deli to get some cigars and beer. Apparently you can also buy liquor at any local deli in Baltimore so Of COURSE our Russian designated driver gets a bottle of Smirnoff while the rest of us load up on Coors light and Budweiser’s. N***S show us up with a 1 liter bottle of a mystery whiskey that would later be known as the Kentucky Gentleman. We go in face first with our bottoms up. Pause.
This is where the night gets blurry; at one point in the night we wind up at what I could only describe as a Baltimore Bass “Krunking” party where a bunch of black kids are dancing their spines and whatever inner city demons they have living inside out. NEWES disappears.
In an alley full of hipster weirdo’s we meet 77 Klash with 2 girls I know from “the scene” back in New York City. Hotel after hours? Sure, why not? On our way back to the hotel we get lost and crash the minivan twice. Ever been in a van filled with drunks, on E, lost in Baltimore? Extreme levels of life changing. We find N***S (again) who volunteers to sit in the back with the left over spray cans and starts telling us how he grew up somewhere along the road we just happen to be lost on.
“Yo Baltimore is soft, I left, tried to find some crack drunk, and came back with all my money.”
That prompts S**E to joke about which tree N***S lived in, opening the floodgates for jokes on jokes on top of jokes with a side of jokes. After our 3rd, E tripping, slightly drunk driving, everyone screaming directions at the same time but no one knows where we are going crash into whatever you would describe as a highway, N***S reaches his whiskey soaked boiling point. Kicking the back of my seat, N***S starts screaming and freaking out, demanding to get out of our sloppy party van. By then I was nearing my own breaking point with him when **RF and S* pulls me aside so I can have a moment.
“Don’t worry about him… That’s Pablo, P3D.”
We finally find our fucking hotel.
Behind our hotel there’s a pond with a small romantic deck. We proceed to litter it with our drunk and trippy New York City born and raised arrogance. Earlier in the day N***S bet S* he could get people to jump into the seemingly welcoming pond. By the time the night was over four of us had jumped in. Three of us quickly got out when we realize that this isn’t a pond as much as it is a murky marsh, like the one The Swamp Thing from DC comics would live in. We prayed that there was nothing unhealthy about the green algae that has glued itself on to our skin. Not N***S. He swims the entire pond and climbs the Weeping Willows brushing the pond like a drunken lemur with his Kentucky Gentleman well in hand. I keep motioning to MI** to get him out of the water but everyone is too busy laughing at my nude “Dominican Shark” to care. In my defense it was the first time I’ve ever gotten naked and skinny dipped in front of a bunch of men.
I was bonding, N***S was wearing sea weed like a swamp warrior and throwing whatever he found at the bottom of the pond at us. An old Commodore keyboard, Play Station, more sea weed, etc. I would later tell this story to my girlfriend who had previously met N***S before we started dating and she didn’t believe one word.
We finally get N***S out of the pond and he’s is not too happy with that, or us. He refuses to put his clothes back on and starts doing naked cart wheels on the now formerly virgin grass. At this point it’s around 4am and we were all a little loud and a little too loose for the imaginary security plotting to bust us. All I remembered was **RF stuck on stupid by the little bit of weed he smoked (we are talking internet kitty cute) and SI blessing us all with some grown man, one to grow on talk. I’ve never felt so close to a motley crew of people as I did but now I’m pretty sure that was the E talking.
And then N***S started screaming…
“I’M OK!!!!!” “I’M OK!!!!” “I’M OK!!!”
All I could think about was N***S drowning himself or killing someone, or just SERF who everyone I’ve ever met described him as legendarily annoying. But no, SE** was a beardy pug on a hallmark card with his newly discovered stoned self. MI**, as camp leader, did his best to calm down **WES but to no avail. He angrily put on all of his clothes and stormed off with a repeated shreik that would haunt me for the rest of my life…
The scream faded the further he stormed away from the pond and into the hotel parking garage. We heard NE***’s screams slowly fade out in the distance for the next 10 minutes or so. It wasn’t even a scream it was more of a shriek that comes from a lot of internal pain or unresolved childhood shit. Yes, even in my drunken and hallucinogenic state I was trying to Dr. Phil the events surrounding me. We anticipated the not so imaginary hotel security calling the cops on us so we quickly gathered all of our things and ran back to the hotel room. This was not going to be good but we were way too wasted to do anything about it. We all split up into our seperate rooms. Me and MI** pass out to the sounds of S**E petting a small furry mouse (you’d have to ask him, sorry).
The next morning is hangover heavy with a side of exhausted. Everyone is sluggish and cranky on the way to van. We decide not to see the last day of the virgin music fest, find a diner, and go back to the land of sky scrapers and mass transit. One by one we pile into the van, MI**, **RF, S**E, S*, the intern, myself…
“Yo I tried to call him I don’t know” MI** answers with a Kanye West at the VMA’s shoulder shrug…
“Are we leaving him???”
“Yeah man, what else can we do?”
At this point I’m thinking MI** has to be one of the shittiest friends in the world. I don’t even know N***S and all I want to do is search the local hospitals and call the police. No one cares; everyone just piles up in the van and puts on their best “I need a nap” face. I couldn’t sleep because all I keep thinking about was that shriek. I had never heard nothing like it in my entire life. What if that would have been me?
These motherfuckers would have abandoned me with the Snoops and Barksdales and whatever other character that would have killed me on HBO’s “The Wire”. I contemplate arriving in NYC and erasing them all from my cell phone. Here I am, sad for a man I just met. Who would do Mr. Rogers like that??? I would have taken a train home if I didn’t spend all my money on booze and ecstasy. Fuck these niggas… Then M**T gets a text messages and starts laughing out loud:
“Yo this nigga N***S, went to DC to find crack, found it, passed out in a bus station, wound up in Jersey, and is home safe, sipping coffee…”
We, on the other hand still had another 2 hours on our trip back to New York.