Page 1


SGU

BLACKOUT ISSUE DECEMBER 2012

ANDREW KASS AYMANN ISMAIL BEN PIER BEN RAYNER BUCKY TURCO CAT MARNELL CRAIG WETHERBY FAUST GROTESK JACUZZI CHRIS LEAH MCSWEENY NICHOLAS GAZIN OSVALDO CHANCE JIMENEZ PJ MONTE QUENTIN BELT SEAN KINNEY SEAN VEGEZZI WYATT NEUMANN

SGU IS AN ART PAPER PUBLISHED BY MINT&SERF

SPECIALGRAFFITIUNIT.COM MADE IN NEW YORK CITY


PHOTO: ANDREW KASS


PHOTO: FAUST


PHOTO: LEAH MCSWEENY


SANDY LAND BY PETER PAN

The Sunday before Sandy aggressively agitated the casual and symbiotic relationship between the Atlantic Ocean and New York City coastline, I spent it as any other responsible New Yorker within an earshot of Mayor Bloomberg’s repeated apocalyptic rants would: at a Jets/ Dolphins game at the tail end of a 24 hour booze and drug binge. It was my 1st-ever NFL game, a thing I’ve always wanted to remove off my make-up-as-you-go-along bucket list. The experience was complete with tailgating with the visiting team (where I met Fergie from the Black Eye Peas and one of the billionaire team owners, who was promptly hit in the face with a cheeseburger thrown by a Jets fan) and the worst whiskey you could ever poor into a plastic cup doubling as a shot glass. By the 3rd quarter my caked up nose made it impossible to breathe while the delirium from my lack of sleep turned the ominous pre-storm sky into a tie-dye of grey cotton balls. My last memory before copletely blacking out was the cab ride home with my next door party/porn photographing neighbor. I didn’t know the city already had started systematically shutting down all forms of public transportation. I made nothing of the long lines at the local Walgreen’s or the drizzle that had been pelting me all day. I came home, pushed my girlfriend aside and crashed in an explosion of empty cocaine baggies and stolen football memorabilia. I would remember little of the football game except for urinating in a man troth, watching part of the game from season ticket holder seats, and the Jets losing miserably. What happened next would survive the booze-ocaine. My eyes parted around 5pm on Monday at the behest of my insatiable hangover hunger. I wobbled off into the kitchen and eye my girlfriend ill prepared storm provisions on the counter—one bottle of smart water, ice cream, wine (her thing) and what I could only define as “supermodel gerbil” food. I rolled my eyes at her in reluctant agreement and rolled myself a blunt as my hand slid up and down my ATM machine of a cell phone. There, I noticed a text message from a friend of mine offering me all the food and drink my heart could desire at her restaurant in the West Village. My Girlfriend was not too fond of this idea, as we lived across the bridge in Brooklyn and the trains where no longer running. She had been watching the consistent warnings all day—although she wasn’t as convinced—being that she remembered

all the hype around Hurricane Irene from last year. I was persistent in my immature need to play in the rain. After her 5th “no” to my request, I texted S**F, who lived a couple of blocks away, to join me on my adventure instead. His stomach knew no obstacle. We made plans to meet and walk the bridge into the city together. I readied myself with the most weatherproof outerwear I could find. We were a half-hour away from Hurricane Sandy touching landside, and I was beside myself like a child’s first time in a bouncy castle. My eyes had the insane hypnotic swirl you’d find on a pair of comic book x-ray glasses. My excitement was contagious. My girlfriend, annoyed but ever so supportive, convinced herself and one of her friend to come with. Soon enough we were standing in 70 miles per hour (and increasing) winds on the corner out South 5th and Hooper. The rain was horizontal—stinging the side of our faces as every raindrop strengthened with the consistency of uncooked peas. This charged me up like a dominatrix lashing her whip on a submissive. Soon enough S**F showed up draped in North Face Gore-Tex wear and his water sponge of a beard. We both had the same insane look in our eyes. The first thing we said to each other? Without skipping a beat it rolled off our tongues like drool at a dentist office, “YO YOU GOT PAINT?!” Nope. Neither of us had any minus the few Krink markers S**F had on him. This was enough. Soon we were making our way across the bridge while Sandy’s G-force wind pushed us around like the plastic bag in American Beauty. Each tag we took on the Williamsburg Bridge washed out, only staining the metal with the ink drips trailing horizontally. The rain turned the bridge into a dangerous Slip & Side prompting us to surf our way into Manhattan until S**F cracked his head on the concrete. Sandy had just made landfall. The narrow Soho streets turned into wind tunnels tearing down store awnings and tossing garbage around like an ice cubes in a bartender’s shaker. Our trip to the West Village went from roller coaster anxious to The Day After Tomorrow frightening. We made a pit stop at our friend Dave’s loft on Lafayette St. His house was stocked with all the beer, weed and whiskey we needed to warm our damp & chilled adventurer hearts. His 5th-floor loft provided the perfect view of a city under siege by Mother Nature. I stepped outside of his window to Instagram a picture of all the pretty lights flickering under the now 90 miles per hour winds. Ever smoke a joint under those conditions? The fact that I wasn’t blown off the fire escape imbibed

me more than all of the substances I was enjoying at the moment. Then it happened. As I was crawling back into Dave’s apt, we all witnessed what appeared to be lighting fill up the sky. We all faced the window in amazement of the hurricane’s powerful floodlight. Then we saw another one. This flash didn’t come from the sky as we initially thought but from behind the buildings in front of us facing the direction of the East River. Then all of the lights in the apartment sputtered and dimmed as the TV went from High Definition to who-put-the-TV-in-the-green-fish-tank. Then darkness. Black out. S**F excitement is now at drug-addictlocked-in-pharmacy levels of frenzy. Dave satisfied his craving by giving him a bag full of spray paint he kept for him under his sink. My girlfriend wanted no parts of this. She abandoned us for a group of her girlfriends who had stopped by moments earlier to have a mushroom and codeine party at an apartment one of them was house sitting. I tell her to call me when the all-girl trippy orgy starts. She laughs, tells me not to get arrested, and disappears into the shadows of Batman’s Gotham city. We met up with C**Z and commenced to decorate all of Soho with our aliases—but not until S**F tried to climb up and beat up some random who politely asked us not to tag on his property. I couldn’t stop laughing. We were drunk and out of our faces. By 1am we were drenched and out of paint. We all wanted to go to the downtown studio The M**F kept for more paint but by then S**F’s girlfriend was making her way into the city to meet him. I tried to call my girlfriend but by then her phone died. I kept trying to call all of her friends until it dawned upon me; there was no power to keep cell phone towers working. My calls where nothing but a drain on the little bit of power my phone had left. Soon I was walking back over the bridge to a brightly lit and warm Brooklyn. I get home, turn on the news, and slumped heartbroken on my couch because I had lost my innocent and helpless girlfriend in the darkness. The next morning I woke up to NY1 news drilling the travesties that blanketed my city into my porous consciousness. Very minute was a new level of bummer. From the flooding to the power outages to an entire Queens neighborhood burning down to the ground, the world tiniest violin had grown into a bass that could only be played


by King Kong. This put the fear of God into my irresponsible heart. I grabbed the most weatherproof outfit I could find and proceeded to walk the bridge back into the city for the 3rd time in 24 hours. The bridge has been closed to car and walking traffic. I bargained and negotiated with the cops blocking the entrance to no avail. Now my selfish guilt was turning into a minor panic. I went back home and took to every single form of social media available in hopes that someone that followed me had seen my girlfriend. After a couple of hours of brewing in my misery the city announces the bridges are open to foot traffic and emergency vehicles only. K**O, another one of my local acquaintances, gives me a ride into the Lower East Side where I meet up with another friend (Omari) and proceeded to yell my girlfriends name all throughout the eerily muted Soho streets for hours. Omari kept a safe that’s-not-my-friend distance behind me as my antics teetered on lunacy. After walking to Chinatown—the only part of downtown Manhattan with phone reception—I finally get a hold of her and we meet on Delancy St., where I give her one of those “Gone with the Wind” kisses that the jaded exclusively barf at. We cross the bridge back home and have the animal blackout sex that I’ve dreamt about since the sexually disappointing 2003 blackout. My phone squeals for attention after a couple of hours of napping in my sex sweat. M**T has finally decided to make an appearance and is at the bar with S**F & S*. The city is still in the dark and begging for the clanking sound of a shaking spray can. I look my girl in the eye and can tell that she doesn’t want to leave. I do the “yeah I’m not going to go” spiel with the awe-shucks frown that drags out the sigh, you can go response from her that I want. Once again she punctuates my goodbye with a threat about me and jail. I casually dismiss it behind the closing door. I dressed extra ready for the adventure; the rain had subsided by then, and I chose an outfit straight out of Complex Magazine’s Look-Like-a-Graffiti-Douche issue. The minute I get to the bar S* calls me out on my hunter neon orange Carhart hat with some joke about how it could be spotted from space. “Yo, you are not bombing with that hat on.” Blu Jemz pops out of nowhere to punctuate my embarrassment with comical humiliation. After a couple of starter whiskey shots, we all pile into a car and travel back into the darkness. The active loudness of Brooklyn was dwarfed by the empty silence of the city. The only light for miles were the strategically placed NYPD police floodlight that covered the major traffic intersections and the roving siren lights on top of the

ever-patrolling police cars. Regular traffic had come to a near halt as it was way too dangerous to maneuver the streets with all the fallen trees and debris you couldn’t see without your headlights on high beams. Certain intersections were being manned by pedestrians who took it upon themselves to direct traffic with flares and glowsticks. I knew it was serious when I saw Mott St Deli—a store frequented by taxi driver and nightlife junkies and stood open for 24 a day since the crucifixion of Jesus—was closed. Certain local bars stood open by candlelight while restaurants took to grilling the rest of their stock in the streets in hopes to recoup some of their impending and surmounting loses. Several high-end stores boarded up their storefront in hopes to deter looters and the occasional fashionable opportunist. Everyone we came across had a flashlight in one hand and a beer in another. Everyone was oblivious to how severe of an ass whooping NYC had endured. Lower Manhattan had become a lawless, temporarily autonomous zone. The lack of order provided a perfect cover for our exterior decorating. All you heard was the clanking of our steadily emptying and hissing spray cans. We all took turns looking out for one another. Because there were no lights the police were forced to ride around with every light in their possession on making them easy for a blind man to spot. No one questioned our clandestine activities, choosing to cross to the other side of the street than confronting the vandals taking full advantage of a crippling black out. Jemz provided the eyes and humor of the night until his drug lust took precedent and he found one of the last cabs still operating and commandeered it back to Brooklyn. We proceeded to tag on every neighborhood any art lover, rival graffiti writer, or future girl we wanted to “impress” would frequent—from Nolita to Soho to parts of the West Village. The less paint our cans held the more we wanted liquor and drugs. The guys had one more spot they wanted to hit, a permanent spot on top of some grates on a quiet but highly visible and traveled street in Nolita. Like marauding ants at an unattended picnic they quickly climbed the grates to reach their coveted spot while I looked out on the intersection that faced the oncoming traffic. Soon M**T joined me as S**F needed to complete the outline on the giant M**F fill-in while S* completed his. I texted a drug dealer back in Brooklyn and patiently waited for a response. Mint showed off his new skinhead haircut while smoking my last rationed cigarette. And then we spotted them. Until then we hadn’t seen any cops walking the beat. We assumed every officer was

in a car as to cover more ground being that everything from 34th street to Battery Park was Wesley Snipes dark. What gave them away was the crackle of their walkie talkies and the shine off their badges. M**T and I slowly sauntered off while trying to whisper signals to S* and S**F. The cops were too close for the normal signs so as soon as I was far enough for a running start I called out for an imaginary girl. (I was pretty experienced at this by then). All we heard was a fat donut filled “HEY!” before we started speed walking like it was an exercise in a mall full of old people. All I could think about was having to spend a week in a jail with no power and my girlfriend chucking all of my belonging on to the street as she had warned, if I got arrested she would leave me with the rapey cellmate to procreate or die. Then I thought about S**F in jail with the same rapey inmate, petting his beard and singing him a lullaby. Then I snapped out of it, this is what I wanted, this thrill, the rush, my name all over lower Manhattan—I had no time to be scared. I didn’t know how I was going to help, but I did know I had too. M**T and I retraced our steps back to where we last saw S**F and S* and all we saw was S*’s car peeling off like they robbed a bank—complete with the Dukes of Hazards tire shredding screech. M**T and I just looked at each other. I finally got a text back from my drug dealer saying he was in Brooklyn ready for us. This was PPPoooiiifect. We grabbed the first cab we spotted and Back to the Future-ed it to South Brooklyn. Brooklyn, or how it would be known for the next couple of days, “The New Lower Manhattan.”


PHOTO: OSVALDO CHANCE JIMENEZ


PHOTO: OSVALDO CHANCE JIMENEZ


PHOTO: WYATT NEUMANN


PHOTO: BEN PIER


LIGHTS OUT BY PETER PAN

With a deep breath he came back to life. eyes rolling into focus the dull ache of the familiar hangover began to swell behind his face creeping up his temples and finally settling into the cubby holes of his sinus’ where it would remain for the rest of the afternoon. his 6’4 frame dangled off his short single bed from childhood. wrapped in a white cotton sheet that was tinted with grime he squinted at the ceiling. Like the several nights before he strained to remember how he had gotten home. slowly he sat up swinging his pale stems to the edge of the bed trying to direct his hangover into the least painful position. There he sat with his 50 pound head soaking in his hands. The alcohol cocaine and exactsy fuled night was a regular night for the party monster. a tuesday. for the last few years it had been one long night. In the city that never sleeps Same only rested when he blacked out. Today

PHOTO: OSVALDO CHANCE JIMENEZ

was no different. The broken dvd player under the flat screen across from him was now just a clock and he shifted focus to make out the time 4:45 pm. a slow soft “fuuuuuuck” slipped out of him like the final gasp of the party being released. The blackout began to fade to brown outs and images began to pop into his mental slide show. The club Westway dances around his head, teasing the increasing hangover. then snapshots of his crew, associates and women begin to flip across his brain. bathrooms, sniffing cocaine out of red jars,eating molly drinking drinking drinking. as he remembered the drugs going up his nose, he pressed his right index finger to the corner of his right eye and massaged the area hoping to break up the cocaine which now resembled cake batter in his nose that had completely shut his right nostril. he weezed out his left side and breathing was irksome. His bedroom in a rent controlled upper west side building was the one he grew up in. he had split the room with his sister as a child and recently moved back in with his parents hoping to get the unheard of $600 a month apartment signed to his name as his aging, irish catholic parents were

reaching retirement. He was 30 sitting in his childhood bedroom hungover... again. The peter pan never learned. he didnt care. The familiar red glow of his beaten and bruised blackberry curve clicked on and off like a lighthouse guiding its lost ship thru the cheap vodka lined haze. The pirate picked up his phone and was subjected to a barrage of missed calls, beating icons and voicemail reminders. he strained to make out the screen which looked like a blurred pinball machine. unkown and private numbers littered his call log. a few missed calls between 3 and 9am. the time when the whores are lonely and will pay for cabs and drugs just to feel wanted. Text messages screamed at him. Threats from girls. 911 texts from homies. 8am missed call from mom. One eye open he scrolled thru the late night debauchery trying to fit the pieces of the nightlife puzzle together. Lil Bunz: are you here im in the dj booth. your friend Ammo is here. Your names on the wall you derel. Westway must have been the destination at 3:04am. Bunz is a pillhead who tricks in there and Same had written his name


, dripped on each wall with homemade oxblood ink. Shes a good back up fuck and she always has some bread to blow. A few random numbers then an outgoing to Elle. a dust dealer. 30s, white redbone with kids who serves the juice. dimes of flakes or dips of love boat. She took over the service when her boyfriend Stretch got knocked last winter for moving chickens uptown. He had the sneaking suspicion she dropped a dime on Stretch to take over the biz. Pale and over weight she speaks with the spanish chelsea twang she learned growing up in the projects west of 9th ave. he slowly rose to his feet. If he had smoked wet his blanace would be off and as soon as he drew his head up vertigo kicked in. Fuuuuck he quietly weezed out of his mouth as he fell back to his stained mattress. one cock eye read thru the rest of the messages. 4:12am Christy from Jane: What the fuck?! im drunk come make out with me. 4:14 Don Diva: you leave?? 4:44am Benny Zooted: Speakeasy is popping!

5:40am Ali from Australia: come outside im in a cab Finally the dull bulb in side his drug and alcohol insulated brain began to spark. The bulb flickered in his cracked dome and revealed dancing shadows in the corner of his memory. Ali from australias face began to appear in the shadows. At first smiling in a tornado of sound and light. Dancing on the banquets of... Speakeasy... riiight. They kissed as she tilted her head. he twirled her around the room. an image of holding her hand as they drunkenly floated into a yellow cab. a frame of his vodka on the rocks spilling on the liner of his vintage ralph lauren coat. Laughing as a champagne bottle popped inside the cab and coated the navy pleather interior in a glaze of excess. BLACKOUT. The vivid colors gave way to drab tones and grays. The robust sounds of the club gave way to whispers. Now it was smoke filled rooms. black sheets on windows was the only defense to the penetrating beams of the sun. as if god was holding a giant flashlight searching the drug den they had been

holed up in. AFTERHOURS. An apartment in the theatre district was the destination at 6:06am. The sounds of razorblades scraping plates. nostrils flairing. beer cans being cracked then ashed in. the dull thump of music eminating from other rooms. Secrets being told with eye contact. A few stills of entering an all glass bathroom, giggling ali from australia lifts her skirt. her underwear is ripped off her bruised inner thigh. dry mouthed making out an erection that dies mid thrust. Blackout. Ali is not smiling anymore. we are at her house in sty town. shes curled in the corner. The shadows begin to crawl up her scabbed legs up her bulimic bashed ribs to her face. the room gets bigger and bigger darker and darker until the pitch black has enveloped her. Shes gone. Thats where the memory ends and Sames day began. Jordan sneakers, timberland boots, calvin kline boxer briefs, bent silver uni markers, sctarched off pill bottles, a stack of new yorker magazines, a vintage ralph lauren suicide ski shirt, air freshener, 4 dimes, a rolled up washington, a bed bath and beyond towel, a broken lamp, an array of disney classics on vhs, mom and dads wedding photo, a zabars mug, heartburn pills next to blue pills next to oval white pills next to very small blue pills, a snakeskin belt, a wooden chair that carried 3 pairs of levi jeans, a pair of khakis with a tar stain on the ass, a Polo sport fleece in navy, an anne fontaine blouse, a knicks varsity jacket from 79 or 80, a book on A.D.D and romance(finding fufillment in love, sex and relationships), slices of computer paper with endless marker tags repetively stitched over and over SAME SAMESAMESAMESAMESAME, an ll bean catalouge and one hot pink high heel. This was what surrounded Same as he sat on the edge of the bed head in hands. The 20 foot by 8 foot box he had spent nearly his entire life in with the exception of a year and a half at art school in brooklyn where he learned the complexities of the drug trade. and another year in san fransisco where he learned about drug trafficking and jumping bail. These were his possessions strewn about the floor each playing a position in his madness. staring at him. flicking his hangover in its ear. the cantaloupe flavored paint that coated the room had dulled. Cigarette smoke had stained the ceiling and walls. the room resembled a cracked egg. Same was the cold dead embryo oozing out as he stumbled into the living room, swinging the fridge door wide open he pounced on the ropicana (more pulp) carton. his abused curve chimed in his paint and cum stained sweat pants. it was billy rocks.


PHOTO: CRAIG WETHERBY


PHOTO: WYATT NEUMANN


PHOTO: GROTESK


PHOTO: FAUST


PHOTO: OSVALDO CHANCE JIMENEZ


PHOTO: BUCKY TURCO


PHOTO: WYATT NEUMANN


PHOTO: AYMANN ISMAIL


PHOTO: WYATT NEUMANN


PHOTO: CAT MARNELL


SGU #BLACKOUT  

SGU #BLACKOUT

Advertisement
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you