Tag Archives: alcohol

Misty – Broken Glass Project

Broken Glass is multimedia art project analyzing the phenomenon of broken glass on city streets and the affect it has on the community, the individual and animals.

IMG_9172

Misty

Sweet rotting milk, that’s what the steam seeping out of his mouth smelled like.  As the scent traveled through my nose I could feel my eyes watering, my throat tightening, my lip curling… Holding back my throat’s instinctual vomit spasm I pushed him away by opening my right hand on his chest, an obvious body stop sign. At this point, both of his hands were grabbing each arms of my coat and he pulled me closer to him. He stuck out his tongue, I turned away in disgust searching for any signs of life through the windshield of an old, 2-toned Chevy Nova.

He’s another Painter. 

A few months ago I was in a alley with a man that smelled like paint, white and blue stains on his pants, dusty and dirty Timberland boots, greasy hair and an appetite for a dish I do not serve.  I had just finished with another client in a motel and had walked a block south, and this man emerged on the street walking north.  He seemed tired, hands in his pockets, slumped shoulders and I couldn’t find his eyes–I don’t know how else to describe it, I know it was dark, but I couldn’t find a even a hint of a glisten as I watched him walk past.

“Looking for some company?” I said as he walked past.

He looked at me as he continued to walk away and I said, “venga conmigo papi”, and to this he smiled and slowly began walking towards me.  Needless to say, I was in a dimly lit alley with the Painter, my back against a concrete wall, he grabbed my hands and stretched my arms above my head pushing them to the wall.  He used his fingertips to press into me starting at my wrists and at a steady pace went down my arms, to the side of my breasts where he began to claw with his nails, continued down and used his thumbs to push hard into my ribs and as soon as he reach my waist he grabbed hard and twisted in opposite directions, his hands full of my flesh.  It was at this moment I knew I had to escape.  Till this point, I’ve been fortunate not to have many encounters with violent individuals, it was just a matter of time until the odds were no longer in my favor………

Sweet rotting milk was also a Painter. His eyes were lacking in warmth, his whole body throbbed with anticipation, his breath was even. I used my eyes to search and my free hand to find something, anything to use.  The car was filthy, I felt rocks and lint, a sticky plastic paper piece, and some kind of cloth. Finally, I felt something smooth, cool and round.  I grabbed it and hit him as hard as I could, I think I caught his ear.  Then, again, this time I saw an empty travel mug in my hand as I struck him with it near his right eye.  He growled and yelled as he pulled back his body back and brought his hands to his face.  I opened the car door and fell out backwards onto the sidewalk without ever taking my eyes off him.  Mug still in my hand, I stood up, crouched down and threw it at him.

“I don’t play like that!” I roared, “F***ing psycho, don’t ever f***ing come back, I’ll have you killed” I backed away fast, brushing a discarded glass bottle with the side of my foot and stumbled slightly.  I quickly turned to pick it up and chucked it at his car…

It is often said that one person’s trash is another’s treasure.  In a low-income, urban setting, trash can become a tool for survival in many different ways.

 

IMG_9169

As always, feedback is greatly appreciated!
Advertisements

Tagger – Broken Glass Project

Broken Glass is multimedia art project analyzing the phenomenon of broken glass on city streets and the affect it has on the community, the individual and animals.

IMG_9199

Tagger

Warm beer dribbled down his lip, slowing on his facial hair and stopping before reaching the bottom of his chin. He leaned his head back and took one last swig. He spit to get the bad taste out of his mouth while his body was going numb. Numb and alone. The darkness surrounded him like a warm blanket. He knew he was the most vicious creature there. There was no one else to be afraid of, just him.

His fingers were stained red with spray paint. They were rough and torn and tired. His hair was greasy and sour from a long three days of restlessness. Sleep only came when he felt at peace, peace only came when he felt strong, he only felt strong when he no longer cared, and he was only carefree when he was careless and numb. His fear and pain numbed with beer.

A wave of anger came over him so quickly at the memory of his eyes, his rage filled expression. His whole body boiled despite the alcohol. He closed his eyes and took a breath, this was how he fought with himself, fighting his desire to fight, to punch his dad so hard and over and over till blood splattered all over their dinner. He imagined breaking the dishware his grandmother had sent across countries as a gift over his father’s head. He could see the blood and sharp ceramic pieces flying into his nephew’s crib. That thought is why he closed his eyes, that thought is why he took a breath, and that feeling of being stuck, cornered in a place that should be called home is why he stood up, killed the last drops of beer before slamming the bottle on the filthy concrete next to dried dog poo, discarded candy wrappers and dead grass. The sound was quick and dirty just like his father’s fist hitting his mother’s face. The sound gave him a tiny satisfaction that he felt in his chest and finger tips. He used this tinge of rebellion, this ripple of adrenaline that comes from defiance to create a wave of energy, which he used to cleanse himself as best he could of the darkness that surrounds him. He immediately felt vibrations on his outer thigh, he reached deep into his pocket and grabbed his miniature monolith made of plastic and metal, he pushed the button and said, “Hello?” An animated voice responded through the thin block, “Where you at? I got the car let’s go…”

He walked away from the broken glass pieces with composure. His hostility numbed by the influence of the fermented liquid. His vexation dulled, for now, by the rancorous shards left like mines to afflict the blameless…

Are there any blameless? Are we all not somehow deserving of rancorous broken glass to be put in our pathway? What can be done to change these explosive behaviors to help the innocent? Should we even try, is there a valuable lesson in encountering ruins of pain or aggression?
http://fatimavalentine.com/broken-glass-tagger/