espeoniage asked: Will you please tell us more stories about you and Stiffler??? They brighten my day!
Here’s a bright one for you, if a bit long.
In 2003, our city of Columbus started an interesting art-creation festival called “Via Colori.” Basically, a lot of artists got together and used sidewalk chalk to create giant murals on pavement. Since this was the first year they were set to do this, they chose a newly built road through the Arts District — a giant stretch that’s now part of I-670.
We quickly snagged a Sponsorship and had a plan to create a tiny mural with a few other people. On the day of the festival, we headed down early in our shorts and tank-tops, carrying almost nothing else. At the start of the festival, we were handed our badges, our placard number/name, two giant boxes of chalk (and one box of white/black chalk) and two bottles of water. We walked to our designated space on the black asphalt only to see the lines of our square clearly marked out — it was enormous — a generous 10x10. Apparently, our Sponsor decided we needed a lot of room.
So, we set about marking it into four large quadrants and Stiffler sketched out the initial outlines to our plan — the four seasons/elements, represented by people/ideas. Then we waited for the rest of our group to show up. They never did.
It was the middle of September and we were on black pavement on a clear, sunny day. Basically: it was like trying to draw on Hell’s canvas, in a much larger space than we had anticipated, with none of our group coming to our rescue. We decided “Fuck it, let’s do this.”
Stiffler and I chalked the motherfucking shit out of that square of pavement. We didn’t have hats, sunscreen, knee pads, chairs, anything that most people brought — we simply sat on the hot blacktop and colored away for hours and hours. By the middle of the day, we were exhausted and completely covered in sweat and chalk — which, by then, was smeared all over our mostly-exposed bodies. Our faces were a mixture of black, purple and bright pink bursts of color from wiping our sweat away. Our hands and up to our elbows were completely saturated without any hope of seeing our skin. And we were hungry and vegan at the time.
So, we packed up our chalk, and walking in what was surely heat-exhaustion-fueled desperation, made it to our favorite pub in the area. We quickly retreated to our usual booth and slumped down in the squeaky leather, relishing the air conditioning.
The waitress very slowly walked over, looking as if she was on an undercover TV production. She handed us the menus then, amazingly, didn’t say a word about our colorful state. She simply rattled off the specials and very gently mentioned that the bathroom was down the hall if we needed to… “freshen up.”
We both knew that a pub bathroom wasn’t going to cut it (and would only be work for the poor people cleaning up), so we spent the next hour eating our Hummus Veggie Plate in abject silence, only breaking off in our dehydrated disillusion to occasionally laugh loudly at each other as another carrot was temporarily dyed black by our hands. The other patrons of the pub, and the ones that walked in after, just stared at us in horror.
As we were counting out our very large tip for the poor waitress, she came by with two pints of beer and plonked them down. Some sweet wishing-to-remain-anonymous man had bought us (underage at the time) both beers, which we downed eagerly before staggering back to the festival to finish our mural.
We talked about giving up on it or just coming back the next day to finish it, but as we neared our little patch of insanity, we saw someone had left several objects for us. A small, orange plastic cat, a flower and a note stuck to our plastic mural placard that simply read “MAGICAL.”
We worked the rest of the day on that damned mural, returned home covered in even more chalk, and jumped in a cold shower together to wash away a magical day spent creating together. Then, we fell into bed to create a little private magic. Not even coloring a stretch of boiling interstate can keep us from canoodling.
I still regret that we didn’t take photos of our completely ridiculous appearances in the pub. Essentially, this:
But far more colorful.