Meet The Burn
In my country, it's best not to say certain things. Whenever possible, most people try not to even think about them, knowing the consequences ...
In my city, it's easy to create a problem for a person. Your usual day, interrupted by a document check, could easily end in the back seat of a police car, or even in a prison cell, if suddenly you did not have enough money to "pay a fine on the spot" for illegal substances "found" in your pockets. So, with the help of one bag with suspicious contents cleverly thrown into 10-15 pockets, statistical data on the performance of the administrative district police were created in my city. Few tourists learn our "folk tradition" to sew up their pockets 10 minutes after getting off the plane. And what can we say about those who deliberately "looking for problems for themselves" expressing their dissatisfaction with the routine.
In my house, the elevator did'nt work from the start of the operation of the building - the tower with the loud name "KING" with a height of 32 floors. Of course, tenants living above the fifth floor gradually left their apartments moving to houses opposite, tired of the ineffectual struggle with utilities for a serviceable elevator.
For me, as an art college student, seclusion almost at the very top of this crumbling apartment building was a real pleasure. The common hall was equipped by me in a well-ventilated workshop, and the absence of neighbors did not impose restrictions on the volume of music at night.
On one of these nights, returning home after school, following the already established custom, I brewed fragrant tea in a tin tube of a thermos, but when I was about to take my player, I suddenly changed my mind, my mind demanded peace and quiet this time. After filling my bag with sprays of the right colors, I went to the common hall. On a stand, roughly assembled from wooden beams, stood a canvas 140 x 160 cm in sweeping strokes of which the dawn was depicted from the roof of my institute. The sun shining through the pungent smoke of factory chimneys on the horizon lends greenish-blue hues to the gray landscape.
Having spread the paints in front of me, I took the matte cylinder in my hand, the balls with a characteristic sound began to roll inside it, interfering with the paint and bringing back pleasant memories of school time, as we painted on abandoned trucks with friends, as if there were no evil police officers or strict laws and so, giving sweet nostalgia, I began to finish the picture.
Having finished with the white color, I walked away and began to look at the result, immersed in some of my thoughts, when the sound of steps descending the stairs was heard in the emptiness of the hall. "I did not think that someone lives above me ..." but the thought was interrupted by the opening door.
The voice sounded hollow and echoed down the hall with a booming echo.
Embarrassed by the unexpected viewer, I tried to say something, but my mouth suddenly went dry, but clearing my throat, I still pulled myself together
- Does the smell bother you? Excuse me, I thought I was alone at this height ...
The ultimatum of his intonation stopped the stream of thoughts that poured out of me.
- The smell of paint does not bother me, Boot, but I came to ask you ... what is it called by neighbors ...
In this short pause, there was some kind of embarrassment
- Do you happen to have a couple of white cans until tomorrow?
Pointing with a short nod to the paint cans under my feet, I was confused for a moment ...
-Sprays? Are you an artist too?
With a loud grin, he straightened up and put his hands behind his back
-Hehe, well, yes, something like that. I didn't want to ask but I just know that you’re drawing, and one pal let me down today, so I have to improvise, I’ll return new ones to you tomorrow!
I finally relaxed, exhaled, and waving in the direction of my apartment went there too
-Yes, no problems at all, dude, I just really didn't think that someone still stayed here, let's go, do you have a package?
-I am Apprecite it ! Here is the bag.
A small room at the entrance, conceived by planners as a wardrobe, I was equipped with long rows of wall shelves on which aerosols rested in dryness and warmth, water containers filled with tassels of different sizes and shapes hung on hangers, buckets with acrylics and boxes in which were not fully used sprays.
-No, just an artist, This is instead of food for a scholarship
-How much would you like?
-Can I barrow 3?
I pulled three new cans from the top row and passed them behind my back
- Do you need any more? if you return it later, then take whenever you want.
I turned around and finally got a close look at my nocturnal guest. Old Nike, covered with colored splashes of paints so much that it became almost impossible to understand what color they originally were, black pants pulled a little at the knees and tightened at the shins, I associated with the ninja outfit from old Asian movies. Black bomber jacket made of waterproof fabric covered with ripples of characteristic colored splashes interspersed with chrome, the maximum concentration of which was on the sleeves from the wrists almost to the elbows. He had gloves on his hands and a mask-comforter concealed his face under the hood. I could only see the eyes, which were uncomprehendingly looking for a catch in my proposal.
- Dude, it's kind of like ... Professional solidarity or something.
Laughing, he doubled over and for some time holding on to the doorway could not stop a fit of laughter ...
-Fuuuuuh, ha-ha-ha-ha, well, you said, listen, you wanna go with me?
Confused, I leaned against the wall with paints and a couple of cans crashed loudly to the floor, ricocheting against everything inside.
- Have you ever painted graffiti?
All memories of school years rushed through my memory with a bright flash of warmth.
-Well ... at school there
-Well! So you know what to do! In short, if you go with me, then take 3 cans of red, green and black with you, put on something darker and come with me ...
-And if not...
He smiled with his eyes
-Then white is enough for me
I finished working on my painting for today, I didn’t plan anything other than masturbation and sleep, so without thinking twice I answered
- Okay, wait for me outside.
Locking the door I turned to my new friend
-Oh no, just change your slippers
I looked at my work boots wondering
- Any sneakers?
-Ah ... well, yes ...
- Put them on.
Having changed my shoes, I went out, closed the door behind me and finally asked my new friend
- What's your name?
- Call me Burn.
We shook hands and went up the stairs.
Burn did'nt speak all the way through the maze of streets and courtyards between the giants type houses until we came to the concrete slabs of the fence crowned with rings of barbed wire. Burn stopped, took a roll from his bag, unrolling it, which he threw a thick rectangular mat over the barbed wire, like a saddle on the back of a steel mare.
He leaned back against the fence, and sat down, folded his hands into the castle like a step
-When you land, immediately hide behind the train on the right.
Gravel crunched loudly under my feet on the other side of the fence and trying not to rattle paint, I quickly jumped to the train that was on the right.
Burn deftly jumped over the fence, landed almost noiselessly and with the speed of a shadow was near me. He asked me with his hand to move away from the edge and taking my place, looked out from behind the wheel and began to look at the station.
I have never been to a depot, I only know that it can be dangerous. Adrenaline is buzzing with blood in my ears, it seems that the beat of my heart echoes throughout the station, mixing with the sounds of trains passing in the distance and the distant steps of workers
Burn turned to face me and in a low whisper began to speak his plan:
-So, Boot, now you run strictly after me, don't step on my heels, please don't fall yourself, don't look around, And look at your feet! When we run across the rails, do not step on the yellow rail, otherwise ... well, you understand in short?
I'm not sure I didn't lie to him now, the image of my charred body froze before my eyes ... Do not step on the yellow rail ...
-Ok , go, Now!
Burn jerked off with the speed of an Olympic runner, I stumbled on the rocks followed him, signs, gravel, Burn's back flashed before my eyes, rails, sleepers, JUMP! It seems alive! after running in a straight line, Burn gave a sharp left to the Depot building, and I almost fell, but helping myself with my hands, I straightened up and continued running until we stopped at the edge of the building.
-There are already washed trains, which will be the first to go to the line tomorrow ...
Trying to catch my breath I nodded
-We need to crawl a little now ...
He nodded to the top, where at the height of the second floor there was an open window leading inward, throwing annoyed over his shoulder:
-Although he did THAT ...
I didn’t ask, but for sure it concerned the "pal who let him down today".
-Okay, come on, repeat after me, try not to rattle too much
I don’t know if such things are taught in climbing courses, but on the sheer wall of Burn, using pipes and protruding transformers like a ladder, it was as difficult to repeat it as it was to believe that Burn is not a real ninja.
Rattling paints, sliding my sneakers over a brick wall, and trying to mimic Burn's path by clinging slippery gloves to anything to grab onto, I made as much noise as a train passing somewhere nearby. However, my companion was very amused by the sight of me conquering a steep wall, judging by the silhouette shaking bent over from the window. He reached out his hand and pulled me inside.
Gasping for breath in an attempt to suppress laughter, he hoarsely tried to explain to me the next steps.
-hee-hee-hee-hee-hee damn Boot here we go, i should shoot you on video ha-ha-ha-ha, man is not a very spider
He started laughing again, but the sound sounded more like a bicycle pump in an airplane hangar. He calmed down, rubbed his eyes ...
-Uuuuuuf ... well, Boot ... Okay, now we go quietly along the wall, to that pipe
He pointed along a small iron bridge, to the left of which there were handrails and to the right a wall with several windows, like the one through which we entered.
Bending down as much as possible, Burn took the bag of paints more tightly and, carrying in front of him in the manner of some old kerosene lamp, quietly floated along the wall.
Now I understand why he asked me to change my shoes,
I am in mine lightweight sneakers on this iron bridge made so much noise that sometimes we had to stop and Burn gave me a frustrated look. I can imagine my boots rattling ...
Reaching a pipe inside which an industrial fan was smoothly rotating behind a grate, Burn showed me to cuddle up to the wall and take his package of paints, he leaned on his hands, looked out of the stairs, looked around, stopped his gaze at something on the right and quietly walked back.
-So well, the guys' shift is almost over, they will lock the hangar in a minute and we will go down, but be careful, we will go down the carriage, if you slip, then the fall will not be pleasant, plus straight into the cameras.
Burn's words were interrupted by the iron grinding of some machine and the voices of the workers.
-I put my question strictly, either I, or this bastard!
-What is she?
- She said that she would not give our daughter to the orphanage ...
Under the roar of laughter and the roar of the gates to the Hangar, Jean pulled my sleeve
He jumped over the rail of the bridge landing a couple of steps from the edge of the train roof
-Throw the paint!
I took turns tossed him the bags and began to climb over the fence
The distance was not very big, something like 2 meters, but for some reason from the height of my head it looked like a jump from the balcony of my apartment on the 18th floor,
After landing, I hit my knee and almost fell on my back, but Burn caught me by the jacket and, like a curling projectile on the ice of the glossy coating, dragged me to the center of the train roof.
-Not dexterity, did you break anything?
-I'm good! thank you!
-Yes, come on, let's go
We jumped off the other side of the carriage, Burn looked around, laid out the paints from the packages, walked away from the train, shacked the spraypaint and began to draw a sketch at the train . There was something magical and bewitching in this, when suddenly he shouted over his shoulder in a full voice
-Take white, and paint over what I paint!
He reached into his pocket and pulled out two spray nozzles.
Immersed in the process, I did not really understand what exactly he was drawing, having finished with the outline for white, he made a new outline on top of it for the new color, which I painted over. At some point, I caught myself thinking that we were like a dance and the trace of our dance is a colorful pattern on a gray train .
I don’t know how much real time has passed, but I completely fell out of space during this work. When the last contour was completed, Burn went to the wall, fished out from behind the collar of a small old camera, one of those that print a photo right on the spot. A flash lit up the hangar and I finally realized what Gene was drawing ...
An angular, offensively ugly caricature of someone who cannot be portrayed like that in my country, He spoke in a comic-style cloud of things ... About which in my country they are afraid to even think about, and next to him was the graffiti "There Was a Burn " and the signature "# we know # remember # notforgiven "
Looking back, I saw Burn came close to me, judging by his eyes, smiling with all his teeth under the mask of his new "picture". He showed me the picture from his hands, then quickly hid it behind the collar, the camera went there, and he himself, patting me on the shoulder, said
-Well, well done, Boot! Now let's get out of here, follow me and do not lag behind, we must move back quickly, they will start soon!
Surprised by his words, I looked at my watch and realized that we were on this ... "mission" almost until the morning!
The way back was the same route that we took, it was certainly more difficult to go down the wall, but having jumped over a concrete fence, the adrenaline that I managed to somehow restrain began to demand a splash out, and turning back the mat on which we climbed over the barbed wire Burn clearly understood it
-What's shaking, Boot?
-W..well s-s-so ... n-not much ...
- Well then, let's go run a little!
Each breath of cold air, greedily swallowed by me on the run, spread through my body with cool nostalgia, the feelings that had been knocking out of me for so many years in the walls of art schools suddenly overwhelmed me! Lagging behind Burn by a couple of steps, I rushed like mad to our yard.
Taking a quick step, Burn asked me
- Mu-u-u-ch ..
Out of breath, I exhaled with force
Climbing the stairs, we laughed at how today's acrobatic exercises were given to me, but my head gradually calmed down and something controversial appeared in my new friend.
-Listen, I ...
- Would you like some beer?
Interrupting me, he stopped a step before my floor
I had so many questions for him, 18 flights of stairs gave me enough time to come to my senses and understand that acquaintance with this kind of character could end for me ... to put it mildly bad, to be honest - tragic. But as curiosity killed the first people, breaking off all subsequent stay in the paradise forests, so I became a victim of this vile snake and answered
I have never climbed higher than my floor. Honestly, this staircase twice a day is my main physical activity and by the time I reach my floor, the idea of going through a couple more flights "just like that" is not considered me as at least somewhat adequate.
The higher we climbed, the more the reasons for such desolation of the upper floors became, imperceptibly we found ourselves practically at a construction site, where all the walls were covered with writing, the floors were covered with a layer of construction dust, and doors ceased to meet between the hall and the stairs, however, doors between the hall and the "apartments" by the 23rd floor they also disappeared, and by the 30th I understood why the number of floors is not a round sum
-The remaining 8 were not completed.
As if reading my mind, Burn said.
The walls of the staircase, the hall ... but rather so, all the SURFACES on the 31st floor were covered with drawings, words, some posters, secretly illegal slogans, incomprehensible abstractions, and a huge number of powerfull political figures depicted in such forms ... The faces of politicians cut off from posters which, as we joke, "block our little ghetto from the planes." was modified by handpainted horns and big noses.. However, in spite of this, in the hall there was all the stuff necessary for a fun pastime for a large company of people, collected from the building materials abundantly left by the workers on the floors. Cinder blocks and Boards were the main material giving the place some kind of charm, plywood boards were pasted over with newspaper collages, in a word it looks like a very cool art-loft for some... revolutionary organization ...
The entrance had the shape of a pentagon, one side of which ended with a non-working elevator and the other four walls were crowned with door spans that had some kind of doors, made of the same plywood sheets that were used for the seats of benches and tabletops.
-There used to be my friends
He reads thoughts or what?
-And now only I live, the 32nd floor is technically a roof, there is a barbecue all the things, for now, hold on!
He leaned over to the refrigerator standing on the cinder block by the front door and took out two bottles of beer from there, opening one against the other, he handed the cold bottle to me, opened his bottle and we clinked glasses
-Walk around here if you want, while I go, I'll take something to eat
I think that for literally every image in this entrance, you could get one or two dozen articles and, at best, go to jail for a very long time. However, I will not deny, I agreed and signed under every daring statement written here. along the walls there were folders of different sizes, made of cardboard boxes connected with tape, there were some stencils in them, I took out one, on a large sheet of thin plastic there was the inscription "MY FLAG HAS NO COLORS"
-I hope you don’t come running to hand me over to the cops?
-phah ... no, but how long have you been doing this?
-Ooooh, Boot, my war has been going on for almost two dozen years and during this time, as you can see, I have lost many comrades, but if you want to listen to this long story, then let's go and light a fire and put food, the story will be very long ...
And this how i met Him Burn