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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Quisp Encounter

I had work to do when I got home, so when Corinna called me as I was getting ready to leave work, asking me to detour and pick her up from a reception over by UMKC, I wasn't thrilled. I love riding bikes with her, and the past year has been hard on that between my bypass surgery and her brain injury in a bike crash right before my surgery (if you think open heart surgery is a setback, I wouldn't trade places with her, TBI sucks even harder than heart disease).

But still, I needed to ride my bike straight home, damn it. The reception wasn't that far out of the way, but there was free food and beer there so of course I had a snack and a brew. Then we mount up and I'm damned if I'm going to stop again until we were passing by Patrick's house. I met Patrick not long before my cardiac reset, so Corinna had never met him. We stopped, had a fine time, Corinna stretching her back while me and Patrick kept drifting into one of those conversations we have. We don't actually agree on much, but we sure seem to like to discuss all these areas where we disagree, probably in part because the handful of things we do agree with each other on, well, the rest of the world has those things wrong. So Patrick might be a commie, but he's my kind of commie, and I might be a whatever it is I am but I guess I'm the the right kind of whatever it is.

Did that make sense? No? Get over it, we had a brief (for us) visit, and after we saddled back up Corinna said she now understood how I could arrive home three hours late. It's true, and it was a relief to hear her acknowledge that this wasn't something that happens because I'm being a jerk.

Then, we're cruising by the Hobbs building int he West Bottoms and I'm sure as shit not going to stop for anything, right? I mean, I've already detoured and stopped at Patrick's, so no matter what, I have that work waiting for me at home, and my car is at work so I have to ride back in the morning, and that means getting up before 5:00 a.m. Not stopping.

As I passed the Hobbs, glancing down the alley it shares with All Packaging, I see a writer in the act of tagging up. And All Packaging, their walls aren't just tagged up, they're a national treasure of street art. I do a U-turn on 9th and head for the alley and Corinna barely starts to ask me what-the-fuck when she sees exactly why I can't help but stop. Quisp was putting the finishing touches on a new piece.

It's fucking Quisp. I've photographed his work for years, legal and otherwise, and all of a sudden I'm shaking his hand, a hand still wet with green paint. I've met a couple of writers before but never caught one in the act. And actually, I caught two or three. A woman gave me her card, I thought she was Femme, but according to the card it's Love. Another guy didn't give me a card but seemed friendly enough though I sensed he might not be comfortable with me photographing him. I only shot Quisp from behind actually, though a Google search tells me his visage is not all that secret. Given the outlaw-ish nature of some of this art, it's understandable that some of its creators prefer anonymity.

I would have stayed longer, but it was getting ridiculously late and remember, I was going to ride straight home in the first place, right? Imagine how it felt when we met a friend on the bridge we got married on two years ago, had to stop and talk. Again.

It was a long day when I finally finished the freelance gig I was rushing home to. After midnight when like I say I had to get up at 4:45 to do it all again.

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