After doing crazy spots like the bridge on the 5 Freeway, my focus moved to the L.A. River. I had a piece in mind much larger than anyone imagined. GKAE gave me the idea to do it in the particular spot that I chose, which was hidden enough for me to try to get away with it, but also visible from the 5 South and 10 West interchange.
It was in a bad part of town, a desolate industrial area full of railroad tracks and yards, warehouses and elevated freeways. Across from where I was painting, there were gang-infested neighborhoods and a foul-smelling meat packing plant.
It was nearly black outside, but the L.A. skyline illuminated the homeless people slowly lugging along the railroad tracks. I felt ready, and had FATE, CHUNK, GKAE and HAVOK with me.
The first obstacle was to lift five-gallon buckets of paint over a fence laced with a low set of barbed wire and a roll of razor wire on top. I hopped the fence and balanced on a ledge that dropped 10 feet. As HAVOK passed me a five-gallon bucket, I grasped it and the weight of the five gallons pulled my hand down into the razor wire. I was bleeding everywhere, so I ripped a piece of my sock off and made myself a little tourniquet.
We dragged the paint down to the River, which is covered by a slippery moss deposited on the concrete, and I started my letter “S.” Soon, I realized that what I was doing was not even a quarter of the size that it needed to be—using perspective on the riverbed’s slant was impossible. And as I’m trying to figure this out–bleeding, pissed off and having a terrible time–there were workers in the train yard right above us. Soon after, they spotted us, and all of a sudden a helicopter appeared overhead and lit us up.
As the helicopter started to circle over us, we turned and hopped over the barbed wire fence guarding the Amtrak yard. We all scattered, and I jumped two sets of razor wire, getting my leg stuck in the process. I threw the roller and yanked my leg out of the razor wire.
We finally made it back to FATE’s van and hid in there. I was covered in crusty blood, river funk and steamy, toxic crap. FATE and I hid in his van and tried to be as silent as possible until the police left. Even though my pride was beaten, my piece was scaled wrong, and my cuts were throbbing, I knew I would have to face the River over and over again.
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