CHAPTER 7 (REMIX / LEGEND THE PROPHET)
Arious hadn’t frequented “The Streets” store as much since he graduated from high school. The store was a location where graffiti writers and skateboard riders would congregate and trade moves and styles amongst themselves.
Much of the art materials were kept in stock for graffiti writers. The store was run by Legend, a true prophet of the streets, who at the time of this writing was 53 years of age.
Like many of the other great writing prophets of the city, Legend was from the land of Puerto Rico. He was known for his stocky build and tattoos on his arms. He was an imposing figure to strangers, but for everyone else, he was a big brother, imparting street wisdom, or giving deals to kids who didn’t always have money for the boards they wanted and even turning a blind eye to the kids who occasionally racked spray paint.
As usual, there were a number of young ones outside the shop, showing off their new boards and performing tricks on the sidewalk. Arious nods to a few familiar faces and gives a dap or two before heading inside.
The store has a mixture of supplies and boards placed on separate kiosks. Legend was at the back of the store, writing in his notebook. He looked up and stopped writing. He was surprised to see Arious.
There was a firm dap.
“Oh shit! Haven’t seen you in a minute. You coming out of retirement?” asks Legend.
“Here and there” replied Arious “I haven’t been doing too much lately.”
“I here you. I had to tone it down a bit myself. I got another kid on the way and my wife has been giving me hell” said Legend.
“Oh word, that’s wassup” said Arious who then turned and looked around to make sure no one else was nearby. Legend noticed his concern.
“You’re good. They can’t hear, wassup,”
“I need to ask you about something.”
Arious took the scroll out of his bag and placed it on the counter. “What do you think about this?”
Legend opened his eyes wide. The brilliant writing on the scroll momentarily hypnotized him. He knew that a master writer had created and forged the document. He quickly discarded his cigarette, fearing that the ashes would burn the delicate scroll. To have a better look, he turns on a lamp that hung over the counter.
“Damn… you did this?” asked Legend.
“Nah. Have you ever seen anything like this?”
“This shit is kinda crazy. Kung Fu graff! I like it” said Legend.
“ You’ve never seen anything like this?”
Legend took a moment to think. For it had been many years since I publicly wrote. Much of my writing was spread throughout the city when I was looking for Meng.
“I haven’t seen anything like this in years man. There was this one writer I knew of who wrote like this” replied Legend.
“What was that kid’s name? Magic?” said Legend, who steps back and then placed his hands on his chin. Arious looked at him, hoping that he would remember.
“Yeah — this kid was named Majid!” said Legend “I never met him though. He used to be in some crazy ass spots. Come to think of it, the last time I saw anything like this had to be a few years ago. In fact, I remember where. I was with my man ‘Flight’ from Brooklyn, during the blackout. We were in the tunnels near the old ‘Worth Street’ station.”
“Worth street station?” asked Arious.
As a resident of Chinatown he knew of the street, but never heard of the station. “Yeah, it closed in the sixties. It’s pretty creepy down there. It’s between Canal Street and the Brooklyn Bridge six line” said Legend.
“But you never saw him?”
“Nah, like I said, I remember seeing this stuff near there. He wrote Majid and use to have a bunch of crazy Chinese characters around his work. Characters that looked like the stuff you have here! That’s what I remember about his writing style and that was the last time I seen it. Why wassup? You working for the vice squad now?” asked Legend, with a tone of humor.
“You’re crazy funny!”
The two gave each other a pound. Arious puts the scroll in his bag and walked out of the store. Legend returned to his writing without thinking much about the document.
Arious stood outside of the store and briefly chatted with a few skaters. There was a familiar face whose name he could not place at the moment.
“Yo, you coming this weekend? Under the bridge?”
“I don’t think so, I have to work.”
The familiar face nodded and gave Arious a dap and then tried to replicate a trick that he saw another skater perform.
Arious walked away from the store. He kept repeating the name to himself “Majid… MAAAH JEEEEED… MAAH JEEED”
Arious and I would soon meet in the depths of the city.