Sticky Fingaz

I don’t remember the first time I shoplifted, only that my friends Nick and Tarik were a lot better at it then me (although I never got caught, neither did Nick or Tarik but other kids did.). In the beginning I wasn’t much of a risk taker, especially before my dad died. I remember Tarik unplugged the cooler shaped liked a giant Red Bull can full of Red Bulls and wheeled it out of the Shell station on 75th by Eckstein Middle School and wheeled it all the way down 25th to his house a block past 65th.  Nick was good too, his closet was like something out of a Clockwork Orange. Stolen pornos, bb guns, cds, magazines, etc.

We kept all the 40 ounce beers we stole hidden in a bush in the alley behind Nick’s parents house. They were actually behind this older kid A—–’s parents house next door. Other than Nick we didn’t know A—– at all, but we knew all about him. His tag name was DREN and he had a mini ramp and a big trampoline in his backyard. DREN had turned his parent’s small alley garage into a graffiti practice wall and it was covered on the inside in multicolored (master)pieces.

We’d stockpile the 40s we stole on the walks home from school every day in the bush all week.  Then on friday we’d take them down to Ravenna park in backpacks and drink them in the woods there. Sometimes older kids would be there. They were always pretty chill with us, sometimes they would punch us on the arms  or in the chest out of nowhere to fuck with us, other than that they were cool. A lot of the older kids dipped tobacco. A strange habit it would seem for inner city youth. Nick accidentally swallowed some of his dip the first time he tried it and threw up. A humiliating experience for him? I’m not sure.

The first time I smoked marijuana was the summer after 7th grade. I was 13 or 14. It was me DJ, Matt, Nick, Casey, and Al. I was so paranoid halfway through I thought a car driving by outside the bushes was surely the police and I threw the joint and ran with all the other kids behind. Once they realized I had bitched out I thought I’d never live it down. Definitely not savage. A humiliating experience for me.

Earlier that day I had caught my first spray paint tag under the 20th street bridge. We had stolen a can of green Krylon from my parents garage. I had done a MOJO tag in a jagged script with quotation marks. Matt drew a picture of Snoopy smoking a blunt. But it looked more like Snoopy sucking a dick when it was finished. DJ wrote DJ. I think Al intentionally drew a penis and a “420”. I cant remember if Nick or Casey wrote anything.

20th.

20th.

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My homies and I all wanted to be savages. We dressed the part. Braving Seattle’s trademark grayness in baggy fleece sweatpants, hooded sweatshirts, and sneakers. We wore fitted baseball hats or sweatbands if we wore anything on our heads at all.  My first fitted baseball hat was a royal blue NY yankees hat I bought at the now defunct Mr. Rags at Northgate. I was 12 and in the 6th grade. You know how sports hats come in different colorways nowadays?  It didnt used to be like that. The NY Yankees hats were the first hats you could get in a wide variety of different colors. Id seen a rapper, Ma$e? Wearing a lime green one on TV.  And I wanted one like that. I didnt have the balls to pull off the tennis ball green hat so i settled on a bright royal blue.  All my hats before that were the kind you got from your baseball team at the Boys and Girls club, or the kind given away at Mariners games.

Savage was like being gangster, or being brave, or being tough. Being a bad kid. Tipping portapotties. Stealing 40s and candy bars from gas stations on the way home from school and drinking them in Ravenna Park on Friday (on a school day if you really wanted to be savage). Stealing porno and graffiti magazines from the Tower Records on the Ave. Smoking a joint in the bushes by the 20th Street bridge where up until recently you had played hide and seek, and capture the flag, and where the neighborhood easter egg hunt was held every year. Spray-painting your tag name on one of the flat panel trucks on 65th (Extra points if the spray paint was stolen). Savage was the opposite of being a pussy.

circa 2002-2003

circa 2002-2003