I was scared to enter cause it looked foreign. He said if we didn't like it we didn't have to stay. If we didn't like it we didn't pay. We could leave. It's donations only. The sign was spray painted. A group of people in front of doorway were talking. A guy wearing a confederate flag t shirt asks if we have change. As if I'd give anyone who wore that money.
We walk into this messy place with people sitting on worn out chairs and couches. They are talking, eating food from dishes, drinking from plastic cups, reading information, and hanging out. There's layers of grafitti. The ceiling is covered in paintings. There's a project board. It's different, but I like it. There's a whole room of free, clean, clothes on hangers for people to take what they need. There's a sink, microwave, fridge, bathroom, tables, and chairs. Smoking is only done outside. There is free food, and a fire outside. It reminds me of a place I took someone to see local bands, before we left.
We walk upstairs a graffiti hallway to where the music is playing. People standing, sitting, head bopping, toe tapping to the beat. Young kids, teens, adults, older ones, all different ages. It's punk, the music. I see an open spot on the table and sit.
The art is everywhere. Some trash, some silly, quotes like "Queer is not a putdown," band stickers, and political stuff. Mixed media collages. Later I notice bleacher like seating, a red carpet stage.
In the back there is an art piece. A typed description of all the nails pounded into the wood to resemble rapes. It tells how often? How many? The people who pounded the nails. The number of hours it took to pound them. Some of the nails are spaced evenly. Some of them are grouped together. Does that mean one person was violated by different people? As I touched the nails I thought of all the girls I knew. How many nails would that be? I didn't know the answer.
I met a boy who shares the name of an Egyptian Pharaoh trying to spread change with words and his guitar. I met a 2 membered band, named after a chess player. The drummer beat the cymbal so hard pieces broke to the floor. The singer sang with passion as he strummed his guitar. Back turned away, from the stage so you couldn't see his hands play. I heard some people speak.
I took a photo of 3 friends. Watched the boy left pining as the girl walked away with her guy. I wonder if she knows. He's in love with her.
A girl gave me a look of recognition as she walked by. I thought you don't know me. Cause I don't know anyone here. Then later realized I had met her the week before. I still don't know her name. I only know she just moved here.
I met a girl who shares my name, but spells the end differently. Throughout my whole life that makes number 4. We might be hard to find, but we exist.