Art Critic pt. 3

Whoever has been putting up artwork is still a graffiti artist. There's no other way that they could be so detailed with spray paint. Finding a tagger, that's something I can do easily. They won't be back until the gallery has cleaned the current work. They'll keep the tagging to the streets. For now, I just ride around, looking at empty spots. Places friends would have tagged back in the day.

That's when I spot them, a small group of four behind a grocery store. I park my car at the end of the alley and walk around the other side on foot. If they try to take off running my car will be in the way, they'll have to get past me, and I can get at least one of them. That's if they run, I've got another trick in my bag that Ace taught me. I creep up slow, not making too much noise, but not walking on egg shells either.

"Hey, who wants to make $50 dollars," I ask the kids close enough they can hear.

"Do we look like prostitutes nigga," one of the kids asks. A fair question. I was kind of heavy handed.

"No, I just need some information. I'm looking for someone."

"Oh, you want a snitch," the kids laugh.

"Nope, just looking for a tagger, someone specific. They probably like books, most likely super pro black, probably has spoken out about that art gallery. Y'all know anyone like that?"

"Why should we help you," one of the kids asks.

"Because they might be in trouble, and I'm trying to help them."

"Fuck out of here with that," two of the kids begin to walk towards me, the third follows.

A lot of the cops I worked on the force with would already be drawing their guns. But the kids aren't walking to fight, they're just walking past me. Dismissive. I don't even try to stop them as they walk past me. They won't be telling me anything. It's the third one that I want. I put my hand on his shoulder as he walks by, causing him to stop.

"I know you know something, just help me out here," I ask the kid one last time.

"Josiah, he be at the library after school all the time. Cornrows, usually with a book. That sounds like him," he looks away as he talks.

"Cool, here's $150, your friends don't get shit."