• Graffiti can be seen throughout the Run graphic lyrics book!

    • I killed time wandering around the convenience store. I used to sometimes skip school by jumping over the back wall of Songju Jeil Middle School, and I would sometimes wait for the hyungs in the small park across from the convenience store. I looked around me. It had been a while since I'd visited this neighborhood, but nothing much had changed. I remembered that Yoongi hyung and Jungkook's houses were in this area. As I looked around, I saw something that looked like graffiti inside one of the alleyways to my right. It looked like Taehyung's work. I walked over that way.

      Unconsciously, I stopped in front of the drawing. It was someone's face, scribbled in rough black lines without any sort of warmth. I say 'someone's,’ but I knew whose face it was. It was Seokjin hyung. As soon as I thought of hyung, someone else's face was superimposed on top of it. It was an entirely different face, but both of those faces looked identical. They had the same eyes. Soulless eyes. Only then did I realize who I had to find.


      I drew a line of black spray paint. A thin face. A mouth that had lost its words. Dry hair. In crude lines. I started to draw the face I had seen in my dreams on the gray wall. Now it was time to draw the pupils. I reached out, then stopped and took a step back.

      In my head, the face was clear. The pupils were so definite they gave me goose-bumps. I just didn't know how to express them. They were eyes from which all the emotions like happiness or sadness had disappeared, leaving behind only disinterest and coldness. They were many colors and one color crushed together, eyes that said nothing and in doing so, said everything. I gripped the spray can several times, but in the end I couldn't draw the pupils.

      It had been two years since I last saw Seokjin hyung. I heard he had gone to America, but besides that I didn't know anything. This was the first time I'd dreamed about him. I had sometimes wondered how he was doing. I had thought about what happened in the classroom, when hyung had called the principal. I had good memories of him, and things I didn't understand but he had never once been as cold and gaunt as he had appeared in my dream.

      I looked up again at the face I'd drawn on the wall. It was clearly Seokjin hyung but it wasn't the hyung I knew. Why had I had a dream like that, all of a sudden? The dream had been anxious and terrible scenes over and over. Hyung had watched all those misfortunes happen with an expressionless face. My hand shook as it held the spray can. I felt like the chill from the dream was grabbing me by the neck again. From a distance, I heard a police siren.


      The gas station owner spit on the ground as he left. I laid down on the ground in the same position I'd crouched in. I had been doing graffiti on the back wall of the gas station, only to get caught, and the owner had hit me while asking what I thought I was doing, drawing on someone else's wall. I rolled around on the floor. Getting hit was both something I was used to and something unfamiliar.

      I had started doing graffiti a long time ago. I took a spray can that someone had tossed away and tried drawing on a wall. I think it was yellow. I sprayed it however and then looked up at it. I looked at the clear yellow paint on the grey wall, then picked up another spray can. For a long time I sprayed unthinkingly on the wall. Only when all the spray cans were empty did my hands stop. I threw the can away and stepped back. My breath came as if I had been running with all my might.

      I didn't know what the colors on the wall meant. I didn't know what I had done or why I had done it. But I had done it, and I could guess that they were expressing my feelings. I had spewed my heart out onto that wall. At first I thought it was ugly. I thought it was dirty. It was idiotic and useless and pitiful. I didn't like it. I rubbed at some of the wet paint with my hand. I wanted to erase it all. Instead of erasing it, I caked on other colors and mangled it into different shapes. I sat against that wall. It wasn't a matter of whether or not I liked it. It wasn't about whether it was beautiful or not. It was just me.

      When I stood up, I coughed. I spit blood out into my hand. Then I saw someone's hand pick up the spray can. I followed the line of that hand up until I saw a face. It was Namjoon hyung. I laughed. I thought I was seeing a ghost. Hyung reached out a hand. I just looked up at him. Hyung took my hand and pulled me up. His hand was warm.


      My side hurt so badly it seemed to be tearing. Sweat fell in drops. In the nooks and crannies of the railroad, in the vacant lot behind the convenience store, under the overpass--the girl was nowhere to be found. I had even run to the bus stop, but as expected I didn't see her. The people waiting for their buses looked at me strangely. What had happened? We hadn't promised to meet, but it was still strange. That girl always appeared from somewhere and followed me around. Even if I told her it was annoying, it was no use. But now she was nowhere to be found, even in the places we used to go together.

      I came to a familiar wall and slowed my steps. There was graffiti there we had drawn together. It was the first thing she had ever drawn. On top of it there was a large "X" drawn. It was her. I hadn't seen her do it, but I knew. Why? There was no response. Instead, several after-images overlapped on the wall.

      Her laughing at me after I had laid down on the railroad tracks and hit my head. Her helping me up after I'd fallen trying to help her run away, her angry face after I'd stolen and eaten her bread. Her cloudy expression when we passed in front of a photo studio with a family photo in the window. Her gaze following the students we passed by, unbeknownst even to her. As we had sprayed this wall together I had said, "if you have a problem, tell me about it, don't just grumble to yourself." The X was drawn over all those memories. It seemed like it was saying all of it was fake. It seemed like it was saying they were all lies. Without realizing, I had made my hands into fists. Why? Of course there was no response. I kept walking. We were alone again. Me, and her.


      After we came back from the ocean, we were all alone.

      As if we had decided not to, none of us contacted each other. We guessed at each other's existence only by the graffiti we left on the street, the gas station with its light brightly shining, the sound of a piano coming from a decrepit building. Each time, the afterimage of that night came back to me like a ghost. The way that flames seemed to drip from Taehyung's pupils, the gazes that looked at me as if they'd heard a story they couldn't believe, Namjoon's hand outstretched to stop Taehyung, how I threw a punch at taehyung when I couldn't hold it back any longer.

      I couldn't find Taehyung after he stormed out, and there was no one left at our lodgings at the beach when I returned. A broken glass cup, bloodstains that had started to coagulate, and some snack crumbs were all that hinted at what had gone on only hours before. In the time between, a picture had fallen. In the picture we'd taken with the ocean as the background, we were all together and laughing.

      Today I passed by in front of the gas station. Eventually, the day we'll meet again will come. The day will come that we'll laugh again like we did in that picture. The day will come that I'll have the courage to face myself. But now, still, that isn't today. Today, just like that day, a cold wind blew. And in the next moment, my phone rang like a warning. The picture I'd hung on my room's mirror fluttered. Hoseok's name appeared on the screen.

      "Hyung, they said that Jungkook was in a car accident that night."


      The Notes 1: 花樣年華 [The Most Beautiful Moment in Life]


        Taehyung comes out of the convenience store and finds the wall where the girl drew her first graffiti and where he had saved her from the police.He says he hasn't met her since then. He finds a large X sprayed over the graffiti. He recalls all the memories they have together and he feels like all of them now feel fake. Under the X, he finds a short sentence ‘’ it’s not your fault’’ which he believes was written by the girl. He recalls the day, when he went looking for his mom. He heads home, Magnolia Mansion to find his alcoholic dad. He keeps repeating "its not your fault" to himself.