There are records, of course. Most of the stories have been photographed by someone – a practice that the Graffiti Novelist refuses to condone, though it helps to spread his fame. For him, a record destroys the ‘essential eventness’ of the venture. And, after all, he is not writing to be known. He is writing to be read; in the correct conditions: as the author intended. But he is fighting a losing battle. If we do anything now, we record. Everything must be available and accessible. Nevermind whether it is or isn’t accessed.
Fame threatens to take apart his practice. One night he was discovered writing a story on a wall by a fan. The mood was spoiled. One simply can’t have fans getting in on the act. The Graffiti Novelist works alone, or not at all.
Last week he started writing on the road. In a cul-de-sac to the south of Stockport he wrote one of his longest stories yet. It started in the driveway of one house and stretched all the way to the crossroads. By the time someone got around to photographing it, half of it had been washed away by a man washing his car. Now we don’t know how the story ends. Unless of course we speak to those who read it. Two men, returning in the early hours, consumed the story whole. And yet they remain tight-lipped over its denouement. ‘You missed your chance,’ they say.
The Graffiti Novelist doesn’t give you many chances. Don’t expect that to change.