No two 2 o’clock hours are the same. If the sequence of hours given by the random number generator I consulted last October had been spit out in a different order, the observations that Katherine, Kristin and I came up with for Half/Life would all have been different. These works are the result of chance encounters. Then again, a brushstroke is always a unique event. Environment, emotion, eye, mind, muscle, brush, ink, paper all in motion at one unique point in time.

I again asked a random number generator to pick the order I will post these paintings and poems a year later. This time, 2 a.m. came out at the top of the list. As it happens, both the 2 a.m. walk in Winter and 2 a.m. walk in Summer were on weekend nights when things are lively on 9 1/2 Street. The man with the cane is often out on nights like this, often has the story of the Metrocard and the hospital. It’s possible there are many 2 o’clocks in the morning when he might have wound up in this story, clipped to a painting labeled 2 a.m. I should have asked his name the second time he approached me (if not the first). We’re neighbors. Connected. Sharing space. Next time. By contrast, I’m certain “I wanna get naked in this alley!” has been shouted exactly once on 9 1/2 Street, and certainly only once with the kind of silly joy I heard during the hour assigned by the random number generator. Another roll of the dice and it would have been escaped documentation. Lost to the ether. Perhaps forgotten even to the woman who shouted it.


One of 24 posts inspired by Half/Life, which remains on view at H-Space in Washington, DC through October 31, 2019. Contact Erik to schedule a visit. Paintings and zine on sale now in the Future Cartographic shop.

Published by Erik Moe

Erik Moe is a writer and artist based in Washington, D.C. and the founder and Chief of Expeditions at Future Cartographic.