Banksy’s Final Testament

by beneaththesurfaces

On the short flight between London and Kiev, he found himself sandwiched between what he imagined to be a mistress of some Ukrainian plutocrat and an innocuous businessman. The later displayed the irritating habit of clearing his throat every few minutes.

Phillip cursed himself for not packing his tablet. An hour into the flight, the thick phlegm sound had taken on a rhythmic quality, a pulsating sound he could almost tune out completely. Optimistically, he believed that his own thoughts would keep him preoccupied on this short flight. Instead, any semblance of coherent train of thought derailed by the white noise machine to his right and the heavy scent of cheap perfume to his left.

The plane had hit heavy turbulence and dropped what felt like a few hundred feet in a matter of heartbeats. He reached for reading material in the pocket under his tray; groped for any distraction. Though he had a macabre fascination with the juxtaposition of irrationally calm cartoon passengers amidst the wreckage of their aircraft, dwelling on this would push him deeper into panic.

He opted instead for the in-flight magazine published by the airline. He found himself taken aback to come upon his own work in an article titled “Things to See in New Orleans.” His alter ego, Banksy, had completed the “Girl with the Umbrella” on the side of a closed down shop in Katrina’s wake.

He considered himself to be an artist. He felt burdened, dragged down by the prefix, graffiti, added as a description to his craft. He discovered a kinship with the artists the article berated; artists who had thrown red paint upon and tagged the “Girl”. He no longer made a distinction between his graffiti and that of supposed gang members. The only difference was that his message captured the public’s imagination, for indiscernible, seemingly random reasons.

He shook his head as he placed the magazine back into the sleeve. An innocuous building in Kiev; a city ripped asunder by revolution, chaos, would be the canvas for his final statement. Banksy, though invisible to the world, had all but consumed him. Banksy would disappear quietly; only Phillip would remain.