For a moment, they were gods of the pavement. Their cult spread their exploits in rumorous waves that bent around corners and rushed down crowded alleyways. Thousands passed the polychromic mark of their clan daily, unwitting witnesses to something akin to a bubble in glass, an imperfection that perfectly captures a single moment in time. A sextet exuding style and sex in a way that only youth readily living with terminal abandon can. And they called themselves The Slyders.
Legends running simultaneously at street level and jumping across projects’ rooftops told of a group who worked in teenage rebellion as earnestly as any stock broker might ply his trade. These youths lived as if wheels propelled by human determination, momentum, and gravity were a drip containing the only panacea that could keep them alive. Wherever their emblem was emblazoned, it served as bold reminder that there, a feat of brilliant recklessness had taken place.
Little else could be seen of this band, though if they were spotted, a fleeting blur as they sped past with intoxicating abandon, it would be in the zenith of style for this lost generation: jeans lightened with bleach and darkened with grime; hats pulled backwards to darken necks alternately close-cropped or ponytailed; shirts of a spectrum slightly past neon, circumscribed by crisscrossed flannel, which flapped loosely in their wake, a ragged cape for an age where even superheroes died; and holes peppered through all of the above, forming the group’s only unifying feature aside from a death wish.
The muttered wisdom of mothers commonly holding that these hooligans would never see the end of their teenage years, it was surprising that anyone should have been surprised when a body was hauled up from a manhole. The unanimous account was that, upon attempting a maneuver circumscribing the curve of a sewer tunnel, the sixteen year-old had struck his head on a pipe and come to the end of his titular Nyne Lyves.
Tragedy and fading fashion disbanded The Slyders, never seen together again. But you can still find their names – Krutch, XS, K-Oz, SkyHi, and Ghozt – where walls will likely never be whitewashed, suspended like a bubble in glass.