I first met Chance "Batle" when I lived in Orange County in 2008 around the music venue Chain Reaction where he had painted a piece next to all the HOF guys. I was pasting up posters all over the city and somehow or other Batle got my number and we painted tunnels often after that. This guy would text me pictures of women's butts and vaginas with his thick deco marker paint pieces all over them, sometimes 3 or 4 pictures a day, always asking if i knew any slutty women. He was not a saint and was definitely a rascal. We painted some big tunnels under Anaheim with 2much REM about 2 miles underground where we found a small drainage hole barely wide enough to slide through and about 30 yards later the 3 of us popped out onto the side of a freeway in midday and caught hollow bombs on the wall, then crawled back into the dark of the tunnel on our bellies. Another time we were coming up back to the surface from an underground tunnel when a tall man holding a golf club came up to us, shot out on drugs. He asked us for paint and then he proceeded to paint an Aztec warrior goddess on the wall. That was in 2010. That was a crazy year.
Chance invited me over to his apartment in Anaheim several times over a few years where we drew in blackbooks or made stickers, or I'd talk philosophy as he'd make fun of me, meanwhile I drew dick bombs in the blackbooks. He seemed to open up to me in ways i cant imagine he did with other writers because of my femininity, and i found it humorous to see the softer sides of him when he knew no one was looking. All of the fighting and tattoos and whatnot was just a mask.
He seemed to change cities or move houses often and had a rough upbringing. He once told me that he was part white, black, latin, and asian - is this true? He knew everybody and traveled everywhere. He worked full time at a warehouse during the day and painted full time at night and I never met someone who painted so God damn much, landmarks no one will find for ages. We painted tunnels all the time, mostly in Anaheim or Garden Grove cuts, keepers of the lanterns, friends of the roaches. We walked through storm drains barefoot with buckets of paint and 9 foot rollers. He was killing orange county at the same time he was killing LA, working and painting and never sleeping. He linked together a lot of crews and scenes that probably would never have met each other ordinarily. At one of the Zao events there was a train show in which Batle's mom came with a table and all his gear for sale. I was amazed to see how many different kinds of people came and knew him.
Chance lived 2 or 3 lives in one, truly. Everyday was filled with shenanigans and adventure and chaos. In a way he was like a graffiti archetype or demigod that died so the rest of us could wake up to our lives. At least I did. I realized my mortality and inevitable death through my friend Chance. It was a great payment yet much was learned. So here's to you buddy, even though I know your soul exists somewhere right now and even though in dream-time you harass me, here's to those rare humans like you who actually LIVE so totally that they go out in a burst of flames like a Phoenix. You woke more people up than you'll ever know. Bless (Huke the Duke)