Graffiti is usually sadly preadolescent, with even attempted wit tending to stink of tired shtick, whether it’s suspiciously earnest homophobia or intellectualism. That’s the saddest: people sitting on a toilet proclaiming their heterosexuality when no one’s challenged it, somehow not recognizing how desperate it seems; and someone correcting their spelling, even though the chances are infinitesimal the first writer will see the corrections.
But at the Charlton rest stop on the way back from New York, I emerged from a toilet stall, I confess, charmed and amused, chuckling and eager to share the thoughts I’d found scrawled within. It could have been punchiness after so long on the road, or maybe just low expectations. But it worked.
On the door of my stall, in red: BOSTON RED SUCKS
Underneath, in smaller black writing: Yeah, they suck so much they won the World Series!
And by the toilet paper assembly, etched into areas freed by the scraping away of toothpaste-blue paint, in cramped and mild writing made funnier by its subversive modesty: Lesbians are awesome! And up and to the right: Gays suck dick! And, finally, lower and to the right again, the completion of an arc, the arch of an eyebrow, the culmination of a wide-open wink, the end of the rainbow: Fags are gay!
Interstate 90 eastbound. Farthest stall from the men’s room entrance. Visit quickly. It’s a transitory medium.