Wednesday, January 05, 2005


I love finding cool graffiti, funny signs and other spoor of intelligent or at least interesting life on Earth. Walking toward Central Square yesterday on Massachusetts Avenue, for instance, I spotted a chalkboard on the side of the People’s Republik bar with the following:

Today’s special

No, it really is

This gave me a good, cheap chuckle all the way to the T, and reminded me of an exchange — if it was an exchange — from one of the lacquered wood benches in the Harvard Square T stop. Early last month I sat to wait for the train and noticed this in dire black Sharpie, as thick with ink as it was with emotion:

Please release me from myself
I am a prisoner of my own mind
Cannot take this anymore
Must escape this endless void
Ridding myself of this existence

Oof. This melancholy hit me hard. Reflecting on these weighty thoughts, I saw another scrawl less than an inch away, just underneath, in a different, lighter hand, with spidery black ink:

For a good time call

If this was written after the poem, of course, it could have been to provide a laugh by way of contrast. Or perhaps the scribbler just decided that whoever read that poem needed a good time, if not a laugh. Or perhaps the two messages were written in total ignorance of each other. Whatever, it was an interesting juxtaposition, which is pretty much the most you can ask of an inanimate object.

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