Saturday, June 13, 2009

not all bad

I spent most of yesterday at work on "graffiti guard duty" outside the men's public toilet. Two days in a row we have had graffiti painted on the walls there. The first time, we called the police in to see if the symbols were gang-related. They weren't. The officer called them, "gang wanna-be" symbols. (The facilities guy who came to paint over it said he was just trying to spare me, they actually were gang code for "get the Librarian" haha.) The next day the same symbol was there again, painted over the newly painted wall. So I spent the day pretending to clean windows in the foyer, but actually watching every person who used the restroom, scrutinizing their faces and composing descriptions (25-yr-old Caucasian male, approx 6'2", shaved head, white t-shirt, jeans). Then when they left, I'd call out: "Maintenance!" go in the stalls and check to see if the graffiti returned. If not, I'd erase the previous user from my description bank and lurk around waiting for the next. Very tedious, but I knew if I left, that was when he would strike. 
Anyway, the serendipity of it all was, as I was browsing the "free" magazines rack in the foyer (looking casual to any observer) I found this cool photograph of a California mission window I thought I'd like to paint. 
And no, Faux Gang Member didn't strike. (But I'm sure he must have stopped in to see if we covered over his work...this is not over...)

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