I decided to walk home, as I usually do on those days that aren’t quite rainy, but are far from sunny. The air felt so fresh on my skin. My car stayed at work. It didn’t seem to mind. The slight breeze made me thankful for my olive corduroy sports jacket. It always protected me from cold and visible pit-stains.
The usual graffiti was on display: a lot of bubble letters that were impossible to decipher, but lovely to look at. I walked at a leisurely pace, smiling whilst looking them over. I thought to myself,” Thank God for graffiti. This warehouse would be so ugly without it.” I ventured on. As I passed the police station, I saw it. My smile erased from my face like an etch-a-sketch.
“When the hell did this get here?” I thought. “I walk this path almost every week, yet this mural looks so old and aged.”
It was my girlfriend’s face with the words “Mi Amor,” etched in beautiful blue and white letters. The graffiti had her eyebrows, nose, smile, even her eyes. It had to be her. Was she cheating on me with some talented Hispanic dude? My hand turned inwards as all my digits got well acquainted. I prepared to punch the wall but thought better of it. Looking into the wall version of her eyes I said, “How do you accuse someone of cheating based on graffiti?” It seemed so nonsensical, but I sure as hell didn’t paint that.
Finally, I went inside the police station to report the graffiti. It was pretty dead, only one frumpy looking officer on dispatch. I wondered if he had misbehaved, but my mind quickly jumped back to the task at hand.
“There’s graffiti on the police station wall,” I said.
“Oh yeah. It’s been up there a few days now. Pretty nice, huh?”
“But it’s illegal…isn’t it?”
“Well, yes and no,” he breathed at me. His eyes told me that I was bothering him during his solitaire time. I turned from Officer McFrumpy and had a sudden burst of artistic inspiration. I would cover it up! The police clearly didn’t care if there was paint on their building. The hardware store had what I needed. I briefly considered getting primer, but an employee talked me out of it. I returned and peeled the lid off the can. It nearly flew out of my hands as I hurled the paint at the wall. Success! The only visible letters were “i or.” I felt good with myself as I started to walk home. I was tapped on the shoulder two steps later.
“That’s defacement of public property son,” McFrumpy said rather frumpily.
“But there was already paint there, I merely added to it.”
“Nice try pal, I’m taking you in.”
Five hundred bucks and a night in jail later and I still don’t know if she’s cheating on me. She dumped me when she heard what I did. What a waste of a phone call…and a gallon of paint.