Spring Cleaning (The Stories I Never Got To): This Ain’t No Picnic—Disobedient Doodles


 
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The bench in question.

I hemmed and hawed about whether this was worth running. It’s a frozen in time, summer of 2017 snapshot of anonymous doodlers expressing themselves with bold lines leaping from the confines of school desks onto a picnic bench in Kenton Park.

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Gosh, don’t know.

I assume this is the efforts of adolescent kids. Only the culprits know for sure. Remember all the best speculative journalists begin guessing sentences with the phrase “I assume.” It’s also an ageist slag on adolescents. It’s the one age group that seems old enough to know better but lack the judgement to keep the from doing dumb stuff. Yet who didn’t engage in occasional acts of vandalism on a minor scale in their youth? Okay, so you knew better.

A recreation…

I hid my bookworm character drawing under a slide in our neighborhood park where I was the only one who knew of its existence. I also remember nights hanging out around a picnic table with friends where we could hide away and decompress. The table was in the woods. We must have moved it there. The location was too dark for art work.  

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A glowing cross spits flames.

I can see why these markings caught my eye. There’s a kind of “sign of the times” aspect to the images. They’re in a frozen state trying to speak their relevancy in an attempt to matter. In horror I see in my first draft I’ve written these images off as mindless self-expression of someone reaching out in a medium that’s all wrong. I’m disappointed in my lack of respect towards people who express themselves. That respect and appreciation is something I’ve strived for, especially when it’s happening outside the margins. At this point I’ll let these images speak for themselves.

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Surround the fort.

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Drips and drabs.

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Censored love.

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Better left untranslated.

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Now it’s a part

Splashed lines, words that have me brushing up on my Spanish and designs that would look great on the side of a train decorated the surface of this picnic table. An asymmetrical cross mingled with puffed initials. Who knew vertical dashes could liven up any word? Substituting hearts for the letter O also helped. This graffiti has not stood the test of time, I’m convinced. It exists here now on this blog but my guess is it’s either worn off, been cleaned off or painted over. It seems more temporary than three years of existence would allow. It may not be the stuff of cave paintings from thousands of years ago but there are parallels. Everyone has something to say. It’s about whether they choose legitimate means to express it.

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Hidden secrets revealed.

 

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