Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Lurking. Or maybe Loitering

Today's posting is a literal posting - nearly. Its inspiration comes to me via MISSion amy K.R., Amy Krouse Rosenthal's blog on the chicago public radio site (and many thanks to Patty Digh's FB posting this morning for pointing me in that direction...). Amy suggests that we all leave a post-it note, or a note taped to our local ATM, for someone else to find... clearly, one has to Lurk for an opportunity to do this act of low-key guerrilla graffiti. At least, that was the case at the outdoor ATM of Bank of America on St Michael's Drive in Santa Fe this morning.

It's hard, of course, to know what to write. Of course, I could have gone for any number of uplifting and cheery epitaphs. Retrospectively, of course, given that I've reached L, the 12th letter of the alphabet on the 12th day, I should have gone for something by D. H. Lawrence or Doris (or Gotthold Ephraim) Lessing or Rosamond Lehmann (this stress on the alphabet is not just a reminder of where I've got to this year, but homage to Amy K R's wonderful quirky memoir, Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life - the kind of book that you just wish you'd had the idea of writing first).

But I didn't. The only time I've ever written a piece of graffiti in my life was when I was 19 and on a train in Italy, and for some reason took a black felt-tip pen and wrote, very neatly, under the window, William Blake's phrase THE TIGERS OF WRATH ARE WISER THAN THE HORSES OF INSTRUCTION. So it seemed the moment to revisit this - whether or not at a time of diminishing university budgets it seemed like a good idea was something that I pondered for a few moments, but I ended up thinking that Blake was really protesting against servitude, against bowing to the edicts and opinions handed down from on high, and that suited me.

But plans don't always quite work out. I had my neatly inscribed post-it - I'd even chosen a rather fetching Bodleian Library image of "The Cat" from Topsell's 1607 Historie of foure-footed beastes. I had my camera ready. I Lurked until other ATM users had finished their business. But whether it was the cold weather, or the fact that it was a more ancient post-it than I'd anticipated, it didn't actually stick. So I had to make do, and stick it in the top of the now-redundant envelope container, where the requisite signature, ATM=Always Trust Magic, (which even if a bit Harry Potter-esque at least is as nicely puzzling as the presence of a Found Message in the first place) is, alas, not visible. But it's there, and maybe someone has read this by now...

1 comment:

  1. That is, "epigraphs." But maybe I was concerned that I would be digging my own grave - I'm sure these machines are under video surveillance...