Saturday, June 21


arguably, summers (and weekends, so the following is doubly true for summer weekends) are for reading outside in the grass and taking aimless walks all over town. which is part of what I did today.

the background music to this early evening excursion was a mix of songs by The Killers, The Beatles, Dispatch, and Barenaked Ladies.
I meandered over to the useless side of that parking lot next to the bus station. the side that leads nowhere at all, where one might feel a little out of place, or even delinquent simply for not having any real reason at all to be there... and I walked along all this chainlink marveling at the train (so huge) and the graffiti (so colorful).
who wrote all these things? are any of them local artists, or do the trains get their faces painted in other, far-off counties? or both?
and is there a way to tell which bits come from whom? there is a literacy in it all that I can't thoroughly access.
I found the juxtaposition of all the blocky markings on the stolid, utilitarian train next to so much bubbly, curving, spray paint, as well that of all the green bushy weedlike-stuff along the fence foregrounding the carefully unobstructed, quarantined tracks, quite interesting elements in my casual photographs.
who was it I was recently talking to about trains and graffiti and art without audiences? or was that what we were talking about? do any of you readers remember? anyway, this here is the episode of 99% Invisible that came up during that conversation.
I want to say this one said "oink," but I really, really don't know.
is it sort of like drawing things in the sand, leaving a mark and then walking away? do those two things have anything more than their transience in common?

along with worrying about where all the decoration on the outsides of these trains came from, I could worry about what's in them and where it's going to end up and why.
I've been paging leisurely through Alain de Botton's The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work this summer.
de Botton's whole first section chronicles (with a bit of extra, romantical detail, we might argue) the comings and goings of barges along the Thames, all full of cargo from opposite hemispheres, ready to be unboxed and distributed to a thousand supermarkets or department stores around the UK.
trains are not barges, and a railroad in Indiana is not the Thames, but both the river and trains generally have some romance about them, don't they?
river barges probably get some graffiti, too. I wonder if it lasts as long as train graffiti. 

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