Graffito Scratched on a Men’s Room Wall in the Library of Congress.
You got me. Sometimes I read the graffiti. I don’t think I’ll ever forget this one:
WM br br 35 5’11” 180 7″cut. Versatile top. Looking for fun.
I’d also consider a long-term relationship. ###-####
I saw it about eight years ago.
I’m not trying to be weird here, or prurient. You all know that I’m in a long-term relationship. I’m quite happy with it, and I’m not at all inclined to answer an ad on a restroom wall.
But I remember sitting there thinking how strange it was, with its abrupt transition: from the clipped, disarmingly frank sexual stats, right into the meaning of life. I’d also consider a long-term relationship.
Who goes into a restroom looking for that?
No one I could think of, anyway. I mean, what could possibly lead the reader to infer that the author was a good prospect? What were the grounds on which to build?
“I understand you like to write on restroom walls.”
“So… write anything good lately?”
How old was it? Scratched on a marble wall, undated. No way to tell. No HIV status, so maybe before that, even. Guy could be dead for all I knew. I got to thinking he had to be kind of old. He had to be writing before the Internet. Before Craigslist or Manhunt.
I wondered what he was like. Whether he ever found love, against all odds. I never called the number. There’d be nothing but trouble or bad news on the other end.
I knew what drove him, of course. Urges a lot like my own, just with absolutely nowhere to go. Until they finally shrank into a two-line parody of a human life. One that probably outlived its creator.
No one writes stuff like that anymore. We don’t have to. Long-term relationships are to be had out in the open. And for the rest, there’s Craigslist.
But this one sad, ugly little personal ad has always stayed with me. A reminder of something I might easily have been, in another time. The other day I thought to see if I could find it again, but it was gone.