April 7th, 2002

terroir

13th Street Self-Esteem

I can't believe I left out my favorite piece of 13th Street graffiti in my last entry. In a place only pedestrians and homeless campers can see, someone wrote, in letters big enough to see a half block away, "YOU ARE NOT ALONE!"

I could almost envision this being the work of a new, groovy City social service agency. Kind of an Up With People for the urban poor. I could imagine a presentation given to one of Mayor Willie Brown's lowest paid aides. "Our vision is to raise the self-esteem of housing-challenged individuals. Through our Street Talk (registered trademark) program, we empower unrealized clients to end substance abuse and attain employment and homes."

Then, as I got closer to the writing, I saw in letters almost too tiny to read, but definitely in the same handwriting:

"but i am."

Pathos is not a quality usually associated with graffiti. Maybe it's a sign of the times.