invisible circles

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I returned to the park today after an extended break -- the break wasn't really my idea; first, I got a lot busier, then I got sick. The bathroom scale informed me that not only was it time to get back out there, but maybe, just MAYBE I should double check and see if Marie Callendar's Key Lime Pie was actually considered medicine like I have been assuming. My fat ass and the scale say otherwise, but personally I think that's all circumstantial evidence that wouldn't hold up Dessert Court. (Pie always wins in Dessert Court. The fix is in!)

I was delighted to see that my favorite park prankster has returned (or the Love Vandals as I like to think of them -- he, she, they, it -- I honestly have no idea). I was listening to the Raveonettes for a while during the last Love Vandal outbreak and I tried to mentally recast them as the Love Gang, but it just didn't take, even though it's probably a better name. Today's exhibit was subtle. The end of the park that I enter is down by the off-leash dog area (although honestly dogs race all over the dingdang park since the irresistible squirrels do not feel so confined). The official area is demarcated by small pillars that say "off leash area, blah blah blah." They are about 3 feet tall and painted park-service green. There was one brilliant brown-red chestnut (sans outer shell) sitting right on top of the first marker I came across. It was so shiny and such a beautiful color I took a picture (it's still on my camera and therefore not right here illustrating my point, so you'll have to take my word for it). It wasn't until I had looped all the way around again that I noticed every single pillar had a chestnut on it. There are no chestnut trees in the park, these were imported for the express purpose of who knows what! I do know that it made me happy.

I believe this to be the work of the Love Vandals (whom I first noticed around valentine's day with I Love You stickers on every lamppost) -- the repetition, the encircling and the fact that it coincided within a few weeks of me finally noticing the Love Vandal masterpiece (more stickers!) lead me to this conclusion. It could be someone else, I suppose; these stickers are not hand written, they were not stuck in the same places... but at the same time, the very ways the method has changed feels more like a natural evolution than a whole new person. (although if there are that many people who want to share the love at Wilshire park, more power to them!) Anyway, back in February I had the experience of seeing all of the I Love You lamppost stickers in their cheerful glory, only to return the next day to find them all removed, but for two that had been missed. One of these I walked by every day (and picked it up the day it fell off the lamppost. I'm looking at it right now, in fact), the second one was slightly out of the way, but held on for weeks after the first one fell until one day it just wasn't there. I only ever checked on it when I was feeling particularly gloomy, so it was not a great day when I realized it was Gone. (cue rain and a solitary and therefore extra sad tear.)

I soldiered on, as one does when the delicate city park love-sticker ecosystem has been damaged. BUT THEN, two days after the last of the old stickers fell, I noticed a new one on an easterly lamppost. This one was different than the old sticker -- it was typed, and instead of just "I Love You!" it said "I Love You With All My Heart And I Always Will." !!! It cheered me up tremendously, as silly as that sounds. I know it's technically vandalism of some sort, but I just love the idea that there is someone out there who not only thinks this up, but carries it out. Who are they? Who is it for? What's the story? It gets even BETTER, because all this time I'm thinking that the Love Vandal has retrenched to a literal lone lamppost outpost on the corner (I always look for it when I'm there to make sure no one has peeled it off), until one day I happened to notice it was on one of the metal poles that hold up parking signs around the periphery of the park. Then I noticed it was on every single one of them! Love, love, love. I especially love that they were there all along and I never knew it because I wasn't paying attention. Moral of the story: pay more attention!

I have assorted awesome links to share, but they will have to wait for their own new post as I have to get up early AND have a great book that isn't going to read itself.
3 comments on "invisible circles"
  1. I haven't had key lime pie. I like lemon it close?

  2. yeah, it's very similar only key-limey instead of lemony. DELICIOUS. It will cure what ails you, unless a fat ass is what ails you. (so unfair!)

  3. I don't know if I would like this lime dessert or not. We'll see.


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