Like many places around the world, Seattle has some graffiti here and there. Often this occurs in the usual places, like large walls of uniform color, and it’s seldom welcome. The folks in charge of maintaining these properties will usually take some measures to erase the offending glyphs, but some methods are more effective than others. The “paint-that-is-almost-but-not-quite-the-same-color” is a widespread strategy, but my favorite is when, every once in a while, the graffiti is technically obscured by paint, but the paint itself is then spelling out the objectionable word in a gray blocky letters. A variation of this is when some sort of power tool is used to grind the surface of the wall (usually concrete in this case), leaving a ghost image of the word on the lighter-colored undersurface.

Reminiscing now about painted-over graffiti, a particular retaining wall some miles outside of Missoula along the interstate used to bear the message, for years, “SVEN LOVES DANGERGIRL“. It wasn’t particularly artistic or anything, but was rather like a three-word story. Were Sven and Dangergirl dating? Was this part of Sven’s attempt to woo Dangergirl? I’d like to think they’re still out there, somewhere. In any event the retaining wall message isn’t– it was painted over years ago, rendered into just a uninteresting gray blob on a concrete wall. Its spirit lives on, though: a few more declarations of love have popped up on that wall over the years, though none has yet been intriguing as the saga of Sven & Dangergirl.