Making a Difference
I was buying a ticket at the Colorado Boulevard light rail station and noticed a kid, about 12 or 13 I’d guess, tagging a white railing with a marker.
I watched him from about 15 feet away before my ticket was spit out, then walked over and told him to knock it the fuck off. I also took his photo. I’ve found that people become concerned when you take their picture, or simply pretend to. This boy didn’t seem to care though.
He ceased his project and mumbled “ok” or something. I then said told him he should clean it up, before giving any thought to how that task would be accomplished. He surprised me by spitting on the railing, then wiping it off with a tissue from his pocket. The marking was completely removed. (You’re welcome RTD.)
I told him I care about my city, and if he’s into graffiti art and expressing himself there are places you can go and paint without vandalizing others’ property. (I don’t know if this is actually true, but I have seen a skate park downtown.)
He then volunteered, “Yeah I already got caught once,” and just stood there next to me. Not knowing what to say or if I should attempt to parley the situation into some kind of “Gran Torino” big brother mentoring experience I told him I’m not going to tell anyone, (not sure who I would tell,) and to chill on the defacing of public property and all that.
He slinked away as I walked down to the platform. Hopefully I won’t see him on a “World’s Dumbest Criminal” segment anytime soon.
What astounded me more than some dumb kid tagging a railing in full view of commuters at 8am was the fact I witnessed 10 or so commuters passing by while I awaited my ticket, yet not one person said anything to the kid.
Shame on them. I have more respect for the kid listening and not dismissing me with an easy “fuck off,” than I do for the people who walked by and ignored him. So much for the village it supposedly takes.