My friend Sarah used to talk about doing a coffee table book of bathroom-wall graffiti from bars around Memphis. It never happened, despite the fact that we collected a lot of data. Usually I was with her in bars, but during odd separations I’d jot things down I found noteworthy, like the diatribe against irresponsible media representations of beauty that lead to damaging insecurities and eating disorders among women — next to which was scribbled, “Take it easy Tubby.” This was from the bathroom wall at the Young Avenue Deli. The Old Zinnie’s men’s room was a pretty fertile canvas for wall writers, too.
Maybe Sarah and I would have been more successful if we’d had digital cameras? Or possibly if we’d spent more time out of the bars … ?