People who walk around carrying cans of spray-paint give far too much credit to the word “fuck;” there really isn’t much shock value left to the good ol’ F-bomb. But you still see it everywhere, spray-painted in red or black with little rivulets of paint running down from the letters as if they’re bleeding profanity. At one point, I’m sure the word caused people to take notice with a sharply indrawn breath. “Dear lord Betsy, look at what some cretin has scrawled on the wall!” But now, we look past such markings. Our brains construct little blind spots wherever “fuck” is spray-painted on something and we look elsewhere. We start to ignore all the graffiti around us, even that which is F-bomb free, and maybe that’s why it took me so long to realize that here in Durango, the graffiti is of a different sort. It’s positive and tasteful and perfectly Durangan.

Some of it is banal like these stenciled storm troopers over by the Mongolian Grill:


Some of it borders on the transcendental like this bit of advice that can be found on the bridge by Animas Brewing:


But some of it is perfect, like this simple message that’s written on the dumpster over by Durango Taxi:


I’m sure a woman wrote that message. There’s too much femininity in the curvature of the “ay” for it to be written by a man. I see this dumpster every time I pick up my daughter from Stillwater (that’s her on the lid), and every time, I smile. Graffiti found elsewhere is meant to stir up a bit of visceral offense. The people who make it wear on their faces smug smirks that say “fuck ‘em” while the spray paint hisses. They’re mean little bastards who don’t care about the average passerby. And that’s the difference between here and there. Whoever wrote “you’re okay” cared about whoever might read it. Hell, they even knew their homonyms and took the time to spell out “okay” as opposed to using the bastardized version. There are those who’d argue that only assholes partake in graffiti. That might be true, but if it is, it only proves that even the assholes in Durango are great people, and that’s why I love it here.


4 thoughts on “Duranggiti

  1. I really like the style of your writing. I can hear your voice come through through word choice and sentence structure. You really capture an essence that makes your blog unique. I also really liked the discussion on this post. The way you contrasted the hoodlums with the caring was really insightful. I agree that OK is a bastardized version and not only do I like that they used ‘okay’ but that they used the correct ‘you’re’. It’s hard to find that kind of care in the work of graffiti these days. Excellent post to an interesting blog. Can’t wait to read more!

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