Inscribed History

Monday March 02, 07:38:09

A found inscription, quite elaborate with its multicolored typography. It reads:

Marc Lord. I got the AAA Tow. Be back @ 4:30 PM. V.

It seems “V” had car trouble, called a friend for help — perhaps after some frustration in getting the auto club to come to the rescue. (They can be good at times, but I’ve waited hours, unfortunately.) But, finally the auto club arrived before the friend — Marc Lord — arrived.

What is curious here is that “V” must have called from a pay phone or perhaps their cell phone died, otherwise they could have easily rung back Mr. Lord to say, “thanks, but no thanks..”

They evidently met again later in the afternoon — or planned to. In any case, the sign was left until the next morning, I assume, when I saw it while on my morning perambulation.

Why do I blog this? Found inscriptions are traces of activity, little bits of micro histories. Not as weighty as archival documents, but more intriguing for the way they capture the quotidian experiences of people and their moments, stories rarely told in broad histories but perhaps even more meaningful for close observation of people, their practices and moments of failure mitigation, like a blown tire. This is also intriguing to think about in the context of trusted allies — who do people turn to in moments of dire straits such as these? Close friends and agents like the AAA before a random call to the first tow service in the phonebook, I would assume.