I was once a tall tree

Friday, April 26

I noticed this toilet-door graffiti in the Mitchell Library in Glasgow*. There were the usual graffiti suspects scrawled over the door (e.g. ‘Yer maw!’ or ‘Lucy + Gregg 4eva!!’ [enclosed in a crudely shaped heart] and so on), but I liked how a few of these were quite poetic (and uplifting). I've never met anyone who has admitted to writing on toilet doors. I wonder what gives people the urge to do it:

('If you are reading this then be happy. 'Cause, hey! You are alive')

('One day you will be loved the way I am. You deserve it, trust me.')

('Choose life.')

('I was once a tall tree/I was once a child')

*Incidentally, I was at the Mitchell Library during the Aye Write! Festival – a wonderful book festival which runs every year over a few weeks in the spring. Over the past few years I’ve heard lots of interesting writers including David Aaronovitch, Germaine Greer, Julian Baggini, Susie Orbach, and others. (I’ve yet to go and hear a poet or a novelist. This will be a must for next year...)

The evening these pictures were taken was quite exciting as, rather than going to listen to a reading, I was actually giving a reading along with two other students from my year at university. (I’d received an award for a piece of flash fiction as part of Strathclyde University’s writing completion: the Keith Wright Memorial Award, judged by Ewan Morrison.) An amazing – if slightly nerve-wracking – experience! My first ever public reading, and also the first ever time I've been given a spot of money for a piece of writing. 

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