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Why do crazy people write on the walls?

April 17, 2010

It’s always in movies and stuff, the people everyone else dubs as eccentric or ‘crazy’ sometimes end up writing all over the walls. And I thought to myself, why would they do that?

Well I’ve been seeing shapes everywhere. Today I am suddenly obsessed with letters and fonts and Arabic numerals, Hebrew letters especially. I was trying to do my math, and I kept getting distracted by the beauty of the numbers themselves. Maybe Charles Demuth and I have more in common than I thought. (I Saw The Figure Five In Gold.) I had difficulty grasping the concepts and reading the math problems enough to preform simple math. Numbers and words were suddenly secondary to the shapes and contrast of ink on paper. Speaking of ink, I keep getting it on my face and I have no idea how.

I was walking down the street and I saw these rectangles all lined up, and it took me a while to realize what I was looking at were rows of driveways in my neighborhood. I stopped in starbucks and started sketching the fonts on the wall behind me. These drastically different perceptions are arresting me at every corner, demanding my attention.

Anyway I was eating a dinner of BBQ chicken, and I kept lining the pieces up to shape different letters. When my chicken was finished, I started drawing in the puddle of BBQ sauce and suddenly It came to me why crazy people draw on the walls. Well, why wouldn’t they? It’s incredibly handy and big, and the content or the motion of writing seems so important at the time, you don’t really realize what you’re doing untill afterward (kind of like my incomprehension of the driveways earlier in the day).

I noticed my brother was staring at me, and I let out a nervous laugh and got up to clear my plate. But on the way I got distracted by a yellow pad of paper and next thing I knew I was finger painting with a condiment. I wrote “The world” in both Hebrew and English, then tossed my artwork to the dog to eat.

Update- Nearly 10 months later I encountered the same phenomenon. While listening to an orchestra practice, I was struck with the same obsession with shapes. I found a sharpie and covered my friend’s hand in tiny nonsensical drawings. She was so bewildered she forgot to protest. Then I switched to my own hand and spread the spirals, letter-fragments, shapes and images to my arm as well. I saw the world in fragments, but they were beautiful and thrilled me beyond belief. I tried to explain my sentiments but only got strange looks. Upon returning home, I drew a bizarre  picture I can’t even begin to describe, in the loudest colors possible.

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One comment

  1. […] you want to know more about crazy people writing on the walls, check out this post where I talk about the experience more in […]



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