Reproduced with the permission of my friend Suzanne Ecklund, who posted this story on Facebook last Friday night. Suzanne is a chaplain (for godsakes). —DM
Have you ever been out walking and discovered a long strip of freshly cemented sidewalk and thought: Here is your moment? And never having etched your name into a sidewalk before thought: This is my chance to leave my mark? And then jammed your finger down into the cement and written your name? And learned that it really hurts to do that so you try little sticks and they all break? And wanting the etching to be deeper but not wanting to linger, you leave? Then realize your keys would work well? Then go back and re-etch your name with your keys? Then head home and feel really good about your very own Hollywood star? And then start wondering why your finger hurts so bad? And decide you will google this when you get home. Then get home and search "cement on skin" and learn about cement burns and amputations? Then cut your fingernail to the nub to get the cement out but it doesn't really work so soak it in soap and dump vinegar all over it like the internet says to do? And then see stories about people getting $12,000 fines for writing on sidewalks? And then replay in your head the car that slowed down when you were writing your name? And imagine that the driver took your picture. And then think: Why did I write my name? Who writes their own name as their crime? And then start thinking about all the houses with security cameras on them? And then think you can't afford $12,000 so put on a disguise with sunglasses and a hooded raincoat and go back to the spot, sneak up to it and scuff your name out with your shoe while nursing your now dead finger? I have.