The Saddest Story I Ever Read

Lions Gate Bridge, Vancouver, B.C.

The saddest story I ever read is just 29 words long:

Tasha Lyn, Still want my daughter, miss you evrey [sic] day I’m alive

healing from the cancer ops not on dope crack or meth never was!

Prostrate [sic] cancer since 1996

Funny how we writers can fill a page with hundreds of words, and fill a book’s bindings with hundreds of pages, yet these 29 words tell us so much.

And there is so much left out. This graffiti was scrawled on a sign at Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver, B.C. A message that sad on the entrance to a bridge over the icy waters of English Bay and Burrard Inlet makes me wonder: how did the story end?

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8 Comments

Filed under graffiti, travel

8 responses to “The Saddest Story I Ever Read

  1. >Wow. So much to fill in. Is the daughter dead, estranged, kid-napped, under protective services, a run-away?Why are dope crack or meth worth mentioning?Is Tasha Lyn the daughter, or a third party addressee?What a poignant example of found poetry.They could be minor characters in a Charles deLint story.Solemnly,JzB

  2. >Yeah, this is really rich soil for the imagination. In my mind, Tasha Lyn is the mother of his daughter. She dumped the writer because she thought he was on drugs but he wasn't … he was getting treatment for cancer. But he never told her because … why?

  3. >But now that I re-read, Jazz could be right. Tasha Lyn could be the daughter, and the dope-crack-meth could be what TL's mother was saying about the writer. "That no good meth addict, that's why he forgot your birthday, Tasha Lyn." When in fact he was getting treatment for cancer. Again, why didn't he tell her?

  4. >I think you've stumbled on a new genre: Storied Graffiti. Much, much better than The People of Walmart, far more compelling than tweets or flash fiction, and RARE. People could send in their SG finds. Some of it would even be happy.Remember when we felt like life was good because that's how it was meant to be? Well, okay, remember thinking that even once? Or that we'd somehow deserved the good life? I guess this stuff is what we needed to complete the picture, but, oh!, it is so hard to see.

  5. >Yea, I liked graffiti before the whole "tagger" thing made it cool. There were even terrible movies made about it, lol.That cryptic message seemed too personal for me to ponder over.

  6. >I once saw a woman tacking up a sign asking her daughter to come home and saying there was room for her. Just about broke my heart.

  7. >So very sad. Will go to bed a little blue tonight.

  8. >there are millions of lost, broken people in america. millions and millions of them. and the powers that be care less and less about them every day. a civilization is judged by how it treats its most weak and helpless members; ours is failing in this respect, very badly failing. i love graffiti. when i lived in chicago i really enjoyed the murals on the south side, painted in the 70s back when the administration was liberal enough to try to curb ugly graffiti by encouraging the more artful kind. one murel told the story of african and latino americans rise up from slavery and poverty towards education and freedom.about three years before i left, the mayor had them all painted over, blank white.