Recession Proof

by Sarah Cedeño

Someone has carved a pretty convincing silhouette of a deer hanging (from nothing) by its neck on the sign for Allied Builders. This is the picture of recession on Canal Road, but it’s creeping through the village. The graffiti artists are working hard, declaring “Fuck Brockport” on a once-white van parked in the old Brueggers lot, or coining the word “Blamege” on the abandoned Burger King building where people used to order food: white collars, a Number Six; blue collars, the Two for Two Bucks. There is a Pawn King now, but the lazy-eyed college-aged employee, who punches nonsense on a calculator, still doesn’t know how much to offer for the jewelry, so he says to the people, “Yeah, it’s just not worth selling it for the six bucks I can pay you.” Outside the vacant Burger King, the Pawn King rejects gather, their stomachs growling for that six-dollar gold heirloom. And across the street, A CVS Pharmacy will go up in the old Brueggers lot, but the graffiti artists won’t have insurance for legal drugs.

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Sarah Cedeño is a writing instructor at the College at Brockport in New York who takes graffiti to heart.