Here is the sketch I made (and left) by Wilde’s tomb today. The fairly recent addition of the ugly plastic barrier had, as I suspected, become a hideous bathroom wall of graffiti, smiley faces, and misquoted phrases. It obscures the “outcast
men” quote on the back almost completely. In addition, I hadn’t anticipated the metal gate, or the uprooted tree that seemed to make his grave into an unsightly construction zone. It was very sad to see a lovely memorialization— this place of love and remembrance, where I had once felt inspired and connected to art and history and poetry, reduced in such a way. Sad. But even while I sat to draw among clicking tourists and graffitiing teenagers, other people came to smoke pensive cigarettes by the grave, leaving one or the remaining pack for Oscar, or leaned over the metal barrier to blow kisses towards the angel’s face.