Red Letter Day

He touched the wall and deluded himself further. Across the underpass, red bled through the cement forming clear and concise letters. These letters would not darken in the night nor dull against the dawn. For a crystal clear second his manifesto was fully realized. As quickly as the words came they left and Winston was just another harmless crazy that dotted the landscape of the sprawling city.

For that brief moment, he was something incredible and undeniably great. He couldn’t keep it of course, no feeling that good ever lasted long. Anyways, it wasn’t enough to have a bit of secret greatness. The spark of the divine was common enough to be sold at gas stations and truck stops. He needed a big and tall font that could be seen from space. He needed a moment, just a moment of the whole of humanity’s gaze. Mostly though, he needed the words to stay in him.

Through fits and starts, he wrote the script. As he typed, he swore he heard drums in the distance. It was slow going but his work was perfect from brain to paper with nothing missing. It was all he could do not to cry. He felt bright and sharp. He felt able. It was the stuff of life that he wrote. It revitalized him and kept him sane. As he neared the fourth month of writing, he finished.

The next step was going to the hardware store and buying a bucket of red paint and a brush. The hardware store regarded him as insane. This was not without reason. The words had found their way to the front of his mind and he smiled like a Cheshire cat. He peered down every aisle genuinely curious of the contents. He laughed and would from time to time mutter. When he left, they exchanged glances saying there but the grace of god.

One night in April he snuck onto the underpass and began his sloppy, imperfect printing. He slashed like Zorro, painter of houses. They were lines intersecting into letters, faintly resembling those of the alphabet. They made words and then a sentence. That was all he had. He was empty but fulfilled.

I am, I was, I will be again.

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