And There It Was I Should Surely See / The Sky Had Painted O’er Itself For Me

April 28, 2006

Let me tell you about Gerald Fietzer.

He has a terrible job. He works in a food court at the Callestown mall – a terrible wreck of a building, slowly falling apart, filled with closed down stores and an aggressively hostile crowd of children. He flips burgers all day, on a dangerous, grease covered stove. His wardrobe contains not a single item free of stains.

He has no family. Well, he has the one cousin that moved to Miami, become a hot-shot lawyer, and refuses to acknowledge his existence. But he doesn’t count, he’s a dick. And the rest of Gerald’s family? Dead. Most went naturally. His uncle was murdered. His brother died in a freak protein-testing experiment. But yeah, the rest went naturally.

Gerald is 43, has a crappy life, no prospects, no friends, no family. He walks home everyday and spends the evening watching the one crappy television channel he was able to steal reception for, before falling asleep in the couch, where the next morning he will wake up late as usual and fail to take a shower before running (wheezing) to work.

There is a single moment on his walk home where he pauses everyday. He passes over a rickety, broken down bridge that no one else uses. All the other paths it leads to are dead ends. All the others who live out near him own cars, and drive along roads. He is the only man in two decades to walk that dusty path, and the beaten grass and fallen litter are evidences of him alone.

He reaches that bridge every day at the exact moment of sunset. The sky paints itself as a work of art. One some days it will draw the light across a hundred drifting clouds, filtering a golden weave abreast the horizon. On some nights it will score the sky in blazing purple hue, a wave of darkened color that still holds out promise of another day.

Tonight the sun will be as fierce as it ever was, and Gerald will spend a moment shielding his eyes before he is able to look at the brilliant red halo that unfolds across the land.

Tonight, like every other night of his life, he will smile at the sight that he alone bears the right to see. And then? He will continue his daily path home. He will turn on his rusty television, and pull out a quickly cooked slab of meat. He will settle down into his stained but comfy sofa, and there he will sit, mindlessly watching the crackling static, content beyond all questioning at his lot in life.

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