Painted Geometry

Painted Geometry

A Story by The Message


     "Hello, I'm empty inside. Could I paint your house?"
     "You want to paint my house?"
     "Oh, uh... that's strange. Sure, I guess."
     Uncomfortable fidgeting, eyes everywhere but aligned.
     "Yes, now. I have paint in my truck."
     "Alright. Uh... I guess I should ask what color, or something. Did you want money?"
     "Yellow. No."
     "Alright then, um... just let me know if you need anything, I'll be in here... alright?"
     "Yes, alright."
     Door closes. The man walks to a white truck, removes a white can and a white ladder. He arranges the ladder and opens the can of paint, then heads back to get a brush out of the glove box. He returns and begins his work.
      As the man paints, he thinks about triangles. Triangles are sharp and pointed, abrasive. They are abrupt. A triangle is fierce, it has nothing to fear. It is sturdy but more importantly it is deadly. A triangle can hobble a man, tear a tire, sunder mountains, bring the world to an end. A triangle can survive on offensive potential alone, the threat of reprisal leaving doubt and deterrence in its wake, defending the host. A triangle is a war machine.
      The man stops and packs up his belongings, preparing to drive off. The homeowner comes out, glances at his work and appears jarred. "Wait, wait! You didn't tell me you were only painting a little bit!"


     "Hello, I'm empty inside. Could I paint your house?"
     Incredulous staring.
     "Could I paint your house?"
     "My house is already painted and I'm not really due for a touch-up."
     "You're ready."
     "Well, I'm not really interested and I don't have any money to give you."
     "It'll be fine. It's free."
     Curious sigh, shrug.
     "Yeah, alright, I guess. What color?"
     "Oh, I like yellow. Ok, I trust you. I'll be inside if you need anything."
     The man returns to his truck and grabs a brush and a can of paint. He walks back to a ground level section of wall and begins to work.
     As he paints, the man thinks about squares. Squares are mighty, but their power isn't an extroverted one. No, squares are built well. They can take a hit, take a tumble, sit safely by as the world crumbles into decay. A square is brave. It is bold. Squares are constructive, building walls and universes. Squares are dependable.
     The man stops painting and returns to his truck, driving off before anyone can object.


     "Hello, I'm empty inside. Can I paint your house?"
     "Actually, we were thinking about getting the house repainted. What's your rate?"
     "Free of charge."
     "Really? Oh, that's wonderful. Could you paint it yellow? I've always wanted a yellow house."
     "Yes, of course."
     "Well, this is great. I'll be in here if you need anything."
     The man retrieves the can of paint from his truck but no brush. Once back at the house he begins painting by dipping his hands in the substance and rubbing them on the wall.
      As he works he thinks about circles. Circles are an anomalous shape, seeming quite harmless without any corners. A circle won't harm you, won't hunt you down and steal your children. A circle is a pacifist, but by necessity and not choice. A circle is tough to wound though, a circle will always just bounce away with each blow landed. It will glide across the soil and away from the aggression, seeking security and simple ways.
      The man stops painting and returns to his truck. He speeds away from the house, narrowly avoiding collision with a parked car.


      "Hello, I'm empty inside. Could I paint your house?"
      Door closes, truck leaves.


     "Well, this is just great. Who would even want to do something like this in the first place?"
     "I don't know, it is pretty strange."
     "Yes, strange. That's exactly what I said when I saw him."
     "Well, why did you agree to it?"
     "You said you agreed to let him paint. Why would you even do that?"
     "Hey, don't blame me!"
     "I'm just-"
     "No, you always try to blame me! It isn't my fault that something like this has happened. It's not always my fault, you know. You'd think you could have a little sympathy. I've got a goddamn triangle on my house!"
      Phone slamming, silence. The figure sits in shadow.
      "Damn it!"
      A thrown book smashes the glass of an antique cabinet. A kick and a side table soars after it. Noises and frantic violence, a man tearing apart his own home. Glass and porcelain begin to litter the floor, shards of wood spray and wires fray. Bedlam.
      Door slamming, silence. The figure sits in shadow.


     "Dear, what happened to the house?"
     "Hmm? Oh, that. Yes, I was going to let it be a surprise. Some guy came by today and repainted for free."
     "The outside. Didn't you see it?"
     "I saw the square."
     "The square? What square?"
     "The big yellow square on the side of the house."
     Leaving, investigating, confirming.
     "Wow, what a nutjob. I'm sorry, I never thought someone would do something like that."
     "Well, what now? You can't be so impulsive!"
     "Look, it's fine. We've still got a can of the old paint in the basement, I'll paint over it tomorrow."
      "Alright, alright. I just wish you'd think about these things."
      "Alright. What's for dinner?"


     "I had a horrible day at work. Sam called in sick again so we were understaffed, I had to cut my lunch break short today just so we could keep up with the lines. Patricia didn't cut hers short, of course, she spent a whole hour over at that new pizza joint across the street. That place is filthy, remember when we went there? It was horrible. Anyways, she stayed for her full break and didn't bother to tell anyone, at one point I even had to man the front alone while Melany filled out some shipping forms. I had a headache the whole day too, it was just awful."
     "I'm leaving you."


     A form gazes out at a black forest.
     "Nobody ever visits."
     The form retreats to its den.

© 2010 The Message

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Added on October 2, 2010
Last Updated on October 31, 2010


The Message
The Message

Hoover/Mobile, AL

I like music (Listening, playing and composing), reading and boardgames. As to writing, I prefer complex metaphor and Lovecraftian influences... and generally being incoherent, haha. more..

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