Looking for a sign?

  • Status: Sketch
  • Category: Fiction
  • Created: July 16, 2002
  • Last update: August 10, 2013
  • # of commits: 2

Victor pushed the blanket off and rose out of bed. He pulled the blinds up and gazed across the highway.

“Shit Maureen. He’s got a new one today,” Victor said to his girlfriend. “Six in the morning and he’s already put a new sign up.”

“Just come back to bed already,” Maureen called back from a ruptured slumber. “You don’t have to keep up with him day after day.

Her words barely registered, as he was already out the door. Standing outside in boxer shorts and a faded blue t-shirt Victor raised his hand to acknowledgement the chorus of horns from the passing traffic. He looked up at the marquee that stood outside his motel and mouthed the words seen by passing traffic. Victor looked across the street and did the same.

“Damn him,” Victor said and crossed his arms in thought. Around him drown by the din of passing cars, cardinals sang their whizzing call, each one extended a little longer than the previous until the call began again with one short chirp.

Victor turned towards the door. As he walked the brown grass crunched, which could be mistaken for cries for water. He stepped into his office and stood above his desk. A stack of reservation cards lay on top of a pile of papers. He grabbed them and thumbed through them. He picked up a ledger to read notes he made the night before. Two guests would be checking out that day. A glance at his watch indicated it was 9:30.

Yanking the chair out Victor sat down and with his elbows resting on the desk, propped his head on his hands. Humming quietly he let loose a sigh and picked up an open notebook. Paging back he struggled to read the sloppy handwriting before his eyes.

  • June 13 – “If the kingdom of God is at hand, why not get drunk here?”

  • June 14 – “Weak is the man who can’t recognize that to sin is to be human.”

  • June 15 – “America – Love it or leave it, and if you’re leaving take my girlfriend with you.”

Victor paged ahead through the end of June, through July but paused when he flipped to August.

  • August 17 – “If moral education ought not to be rational, learn while you’re drunk.”

He tossed the notebook onto the desk and resumed his contemplative position. His recent use of contemporary ideas to provide a start had brought new life to his daily pontifications to the traffic racing past the motel. Of more satisfaction were the regular commuters who had stopped into the bar to comment on the daily slogan cooked up by Victor and perhaps a few shots of bourbon from a bottle stashed in the desk.

Working his imagination there at his desk, for a moment Victor slipped away into the future, when word of his creativity passed from mouth-to-mouth, eventually reaching someone important who would take notice of the genius at work.

He grabbed the notebook and began to write but realized he hadn’t formulated a premise. Tapping a pencil on the desk, he brought the inability to think straight through his limbs and picked up another pencil. Furiously Victor knocked out a jazz rhythm on his desk, closing his eyes and soaking in the tap-tap-tap of dual pencils winding their sounds off notebooks, telephones and a half-empty glass of Jim Beam.

Losing the beat, he sighed and launched a pencil across the room. The other pencil fit nicely into his mouth and he began to chew on it. Still getting nowhere, he tossed it onto the table and walked towards the kitchen.


Date Message
August 10, 2013
changes category to sketch
August 10, 2013
initial commit