How He Felt
Amelia Gray

"I love this woman!" the man thought to himself. "What should I do to prove my love?"

He bought a billboard by the main road and ascended its ladder with a can of paint. But the panel was much larger than he had imagined, and he could only stretch to reach the lower third.

"I live this bathmat," a mother read for her child as they drove by.

The man rented a plane and hired a pilot. He had his message printed on a massive banner designed to span behind the craft in flight. But the pilot was an inexperienced crop-duster and a drunk, and he rigged the banner upside-down and backwards. People on the beach craned their necks to look. A pair of jet skis collided, killing three.

The man rented a movie theater, but the reels were switched and his invited guests puzzled over a sex education video from 1964.

He composed a song and taught it to a children's choir, but they contracted food poisoning at a pizza party and spent the evening drinking Gatorade and playing video games.

He wrote it into a sermon, but the pastor confused love with worship and the girl with a fallible god, and threw the whole thing out as sacrilege.

Discouraged, the man ascended his billboard's ladder. The metal columns of the board groaned in the wind.

The man wanted to share. He knew that if they only understood, the population would be forever changed. He rested his head against the billboard. He heard in the protests of the steel a message from the mechanized world. He thought it was a love song, but he was mistaken.

Amelia Gray is the author of AM/PM, published by Featherproof Books.

To link to this story directly:

Read AG's "Experiment" from the archive.

Detail of painting on main page courtesy of Brendan Garbee. ("Red Circle," acrylics on paper)

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