December 1, 2014: The Exchange Place Manuscript

It’s surprisingly warm for this time of year.
Down on Wall Street there is only the hint of wind – just screams and laughter and money changing hands.

The morning found the walls of 20 Exchange Place covered in graffiti. An illegible script with quickly painted illustrations covered the building from street to sky.

I’ve read about these things happening. Entire buildings just taken over like this. It’s ugly, disgusting. There should really be more cops around.

I stand in front of the Intesa Sanpaolo building watching as people marvel at the morning graffiti. Some start crying and screaming, others begin to laugh.
Do they know what it says? Can they decipher some message?

It’s words from God!

It’s the secret of the universe. It’s all right there.

We must feed the children to the sewers. The angels command it.

It’s a recipe for flan.

Gathering all the possibilities about what people read on the walls, it becomes clear that it’s different from person to person. I look up at the building and try to decipher it, try to read into the painted scratch marks and illustrations – I come up with nothing.

I keep watching as a group of men in plastic clothing begin washing the writing off with power hoses. The words up top seem to move and rearrange themselves.

Still they mean nothing to me.

Some people are yelling at the cleaning crew. A few have grown violent. Others are on their knees crying and praying as the words run into the gutters.

The words of God being washed away without a care. Maybe the cleaning crew can’t read it, either.

Or, maybe, it’s just a recipe for flan.

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