Peter came home late as usual, got a beer and collapsed on his couch in front of the TV. But the painting on his living room wall called to him, and soon he shut off the TV, got out his painting supplies, and returned to the task.
It was still a work in progress. Six months he'd been working at it. Parts were crude, but as the painting had progressed, so had his skill, and more recently finished sections approached competent. Perhaps he would have to go back and repaint the older sections. He wasn't sure. But there was still time, and it would be months before he was done.
Time passed, day after day. Every day after work he labored at his painting. Every weekend he could spare, which were most of them. Friends didn't call him as often as they used to. His ex-wife, of course, didn't call him at all. It was getting closer.
And then, one day, it was done. He tapped the wall -- nothing. He sighed. Perhaps tomorrow, he though. It was late, but tonight was Friday. He went to bed.
Nothing the next morning, either. He tapped it again to be sure. Well, there was nothing to be done about it -- time to start over. He only had the one full wall, so he got out a can of white paint and started painting over it. It would take several layers.
Months passed; a second painting was done, faster this time. Better. But still not good enough; again he painted over it. Again he started over.
Years passed. Hope waned. He lost count of how many times he had started over. And then...
His hand passed through the wall.
It was done, finally, and the gate was ready.
[ Word (orthogonal) suggested by amberdine. ]