The Fifteen Minute Novel: Day 38

The Fifteen Minute Novel is a novel written fifteen minutes at a time with each week day’s section starting with the sentence from the previous day. At least it is attempting to be a novel. For now I am just aiming at one continuous story, worked on for fifteen minutes each day. Started Friday January 1st, 2021 (in case you want to search for the beginning. I can’t wait to see where it ends up. It could be good, or it could be a mess. We’ll have to see. For now, here is today’s fifteen minutes.

Day 38: The sheets smelled new and strangely industrial.

The sheets smelled new and strangely industrial.  He moved his legs back and forth under the covers and felt the strange crispness of the fabric.

“I probably should have washed them first,” he told himself.  James closed his eyes.  Sleep didn’t come.  He stared at the darkness behind his lids and realized he wasn’t all that tired.  He was simply tired of reading.  He couldn’t focus on the book and with nothing else to do he went to bed.

He thought about getting back up, but he was comfortable where he was.

“And there is nothing to actually do,” James told himself.  He shifted around and opened his eyes again.  He curled a hand under his head and stared at the ceiling. He wondered if this was what it was going to be like every night.  He wondered what it was he was supposed to do when he wasn’t constantly working.  Surely there were things he should be doing.  He just couldn’t think of what they might be.

Here he had nothing to do and no one to call.  He hadn’t anticipated missing anyone when he left, at least not seriously.  If he was honest with himself, he didn’t actually miss anyone now.  He simply missed the thought of being able to call someone.  He mentally ran through a list of people he could call friends.  Most were business associates.  Calling them on the spur of the moment would mean meeting them for a drink or dinner to discuss business.  He was certain there were people who called friends to have a beer or watch a game, but he had never really been one of them.  Even before work took over his life, he had been a rather solitary child.

He read books and built things out of wood or metal.  While he later set up a garage and worked on cars, he also used to design and build birdhouses and furniture.  He liked taking the things he saw in his head and putting them on to paper and then seeing them actually arrive in the world as actual things. The woodworking though he gave up long before he walked away from the automotive side of things.

‘And neither is a hobby I could really do here,’ he decided.  While he could, and probably would, tinker with the Studebaker in the parking lot, the apartment wasn’t really conducive to either hobby.

‘Maybe tomorrow I can find a library,’ he thought.  James Yawned, sleep finally looking like a prospect.  He closed his eyes.  ‘After all I’ve got to do something tomorrow.  Until Carson calls me with news of a job I’ll have to occupy myself somehow.’ At the moment he completed all of the tasks he though needed doing.  He had food and the necessary bits needed to make his apartment livable. Beyond that, there was nothing to do with it.

“Library or maybe a bookstore,” he told himself. James felt sleep start to pull him down and rolled over to his side.  As he slipped into sleep, he began to dream. 

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