The Fifteen Minute Novel: Day 65

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 65: The more he thought about it, the more his mind blanked.

The more he thought about it, the more his mind blanked. What was it that he wanted to do? He couldn’t think of anything.  James was always told what it was he was going to do with his life.  He may have played at being an astronaut or a cowboy with friends but he knew neither of those things were possibilities in his future.  He also knew that his friends who claimed they wanted to be astronauts or cowboys didn’t become either as well.  Even when he was a child he knew it was pretend.

He knew it was a game.  His future was laid out clearly before him.  As his future matched his skills, or he had been tailored to fit the job description, he never really thought of doing anything else. His hobbies were all things that could remain hobbies.  He repaired and restored cars, but never contemplated becoming a mechanic.  He learned from his father and grandfather, both of whom used the hobby as a means of relieving work stress.

It too was part of the map, the plan. 

Such thoughts made James uncomfortable.  He felt almost as though he glided through life on rails.  Somehow that didn’t seem right.  Everyone else seemed to have made some sort of decision about their lives while he never really did.  Now the rails were taken away from him and he was allowed to do pretty much anything that wasn’t attached to the rails.

“Well as long as I don’t get noticed,” James added thinking of Carson. 

The problem was that he could think of nothing.

As he was a man who prided himself in finding solutions to difficult decisions, James wasn’t too pleased to find himself without a glimmer of an answer in sight when contemplating his own life.

Annoyed with his own navel gazing, James reached for a book, more than willing to spend a little time in someone else’s reality.

By the time he reached bed time, James felt some of the concern self introspection brought ease out of him.  He felt sleepy and the clock let him know it was time to retire.  He prepared for bed and kept his mind on the story a he slid beneath the covers and drifted into sleep.  It he dreamed, he didn’t remember it.

The next morning he woke feeling a little less nervous as he now knew what to expect.  He showered, ate, dressed and went to the office.  He greeted his coworkers, or at least the ones he saw, buried himself in numbers, shooting the paperwork to Linda to double check.  He ate lunch with Linda and collected the real estate agent’s card from Mike. He then went back to his office and lost himself in numbers.  The days slipped by and James found himself at the end of the week. 

His work was deemed satisfactory and he was settling into the job.  His available source of home reading material was dwindling and his attempts at self-introspection weren’t getting him anywhere. At work he told Mike that he was waiting to settle into the job a bit more before settling on a house but would keep the card.  The truth was that James wasn’t certain what he wanted.  If he wasn’t certain what he wanted from life, he wasn’t certain he could pick a house to accompany it. He suspected he would need to figure out one before moving to the other. 

At the end of the week James was invited out for Friday drinks with Mike and some of the others from work.  He accepted and instead of driving home to his latest frozen meal and the last of his previously purchased books, James piloted the Studebaker after Mike’s Ford Fusion and into the parking lot of a sports bar. James knew it was a sport’s bar immediately.

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