The Fifteen Minute Novel: Day 172

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 172: Deciding he might as well start at the beginning, James moved to the first season and pulled up episode one.

Deciding he might as well start at the beginning, James moved to the first season and pulled up episode one. He made it a couple of episodes in before he started to fall asleep on the couch.  Deciding that it was a good enough reason to go to bed, James turned off the television and checked all of the locks. 

The show was good enough that he thought he could continue watching it without annoyance.  It would be good to have a topic at work that he could talk about freely.  The show wasn’t something he would have watched prior and had no relation to anything in his past life.  It would be a safe topic. 

James went up the stairs to his bedroom, dressed for bed and crawled under the covers.  The shapes of the boxes he had yet to unpack loomed around him and James ignored their silent recriminations. ‘I’ll unpack tomorrow and over the weekend,’ he thought as he drifted off. 

James slept surprisingly well, but woke early.  As he went to the restroom and took his morning shower, James thought of the possibility of a morning swim and wondered if that was the reason he was waking earlier.

  As the steam in his shower lifted the last of the sleep from his brain, James realized that his earlier rising was due to his schedule.  Before arriving here, mornings were early and the office hours were long.  He often stayed late with paperwork and more often than not his work hours were extended with business dinners and meeting clients and partners for drinks.  His days ended with a quick shower and maybe a couple of pages of reading before falling into the oblivion of sleep.  The next day started in much the same way as the one before.  Weekends were no better as office hours were often replaced with golf or working brunches. 

Since arriving here, James went to work, stayed regular hours and went home.  No one called him after he left the office and there was no reason to come in early.  He had several hours each day that were his own and thus far he had nothing strenuous to fill them.  While he still woke up feeling a little fuzzy from sleep, morning never seeing him at his best, he was actually sleeping longer and better than he had in years.  The morning fog remained but the heavy draggy feeling that filled him until buckets of coffee banished it was gone.

“If it weren’t for the people with guns I’d actually be somewhat healthier,” James told himself as he went down stairs and pour himself a bowl of cereal while the coffee pot brewed.  “Of course I am dead too,” he pointed out as he added milk to his bowl.  He shook his head at the thought of healthy death and rummaged in the drawer for a spoon. 

Breakfast took no time and as he rinsed out his bowl and filled his travel coffee mug, James promised himself that he would at least try to cook something for himself for dinner instead of giving into the lure of the restaurant.

‘I have to start sometime.’

James returned upstairs to brush his teeth and check his appearance. There were no cereal flakes on his suit or milk spots on his shirt.  He  decided he would pass, returned to the kitchen to pick up his bag and coffee mug and left the house.

The morning was quiet and still.  As he got into the car, James found he had a quiet expectation sitting inside of him.  As he backed out of the drive and into the street, James realized that the quiet expectation was due to the e-mail he sent the night before. 

“I haven’t thought about swimming in years,” James reminded himself, grinning at his own excitement. It felt good to have anticipation.

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