First Draft

Page 14

Benjamin set the heavy code book down onto the corner of the desk, and began typing in his password in the freshly excavated keyboard that lay before him.

“I need you to look at your Moritz measurements,” said Maria from the other room, “We have an issue with one of the existing I-beams in the basement. Josh wants confirmation on how far they both are from the chimney. He thinks something’s wrong with our existings.” She made her way back into the drafting room and stood behind Benjamin’s desk as he impatiently tapped his finger on the mouse, waiting for his desktop to spring to life. Lifting up the corner of one of the stacks of papers that remained on his desk, Maria continued, “Cain decided that they want the roof back the way that they had it three renditions ago, with the gable wall facing the front. But they want storage in the attic now, so we need to draw up the changes and send them to Josh to engineer…”

“…again.” Ben finished her sentence. Suddenly sensing of the oncoming deluge, he breathed in deep and stretched and cracked his knuckles, while he scanned his desk for a sticky pad or a blank piece of paper. Finding none, he snatched up the first half-empty sticky that he could find, and began scribbling notes in the blank fluorescent pink space.

BENJAMIN looked around at his life and realized that he hated everything that he saw. He despised his existence, as wonderful as it might have seemed to some other soul. It was a charming thing on paper, this life that he was leading: working for an architect, living on a vineyard, raising chickens and rabbits. But in reality, nothing that Ben did seemed to be working. He didn’t know how he was going to feed himself through to the end of the month. He loathed sitting at his desk, as he had been for the past 6 years of his life. He wished for death, truth be told. And as stupid and as ill-advised as this type of thinking might have been, he realized that he was now starting to consider the possibility that the universe was – and had been for some time – trying desperately to tell him to stop being such a little bitch and to simply write the book that had been stewing in his mind over the past decade, as though THAT would be what would propel him out from this impoverished, miserable lifestyle, into a period of inner peace.

Of course he knew the odds of such a thing actually panning out as desired. Those who actually call themselves writers, and even enjoy writing, often experience long (if not infinite) periods of failure throughout their attempts to have their novels become fiscal successes. However, few of them were as twisted, warped, angry or as hungry as Benjamin now found himself to be. How many of them were as fiscally fucked as Benjamin was? How many of them looked at the weather forecast for the week ahead, and realized that their chickens would likely die of exposure, due to the fact that he didn’t have the money to build them a proper shelter? (Don’t worry, he did manage to keep them safe through the winter storm, using a few tarps, a ratchet strap, and a light bulb) So perhaps the odds were actually in Ben’s favor – for he had no other hope. As hard as he had worked to earn the money that he needed to survive, he always seemed to fail. So Benjamin felt no other option than to write. His life, as it would appear, depended on it.

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