First Draft

Page 25

It was silent in the office. “Maria,” Ben softly called out, and was met with no response. He turned around and rotated the latch on the entry door, locking it.

Not bothering to remove his coat, he made for the doorway that divided the two rooms, into the empty office, and over to his desk. On it was a neatly stacked series of folders, garnished with a pink sticky note. “You’re own your own today. Call with any questions!”

It had been four days since Benjamin had challenged himself to write one blog post and one first draft page per day – for 30 consecutive days – and he had yet to complete the challenge one fucking time. “Tomorrow, I’ll be in the right head space, tomorrow will be better.” No, it won’t be, you lazy fucking lard. You haven’t done anything of value in that time, apart from hiking for long hours (which, admittedly, though it doesn’t check any of the productivity boxes in the eyes of modernity, does FEEL important. For what purpose, I do not know – perhaps it’s helping to stave off the crushing depression related to the absolute waste that is my existence?).

It’s March 1st. I have a sticky note on my wall, from back when I looked up my astrological forecast for 2024, which reminds me that late March and early April will be the start to a shit show, during which not much will go to plan – so get what you can finished before that mark. Some warped part of my mind is whispering to me that this is the moment in my life in which to do this. Today, I complete the first day of this 30-day challenge, or I will never do it. And if I never do it, then I will never get my land (my brain confuses even myself sometimes. Don’t ask, just go with it). So now. Now is when this happens. Write the blog post. Finish this one page of your story. Will both read as uninspired? Probably. But you can read and edit both of them once you’re feeling the Hemingway juju. For now, just knock it out and be done with it, as if you’re at work (at 7:00 pm, when all I want to do is to crawl into be and eat). Do it, or you’ll never get your land, and you’ll be doomed to live in an obnoxiously small tiny house on other people’s properties for the rest of your life.

He brushed the top folder to the side, reading the project name and number written on the tab, as well as that of the folder beneath it. With one hand, he flipped through the two other folders below. They all were among the projects that he had worked on the day before, undoubtedly now red-lined and marked to high heaven. Details that he had forgotten to include, schedules and spreadsheets that now needed to be typed up, and, in all likelihood, mountains of changes that the clients had requested last minute.

Benjamin sighed as he pushed a button on his computer, which whirled it to life, and then turned back towards the other room to hang up his coat. He could hear a guttural growl, playful, or perhaps sadistic, in tone. As he hung up his coat, he peered out through the glass entry door, into the hallway. It was empty, and quiet.

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