A Story About Evening * Aspiring Writer Syndrome

Benjamin Obler
4 min readAug 20, 2021
Photo by Michael Mouritz on Unsplash

I’m writing a story about my evening. In it, I take a walk up the road past Jablonski’s place to see if he should happen to be mudding that godforsaken concrete wall he’s been failing at for the last three winters.

I have a strong sense of how things will go in this story. It’s almost like I’m having visions. And since at this time of year at 8:00 the sun sets just above the branches high over the ridge, that ought to put Jablonski’s place in shadow. I can visit him without interrupting his slipshod labor.

I can see it all play out as I sit at my kitchen table drinking from the flask my father handed me on my wedding day with his characteristic disinterest.

But those days are gone, and I’m different now. For one thing, I’m real observant about nature. I give myself credit for that, since there’s no one else to do it for me. I’m not ashamed to confess that in recent months I’ve astounded myself with my observational skills. With all I’ve learned in this place where I never expected to come.

Fact one: the acoustics in my house are increasing. Sounds come back louder than before. It’s definitive, though not quite measurable. Sounds are not at all like they were when I was a kid. Now even the gas hissing on the range pierces my head like an ice pick.

The truth is I’ve always have had something of a supernatural level of observational perceptivity, going beyond just mere hand-eye coordination and keen hearing. Of course I’m talking about animal instincts. As a boy, I shot arrows at rabbits and lit tires on fire. In the woods, all five of my senses operated at once, my shoulders twitching left and right to every new sound. When you really listen, nature unfolds like a sheaf of papers. It has a density to it, it’s a material thing.

I came to make a habit of the physical properties of things, adding them to a database in my mind. Japanese samurais knew that intricate knowledge of nature, combined with brawn and speed, well… the potential devastation of such forces multiplying each other has occupied my mind and also put a dent on the living room décor.

My shelves are so packed with Kung Fu movies and westerns. I’ve seen them all many times, and I fear a time when there won’t be any new ones…

--

--

Benjamin Obler

Instructor at @GothamWriters, NYC. Ed.-in-Chief of AspiringWriterSyndrome.com, where fiction is the focus and inspiration is the goal. #Javascotia @PenguinBooks