Story a day: 1.9.16

The other day I was at my writing group and someone said they love writing in second person. I immediately thought about how much I hate writing in second person, and often even hate reading it, because it sounds forced and clunky. That’s not to say it can’t be done well. I’m just not good at it. So today I’m doing some second person, because what’s the point of practicing your craft every day if you don’t dive headlong into the stuff that scares you?

You enter the room. Three treadmills – you frown. But two ellipticals, two stationary bikes. You relax. At least there’s some sort of order to this gym.

It only takes a couple minutes to get through the ritual of changing and putting up your hair. You get on a bike. Twenty minutes? Forty? Thirty would be ideal but… No, it isn’t allowed. Such an unpleasant number – three. Round and misshapen and uneven. Not like two, simple and balanced. Not like four, a perfect square of evenness and control. Not even like awkward, commanding five, a smooth triangle of acceptable numbers. You could do thirty minutes here and thirty minutes there – six, two threes, a rowdy but principled number – but you hadn’t planned on spending so much time here.

You need no review on why any number not ending in zero would be an abomonation.

Twenty it is, then. Twenty here, twenty there. Forty. Four. Two twos. Two perfect straight lines forming a tolerable square of neat, ordered time.

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