It’s just a flatline day.
I’m in the office before everyone else. Rode the bike in across misty fields, oddly quiet amid this city of a million souls. I’ve got an hour before my next meeting and thought I’d pop out a DOG EAR. But I’ve got nothing.
This is one of those moments of existence that are so tough to capture, occur for everyone and yet hardly ever show up in stories. All across history, men have stood on the edge of fields or sat before their clerking desks, dangling in this moment of indecisive inactivity. It’s a moment short of an epiphany, a bit beyond doldrums yet well clear of boredom. This is not reflection, this feeling I’m examining, because I’m not reflecting on anything. Other than this feeling…
I’m just sitting here trying to capture it.
Back before stories became rushed, this was the moment writers would use to describe background, or to better capture the nuances of character that cannot be charted with action, dialog or description. It’s the moment where a character acquires some depth and your story drops the clutch before moving on.
Next time your hero tops the rise aboard his trail-dusty mustang, or your housewife stands with steaming coffee looking into her tiny, high-fenced backyard, perhaps it’s time for you, as the author, to toss out a little human trait, just that moment where they sniff the air, look about them, and note the play of sunlight or the twittering of a passing jay.
Spare a moment…