04 Sep 2019 6:58 am

I was told, a while back, that if you try to put down 300 words a day, you’ll have a novel-length something by midyear. Also, your first (few) novel-length somethings will likely be utter shit, but the act will refine you. So, here’s my attempt.

Distance Fog

I’d like to say it began when the fogs rolled in and stayed in, refusing to be washed away by the miserable low bone-chilling drizzle of the Pacific Northwest Winter. But really, i think it began the day I saw a man try to jump up the side of a building.
He’d attracted my eye because he was being suspiciously cautious in avoiding attention, attempting stealth in a pantomime so loud it may have as well been a shout. He slunk around the streetcorner into a darkened alleyway with exaggerated steps.
It seemed to work for him, though. He utterly failed to attract the attention of the early evening crowd. Curious and bored, I trailed him. Ducking under the awning of a shutterred storefront, I watched him face the wall of the building opposite, plant his foot on its surface and take a hesitant upwards hop while simultaneously planting his other foot against the wall. Unsurprisingly, he slid back down until his fifth attempt, when he didn’t. Seeming to stand on an unseen ledge halfway a few feet off the ground, he repeated the movement, getting a little higher up.
It was such an improbably bizarre thing, to watch a man take short jumps up the sheer sides of a building, arresting his downwards slide by finding purchase on ledges I swear weren’t there, but were logically most likely hidden by the fog and stinging drizzle in the evening’s half light. He made it up halfway the ten story building when I lost him to the darkness beyond the streetlamps.
Squinting hard trying to see where he had gone, I pulled out my phone and took a few quick snaps of the area I’d seen him last. Maybe I could clean it out later. Mostly it was so that I could tell myself that I hadn’t been driven mad by the grey, obscuring mist that had filled my days.

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