Orderly Evidence

[A response to today’s prompt from the Daily Post:Sparkling or Still]

After thanking Clarisse for her interest and wishing her a pleasant evening, Dan Jacobs disconnected the call. He’d promised to call her back Monday morning, giving him three full days to consider her school’s offer. A very good offer, one he’d all but expected after their first conversation three months ago. But what surprised him, now that the offer was real, was how tempted he was to take it.

He scanned the room that served as the dining area in his tiny apartment, and blinked when realizing this evening was Thursday. The room was nearly immaculate, the tops of tables and counters empty and clean, chairs pushed in, not even a dustball visible on the floor. This wasn’t the way he remembered it looking towards the end of past weeks, when after several evenings of rushed meals before evening activities resulted in piles of dishes and cookware (some clean, some not), newspapers and mail (some junk, some not), jackets and scarves and gloves and shirts and other laundry all scattered across the room, as if he had just been ransacked by a frantic thief.

When had he become so organized? If this were Saturday morning, or Sunday afternoon, after he’d found an hour or two to restore order, the scene before him now would have been right and good. But to look like this, on a Thursday? This, he knew, was a statement.

After seven years of life in this quiet small town, he had changed. The energy and ambition of his youth, that drive he still felt, but he was losing the ability to express it. He might still yearn for an active life outside his tiny apartment — but he had grown comfortable moving at a slower pace, one which would keep him in his apartment more evenings than not.

The call he’d just had, the offer — that was his opportunity to move back to the more active life which he assumed was more his nature. But the orderly evidence of the room in front of him now suggested otherwise.

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