Hideaway Fall Writing Challenge Day 2 – Kairos

I thouroughly enjoyed writing my piece for the theme set on Monday of ‘susurrous’. Today I am sharing my take on the second theme: Kairos.

This one fascinated me. It’s not a word I knew of before now. That’s not overly surprising considering it is an Ancient Greek word. I had to do some research before hand to ensure I understood what it meant. I discovered it was one of two words that literally mean ‘time’. The other being Chronos. Chronos tends to be more specific, as in an actual quantitative time. Kairos is more of a sense of time and place, or the perfect moment for a given action. Think about the timing of Martin Luther King’s iconing ‘I have a dream’ speech, and the impact it had due to the time it occured in. That is Kairos. It’s that feeling of “I can’t say for now, but I’ll know when I see it.”

I’ve very likely got part of that definition wrong, but based on my understanding, here is my piece of writing to go along with the theme.

***

He threw open the curtains, previously blotting out the view from the floor to ceiling windows. The day was grey, the skies leaden, much like his mood. If truth be told, he had been feeling this way for some time now. He wasn’t entirely sure he could remember the last time he didn’t quite feel this way. It seemed all of his hopes were slipping away. He had always struggled with direction, not really knowing where he was going. He hopped from one job to the next, hoping he would land in the one, something he could make a career out of. It never quite worked out that way, though, and he was never sure why. He just moved on. Another job, another company.

Everything he tried seemed to end the same. He always wanted to write. But that seemed to be a non-starter. He wrote all the time at school, any chance he got to create worlds, he did it. His teachers scoffed at him with derision. You’ll never make a career from that, they sneered. Get an office job, learn a trade, study. Make something of yourself. So he did. He interned more than he cared to remember, slowly working his way into other roles. But every day ended the same – he went home feeling unfulfilled, unsatisfied. He knew that if he could just get his moment, his chance, his break in life, then things would change.

He just didn’t know what that chance, that moment was right now. He always told people that he’d know it when he saw it, mind you. He stared out of the windows into the grey mid-morning, his view of the city beginning to obscure as raindrops spattered the glass. Traffic lights, neon shop signs and car lights refracted and diffused through the droplets. On this wet, grey Saturday afternoon, only one thing was going to clear his melancholy. A walk in the city. It always calmed his soul. He didn’t have a direction or destination. He snatched a coat off the hook and headed out onto the rain-soaked streets.

He idly meandered, subconsciously avoiding the weekend shoppers. Occasionally his feet slowed as he casually window shopped. Clothes shops selling the latest seasonal wares, fogged up windows on coffee shops aglow with blazing lights. His wandering feet and wandering mind were halted by a window display. A nondescript, small store with a faded sign over the door that proclaimed ‘Antiques’. It was dimly lit, but still, at its heart, something caught his eye. An old typewriter – something he had always coveted. Not just any typewriter, the one he always said he would write the novel he was sure was slumbering in his head upon – a 1917 Underwood Model 12. He stared, unmoving for countless moments. This was his moment. The moment he had always said he would know when it arose was upon him. He entered the store and, after a fevered and frantic round of haggling with the elderly owner, exited with a battered old cardboard box. He rushed home with his new prized possession, the pouring rain doing nothing to dampen his sudden joy.

He rushed in the door, not even pausing to remove his dripping coat. The Underwood was placed with care and reverence on the plain desk in front of the window. He sat at his chair and delicately loaded a crisp, linen-white sheet of paper. He paused, basking in his joy. His eyes roved over the round keys and the sturdy typebars. He checked the carriage return function was smooth and made sure the ribbon was in pristine condition. Then he wrote. As the late afternoon waned and darkened into night, his home was dark save for the single desk lamp. The silence would be complete for the staccato clacking sound of typewriter keys being struck. At first, sporadically, but as his confidence grew, the typing became more impassioned. He wrote long into the night. Finally, writing a novel on this typewriter in this space, he knew that this was his moment.

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