A Symmetrical Asymmetry

My Indie Ink Writing Challenge this week comes from Michael Webb. The challenge was one word:


I don’t really have a whole lot to say about my thought process in writing for this challenge. This is the first instance in which I actually came up with the title of the piece first, so I worked from there. My thought was to create a story in which there are several different instances of ‘symmetry,’ but in an ‘asymmetrical’ sense, meaning that the symmetry is not quite identical. The italicized parts are supposed to be fleeting thoughts of the narrator, mirroring his narrative in a different way.

(You can read the response of my challenge to Illogical Being here.)


The whiskey burns as the city comes alive. There are no stars in the city, we have to make do with the skyline. It’s a beauty of a different sort, the city at night. A demonstration to the wonder of mankind.

No one talks like that, at least not out loud. Though we should, I think. Some of the time. Especially while you sit on the roof of your apartment building with a glass of Irish Whiskey, listening to some good music on the first truly beautiful night of spring. Just watching the city move. Breathe.

A cigar would be good too, but I suppose you can’t expect to have everything you want. The music, it’s got a nice groove.

It is cloudless tonight, first time in what feels like weeks. It’s beginning to pick up, the song. Good whiskey drinking music. Everything feels more open with no clouds, it’s more peaceful this way. Though the peace has the tendency to be interrupted by the sound of sirens. Cops, medics, firemen, some kind of emergency somewhere, but who can tell, up here. The lights of the vehicles are more of an abstraction, a flicker of red and blue off in the distance; more lights bringing the city to life. Or maybe it’s more like a painting and those emergencies are like brushstrokes.

It must be the whiskey talking. The cello part, my favorite.

Time stands still up here, and yet you’re excruciatingly aware of the passing of time. Cars on their way home, trying to beat the setting of the sun. Homes coming to life with the flick of a switch. People walk by the building, it’s not high enough for them to look like ants. I doubt they notice me up here.

King of the Gutters, Prince of the Dogs. Good name. Hoo the whiskey burns good.

I am alone up here, and I have no complaints. It’s an unusual feeling, knowing no one knows where you are. My cell phone is downstairs, no contact with the rest of the world. Tricky feat to pull off today.

So why am I up here? I’m not sure I can answer that beyond ‘Why not?’ I was in the mood for a certain atmosphere, and this was the place for that. You need good atmosphere when drinking alone. More so when drinking alone to music.

No one talks like this, at least not out loud. Maybe we should. Some of the time. Whiskey’s gone. Well that’s too bad, but I don’t feel like moving. Not yet. Song’s over. Damn, there goes my atmosphere. Hey, I can see a star up there. Maybe a part of the Big Dipper. A demonstration to the wonder of nature.

I brought my notebook up here, now may be the perfect time to write, being free from distraction:

The whiskey burns as the city comes alive.


5 responses to “A Symmetrical Asymmetry

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