24 May 2011

how to squander

Begin the day with an hour of Sudoku. An hour because after five minutes you realize you have made a mistake when the puzzle's remaining boxes cannot be filled because something is not right. You find that you inadvertantly scribe a 3 where a 1 ought to be, and it takes you twenty minutes to realize that's where the errors began, and another two minutes to convince yourself it's worth the effor to erase half the puzzle to fix your mistake, and another ten minutes to finish filling in the corrected puzzle, plus three minutes to find a replacement line of lead to restore your pencil to writing capacity. The extra twenty minutes for the break in the midst of all this to wonder why you keep doing Sudoku puzzles, and why you did not spend those wasted minutes writing a poem instead, or editing a poem, or addressing an envelope and filling it with poetry and sending it out into the world.

Spend the next few hours cleaning and packing your room. This could take you minutes, only you don't really want to pack your room. You're not used to seeing your books not there, and your bears not there, and after some time--maybe a few minutes, maybe i's been another hour--you realize you're not really packing because you've just been sitting there, missing things being where they ought to be, holding a doll you can't make yourself pack up because she belongs with you, in your arms, from infancy to eternity.


Get dressed. This will take another half hour, simply because you don't really want to get dressed, because you know you're only putting on real clothes to uphold the illusion you have actual plans. You do have actual plans. You need to go to the bank. But you don't want to do these plans. You want a park, and a swingset, and a mild temperature.

Sit down to write a blog post about poetry. But begin thinking. Thinking of the fact that twenty-five years of your life have come and gone and you don't remember entirely where they went or how you spent them. You might try to ignore that feeling that if days were dollars you've thrown away a small fortune, but the thought nags, and comes out anyway, through your fingers. So you think instead of that doll, and the doll reminds you of a friend, and another friend, and a teacher somehow, and perhaps a year, and another, and months and days. You begin to feel better, wiser, richer-- then you glance at the time.

My, how it flies... 

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