On Procrastination

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2019 has taught us all we need to know about Mortality. So many writers, musicians, and actors that we loved passed away this year. Some left us far too soon and others bowed out with a fine stash of years under their wings. I suppose, all we can learn from this, is that our time is now.

The best way to remember and honour the dead is to live our own lives to the fullest; pull up the anchors of dreaming and set out with our sails full of doing and reach out beyond ourselves. It’s only in the doing that things get done. 2020 Ahoy! Here I find a few old words of mine on the seductive dangers of not doing.

Procrastination is a very cunning mistress. She masquerades so expertly at being a muse; seducing me with an ever expanding array of tantalizing tasks that acquire greater urgency with her every whisper and sensual suggestion.

“Hey, Boy … why not tidy the kitchen, it’ll look great when it’s done,” she coos.

Slipping her deliciously slow fingers into mine she continues to tempt me. Her voice and reason are pure alchemy, transforming the meaningless and mundane into pure, vital essence.

Procrastination’s devastating twin sister is OCD. When they both conspire against me, I loathe myself for being unable to resist their time wasting charms.

They sprawl decadently on my sofa, dressed in the most time-consuming lingerie, all is slow with these sisters. Sister Sirens, time suckers, flunky cleptos, robbing hours, days, minutes, always adding to their secret stash of stolen years.

They annihilate calendars with their every breath and dine on menus stuffed with meticulously squandered weeks, dessert is a slow century drizzled with wasted opportunity. From the lethargic folds of my sofa they sink into a Valium trance of speech and so begins another game of Fifty Shades of Delay.

My self-loathing comes to a boil, then slowly simmers as yet again I obey. We have no “safe word,” me and the Sirens so our sessions can last for months at a time and they are cruel task masters.

OCD whispers and giggles into Procrastination’s ear, “No, no you tell him…” she drawls in her finest coquette snail voice.

“Billy (both syllables stretched to breaking point so as to make me sound almost Chinese, Bi-Lee), it’s been such a long time since you rearranged all those vinyl LPs into any meaningful order,” she points her tired languid fingers towards my unruly collection. “How about alphabetically or even by genre … we love it when you do it by genre as you get lost and start over and over again with all the persistent denial of completion so beloved of a perfectionist like you … we’ll flash you a little stocking if you do it, the ones you like, the ones weaved from broken clocks and stitched with stolen moments and studded with frozen minutes plucked from every unfinished thing you ever touched … just think of us and learn to forget that task that’s begging to be done … Good boy … and when you’ve done that, come lie with us here and meditate on how clothes dry, and feel us warm by your side, the three of us sinking in the moment, watching the wind drag its heavy cargo of clouds from day to night … don’t move, don’t say a word … stay with us from here to eternity…”

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