Friday night I tucked myself into bed, planning a day full of productivity and writing the next day. I planned to have all my college applications at least drafted by Monday, which meant that this weekend I had to write 7 to 8 essays on why _____ was my dream college.
“No problem!” I told myself. “I’ll just cancel Art class in the morning and work all day. It’ll be great. It won’t be like last time, when I woke up at noon and spent about six hours reading blogs.”
At this point my mom told me to stop talking to myself and sleep already.
Saturday Morning, 9 AM
I woke up, grabbed my phone, and told my art teacher that I wouldn’t be able to make it that day or on Monday, but would instead come on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday to make up for it.
“It’s okay,” he said. “I understand. College is very important.”
“Excellent!” I said. “I’ll see you on Monday.”
I hung up the phone. At this point the dinosaurs came in through the wall, but I turned over and went back to sleep.
At 10, my phone rang.
“Where are you?” my art teacher asked. “You’re late.”
“Didn’t I call?” I mumbled into the phone. “I’m not coming today.”
“No, you didn’t call,” he said. “Why?”
“College applications are eating me alive.”
“No they aren’t,” he said briskly. “But you sound asleep. I guess it’s too late for you to get here. You should have called.”
“I did!” I protested. “I called at 9, I was responsible.”
“No one was in at 9,” he told me. “Go back to sleep. You sound like a crazy person.”
I told him about the phone call. I told him what he had said. I told him about the dinosaurs. It was at this point I realized that dinosaurs do not normally come through the walls of suburban homes, and admitted that maybe I had dreamed it up after all.
I attempted to go back to sleep. Note how there was by now a little bit less than two hours to noon. I could sleep until 11 AM! That completely counted as getting up early.
“Wake up,” my mom said at 10:15 AM. “Go walk the dog. Why are you still asleep?”
I pointed out how it was now vacation, that it was Saturday morning, that I was exercising my rights as a seventeen year old to sleep in.
She pointed out how it was 10:15 AM and I had promised to walk Max, and that it wasn’t her fault that I had chosen to sleep at 3 AM, and that Max needed to pee. When I looked over the foot of my bed, Max was indeed sitting there with his “I need to pee” face on.
Saturday Afternoon, 12:30 PM
I came to the conclusion that what I really needed was a way to organize the notecards for my novel. If I was going to be the next great American novelist by the time I was twenty, then clearly I would need some way to keep track of all my brilliant ideas. Some of these brilliant ideas looked something like this:
D + W’s parents had a TORRID LOVE AFFAIR when they were young! Now Mom is setting off to find Dad’s killer and abandoning her children! Shame, Mom, shame. BANANAS ARE IMPORTANT. BREAKFAST!!!!
Please remember that I wrote some of these at 2 AM. Bananas and breakfast are indeed mentioned in the novel.
I finally managed to get to Office Depot and buy a pretty blue notecard organizer. I then managed to spend about twenty minutes writing up dividers for the sections and organizing my notecards into something logical.
“There!” I declared. “Now I can really get to work on my college applications!”
For the next four hours, I read Maureen Johnson’s blog. Everyone should read her blog; she is witty and clever and hilarious and charming, and she is rapidly becoming my hero. People should not read her blog when they should be writing essays.
Saturday Afternoon, 4:30 PM
“So I’m watching the season finale of Merlin,” said Lily Jones. Her real name is not “Lily Jones” and has very little to do with either lilies or Joneses. “It is great, I want to tell you all about it.”
“Hush your wittering, woman,” I said sternly. “I am working very hard on my college essays! This blog is absolutely fascinating, how did I ever manage to survive without a dose of Maureen Johnson’s wonderful commentary every few weeks. My life was sad and desolate without her, and so is your life. I should link you to it right now.”
“You said that about Merlin,” Lily Jones said.
“Colin Morgan is a fine, fine man,” I said. “I like his ears.”
“Let me rant at you,” Lily Jonesl said. “I need to share my love of Merlin.”
At this point, realization struck.
(a) It was 4:30 PM
(b) I had yet to even open up a blank Word document
(c) I had to write the outline for a research paper
(d) The outline was due yesterday
“I cannot talk now!” I yelped. “I must write! My teacher will cut my head off and bury it ten feet from my body and salt my bones and burn them!”
“What, at the same time?” Lily Jones asked.
“Yes,” I said and signed off of AIM.
Saturday Afternoon, 5:00 PM
I read more of Maureen Johnson’s blog. Neither outlines nor essays were being written.
I wish this were an isolated occurence, but it really, truly, is not. I am a procrastinating fool who is absolutely fascinated by the online phenomenon of the blog, and cannot tear myself away when I find someone who is fantastic and intelligent and funny. It will be my downfall, I am sure.
Will I ever write my college essays? Or will the Procrastinator get me tomorrow! Stay tuned…