The Art of Procrastination


I’m washing my hands.  The cool water is nice, especially since the heat of the day is starting to collect in this side of our apartment.  Suddenly the water sputters and turns a pale rust color before the stream begins to thin.  Workers must be fixing the sprinklers again.  Why the landlord is so hell-bent on growing grass in that sad square of dirt in the crook of our U-shaped building is beyond me.  I have to admit the green refreshes our tumbleweed-like landscaping, but it’s already dying despite being taped off since the seed was sown.  Perhaps a sturdier groundcover is in order, no?

I should be reading.  I still have a chapter left of homework reading.  I also have to do a 10-minute freewrite, and go over a class syllabus for an ungraded quiz tomorrow in my creative writing class.  I should also check to make sure I don’t have any other homework for my composition class.  I had to read the gospel of Mark for that one.  That was brutal.  Like eating Saltine crackers when I’m dying of thirst.  I’m sorry, more-Christian-than-I-people, but that was some dry, dry reading.

Now I’m in the living room, composing this blog post and thinking about my day.  When should I take a shower?  Will the water be back on?  What time should I leave?  When should I arrive at the library?  I’m meeting Esther there today, and hopefully Syd.   I really want to meet her.  I read her blog Embracing Homelessness and now I need to see her face, hear her voice, hold her hand or give her a hug…I don’t want her to be a computer person, I want her to be real.  So I’m excited for today.

The prevailing theme of my morning, however, is procrastination.  So should I get to the library early and take my laptop?  Take a book?  Should I get there right on time and read later?  Should I take a shower at Mom’s, where the water situation is less iffy?  How about a dress?  Should I wear a dress, or jeans?  It’s going to be scorching today.  My apartment feels so good, I hope the library café has good air conditioning.  I feel bad because Jess is going to have to walk in this heat.  Yuck.  I should take some time to get my cell number transferred to a newer phone.  I left it on top of my car last year and drove away.  It was badly beat up and the back was missing, but the Sprint store gave me another back, even though it was a different color.  I was fine with that because I’m not too superficial when it comes to my phone, but I’ve lost the back again and the buttons are becoming too scratched to identify anymore, so I think it’s time.  I would tell you more about my phone but I’m sure you’re bored and really I’m just procrastinating.

I’m proofreading.  I see a lot of “should.”  My coach, Claire the Magnificent, taught me to eliminate that word from my vocabulary.  Clearly I sucked at that lesson.   Somewhere I have a writing piece that Esther told me to blog.  I don’t remember which one, or where I wrote it.  It might be on my laptop.  I take it everywhere with me, yet I haven’t used it in a couple of weeks.

Okay okay, I’m going.  No really, I am.  Stay cool and hydrated today, friends.

Ex Hoss Ted

Yesterday was my first day of school.  It was more likely my 20th first day of school, but, you know: my first day of school on this attempt.

I spent most of last week making sure Drew, Jess, and I were properly outfitted: supplies, clothes, books, schedules, hair-dids, whatnots.  As Monday approached I prayed for a surge of energy to get me through.  A little ripple of nervous energy managed to help, but not enough.  I started a very early morning with my needle closer to E than F.

Too soon, I found that I have a long hike from car to class, comprising about three city blocks and two sets of steep stairs one-way.  It’s a hike I will make 4 times a day, twice a week, unless I can find a better place to park.  I will also make about 10 different trips, on school days, in order to accommodate the cast of characters who still require my taxi services.  After just one day of all this schleping back-and-forth I’m pooped!  I tried to blog yesterday, but even my writing was tired.  Mellow Yellow Monday?  Forget about it!

As I trudged back to my car during hike #4…quads shaking, calves cramped, sweat dripping down my spine…I spied an alumni banner that gave me pause.  They’re all over campus, these banners:  notable alumni with a picture, a name, and a list of accomplishments.  This particular one was Myron Tarkanian.  The face wasn’t immediately familiar, but the name hit me like a ton of bricks.  Tark.  I had him for PE the last time I was here, about 18 years ago.  He was the kind of coach that yelled and teased, ran you nearly into the ground, and instantly became your favorite.  One day, as I chased the rest of the class up and down a stairwell, I heard from two floors above me, “Hey, McCarthy!”


“I saw your husband yesterday.”  (He wouldn’t know my husband from Bill Clinton)

“Oh yeah?”

“He said I’m not working you hard enough!”

“He’s a damn liar, Tark!”

And here I am, 18 years later, ready to drop dead only halfway through my cross-campus trek and just up from that hellacious set of stairs, face-to-face with Tark.  Ain’t that a bitch.

Other than being utterly and completely exhausted, I had a good day.  I got into Creative Non-Fiction, for which I was on the waitlist.  The teacher seems fun, so I’m very optimistic.  My second class, Intermediate Composition, I’m not so optimistic about.  I make 3 trudges and 8 car trips by the time I get to that class in late afternoon, and the teacher is dry as Death Valley.  I had a hard time staying awake as he droned through the syllabus.  He perked me up, however, when he asked us all for a writing sample.

I will go back tonight to try to get into another class, U.S. History to 1876.  I’m taking it to help Shelly.  She needs it, but I’m afraid it’ll be too intense, so I’m taking it with her.  It’s not the best reason to take the class, but I’ll get degree credit for it and it does sound interesting, so what the hell.

I’m off to finish my homework.  Stay cool today!  And Happy Birthday to Esther!!!