If you’ve known me for a decent amount of time, you’ve probably noticed a few things. After the obvious initial observations, like my incredible sense of humour, the way I smell like a forest in spring, or the way my clothes just can’t contain my rippling biceps, you’d be forgiven for thinking that I’m a flaky dickhead who is shit at getting back to you. I would like to attempt to explain that, without getting particularly awkward or in-depth. Here’s how my mind works.
A few weeks ago, a very good friend sent me a beautiful email. We’d been having problems for a long time trying to get a project off the ground, and despite it looking like something might finally be going ahead, said friend pulled out in the most amicable, lovely, polite way. I completely understood where he was coming from and I supported his decision. This email was a fucking novel, the kind he’d usually send, and the kind I would always enjoy receiving and reading. It became a running joke about how shit I was about replying, but I knew this particular piece meant a lot to him, this motherfucker was pouring his soul out on the page, so upon finishing it, I immediately texted him to let him know I’d read it, that I still loved his face, and that I’d send a reply ASAP. I had to send that text, because I know he’s exactly like me and would be freaking the fuck out until I replied. We’re both intense worryworts, it’s probably why I’m so hetero-attracted to him.
So I make sure we’re good, and I put the phone down. I do other stuff, I forget to reply, then a day passes.
I should reply to that email, I think.
I don’t. I haven’t got the words yet.
A day passes.
I should reply to that email, I think.
I don’t. I haven’t got the words. I’m tired. I’m depressed. I’m trying to write other stuff. I’m playing Bioshock. I’m eating a cheese sandwich. I’m trying to get my Contributoria article funded. I’m making dinner for the missus. I’m washing my hair. The excuses run like water; shitty, horrible brown water that pisses out of taps in Moroccan hostels.
More time passes and all the time that fucking email is sloshing around my head. I think about it at night. I tell myself that tomorrow is the day I reply to that. I convince myself that the procrastination will end and it’ll all be over tomorrow. I get that precious, sweet hit of dopamine, because my brain doesn’t really care about fulfilling my goals, it just wants to reward me for pretending I’m going to. I am almost giddy from the prospect of sending this email.
Then morning comes. I wake up. I am really not feeling this email. I’m not feeling anything. Just close the curtains and have a nap. Complete your chores, watch Fifteen to One, eat a cheese sandwich. More excuses, more shitty brown water. I enter a shame spiral, the Oblivion of shame spirals, but the ride is malfunctioning and it won’t ever stop.
This is not a new thing. If it isn’t an email to a friend, it’s a phone call I don’t make that I promise to. It’s not even a people thing. Need to finish an article? Oh, I’ll do it later. Library book needs returning? Oh, I’ll do it tomorrow. There’s always a tomorrow. I have wasted hundreds of pounds over the last 2-3 years putting things off because there’s always tomorrow. I have lost contact with friends, really fucking good friends, because there’s always tomorrow, but when tomorrow comes, I’m just waiting for the next one.
I don’t really know why I’m writing this. Procrastination is like a drug to me. A shitty drug with no real high. I’m trying to kick it. I have an obscene amount of time right now and the good will of the missus, so I should do something with it. I should write a thing about it and post it online. Yeah, that would be good. I should reply to my friend. I should get going on my novel. I should make a new proposal for Contributoria.
Tomorrow. I’ll do it tomorrow.