The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words

Question Of The Day: Where’d All The Time Go?

billym

There was something I was supposed to do today.

I can’t remember exactly what it was, but I know I didn’t do it.

I suffer from a problem that I suspect is widespread. The problem is with my concept of time. Before I go to bed at night, the next twenty four hours seems like a vast expanse before me. When I think about the possibilities of all the things I might get done the next day I see nothing but potential. Tomorrow is the day I actually do all things I’ve been thinking about doing for so long. Then the morning comes. I open my eyes with sleepy good intention, but the clock seems to move impossibly fast. When I sat down, I only meant to watch one episode of Cold Case Files while I drank my coffee. Now it’s almost noon and I’ve moved on to The First 48. Potential wasted, I embrace the ruined day and go to the record store.

Hello. My name is Doran and I’m a procrastinator.

There, I said it. I’m a procrastinator. Which is not, as I first thought, a person who gets paid to play with themselves.*

I never do today what I can put off until tomorrow, and it is the absolute worst trait a writer can have.

I once saw a documentary about Charles Bukowski. He was sitting on a dirty couch in what I assume was his home, snarling at the camera and drinking wine. I can’t remember what the interviewer asked him, but he got an angry look on his face and pointed at his typewriter. “A writer has to put his time in here!” or something like that. He shouted at the camera and picked up the machine before slamming it back down on the table. “If he doesn’t he has to call himself something else.”

I know those weren’t his exact words, but the words weren’t what stuck with me. It was the bald hatred in his eyes when he looked at his weapon of choice, the typewriter. At least in that moment, he hated this whole writing thing. But he had to do it. And no matter what state he was in or what excuses he had not to, he made himself write. That’s what I need to remember.

The question I ask now, to myself and to all of you, is what will you wish you had done today? When you wind down for the day and get ready for bed, what will you be glad you did?

*JOKES!

********************

About Doran Simmons

I'm a writer and a camper and a keeper of fish. I was trained as a flight instructor and work day jobs and write nonsense for public consumption (hopefully).

5 comments on “Question Of The Day: Where’d All The Time Go?

  1. blake bedlion
    October 14, 2013

    the thing that i will probably wish that i did to today is skull crushers in workouts i totally forgot about them untill now . ill be glad that Today i was able to participate fully during workouts and practice today.

  2. Iona Nerissa
    October 14, 2013

    I wish I had worked on my novel, but I am glad that I did some kind of writing today.

  3. Robert Long
    October 14, 2013

    I often think about this myself. All day I keep thinking of all the things I must get done that day. “Go see this teacher.” “Finish that story chapter.” “Let the dog out.” And I often find myself staying up until around midnight some nights trying to make sure I am as prepared as I can be for tomorrow, for that potential to do more important and necessary things.

  4. Mess
    October 15, 2013

    Right now, it’s all a vested effort to explore my love affair with Pablo Neruda. When I am too exhausted in the evening to have him visit my bed, I feel some of my life choices should be considered more carefully.

  5. Cassidee M
    October 21, 2013

    What I wish I had done is much more than what I did. It’s the end of a grading period in a painstakingly pointless year of school where I feel like I have to drag myself out of bed, and I’m not easy to drag. I have two academics this year and it’s so difficult to remember that they are are actually important, as well as graduation requirements. So due to that, I have a mental battle with myself attempting to convince myself to do homework. I usually end up blowing it off, which is bad. For some reason, this year it feels like school should not cross the threshold of my house. So I regret not doing assignments in the classes I actually have to try in, theater and English. And if there’s one thing I’m even worse at than remembering nightly homework, it’s making up sick work. My immune system sucks so I get sick a lot and go back to school as soon as I stop having a fever but then I’m behind and I’m terrible at putting the effort into working on what I missed. So as I mentioned, the grading period is ending and I am basically screwed because of my procrastination. I need to get myself together and do my work

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