For weeks, I have been avoiding you. I'm sure you're aware of this fact, because you've been hiding around every corner.
There, by the Christmas tree, in its last stages of drying, the lowest ornaments drooping almost to the ground. You're there among the branches. And in the refrigerator--you're the atmosphere of leftover things that need to be cleaned out, and in the kitchen too--all those baked goods that are past their giftable dates, not to mention the closets I wanted to tidy, to get rid of things that no longer have a spark of joy in them.
You don't say anything, but you don't have to: I look at the tree, the refrigerator, the counter, the closet, and note to myself, that's another thing I need to do before I... and I try to stop myself, because I'm not ready to name it, not yet, not ready to count the days forward until...
Fine, I'll say it: until the new semester. It starts in nine days. Nine days. And there we are: just by giving it a number, I've initiated it, the countdown, with your every second ticking like a bastard, adding the frisson of panic and the pulsing soundtrack of shit to do.
It's more than a week, which is really a lot, as in: a lot of days. But the tolling of the countdown means more lists and items, more ways to regiment each day, each hour, each half hour.
Well, countdown, it's been a really nice break. I hope you'll agree to be a useful companion and not a bully. I know what I have to accomplish. I've got a list.
Seriously, that self-righteous, meaningful glancing at your wristwatch? Knock it off,