Deleted Scenes: The Do It Later

I’ve had work to do all weekend. Not this column—this I reserve specifically for Sunday nights as part of my easing-back-into-real-weekday-life ritual; effigies are also burned—but other work, pages to read, grammar to correct, and some mindless filling out of labels. To be blunt, I haven’t done jack shit over the last two days.

My time? I’d hardly call it misspent. Friday was my mother’s birthday—she’s a saint, you’d love her—and Saturday, my wife and I went grocery shopping and picked up some odds and ends in a weird bit of playing house before we actually buy one hopefully later this year. Tonight we went to the movies and saw Django Unchained. Now it’s 11 p.m. on a Sunday night, by the time I wake up tomorrow the week will have already started and I don’t have shit to show. Before I even get going, I’m behind.

Perhaps you can relate.

Or perhaps you’re one of the other kind of people, who are ultra-responsible all the time, never blow off a bit of work on a Saturday to, say, spend seven hours playing videogames under the auspices of recovering from a still-lingering cold. If that’s you, congratulations.

In fairness, I do still have the cold. It spent the better part of last week kicking my ass around the block and even at the movies, I had more than enough time with Quentin Tarantino’s languid pacing for a number of coughing fits. But I’m better than I was and certainly well enough to have looked over the pages of the next issue of our sister publication, New Jersey Beers & Bars, which is supposed to go to press even as this week’s Aquarian is also finalized. We’re multitaskers around Arts Weekly HQ. To wit, my other job.

Now, I’ve no doubt that this work will get done, but I’ve hit an unfortunate point in the life of every procrastinator whereat it stops being fun. I no longer enjoy putting off the work I need to do, and so I actually need to do it.

Once in fourth grade, I had to make a project about the solar system. I’d been given the assignment two weeks in advance. The Sunday before it was due, I told my mother who just this past Friday celebrated her birthday about the task and, well, she basically made the whole damn thing for me. I heard about it, of course—some 20-plus years later, I still hear about it if the occasion’s right and you’d be surprised how often it is—but I was at the point then too that what I wanted to put off further could no longer be put off. Time to do your homework, kid.

Would that my mother had an editor’s eye. Or, for that matter, that I had one.

But in life one must make the most of what one has, and I apparently have a keen desire to play around during play-around time, which at least officially, the weekend still is. Otherwise, I’d be at the office, annoyed at all the playing around I wasn’t getting done. And in case there was any doubt I’m firmly entrenched in my 30s, yes, I do consider a Saturday night trip to Fairway a bit of fun.

As I can no longer put off doing this work and must get to it before I get too tired, what little eye I have abandons me altogether and the words start to bleed one into the next, I suppose the lesson I should learn here isn’t necessarily to do my work over the weekend, but rather to arrange my week so that I’m not stuck having to do it over the weekend in the first place, i.e., don’t put it off and say I’ll do it later. You think it’ll work?

Not this time.

Still, I can’t say I regret having “wasted” the last two days in the manner I did, so if the only thing lost is a little more sleep, well, I never much cared for sleeping anyway.

However you end up spending or not spending your time, I hope it satisfies, because we can all only do it later for so long.

JJ Koczan