What a week. My attention deficit just put me through one of the most mentally demanding 48 hours of my life and, fortunately enough, I lived to tell the tale. Barely.
You see, when I headed home for Christmas last year, I knew there were a couple of deadlines at Uni that I had to meet in January: a flash video game and a 2000-word proposal for my final project due on Jan 23rd, and a blog, a 2000-word essay on copyrights, and a website plus its 2000-word critical report due on January 27th. Obviously, in the middle of all those family gatherings, parties and afternoons spent laying in the garden for a bit of caribbean sun, I totally neglected my academic duties and decided to deal with them once I was back in London.
The idea seemed reasonable and actually worked perfectly for the purposes of my first deadline; on Monday 23rd, I delivered both assignments and actually was quite satisfied with my proposal, which by the way, I plan to document here just in case I forget how did all happen. Anyway, things were going great and the challenges ahead looked absolutely accomplishable, so much that I decided to relax a bit and watch a movie, go for a walk in the park, buy a mirror, do some drawings, power nap for 2 hours a day, go to work, air drum in my room, do some laundry and try to sort out my hard drive (which is always a pain the arse), all because I knew that my next deadline was next monday, on January 27th. I had a full week to get my head around all this stuff so there was no reason to panic as most of my classmates were, all of them weeping about how much work they still had pending and how little time they had to get it done. I actually remember looking at their conversations on Facebook and thinking: why don’t you all just chill-the-fuck-out? I thought it was all a nonsense overreaction.
By Tuesday, it seemed to me like a good idea to pick up the studying and spent the day fact-finding about Trent Reznor and the way he managed to sell 250,000 copies of “The Slip” even though he released the album online for free, reading an interview with David Bowie in which he predicted – back in 1992 – the end of the copyrights as we know it, and watching this sweet documentary called PressPausePlay, which is pretty good-looking and quite interesting, particularly for all of us who see the Internet as a creative playground. I won’t give away too much, instead I will put it here for you to enjoy it in all its glory. Give it a try, it’s worth watching.
Just before going to bed that day, at 1am, for some miraculous reason I decided to log in on my Uni calendar to check the guidelines for this essay I had to write, just to make sure I had fully understood everything I needed to convey in those 2000 words. So, I log in to the site and first thing I see, in big red typography:
FRIDAY, JANUARY 27TH
Friday? Wait a minute, January 27th is NOT Friday, it’s Monday. I mean, if my first deadline was on Monday 23rd, the next deadline has to be next monday, it’s just simple logic. As I told this to myself, I kept staring at the screen and almost could feel how everything around me vanished; the lights slowly faded away, the quietness of my house got even louder and for a moment, time stood still, only to give me the chance to realize in peace what an extraordinary fucktard I am. Seriously, I couldn’t fuckin’ believe had confused the days in such stupid manner. And you know what’s even worse? This is…
How on earth did I mess up the dates for that deadline when I actually do have A GODDAMN CALENDAR IN FRONT OF ME?
It’s absolutely ridiculous.
Anyway, there I was, on wednesday January 25th at 1:30am, having just 48 hours to write and craft all that stuff I was planning to hand in next monday. No wonder why everyone was “overreacting”. By the time I realized how screwed up I was, I couldn’t keep going much longer, I was falling asleep and my back hurted. I jumped into bed only to spend the next 2 hours wide awake, thinking how the hell I was going to make it for that deadline. Eventually, I rationalized there was nothing much I could do at 4am so I gave up, set my alarm and got some sleep.
Four hours later I was up, big cup of coffee sitting next to me as I typed away on my laptop the first lines of that copyrights essay I had pending. By 4pm I was pretty much finished so I took a break to cook some lunch, washed the dishes and came back to my cave to give that essay its final touches. When I was done, I checked how many words I had… I was 1100 words above the intended lenght. Great, now I needed to cut the bloody thing down. An hour later I was on 2600 words and decided to leave it like that. Fuck you, intended lenght. Went down to grab a cup of tea and came back to write down 5 blog posts on copyrights I had to deliver as part of my assignment. A couple of hours later I was done with that too and moved onto that stupid critical report. It was 7pm and I had spent almost 12 hours straight seated in front of my computer, writing homework and giving quick glances at that stupid number 27 in front of me. I hated it.
At this stage, my procastination habits couldn’t be restrained any longer so I proceeded to check my e-mail, my Facebook, my Twitter account, a few blogs, a couple of Tumblrs, Ross’ Facebook page, my e-mail again, my whatsapp, Amazon, Play.com, The Guardian, my Instagram, a couple of porn sites (as you do), Ross’ Facebook page again, my e-mail just in case something last minute came through, and finally went back to work. By midnight I was done with the report and somehow, in a day, I had managed to get rid of half the things I had pending. Not bad for a fucktard, not bad at all.
Next day I woke up early again, went to Uni to find a working Dreamweaver because mine wouldn’t cooperate and at 1pm I got that css code I had to tweak out of my way. Had lunch and went to the Royal Festival Hall to work on my website. The place has a friendly atmosphere I quite like, it’s warm, lively, full of nice people and although it’s always busy, it never gets too loud. Found a table, got my laptop running and started putting this website together. In the middle of it all, someone texted me, so I took my phone out of my pocket, replied and got back to my screen leaving the phone on the table, behind my laptop. An hour later, an pakistani guy came to me with Royal Festival Hall leaflets and stood in front of my table without saying a word, just handed me the leaflet with a shy smile. Now, I really don’t like prejudice and try my best not to be a narrow-minded arsehole but there was something odd about this guy; maybe it was the fact he looked like a retard or that he approached me in silence, I really don’t know, but I remember taking the leaflet, having a quick look, then giving it back to him and trying to figure out what the hell was going on as he just glanced back at me blankly. However, having slept barely 8 hours during the last couple of days, stressed out, overtired, hungry, distracted and with half of my mind in a waiting room at 16,259 km. from London, I was definitely not in the headspace for decoding anyone’s intentions. In the end, I just said: “no, thank you” and kept working. He took the leaflet and walked away, calmly, as if nothing happened, and for some reason, I kept following him with my eyes as he made his way to the exit. I sensed something but didn’t know what it was.
Five minutes later, I remembered I had to make this important call and when I looked for my phone, it was gone. You miserable indian motherfucker, that’s what you wanted from me! I should have seen it coming but to be honest, I was too exhausted and busy to realize I was being hunted by this maggot. When I did, it was too late, he was out of the building. At the time I didn’t have the energy to get pissed off but a couple of hours later I completely lost it and spent the entire evening cursing at the dirty son of a bitch. I was absolutely annoyed.
Eventually, at 10:30pm, I finished the website and took the Tube back home, being harsh on myself and my self-defense instincts during the whole journey. Once I was back at my place, I took a minute to reflect and to be honest, there was no reason to be that angry; after all, the phone was insured and, most important, I had managed to succesfully scratch every item of my to-do list in less than 2 days. There was nothing to be worried about, really. I hit the kitchen, cooked some salmon with potatoes, munched some chocolate fingers and by midnight I was in bed, thinking how all that rush could have been avoided if only I had looked at the massive calendar on the wall. Oh well, sometimes shit do happens, I guess.
Next day I woke up late, had a massive breakfast, went to Uni and handed in the 4 assignments before noon. It felt good. Later that day, went to the pub with some of my classmates, poured some beer down my neck and by midnight I was making my way back home, half drunk and very tired, feeling like Jack Bauer at the end of a full season of 24.
Now, a few days after the killer week, I write these lines as I pack my little suitcase with recently washed clothes. Yes, I’m off to Madrid, fellas.
I need a holiday.