Will

Today I will get off of the couch. Yesterday I watched TV from twelve noon til ten thirty and then I went back to sleep. Tomorrow I will not watch any television at all. Today I will watch only a little. Yesterday I had to watch so much especially because they were doing a marathon of that show from the nineties, that silly one with the laugh track and the bad hair, the bouncy theme song and the wacky family dynamics. Tomorrow I will answer my email, finish the job application, wash my hair, check the messages. Today I will go grocery shopping because that is a big enough goal for one day if it’s anything like the days that have been blurring recently, nothing happening and no reason to do very much at all. My living room is starting to have that smell of stale human and unwashed clothes, even though I don’t leave any dirty clothes in the living room, and of the crumbs and oil that cling to the creases in the blanket on the couch. Yesterday I wanted to clean but I couldn’t, it just seemed overwhelming, so I let it go for one more day, just one day. When you’ve got it waiting one day, it’s easy to decide it can wait another. When you wake up at ten in the morning when you know you used to get up at seven, it’s easy to decide you can sleep one more hour, and then when you wake up again you make the same decision. When you stay on the couch, it’s hard to get up.

Tomorrow I think my sister is coming to visit. She’s a psychologist, but one of the hippie kinds who wants to hold your hand and refer you to a psychiatrist to give you happy drugs. She comes once a week or so to tell me that I’m clinically depressed and should get on something right away, by which she means I should take prescription medications to alleviate the symptoms of my mental illness, which she sometimes says in her professional voice when she notices me ignoring her. She clucks at me like a suburban bespectacled cardigan-wearing chicken, and attempts to straighten up around the house before she lets her fluttering hands fall and just leaves me alone again already. Today I will try to clean up a little bit so that I won’t feel that embarrassed shame in my stomach, the burn that lazily starts in my gut when she looks like she’s hopeless in the wreck of my living room. Yesterday I wanted to pick up but I only lasted as long as one commercial break. Sometimes I get back up again, and sometimes I don’t. Today I will make sure there are no food cartons or wrappers or anything on the floor. I can at least make that concession to basic hygiene so that my sister won’t be completely disgusted by my squalor. Though it’s not like she would show disgust, she would consider that psychologically damaging to betray her professional tact like that. With me my sister needs a lot of professional tact.

Yesterday another bill came from the electric company. It was marked urgent and I didn’t open it. I know I need to pay my electric bill, even though I’m scraping the bottom of my savings account. I don’t know how I’m going to pay it next month. I guess it’s a good thing I’m trying to watch less TV. Tomorrow I will write a check and put it in the mail. Actually, that’s probably the sort of thing I could just do online, even though I always associate bills with a stack of envelopes. The idea of ripping out the letters, with the amount due printed in the front so it’s easy to see, automatically makes my pulse flit harder in my throat. Today I will check to see if there are any other unpaid bills in the kitchen, which is usually where I keep them. If I can find them I will make them into a stack that will be easy to find and I will leave a sticky note on top to remind me. Yesterday at least I checked the mail and found that one. There wasn’t anything else interesting, though it did remind me that I have a letter for my aunt that I meant to send her ages ago. Tomorrow I should buy stamps when I do everything else. Lately I haven’t been doing most of the things that I need to do, or even any of the things. I haven’t been doing what I need to do. Today I will.

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