I fought a writing deadline all last week. Fighting a deadline is a bit like fighting a cold, but with fewer vitamins. It works pretty much like this:
- Figure out where the deadline is likely to be.
- Be somewhere else.
As you can see, I went to college.
The deadline ambushed me over the weekend at last, as deadlines will, and I’ve been dredging up everything I can remember about the SXSW Music Conference ever since and pouring it into paragraphs. “SXSW is a sly grin of a girl with sparkling sultry eyes who … whoops. Sorry. She wasn’t SXSW, she was a bass player. Start again. SXSW is a large music conference held every March in Austin which contains many bass players …” That sort of thing.
The long and the short of it is that I broke this morning at a quarter past 7 to snatch an hour’s sleep before laying on the final licks and finishing up at 9:30 a.m. I used to do this all the time, but if I’m not mistaken they made shorter days back in the ’80s.
I blur into the office an hour later, eyes wide shut. Fishing my space alien “I’m a Little Spacey Before Coffee” mug out of the kitchen cabinet I wonder what a nice Macallan wide-mouth whiskey glass is doing in there — or did I imagine it? No telling. As your attorney, I urge you not to believe anything you read here today without corroboration. I punch coffee into my mug and make it to my desk, vaguely vertical.
There’s a dark spot clinging to the inside of the mug, right at coffee level. It doesn’t appear to be swimming, but the jury isn’t in yet. “Hello,” I say in a friendly voice. “Who are you?”
Problem 1: I say this out loud. “Linus is talking to his coffee cup,” thinks my neighbor, taking evasive action. I can hear her panic.
Problem 2: For a second, I wonder if it’s going to answer. It seems plausible enough; I was mighty friendly.
I think tonight might be a sleeping night.