The Bear Under the Desk

The alarm goes off. He turns to face the clock and sighs. Too early. It´s too early. He pushes back the sheet s. Blue. With yellow flowers on it. His mum bought them. He wanted plain blue. The sheets anger him whenever he wakes up and pushes them back in order to get up. He hates flowers. Flowers have no chance to survice in this apartment. He had a flower once. Now he´s only got flowery sheets. The floor is icy. He feels the sudden urge to pull back his feet, wrap himself in those ugly sheets and go back to sleep.
“Can´t”, his conscience mutters.
“I know”, he replies.
So he gets up and goes to the bathroom. His tooth paste is empty. He needs a shave. He looks tired. He takes a shower. The water pressure keeps changing every two minutes. Sometimes, it´s like standing in a soft, tropical warm rain, and then it´s cold, hard drops like hail. He freezes. He should go and talk to the landlord about the heating. But going to see the landlord would mean to have a cup of over-sweetened coffee and a slice of delicious looking cake that somehow manages to taste like crap. The landlord´s wife will ask a ton of questions. She´s extremely curious. That’s probably why she is standing at her window, day in day out. Nothing escapes that hawk´s attention. Come to think of it, she looks like a hawk. Hair color, nose, and the same eyes. Staring at you. Demanding answers to all those nagging questions. Nevertheless, he has to go.
“Can´t”, his conscience mutters.
“I know”, he replies.
With bare feet and a towel wrapped around his hip he goes back into his room. One-room apartment. Sick joke. How could one room be an apartment? He walks over to this wardrobe. He needs to get dressed. He gets dressed. Not as energetic as he thought he might do it. But that was yesterday. Today, the intended energetic atmosphere seems to be AWOL. He sighs again. He can see his desk from where he´s standing. It looks scary. Why is it that desks only look scary when there´s work to be done? When there´s a deadline? He rethinks the choice of having bought a desk made out of ebony. He turns to face his desk. Literally. He should surf the net for a non-scary desk.
“Can´t”, his conscience mutters.
“I know”, he replies.
He tells himself to get a grip and walks over to his desk. He feels the icy floor even though he´s wearing socks made out of wool. Slippers, he thinks and before he reaches the desk he gets his slippers. But now his feet are warm and he´s dressed and all ready to go, so there are no more excuses. He pulls back the chair and sits down. He turns on the computer. He waits. He thinks that he should have breakfast first.
“Can´t”, his conscience mutters.
“I know”, he replies.
He grabs the mouse and opens the file. It is labeled ‘important’. He stares at the text and his eyesight becomes blurry. He doesn´t want to read the text again. The words will sound odd read out aloud in an empty room. He won´t be happy. He wants to be happy. He needs to get a grip. He applies his hands to the keyboard. He writes a sentence. Sentence is good.  He continues. He cheers up. He finishes another paragraph. Now he´s smiling. He rereads what he has written so far. It´s good. He´s not totally satisfied but it is as good as possible, given his situation. He leans back, smiling.
When reapplying his hands to the keyboard, he doesn´t know what to write. How to continue. He scratches his chin and looks at the last word of the paragraph as if that word might tell him how to go on. He waits. His mood shifts again. He spends ten minutes clicking through Another five for facebook. He leans back and runs his fingers through his hair. He shouldn´t be surfing the net. Being online is a constant distraction. It is like having a neighbor who loves to turn up the volume on his shabby stereo listening to weird music. It´s like taking the train and there are people sitting right behind you talking way too loud about things you´d rather not hear. Breast feeding. Precautionary prostate examination. Growing roses. How to cook stew.
The internet is like having a giant bear sitting under your desk, growling. It keeps you distracted.
He sighs. He should pause. Just for a minute. His thoughts keep swirling in his head. He can´t focus on his text. He can´t focus even if he isn´t online. He needs to take it slow.
“Can´t”, his conscience mutters.
“Oh, shut up”, he replies.


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