Too Busy To Die

busy-bestAre you busy?
I’m busy
In fact, I’m so goddamn busy
it’s a miracle I found the time
to come down here and
tell you all about just how busy I am
and have been ever since I hit college
and discovered a whole world
ripe for salvation— by me!
Everything from nuclear proliferation to the rainforest
to the tyranny of cellulite
required my personal attention
God must have known I’d be so busy and not blessed me with children
Where could I possibly have
squeezed them in?

 

Though I might have had a chance if I’d mastered multi-tasking
Efficiency at its most exalted
I could check my email on the toilet
eat breakfast in the car while driving to work and
much like a certain former president
have my sexual needs attended to
while conducting business on the phone

But I digress and I really don’t have time to digress
because I’m so darn busy with—The Internet!
that clever time-sucking portal that catapulted me into hyper-space
where my entire life has become a black hole
of digital To-Do lists
and no matter how many
emails I return, petitions I sign, and OK Cupid profiles I scrutinize
there is always a fresh batch of recruits dying
to challenge the good soldier in me

but I keep trying cuz I think if I just work harder or “smarter”
maybe one day I’ll get it all done
So I’m racing faster and faster
till I’m like the tiger
in that children’s book who chases his tail round and round till
he melts into a puddle
of butter and yes I’m having a meltdown!

only instead of butter I’ve shape-shifted
into a bitter resentful creature
before whom children and small animals cower
and whose calls are not returned
by a growing number of former friends
none of whom ever meet up to her exacting standards
and I’m about to lose it completely and permanently
when my last friend tells me I must slow down now or die

So I do
I slow down
I prac… tice do… ing one…thing… at… a… time
And it is ex… cru… ci…. a… ting

but this is the only way to release my inner fascist so I make like mo…las…ses
and now I’m about a week into torture by mindfulness
driving home from some errand that took
twice as long as it would have in my pre-monk era
and I’m waiting at a stoplight — it turns green!

But all of life is now an opportunity for growth
so I don’t
instantly accelerate
No, I breathe
for one, maybe two seconds
just long enough to notice
a car barreling down the cross street
doing 50 in a 20
and I watch as it sideswipes the bumper of another car
caroms off into an unexpected trajectory
bounces down the street and flips — real slow, like me, now –
it flips end over end till at last it lands
on the tender green lawn of an elementary school

I pause to consider my near death experience, then
I drive home verrrrrrrry slowly
because right now
I am much too busy
to die

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