The Depths of Procrastination

I walk out to my kitchen. The cold floor tiles numb my bare feet, but I stand at the sink for a moment. 

I’m avoiding things.

A pile of things.

I reach over for my stainless steel french press. The plunger makes a metallic zing when I remove it from the carafe.

Oh, yes, I’m avoiding things.

I open the cupboard above the stove and take down the air-tight container of course-ground coffee. My cat sits in the middle of the floor, glaring at me with narrowed eyes.

“I know…”

The coffee sounds like beads as it hits the bottom of the stainless steel cylinder. The goose-neck kettle hums, shrieks, and pops because I haven’t descaled it in a while.

Another thing I’m avoiding.

I remove the electric kettle from its base and pour the water over the grounds. Steam billows up. The scent of the coffee escapes— sharp and nutty.

Why can’t everything be this easy? This simple? Methodical?

I sigh.

Outside the window, snow sits in tufted patches on my neighbor’s lawn, and a songbird twitters from the crown of my garage roof.

Why can’t more things be as easy and predictable as the coming of spring?

No one wants to avoid spring.

I stand at the sink and wait four minutes for the coffee to steep. I depress the plunger— so easy!— and pour the warm, brown stream into my mug.

Such a tiny, predictable accomplishment— making coffee.

I carry my mug back into my office, sit at my desk, and pick up my pen. I stare at the blank page in front of me, and the blank page stares back. I twirl the pen through my fingers and scratch my head.

The songbird continues to whistle outside my window.

I’ve been avoiding things. A stack of things.

I flick through the blank pages. They make the sound of ripping cloth as they slap together. I sigh loudly and put my head down on the stack of paper.

It’s no good— avoiding things.

© 2023 Katie Baker

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