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The Call of the Void

Photo Credit: Genessa Gutzait · The Sentry

All in a day’s work

There’s no clock in my room, and yet I hear the ticking with every breath. My backpack rests on the floor next to a stain that waxes and wanes throughout the day. I sit at my desk in my orange-lit room while the smell of my coconut candle culminates throughout.

It’s 11:00 p.m. I sip at the cup of roasted beans to rejuvenate my senses—cheap, but it gets the job done. The scroll bar on my screen moves up while I take notes in my book as if it was trying to make me work faster, like I was a lineman in a factory working the conveyor belt. The piles of unread pages await me, and with each glance at my progress, a new stack is added on.

Anxiety courses all over my body but is washed away with the relief of each tick of another empty box. It’s 1 a.m. now and I’m making good time, keeping a good pace. I’m surprised at how early it is and am ecstatic by being able to probably get done by three. My new nature clouds my judgment so, I decide to take a break.

I look at the faint shadow of the stain—it wanes. The dim lighting illuminating from the candle reveals the shadows of each night’s work. I refocus my attention to my screen. It’s 3 a.m. now and I have not finished my work, but I did the bare minimum to get by, no need to get ahead of ourselves. Sleep comes readily, and the rising sun follows not soon after. 

My eyes strain to open to the yellow light that peaks through the blinds. The sound of my alarm shivers down my spine, and my eyes sting at my phone’s blue light while my fingers search for the coordination to hit “stop” instead of “snooze.” I look down from my bed to see the stain waxing. It’s 8:15. Forty-five minutes. I have time to get ready but the stain…

I’m pulled to my desk to find a notebook with fresh, unchecked boxes, and a flame lights my coal. I’m showered with anxiety, and I’m running late. The stain. Time fast forwards and I set my backpack on the ground. It’s night. The stain has waned. I sit at my desk in my orange-lit room. The clock starts up again. The stain waxes. 

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