Ride on, Procrastinator

January 20, 2009
By Mark Morales, Charlotte, NC

A lone knight, roaming fields of green
on his horse, the swift heedless Time
with crumpled shirt and dirty jeans
and muddy sneakers, caked in grime

Ride on, Procrastinator! Ride on!

Procrastinator passes the fetid cave of the dragon, Kalkulus, with nary a thought of entering the beast's lair. Sensing this, and feeling a tad insulted, the dragon thrusts out his scaly head to block Procrastinator's path.

“Answer me this, oh Knight,” booms Kalkulus. “If y = -3sec(4x), find the amplitude and period of the trigonometric curve.”

“Oh Kalkulus,” says Procrastinator, “I have no time for thy arcane riddles, nor to face you in combat. Lo! Canst thou feel the wind at thy back? My, steed, Time, compels me onward towards an infinite horizon! Pray thee that you give me leave to face thy test...next Thursday.”

“My test is tomorrow,” replies Kalkulus.

“Na na na na na, I cannot hear thee,” cries Procrastinator. “Onward, my steed! Onward towards an infinite present!”

Time gallops onward, saying nothing about his rider's study habits.

Ride on, Procrastinator! Ride on!

Procrastinator arrives at the house of his fellow slacker-knight, Sir Jude the Unmotivated, who greets him at the door.

“S'up dude,” says Jude. “Wanna soda?”

Procrastinator embraces his fellow slacker.

“Indeed I would, my brother,” said Procrastinator. “Verily, I must sate my thirst for the bubbling, green Dew of the Mountain!”

“Whatever, man,” replies Jude, and hands him a can.

Jude pauses.

“So, you ever get to doin' that Spanish project for tomorrow?” he asks.

Procrastinator chuckled.

“My dearest slacker, surely one so enlightened as thou should not still believe in the myth of deadlines. The present is infinite, and the future but a finite point on the vast and infinite horizon! Why, then, should thou concern thyself with such an incorporeal entity?”

Jude smiles and slaps Procrastinator on the back, saying,

“Right on, Procrastinator! Right on!”

Procrastinator is once again on his endless journey towards nowhere, and his horse, Time, is still galloping at a furious pace. However, Procrastinator has been worrying about Time's funny behavior as of late; he seems to stop at certain periods when certain...things are due.

They can't possibly be deadlines, thinks Procrastinator. They, like homework, simply don't exist.

Suddenly, Time tenses under Procrastinator, his gray eyes momentarily flashing, and stops running.

“Procrastinator,” says Time quietly, “aren't you on your way to meet that girl from the Knight's Academy? Didn't you, I don't know, like her?”

“What art thou trying to say, my steed?” asks Procrastinator.

“Well, weren't you planning to ask her out, like, a week ago?”

Procrastinator tries to chuckle, but he ends sounding like he is choking on something.

“Faithful steed,” says Procrastinator, “I have known this maiden for ages hence, and surely her feelings for me have thus grown accordingly over the years. Have I not already explained the principle of the infinite horizon? I have a lifetime to make my feelings known to her. With you, Time, always carrying me at my behest, I have no fear of forever remaining a dork, for if thou shalt keep on galloping towards the horizon, the future shall never come. So why, then, have thou art stopped?”

“We have arrived,” says Time, “on the Great Convergence, where the Present flows into the Future. The Future, you fool, is now!”

And lo, Procrastinator saw that girl, her flaxen hair glimmering in the autumn sun like a heliograph. He smiles, and waves at her weakly.

Turn around, prays Procrastinator. Please, turn around. We could go to the mall or see a movie or walk in the park or do whatever you want to do. I'm a pretty funny guy once you get to know me. So please... please please please turn around --

The maiden turns around, but her attention is given not to the Procrastinator, but towards another figure, resplendent in the golden sun of the horizon. Procrastinator recognizes him immediately -- Tis the Knight of the High, Pink Collar! He rides toward her on a scarlet steed of steel, and flips up his sunglasses.

“Hey babe, hop in,” he says.

She smiles, and they drive off, Lil' Wayne reverberating into the still air.

Procrastinator stood motionless, staring into a horribly finite horizon. He may yet be staring into it still.

Float on, Procrastinator...Float on...

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