by Martin McConnell
That stack of paper on my desk keeps growing, like a monster feeding on my inability to finish tasks. It turns menacing, threating to topple and spread from the confines of the in-box to the rest of the office. The boss keeps adding more and more to the pile, and with each passing assignment completed, three more come in. This is nuts. I need a break. I stare at the clock, and unwittingly allow another hour to pass. Then the boss walks in with another stack of papers.
"What are you doing? You need to catch up on this."
He walks out again without waiting for an answer. I stare at the pile. Rough edges of individual file folders and small booklets form the body of the beast. An occasional page pokes out here or there. Shadows cast from the incandescent tube overhead cast shadows that look like eye sockets and a frowning mouth. It's just paper, right? But I'm terrified. I can't look at the stack without wondering if I'll ever get out of this cubicle. My procrastination feeds the monster, and fear of the monster drives my procrastination.