Tedium weighs so terribly much. Its fat fingers press your eyelids shut. Its apathy makes an exertion out of any sort of caring. Your thoughts lose all buoyancy and miss pace with the present moment. Tedium erodes at your posture, slumping you lower into your chair, forward into the monitor, stealing all motivation to do what you’re paid to sit here and do.

I don’t think I can stay awake in this state. I just checked the New York Times‘ Web site, but the articles haven’t changed much since the end of work yesterday. I read something about unemployment creeping down — Bureau of Labor statistics, national economic indicators looking better, yup-yup — and skimped through the rest. I’ve already checked my Hotmail account twice this morning and don’t think I should push it much more at work.

But I’m mashing my toes into the floor, trying to push the impatience away. I can’t look at this stuff anymore. I’m either going to slink down in this chair and give in to drowsiness — or I’m going to write someone. I click “New” in Outlook and type in Christine’s name, who I can write from my work account, and start typing “hey, christine” before realizing I’m only sending this for the dorky pleasure of having an unread personal e-mail to look forward to. So I just say it: “how’s the day going on your end of town? i’m struggling already to get through this day and not sure how i possibly can.” That might reek of death-throe drama, so I follow with “yeah, i think i’ve already blown my wad for the week.” And that’s absolutely all I can think to say. I stare at the screen for a long time before thinking up something further: “did you hear back from neil?” I can’t help but hope that she hasn’t, but I want to get more than a two-line e-mail back. “i hope he gets back with you. he seemed really cute and promising. we should definitely go out tonight. holly.”

As soon as I send the e-mail, I start expecting her to respond, getting ticked with each minute that an e-mail doesn’t come through. Doesn’t she realize I’m waiting for her response? I open the “Help” window in Outlook for no reason and then close it. Then I quite denying it to myself and go to Christine’s MySpace profile so I can look at Neil’s. I look at it with some guilt, pretending I’d never think of writing him from here and nabbing him for myself. But it’s really the fact that nothing’s changed on his profile — the last testimonial still says “neil keep the beat box blasting up in that bitch” — that makes me look at some of his friends to see whatever the hell else there is to see.