Motto: If I distract myself, time will not pass.
Repeat that. This is important. IF I DISTRACT MYSELF, TIME WILL NOT PASS. Belief in the motto is essential to our Mission.
All of you who might have contributed to the node, not wanting to sleep so the next day won't start, are prime candidates for the Society. Come one, come all.
Dedicated to the delicate art of time manipulation through the extreme lack of concentration, the SPABTA celebrates all that is Procrastination. SPABTA members exist in all walks of life. We are the slightly displaced, the gently off-balance; the people for whom time is not some constantly rolling steam engine against which we steadily do our daily tasks. Time, for us, stops and starts... shoots by like a hateful hot meteor, or idles like a studebaker on an Atlanta freeway. We craft and shape it with our hands and our minds. We are in control.
There are people among you who see this page as though dipped in a light slick of petroleum. Vague colors are sliding off of the lenses of your eyes as the page wavers uncertainly, because you have been up for over 24 hours, and that impending final exam is making you more wretched than the pathetic finger-oil-soaked pages of your loose-leaf notebook.
Fear not, for you are possessed of the Ultimate Power: the ability to hold time at arm's length. You may push and pull time's warp and time's weft at your will, press its eyes shut to force it to listen to the continuing darkness, tear it into minutes and seconds and milliseconds to make its passage more difficult. To quote Invictus in the face of the atomic clock, to sing louder than the songs of the early morning birds... To stare down even the rotation of the earth with burning and wearied eyes, these powers are ours. We are harder than quartz, and richer than Rollex. And you can stay awake forever.
One of our members managed to make a ten hour night last no less than THIRTY-TWO hours, by the virtue of Freecell alone.
Another veteran of us stared down the sunrise with such unbearable weight, that the sky refused to lighten for a full five minutes past its appointed time.
We are the stressed, the irritable, the sagged of flesh and shattered of bone. But this is understandable, for we hold all of time in our own frail hands. Unlike those who believe in selective responsibility, we are aware of the terrible truth: the world does rest upon our shoulders, and should we shift that weight, even the tiniest bit, the world as we know it will cease to exist.
No wonder we cannot rest.
We do not exist.
You, the procrastinator, who read this. You do not exist. You have placed yourself and your powers within a realm where time and outside influences cannot reach you. You have restricted every ounce of energy to one single, vital task -- that of keeping time at bay, howling at the sun, tracking down every single second to its bloody end.
You are waiting for something.
You are not waiting for that Test, or that Deadline, or any other Single Dreaded Event. You are waiting for something else. You are waiting, in fact, for the Very Worst. The Room 101 in your lead-filled existence, where the pinchers and hotirons wait for your tenderest parts. You are waiting for the world to end.
And tomorrow, when the Dreaded Event which you, in fact, were NOT waiting for, happens... the world will not, in fact, end.
But you will be tired, and sick. Tired and sick from stretching time to the utmost, from carrying this cosmic whirling globe upon your narrow shoulders through the night. Your eyes will burn upon twin stakes, and your muscles will work themselves in ceaseless, useless rhythms, unable to stop because your brain has given them the same impossible task it always did before: "Stop time, or all will be lost."
Your muscles are gullible, but you need not be.
Go to sleep.
Go to sleep. You are weary for a reason. That reason is that time marches on, as Lewis said, at the rate of 24 hours a day and 365 days a year regardless of what you try to do to stop it.
Go to sleep. All will not be lost. The worst will not happen. And if the worst does happen, you will face it better if you are rested.
Go to sleep. It is alright. There are things that will be worth living for; some of those things will even happen tomorrow. The sun is not evil; the sun will warm you... the rain will wash you, the wind will caress your face as no person can. Tomorrow you will wake up, breathing in air, a substance that is remarkably well-suited to going into your lungs. You will see light, a substance that is wonderfully well-fitted to viewing by your eyes. You will very probably eat food, something that it is quite natural you should eat.
Go to sleep. I will still love you.