By Callie Oettinger | Published: September 21, 2012
I don’t want to get up.
This thought hits me at about 4:30 AM every morning. It comes in the voice of the animated devil sitting on my shoulder, a la the old Tom and Jerry cartoons. The little angel on the other shoulder always responds by climbing into my head and yelling, get up, lazy—almost as annoying as a soccer stadium filled with four-year olds going to town with vuvuzelas.
For the most part, the devil doesn’t say much. I rarely hear his voice. He just sits around grinning. The angel is the vocal one because she’s the key motivator—and she’s a real steel magnolia, with a mouth that would cause a shipful of sailors on liberty to blush.
The devil is more like a marionette operator. He know which strings to pull, without saying a word. Next thing I know, I’ve spent an hour on Facebook. Huge timesuck that one.
It’s interesting, because the good guy is always portrayed as being nice, sweet, and a million other buzzwords. But this gal on my shoulder is a nut case.
Get out of bed. Don’t eat that cookie. You look like a slob. You’re going to wear that?!?!
And those are some of the milder comments.
This week I started writing two different What It Takes columns. She kept yelling at me that they sucked. Yes, sucked—one of her favorite words.
I went to bed last night thinking about the one I was favoring. I’ve found that if I go to bed trying to sort out something I’m writing—no counting sheep—it will come to be by the time I wake up. I have the pad of paper on my nightstand, ready to go.
Last night I did dream about it. And then the alarm went off and I thought about how to finish off the piece and get it up this morning. And then that devil whispered go back to sleep for a few minutes. You’ll have time.
And I did.
And when I crawled out, I was in the same place I was last night, with two crap articles.
So this week’s What It Takes article isn’t an article. It’s a public apology for me not sorting out what I was going to say, and for letting that little whispering devil sit so fat and happy on my shoulder, while his opponent is blowing her vuvuzela-loving head off.
I owe a lot to her for sticking with me—but I’ll never let her take a vacation. I need her way too much.