In one of the most famous episodes of The Twilight Zone, a quiet, bookish man named Henry Bemis finds himself in a peculiar situation (as characters in The Twilight Zone often do). While he’s securely tucked away in a bank vault reading a book, Mr. Bemis becomes the lone survivor of an H-Bomb. After a brief period of melancholy, Mr. Bemis realizes he has “time enough at last” to read all the books he could ever want, with nothing to distract him, with no other people to bother him. In Typical Twilight Zone fashion, there’s a twist: Mr. Bemis breaks his reading glasses, and he can no longer see the words on the page.
I sometimes feel like Henry Bemis. At the precise moment I believe I can sit down to write unimpeded, my figurative glasses fall to the ground and splinter into a thousand shards. That is to say, the phone rings, or I become distracted, or the power goes out. All those sinister and mundane daily threats. They lurk about, hiding behind your dirty laundry. Sneaking along the unvacuumed rug. Camouflaged as text message notifications and emails.
This isn’t a self-help article. I’m not here to prescribe a magic pill, some toothless advice meant to harness your inner focus. You’ve been reading the article. You already know I suffer from the same distractions and deteriorating time management skills. If anything, I’m merely here to say, you’re not alone. We all break our glasses sometimes, and usually right when we’re under the delusion that we have time enough at last.
Hell, this very article is a distraction from a novel I should be editing, and a short story I should be writing. Another kind of procrastination masked as an accomplishment. Or perhaps I’m being too hard on myself. Writing is writing is writing, after all. And this article—I hope—marks the return of my long-neglected blog.
Like the decimated city in Henry Bemis’s corner of the Twilight Zone, I’ve let my webpage and blog fall into disrepair. Years have passed with no new articles and frankly, I’ve missed the blissful release of disorienting unorganized writing. A distraction? Perhaps. But also, a much-needed release from the stressful goals and plans.
It’s time to rebuild. I hope you’ll join me now and again. Just another Twilight Zone. Another alternate dimension where time stands still long enough for a few words to be written and read. A place we can tape up our broken glasses and hope for a little leeway. A little extra time.