Goal: “I’m just going to skim this one last Wikipedia article and then I’m done. If I fall asleep by 10:30, I can get more than enough sleep to have a productive morning.”

Last Words: “I wonder how many marsupials there are in, like, the whole world.”

Reality: You hear a noise outside and see that it is your neighbor heading to work. Most of the cars outside are already gone, and here you are, not even halfway through Order Dasyuromorphia.

Goal: “After this long day, I’m just going to stream something to help relax before bed.”

Last Words: “Oh, I’ve heard someone talking about this Netflix show. I wonder if it’s any good.”

Reality: Season one is a distant memory, season two is wrapping up, and you still have no idea whether you enjoy the show or if it being on is enough for your attention. You can’t wait for each episode to end, and yet as soon as the credits start, you bash the next button until your thumb hurts. The show must go on.

Goal: “I'll just look at one more page of [SA forum, Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, etc.] and then I’m turning my phone off.”

Last Words: There are no last words. Your finger takes over, pushing you to the next page on its own.

Reality: The sun crests over the trees and you’re still clicking. Your eyes, red and glazed over, hardly move as you stare at the screen. For hours, you haven’t registered a single meme. And yet, you must keep clicking. Your fingers are now in charge, desperately seeking an impossibly perfect gif to fulfil your sadness.

Goal: “One more game of [Dota, League, CS, Hearthstone, etc.] and then I'll hit the hay.”

Last Words [50%]: “Wow, what an awesome victory. I won so fast, I totally have time for another.”

Last Words [50%]: “I hate bad luck! What a bunch of idiot teammates! No way can I end the night on a loss like that.”

Reality: You play so long that the only other people on the server are speaking a language you’ve never heard, but you’re pretty certain that they’re flaming you hard.

Goal: “Nothing’s better than warming up under the blankets and planning out tomorrow until I doze off.”

Last Words: Why don’t I talk to my parents more?”

Reality: You’re clocking in on the second hour of existential crisis convincing yourself that you’ve squandered your life. Your job, your hobbies, your friends and family. There is only regret now. You’ve neglected the people you love to do things you hate. Also, your feet are still cold.

Goal: “It’s still early. I’m just going to get a little snack before bed.”

Last Words: “You know, it’s never too late for tacos.”

Reality: There are times when it is, in fact, too late for tacos. You aren’t sure where the threshold is, but you have certainly passed it. Worse yet, your total lack of control in the drive-thru means that you ate anything that was listed for under $2. Now you stare at the ceiling wondering which hurts more: the refried beans or the self-loathing.

Goal: “I’m going to go to bed at 11:30!”

Last Words: None, but all of a sudden it’s 1:45.

Reality: What just happened? Two hours. Gone. Vanished. How can time slip away so fast? Was there a temporal shift? You waste another hour trying to think it through and only come up with a hypothesis that the universe’s most boring wormhole sucked you up and dumped you out a few hours later. You hate when general relativity messes with you on a work night.

 

– Ian "Salmon Season" Golding (@iggolding)

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