Pensive Prowler #29: Lazy is as Lazy Does

Pensive Prowler #29 by DMETRI KAKMI

Lazy is as Lazy Does

Hello. We didn’t speak last month. I know you missed me. Strange as it may sound I didn’t miss you. Well, not much anyway. I wasn’t myself, you see, and I needed time out. Mine host John King kindly gave me leave and here we are again, back where we started, and I still feel pretty much the same. Shithouse, as we say in Australia.

Here’s the low-down. When the time came around for last month’s Pensive Prowler, I had so much on, I couldn’t find the time to sit down and write. Even if I had made the time to put finger to keyboard, my brain was so overloaded I couldn’t have found a topic on which to ruminate.

I had too much on my plate. Subsequently, my brain put down its foot and refused to go further with the constant hurly-burly I imposed on it since the start of the year. Instead of working with me, it sent me on a holiday.

Even though I felt guilty about letting you down, and then feeling like a lazy good for nothing for not enlivening your drab, uneventful lives with my extraordinary wit and eloquence, I threw my hands up in the air and went along with it.

No column? One less thing to do. What a relief!

I am by nature lazy. If I can get out of work, I will. But I’m not telling you anything new, right? You’re like that too. I can see it from here. Your indolence is visible to my all-seeing eye. That sluggish slothfulness, the listless torpor, that takes over the minute you’re alone and no one is looking.

Yes, I know, you’re annoyed because you’ve been exposed as a fainéant,for all the world to see. (Look it up you lazy bugger.) That’s okay, you needn’t feel bad. Like I say, I’m one too.

As dear Emily Dickinson so wisely wrote:

I’m Lazy! Who are you?
Are you – Lazy – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!

How dreary – to be – Industrious!
How public – like a Fart –
To tell one’s name – the livelong April –
To an admiring Blog!

My natural mode is reclining on a comfy couch with a dozen buttery croissant and a row of Hanky Panky cocktails (look them up) arrayed before me, dozing, eating, drinking, and watching horror movies.

I’d even have a servant who looks like Dirk Bogarde (look him up), fanning me with a palm frond and giving me inappropriate massages if I could.

Hey, calm down. There’s no need to get offended and all #mootoo on me. I’m being honest and open with you for the sake of furthering the human condition.

But really what is this thing called lazy? An unwillingness to work or use energy. That’s the definition on the online dictionary because I’m too lazy to reach across and open my excellent but really heavy Oxford English Dictionary.

Far as I’m concerned, there is no such thing as a lazy person. There are only people who lack the motivation for specific tasks. Laziness is relative. Just as there is no person who works hard at everything, there is no person who is lazy at everything.

There is only a lack of drive, an absence of motivation. If we could motivate people by giving them tasks they love to perform, there would be an end to laziness.

That sounds like I’m saying I lacked the motivation to write last month’s Pensive Prowler. That’s not true at all.

It’s just that I had to finish the third draft of my novel (done), finalise the program for the second Greek Writers’ Festival (almost done), check the proofs for a forthcoming essay in Archermagazine (done), finish reading seventy-four shortlisted entries for the Ada Cambridge Writing Prize on which I’m a judge (done), check my students’ writing (ongoing) and pack my bags for Montreal (look it up), which by the way is where I will be speaking to you from next month.

If someone could start a Crowdfunding thing to get me to Canada business class I’d really appreciate it. Thanks. Bye.


Dmetri Kakmi (Episode 158) is a writer and editor based in Melbourne, Australia. The memoir Mother Land was shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards in Australia; and is published in England and Turkey. His essays and short stories appear in anthologies and journals. You can find out more about him here.

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