An Interesting Guy
I stared wrathfully at the bright computer screen. Nothing! I had been sitting here, slumped in the exact same position, for two hours, and I still had nothing. Not one word, not one idea. Granted, many thoughts had flitted through my head and out onto the word document, but each had been discarded almost instantly as impossible, silly, or just plain boring. If I had been writing with a pencil, the sheet of paper would have been worn through by now with erasing. I sighed just loud enough to vent some of my feelings, but not loud enough to wake anyone up. The rest of my family had long retired to their beds, and here I was, still sitting up writing. Or trying to write. It just wasn’t fair! I couldn’t just give up and go to bed, either, since my paper was due the very next morning. I sighed again, fighting to keep my eyes open and my mind working. The night dragged on, and my exhaustion grew at a pace my writing was not able to equal. My typing (and deleting) fingers slowed…
“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well!” said a voice directly behind me. I sat bolt upright in a flash. Turning around, I saw a familiar figure seated on my bed, like a memory from younger, happier days come to life. The tousled gray hair, bushy mustache, and white suit showed me at a glance who this mysterious person was.
“Mark-…Mr. Twain? Er, Clemens? What…how…What are you doing here?” I asked, completely confused.
“Just thought I’d drop by. You look in need of assistance,” he pointed to the computer before me.
“Well, quite frankly, I am about to take this entire thing and hurl it out that window behind you,” I growled. “I would simply LOVE some assistance. How come you could write so many amazing books, and I can’t even write a silly paper?” I frowned at the computer again.
“You need not expect to get your paper right the first time,” my strange visitor said. “If it were me, I’d go to bed and sleep on it.”
“But that’s just it! I can’t do that! You said something about putting work off…well, I already did that, and look where it landed me!” I indicated the still-blank word document. “How am I suppose to write something decent before tomorrow morning? Especially now that it’s so late at night?” I glanced at the clock on my dresser and received a pang of distress, realizing that nearly another hour had passed since I had last checked.
“You’ll find a way, I’m sure,” Mark Twain answered. He stood up as if to leave. “And remember, an author values a compliment even when it comes from a source of doubtful competency. You’re smart. You’ll figure something out.” He winked.
I looked quizzically at him, wondering how that last comment related to the rest of the conversation, and began to type.
The harsh beeping of an alarm clock jolted me awake. I sat up stiffly and looked around. The computer sat in front of me on the desk where I’d been sprawling. I jiggled the mouse and it sparked to life. The screen displayed a blank word document. I groaned. Shaking my head to clear it, I remembered my dream of the night before. My paper was due in an hour, and I suddenly realized that I now had something to write about. I shifted my chair closer to the desk and started typing, my fingers flying over the keys as I thought bemusedly about my dream. He was an interesting guy, Mark Twain. An interesting guy.