Things I Like To Do When I Don't Feel Like Doing Anything

by John Olson

Run up and down the hill shouting Hollywood! Hollywood! Hollywood!

Order a penis size enhancer for everyone in the neighborhood.

Invent theorems for the unrivalled glory of eggnog.

Get drunk on utter futility.

Pack my favorite suitcase with tree bark and testimony, then board a Greyhound for Saint Louis, Missouri, while shooting furtive looks at the other passengers, careful to make sure I think of a possible role for everyone in a novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, which I will have to  write on my own, Dostoyevsky being dead for the last 132 years, thus burdening myself with the task of leading a live similar to that of Dostoyevsky, a feat remarkably simpler than one might believe, particularly aboard a Greyhound bus on its way to Saint Louis, Missouri.

Count the number of times my upstairs neighbor coughs, who is now into her third solid week of coughing, I don't know why she won't see a doctor, or maybe she has seen a doctor but the doctor, out of an overweening sense of prudence neither good for his patient or the progress of medicine in the new millennium, did not prescribe cough syrup with codeine.

Drink a bottle of cough syrup with codeine. This will entail a strategy of shrewdness, daring, and not a little imprudence, since I do not have a bottle of cough syrup with codeine, nor is it likely I could get my doctor to prescribe a bottle of cough syrup with codeine, as I do not have a cough, albeit I could fake one, but my doctor is not to be trifled with, he is a savvy and perspicacious doctor, which is why I continue to see him, even though he has recommended a regime of strenuous idleness, which has left me with little to do, except this, and I'm not even sure what this is, is it fiction, or non-fiction? Is it an imitation of someone else's style, or is it a completely original text with Icelandic grebes and diesel cylinders popping up and down in mechanical, self-effacing dedication?

Perturb the serenity of the bathroom mirror with the tender abstractions of my face.

Spout edicts.

Get naked and run around the city exhibiting a giant erection and a complete disregard for the theatrics of cause and effect.

Diffuse the paradox of life with massive evasions and the ooze of ghostly estuaries.

Eat a packet of almonds. When I'm done with the packet, eat the almonds.

Get physical. I'm not entirely sure what that means, “get physical.” What isn't physical? But I like that phrase, “let's get physical.” You know?  That song popularized by Olivia Newton John? It wasn't a bad song, I mean, it wasn't “Gimme Shelter” or “More Than a Feeling,” or nearly as great as anything by those two guys in the Black Keys, Dan Auerback and Patrick Carney, or that guy that they got to dance in front of the motel office for the song “Lonely Guy,” what a terrific song, what a terrific dance. If I'm not doing anything else, I think I'll do that.