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“You’ve got two choices,” the man said to me. “Either you’re going to make this the best day off ever, or you’re going to be a bum and do nothing.”

This, to me, was a little troubling. It also was a lot of pressure for someone who overthinks everything. What if I pick the wrong one? Will I ever get another day off again if I mess this one up?

But also what constitutes “the best day off ever”?

I looked at two buttons in front of me. Even though they were inanimate objects, I still felt pressure. Can buttons be judgmental?

This is where a normal person goes through the pros and cons of each option. Which, I mean, makes sense on a logical level, but I feel like my brain can back-talk myself out of any decision. It’s a special talent, if I’m honest.

Okay. Time to think. What would I do if I wasn’t a bum and decided to actually be productive on my day off? I could clean my room, get all my freelance work done, go to the gym, write another piece for The Prompt, get my life in general order, meal prep, clean out my closets and get my car washed and vacuumed.

Christ. That’s a lot.

For the counterpoint, I could finally catch up on my book club books and stay in bed all day, secretly horrifying my boyfriend as I eat whatever I please, in bed. Today’s selection is likely to be some form of pizza or mac and cheese.

As I ponder these options, the man continues to stare at me.

I try to make out his face. It’s… not actually familiar. I mean, I’m usually pretty good with faces, but he’s making it harder to decide what I want. And anyway, why is he here? It’s me who’s making the decision of what to do with my day off.

“You’re running out of time,” he says and looks at the pocket watch in his hand. Is there a time limit on this? Oh god. I have to get to work! I’m going to be late! Let’s go over this again.

The buttons in front of me start to grow in size, reaching almost comical proportions, and start floating towards me. This does not help my panic.

Fun, relaxing day or highly productive day. Maybe both? I can combine several things so it’s not a total wash. Wait, no, that doesn’t sound right. Can a day be productive AND relaxing? Let’s try this again.

All of a sudden, I jolt awake and look at my phone—it’s 4:30 A.M.  I laugh to myself and realize that no matter what I decide to do with my day off, I still have a couple more hours to decide, in dream world or the real world.

Jessica Lulka

Jess Lulka is a Boston-based creative. When she's not writing or editing, you'll find her at any bookstore, art museum, or looking at cat pictures.

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