Grade: 11th grade
Age: 16

Sunday on Hold

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Sunday afternoons are overrated. People like to talk about Sundays like they’re God’s gift to mankind, which I suppose is true in a sense. But I’ve never found much to like about them. This Sunday I am where I usually find myself sitting on a Sunday afternoon; in front of my computer screen. My face aglow with the pale blue light, my eyes glazing over. I have so many things I want to do, so many things I would rather be doing. I guess its my fault, after all I’m really the one who let Sunday hit me like a truck.
“Truck Driver Shortage May Triple By 2026,” the headline reads. Hmm. That’s sort of a bummer. I wonder why America doesn’t have enough Truck Drivers. I wonder if it’s the long hours, the loneliness. I wonder if they are using robot drivers now, self driving trucks or something. I wonder why I’m about to click on a truck driver shortage article when I have 50 pages to read, an essay to write, and 20 problems to do. I sigh, softly enough so that my mom, checking her phone on the couch, won’t be able to hear me.
Sunday seems almost unfair after the promise of Saturday. On Saturday the world brims with possibilities, goals waiting to be conquered. You will work out, run for miles, go for a hike. You’ll finish writing that story you started. You might even finally schedule that DMV appointment.

Man I forgot to do that.

It wasn’t really my fault. The website was down, and who has time to call the DMV on a Saturday anyway? My mom won’t see it that way. She’s been on me about it. Never mind that right now. I need to focus. I click out of tab with the truck article, having skimmed the first few paragraphs without having found anything to further pique my interest. Waiting for me is my half completed essay. I stare at the cursor, watching it flicker. Maybe if I stare hard enough, I will have started this essay yesterday and be clicking print instead of rereading the same half baked sentences over and over. Over and over. I cast my mind back to yesterday morning, when the sun streamed through my window as I debated whether to take 5 minutes or 50 minutes getting out of bed. It had seemed a pretty consequential decision at the time, and I had chosen the latter. It was a beautiful day, so there was nothing for it but to head for the park for some basketball. When I got back, I opened the computer and wrote a sentence or two. I would have written more of course, but my dad asked if I was up for taking the dogs down to the beach before the sun set. Of course I was, so we drove to the beach, and I smiled watching all the dogs froliking in the water.
My dad asked if I wanted to drive on the way back, and that reminded me of the DMV appointment I hadn’t made. I shuddered thinking about waiting on hold with the DMV, but I quickly banished the troublesome thought from my mind. Sure I hadn’t done it today, but there was plenty of time tomorrow. Nevertheless, I felt a little stress bubbling up within me. But as I cruised down the highway, window down, sea air whipping through my hair, I felt at peace. The sun was slowly falling, hazily dissolving into the ocean in my rearview mirror. There was a sort of sleepy springtime stillness falling over the highway. Traffic was relaxed and unhurried; everyone seemed to be out for a joyride. The ghostly red and yellow headlights, the bright neon glow of the city in the distance, the dying brilliance of the sun reflecting on the sea, the soft light of the dashboard, they all merged together into a beautiful haze, comforting and familiar. The faint sound of Green Day on the radio echoed in the wind. For an instant, I felt a powerful rush of contentment coupled with an indescribable feeling that sent a shiver down my spine. By the time I signaled right and exited the roar of the highway, the last traces of pink in the sky had began to make way for cool blue darkness.
The next day water came down in sheets, pelting the ground. I woke up early. My dog had been barking. The fog was heavier today, the kind of fog that you know from the moment you see it that it isn’t going to fade without a fight. It was a rainy day so there was nothing for it but to head to the park for a run. I ran 7 miles. The park was deserted of course, no one but me ever would want to run through mud and bone chilling rain. I love it though. When you are numb from the cold, alone in the woods with only the deer to hear you shout, that is the only time you’re really alive. I wish I could be out there in the woods now, or maybe back in the car with the blue light of the night instead of the blue light of my computer. Maybe if I smashed my computer they wouldn’t give me homework on it anymore, and I wouldn’t be able to waste my time reading headlines about truck drivers. It’s not that late but I am already tired, so tired. I slam my computer shut, this essay isn’t happening right now. I pick up my phone where Instagram and Youtube wait for me. I go to check my messages but pause. I tap on the phone and dial a number. I put my cellphone to my ear. It rings, and rings, and then the infuriating elevator music plays. I am about to hang up when I hear a voice.
“Hello you have reached the California DMV, how can I help you?

4 thoughts on “Sunday on Hold

  1. beautiful, naturally flowing descriptions–not forced and self-conscious.
    Young person fights lethargy and finally calls the DMV for a driver’s license appointment. This thread–of making the appointment–runs throughout the narrative and ties up the end.

  2. The writer nicely captures the torments of weekend procrastination and contrasts the fun of Saturday with the drudgery of Sunday. However, for me, the odd tense shift from Saturday back to Sunday disrupted the flow of the story.

  3. Young person finally contacts DMV–vivid procrastination scenes with a touch of humor.

  4. Student really works hard to avoid contacting DMV but does so anyway. great imagery.

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