My face is bathed in a cold white glow. Here I am, staring at this blank screen Iíve stared at so many times before. Thinking. Still thinking. Thinking ofÖabsolutely nothing. Taking a short break to visit the Bill Gates Pie in the Face page for the 47th time, hoping that somehow, some way, a great idea for a portfolio writing will suddenly hit me Ďlike a pie in the faceí. Never does. Thinking of how I paid $150 more than I should have for Microsoft Word, forgoing my own moral standards in hopes of a better English grade, and all because Notepad wonít double space. Trying to write some poetry. Nope, itís only 1:00 am, not nearly late enough for creativity and deep thought. Maybe for next week. 
  
    Still staring. Seriously considering turning this in on Friday for 0 points and 2 dirty looks from Mrs. G, then realizing what kind of grade Iím already getting in the class and instead opting for another cup of coffee. Still staring, although the blank screen is slowly becoming a dimmer shade of blank. I tear lethargically into another bag of Combos as my eyelids grow steadily heavier under the weight of Sandmanís sprinkles and the impending deadline. Combos still in hand, I step away from the keyboard, sink into the couch and close my eyes, Ďto collect my thoughtsí. Just for a few minutes, I assure myself. Just a few minutes. 
  
    Two hours later I am abruptly jolted awake by the family cat, who has apparently mistaken my lifeless form for part of the furniture and seen fit to sink his claws into it to test the durability of the material. Maybe Iíve collected enough thoughts, I muse to myself. Back at the helm of my blank-screened Microsoft Mobile I stare once again, the two of us locked in perfect sync, man vs. machine, ticking along at exactly 150 million ticks per second. Doing absolutely nothing. Thinking absolutely nothing. 150 million nothings per second. Maybe itís time to upgrade. 
  
    Fifteen minutes later, another round of Bill Gates Pie in the Face has left me with absolutely no new insights and still less time to come up with a topic. Iím out of coffee, out of Combos, and know that if I go back to the couch to collect my thoughts again Iíll likely find myself running after the late bus in my underwear screaming "Wait, wait!" and wondering how on earth I ended up on the couch in the first place. And still I stare at the cursor on the still-blank screen, blinking, winking, silently muttering to itself over the utterly pointless waste of the past two and a half hours of its winking, blinking existence. With a sudden sense of desperation and a glance at the clock, I look around. No cat in sight. A few more minutesí relaxation on the couch could do no harm. Maybe something will come to me. I sink into the cushions once again, and close my eyes. Just for a few minutes. Just a few. 

  I am awakened by a bright light shining in my eyes from the window nearby. Itís six thirty. The couch makes a soft sucking noise as if in protest, as I peel myself from the cushions that have claimed yet another victim of their Siren-like Ďcome collect your thoughtsí song. I stagger back toward the computer monitor, feverishly preparing an excuse for not having a paper once again. And there it is. Two pages. Two wonderful, glorious pages of black text. Could it be that my thoughts, becoming bored and impatient with me, have collected themselves in my absence and compiled themselves into Portfolio #4? I step forward and look more carefully at the two beautiful pages of text ...that make no sense whatsoever. Maybe I typed them backwards or something. It must have had something to do with lying half awake on a couch, staring out the window, watching yesterdayís sunset rewind as it does every morning for its nightly rebroadcast. But hey, two pages is two pages. I hurriedly dress and run to my bus, climb aboard and find an empty seat. Well, goodnight everyone. See you in English class.

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