Me: [opening up laptop]
The Internet: You should check me before you start writing.
Me: We’ve been over this. First I write, then I check you. There’s no emergency happening.
T.I.: That you know of.
Me: Someone would have called me.
T.I.: Unless they’re all dead. I mean probably they’re not all dead. It’s fine if you don’t check first. Maybe.
Me: Just give me an hour, Internet. A lousy hour.
T.I.: I don’t see why it would hurt if you check your email, at least.
T.I.: Because let’s say one of your friends had an emotional crisis at 3 am and sent you a heartfelt note and all they want is some confirmation from you that they’re as loved as they secretly fear they’re not, and your silence is just making them worse and worse and who knows what’ll happen next?
Me: I…I’m neglecting my loved ones with my selfish wordsmithing?
T.I.: You said that. For the record, I never said that.
T.I.: Anything important going on there?
Me: You know perfectly well that I got a Zara sales email and then I went onto the Zara site and fell down a wormhole of trying to find the saddest-looking Zara model I could find and also I remembered that they had some bad labor practices so I had to look that up too.
T.I.: So: not a waste of time, then. You could use that for something in the future.
Me: What in holy hell are you on, Internet.
T.I.: I’m just saying, it’s all material. Everything is material. Didn’t some writer say that? I bet you could find that quote on —
Me: You shut up now. You shut right up.
T.I.: DONALD TRUMP IS DOING SOMETHING
T.I.: PROBABLY. PROBABLY DONALD TRUMP IS DOING SOMETHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT
Me: It can wait.
T.I.: CAN IT? Listen: you think the story you’re writing is terrible and I’m not saying you’re right but you’re probably right and also you could write a funny tweet about Donald Trump and then you could check and recheck to see how many people liked it and you wouldn’t feel so tiny and insignificant in this world with your dumb stories that no one is reading because you keep them in a folder on your laptop and you don’t put them on meeee
Me: Get a hold of yourself.
T.I.: You’ll Never Believe What’s In Your Water Bottle (And It’s Not BPA!)
T.I.: You’re not going to believe it
Me: Would you lay off? I’ve written 75 words. My daily quota is 2,000.
T.I.: That’s fine, writing is more important than life and well-being and stuff. You only gave your kid the same water bottle oh and you’re definitely going to forget all about this in five minutes and you’ll never remember to find out about the Secret Ingredient That Could Kill You All, oh and guess who's a secret twin, and have you seen that video of the mangy kitten being rescued by a bear who's on a dolphin's —
Me: [turns off wifi]
Me: What the hell?
T.I.: Over here.
Me: I turned you off, you sick—
T.I.: Your phone, baby. I’m still on your phone. LTE.
Me: Oh god.
T.I.: How many words you write? 378? That’s an amazing number! That’s almost 20% of your daily quota, and the day has barely begun. See? You don’t need to get rid of me forever, just for a few minutes. I bet there are tons of writers who write for like 15 minutes and then spend a couple of hours checking me out and then go back to writing for another maybe 10 minutes and BAM look at that, they wrote a bestseller.
Me: I sincerely doubt—
T.I.: Google it.
Me: I don’t need to—
T.I.: You won’t because you know I’m right. Google it google it googlegooglegoogle
Me: You’re killing me. I’m moving to a cave.
T.I. Ooh, good idea! Let’s look up “writing caves.”
Me: [rage-Googles “writing caves” and “writers who live in caves” and “how to write despite the Internet”]
Me: [looking up] What the hell…?
T.I.: You should really manage your time better. Oh by the way here’s your Facebook wall, covered with news about your friends who are all publishing their ninth bestsellers. It's too bad you're not doing that.
Me: I hate you so much.
T.I.: There, there. Here, look at this celebrity who ate a vegetable all weird.