Posts Tagged ‘ boredom ’

Magnolia (Off-White)

Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.
After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,
we ourselves flash and yearn,
and moreover my mother told me as a boy
(repeatedly) ‘Ever to confess you’re bored
means you have no

Inner Resources.’ I conclude now I have no
inner resources, because I am heavy bored.
Peoples bore me,
literature bores me, especially great literature,
Henry bores me, with his plights & gripes
as bad as achilles,

Who loves people and valiant art, which bores me.
And the tranquil hills, & gin, look like a drag
and somehow a dog
has taken itself & its tail considerably away
into mountains or sea or sky, leaving
behind: me, wag.

– Dream Song 14 by John Berryman

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If I don’t survive, tell my wife “Hello”.

I have been suffering from Lazy Weekend Boredom for as long as I can remember. My earliest memory of Lazy Weekend Boredom was when I lived in a town called Ripon in North Yorkshire. I can’t have been very old as my parents got married and made their first home together while my father was posted in Ripon. We lived next to a fire station. I only have about five memories of living there and they are;

  • The hernia. I was riding along on a tiny toy tractor when, for whatever reason, some of the tissue in my lower abdomen decided to breach the muscle wall. I think it was a Femoral hernia, but that’s besides the point. I remember falling from the tractor, the fireman who rescued me and nothing more. I was then rushed to hospital where I was fixed by a surgeon. My only recollection of the hospital is lying in the ward with my grandma looking over me with a stuffed panda in her hands. I called my new panda “Panda”. He has a hole in the bottom so you can use him like a puppet. I have him to this very day.
  • Black Jacks and Fruit Salads. I remember having a friend who lived across the road from me and for some reason this friend of mine had access to boxes upon boxes of Fruit Salad and Black Jack sweets. I don’t remember the name of this friend, but I do remember stealing a box of each and running back home to eat them all. I can’t have cared for this friend of mine too much, but then again there’s nothing more important than a million sweets when you are a child. I don’t remember whether or not I was caught stealing the sweets, but if I did my Mother would have made me take them back, apologise and then smacked me when I got home.
  • Making a war frieze and being bollocked for it. I raided my Father’s study and stole a five pack of Staedtler pens, a pack of Blu Tac, scissors and a ream of expensive, watermarked paper. I took my spoils to my room and closed the door. For several hours I sat on my bed and drew soldiers. Soldiers with guns, bazookas, grenades, pistols, knives and swords. I drew fighter jets and bombers and aeroplanes resembling the A400M with paratroopers jumping out of a hatch toward the rear of the plane. I pretty much drew anything I could think of that an army might employ in a war. I then cut them all out using the scissors, taking extra care to remove as much paper as possible and just leave the drawing.  I then stuck my drawings to the wall with the Blu Tac. My Father came into the room, saw the frieze, shouted, called my Mother, she shouted. I had to take my masterpiece down as the Blu Tac stained my mother’s immaculately clean magnolia walls. I was quite upset.
  • Playing various games on the Amiga. My dad was quite into his computers when I was growing up. I remember playing the Amiga for hours on end, We had an Atari ST, then we moved onto an Olivetti x86 machine which ran Windows 3.1 and the Sierra point and click games like the King’s Quest series. From then on he started buying computers and handing his old ones down to me. When I lived in Ripon there were only two games I really remember; Postman Pat which played like a terrible Paper Boy, and Sooty & Sweep in which you had to find something or other. I don’t think I ever got anywhere with them and I never spent a lot of time with them but I do remember them which is a bit odd.
  • My first recollection of Lazy Weekend Boredom. Sitting on my bed cross legged, staring out of the window, being bored and generally doing the square root of nothing.

This is something that doesn’t ever leave you. These are the days at the end of the week where you’re sitting indoors, looking for something to do and finding nothing. I’m having one of those days today. It’s nothing to do with depression, lack of imagination or lack of things to do but a sense of “There’s all this stuff i could do, but I don’t want to do ANY of it”. I could read a book, play some Playstation, go for a walk, take out the rubbish or take some photographs, but I just don’t want to do any of that nonsense.

It’s when you sit on the couch and listen to cars going by outside the window. You hear the car coming, going and then you wonder where the driver’s off to for about five seconds. Then you stop thinking about that and carry on doing nothing. It’s when you put on the radio or an album and it just happens. You don’t listen to it or enjoy it particularly, you just listen to it passively; you’re not really paying attention to it, you know it’s there but it just washes over you. The album starts and ends and before you know it an hour’s gone by.

When I was working I usually countered this with “let’s go and get drunk”, but in my near-insolvency this is a luxury I cannot afford. From recollection, this is the first time in a number of years that I’ve felt like this. It’s the first time I’ve been in an indescribable funk that’s not driven by feeling a bit down or whatever. It’s just a nothingness; an emptiness that I’m finding very difficult to describe. I remember feeling this way a lot as a child. I don’t think it’s a bad thing, rather that I just had so much to do that I didn’t know what to do. My parents were great in that I had a lot of the things I wanted, but I still found myself in this limbo once every couple of weekends.

I don’t know if this is something other adults still suffer from. I think a lot of people will find themselves at the beginnings of Lazy Weekend Boredom and counter it immediately by going out and doing adult things like reading a book in an expensive coffee shop. I find, however, that it creeps up on me and I don’t really realise that I’m suffering from Lazy Weekend Boredom until I’m right in the middle of it and there’s no escape.

Maybe this is the middle ground of emotion. Maybe this is what it feels like to come from The Neutral Planet; a stopping ground between emotions. Maybe it’s my brain deciding to take a rest from worrying about everything, being angry at idiots on the Internet, crying at “Up” or laughing hysterically at burping videos on YouTube. I’m never worried by Lazy Weekend Boredom. In fact, I’m never really anything about it. It comes and goes and I just forget about it the next day.