a story by Chris O'Brien
I don't feel bored that often as an adult. I feel hopeless, afraid, and empty frequently. I feel something you could call paralytic ennui, maybe a side effect of too many entertainment options or some reaction to the general freedom of economic privilege. I know that given the choice to do anything, I gravitate towards nothing and nothingness.
The clearest feelings of plain boredom I can remember though are from when I was a kid. I can remember standing in an upstairs closet in my mother's house brimming with six-year-old rage and boredom, visceral maddening boredom. My mom had turned off the TV, and I was desperate to find anything to do.
I was in the closet where we kept all of my toys. Standing barefoot on a chair I'd pulled in to reach the high shelves. I combed through the board games that required friends, the blocks and Tonka trucks I felt I'd outgrown, the Legos and GI Joes that took too much effort to make fun. And that's when I heard three piercing cracks, sharp and reverberant like a wooden bat breaking on a pitch.
I ran to the top of the stairs and called out to my mom. I edged down the steps and across the landing to peer out across the living room. The thing I still remember most clearly is the wide brownish smear across the fancy rug. It paralyzed me. Not because I recognized it as blood, but because that rug was sacred. I wasn't allowed to sit on it, and now it was all bunched up, crooked, and stained. The first sign that the things I took to be permanent could break apart. Anyways, long story short, that's the last time I really ever remember feeling bored.
Chris is an actor, writer, and sometimes musician from Alexandria, Virginia. He studied music and philosophy at James Madison University, then he taught high school, then he was a carpenter's assistant, then he was a caterer, then a waiter... He most recently wrote, scored, and voiced the cartoon "Planet Awesome
," a finalist in The NYTVF's 2012 Comedy Central Pilot Competition.