Thursday, April 10, 2008

notes toward an autobiography by others, part 5

“You are young, you are on your way up, when you cannot imagine how you will save yourself from death by boredom until dinner, until bed, until the next day arrives to be outwaited, and then, slow slap, the next. You read in despair all the titles of the books on the bookshelf; you play with your fingers; you revolve in your upholstered chair, slide out of the chair upside down onto your head, hope you will somehow damage your heart by waiting for dinner in that position, and think that life by its mere appalling length is a feat of endurance for which you haven’t the strength.”

This sounds familiar. Boredom that was painful. The life to be lived had yet to come, the life when one was someone, could do something.

Never had an upholstered chair that would revolve. Though I would spin in upholstered chairs I found in other houses, sometimes bored to tears there.

I haven’t this awful of a boredom as an adult. Time seems to go faster. Even staring off into space the space between now and dinner has contracted. Even standing in line at the grocery store or for the amusement park ride that is “momentarily” out of order, waits aren’t the endless they used to be.

Maybe part of it is the agency. I don’t have to wait. I can walk away. I can fix myself a snack; I make my dinner myself. I’m not waiting for some other life to begin, at last. I am what I’m going to be when I grow up.

source of quote: Teaching a Stone to Talk, by Annie Dillard

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