Nothing depresses me more than boredom. Fortunately I haven’t been depressed for a long time. Therein rests the power of writing. It’s a safe haven in a world filled with insanity, an escape from the daily grind, and an unbelievable amount of human suffering, stupidity, and greed that threatens to topple the precarious house of cards we like to call modern society.
My wife likes to joke that I live in my own little world. We both know she’s not really joking, but we pretend and smile. As I’ve gotten older the truth is becoming harder to deny. I don’t do things quite the way I used to. It’s not about making other people happy any longer. It’s about what I want, and nothing else really matters, with my wife and family being the only exceptions to this new way of thinking.
I’m not sure when this selfishness phase of my life started, but one of the catalyst was being forced to attend a revival concert thingy where the preacher was dressed in a white suit. I can’t even remember how many years ago it was now, but I still remember thinking he looked like a milkman or an ice cream vendor.
The venue was large – coliseum and twenty-five thousand people large, and I wanted to be anywhere other than there. My wife knew this, and after a few sarcastic comments which turned into full-fledged rants complete with cursing, the twenty people around us knew it too. This was, as you might imagine, embarrassing to my wife. I seem to have lost that particular social filter somewhere along the way. In a public setting I can, and often do, say just about anything, loudly if I’m in the mood, regardless of the circumstances or situation.
These days I’ll only attend parties or other events if I feel like it, and my wife doesn’t pressure me to go. She knows that if I’m miserable then I’ll make everyone else around me miserable as well. Yet, she loves me anyway. Evidently, I have ‘other qualities’ that make up for my lack of social etiquette.
In my world I do things my way. I don’t wear a seat-belt, even though it’s the law. In fact, I typically cut them out of my car. Rules and laws do not appeal to me. Bring on the Zombie Apocalypse!
The point I’m trying to make is, simply, people do not tell me what to do. When I do something it’s because I want to, not because I have to. There’s only one exception to this, which brings me back to the topic of boredom.
Having the freedom to do anything you want might sound like a great scenario, but it has one major flaw. You can become bored just sitting around waiting for the Zombie Apocalypse to start. Sure, there are other things you can do to occupy your time, but seriously, how many times a day can you do that and still walk without a limp? Eventually you will need a break, and that’s when the boredom sneaks in.
The only thing I’ve found that breaks me out of this restless zone is writing. When I’m writing, the Zombie Apocalypse fades into the background, the external world slows to a crawl, and I can hear the whispers of fictional life in my head. The sounds of their voices pull me out of my world, beckoning me to create a world just for them. It’s the only thing that makes the boredom go away. Even when I don’t want to, I know I have to write. It’s the least selfish thing I can do.