Picking at the Bedspread

Today’s Daily Prompt asked what bores me…

I hate knowing what happens next. I used to evaluate screenplays for movie studios, and at a rate of 10 per week, it got so that no plot twist could surprise me. That was a long time ago, but even now, gratitude wells up whenever a book or movie surprises me, even if I otherwise loathe the piece. One reason I loved the Harry Potter series was that in all those thousands of pages and hundreds of plot turns, there were only a scant few that I saw coming.

Curiously, although I prefer surprises and novelty, I have spent most of my life as a control freak. (Working on it! Working on it!) Perhaps as my aging memory worsens I will be able to have it all:  exert control, forget I exerted control, enjoy surprise at the events I caused to unfold.

Am I kidding? Control freaks never unfold events. Control freaks have only an illusion of control.

The predictable bores me, and I detest being bored. Being bored. Saying it that way suggests that an outside force imposes the boredom. In fact, whether I get bored or not depends on me. To cop a phrase from a recent movie trailer, boredom is a choice. If I’m bored, I should be able to redirect my attention or reconstruct my attitude and eliminate the boredom.

Which all sounds fine in theory. Routine repetition is the deal-breaker.

Typically I avoid that kind of boredom by tuning out and looking inward. This has some good consequences. For example, I tune out the mind-numbing repetition of brushing my teeth – day after frigging day – and while brushing my teeth I have excellent writing ideas. Moral of that story:  if your writing stalls out, brush your teeth.

I tune out while driving. I’ve lived and worked in the same places for several years so I long ago exhausted all the new ways to commute.  But the space-out can be too complete.  On my way to work and suddenly I come to and I don’t recognize where I am.  The adrenaline jolt certainly fights boredom, but the backtracking and rewinding do not start my day well.

I still remember the first time I experienced boredom. I was a kid, it was the dregs of summer, my friends were elsewhere. I lay on the floor of my room, picking at the bedspread, overwhelmed by there being absolutely nothing I felt like doing.  I don’t remember all that much about my childhood but that moment is indelible.

Do you remember the first time you were bored?

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4 thoughts on “Picking at the Bedspread

  1. I hardly remember the first time I felt bored . It was certainly a long time ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] Picking at the Bedspread | Required Writing […]

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  3. Predictability is boring.. surprises makes a story more interesting.

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