Day 143 – A Cure for Boredom

Christ knows how I wrote 808 words, but I did.

 

Word count:808

 

 

Brian stabbed the remote control into the thin air between himself and the television. Eventually he managed to change channel. Every couple of seconds he would repeat the motion. Nothing interested him. Not the football; not the horse racing; not the action movie; not the soaps; not the news and certainly not the clumps of adverts he was coming across more often than not.

Moira, his wife, was rattling in his ear like a firecracker in a tin can. For twenty seven long years she has spoken continuously about something; whether it was the weather, the neighbours, dinner, cleaning, shopping – she would simply not stop talking. Even in her sleep she mumbled. It grated on Brian like a block of hard cheese.

This particular afternoon, whilst Brian was surfing the channels once again for something vaguely interesting to watch, Moira was prattling on about some herbal remedies her friends were all trying to sooth the “ageing issues that women face at a certain time in their lives.” As soon as the last syllable of “herbal” hammered on his eardrum, he followed the automated internal process of switching off his brain and turning on the “yes, that’s lovely” protocol, which came in useful in such times.

Brian was struggling to distract himself with the television. He didn’t fancy another cuppa either. The weather outside was grey – he could have driven somewhere nice, but that would have involved time, effort and most likely money. He could have read a book, but he was not in the mood. He could learn to cook something, but he would have had to have gone to the shops – and driven by car, which he wasn’t too keen on in the first place. He could take out a photograph album and look at pictures of the kids when they were young, but that was probably stuck in the loft somewhere and he’d need to find the ladder and look out the key for the loft anyway.  He could have spoken to his wife, but he was not that desperate. Yet.

 

Brian was bored. Brian was excruciatingly bored of being bored. The inside of his skull was solid with boredom. For more years than he cared to imagine, he had been bored. Work bored him, holidays bored him. People bored him. Speaking to his own children bored him. His grandchildren bored him. Movies bored him; cinema, television, sports, computers, technology, newspapers and parties bored him. He’d been to the doctor about it. This did not feel at all normal.  He had tried all sorts of pills, but they annoyed him and bugged him – so he cast them aside and opted for “more exciting” drugs, which failed to amuse him as well.

Day after day, Brian felt as if his brain would explode with dullness. His thoughts were constantly dwelling on the mundane and the boring. He couldn’t stop it; he could not reverse it. No amount of positive thinking sessions or hypnotherapy (he’d tried) could get him to think any other way. Moira had been somewhat supportive, but she had been too busy chattering away to herself to really give her full attention to the matter. His kids were too far away and only had to suffer it second handedly at Christmas.

 

Moira was continuing to yapper away about her herbal remedies and their somethingthorother to help with her wrinkly bits or sagging things, when Brian struck a brainwave. It was if a shining light had descended from heaven itself. He shot up from his uncomfortable position in his armchair and threw the remote aside, as if casting his weapon into the fire. Moira barely noticed the goings on and kept up the conversation. As she became aware that he had moved out of the room to the front door, her voice increased slightly.

At the front door, Brian stood and inhaled the fresh air. He walked to into town and withdrew all the money he had in the world. He then went directly to the nearest cheap clothing shop and got several pairs of pre-packed underwear. He then called a taxi – giving a rather large tip – and was dropped off at the airport. Meanwhile, Moira was still talking to herself at a slightly elevated noise level.

At the airport Brian stood in the centre of the flight check in and shut his eyes. He then twirled round and round on the spot for a minute. Passersby must have assumed him some kind of nutcase. He then stopped suddenly and went towards the desk that was now right in from of him.

“One way to wherever the next flight is going,” he said.

Within an hour he was doing up his seat belt in first class on a plane bound for Africa.

“This is exciting,” he said to himself, “Yes, it most certainly is,” he agreed.

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~ by S.G. Mark on February 27, 2012.

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