“You’ve always been easily bored,” my mother says. “Even as a little kid, you’d just follow me around saying ‘I’m boredies.”
This commentary comes after telling my mother that I find sitting in my apartment a near impossibility. Essentially, once things are tidied, I am ready to just get the hell out of there.
“What if you lived someplace nicer?” my mom says.
“That’d be great, I can’t lie. But I think I’d be restless anyway,” I tell her.
And it’s true. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy reading, I have a compulsion that doesn’t allow me to stop writing, and I know how to make my own fun. (Every time the upstairs neighbors try to have sex, I stand directly beneath them and fart as loudly as I can.)
Here’s the problem. I want to be excited. So I go out and sculk around looking for it. I watch people getting arrested, eavesdrop on strangers, burn too much gas just driving around. I’m not sure how to explain to you what I need and I am less certain how to fulfill those desires. Something in my subdued body is always clawing and scratching and ready to tear itself out.
It feels best to be in motion. I think sometimes that I could drive forever and I wouldn’t get bored until I had seen every route. I love how it feels to anticipate a new place and to be accountable to no one. I love how it feels to imagine never stopping and never turning back. I imagine endless bad motel nights, BBQ and draft beer from every dive. I love being alone in public, an observer.
Living in familiar spaces is painful. I am prone to a crippling, grieving, nostalgia. I see in everything what my life has been and is no longer. The slightest thing unleashes an onslaught of tears.
Not on the road, where I can run like a wild horse.
I am done with being domesticated, but domesticity is not done with me. So, I vacuum. I scrub dishes. I check the mail. Take out the trash. I dutifully send out small greeting cards. “Hello! All is well here in my fractured abyss!”
“You can’t outrun how you feel,” my mother says.
And that’s true. But I have grown addicted to the pleasures of running. I’ve grown to love with bitter attachment the sensation of anonymous motion, blank landscapes, and a body always roiling with feelings barely concealed.