July 26, 2011

If We Could Be Boring

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What is the issue?

We were talking about relationships in my living room, over Aperol drinks with ice cubes and cigarettes off the fire escape. The ethereal echo of something lo-fi and chillwave set the mood. The heat lifted its oppressive finger, ever so slightly, in the early evening glow.

“If only we could be boring,” she said, wistfully, smiling in between sips.

If only. If only we weren’t pulled by an unquenchable hunger to make big things happen, to make music and images and moves, to shout in some way that people really hear, that echoes. If only we didn’t build this micro-world full of the same crazy, glittering people that we’ll never, ever be able to let go. What if you – beautiful, wonderful, talented and so full of light – were more boring? What if we were all more boring? Would it be better?

It might be easier, as I imagine life is for people who live boring. I respect it: I’m just beginning to understand how hard everything will always be because I choose to live only in extremes, at a breakneck pace, in a golden house full of only beautiful people. We never want to slow down. Maybe it is just because we’re young and don’t have reason to yet. Do boring people think about how fast they are living? Do they quiet that inner clamor with the rituals of a tempered life, built around bland tasting elements like cable television, freeway traffic, and local news?

I’m not trying to be mean. My parents would say: “You are so judgmental,” like they do whenever I talk about Midwestern life or normal people or the suburbs. But I mean no harm. I just can’t see how one could be happy being boring, and my parents also always say, “We just want you to be happy.” If only it were that easy.

Maybe I am speaking way too soon. Maybe things will progress, evolve, untangle and unfurl in the next decade or so, and suddenly everyone I know will live in houses in Connecticut of Rhode Island. Maybe. I just don’t foresee something so drastically separate from the life we are all trying so hard to build together out of these concrete streets, abandoned warehouse bricks, and the brilliant ideas that come of our long nights and conversations.

There is something to those long, sweaty nights, whether we are moving our bodies against each other or eating through packs and packs of cigarettes, letting our worries and reassurances slide out with the curls of smoke. It takes a night, and a groggy morning to make our collective thoughts come together. Boring people go to bed hours before we do. They never quite see the morning light. TC mark

image – Tiffany Day

Hannah Daly

Daly studies Race, Space + Visual Culture at NYU’s Gallatin school. She is a member of MAKESHIFT COLLECTIVE, for …

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