This might sound weird, but I just want to sit in a room and be bored with you. I want to stare at wall-to-wall carpet with you while thinking about hair. I want to drink lukewarm Bigelow tea with you. I want to watch mediocre TV with you and have low-grade headaches with you and eat bowls of overcooked pasta with you. I want to buy store-brand wheat bread with you. I want to start a conversation about something controversial with you until both of us realize we don’t know enough about it so we have to switch to talking about food. I want to trace the grain on an artificial wood tabletop while playing four-letter nouns in Bananagrams.
This will be after the not-bored years. Three vacations to hot, photogenic places. Forty Gchat reactions so strong we see the little foxes. Seven passive-aggressive car rides, fourteen unintentionally backhanded compliments, five misguided ice-outs. An afternoon when we take our career choices out of our heads and put them on the table and stab them with little sticks and forks. A fight where someone throws a spoon. One night that feels like ten, when we go to a stranger’s apartment and laugh at their accent wall and stand on opposite sides of their room shouting obscure pasta shapes.
After all that — I want to be bored with you.
Not bored because of you. Bored together. We can drive a Toyota Camry to a strip mall in Jersey, park outside a Rite Aid and chew the insides of our cheeks. We can stare at a concrete column and listen to a Chili’s ad. I can touch my one long eyelash and you can pull your one long eyebrow hair. We should do this when it’s cloudy.
We can let go of all our affectations and all the things we say at parties. We can let go of funny and exciting and interesting and offensive and microaggressive. We can stop trying to be the versions of ourselves that will get the most dopamine, the versions that have been engineered by and for everyone around us. We can stop auto-transcribing everything that happens between us and filtering it into the Good box or the Bad box. We can stop all the overcommunicating and signaling, we can stop being semaphores for whatever we want to feel.
But we can only be bored after we’ve been everything else. We can only be bored after we’ve wanted to fuck one another and kill one another, after we’ve been monumentally silent and pitifully loud. After we’ve fallen through the canopy of clever jokes and Dimly Lit Honesty and what-do-you-think-about-this-disaster-that-happened-yesterday-in-another-city-another-country-another-another-another. After we’ve arrived at the gray bedrock of our relationship, which isn’t fun or tormented or worth blogging about. After we’ve walked back and forth fifty times over the same conversational thread and made each other crazy with everything we’ve said and not said.
Have you ever put your lips in neutral mode and let your cheeks kind of fall into their pockets just because? Just because? Have you ever picked wax from your left ear while cirrus clouds fall apart and you breathe trace amounts of diesel fuel?
The best things are boring. The best moments are boring. They don’t light up a timeline or a desktop background or a conversation, and no matter how much you try, you probably won’t remember them. They are the temporal equivalent of muscle, and without them you’d get nowhere.
The best people are the boring ones, too. They are the human equivalent of marble. They bought a Yankee Candle last week but they haven’t lit it yet.
So maybe if it all goes well, we can end up in the entrance to a 30-year-old Rite Aid. We’ll stand underneath yellow light and look at all the Lemonheads and those little tubes full of what look like smaller M&Ms though they aren’t M&Ms. We’ll put our hands in our jacket pockets and walk down aisles of plastic superheroes and lawn chairs.
We can stop at the candles, open one or two, and pick the one that smells most like nothing in particular. Just a vague combination of flowers and fruit.
This post was originally published on Medium.