"Why are we waiting?
This is constipating!"
The loud,cheerful voice and artless choice of words ensured that everyone within hearing range in the doctors' waiting room was in no doubt this was the refrain of a young child. Much head-nodding agreement followed, and one friendly chap with a twinkle in his eye, leaned forward to say, "That's why they call us patients, honey." She was too young; his comment went over her head, but not so the rest of the 'patient sufferers'. Despite whatever discomforts had brought them here, there was a raised eyebrow or two, and more than a few tight, smirky-type grins.
Even those trying to defray the boredom of enforced sitting, doing nothing time by reading the dog-eared magazines on the low table between the rows of chairs, showed amusement. Anything that relieved the monotony of having read all the patient notices four or five times; met other's eyes and either smiled or looked away hastily for fear you'd seem to be staring.
Is there anything to compare to the boredom of waiting at the doctor's rooms, or the dentist (especially for possibly bad news or blurp treatments; without the vaguest knowledge of the reason why you're still waiting when you were told to appear at a certain time, and no idea of how much longer it may be)? At least there, I've found my antidote for that particular pain in the nether regions. I have my trusty Kindle in my handbag, along with my equally necessary specs. Have often felt the Doc is finally another pain when interrupting a really good 'grippy' part of the story (almost, but not quite, tempted to wave someone else on ahead of me).
Wherever this waiting rears its ugly head, it's a thorough pain. I'm thinking particularly there would be few amongst us who doesn't share the frustration of being in a traffic jam, with the barest of forward movement happening... occasionally! And knowing there is no possibility of leaving the freeway for miles and miles? Try as you may, this is one of the times when music does NOT soothe the savage soul.
Perhaps we writerly folk are amongst the luckiest. In the most mind-numbingly boring moments we can always think and ponder and dream. Maybe titles flit through our mind, or names for characters that have been eluding us or needed improvement. Out comes the trusty notepad and pencil (you didn't forget that one - EVER - did you?) and a brief word or phrase can set the scene or even the whole 'yet to come' book. Suddenly the waiting takes on another persona altogether. So long as you don't forget to keep eyes (and part of the brain) on the potential tiniest of physical progress, great globs of inspiration can transport that creative bit of you far from the madding crowd. Here's a guy who says it better -
"The writer's curse is that even in solitude, no matter its duration,
he never grows lonely or bored."
― Criss Jami, Killosophy
And queues. The least boring I find, is the local Post Office queue. These days it runs through the middle of three walkways of a long narrow store, flanked on each side by all the wondrous 'stuff' Australia Post now sells (even stamps... still!). Toys and books, ornaments and photographic gear, and every technological creation too. There's even stationery! But the best bit of our local Post Office is that almost everyone there waiting, knows each other and most get into such wonderful conversations, you're almost resentful when you're the one next to the 'Please Wait Here' sign.
Supermarket queues at the checkouts however, are a different story. Just lines of hapless and helpless shoppers studying their now just a tad crumpled lists once more (you know the 'checking it twice' a famous old gent taught us?) But even then - if you should be fortunate enough to live in the country - you will KNOW the check-out chick (or maybe her auntie or mother-in-law or granny). Maybe the missing link will be that she plays netball for your local 'A' team... and they won last week!
Or a much admired and beloved face that's been missing for a few weeks - suddenly turns up again. She's been in Vietnam... after twelve months of penny-pinching and raffling and working her butt off to pay her way. But wait. She's back in the supermarket two days after returning from the wondrous visit that saw a dozen High school kids freely giving physical actuality and learning, positivity and love to the disabled and homeless and unwanted of that country. Boredom? I don't believe she knows that word. She seriously doesn't have time. And I think her journey has shown her many unexpected 'home truths'. Like how it took a year to get the money chewed up in two weeks. Like how her deprivations, common to all third world teenagers, suddenly shrink by comparison to those who have no food, no adequate clothing, no education... no family. Like how perfectly wonderful and precious her 'ordinary' days in her average home are.
Not for the likes of her the likes of those who constantly and passionately cry, "I'm bored. What shall I do now?" On behalf of those who 'get up and go when the going gets tough', I find I seriously want to thump those who choose 'do-nothing sloth'... the bored... but maybe most importantly, the truly boring amongst us.
No apologies that I feel a quote coming on -
"I'm bored' is a useless thing to say.
I mean, you live in a great, big, vast world that you've seen none percent of.
Even the inside of your own mind is endless; it goes on forever, inwardly, do you understand?
The fact that you're alive is amazing, so you don't get to say 'I'm bored."
― Louis C.K
I began with a chuckle... best end that way, too.
Once upon a very long time ago (yes I know you've all heard me say that, over and over... suck it up!), one of our local papers ran with the headline that had featured in a city newspaper story. Someone thought it quite reasonable to announce in large letters -
'MORE OLD BORES FOUND IN SOUTH EAST'
OH Hot Damn! Sprung again!
YOU ARE READING
Prompt PerspectivesShort Story
A collection of short stories inspired initially by Tablo Publishing prompts, now expanding to include prompts from other places. Sometimes it's one word; maybe a phrase or a saying; sometimes a particular photo sets the creative wheels in motion. I...