Even boredom has its crises. – Mason Cooley
Clementine was dreadfully bored. Once in school she had been punished because, chafing at the incredibly slow pace of a reading lesson, she had forged far ahead of the rest of the class; when it was her turn to read aloud she had no idea where the others were. Even at eight years old she had bristled at the absurdity of being chastised for excellence, and resolved to learn to split her focus between whatever she was supposed to be doing and what she really wanted to do. And after many years of practice, she had succeeded to a degree few others could manage; when at work, she carried out her tasks so well and so efficiently that nobody ever imagined that something else entirely unrelated might be going on behind her china-blue eyes. She had become so good at it, in fact, that her inner mind actually needed something else to do while her outer mind was occupied.
Hence today’s boredom; though she enjoyed her job, there were some parts of it that were repetitious. And if she had nothing else to think about during those times, she might very well fall asleep. Yet try as she might, she just couldn’t think of anything else to do. She had already ordered her schedule for the rest of the day, planned dinner and made a grocery list; after that she had decided on a color of paint for her house, composed a stern letter to the contractor who had left a large pile of building materials in her back yard, and made a mental note to call her little sister. And that was all she could think of, despite the fact that there were still 45 minutes left before she was done.
She considered the possibility of trying to finish a song she had been working on, but even her admirably-organized mind couldn’t manage that well without a guitar to strum on; besides, the might start humming or singing aloud, and that would obviously betray the fact that her focus on the work at hand was something less than total. Similar objections applied to practicing her shibari knots, and the idea of doing anything at all about her ballroom dancing lessons was wholly ridiculous. The very fact that it had crossed her mind in the first place was a bad sign; she must already be experiencing a kind of boredom-induced mental lapse.
What if, she thought, I focused both of my channels on the same thing? Maybe I’d be able to do it that much better and twice as efficiently! But it was no use; after 10 minutes of futile introspection she could not escape the conclusion that her current task didn’t even use the full resources of one of her cognitive channels, much less both. No, it was just hopeless; she just had to give up, and almost surrendered to the urge of throwing her hands up into the air in a gesture of exasperation. There was a clock in sight, but as it was a digital one she couldn’t even play mental games with the hands; she just had to watch as the minutes crawled by with aching slowness. Twenty-five minutes left.
Twenty-one, and Clementine’s inner mind realized that her outer one was frantically trying to get its attention, like a woman performing semaphore motions while jumping up and down. And it slowly dawned on her that while she had been fascinated by the clock, her client had gotten up and left the room, and she had absolutely no idea where he had gone. The confusion didn’t last long; he soon stepped back into the room, drying his hair with a towel, and smiled at her. “That was amazing!” he said.
“Amazing?” she echoed stupidly. “What makes you say that?”
“I’ve never seen a woman come like that before! Once you stopped moaning and bucking, you just sort of went all limp and your eyes glazed over, as though you were hypnotized or something. It was so hot!”
“Oh, yeah, well, I think you deserve the credit for that,” she lied. “I mean, I don’t climax like that all the time; I just got lost in the moment.” Well, at least that part wasn’t a lie. “Hey, don’t include that in your review, OK? I don’t want the other gents to feel bad if I don’t react that way with them.”
“Of course, of course,” he beamed, as he opened his wallet and fished out an extra hundred for her. “But I sure hope you react that way with me again!”
“Oh yes, I think that’s probably likely,” she said, putting on her prettiest smile before she even reached for her robe. Behind her eyes, inner Clementine was already trying to take credit for the performance; she’d have to sit her down as soon as the client left and patiently explain that it was a team effort, in preparation for a brainstorming session dedicated to working out how to do the same thing regularly and predictably. And afterward, she’d task inner Clementine with working out what to do with the increased income.
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