Sunday, July 05, 2009

Boredom and the Exotic

Walking around Durant, I remember growing up in Vermont, the mugginess, smell of grass, boredom so pure and heavy and inescapable that one couldn't help but notice being here now. There was nothing else to do but do something. I took up long distance bicycling before I had a driver's license just so I could escape town. I'd ride for hours, from Waitsfield to Montpelier--which seemed (almost) exotic--and Waterbury, or the other way, down the Granville gulch and windy, dangerous Route 100 all the way to Rutland. It got me out of town and out of hitting distance (Dad hit). If I didn't bicycle ride, I read, or walked the six miles from home into the center of town, where I loitered in front of the Waitsfield General Store. I hitch hiked a lot. Swam in the Mad River. Did a lot of things on my own, despite having two brothers, a sister, and an odd number of foster siblings. I seemed to like facing down by myself the boredom that could settle on a long muggy summer weekend.

Walking past houses in Durant, a town which seems to have a burgeoning industry in fast food outlets but not much else, I wonder what people are doing indoors. They must be in there because there seems to be nowhere to go. They hunt and fish and go to Lake Texoma, I do know that, but this is flat country and the lake is muddy, and it's too hot to bicycle any distance far enough to seem exotic.

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