Sunday, February 10, 2008


Rob Hardy, writer of beautiful and compelling essays, said a couple days ago that he was bored with convalescence. Judging from his latest Rough Draft blog post, he's getting past the boredom. But it reminded me -- as do so many things -- of a Brautigan poem.

This is for you, Rob, from the collection "June 30th, June 30th" (1977, 1978 Dell Publishing):

Things to Do on a Boring Tokyo Night in a Hotel

1. Have dinner by yourself.
That’s always a lot of fun.

2. Wander aimlessly around the hotel.
This is a huge hotel, so there’s lots of space
to wander aimlessly around.

3. Go up and down the elevator for no reason
at all.
The people going up are going to their rooms.
I’m not.
The people going down are going out.
I’m not.

4. I seriously think about the house phone
and calling my room 3003 and letting it ring
for a very long time. Then wondering where
I’m at and when I will return. Should I leave
a message at the desk saying that when I return
I should call myself?

Please note that the format of this poem is not exacly faithful to the original, which I think is important. I have fooeld around with various Word file formats, some html mumbo-jumbo, many unsavory imprecations directed at Blogger. Still can't get it right, for which I apologize.

Bing bored in a hotel in a far-off land is better than being bored in a hospital. If one has to be bored, I guess being bored at home is the best option.

1 comment:

Rob Hardy said...

Today I:

1. Read two chapters of a biography of Alexander Hamilton.

2. Cranked up Richard Strauss's Alpine Symphony on the stereo.

3. Napped.

4. Yelled at the dog.

Brautigan was better at amusing himself than I am.