A Lesson in Boredom

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
Robert was bored with his life in the Suburbs, so he made the biggest mistake in his life (so far).

Submitted: July 09, 2012

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Submitted: July 09, 2012

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“A Lesson in Boredom”
by Alex Crouzet-Pascal

People say the suburbs are boring.  I am a firm believer in this theory.  I would much rather live in the city.  And I don’t mean city as in “City of Englewood.”  I mean city as in ‘City of New York.”  
The suburbs are just a bunch of trees and houses and nothing else.  Nothing to do.  I had been born in the suburbs, I had been raised in the suburbs, and now my kids are being raised in the suburbs.  My wife and I had once considered moving the the city, but my wife decided against it because it would not be a suitable place to raise our children.
I was born in the Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, NJ.  I grew up in Hackensack, and as an adult moved to the nearby borough of Tenafly.
As a teenager in Hackensack, my parents rarely let me go into the city .  “It’s too dangerous,” my mother always said,  “Too many bad people.  You wouldn’t want to be kidnapped, would you?”
“It’s too risky,” my father always said, “Too many un-educated idiots.  You wouldn’t want to become one of them, would you?”
And so, I was forced to make do with the few local attractions in Hackensack.  
One day, when I was 16, my friend, Marvin said he was going to the city later that night.  ‘Wanna come?” ha had said.
“My parents won’t let me,” I said.  It was true.  My parents never let me go into the city, let alone at night.  I shuddered thinking of how my mother would react if I asked her permission to go.
“How old are you, Rob? Ten?” said Marvin. “It’s called ‘sneaking out.’”  
“I don’t know, Marv.  I’ve never snuck out before.  What if my parents found out?”
“Don’t worry about it.  Mine never do.  It’s easy.  All you gotta do is stuff clothes under your blanket and put a basketball on your pillow.  The basketball will look just like your round head,” said Marvin with a laugh.
“And you’re sure it’ll work?”
“Trust me, I know this sh*t.  I’ll be at your house at nine.  Be very quiet coming outside.”
I never thought I would agree.  Not in a million years.  But somehow, I found myself saying “Sure, see you then.”
Later that night at nine o’clock, I snuck outside.  I had no problem getting out because my Dad was in Michigan on business and my Mom went to up bed at eight to watch her favorite show, some soap opera that I can’t seem to remember the name of.
Marvin was outside on his bike.  I got on mine, and we rode to the bus station.  When we got there, we got on the earliest bus to New York City.
“Where is this bus going again?” I asked Marvin once we were on the bus.
“I already told you, dude, Washington Square.”
“Where’s that again?”
“Haven’t you ever been to the city before?”
“No, my parents never let me.  I already told you that like 20 times.”


The bus got on the George Washington Bridge.  Everything was going fine.  Great, actually.  That is, until the New Jersey State Police stopped the bus.  Apparently, my mom had called the police when she saw I wasn’t in my bed.  Marvin and I were taken to the Hackensack Police Station.  We waited in the lobby for what seemed like forever.  Finally after half an hour, my mother came to pick me up.  On the drive home, my mother went on and on about how irresponsible I had been.  “I am very disappointed in you, Robert.  Very disappointed.You could have died out there, for God’s sake!  You’e lucky Marvin’s mom knew where you guys were.  Just wait ‘til your father hears about this.  He’ll be home tomorrow, you know!”
“I know, Mom, I’m sorry,” was all I could say.
“I accept your apology, but that doesn’t make what you did okay.  I was worried sick.  I thought you had been kidnapped!”
The next afternoon, my father came home from Michigan.  My mother told him what had happened, and he yelled at me.  “You snuck out? And went to the city?  You’re gonna wish you had died on that bus, because you’re grounded for the rest of the year!  That’s 4 months. Hopefully that’ll give you some time to think about what you did.”
“4 months?” I exclaimed.  “Come on, Dad, it wasn’t even my idea, it was Marvin’s!”
“But it was your decision,” my father replied.  “No matter who’s idea it was, it was your decision.  You’re responsible for your own decisions.  Sure, Marvin came up with the idea, but you could have said no.  You’re not being punished for Marvin’s idea.  You’re being punished for your decision.”  And with that, I was sent to my room for what seemed like eternity.


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