Interesting Patient Conversation

There was still 30 minutes left in our transport, and the patient was incredibly stable. Not knowing what else to really do, we struck up a conversation. He was an interesting fellow…one of these laid-back, intellectual types with a dry sense of humor and a fierce wanderlust. He made insightful remarks, and smiled these dashing crooked smiles that made me frantically wonder what subtle irony or quiet punchline I’d missed. We’d talked about weather, family, and the best way to make stuffed peppers. He told me about the traveling he’s done, and how he never stays in one place for too long. Sooner or later, the urge to find a change of scenery and pace plucks him from one community and pushes him to another.

“You know, way back in the day, I was a photographer. Well, I still am, but I did it commercially. I worked for this company, and I primarily went to schools and did school portraits. I like portraits. If you look at a good one, you can know the person without ever meeting them,” He told me, occasionally offering a small, knowing grin, or raising his eyebrows.

“But I was bored at this job. It was just one grumpy child forcing a fake smile after another. I was taking this young lady’s picture once…she was pretty, definitely. But she just wouldn’t smile. She wouldn’t even fake one. So I asked her why. What was wrong? Well, she rolled her eyes at me and told me she was bored. She was bored with school. So I told her, ‘Bored people tend to be boring.’ She took offense to that, I guess.

It just seemed so painfully obvious, really. You’re bored? Then do something. Find something that entertains you. Change something. If you’re bored, then you get boring. And then what are you doing with your life? And then it dawns on me…I was boring. I was bored with my job. Bored with that town. Bored with doing the same thing all the time. So I left. About a week later, I packed up all of my things, got in my car, and just drove. I found some little town in Wyoming, and lived there for a few months. I’ve been something of a traveler ever since. I don’t like to be bored.”

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