Boredom Remedy by Meike Ziervogel

Peirene is standing on her head in the middle of the office.

‘Impressive,’ I remark – slightly unimpressed – as I head to my desk to begin my working day. Yesterday, as I left the office, she was performing somersaults.

‘I’m so bored,’ I hear the Nymph behind me mumble. From her voice I can tell that she is still head-down. ‘I need some excitement in my life.’

‘How about finishing off reading through Jamie’s translation of The Empress and The Cake,’ I suggest matter-of-factly.


‘Ok, how about chasing the contracts for our 2017 series?’


‘Then start thinking about possible 2018 titles.’

‘Can’t be bothered.’

The Nymph is now pushing the armchair away from its place. She positions herself in front of the wall, eyes the distance, swings her arms, lifts one leg and uses the momentum to hold herself in a handstand, resting her feet against the wall.

‘The problem is that my work is always the same,’ she moans. ‘And after years of the same, day in day out, I know it all, I can do it all. Frankly I’m quite overcome and totally overwhelmed by a lack of motivation.’

‘And you think standing on your head might help?’

‘The blood rushing into my brain might help me find inspiration.’

I’ve finished checking my emails, slip into my coat and take my handbag.

‘Where you’re going?’ Peirene inquires.

‘To the Refugee Week conference. They invited us to share our blogging expertise with their national delegates.’ I’ve reached the door. ‘Bye then. I see you tonight.’

‘Wait, wait.’ Peirene lowers her legs in a panic. ‘That sounds really exciting. I want to come.’

I stop in the doorway and turn around.

‘Really?’ I have to smile. ‘I assumed you didn’t. After all we’ve been blogging for seven years every single week. More than 300 entries. Over 135 000 words. So that must be rather boring for you.’

‘No, not at all. That’s precisely what I need. New directions.’ She tries to get up but only manages to come half-way and then sits back down again on the floor. ‘Oh dear, I’m a bit dizzy.’ She closes her eyes. ‘Please wait. I’ll be fine in a moment.’

I sit down on the sofa and wait until she has gathered her wits.

‘You see, that’s how it works in life. Exciting things tend to happen when one is willing to put in the slog,’ I can’t help but comment as we are leaving the office together. Then I put my arm in the Nymph’s. ‘Anyway, I’m pleased you are coming, and I’m sure the Refugee Week delegates will be too. They all want to meet you.’

By Meike Ziervogel

Image by Rude Steenbruggen, creative commons.

This blog was originally published as part of Peirene Press‘s series Things Syntactical. The Pain and Passion of a Small Publisher on 14 February 2016.

Category: The Pain & Passion of a Small Publisher


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