Boring is Eccentric
I wanted to be like her instantly. Dave and I had just concept The Wild Morning. But at the time, we wanted to call it Wild Linens (no, too sexual), Come Mourning (the play on words felt like too much), Covers (too sexual again). We were in a coffee shop talking over nitro coffee and more ideas. We were covered up by little spurts of inspiration; warm with them. They consumed us like sleep. The first steps of the Wild Morning were fueled by pure curiosity. I was curious about Alex. So, since the world is a respectable bulb of over-communication and hot fingertips, we tweeted at her. She loved the project. We adored her. Does she wear pants for the photo shoot? Pants are optional. We’re bringing pastry treats, do you like gluten? I love the shit out of gluten.
Then we were at her house, just like that. Surrounded by creamy, tall vintage vases, antlers, records, and her incredible warmth. She hugged us like we hadn’t seen her in years even though we’d never seen her before. She told us she wanted to be authentic as possible, “so let me get back into bed.” Where she was interchangeably reading Chuck Klosterman and checking her phone.
“Sorry for the mess,” she told us. “I used to love cleaning but when I’m home that’s not what I want to spend my time doing.” It was as if we had pulled her straight from a film in 1972. She moved like slow film, talked like she had been on the earth for 70 years, instead of 20 something. I couldn’t believe we were just crusading through her house with pastries and sweat from the thick July morning.
I’m talking about this because Alex set something for the Wild Morning that I was unaware the Wild Morning was capable of. This project was certainly about showing the world women in a light they’d never been shown but it was suddenly deeper than telling a few stories here and there. Curiosity. Quiet rooms and silence became everything; it shaped these women. An element of not saying anything at all became a tornado in my mind. I was everywhere. I was a mile through the vintage map blowing in the breeze in Alex’s family room. I was swimming through the reflection of her copper mug collection. I was gliding along her “ask not” tattoo on her thigh, suddenly doing the butterfly stroke through 1964. I was funneling through metaphorical meaning throughout her quiet one-liners as she covered herself up under an old quilt on her bed and drank hot coffee from a straw. I wasn’t trying to figure her out. I was suddenly very aware of myself.
Every woman is so fascinating. They could be swinging open the door breastfeeding their baby. Maybe they’re recently engaged and re-doing their family room to look like a small library. Perhaps they’re tumbling through space trying to find routine, after just quitting their job and losing their husband. Sometimes they cry because they almost lost their life to depression. Sometimes they pour coffee over their Chemex and say, “We don’t do things the easy way around here. We do things the hardest way possible.”
The funniest thing every woman tells me is, “I’m afraid, what if I’m boring?” And I’ve since discovered, boring is beyond. Boring is captivating. Boring sits us down in a quiet room and makes us see things about ourselves we’ve been seeking for a while. If you just...slow down, pour your coffee, and breath.