Even after all these years, I'm still working out what I think this song is about. But I'd like to point out those first three lines are things that are literally hard to imagine:
* Painting a picture using only gray
* Lighting a pillow, then laying back to watch the flames
* "I tell a story, but no one listens that long" -- this one is a little bit of a stretch, but this song was written during an era where seemingly everyone on earth wanted to know what Eddie Vedder wanted to say about absolutely everything (and he wasn't doing many interviews). A day to come in which nobody cared what he had to say, at that time, was "hard to imagine." I feel like this line is a little tongue-in-cheek, self-deprecating.
I don't know how that idea plays into the second verse. Still working on that one.