Tuesday, March 21, 2006 ______________________________________________________________________________

Ennui 

I can't believe I'm using the word "ennui". Worse, I can't believe that I'm actually identifying with it to a larger extent that I care to admit in public. I used to think that the word ennui was yuppie and pretentious. The kind of sentiment that is kicked around by people with trust funds in posh private schools, who wear nautical blazers and take drags on cigarettes that dangle from their limply held lips while discussing how everything is so passé, or worse, bourgeoisie. People who like to make an exhibit of their apathy. "Oh everyone, look at me! I don't care in the least! I am so disinterested! Isn't it something that I can be so unattached and uninterested in life, the universe and everything? Oh please say yes..."

Actually, up until Lisa was tramping around with ennui (or was it purple_ennui? or was it purple_afterglow?) as her screen name a while back, I didn't even know what the definition of ennui was. I had to ask her. Her response is what gave rise to my initial impressions of the word, not that she sits around darkened cafes that pretend to be dank and dirty and orders short long blacks while carrying around battered looking books of poetry she in truth has never read nor cares to appreciate, it's more that I never was able to fully understand how anyone could possibly have "A feeling of weariness and dissatisfaction arising from lack of interest; boredom."

My thoughts were that if one were bored, they were free (and this is especially true of places privileged enough for people to develop ennui in the first place) to find something that would engage them. Free to find a new hobby, develop a new passion. Free, in short, to shake the "lack of interest; boredom" that brings about the "feeling of weariness and dissatisfaction". If you are too disinterested to do even that, well then, there's nothing anyone in the world can do for you, nor is there anyone in the world willing to care about you either. Well, that's how I feel about the situation, anyway.

Until recently. I've discovered that ennui is possible even in a self-motivated individual with healthy and engaging hobbies and addictions. Oh geez, it's not like that. I'm not saying that now I've turned into a bored, self-pitying prick but that the transformation is entirely not my fault but rather that of life, the universe and everything. I'm saying that, yeah, I'm pretty beleaguered by ennui right now and there's nothing I can do about it. Well, there is, but it would involve making several very stupid and impulsive choices - choices, frankly, that I don't have the balls to make. You could also say that despite the raging ennui (I like that, raging_ennui - it's alot edgier than peachsorbet, that's for damn sure) I'm still a sensible enough person to not completely quit school, although I am quite appalled at how much I am happy? complacent? content? to let my academics slip (this close to the finish line at that!).

I am bored, disinterested, I want out. I am tired, I am malcontent. I want to be able to complete crochet projects in one sitting (something that requires long stretches of uninterrupted time) because picking up a piece to work on mid-way is unsettling and disorienting. I want to be able to drink my way through the top 100 wines for under $20 (an invaluable book that Jim and I received from Brian for Christmas), repeating the ones we liked as many times as we would like with no thought to progressing on to other labels because we know we can have another wine, another night; being able to cook up the occassionally elaborate dishes that the book recommends to have with the wine. To be able to do this without thought to the hours "wasted" while intoxicated or the resultant loss of function the next day. I want to be able to keep the house as I want it, not to allow it to languish during the week and to hasten it into a half-assed clean up on the weekend. I don't want to have to clean on the weekend. No, that's not right - I don't want to have to make a distinction between weekend and weekday. I want to be able to smoke cigars while walking along the waterfront in the middle of a Wednesday, after waking up to the mid-morning sunlight battling its way through our thick drapes with Jim still comatose beside me. I want to be able to give Fort all the attention he wants, when he wants it.

See, I already know damn well how to break my ennui. Am I able to do it? Maybe in a couple of months, which I realise is alot more than most people with my "stick in the mud" variety ennui can say. How about now though? How about my crochet projects? How about the large, elaborate meals I would like to prepare? How about the lazy mornings and long walks that are dictated not by the careful calculation of available time, balanced against the pressing obligations, but by the weather? How about it? Fuck ennui.


posted by Joie! at 10:48 AM

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