ennui (French) noun: a feeling of listlessness and general dissatisfaction resulting from lack of activity or excitement.
This is what I’ve been feeling lately. I know a year and a half has passed. I know that means we have only six months left to wait. But I also know why this song by the Kinks has been playing over and over in my head lately.
There is a struggle going on in me. Sometimes I don’t play his music for days that turn into weeks. Sometimes I try to listen to other music for a while. I ended up placing my used copy of Sara Bareilles’ CD, The Blessed Unrest in the card I was mailing to him. It was a spur of the moment act. “Maybe you can listen to it on your P day,” I scrawled as I waited in line at the post office. The fact is, I’m tired. Tired of the same songs on the same albums of his. Tired of listening to anyone else because he has me ruined. So most of the time, I just don’t listen to anyone at all. Maybe I’m crazy, (pro-ba-bly) but I think I know something of what Teddy must have felt in the play Arsenic and Old Lace.
Reverend Harper: Have you ever tried to persuade him that he wasn’t Teddy Roosevelt?
Abby Brewster: Oh, no.
Martha Brewster: Oh, he’s so happy being Teddy Roosevelt.
Abby Brewster: Oh… Do you remember, Martha, once, a long time ago, we thought if he’d be George Washington, it might be a change for him, and we suggested it.
Martha Brewster: And do you know what happened? He just stayed under his bed for days and wouldn’t be anybody.
I just sit in my car in silence and don’t listen to anybody. It’s quite pleasant, really. I think a lot about stuff. Like a few days ago, I was sitting quietly in my car, waiting for the heavy wrought iron gate that sits at the entrance to our little lake community to slowly open. At that moment, I was wondering what the heck I was going to write about him next. It gets harder the longer he’s away. And then I saw them. A dozen spider webs had sprung up on the iron gate over night to adorn the bleak bars with a delicate, intricate beauty. I took out my phone and snapped a picture of it and drove on, thinking how like those webs his hold on us is. How we are caught, as securely as any prey was ever held. And how struggling only makes the cords of love grow tighter.
Looking back, I realize why I did not see it coming. How was I to see those gently spinning diaphanous threads wafting toward me as I watched and listened each week in wide-eyed innocent wonder? What was there to fear while waiting on the world to change into imagining angels shopping around for smokey mountain memories along that long and winding road to heaven? By the time he strode out to Apologize it was too late. I was already tightly, hopelessly ensnared. With each concert that followed, each video uploaded, I became more captivated and more his captive.
In time he could walk away with confidence, knowing we were securely tethered until his return. When he does, the vibrations will be felt all over the web and across the wide world the net will tremble and our release will come. But we will never be free.