She was thinking about the word ‘Ennui’. Plath’s sonnets of sophisticated hopelessness had introduced Ennui to her, a sort of been-there, done-that feeling that never left her skin. There she was, standing amidst her friends, on her 27th birthday, but it all felt so blasé. There was nothing new, nothing she hadn’t experienced. The cacophonous camaraderie always ended in whining, and discussions of sex and not having sex, and she found out that soothing words never worked, even when she tried to deviate their interest to a hotter specimen.
So there she was standing on the balcony with her second glass of Absolut, thinking about a word she had read about a long time ago, and panting for a change. Outside, the city was playing with artificial colors, predominantly halogen orange and yellows of street lights and chrome red of the rear end of vehicles. The weather was equally bored, inclement. Behind her back the party was still at full swing, with the DJ doling out Desi chartbusters. The DJ, a young jockey, was cute. Her interest in him waned out quickly though, as she saw one of her friends measuring him up.
He’s gonna get lucky tonight, she thought, and sipped on the vodka. When she closed the glass door of the balcony, the noise suddenly died down – all that remained was distant echoes of buses honking, cabs screeching, and the likes. She was cut down from reality in an instant.
‘How easy’ she quipped, ‘yet we try so hard’.
She looked downwards from the railings. The cars looked like toys from up here, the people like ants. It was funny.
What would happen to her if she jumped from the 15th floor? It was a parting thought which left her crippled – suicide was for cowards, but did she have any reason not to jump?
She tried to convince herself. Liquor wasn’t helping her make her mind.
“Don’t even think about it” a voice emerged, almost from inside her head. But it wasn’t her conscience speaking.
She turned around. He was sitting on the balcony, resting his back on the wall. The navy blue shirt demanded to be tucked in, but somehow it looked better wrapped carelessly on him, complementing the oyster white trousers he was wearing. His eyes were sharp, and they focused on her.
“Lost the will to live?” He stood up, and came towards her. She couldn’t understand how he had come here, and how she didn’t notice him all this time. It was an unfamiliar feeling.
“Jumping into nothingness is good, but jumping from the top of a building” he smirked, “Not so clever.”
“Do you mind?” She replied, “I need some solitude.” The wisecracks were everywhere.
“I have been where you are now”, he spoke, “I have felt the same feeling. It gets in your head”
She hated sympathizers. But he wasn’t finished yet. “It’s bad, this ennui”
Bolt from the blue.
She recovered herself moments later. He had disappeared by then.