It intrigues me how the word in English has quite a different connotation than its origin from Old French enui (annoyance) or ennuyer (to annoy). Ennui in our usage means boredom or lack of interest. Some people can go crazy from ennui, others prefer it as their natural state-of-being.
I do not suffer from ennui because my mind rapidly fires thoughts and ideas at all waking hours and, in fact, in the early morning, it is exactly that which wakes me up. Every dawn those prickly little thoughts poke at me to wake up and do something. I am a prisoner of my brain and its incessant ticking. I wish to have ennui just once a month and even more frequently if I may so ask the universe to sit in boredom and stare.
My friends have pointed out that there are ways to bring on torpidity with certain, shall we say, outside affects that diminish the brain’s capacity to spout thoughts. But the ones I enjoy don’t stop me from thinking. The vodka martini after 5p only creates a new frame of ideas unless I have 2 or 3 and then merely fall asleep. This does help, it seems (falling asleep, that is). But it does not hinder the little peep-peep-peep of my brain when it’s ready to consume me again 5 or 6 hours after the dozing.
I long for languor.
Alas, Je suis ennuyé que je n’ai pas l’ennui.