a real soundtrack for an imaginary spy film

Episode Fourteen - ENNUI (The Days)

Copyright © 2002 - 2005  Arthur Jarvinen

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In The Martini Lounge. Very late.

Ennui has been here for quite a while, having come in with some bohemioids who left an hour ago to find a livelier spot and do some dancing, since when she has been invited to join Mr. Bunghole at his private table where she has been subjected to a lot of tiresome speculation about some "invisible guy", paying little attention as she tries, though not too hard, to imagine any real good reason for living – merely as an existential pastime mind you; she wouldn't do anything dramatic.

Prompted yet again by another of Mr. Bunghole's companions to get up and do "her number" – which everyone in the place knows, although they have never heard the song anywhere else, ever - she finally succumbs, gets up lazily and nods to the organist, who smiles ever so slightly, yet knowingly, and performs the one piece in her repertoire.

The days come in
Like the tides
The nights go
Oh, so slowly
We see the soundless circus
Hear mazurkas
All around us
In a sea of
Surrounded by
These drowning clowns
One smiles
As another frowns
At me



Claude, at the organ, inhales deeply but gently from his snifter of eau de vie de marc before reading the note left for him by the cocktail waitress, most probably a request for Tiny Bubbles.
Clown paintings by William E. Mullane, Principle, Warren G. Harding High School, Warren, Ohio.
Martini picture from my coffee table, artist unknown.
Below, for your further enjoyment, is Ennui's poem/song in French, translation by Andrea Loselle.

Les jours montent
D’une manière prévisible
Comme les marées
Les nuits passent
O si lentement

Nous entendons le cirque silencieux
Et les mazurkas
Qui nous entourent
Dans une mer

Encerclé par ces clowns qui se noient
L’un sourit
Un autre fronce les sourcils
Devant moi



The mazurka is a social dance of Polish origin, in triple meter, described by some as "melancholy" and supposedly more elegant and not as passionate as the waltz.
The Polish national anthem is a mazurka.

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