Friday, February 20, 2009


[las-i-tood, -tyood]

–noun 1.weariness of body or mind from strain, oppressive climate etc.; lack of energy; listlessness; languor.
-noun 2.a condition of indolent indifference
1525–35; < L lassitūdō weariness, equiv. to lass(us) weary + -i- -i- + -tūdō -tude

Our story begins in the mind of a writer. Inside this writer's mind lay a vast depository of letters, numbers and symbols commonly strung together to form words and the words strung together to form sentences. This writer strings together sentences to form paragraphs and the resulting paragraphs are then sold on a piecework basis to the Economist.

The second paragraph starts with me biting my nails and waiting on an elevator. I am in the Federal Reserve, where I replaced a machine, and I am taking the mail to Janet Yellen. I am drinking your coffee and I am reading the Economist. The word lassitude catches my eye and my brain will not come up with a matching definition. I try to continue flipping through the magazine, perusing, gorging myself on events over which I have no control. Alas, I cannot. I must know.

Our third paragraph has me continuing through the building, floor by floor, catching peoples' eye and asking them if they know the definition of "lassitude." Classic icebreaker. I give the example in context. Only one, of maybe thirty, hazards a guess. Very few even reckon. The blank eyes of the chronically indifferent. Almost all silent and stone faced.

I find myself alone in the elevator thinking is there a name for this state of languor? This lack of energy or these weary eyes? With spring just around the corner; will I come back to life? What do you make of these lines that keep appearing on my face? Is this environment not suitable for neurons to fritter and synapses to fire? What is this state of indifference; this stasis; this?

Some questions just never get answered.

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