The Million Dollar Question

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The fear of getting bored gnaws on my insides, like a mouse enjoying his cheese. It’s the reason why every moment of my waking life is crammed with carefully planned and varied activities, to spare myself boredom and monotony.

Today was also meticulously planned. But in order to chase some girl, David has canceled our meeting, throwing a spanner into my well-laid plans. Now I have a chunk of time on my hands and nothing to fill it with at such short notice.

 

What shall I do now?

 

“That’s the million-dollar question,” someone croons in my ears, and I look around, startled. 

 

A figure, looking dapper in a double-breasted jacket, sits next to me on the couch which till a moment ago was as empty as David’s brain. 

 

“Who are you? I ask him, astounded.

 

“I’m the demon ‘What To Do’,” he drawls as he sips the martini that has appeared in his hands from nowhere. 

 

“I’ve never heard of you,” I tell him, but I do. Isn’t he the one who drives my life’s decisions? 

 

“Tch… We are well acquainted,” He replies, sucking an olive. “In fact, you’ve more than passing familiarity with my sire Boredom, and siblings Indecision and Lethargy.”

 

“Now that you’ve introduced your family tree, please tell me why are you here?”

 

“You’re so scared of your own shadow. No time for yourself. Each moment is planned to perfection. Today, we have an opportunity to get to know each other. To build a long-lasting friendship based on fear and filled with trepidation.”

 

“I’m here to smother your heart with countless inquiries of what to do. To bury your soul with meaningless options of whiling away time. To waste your potential in unworthy and unfulfilling activities until you die of ennui,” he finishes his martini and informs me with a grin.

 

The demon means business. I can feel my heart rate going up, just considering the huge vista of mind-numbing activities open to me. Scrolling through my Facebook feed. A voyeuristic trip on Instagram. Watching people killing each other on TV while crunching popcorn. Sweat beads pop up on my skin. My fingers start twitching, to pick up my phone for some screen time. 

 

Maybe I can read an enlightening WhatsApp forward.

 

“Wait! It is my fear of being bored that you utilize to terrorize me. The fact that I’m scared of sitting idle, with time to reflect and hear my own thoughts. I realize that the constant need for engagement has made me lose out on quiet moments of contemplation and their gentle beauty. And that ennui cannot overwhelm me as long as I learn to enjoy my own company.”

 

The face of the demon falls. 

 

“Thank you for coming here today. I’ve finally prevailed over my fear. You can work on our friendship another time.”

 

“No hard feelings, buddy. We have to meet our targets too. Ciao! Till next time.” And he vanishes like he was never there. 

 

*****

 

Author’s note: 

 

Thaasophobia is the fear of boredom, of having nothing to do. In today’s world, it can directly translate to having no internet service.??

 

Pic credit: Cottonbro from Pexels.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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