It began as an ordinary Tuesday, a Tuesday on which I woke up feeling incredibly restless. The sun beamed through my window and it looked as if it would be one of the first warm days of the year. In hindsight I believe that was a major contributing factor to my restlessness. A restlessness that developed into me having one of those exceptionally rare, truly random experiences. When I was younger and the first signs of Spring manifested I remember a feeling of intense excitement would shroud me, as if anything was possible. Even now, 20 years later whenever I spot a daffodil or wake up to a bright day, in fact any hint, of the promise of summer energises and exhilarates me. As with anything though there is a downside, the sense of anticipation I feel at the first signs of summer, if left unfulfilled, can pretty quickly lead to me feeling frustration and a degree of discontent.
So on that Tuesday during my commute I felt uncommonly agitated to have to do something as commonplace as go to work and I couldn’t help but be distracted by day dreams of the adventures I would like to be having. Unable to concentrate I messaged CP, in order to staunch the boredom I felt. I suggested we play a slightly modified version of Text Roulette. Now for those of you who don’t know, ‘Text Roulette’ is a game played with friends in which you compose a message (usually somewhat embarrassing) and then send it to a contact at random. I’m sure it comes as no surprise that this game can have embarrassing consequences.
In our version CP suggested a name and the message to send, and I only had to be brave enough to send them. Up first she suggested the Restaurant Manager, I have to admit I felt an iota of disappointment, and it occurred to me that I had a vain hope she would suggest the name of another. For any new readers ‘The Restaurant Manager’ is a guy I met on Tinder who I’ve been on a few very sporadic dates with. Although we have quite substantial chemistry I feel our personalities don’t necessarily mesh that well. As it was my first go I wasn’t able to summon the audacity to send the message she actually proposed but after a slight modification I sent it. Phew! Not as hard as I thought it was gonna be.
Up next, she rather cruelly suggested the One Who Almost Meant The Most. I don’t often talk about this guy, however I feel it prudent to give you some background. I met him a number of years ago and he was the first guy that I felt a true compatibility with, and also one of only two men who I have felt a bone deep, all consuming, addictive chemistry with. Although we don’t talk anymore my connection with him is what I use as a tool of comparison to indicate whether I actually like a guy or not, as the qualities he possesses and the commonalities we shared are, I’ve come to realise, what I would desire if I were to take a partner. Anyway back to roulette…suffice it to say I really struggled with this one, the message was harmless enough but it’s always difficult to mess around with people who actually mean or meant something to you once upon a time. However I managed to dig deep and after a deep inhalation I sent the text. As soon as I pressed send I deleted the message as if the absence of evidence could somehow erase the message from the ether.
Finally and hilariously CP challenged me to message the Guy With Banter aka the ugliest guy I have ever met… This was another guy I met through Tinder, before we met I found our chat highly entertaining and although his profile picture was what you could call abstract I was most intrigued to see if our textual chemistry would translate to real life. When I laid eyes on him for the first time, words can’t describe how unattractive I found him. Following our date, although I knew I’d never see him again, we continued to chat in a friendly way for a brief spell and through our talks I actually learned that he seemed to be some kind of Casanova (I still don’t really understand how or why, but as they say, there’s no accounting for taste). CP demanded that I send this message word for word and with no hint of irony. The message read “I had a really explicit dream about us. And now I can’t stop thinking about you. Are you free on Thursday to meet?” This may come as a shock but I actually found it a hell of a lot easier to send this message, although it was potentially more embarrassing than the completely innocuous message to The One Who Almost Meant The Most…funny that…I guess without there being any element of feeling there it really doesn’t matter what a random person thinks of you. Alas that was the last message I had to send and afterwards I actually hoped that none of my victims would reply, or that they had all through sheer coincidence changed their numbers. Fat chance…
An unexpectedly short time later I got a reply from The Restaurant Manager. As I was in need of a new distraction we continued to chat for the rest of the afternoon and actually ended up meeting later that day…
Now the point in me telling you that story is that what I had thought would be an ordinary Tuesday somehow managed to get derailed. I define ordinary here as a day in which I wake up, go to work, return home and nothing I wasn’t expecting to happen happens. Due to my restlessness I did something that I wouldn’t normally do and the results were…surprising to say the least. And it got me thinking about how performing one random act can alter your course and break up the mundanity of an otherwise boring day.
Some years ago I read a book called ‘The Dice Man’ written by George Cockcroft under the pseudonym Luke Rhineheart. The novel explores a Psychiatrist who, bored of his humdrum existence goes in pursuit of true randomness. He proceeds to make all decisions, from life altering down to the most simplistic, based on the roll of a dice. Living his life in this manner has dangerous implications and I won’t lie to you, it does get pretty dark. However aside from the extreme stuff the novel spoke to me. What must it be like to not be confined by the restraints of society? To not feel that ever pesky feeling of doubt and telling yourself, I can’t do that? To get an urge and to just go with it.
Now don’t get me wrong I understand there are rules and acceptable forms of behavior for a reason. We would probably all descend into chaos and anarchy without societal constraint. However I also believe that we may be too tightly bound by our pluralistic sense of duty sometimes.
So the next time you feel that restless itch…go with it…who knows what fun you could be having if you only allowed yourself!
One thought on “The dangers of roulette…”
I know many people reading this totally agree with you. I applaud your bravery in doing what most of us are not brave enough to try! I love the simplicity of the deed wrapped up in a.game. I’m definitely open to try this, if only to experience the random outcome. Good on you Sharniya, a great read & thought provoking insights. Keep writing, look forwrd to future instalments.