daily fiction 3:
At some point during the evening, when I was at the roullette table, I started thinking. Reason being, I was out of money. The money had been very useful. I would bet it on roullette, and the bet I had placed would make me start thinking about what number was gonna come up, so that I wouldn’t have time to think.
I had run out of money, though, and I was dangerously close to thinking about why I didn’t have any money.
I started thinking about how to stop thinking. It was becoming a crisis. I knew one thought I had been trying to avoid: the thought that my trying to stop thinking was itself a problem, as bad as the gambling itself, and that by stopping my thoughts I was thinning out my life, spreading only a few moments’ worth of consciousness over several years, and that I was in the midst of a crisis, but a crisis that I re-created every second, because the crisis itself was just my own misuse of my free will, the action of stopping myself from thinking.
I was really trying not to think that thought.
But I was runing out of ideas. Alcohol made me tired. And that didn’t really help me stop thinking. I would stop remembering to stop thinking, and then I’d actually end up thinking more.
I walked past one of the card tables for one of those games that isn’t poker, but is sort of like it, with a lot less thinking. You get some cards in your hand, and you match them up to the cards on the board, but it’s just you against the dealer.
I never played it, really. But I was looking at the table, and there were little white outlines in green felt where the cards were supposed to go, if the game was live. I thought it would be funny if they had a white chalk outline where the dealer was supposed to go. Chalk outlines are funny. They’re one of the funniest parts of people being dead.
I was thinking about all that, and I laughed a little bit, but then I thought about my own death, inevitable as it was, I couldn’t procrastinate out of it like I procrastinated out of everything else in life, and I felt a panic coming on. I needed to do something drastic to avert the panic, so I jumped up onto the table. I hopped up with both feet, to be honest, no help needed. I did have a good vertical leap, but that’s fading.
I was expecting people to be shocked, or security to come rushing over and tackle me. Nobody did anything. A few people glanced over from the slots, and I heard some murmuring, but I didn’t hear what they were saying about me. I started pacing around on the table. I tried to be casual about it, like I wasn’t panicking that nobody was paying attention to me.
I had never thought about it before, but I guess I had always thought that because I could do something like jump up on a table, break a glass, throw myself in front of a train, whatever, that meant I was inherently exciting. That I was just holding back, but that if I really wanted to make an impact, I had it in me. What I was experiencing, on top of that table, was the realization that even when I did something very exciting, or something that I thought was exciting, nobody gave a shit.
I didn’t like that thought. I decided to do another thing. As long as I kept doing things, I wouldn’t have to think much, because I would think about the thing I was doing.
“Yipppeeeee kiiiii yay” I said, and ran and jumped off that table onto the next one. I hit the surface running, and leaped onto the table after that, and I was picking up momentum and getting close to the blackjack table where there was a lot of life action. Two old people and a young couple were there, and a dealer. They were turning to look at me, I guess they’d heard my footsteps, and I kept on running, I jumped, I was flying toward their table and suddenly it was under me and my feet slipped out in front of me and I landed hard on my back, but managed to not hit my head and wound up laying my side, facing all the people. I was ecstatic. I could feel the grin lines on my cheek, and couldn’t stop. The young couple was backing away from me. A couple girls walked by and laughed, and not just derisiviely. The bouncers started hustling over to the table, calling on their radios.
For a few minutes, life was perfect. And then I was outside the door of the casino. They hadn’t even charged me, I hadn’t met any higher-ups, nobody turned to follow me, nobody talked to me. I wanted to go in there to the bar and see if anyone was telling their friends about the crazy guy who had jumped onto the blackjack table, casually drop that I was that guy, soak up a little bit of awe. In there I was somebody, even if they didn’t know me. They were talking about it. Soon they’d get distracted and bored and it would be nothing to them. They might not even remember the story. I had to get back in there. But I couldn’t. I took out my phone and started playing a game.