I would kill for 2 cheeseburgers and a secret. Why the secret? I don’t know, I feel like I could use some drama in my life.
As a chartered accountant, I can hardly call my life fascinating. All I do is crunch numbers every day. Safe, simple, boring numbers. Some large, some small. Some positive, some negative.
I could basically liken my universe at work to a 2-D plane known as a spreadsheet. A boring plain white spreadsheet, because my bosses have no whimsy whatsoever. The most excitement I get in the office is when one number turns from black to red on the screen. That, and when my colleague Janine pops up above the cubicle wall to ask me for more crunched numbers to put in her own flat white universe.
So yeah, I yearn for a bit more excitement in life. I’d love nothing more than to go bungee jumping, or sail across an ocean, or hop on a rocket to the Moon or Mars. Or at least fantasize about it.
Yeah, if I’m being honest with myself, I have to admit that even if I somehow got the chance to do any of these things I’d probably be too terrified to go through with it. Because I’m a bloody coward. That’s why I went down this road to begin with.
But even though the constant boredom is pretty much constant protection against unnecessary risks and many of the vicissitudes of life, even though it’s comforting in many ways, even though I just somehow feel safer this way, inside I’m dying. I want to experience things but I don’t want to get involved and take risks. That’s the essence of the contradiction in terms that is me.
A quick glance at the computer’s time display indicates it’s time to go to lunch, not that I particularly look forward to it. Living alone, with almost nonexistent cooking skills and a salary that precludes restaurants or fast food joints, I pretty much always prepare the same salad every day and put it in the break room fridge every morning. Then I eat it, usually alone, only sometimes with Janine or some other colleague. In both cases I just don’t savor it. I finish it in about 10 minutes flat, then pull out the closest I ever get to real adventure – some thriller novel – and read for the rest of lunch break.
Why, you might ask, don’t I just get out of my comfort zone and try new experiences? Because I’m mortally terrified of everything. And just to give you an idea, even as a 1.86m man in decent shape I cry when I see a spider and beg my neighbor across the hall to come get rid of it for me.
So yeah, long story short, I’m a boring guy. Bland vanilla. 08:15 on the dot. Boring and unable to change. But I think I might know how I can get a bit of adventure without taking any risk. Hence the secret.
I’d love to have a secret. It could be a secret about myself, sure, but… I mean… Nothing about me would ever interest anyone. No, I’d rather have a secret about other people. Something I could lord over them, keep from them, something that would at least make me feel a little special.
You know what? Screw that. Who needs a real secret? I’ll just make one up. Better yet, I’ll bluff everyone. Nobody needs to know there isn’t a real secret. Yeah, maybe I’ll do that. I’ll start a half-rumor about two colleagues, open to interpretation and “deeply shameful”.
Why? Oh not to cause them any actual harm, after all what do I even know about them? Besides, there’s no secret anyway so there’s nothing to betray.
No, the only reason would be to see how the dynamic between them evolves and enjoy the disruption I cause. To watch as each of them, worried about what might be being said, about what the other might be up to, etc becomes a completely different person.
Of course, odds are this won’t even work. Maybe they’ll both just blow off the rumors. That would, I admit, be the more comfortable scenario, even though it would be… well… boring and short-lived.
But maybe it will work. Maybe I’ll be somewhat entertained outside a book for once in my life. Maybe I’ll have something fun to watch unfold, something I’ll have had a direct hand in.
And why the cheeseburgers? Just to have something different to munch on while I sit back and watch it all…