I Like That I Sat Down and Thought I Would Write Instead of Playing Video Games Tonight

I planned to play video games tonight. I walked into the guest bedroom — which is also sometimes my office where I write stuff and often the place where I play video games — fully intending to play Borderlands 2.

I finished the game’s story mode, but I really like it so I downloaded an expansion pack. It was only $5. I only mention that because my wife will read this and I want her to know I didn’t spend an ungodly amount of money to keep playing a video game I already paid for once and have technically finished. I mean, there are still side missions and I could always play it again from the beginning as a different character. But she doesn’t know this. Nor does she care. Why would she? But that’s why I bother to mention that it only cost five bucks.

She reads most of the stuff I write. I mean, most of the stuff I write that I don’t immediately delete because it’s objectively awful. She reads the stuff I write and then never says anything. I’ve watched her read something that was in a magazine, close the magazine, put the magazine down and start doing something else without saying a word. Like, right in front of me.

This always leads me to believe she hates my writing. Maybe she does. Sometimes I will ask, “What did you think?” because I require an unhealthy amount of validation. And she will either say “it was funny” or “it was good” because it is usually trying to be one of those things. Sometimes she might even say something like, “I thought it was good and funny.” I think she’s said that before. Maybe not.

The truth is, she doesn’t need that kind of encouragement and she doesn’t think it’s required to do good work. You do good work because you do good work, not so someone else can tell you that you did good work. That’s an important lesson to learn and I look forward to never learning it and constantly needing other people to tell me I’m not terrible.

I guess she could throw the magazine — or her phone or iPad or whatever device on which she read the thing I wrote — and hurl it violently into the nearest wall. Or she could stand up, take the thing with her, get in her car, drive to a nearby intersection and leave it in the middle of traffic. She could book a flight to California and throw it into the ocean. Like, those types of things would really get the point across and I could stop worrying about whether or not she likes my writing. I suppose, in the absence of a dramatic gesture wherein she completely destroys the thing that delivered my writing to her, I can assume she might enjoy it. However, she historically dislikes any and all manner of dramatic gesture. She’s a tough nut to crack sometimes.

I’m not entirely sure why I sat down to write instead of playing Borderlands 2. Maybe it’s because tomorrow marks the 10th anniversary of our first date. Sweet holy Jesus, 10 years. Can you imagine that? How anybody can put up with all of this [flexing seductively while folding laundry and watching our son for 30 minutes so she can take a well-deserved nap] for a decade is beyond all reasonable comprehension.

[Stops flexing.]

I hope she’s enjoyed the last 10 years as much as I have. I can only assume she has (see above). Because, ya know, we have a house and a kid and all that and it would be an enormous fucking hassle to get rid of me at this point. I think she knows that. I think she realizes she’s trapped in a prison of her own design.

I didn’t sit down to write about any of this. I’m sure she doesn’t appreciate it. She appreciates it only slightly more than the fact that I blew only five bucks on an expansion pack for a video game. But I didn’t sit down to write about anything. I just wanted to play my video games. But here we are.

I like that I have choices and I like the choices I’ve made.

Geoff is a writer based in Texas. Visit thegeoffjohnston.com for more word things.

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