Do Not Send This Text

Listen, I want you to truly appreciate my sustained effort to pretend to be a reasonable human being. I’ve gone days without texting you, multiple days without texting you, three whole days without texting you. The cumulative willpower illustrated by this should leave your mind utterly boggled, exceedingly boggled. You should be thinking, ‘What an astounding display of confidence. He must be comfortable wearing pink shirts and aviator sunglasses. I’m so boggled right now.’ For all you know, during this last three days, I’ve not once even considered texting you. Perhaps I lay awake in bed, not cradling my cell phone, not typing emotionally revealing (e.g. terrifying) texts over and over and then moving them into the drafts folder without sending them. Perhaps I only lay in bed and think, ‘Gosh, I shouldn’t have had so much coffee before bed.’ Perhaps I don’t think to myself, ‘I’m not receiving what I need from the universe, I’m not receiving what I need from the universe,’ over and over like the mantra of a manic depressive. It would be reasonable for you to assume at this point that I have no interest in poetry, go outside on a regular basis, exercise, eat vegetables, have an aversion to cats, and have never heard of Of Montreal or Architecture in Helsinki. For sure, I’m a viable candidate for mouth kissing.

In the interest of full disclosure, you should know: in the past, I would characterize my behavior as “harassing,” “smothering,” or “haunting” girls. I would frequently text, “What are you doing?” probing for access points to their lives. My male friends would shake their heads in disappointment, and say, “Brad… don’t…” as I typed into my phone. Do you see now the herculean effort I have expended to not text you, to act in a reasonable non-threatening way? Will you not give me credit for fundamentally transforming myself into a slightly more respectable person? I am a shining radiant beacon of resilience like one of those holy men in India who keep their arms raised for twenty years, a heroin addict in the throes of withdrawal, or a civil rights protestor in the 60’s. I traverse a desert for days and days while holding a glass of water, and though I may die of thirst, I shall not drink.

In my mind, I picture us lying on the couch at night, watching BBC’s Sherlock on my computer, making out every few minutes. This is the final destination. This is point C, and we are stuck in point A due to your inability to text me something conclusively affectionate. You dumb idiot. If, according to the laws of quantum mechanics, every possibility creates another universe, I’m steering myself toward the universe where this can occur — the watching of BBC’s Sherlock while lying on the couch together. Like Nicholas Cage in Next, I’m manipulating events in a way I perceive will lead us to this future. Oh, the mental strain! The gargantuan force of will to drag my miserable universe off its path toward lonely oblivion and onto a path to: the couch, BBC’s Sherlock, making out, the night, you.

This is a long text. To you, I’m sure, it seems to have come out of nowhere, seeing as we’ve only seen each other twice, and, during that time, exchanged only a handful of sentences. It seems like I’m spewing forth some kind of mad rant, typing myself deeper and deeper into a dark pit of obsession. That’s not important. Don’t think about that. If you think about it, you will be drawn into a chain of reasoning, and reason, my dear, is the death of love. Did I say love? That was just a figure of speech. Unless you weren’t alarmed, in which case, I’m deadly serious. And by “deadly,” I mean “innocuously.” Please don’t call the police.

You never told me your last name. You gave me your phone number, but not your last name — how silly. Fortunately, I happened to be casually scrutinizing the Facebook pages of friends we might have in common, nonchalantly searching through their lists of friends, dispassionately examining the page of every girl with your first name, and I somehow stumbled upon your Facebook page. I happened to observe that you’re single, and as it so happens I’m single, and, in case you hadn’t noticed, it’s Valentine’s Day. Seems like the hand of fate to me. Seems like golden handcuffs of destiny linking us together and tossing the key down a sewer grate. Just kidding! But seriously, it sure seems like a fortuitous confluence of events, and by the way, did you notice I use a lot of polysyllabic words? Also, I’m handsome.

I would like to say I’m exempt from that cliché melancholy endured by (tragically common) single males on Valentine’s Day, but alas, I shall contribute a few drops to the world’s forthcoming collective swimming pool of tears. I had hoped your response to my text, “LOL the monkies in Rise of the Planet of the Apes were hilarous!” would be quicker, so that I might avoid this, so that we might transition to the couch, BBC’s Sherlock, etc. in time for Valentine’s Day. However, your phone must have broken or a family member died or you suffered a catastrophic head injury. If not, you should know you’re blowing it right now. You’re blowing our life together with your inability to respond to texts in a timely manner. I’m being so reasonable, and you — you’re elongating the period of loneliness prior to our happy life together with your lack of response. You have a choice between happiness and loneliness, and you are making the wrong choice for reasons that don’t matter (only seen me twice, don’t know me, aren’t attracted).

I wish my phone plan including unlimited texting because this one’s going to be expensive.

Hey, you know what? I’m joking. This whole text is a satire of guys who would send a text like this, so you shouldn’t freak out because I’m just being facetious. I’m being hilarious. LOL. ROTFL. LSHITU. Haha. Man, I’ll bet I really fooled you. Unless, of course, you want to spend Valentine’s Day with me, in which case, I’m deadly serious. TC mark

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  • don't call me shirley

    is it weird that I kind of want someone to send me something like this? Maybe not. Maybe I just want to watch Sherlock on the couch and make out with someone.

    • Through White Noise

      Is it weird that i read this comment, picked up the Airplane! reference, and thought, “I’d watch Sherlock with him,” and then  thought, “Or if it’s a girl commenter, we can watch Sherlock on the couch with the OP.” Let’s all make out.

  • Sarah

    I think I love you is all I have to say :)

  • Bee

    “You’re blowing our life together with your inability to respond to texts in a timely manner.” siiiiigh

  • http://twitter.com/sodelightful rachel

    you might be crazy, but it’s chill, cause there are nutty girls out there for ya.
    also, picture proof of “handsome” plz.

  • Liz

    hilarious! always enjoy reading your work

  • http://twitter.com/edushke Edite A

    Wow… my face just underwent the whole spectrum of expressions reading through this…!!! Amazing!

  • Emallthetime

    stalkerish 

  • Anonymous

    My hysterical laughter & the fact that I’ve designated 2012 as The Year of  Wildly Inappropriate Texts must mean you’re my Valentine. YAY!

  • J.B.

    as per usual, there are no words, only crippling laughter and intermittent clapping

  • Alexandria Adair

    “In my mind, I picture us lying on the couch at night, watching BBC’s Sherlock on my computer, making out every few minutes. This is the final destination. This is point C, and we are stuck in point A due to your inability to text me something conclusively affectionate. You dumb idiot.” HAHA

  • http://newhandsweepstakes.com/contributors/brian-mcelmurry/ Brian M

    Best of the #tcvalentinesday imho. Who says there’s no winners in art? I say there are. Brad Pike #winner #tcvalentinesday

  • http://twitter.com/kaimcn Kai

    ” I’ve gone days without texting you, multiple days without texting you,
    three whole days without texting you. The cumulative willpower
    illustrated by this should leave your mind utterly boggled, exceedingly
    boggled.”

    Someone needs to know how much willpower has been expended not texting ___. In fact, ___ should know and take me out for a drink celebrating said willpower.

  • Anonymous

    text me, Brad.

  • Anonymous

    BBC and couch makeouts FTW. 

  • Yr

    Srsly, if it weren’t for the Planet of the Apes reference, this could have addressed to me. Why ‘What are you doing?’ and never ‘how are you’? Text messages are weird and awkward, and unless there’s a specific question or conversational hook, it’s so hard to think of something witty and/or interesting to say, and sometimes hard to even remember to text back when 101 other things are going on, no matter how much you like your co-texter. And the typos in the text make it easy to ever so slightly lose sight of the attentive person you were with a few days ago.

    And ‘like a manic depressive’? Really?

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, why “what are you doing?” instead of “how are you?” I would would be so pleasantly surprised by a man who texted me “how are you?” even if it was at an hour usually reserved only for booty calls. I’m going to start using this more.

  • http://twitter.com/ZhaoJanelle Janelle Zhao

    This is just too brilliant. Not that I could relate or anything. 

  • http://twitter.com/laurahtfraser Laura Fraser

    Made me feel like an asshole.

    Particularly, ” We are stuck in point A due to your inability to text me something conclusively affectionate. You dumb idiot. ” which…yeah… I have to admit…

  • http://www.twitter.com/mexifrida Frida

    You are the best Brad Pike, not that i’m showing this to my friends and fawning over your beautiful lexicon, nope.

  • CESEAR

    if only she’d corrected your spelling of monkeys and you could well be on our way to point C. damn it ladies, just text back! 

    • alyssa

      haha okay i was like wait is that how you spell that? it looked so wrong

  • Loner

    hahahahhaahahah omg omg omg. I almost felt bad at the end for finding this hilarious … yikes. then I felt bad and replied to that guy in my phone a “happy valentines day to you too” 

  • http://twitter.com/dazzlinglyregal Rachael Cabral

    I wish that this is what guys were thinking when they aren’t texting me. When I sit by and think about how I can’t text them this time because I texted first last time and I don’t want to come across as desperate. It’s torturous. I mean, does everyone do this? Is this normal? That I relate to this post so much?

    On a slightly different note, I think it’s kind of nice to get “What are you doing?” texts. To know that someone cares where you  are on the face of planet earth. I wish people came with disclaimers that said whether they would find “What are you doing?” texts stalker-ish and annoying or affectionate and lovely.

    Also I love this piece in general. 

    • alyssa

      i too like what are you doing texts! its nice to check in once in a while!

    • http://twitter.com/Wbbigdave Luke Richards

      (SHITSHITSHIT, I meant to check another page (Facebook…) and I forgot to middle click that link) I had written here that 90% of guys go through this precise process of shall I shan’t I call / text/ send letter / employ skywriter…

      It was epic. Full of jokes and funny stories and basically giving you permission to have faith in the human race, well 45% of the human race…90% of them. (that bit was in there, I liked it so i kept it.)

      I am not going to spout idioms of platitudes to try and cast a sheen over the weathered landscape of human experience, but I will give you one guarantee, it is worth a lot to me so be careful with it. 

      I have ached over sending similar messages (text, letter, vapour trail) my closest friends (male and female) have poured what seems like all of their willpower into pressing the send button, we all do it. Yes men do it, in fact I would say on average men agonise more over this than the women I know. I can no longer count how many of these messages I have not sent, but every once in a while I have sent one, and one of them stuck, one of them really shone through, now I am engaged to my love. We have a son.

      He just started crawling :D

  • Ggggg

    “However, your phone must have broken or a family member died or you suffered a catastrophic head injury. If not, you should know you’re blowing it right now. You’re blowing our life together with your inability to respond to texts in a timely manner. I’m being so reasonable, and you — you’re elongating the period of loneliness prior to our happy life together with your lack of response.”
    Well-written.

  • Lady

    Oh, man.  I’m so glad to know that men, too, experience this kind of “Should I?  Shouldn’t I?” texting hell.  It gives me hope that sometimes when a man is taking his sweet time texting me, it is may be killing him as much as it kills me to take my sweet time texting:)

    Thank you for this.

  • Anonymous

    I ‘EFFING LOVE BBC’S SHERLOCK! YOU SPOKE TO MY SOUL!

  • Ba0ie

    “inability to text me something conclusively affectionate. You dumb idiot.”
    what would be a “conclusively affectionate” text msg without appearing desperate, annoying, clingly, etc?
    this is why I am single, I am too much of an idiot to know how to be affectionate.

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