Sunday, May 25, 2014

Discomfort zone

Tom persuaded me to attend a games night on Wednesday. It was a Reddit meetup, not that I "do" Reddit or anything. It took place at Victoria Uni, really close to where Tom designs and builds his robots. There must have been close on thirty people there, including that "Death Star" busker, who I last saw in February, still wearing that crazy jumper. I felt out of place pretty quickly. There were Game of Thrones references in conversation, which I didn't get because I don't watch it, not that I'd be able to concentrate on it if I did. There were also Monty Python references. Now I do get that, but heck, I don't know all the words to all their songs off by heart. In the first game (I've no idea what it was called) a succession of dice rolls led me to be a "traitor" whose goal was to kill the other five players in the game. Things got complicated for me quickly. I was presented with a rule book and told to study it so I could secretly plot my course of action. Jeez man, give me a pack of cards or something I understand. If it wasn't for Tom (who I'd seen too much of over the previous few days) I might well have just slipped out of the exit door and gone home, taking my traitor role almost literally. I was relieved to roll a triple blank which led to instant death for me, and more importantly the end of the game. The second game, almost inevitably given this is 2014, was zombie-dominated. Like in the first game, my final dice roll was the decisive action, although this time we won, not that I cared. Everybody seemed extremely pleasant and interesting, but wherever my comfort zone is, I was a million miles out of it.

When the games were over, Tom showed me his lab, if that's the right word, where he does all his extremely fancy stuff with robots. I felt a sense of envy: he's very good at what he does and clearly enjoys it immensely. They even had a mini-museum of old computers, calculators and slide rules. Completely unexpectedly, he then showed me where some of his ancestors on his father's side were buried, very close to the university campus. Then I walked home in the teeming rain.

I'm getting on OK with my flatmate, but the fact that he's there (and he is pretty much always there) adds a certain tinge to everything I do, to the point where I often feel unable to do anything. I know it's just me (oh, and all the noise from the TV), but the long Queen's Birthday weekend looms darkly. I wish I could get away. Somewhere, anywhere.

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