Text Roulette || Thomas J. Misuraca

          Not too long ago, I ran into my friend Larry sitting outside a Starbucks. He was frantically texting on his phone, while grinning mischievously.

          Curious, I took the seat across from him. “Looks like an intense conversation.”

          “I’m playing text roulette,” he told me.

          “Text… roulette?” I’d never heard those two words used consecutively.

          “I’m texting my wife, my mistress and my mother all at the same time,” he continued. “If I send a reply to the wrong person. Bang!”

          “You have a mistress?” I asked. Though I’d never met his wife. I was still soured by the news that Larry was deceiving her.

          “Doesn’t everybody?”

          “I don’t.”

          “You should. She’ll do what your wife won’t.”

          “Like bake muffins?” I joked.

          “Whatever you call it.”

          Larry continued to text. Eventually, I had to ask: “Why’re you doing this?”

          “It’s thrilling!” he exclaimed. “Fun and dangerous at the same time. What if I accidentally send a saucy text to my wife?”

          “She’ll think you’re sexting her,” I assumed. Though my wife and I never understood the point of that silliness.

          “She hates that,” Larry said.

          “Thus the mistress.”

          “Or if I text my mistress to pick up milk on the way home?”

          “She doesn’t know you’re married?”

          “No.”

          “Does she know you have a mother?”

          “I never mentioned her.”

          We were both surprised by the sound of Larry’s phone ringing.

          Larry checked the caller I.D. “It’s my mom,” he informed me, sounding like a kid who was caught with a cigarette in one hand and a beer in the other.

          “Probably wants to know what type of milk to bring.”

          Larry shot the “one minute” signal to me with his index finger and answered his phone. “Hey, mom. Oh… my last text?”

          Larry scrolled to find his last text to his mom. I’d never seen a man’s grin crumble so quickly.

          “Oh, that was, uhm, meant for my mistress I mean my wife!”

          This guy really was an idiot.

          “No,” he pleaded. “You don’t need to call her… Mom! Mom!”

          But his mother was gone. Larry stared at his phone, stunned.

          I rose from my chair and posed my index finger and thumb like a gun.

          “Bang.”