How To Play ‘The Heart Race Game’

This is dream precum.

Adam Grundy
4 min readMar 20, 2022
Photo by Bastien Jaillot on Unsplash

Do you ever lie in bed at night, just before you sleep, and play the Heart Race Game?

The way you do it: you lie on your front, with your arms crossed under the pillow, and your head, tilted to the side, resting on the top of it. You close your eyes, and you think of a really sad moment. And you let your heart just race and see how sad you can get, repeating the scenario over and over, or let the scenario play out in your mind in a direction you didn't expect it to go.

This isn't dreaming, you’re awake. This is dream precum.

It can be anything.

Me and some guys can be carrying a bath into a new build. One, two, three...lift! Lift! Lift it up at the front! And I'm on the front, it's me, and it's really heavy. "Down your end?" "Yeah". And I place it down and feel the strain in my muscles IRL! In the bed! I start to peel the promotional cardboard and plastic off. Why is a bath (a one-time purchase if done right) advertising to me? It's in the house already. Why am I peeling so much of it off? Why am I so nervous. Heart starts going. Gotta peel this curve - and it snaps. The plastic. The wrapping. The cardboard. The bath. The bath is cut in half, jig jaggy like it's last home was Toon Town. And now the lads are angry. You did this. You fucking idiot. Heart is going a million miles. Don't try and squish it back together, it's fucked. Feels like a cavity is opening in my chest.
And that's the game.

Or you can think about a video you once saw. Was it on Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia, or a History special in the 90s? You can think about this white gallery space and imagine a lion walking by, roaring. A small model plane swoops towards you. The Mona Lisa winks (saucy). It's a regular Night at the Museum (3.5 stars) affair! And then you see the chameleon. It crawls across the screen and it won't move! You can feel your heart in your chest thrusting down into the mattress. Bugger off you little bastard!
Please move. Let's imagine a white wall, then we can seep. No one is here, except that bloody chameleon. Leave my vision! Why won't it go away? And then it's gone. And your heart rate is normal. That was...ok. And old classic, need to step up next time. Can’t always walk away with a W. That’s the game!

Or you can lie there and think about where you'll be in a year's time. How you're older now, and like maybe this is it? Is this your worth? Why do you do little weird things? What next? What now? Another day putting it off? The comfort of the routine, stopping you from failing? Are you just laden with this simmering shroud of anxiety that has always draped your shoulders, but you never knew what the word meant till you were deep, deep into your 20's? What if you're just thick? Badumbadumbadum. Everyone might think you're lazy or unmotivated or a sad clown, but your defences are just tissue-thin, and the tears have been at the surface since as far back as you can remember. Maybe you're just actually, old-fashioned stupid. But a stupid person wouldn't know that, yeah? They'd be on Jeremy Kyle or whatever perverse gob on a stick is popular now.
So is it the fear of failure, of ending up alone in the world when you really like company? Is that a bad thing? It might be unhealthy to want to depend on people but...what if that's just you? There goes the heart again. So you're either at a crossroads with mad anxiety based on 'something', or you're an idiot, cursed with knowing you are. Like a dog on salvia. Poor dog. Poor bitch!
Heart rate 120 bpm.
And that's the game. You won.

There's no point to the game. You win by thinking up these sad or scary scenarios, creating worlds where you messed up. Or you spend a couple of minutes before you attempt to rest, by tearing down all your defences in rapid succession. You do this so you can get your heart going. When did this game start? When will it end?

To hit snooze on this oddball behaviour, simply stop thinking about all of that. Forget it happened. None of it actually did happen, not really.

Maybe you did nod off? Breath dead slow and let your thumper come to a steady pace. And now you can sleep. Maybe you’ll wake up fresh as hell, or maybe you’ll have a dreadful nightmare, one where you can’t escape till you’ve repented to some demon postman.

That’s the game. You won, I think?



Adam Grundy

Creative writing from under a dark cloud. Filmageddon person of interest ( A pro TV watcher (real job). UK-based. Silly.