There will be an agreement in whatever variety of actions, so they be each honest and natural in their hour. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
What would you say to the person you were five years ago? What will you say to the person you’ll be in five years?
(Author: Corbett Barr)
June of 2006 was a pretty interesting time in my life. I had been back in Kansas City and
clean for about 4 months. I was working as a temp doing something I honestly enjoyed for people I couldn’t stand, and my life was starting to come back together. I didn’t know it then, but it was also about to be completely changed forever by one stupid little phone call.
The sordid chaotic relationship between my ex and I is probably best defined as a horrendous sit-com stereotype. There was probably more “will they/won’t they” between the two of us that Ross and Rachel would have been like, “Just get together already.” At the time, we were in the “off” part of our little cycle, and she had recently broken up with some guy, and we had started talking on the phone every night of the week.
This particular phone call was not out of the ordinary in any way. We were just talking about whatever stupid thing we talked about when she stopped and said, “My mom wants to talk to you.”
This is where I want to go back to my self and scream desperately in his ears,”RUN! RUN! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD IT’S A TRAP! RUN! RUN! RUUUUUUUUUN!” You see, at the time I had never met her mother, or even spoken to her mother on the phone. I had not yet learned that my ex was actually the offspring of C’Thulu, the stumbling mountain, devourer of minds.
Alas, I continued the phone call. The conversation was short, only six sentences spoken between the two of us, but it only took her one sentence to knock the wind out of me and leave me in a damaged mental state I’m not sure I’ll ever be recovered from again.
“My daughter is in love with you.”
Now, I suppose you can imagine exactly what I was going through at that exact moment. Joy, tinged with fear is like an amazing exhilaration. I was stunned, speechless, and more excited about those words than I had ever been about any seven words that had ever been uttered to me in my life, and that includes, “I’m naked with a bucket of chicken.”
“IT’S A TRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAP!”
I won’t say that the two years that followed leading up to our marriage, or the first 4-5 months of our marriage weren’t awesome. I don’t think I would really ever take that back. Those aren’t the things that should be altered.
It’s the decisions that were made because of that sustained moment of euphoria that I would gladly kick my younger self in the precious jewels for. The house primarily. Decisions that were made with the mentality of “Now we build a future.”
I think really, the advice I would give him would be this:
“Any flame burning that bright, is going to burn out quick.”
I’m a bit of a pessimist now, too.
I think on the other side of that coin, he’d be pretty pissed at me, that young idealist with his floppy long hair dyed red. I’ve given up on a lot of the dreams I had at one point in my life. I’ve hidden behind pain and anger, and he would be pretty upset with me for that.
Oh well, that’s growing up.
My future self and I actually had a conversation not that long ago. He was on vacation and decided he’d spend it traveling through all the years of his life. I’m not sure I ‘d say it was coincidence that he came to me when I was getting ready to write a post about talking to my future self, as he’s from the future and probably remembered our conversation from my end, too.
At first he shied away from the obvious questions, ones that might affect the space-time continuum, such as “what are Saturday’s powerball numbers.” and “What’s it like to be a billionaire jet setter playboy?” It was obvious that talking about his limitless success made
him uncomfortable, so instead I turned to a topic that I knew wouldn’t bother him at all, his glaringly obvious physical deformities, starting with his laser eye.
He told me about the robot wars of 2015, and about how the duck bots would eventually gain sentience and quack-stomp us all with their monopolistic stranglehold on our energy. He told me about how the human resistance had fought bravely. He’d given up his arm and eye for his fellow-man.
Then he told me he was messing with me, and it was all elective cosmetic surgery that was actually covered by his HMO.
The knowledge that future me had a HMO made me cry a little.