I wrote this in about a half hour and haven't had the chance to do any editing on it.
Since writing it, I joined hitRECord.org and thought it might be a nice piece to submit.
And without further adieu...
I met myself last night, I was ten years older. We ran across each other on the street and I offered to buy myself a drink.
As I said, ten years older, and I looked it, but there was a better look about me. A sense of ease and happiness that I didn't own today.
We sat down, I ordered a pint, and I politely asked just for water. Raising my glass, I mention how difficult it must have been to put away the drink. I shrugged matter-of-factly and said you don't have to quit something to control it. I smiled.
I had a million questions, I mean really when you meet the future you, the only person in the world who knows more about you than you, the opportunity mustn't be wasted.
What am I doing in ten years? What have I DONE in ten years? Where did I go? Where do I live? Do I have a wife? Kids? Am I successful? Am I happy?
Before I could ask the first of my infinite questions, I, the older me, asked how I was doing. “How am I doing?” Are you kidding me? You know me, you know how I am, you're me for crying out loud, you've been here, right here before. You've seen how this turns out, and YOU are asking ME how I'm doing...
The older me laughed, and his eyes drifted off, yeah he said, I'm asking you. His gaze became focused, and redirected at me. Listen kid, you, I, never had a great memory, maybe I just like to remember how I was.
Are you unhappy now I asked? No, far from it he said. In fact, I'm very happy, life is good... but I can't really get into it, you understand. There are... rules.
So how are you kid? Tell me everything. I started to tell the older me all about myself. Feeling a bit stupid at first, as he would knowingly smile now and then. I told him everything. I told him about work, about friends and loved ones, about news of the day, what I did last weekend, what I had planned for next, what I had for breakfast, what I was excited about, what I was missing, what made me happy, and sad, lonely, depressed... I told him everything.
Feeling a levity I hadn't felt since I was possibly a child, I became surprised at how liberating it can be to let loose and put it all on the table. And who better to vent your emotions to than yourself... after all, is the future you really going to be judgmental?
The older me thanked me for the stories. “You have no idea how nice it is to remembered all that once more.” he said.
Well I'm glad I could help, I say a bit sarcastically. Please, rules aside, you must be able to tell me something about my future life. I don't want to beg, but I will. If you want to know the truth, I'm a bit confused, have been for a while. Every time I think I have it figured out, it changes. Every time I think things will get better, they don't, and every time I feel good about my life, a cold lonely blanket of doubt, despair and sadness smothers me.
Please, help me.
The older me leaned in, and motioned for me to do the same. I tell ya what kiddo, I understand, I really do, and you have no idea how hard it is for me to sit here and not be able to tell you what's going to happen next.
I want to tell you about everything! I want to share with you all the things that you will do, all the things that will happen to you, all your mistakes and triumphs, all your laughs and cries... I just can't.
But I will tell you this. You will do so much, so much it will astound you. You will feel sadness that weighs you down and compresses your chest and you will laugh and smile so intensely that your world will seem in slow motion.
You will hurt others, and people will hurt you. You will have regrets, but you will also come to understand.
You just have to keep going. There aren't any answers out there for you to arrive at... not really, it's just not how it works.
Do me a favor will ya kiddo? Stop trying to figure it out, and start figuring yourself out. It is too big, it is everyone else's thing, and it doesnt try to figure you out... so leave it alone.
The more you know about you, the better everything else will become. I promise.
The older me got up and put his hand on my shoulder, “Take care of us would you?”
I paid the tab and left the bar.
I started to think about how helpful I wasn't. Touching as my words may have been, they didn't help. “Who was I to keep secrets from me?” I thought. I started to resent having met the older me, I started to get angry... as my pace slowed, I contemplated chasing down the old me, shaking me by the collar, demanding answers... and then I saw myself, not a reflection, not the older me, but me... maybe a decade ago, walking up the street.
I couldn't help but laugh. I walked up to the younger me, shook my hand, and introduced myself. He looked at me with amazement, and the questions I could see coming began to spill out of him, like a waterfall of confusion and excitement.
I motioned towards a bench nearby, we both took a seat. I calmed him down, took a deep breath, and asked him, “How you doing kiddo? Tell me everything.”
Created: Jul 28, 2010navyblue Document Media