What do you picture when you think of your future self? Would you think of someone that is a little wiser? Do you think they would have a message for you if you met them? Do you think they would be any different?
I see in the movies continuously the future self is always a different demeanor. I’m speaking of time travel movies. Why is it that people are fascinated by the thought of time travel? In the movies they don’t even have to be gone for very long but they come back with a totally different perspective.
The morning after
It was another one of those nights. I can feel it from the aching of my head. I recall now bits and pieces of went on. The drinking the conversations the drunk texting. I reach for a piece of paper I write down “You will live another day”. Just another affirmation for me. Another reminder, another note to self. I get myself ready for the day. I will skip breakfast I don’t have time. I can pick something up later. I can’t be late today.
I open the door to go outside the screen door is pulled from my hand. The wind was blowing heavily this winter day. I force the door shut as I head out. I can picture it looking like some herculean feat. I kept my head down to keep my hood over my ears. As I am walking I spot a letter on the ground. I am amazed it hadn’t blown away. I have to pick it up. I see why it didn’t fly away. It was wet with melting snow. I gingerly open the letter immediately. I could of waited till I got back home. Let it dry out a little bit. But then again, it is only a piece of paper I found on the ground it isn’t anything special. I get the note open I read what it says “Thank You”.
Nothing else is written. I was expecting some worthy writing here. I wanted some gossip perhaps of my neighbors, or an explanation why John Smith is in jail. (John Smith is my double in town. Everybody has an exact duplicate on another universe. I used to think that there was someone on the other side of the world that was just like me but in China. So John is my double here because he lives at the same house number as me on the street. Only he lives on the East side. I live on the West side. I routinely get mail incorrectly delivered. I never open it of course. It makes me wonder why it’s from the Department of Corrections.) So what did this “Thank You” mean. I crumple it up and throw it back down. Now I am late for my train!
The rush is on
I reach into my pocket to pull out my phone. The gloves are too cumbersome to push the button to awaken the sleeping phone. I take one glove off, as I do part of it grabs onto a cuticle. A cuticle of dry chapped hands it is pulled away leaving with the glove. Left behind is a little blood and a most annoying pain. I push the power button and see the time. I have a couple minutes before the train leaves. The last time this happened I told the conductor “One of these days I am going to miss this train.”. He responded “Especially now that you said that.”. On that train ride between the steadying of myself from the rocking of the train or the peering out the window as different countryside’s are passed with a blur the kind of blur you’ve seen as a child staring out the window of a car or maybe sitting in the back of a 72 Gremlin looking straight down at the ground the pavement zipping by. “Wow, it doesn’t seem like we are going this fast.” I think about what the conductor had said. Why is it that when we think about something bad that it often comes true? Fate, or maybe just a coincidence, it was going to happen eventually now you are just more aware that you said it.
Maybe next time
This time I didn’t make the train. I am slowed down in my stride from the ice below my feet and the thoughts in my head. Thinking causes me to slow down a little when walking. I have to pay attention to my surroundings. I don’t want to walk out into traffic. That has happened way to often in movies. Man walking down the street his thoughts produce a flashback his life flashes before him when the flashback is over he turns his head and is hit by a car. As I make it to the trackside the gates come down and the bells are ringing the lights are flashing. I don’t dare cross. I don’t dare run foolishly to reach a train that is leaving with some hope that they will let me on. I watch the train pass. I will have to make other plans to arrive at my destination.
I walk back home through the cold. I won’t stop at the bar this time. I don’t need to waste any more time on a barstool. My fingers are a little numb now. I don’t feel so much of the pain from my finger now. I will feel it when I get home. When I rip the clotted wound open again with the taking off of my gloves. I make some coffee and turn up the heat to thaw myself out. I come back to the pot of fully brewed coffee. The coffee was a gift this Christmas. This isn’t just some Folgers this is Starbucks. I see my letter I wrote earlier. “You will live another day” My reminder not to binge and purge.
The train schedule
I bring my cup of coffee with me to find the train schedule. I do a quick search on the internet. Instead of the train schedule I read of a train crash. The train was the one I had just missed. That is the magic of computers 20 years ago it would of taken a lot longer to hear of this on the news. I think back to my “You will live another day” note. I remember now the events of that morning. I started to write a quick note “You will live another day” but it turned out to be more. I wrote pages worth of notes. I took so long I missed my train. I write a letter to myself. On it I write “Thank You”.
Of course it’s not true. But if you could, what would you write to your past self?