While taking a giant dump, I was suddenly transported to my childhood home. Now sitting on my childhood toilet, I got up, wiped, and didn't bother washing my hands. "This is certainly an unusual situation", I thought.
I left the bathroom and had a look around. Beige furniture. A CRT television. A piano. "What the hell? My mother got rid of this stuff ages ago."
I go to my sister's room and there I see myself as a young boy in front of the Tandy 1000 computer. My young self looks at me dumbfounded for a moment. "Who are you?" he finally says. "I'm you from the future" I say.
"Oh. So I do go bald. I thought so."
"Yeah, but it's no big deal."
"But dad isn't bald."
"Well, he kind of is. Balding, anyway. Wait...he's still alive?"
"Yeah. What do you mean 'still alive'?"
"How old are you?"
"Oh right. So what is this? 1990? Well, yeah, he dies a couple of years from now."
"He's a drunk. Gets hit by a train."
I can see my young self about to cry. So I say, "No, don't worry about it."
"Don't worry? I can just tell him to stop drinking and driving. That would solve everything. Right?"
"I don't know. Maybe? I don't know how time traveling works. Maybe this is like 12 Monkeys where the future can't be changed."
"Oh right. That's a time travel film released in...I don't know...1996 or so."
There's an awkward tension as we both struggle to comprehend the enormous ramifications of time-travel. "So you're playing some Railroad Tycoon?", I ask. "Yeah." comes the reply.
"Yeah, it's a good game but it doesn't hold up."
I came back in time 25 years and all I can think to ask my young self is video game questions? My mind races. Is there anything I can tell him to enrich him? Winning lottery numbers? I don't know any winning lottery numbers. Wasn't there something about winning sports teams in Back to the Future? But I don't even know the winners of any sporting events.
My young self awkwardy returns to his game.
"Uhh...so. How's school going?"
I understand just how unpleasant it was for people to talk to me a child. This is some really painful social anxiety. Then my young self turns from his game and says:
"So why do you sound like that anyway?"
"Oh right. I moved to London"
"I was afraid that I might be gay."
"No, don't worry about it. It's just that the accent changed."
"Oh. So do you get married?"
"Do you have a girlfriend?"
"But you're sure you're not gay."
The grilling of my hetersexual credentials has made me withdrawn. I realise that my social anxiety has barely improved over the years. Then my young self says:
"Do I pass music class?"
"We have to do this music video and I don't want to."
"Oh yeah. This is the year with that fat Texan teaching the class."
"Yeah. It's Kevin's mother."
"I know. No, you get a zero."
"A zero? How?"
"Don't ask me. I mean, we did stuff other than that music video and I didn't get zeros on those. By the way, you don't do the music video."
"Me and John were going to do a GI Joe stop motion thing."
"Yeah, it's way too ambitious. You don't do it. It's ridiculous because few people even have video cameras in 1990."
"Are video cameras common in the future?"
"Well, no. But people can take videos on their phones."
It's clear that he doesn't understand how a landline phone can take videos but I move on:
"You fail the class. But it's pointless. It has absolutely no effect on your life."
"What if I don't graduate?"
"Everybody graduates. It's grade school. Just show up and do the work but realise that none of it matters. You never do a job that asks to see your high school diploma or college degree or anything."
"So I can just quit school?"
"No, I guess not. I mean, you're not going to work as an 11 year old so you might as well stay in school."
"Can I quit at 16?"
"No...you might as well finish high school. Only real low lifes don't finish high school."
"But if it doesn't matter and I get a job that doesn't require any school, why stay?"
He makes a good point. I don't know what to say. It's true that I learn a trade when I'm 29 and all of that education, including the university degree that I got, were just an enormous waste of time. But only complete scumbags don't finish high school.
"Okay, it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. That's true. But it matters to you at the moment. And these experiences make you who you are. Well, that might be going too far but you at least get some stories out of them."
"Okay, that's true. You don't really do much. You're not a sociable guy. But that's okay. Everything turns out fine. You end up making a theoretical £500 day."
"How much is that in dollars?" And what do you mean 'theoretical'?"
"I don't want to explain. But you do okay. Not great. You move to the UK anyway. First London and then Glasgow. That's cool, right?"
"Yeah. Although, you sound gay."
"Never mind that."
"And don't have a girlfriend."
"Yeah, fine. Anyway, stay in school. To be honest, you can probably skip university. And under no circumstances should you go to law school."
"Yeah but...if I change anything won't it change the future?"
"I suppose it might. I mean, if you didn't go to that terrible law school, you wouldn't be desperate enough to leave the country. But maybe you'll do something else. Something better."
"You do what you think is best. Just don't worry about it. It doesn't really matter. There's only a few pivotal moments in life and that music class with that 300 pound redneck bitch is not one of them. Focus on what matters in life."
At this point, I really begin to feel the call of nature. It's even worse than that time I took three times the dose of extra strength laxatives.
"I really have to use the bathroom. I'm sorry."
"Yeah, it's just over there."
"Yeah, I know where it is. Thanks."
I unzip, sit down, and as I let loose I'm suddenly transported back to my flat in Glasgow.
"Wait. Have I done it? Has the future changed?"
I stand up, wipe, don't bother to wash my hands and enter the living room. Sitting on the heavily stained futon are two top-heavy 20 year olds in matching crotchless lingerie. "Oh man, he did it. He focused on improving his social skills. Polyamory, here I come."
"Can I suck your dick?", the bustier of the two stacked strumpets said?
"But I just took a giant dump."
"That's okay. Don't worry about that."
And I was sucked off by money-grubbing sluts for the rest of my days.
« Back to index