April 14, 2006

Time, time, time...

I was walking down the street on my 35th birthday and noticed I was followed by an odd stranger. When I turned a corner I stopped and waited for him. He turned the corner and I tackled him roughly and said, "Who the hell are you and why are you following me?" He replied, "I am you." I punched him to knock some sense into him.

"No! No! Wait!" he cried. "I can prove it! Remember that scar on your elbow you got from the milkshake machine when you worked at McDonald's?" and he turned he elbow towards me revealing a jagged scar. It wasn't conclusive proof, but I decided to hear him out and stood up and helped him of the ground.

"So you're telling me in a couple of years I build a time machine?"

"Seven years actually, but..."

"Cool. So did you come to tell me what stocks to buy to or the winning lottery numbers so, um, we become a rich man?"

"No, that's not what I came to tell you." My future self didn't seem all that smart.

"Well shit, couldn't you have done that TOO? It's not like it would have been much work."

"Shut up. God, I forgot what an idiot I was when I was young."

"I'm not the one who forgot to SPEND FIVE MINUTES looking up winning lottery numbers..."

"Look," he interrupted, "I don't have much time here before I return to your future..."

"Okay, what huge, important, earth-shattering message do you have for me that won't make me rich?"

"What I came to tell you is that you need to find...." but then his voice trailed away like a song fading out and I was shocked when his body began to fade too, making him look like a ghost. Within moments he was gone.

Sadly, I never learned what this older and hypothetically wiser version of myself, who traveled so far, wanted to tell me. Every birthday since then I've stopped to ponder what it might have been. I've also been working on creating a time machine, since now I know I invent one in the future. I have spent countless hours researching the structure of time and space. I have conducted experiments with mind bending results, but have kept them to myself for fear I be thought insane.

It has required great sacrifices, but the machine is almost done. Ironically I also now know what the message I wanted to tell myself is. I wish I had spent more time to find that special person I could spend the rest of my life with. I will tell myself not to invent a time machine but instead to find love and be happy. I should be ready to test the machine at the end of the month. Some simple calibrations are all that are left to do. I'll let you know how it goes when I get back.

And this time I'm also going to bring myself the winning lottery numbers.

Posted by thom at April 14, 2006 05:21 PM
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