dialog with my circa-september-2001 self

June 26, 2008

"Uh -- hey, what? You look like me but with square glasses."

"I am you, but around 7 years in the future. I want to give you advice."


"I know. It's probably not going to help."

"Why-? I mean like why me now? Do I have to prevent some huge terror thing?"

"Heh, not that I know of, but yeah, in part I remembered you're kind of freaked about that and that's why I chose this time, but you're good for at least seven years. Pretty soon they'll be some Anthrax powder in the mail or something but it's really isolated."


"There's going to be some war, though."

"!!! Like, all-out war?"

"No. So here's the thing: we're going to move on Afghanistan, and that's going to seem like a bad idea to you, but given the Taliban and who actually did this 9-11 thing (are you calling it 9-11 yet?) it's probably a kind of worthwhile thing, and do-able. The problem is you're going to invade Iraq."

"Did they do it too?"

"Not really, Bush felt the need to get rid of Saddam, but it's going to be kind of a quagmire. But anyway, enough about me, let's talk about you."

"Who is also me."

"...right. Your three month old marriage is in trouble."

"WHAT? It seems great! Neither of us are 'strongly gendered typed' and we give each other plenty of space for our own projects--"

"Yeah, that's some of the problem. You guys are about to buy a house. Stop treating it as 'Mo's project', engage more, stop being just along for the ride. Mo's looking for collaborator in ways she's not going to put into words until it's too late."

"Then do I--"

"I don't know much more than that."

"What about my career and all that?"

"Well, your current safety job isn't, but if things go the same, you'll find a place that'll be a safe harbor for a while. Things will pick up again, maybe the'll drop off again, your current drifting, job-wise, seems ok for a while."

"So why did you come back to now? Why not to our teenage self? Or before and tell us (him? yourself?) to enjoy dad while he's still around?"

"Well, to be honest, I can't relate that well to myself that far back. But you feel like the same person, kind of, just less informed. I think we fear growth and personal change because that means we were wrong, and we hate being wrong."

"But I admit mistakes! It's-"

"Yeah but your ego is more fragile than you know, and you redefine things that make you look less than stellar as not important. Maybe work on that. But really, I got to thinking about this time as sort of a critical point after playing Nintendo 64's Pokemon Puzzle League with EB*. (Who should end up stressed but with a lovely wife and kid.) I remembered playing the same game with him as a de-stresser on 9-11, but realized that you could probably kick my at this game... he and I still play it but not as religiously as you do now..."

"Heh, you're getting weak old man..."

"Yeah, funny."

"So what's new in technology?"

"Oh, not much. Focus on your Java, that's your bread and butter. There's a new round of game consoles, Nintendo's doing some cool stuff. WiFi is a lot easier and cheaper. Apple makes phone version of the iPod, looks like a Star Trek: Next Generation slab, that finally actually is better than your beloved Palm, which isn't going to get much better than it is now."

"Heh, oh well. Not too exciting then? Guess it's just seven years. But wait a minute... doesn't coming back to tell me this risk negating your existence? Like you're telling me stuff so it leads to a different future of me?"

"...Oops. Damn, wish he had least given me some lottery numbers."

*of course I'd have to use EB's "real" name, my past self thinks of EB as "Electronics Boutique"

Saw Josh, visiting home from Japan the other day. He mentioned I missed a scary fun but harmless earthquake the day after I left.