Day 217: Imagine yourself at age eighty. What would you tell yourself?


I opened my eyes and blinked. I could feel last night’s whiskey screaming in my brain, pushing against my skull like a particularly irritated swarm of bees. It felt like I’d been sleeping under a rock for a few days, a particularly heavy one. You know, the type that are in the weird formations and look like they should fall over any second. I curled my toes, hearing them click one by one, before moving up to my fingers, flexing then curling them, trying to ease the aches. My head rolled to the left, drooping over my chin before rolling over to the right with a violent crack.

The harsh light of day, during its violent attack, revealed my surroundings. Wasn’t anywhere I recognised. A lot of oak panelling. Much more than I’d expect to see kicking around student digs. Last thing I remember was shots of Bell’s with a chaser of Jack in… Spoons? Tiger? One of those places with the cheap drinks and the low syllable names that are easiest to say when you’re hammered.

I’m getting too old for this.

There are pictures on the wall, the classic graduation shots of kids at uni. One or two family photos. Where the hell have I woken up? Please tell me I didn’t pull another mum…

My arms feel like they’re made of lead and string simultaneously as I try to heave myself up off the floor. Whoever I did go home with clearly didn’t think very highly of me, seeing as I’m lying on the laminate without a blanket or a pillow in sight. No wonder my neck feels like it’s about to snap.

“Hey! Who the fuck are you?” I looked up to see an elderly man holding a shotgun. It’s far more terrifying than it seems. You’d think an old guy would be endearing, maybe even cuddly. This guy wasn’t.

He was six foot tall, maybe, with a shock of white hair. His arms were clearly visible through the fabric of the military t-shirt he was wearing, still strong even at the age he was. Somewhere between sixty-five and practically dead was my guess. Still, that shotgun wasn’t moving an inch.

“I said, who the fuck are you?” He moved toward me with strong steps. Shouldn’t old people be shuffling around hospital wards with sticks?

“Look, man. Please put the gun away. I’ve got a full bladder and no idea how I got here. My head’s pounding and I’m liable to make a mess of your nice wooden floor if you keep pointing a deadly thing at me.” I said with perfect eloquence. In my head.

In real life, things played out a little differently. I got as far as the word please, then proceeded to vomit all over this guys floor. I heard him say some expletives followed by calloused hands on my shoulders, then I passed out.

As it turns out, it’s a pretty standard meeting between you and your eighty year old self. The easiest way to travel is when you don’t know where you’re going.

Fun times today. I think it would be fun for your first words between you and yourself at eighty to be “Who the fuck are you?”

The Idiot in Tin Foil

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