She walks slowly across the young man's room
She said I'm ready for you
Why can't I remember anything to this very day?
Except the look, the look
You know where
Now I can't see, I just stare
--Pearl Jam, Alive
He went back in time.
If he had befriended a genie, played with some wishes, or if he took better notes during Star Trek, it might make at least a bit of sense. But no. Truth is, he didn’t know how he got there. Or exactly when. Maybe he was napping. Dreaming. But that tight blue carpet under his feet sure didn’t feel like a dream.
And there he was. His young self. Sitting on the bed across the room.
Was he reading? Pondering? Sulking?
Clearly, the boy didn’t feel eyes on him from across the room. That lamp didn’t carve away very many shadows.
But there the fuck he was.
Here was the proverbial moment. The thing people wished for. Here on a polished platter. That moment when he could take himself aside and speak the GREAT WISDOM. The LESSONS OF LIFE. He could tell himself what not to do, what mistakes to avoid, and what people he'd be better off not knowing. He could FIX THINGS.
But he didn’t move towards the boy. His heart just pounded. Fast.
Because there was no wisdom. There was nothing to say. What the fuck had he really learned anyway?
Boy, it's actually worse than you realize. Sorry. Have a nice day.
Face it. He couldn’t be a father to himself. Or a mentor. Or a friend.
He would just go back. Leave the kid to his own thoughts. Let him muck it up. But that damned genie wasn’t showing up. Or that Star Trek episode.
If he did have a wish or two, maybe he could conjure up his elderly self (assuming he lived that long). Maybe THAT dude would finally have something inspiring to say.
Then again, that was a crock. That boy was stuck there.
He should just tell him to get those skills sharpened up faster. Get cracking.
There was a lot of work to do, and he could use the help.