A 30-Year-Old Man’s Frustrating Conversation With His 5-Year-Old Self

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FIVE: Who are you?

THIRTY: Holy crap, it’s me! I mean, you’re me! How old am I? Or you — how old are you?

FIVE: (Holds up five fingers)

THIRTY: Five? Geez, I overshot this a little. You…I mean I — was supposed to be fifteen. Damn time machine. Anyway, listen kid, I don’t have much time, so just pay attention and remember everything I say, okay? This is easily the most important thing that will ever happen to you. Do you understand?

FIVE: Are you a stranger?

THIRTY: No, I’m not a stranger, I’m your…Uncle Gary. Now listen to your Uncle Gary, Gary. Eleven years from now, your friend Thomas will want you to race him with your father’s classic Corvette. Don’t do it. Oh, and 12 years from now, don’t start crying when Natalie Johnson breaks up with you. If you do, she’ll tell the whole damn school so just take it like a man. Got it?

FIVE: I’m not supposed to talk to strangers.

THIRTY: I am not a stranger, Gary, I’m your Uncle. Your Uncle Gary. You can talk to family, can’t you?

FIVE: Okay.

THIRTY: Good, Gary, now…wait, that was too easy. Ah Lord — just don’t talk to anyone else who claims to be your uncle, okay? Now, I see you’ve got a crayon and some construction paper there, so why don’t you write some of this down? Write exactly what I tell you, all right? I can’t write it for you because I’m not supposed to be here.

FIVE: All right.

THIRTY: Excellent, Gary. I was a good boy, wasn’t I? Here we go. Age 16 — do not race corvette. Do you have that? Good. Age 17 — do not cry when N breaks heart. Good. Age 18 — do not study chemistry.

FIVE: Why?

THIRTY: You’re going to be a bit confused by that one, Gary, but you’ll just have to trust me. My — your — senior year chemistry class is going to be very difficult, and all of the long nights you spend doing homework for that horrible witch Mrs. Appleby will prevent you from drinking underage and having pre-marital sex. You will be quite a catch, Gary — no matter what anyone says –- and I’m quite certain the only reason you wouldn’t be dating a gorgeous cheerleader is because you’ll be stuck at home studying for that useless chemistry course. So don’t. Besides, in the most beautiful act of karma you will ever see, Mrs. Appleby will contract a rare disease and miss the last three months of the school year, forcing her to give everyone in the class an A. This will make you believe in God, Gary.

FIVE: Okay.

THIRTY: Great, so Age 18 — do not study chemistry. Let’s just see how you’re doing. Can you show me what you’ve written?

FIVE: (Holds up a drawing of two stick figures holding hands)

THIRTY: So you haven’t written anything. Just amazing, Gary, really amazing. Do you want to be a loser for the rest of your life? I’m trying to help you here, but you…hold on a second. I recognize that drawing! My mother put it in one of my childhood scrapbooks! So all of this time, the taller stick figure was actually me from the future. Huh, go figure. Hold the phone — if I can remember that drawing, then I was already visited by my 30-year-old self 25 years ago when I was five, and this has already happened. And if that’s true, then nothing I say will change anything, because technically I’ve already said it. Dammit! I could have gotten filthy rich on internet stocks. Oh well, if it doesn’t matter what I say anyway…Hey Gary! There’s no such thing as Santa Claus, or the Easter Bunny! There’s no point to life, really, because one day you’re just going to die like everyone else!

FIVE: (starts crying)

THIRTY: Wait, I think I will remember that part. Dammit.

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