This morning I checked my e-mail to discover a message in my inbox. It was an e-mail from my past self. In my eleventh grade computer class one of our assignments was to sign up for an e-mail account and write our future selves an e-mail. The teacher taught us how to manipulate the e-mail so that the message would be delivered to us at a future date of our choosing. If I remember correctly most people chose the dateline of December 31, 1999 or January 1, 2000. I was more forward thinking. I knew the Y2K bug would not amount to much and chose the morning of my 33rd birthday to make contact. Here is what it said….
Hey Old Man,
If you are not already dead like all great rock stars and revolutionaries are by the time they get as old as you, well then you suck and your life was a waste. I expected so much more of you.
P.S. If you did die you better not have died a virgin.
I found that e-mail a little jarring. I certainly had both high expectations for myself and an awfully cynical edge. And how rude not to wish me a happy birthday! I decided to write back to myself and I set the e-mail calibration so it would reach my e-mail inbox the day after it was sent, February 19, 1995. I had trouble starting the message. Was it too narcissistic to address myself as Dear David and would I cause a butterfly effect if I gave myself too much information about the future? But eventually the right words came to me as evidenced below.
With that kind of attitude you are not going to get very far in life. I recommend not being so critical. And to answer your questions, no I am not dead, nor am I a virgin. I do have some advice for you though if you do want to become a rock star. Write a song with the lyrics, “Who let the dogs out? Who? Who? Who?” (with the last three whos sounding like a dog barking). I do not have any advice for you on how to become a revolutionary, but if you plan on visiting Afghanistan do it in the next six years and no later. I am looking forward to further correspondence.
Old Man D