Thursday, August 03, 2017

Days Of Past Futured

Classic Question:

What would I say if, knowing what I know now, I could go back in time and, ignoring the possibility of this action fucking the world with a cataclysmic absurdity of looped events which will cause a rupture in the timeline that destroys the possibility of the world developing in such a way that I could go back in time in which case (duh) I could not go back and therefore I would not go back and so I could not cause a rupture in the timeline in which case (sigh) I could go back after all, and give myself one piece of sage advice garnered from the lessons I have learned in the intervening years?


I'd have three pieces of advice to choose from:

Advice One: Do things that will generate sage advice you/I could garner from the lessons you/I will learn in the intervening years so you/I will have something useful to tell your/myself when you/I go back in time to give your/myself said sage advice.

Advice Two: Don't go back in time. It could fuck the world, etc. Don't even think it. It will confuse you and the readers of your blog.

Advice Three: Don't listen to me. It'll be fine.



Also let's ignore the fact that someone, such as yourself, appearing from the future would just blow the standard model of quantum mechanics right out of the water and the world would descend into a panic of chaos, uncertainty, more Tom Cruise movies, not to mention research into time travel which would... (Um, best leave that alone), etc...


Because, let's face it, I have learned nothing of significance over said intervening years. I would have nothing to say. Life has washed over me, the good things and the bad things have come and gone. They've made dents, scratches, and bruises, but big deal. They're not lessons, they're just experiences.

Even though everyday I do something stupid or sometimes something vaguely wise, it doesn't sink in. It might be something stupid I have already done a squidillion (large number of) times. My life is full of bad examples. Repeatedly. There's no point in telling myself to avoid those decisions, those procrastinations, those actions, those inactions, those words, or those silences, because even if I recognise myself doing them again, it would be retrospectively, and I'd still have performed them.

And it wouldn't matter.


Having said that, I am in a pretty good place. Sure, I haven't won a Nobel Prize, or made the newspapers for the wrong reasons, written a novel about E@L and his action-adventures, nor completely fucked the world (certainly not by going back in time). But I am financially comfortable, in a nice apartment in a nice part of a nice (at least very clean) town, with every possible kitchen appliance, condiment, book, creature comfort, and absence of life-partner that I could possibly desire.

I've brought some pleasure to some people ("It's twins!" is one example, "Thanks, that's a really nice wine," is another), but I've brought pain to other people ("The Doctor will come and talk to you in a minute" - meaning that you have lost the baby, or you have a bad cancer).  I've even seen dumb people and not (always) said something judgemental behind their backs, and I've seen smart persons and envied their ability to do dexterous things, to have passion about what they are doing, to remember things (like names, face, and... something else I can't remember), and not always not praised them. They've got by, with or without me.

It used to take me a long time to say sorry, but I'm better at that now. I have also learned to not say sorry at the beginning of a talk or presentation, so that balances out.

I've fucked up an average number of times, I guess. There are the ones that keep me awake on restless, sweaty nights, and those that make me shout "Fuck" out loud as I walk down the street, and there are those I've not heard about. These have not been bad or frequent enough to require restraining orders, or a hearing for negligence or incompetence, or a prison sentence. Best to leave that alone.


How should I know what I'll be, I who don't know what I am?

Alvaro De Campos (Fernando Pessoa)


It's probably best that, if I was made to go back (what could possibly go wrong?), I avoid my young self and let that naive man just get on with it.  And then, when I come back to the present (presuming I could), and I see my other untouched self (see above re: fucking up the world) having a London Pride during during happy hour at sQue, by the Singapore River, with a bunch of argumentative, annoying, funny, smart, supportive, and loveable best friends, in order to avoid fucking up an unknown future, I'd again avoid any contact with



savannah said...

You know, I almost called you on your birthday one year. You'd posted your number, but in the end I decided against it. IF I could go back in time, I would call and wish you a Happy Birthday! I'm also waiting for a postcard from one of your exciting vacations! ;) xoxox

expat@large said...

Hi Sav: I left my number online? What was I thinking? NSA, ASIO, Mossad, James Bond, they might all be listening in on my conversations with sister about my mum who is now getting up in the middle of the night and asking what she should do next.

I know you sent your address sometime ago (foolish: see above re: NSA) but I have probably lost it. Quite a few times in my travels I have paused at the post-card stand and thought about you. For some reason though, I never did buy one. Perhaps I am concerned about jealous husbands?? :-)

I have stopped sending post-cards altogether for some reason. I used to send them to my mother - usually pictures of bikini-top less maids on various beaches - just as a lark. She still has a great sense of humour. My friends Izzy (ex Sarong Party Girl) and her hubby do send them from exotic places and I love to receive them. It's a character defect in me I guess.

Is Singapore exotic enough for someone from Savannah, about which we only know what we saw (and read about) in The Garden Of Good And Evil? In a few weeks I will be in southern Thailand (a disputed area), then in Vietnam.

Let me see what I can do.


expat@large said...

Oh, and what we know of Savannah from Savmarshmama herself! On blog and on FB!!!!!

savannah said...

Jealous husband? Tis to laugh, sugar! The MITM knows all about you! I've never been to Singapore, so yes, sounds lovely, as does all of Southeast Asia. xoxo

p.s. forget everything your read or saw in the GOGAE! Far too much of it is bad fiction and the rest? Well, made a good story. xo

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