Future Me

The trip wasn’t too long but it was specific.

“You’ll take fifty paces to the front of the building, slowly and carefully, then you’ll go up fifty steps to the front door, then fifty steps to the elevators, then up fifty floors and then down to room 50,” it couldn’t be that easy, could it? I mean, really that easy?

“When you see the door, open it, knock, whatever you feel is the right thing to do in that situation. ” Her head was slightly askew and she looked me up and down in an instant, raised her chin, and continued. “You go in and you tell me what’s behind the door, you go in and have a conversation. Ask whatever you want to ask. Just talk. Just listen. Just do what’s right.”

I didn’t totally understand, but what the fuck. How often does one get the chance to talk to oneself from the future?

I went out front of the building in the parking lot, behind some tress, carefully counting fifty steps back from the stairs.

I got the sign delivered and knew it was time.

Slowly, easily , the fifty steps came across and I felt like I was being drawn in, like each step was a meditation, one led to the next as I approached.

The stairs were broad and deep, barely the right size and one step each was going to be work.

“This is on purpose,” I thought and was glad for the deliberation that had gone into it.

Slowly, surely, I went up the steps and the space in my mind was like white linen on an autumn clothesline.

At he top of the stairs, I could see the elevators ahead, and continue fifty more paces onward. I looked back and there was nothing, no stairs, no parking lot, nothing. Just a vast expanse.

The fifty steps to the elevators seemed like days passing by.

The”up” arrow lit orange as I looked up to the indicator. The elevator was carefully tracing its path back town to greet me.

It opened with a ding and the insides were smooth and dull, with hardly any reflection. Only one button on the inside: fifty. I felt the braille on the button as I pushed it and wondered what the braille really said.

Each floor clanged a boxing judge bell and flashed the light. I felt a small ache in my stomach and a quiver in my chest. I had to prop myself up against the wall.

Ding! The doors graced open to reveal a long hallway. It was a glass tube suspended in the clouds, with doors on either side and a red carpet. I could see out of the tube and the doors didn’t go to anything.

“Well, what the fuck,” I thought, “Let’s do this.” I walked out onto the carpet and began to count off the doors as I made my way down to Fifty.

The hallway extended quite a bit further… I wanted to know if I could maybe go further. Maybe fifty was the end of the line? I hoped not – at 22, I didn’t want to think my life was half over.

When I tried to go further down the hall, I felt as though i was stuck in invisible jelly, then dough, then packed mud, until I couldn’t go further at all, try as I might.

I pulled back and returned to the door, looked at the knob, reached down, twisted it and pushed open the door.


Author’s note

There’s a meditation that goes just like this. You sit in a pose, relax, and open your mind. Once you’re settled and your breathing is under control and your thoughts are (mostly) settled, you begin the walk, the stairs, the elevator, the hallway, and you get to a door. By this time, you’re deep into the meditative state.

What awaits behind that door? Does it open to an island paradise, a door floating above a sandy beach? Is it a hotel room?

What do you look like? Are you a spirit, a floating light? Are you old and decrepit? Are you fit and happy?

What does your future self say to you?