My second Collaboration Challenge comes from Steve Hill.
This morning, an older version of me sits on my bed and tells me he has come to give me advice.
“That girl with the hair in Algebra likes you”, he says. “You should talk to her.”
“I’m forty-six”, I say. “That was over 30 years ago. We’re not even friends on Facebook.”
“Crap”, he mutters. “Must have overshot. Forty-six, eh? Explains the pajamas.”
I ask if there’s anything he can tell me that might help me, might show me a path.
“Avoid the jalapeño poppers on your sixtieth”, he intones. “You won’t want to sit down for a week.”
Steve’s Bio: Born in the UK, living in Milwaukee, WI, married with 2 kids. I share a house with 2 cats, and we have an understanding, me and the cats; we ignore each other, so long as I clean out their litter and they give up the couch when I want it. I work at a homeless shelter. Yes, that’s a good thing to do. Yes, it can sometimes be rewarding. No, actually, you probably could do it too. I want to finish this book, then start another one. And one after that. And maybe you will get to read one of them someday.
Visit his site: https://goodmorningpage.wordpress.com
I laugh at myself, apparently, the older me has regained a sense of humour that I seem to have lost.
“You’re not here to tell me about Jalapeños and childhood crushes are you?” I asked, getting serious.
“I remember now. That midlife crisis was devoid of smiles. I’d sigh for you, but I don’t want to waste my breath”. The other me grinned like a Cheshire cat.
Sometimes the most cutting insults are those we keep for ourselves.
“So?” I ask, impatiently.
“Oh, yeah. So it’s about everyone that you love in the world”.
“Stop pushing them away. Sort your head out. Stop acting like the world hates you and get over it”.
“So, Not much then…Anything else?”
“You need more?” He scoffed. “Jeez, I forgot how difficult I really was”. As he said this he looked over his shoulder and leaned in conspiratorially. “Look, there are two timelines and I’ve seen both.”
“Which are the Jalapeños from?”
“The one where you don’t die alone at the age of fifty-three after pushing everyone away.”
The sudden bleakness hit me hard as he seemed to evaporate in an instant. I looked around at the person I had been neglecting the most while wondering if the conversation I had just had was real or just a hazy morning dream.