The 12th of May 1974 – El Paso, Texas

(found on top of a stack of dusty love letters)

Hello to the Future:

Perhaps you will stumble across this stack of papers with enough free time in your busy futuristic schedule to sit down and have a look. If that’s the case, then I write this in defense, anticipating that you (future me) will not trust me (past you), that you will not believe me, that – in fact – you may mock me. You may – in an effort to preserve your dignified adulthood – disparage me and my efforts.

I can hear you scoffing as you swirl a snifter of warm brandy in your hand, crinkling the sheets of paper as you bring them upwards to the eyes on your squinting face.

“What a fool,” you may say. “A childish and immature idiot.”

You may say it again, I should write, because those were the exact words that came to my mind when I considered, very briefly, the possibility of chucking the whole stack into a trashcan.

But I decided to keep them here in my notebook. It felt better to keep them here in my notebook.

You disparage me all you want, and I hope it makes you feel smug, and I hope it makes you feel satisfied.

I’ll live with my foolishness. I’ll live with my stack, even if all it does is remind me of the time I chased a long-dead dream, like a child hurrying after a kite well after a gust of wind ripped the string out of his hand and pulled the hunk of plastic up into the clouds.

And you can beat me down as much as you’d like. Prove to yourself that you’ve grown into a big, strong and mature adult, one with a clear head and a cold heart.

This stack stays out of the trash, and the next one will and the next one will, too. Because I finally feel awake, even if I am dreaming.

We may have acted like an idiot, a child and a fool. But that’s hardly worth disparaging. See, I believed in it. Not that it could come true and not that it could even be possible, but I did believe in it, in the thing itself.

That’s the only defense I can give. And my only hope is that you never fell back asleep, that you always kept those eyes wide-open and dreaming. Failing in that regard, well, that would be something to truly regret.

Proudly,

Me

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