I came home last night after my 10 o’clock—yes, 10 p.m.—flag football game to find my 31-year-old self (aka, me, last year) on my futon checking his email. The lights had been off and I hadn’t seen him, and I threw my bag on the futon without looking, and…
2009 Bryan: Watch it!
ME: (startled) Aaaaah!
2009 Bryan: Hi. Love what you’ve done with the place. Nice shirt.
ME: (looks down at tie-dyed uniform) Thanks.
2009 Bryan: You wear tie-dye often?
ME: It’s my flag football uniform.
2009 Bryan: You play flag football?
ME: Yep. This is the third season.
2009 Bryan: Nice. What does the lady think?
ME: The who?
2009 Bryan: (uneasily) The lady… what does she think about it?
ME: Oh right, her. Um…
2009 Bryan: Oh.
ME: I’m sorry dude. I know you were excited, especially right about now.
2009 Bryan: (clams up)
ME: It’s just…
2009 Bryan: …
ME: We were still acting a little “young.”
2009 Bryan: I’m trying not to act young!
ME: It’s the fact that you have to try at all. You’ll get it, eventually.
2009 Bryan: So now all we do is write blog posts (turns computer around, shows screen to this blog) and play flag football? And rearrange the apartment a bit?
ME: Yeah, you like?
2009 Bryan: I guess. I don’t see how I’m going to come up with this.
ME: A lot can happen in a year if you let it.
2009 Bryan: (angry) What does that fucking mean?
ME: It means that now that you’re not hiding out in your party palace in Astoria, you can actually grow up.
2009 Bryan: Oh for Christ’s sake.
ME: You know, one of our good friends say we talk in general terms about religion more than we realize.
2009 Bryan: You’re not like some crazy Christian or anything?
ME: (makes sign of cross) No.
2009 Bryan: Shalom.
(2009 Bryan’s phone rings. I pull out my phone—the same one—and look at the time. It’s the girlfriend, on the way home from work. It’s a conversation I don’t need to hear, so I go take a quick shower and come back to find him finishing up. And then.)
2009 Bryan: She’s going home. How do you screw this up?
ME: It’s been two weeks. Easy, buddy.
2009 Bryan: You are condescending.
ME: Take my advice: Just do whatever you’re going to do. Nothing is going to change. You’re going to be back here in a year anyway.
(I hear keys in the door and am startled. The door opens, and it’s 33-year-old Bryan, wearing a snappy suit and sunglasses. He carries himself well, but there is an odor of booze on his breath)
33-Year-Old-Me: (Declarative statement:) Boys.
2009 Bryan: Nice suit.
ME: No fucking way.
(33-Year-Old Me just slaps me lightly on the cheek, like a soccer player, and moves over to the desk, where he sits with a dopey smile on his face and starts to talk to 2009 Bryan.)
33-Year-Old Me: Hey dude.
2009 Bryan: What’s up?
33-Year-Old Me: Now listen up. 2010 Bryan knows what he’s talking about, mostly. Just ride out whatever’s going on here until it’s over. But for God’s sake, enjoy yourself.
2009 Bryan: He just told me about that.
33-Year-Old Me: Told you about what?
2009 Bryan: Mentioning God.
(33-Year-Old Me snatches laptop from 2009 Bryan, types furiously into Google until this picture is showing)
33-Year-Old Me: Now do me a favor and shut up for a second. (2009 Bryan would not normally take such talk, but frankly, he’s entranced by the suit. The line from Catch Me If You Can echoes in my head: “They were all looking at the pinstripes…”) That was just S—— on the phone, right?
2009 Bryan: How do you know all this?
33-Year-Old Me: I had the conversation, remember? She said she was just going to go home after work, and you said that made sense, because you have to work tomorrow and it would be too late?
2009 Bryan: More or less.
33-Year-Old Me: Dude! Go over there! Live in the moment!
2009 Bryan: But I’ll be tired… (Both me and 33-Year-Old Bryan look at him like: Get over it.)
33-Year-Old Me: (with dopey smile, takes cigarette out of pocket and starts tapping it on the desk) Live a little dude. Go surprise her with flowers or something.
2009 Bryan: (entranced by cigarette, doesn’t even mention it) Okay.
ME: Get excited, man!
2009 Bryan: Okay! (gets up, walks to door, pulls out out phone to make a call as door closes behind him.)
ME: Wow. That was good.
33-Year-Old Me: Tell me about it.
ME: (in appreciation) Nice suit, man. Why are you wearing it?
33-Year-Old Me: (starts taking it off) Thanks. It was mostly for effect. Scare the kid, you know?
ME: Oh. We own it, though?
33-Year-Old Me: You’ll find out.
ME: We smoke?
33-Year-Old Me: Nope, also for effect. (crushes cigarette in hand) Want to get a drink?
ME: I don’t know, I’m honestly pretty tired.
33-Year-Old Me: (mocking) Live a little! (and then) Ha. Me too.
ME: I’m gonna hit the hay. You gonna take the futon?
33-Year-Old Me: Oh Jesus, this thing?
ME: Will I still have it in a year?
(He can’t answer because he’s already snoring. I try on the suit jacket. It looks nice, but I’d probably rather buy a couch.)