I don't normally try to enjoy the sun, something about the White Irish gene. That's ginger to you folks that are even more bigoted than people who still say White Irish. Sunburn, heat-rashes, sun and heat stroke aside... strange shit always happens in the sun. I can't be the only one who's noticed that. Yesterday was no exception. Except to my rule about enjoying the sun.
So I was stepping outside and the first thing I see is me approaching. This was no normal me though. This was a me that was the same age as Kerry Charlton. As if I was going to live that long. Truth is, if my dad didn't turn out to be right, if the world didn't end... well eventually the years of smoking would catch up with me, or the days spent in the sun. No matter what, cancer was just a knock away.
So, this older than I'll ever be version of me storms up to me. I can't figure out why he looks so pissed off. I mean he looks like he holds the kind of anger I felt when I was in high school. Thankfully, I'm a vocal, passionate ass. No matter what age, no matter if I'm me or him. I don't have to wait long before he gives me what for.
"How dare you? Do you know what you're wasting?"
I open my mouth to defend myself, but then I interrupt me, of course.
"Do you know when an author does their best writing? Of course you do, every writer does."
I am about to ask him to tell me but then he does.
"It's before he becomes famous. Before he has to worry about appeasing fans and keeping an audience. When you do nothing but experiment, when your art is pure. Before you get stereotyped and pigeonholed into the crap some publisher wants."
I sigh, about to defend myself, but I won't shut up.
"We both know you're not famous yet, and this is the best time. How are you wasting it? You're chasing success instead of the art. Even the shit you do on that website is ego stroking. Why aren't you trying to break things? That's what an artist does. What the hell is wrong with you? You don't want to end up like me; rich, alone, unfulfilled, sold out. Start writing the revolution now, boy."
I open my mouth to tell him that he needs to learn to expand his prose. The idea is there but years of flash fiction limit him. He seems to know what I am about to say. He seems to hate that it makes his point. He l shuts my mouth by slapping me hard. My ear is still ringing when I realize he has gone back to his own reality.
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