Imagine if we could send messages to ourselves
Him: It’s funny, isn’t it? How something like a song can snap you back to a time in your life?
Me: I don’t think I’ve heard that song in decades.
A scytale’s just a stick that’s of a certain thickness.
If you took, say, a belt, and wrapped it around a stick and then proceeded to write across it, it would make a rudimentary code. While wrapped around the stick, you could read it normally but unwrap it and it would just be a jumble of letters unless you had a stick of the same diameter.
Spartans and the Athenians use to write to each other in this code. Somehow got onto the topic of codes with my wife.
Me: I used to write these coded letters to myself.
Her: Why yourself?
Me: (laughing) No one’d ever play with me as a kid. No one ever wants to play with the really fat minority nerd. So I just wrote them to myself.
Her: (patting me on the head) It’s hard being a kid.
This all came about because my brother called me to talk about that song above and our childhood in general. It was rough for both of us but for different reasons.
However, my one saving grace may have been my insomnia. Because it’s all very hazy. I just remember being lonely a lot but not really discrete things about it. I wonder if he had such a buffer.
In any case, I think my wife feels sorry for that version of me. And in a weird way, I do too. Because he’s me but he is not I.
But I remember that version of me sitting and listening to that song and wishing he could sing.
Sorry kid, 28 years later, we still can’t.
But we can do things I never dreamt I’d be able to do. And have the most amazing life.
Still, while I am very grateful for everything I have, I did wonder what it would be like if I could send a coded message to my younger self. After all, listening to that message was like him talking to me.
I’d send two, actually:
- One would tell him that everything would be fine: Everything is the same but different. The acne would clear up, the fat would go away, and sheer terror of life would stop. Just stop.
- Of course, the other would tell him to buy Apple stock when it was $7 a share like there was no tomorrow.
I’m no sentimental fool.