Chapter 4: The Future
Many people say to me “Daniel, what does the future hold?” To which I say to them “What do I look like a psychic?! “ Okay, maybe I shouldn’t be so touchy when I am carrying a crystal ball, but I was just out taking it for a walk! Give me some peace!
Anyways this got me to thinking though, that many people, myself included, are obsessed with what the future has to hold. A lot of people will go to psychics, or mediums, or fortune tellers, or mystics, or soothsayers, or palm readers, or dentists just to have an idea about what is in store for them. Dentists are particularly good. Every time I go in he is always like “See you in 6 months” and he is always right. I think he should get rid of the chair, and the drill, and burn incense and candles all the time, to really set the mood, but maybe that would take the fun out of it. The man sure does love me teeth. He is always worried that I am not taking good enough care of them. They are my teeth! We get along fine! I swear I am going to wake up one night to his hands in my mouth, trying to convince my teeth to leave me. I should never have given him my spare key.
Anyways back to the point about the future. I think all humans are obsessed with the future. I know a lot of people who think about their futures a lot. I mean they do make calendars for a living, but outside of that most people are concerned with the future.
Maybe I am particularly affected by the thoughts of the future because I am so young. I mean, I am not bragging, but I am probably way younger than most of the people reading this book. I mean wow! You guys are so old! HAHAHA Watch those crows feet!... Okay so my editor said that in that one sentence I have probably alienated an entire demographic, and that if I try any harder the only people interested in reading this book will be me. But I don’t think I am that young. There are many people younger than me, and I still like to hear what they have to say. I think they are all stupid, but I listen. I am sure you feel the same way, but you bought this book already so you might as well listen to what the young whipper-snapper has to say. So, I think that I am more affected by thoughts of the future than most people, because I am so young. Nothing has happened to me yet, so there is an entire realm of possibility out there that I could experience. That in itself is scary! Where are these realms? What is in them? I don’t know! Also if I play my cards right I could have another eighty years of future left! That is a long time to be doing something!That is why I think about the future so much, because I just don’t know what is going to happen. Most of my friends are like this too. Most of my friends are college students, so the future is the most important thing for them. What they are doing now will influence their entire lives. Believe me if you want to see a student melt down, ask them sometime around midterms where they see themselves in 5 years! Man the tears these kids cry! It is hilarious!
Most people who have graduated from High school all know that in the months leading up to graduation the most asked question is what your future plans are, and if they are going to keep the baby, or who they are taking to the prom. But mostly it is about what their future plans are, whether this can be taken to mean young parenthood, depends on the situation. When I was in the position, I mostly mumbled and looked at my shoes. (Because I didn’t know my future plans, and I was not going to have a baby!) This was okay because most often than not these people weren’t talking to me, but still I thought about it a lot. For some reason when it hits your last year of high school people expect you to know what you will be doing for the rest of your lives. This is stressful. Really stressful! I mean you are already getting kicked out of your parent’s house, and you are supposed to know what you are going to do for the next 80 years! I didn’t know where I was going to sleep come July!
After this I promised that I would never ask anyone that young what their future plans were. This plan, of course, failed. The very next time I saw someone I knew who was in this same situation, I asked them. I didn’t mean to, but I was so interested. I thought maybe they had their ducks in a row. Maybe they had found something that would make them happy. Unfortunately, the person I asked didn’t pass grade 12, but that is okay, he’ll do it eventually. Third times a charm!
Most of the time when people ask about future plans they are mostly talking about what you are going “to do” As in what you are going to do to make money. Believe me, a bad response to this question is to say “Whatever you want me to!” and then wink. It makes for an awkward conversation if they don’t understand that you are kidding.
This leads me back to the point I was trying to make. People think about the future. I think about the future, and all the people asking me those questions were thinking about the future. I think about the future all the time. I think about how I am going to write this book. How I am going to get it published, win numerous literary awards, sell millions of copies, go on tour, and retire with a lot of money on a yacht somewhere. And these are just things I know are going to happen! I mean some people think about stuff that is never going to happen; luckily these people have hope. (Or are just completely delusional)
Now I must tell you that because I have always wanted to know what the future holds, I too have come into contact with certain people who have access to mystical forces, and can just by playing cards can divine your future. The first time I ever went to go see Phsychic, as she called herself, was at my small town’s summer carnival. There were rides and popcorn and cotton candy, and a little tent set up all by itself. I decided I was going to be super cool and go and see what my future was all about. Turns out this physchic cost $20 to go to, and I only had ten. Good thing I brought my friend along with me because she gave me another ten, in return I would give ask the physychic about this weeks lottery numbers. I figured this was a fair deal, so I went into the little tent and sat down. The phsychic was amazing, as soon as I went and sat down she said “ You want to have your fortune told!” “YES!” I replied! (She was good!) She sat down on the other side of a little table from me and shuffled a pack of cards, or cigarettes, I don’t remember, it was really hot in that tent. Anyways they must have been cars because she began to lay them out in front of me, but I do remember she was smoking at that time, so she must have had cigarettes, and I think she offered me one. Anyways she began to talk about my work, and my job. Now you must know that at the time of my reading I was 16 years old, and I worked at a Sandwich restaurant, and was paid $7 an hour to stand behind a counter and put lettuce on subs. It was not a career path, it was just to make a little money to buy lollipops, and ice cream, and hoola hoops, and pay for the repairs on my fort. So the phsychic told me that I was happy at my job, and I found it rewarding, but sometimes the stress got to me. This was weird. I didn’t like my job at all but I did find it stressful, probably because I hated it so much! So she had some things right. Now over the course of the next several minutes the phsychic told me that the long distance relationship I was in was doomed to fail. This came as a complete shock to me. It seemed to be going along fine. I had no worries of concerns, mostly because of the fact that I had no idea I was even in one. This revelation made me very nervous because I didn’t want to my perfect (and no existent) relationship to fall apart. Now I have to give her some slack here because she was able to pull herself away from the shuffling and smoking to ask me if any of this made any sense. Now I am the youngest of six children and people pleasing s comes with the territory. So I lied. Well not really lied but I nodded along and smiled. She continued to tell me that the one person I trusted would betray me, and that I should be more careful with my money. She definitely had one thing right. I shouldn’t have paid $20 to someone who couldn’t spell their job title correctly. I should have been more money wise. Then yet again I got a $.50 raise at work, and the next time I played monopoly my best friend, who was the banker, she cheated. I like to think it was all coincidence, but maybe she did have the gift.