All kidding aside, you are about to get kicked out of the family. You ruin every single home movie you’re in. Just once can someone pull out their digital video camera without you shouting “Hello, people of the future! We enjoyed boating and pizza before humankind was forced to live underground!”?
What is this weird obsession you have with drawing a line from who people are now to who they are in the future? It’s just a family, okay? They love their little baby and want to record him crawling around on the floor and biting the dog’s tail because it’s cute and they want to be reminded of things they might otherwise forget. But you have to go and put everything in some kind of historical context. They see their child biting the dog’s tail; you see the child, now 25 years old, watching the movie in a room of a house that hasn’t yet been built. There are spaceships zooming past the windows and the sky is orange. The boy is consciously not allowing himself to feel embarrassment about having had a dog’s tail in his mouth 24 years ago. He is remembering a funny advertisement he saw yesterday. Just thinking this causes the memory to be added to his website. He remembers you stumbling over your words once, making vague hand gestures, trying to explain that people used to have to physically type on a keyboard to update their blogs.
There are waves rising and crashing where California used to be, and there’s no such thing as Japan.
The dog, realizing something is biting its tail, yips once and runs away. Everyone laughs except the baby, who starts to cry. Everyone laughs except the 25-year-old, who wishes this day was over.
I know you’re a little upset about what the doctor said this morning. “Your good cholesterol is lower than we’d like,” he said over the phone. He told you the normal range, which seemed bizarrely remote from your number. Same thing for your bad cholesterol, which is way too high. Was he serious? How did you miss the mark so bad? It could be family stuff. It could have nothing to do with you. It could be a history given to you by your father, his father, his father, his father. You’re thinking about how your life is affected by people you’ve never met, and the doctor is saying something about exercise and diet. Then: “Make an appointment in 6 months and we’ll check the numbers again.”
You counted ahead six months on your fingers, then began typing a private note into your calendar.
Hello. Remember what happened six months ago. The doctor said that you were already in their computer system somewhere, no need to make an appointment. Just pick a day this week, fast for 12 hours, then go to the lab to have your blood drawn. What happened to you. Is everything okay.