Damien awoke with a start to discover another person in his bedroom. At first he thought he was dreaming as the other person, though considerably older and dressed in an outlandish pink suit, looked alarmingly like…well… like Damien.
“Hello,” said Damien, who in spite of this clear intrusion of his personal space, was never one to be rude, “can I help you?”
The other person stared at Damien for a moment and then emphatically announced “yes Damien, yes you can help me. And not only me, but the entire human race. Yes, you very much can.”
“Ok,” replied Damien, still somewhat perplexed at the situation, “I’d love to help, really I would. But also, who are you?”
“I’d have thought it was obvious Damien,” replied the man, “I’m quite clearly you.”
“Yes, well the thing is, and no disrespect intended, but you can’t be me,” countered Damien, “because I’m pretty sure that I am me.”
“Yes, yes yes,” said the man with no small degree of irritation, “yes, you are very clearly you. But I am also you. And indeed I am me, and you are also me.”
“I don’t think that’s really how things work,” said Damien, eyeing his phone and wondering if a call to the emergency services might be in order.
The man looked at Damien with mild contempt, “Damien, I know you well enough to understand this is a difficult concept to get your head around, but I’m still a little disappointed in quite how challenging you’re finding all of this. I’m pretty sure that when I was you I got there a little quicker.”
Damien was slightly affronted and still a little sceptical, but he also acknowledged that, were the situation really as it was currently being presented by this person who purported to be him, then that was just the kind of no-nonsense attitude that he would imagine his future self would display.
“Ok,” he replied, “I’m going to put my doubts to one side for a moment, and frankly the logistics of all of this are definitely beyond me. How can I save humanity ‘future me’?”
Future Damien relaxed, “That’s the Damien I know. Now it’s important that you listen carefully, because when I was you I didn’t and that didn’t end too well.”
“But, if you’ve already been me, then am I not predestined to do what you did, and also not listen properly?” asked Damien.
“That’s a very good question Damien,” replied Future Damien, “and one that I asked when I was you. Unfortunately all I got then was a compliment and no real answer from my future self.”
“And you seem to be repeating that very pattern right now,” said Damien.
“I know,” said Future Damien, “it seems like I’m reading some kind of predetermined script.”
“Which possibly makes your intervention a bit pointless,”
“Yes, that’s what I said when I was you,” laughed Future Damien, “and we were both right.”
And with that Future Damien disappeared.
“Well that was different,” said Damien to himself as he tucked himself back into his bed, “I wonder at what point in the future I start to wear pink suits.”