I stepped into the dimly lit bar. It was not so full just like you would expect on a Wednesday afternoon, most people were still at work and attending to their lives.
At the corner by the right, he was already seated waiting for me. This didn’t surprise me one bit because I knew he didn’t like to keep people waiting. I walked to his table and took a sit in front of him. We exchanged pleasantries and I could see from his demeanour that he was trying his best to be cool.
Normally, he wouldn’t be caught dead in a bar and as much as he tried to hide it I could see his discomfort. In all fairness, I wouldn’t be here normally either but I was clearly more equipped for this than he was.
He shifted slightly on his seat and I counted five seconds in my head waiting for him to scratch his nose. Right on cue, five seconds later he scratched his nose. It was almost unreal, I knew him. Then again, I was him. A year ago I was him.
He was slightly chubbier and his hair was way fuller but it was still the same face, it was me. I can’t go into details as to how I got here now, but rest assured I was here, back in time, dressed in disguise so I don’t freak myself out and ready to have a conversation with myself. My former self.
I called the bartender and instinctively ordered for two bottles of coke. He (former me) protested saying that he didn’t like coke and he wanted a bottle of Fanta so I changed the order to “One Coke and One Fanta”.
As seemingly irrelevant as that event was, I was suddenly gripped with a strange fear. I wasn’t sure I was going to like this conversation so much.
We talked for about an hour about God, love, relationships, dreams, purpose and family. I listened to him mostly and even at times when I disagreed or I thought his opinions lacked depth or experience I didn’t object or argue.
This was probably because a part of me wanted to remember him. All the things he stood for and the things he understood. He talked about how he didn’t see himself doing some things or going to some places. I realized he wasn’t being condescending or rude, he just didn’t see those things as a part of his own reality.
When he was done talking, I told him about my life and the things I had done. I couldn’t give him explicit details or tell him about anything beyond the past year because I didn’t want to mess up the timeline.
Even as I spoke to him and dropped hints of my life, he looked at me with compassion mostly, sometimes with pity and sometimes with disgust. He offered advice and told me some things I shouldn’t have done and other I could have done better.
After about another hour, our conversation was finally over. We didn’t even notice that the bartender had brought our drinks and they weren’t cold anymore.
I stood up, went to pay for the drinks, and just as I was about to leave I asked him,
“Do you believe a man can truly change?”
He paused for a bit looking for an answer and he finally said,
“I believe we change every day, we just hardly notice who we are becoming.”
I nodded and stepped out of the bar.
It was the exact kind of answer I would have given.
“I guess some things never change” I thought to myself.
One thing was for sure though as I stood at the other end of the street watching myself come out of the bar and head back home.
I realized just how much I really and truly missed me.