October 16, 2016
Dear Old Bob,
Hope you’re hanging in there Pops, what with you being so old and all. If you waited forty years to read this (and managed to stay alive) you’d be at least what, 85, 86 now? Damn. I’m surprised you made it, given the lack of octogenarians on the family tree. Not sure why I’m calling you Pops, considering your stubborn refusal to pass on your genes. At least, I’m assuming you still don’t have kids. You never know, considering all the potential medical breakthroughs between my time and yours. Lately I’ve been hearing a lot about this “Trans-Humanist” movement, where people are lining up to become cyborgs, to have chips implanted in their bodies that automatically open doors and turn on lights, that sort of thing. Frankly, I don’t see that going anywhere but to that scene in the Matrix where the people have all become batteries, or whatever. It’s been a while since I’ve seen that movie. Anyway, at the very least I’m sure there will be a period between my time and yours when there will be a whole lot of fat guys living in basements who never take off their virtual reality goggles. Anyhoo, where were we? Oh yeah, potential parenthood. Maybe they’ll figure out how to grow babies in vats, along with those fake meatballs I’ve been hearing about, or maybe you and the wife decided to adopt a 35-year-old at some point. Truthfully, it’s harder to picture you as a transhumanist than as a father. I mean, I still don’t own a smartphone in the year 2016, and I sure as hell wouldn’t want some corporate-controlled piece of technology embedded in my body, literally tracking every move I make. Fuck that shit, Old Bob. Of course, there’s always a caveat attached to all this transhumanist horse-shit, and it’s that these amazing technological advancements can only happen if we don’t destroy ourselves first. A pretty big IF, if you ask me.
If you are around to read this, then I suppose full-scale destruction has not set in. Yet. Not sure if you can remember the whole social media thing that cropped up in the late aughts and spread like a dandelion infestation throughout the twenty-teens. You know, Facebook and all that shit. (Please tell me Facebook went away at some point!) Anyway, I had fun with the sense of connection, at first, but now I’m not so sure I want to know so much about what’s actually bouncing around in everyone’s heads. Social media has lifted the veil, and the hideousness of what I’ve seen can’t be unseen. It’s just an undeniable fact that a scary percentage of my former and current associates cannot think critically and reasonably about matters which are of the utmost importance to the future of civilization: namely, politics and religion. You know, those topics we’ve been instructed to avoid at the dinner table over the holidays. Now I understand the sentiment behind those instructions. It’s just too depressing to expose oneself to so much irrational thinking. At this very moment the American people are strongly considering electing Donald Trump to the highest office in the land. Of course, you know how all that plays out, OB. If Trump does end up winning the election, maybe reasonable humans eventually flee to Mars, and you’re reading this missive through the inter-planetary wi-fi.
Who knows anything about anything. Not me, Old Bob. Not me. I’m starting to feel a bit old myself, with 46 waiting for me at the end of next month. I’m sure that 46 doesn’t sound too old to you OB, and maybe you’d like to stick your leg through a wormhole and give me a transtemporal kick in the ass. Maybe that’s just what I need. Despite being part of the most fortunate cohort of humans to ever exist, I still find myself feeling weighed down much of the time by the very things that the vast majority of humans on the planet are desperate to enjoy, such as having a full-time job. “Do what you love to do?” Who put this nonsense in my head? As if engaging in an enjoyable pursuit necessarily involves the transfer of other people’s money into your bank account. Ah fuck… No sense going around in those circles again. I hope that you’ve freed yourself from that orbit by now OB. Or else that you’ve been forcibly pushed from it by one of the many asteroids the universe has no doubt hurled at you. I’m thinking you probably just don’t give a fuck anymore. I mean, isn’t that the beauty and horror of old age? Knowing that there’s nothing to be done about anything anymore? Supposedly there are a few among my own age-mates who have already figured this shit out. Not me, Old Bob. Not me. I’m still fighting the same stupid, pointless fight. I am getting tired though, and my hands are starting to drop. It’s almost like I’m hoping to be knocked out cold, so that I can be spared another round of nauseating gut punches.
Well, I’m glad we had this talk bro. Hope it brightened your day a little bit at least. It actually felt good to reach out to you in this way. Maybe we’ll do it again sometime soon.