The Future, Neil Hilborn

The worst thing about being naked—and then being hit by a car—is that road rash is a problem for skin.

Why was I naked in the middle of the road at noon?

I am glad you asked, imaginary other half of this conversation! I have no idea!

Some characteristics of bipolar disorder include dissociation, hallucinations, and fugue states, so sometimes I wake up in places I didn’t go to sleep!
So. There I am. Nude. Splayed out on a car like a slutty chicken, and I’m screaming about the government
conspiracy to take away my feet. Not my real feet. Just my brain feet. I’m about six inches away from the concrete when I realize, in slow motion, like the exact opposite of a rhinoceros attack,“This is not how I imagined my life would turn out.”

When I was young, I broke both my ankles jumping off a roof because I was sure a cape would enable me to fly. My parents attributed this to my strong imagination. Last year, my therapist called it a delusion. I fail
to see the difference. Also, I really can fly and see the future and make stupid people leave coffee shops with my mind. Forty-three percent of the time.

Sometimes I see people as colors. For instance, this guy right here is purple, which means he just got a promotion. Or a blowjob. A blowmotion, if you will. The point is, here is a list of things my brain has told me to do: join a cult; start a cult; become a cabinet maker; kill myself, so, in essence, become a cabinet maker; break into, and then paint, other people’s houses; have sex with literally everyone who reminds me of my mother; fight people who are much fightier than me, like the cops, so, in essence, kill myself.

I think a lot about killing myself, not like a point on a map but rather like a glowing exit sign at a show that’s never been quite bad enough to make me want to leave. See, when I’m up I don’t kill myself because, holy shit, there’s so much left to do!

When I’m down I don’t kill myself because then the sadness would be over, and the sadness is my old paint under the new. The sadness is the house fire or the broken shoulder: I’d still be me without it but I’d be so boring.

They keep telling me seeing things that aren’t technically there is called “disturbed cognitive functioning.” I call it
“having a superpower.” Once, I pulled over on the 110 freeway and jumped out of my old Jeep because I saw it burst into flames twenty seconds before it actually burst into flames.

I knew my girlfriend and I would be together because she turned bright pink the first time she saw me. I know tomorrow is going to come because I’ve seen it. Sunrise is going to come, all you have to do is wake up. The future has been at war, but it’s coming home so soon.

The future looks like a child in a cape.

The future is the map and the treasure.

The future looks just like gravity: everyone is slowly drifting toward everyone else.

We are all going to be part of each other one day.

The future is a blue sky and a full tank of gas.

I saw the future, I did, and in it I was alive.

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