The destination was 1990, my freshman year of high school, when I was 15 years old. Introduced to Depeche Mode two years prior by a chance viewing of the video for "Never Let Me Down Again" on MTV, I'd since obtained the majority of the band's back catalog through mail-order salvation the Columbia House 12-for-a-penny deal. With the masterpiece Violator freshly released, my younger self's obsession was stronger than ever. Goaded by ominous synths and melancholy lyrics of obsession, doubt and remorse, I had been sucked into a hole of unearned pseudo-depression.
The Deus Ex Machina materialized, and I stepped outside. There I was before myself, but a pup working intently on my complicated hair, clad in only the finest pieces of black one that could find at pre-Hot Topic malls.
Future Me: Hey, younger me. I'm you, but from the future. Does that freak you out?
Past Me: Contrary. Because I am wont to forsake sports to watch Doctor Who, the physics of time and space are no secret to me. Yet your presence leads me to ask: Is the universe about to collapse upon its dreary self?
FM: Unlikely. So far, so good, anyway.
PM: Drat! I thought an end to my pain and misery had arrived.
FM: See, now that's exactly the kind of attitude I came to talk to you about. You've got to lighten up, and listening to Depeche Mode nonstop isn't doing you any favors. What's got you so down, anyway?
PM: My burdens are myriad. Showers after first-period gym. The hell of babysitting my little sister. And apparently, I don't get any taller.
FM: Yeah, big suck. Thing is, you're about to reach a turning point in your life from which there may be no turning back a summer spent listening to Black Celebration on repeat and stressing out about that girl Katie.
PM: But she understands me! We speak on the phone for hours into the empty night, of both the nothingness of life and Beverly Hills 90210. Tell me this, future me, do I get lucky with her?
FM: Sadly, no. You make it to second base, at which point she dumps you for a foreign exchange student with exponentially better hair. Look, I brought you some stuff.
PM: The Sugarcubes? Jellyfish? The Stone Roses? What is this?
FM: Just something a little peppier, man. Come on, you're 15. You've got no responsibilities and a fairly good allowance. And I'll let you in on a little secret the girls at school? They want it as bad as you do.
Suddenly, a chill passed through the room, and we discovered that another figure had joined us. I looked past his pasty skin to drown in black eyes from which hope could never escape.
Future Future Me: Gawk not at my awesomeness, me and me, for I am you a week after you make this voyage. Got that? From a mysterious dark benefactor, you score comp tickets to see Depeche Mode and are once again sucked into uncompromising fandom. I am here to tell you of the future that shall pass as well as to buy import singles and rare remixes.
I felt my heart turn cold. I knew what he said to be true. Realizing the ultimate futility of my mission, I boarded the Deus Ex Machina to journey back to the present day and the demise of my happiness. In the distance, I could hear a ring tone that sounded suspiciously like "Blasphemous Rumours" as the future me's voice trailed off.
FFM: That was our wife. Pick her up some more eyeliner.