Saturday, 15 June 2019

'A Small Boy Thinks About The Future' by Tim Warren

I have been thinking about the future. This is quite hard to do, when it doesn't exist yet. It's not so much thinking, really, as guessing. Anyway, this is what happens when I think about the future: I feel dizzy.

Also, I get a sinking feeling.

My friend Carl says that's because I'm not thinking about the future, I'm just thinking about whirlpools. He thinks about them all the time, he says, and he'd appreciate it if I stopped copying him. “OK,” I tell him; but when he's not looking, I still do it anyway. It's that spinny-sinking feeling that I like—it's just like being on a ride at Alton Towers, but without having to go anywhere. All you have to do is think really, really hard.

I love whirlpools. Any kind. Any size.

Sometimes, I fill the bath and watch it empty, over and over again, imagining I'm caught in the whirl: spinning, spinning, spinning, but never quite reaching the plughole…

I hope that's what the future's like.

“You won't have a bloody future, boy, if you keep doing that,” says my Dad. “Do you want to see my water bill? Do you?” But he's just jealous, because there won't be any old people in the future. They'll all have died. Either that or it'll be full of them, that's what the papers say… but one of them will be me, I suppose, and I'll be a robot by then, so that's OK.

The future's great. You can imagine whatever you like about it—and no-one can stop you. Even if it's true.

But mostly I’m just imagining whirlpools. Because I’m pretty sure robots will be waterproof by then.

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