“Simon, hi, we need to mock up something for the ad team. I’m going to send some ads over to you. If you could fit them into your designs…”
My brain’s dying.
“… just so we have something to show them. I’ll send you over a brief.”
My eyelids are heavy. My brain is rejecting the words coming out of my boss’s mouth. I’m 32. Ads? Is that where I’m at? Placing ads?
Suddenly, the 12-year-old Simon is standing next to me. The younger me. He looks at me, looks at the chair I’m sitting in, then at my screen, then back to me. His mouth opens.
“You fucking boring loser.”
“Yeah, I know, it’s not great but-”
“What have you done with our life?”
“Look. It’s not about this. I have an app…”
“Mate, I’m so happy right now… I’m twelve years old and I know I’m gonna be crazy talented and successful. It’s a certainty in my mind. But I stand here, looking at you… you’re telling me, after 32 years, it’s just this? You, sitting there, in an office chair for nine hours a day, every single day?”
I look down at my fingers.
“What the fuck have you been doing?”
“I got a good job. People would kill for the job I have!”
“I thought we swore never to work for anyone else?”
“Look, kid, life isn’t really like that. You have to get a job and work.”
“You sound like mum. That’s all she says every day. And we both know it’s bullshit. I mean… I can see it in your eyes. You never stopped believing it’s bullshit either. Yet here you are- Why are you shifting about so much?”
“You’ve sat in that chair so many years that your back hurts? Look. I’m gonna give you some advice. Fuck. Can’t believe I’m giving you advice. I’m twelve. You’re like, middle aged. How is it I’m smarter than you? You’re gonna quit your job…”
“Bu-bu-bu- SHHH. Everything good that’s ever happened to you, it happened when you quit whatever job it was you had. Don’t think about it. Live again. Challenge yourself. Be scared. Be excited. Just move again. Make me proud. Simon, I’m not proud of you right now.”
“Listen. Now you’re old, has anything really changed for you? In your heart, I mean.”
“No… when I think hard, deep down, everything is still the same. I’m still you.”
“So stop ignoring our heart then.”
“That’s some corny shit.”
“It’s corny because it’s simple. That’s why I’m happy and you’re not. You’ve let life overcomplicate things.”
“Look, I got this thing I’m working on. Story. If I can get it going, this job doesn’t matter… I’m just here so the thing…”
“Yeah, Story. Story’s the thing that will make you proud.”
“I like Story. Fight for it.”