If you could sit down with a younger or older version of yourself, what questions would you ask? What wisdom would you impart? Short of a DeLorean and 1.21 gigawatts of energy, such conversations are left to the imagination. Unless of course your name is Peter Emshwiller and you plan ahead.
In 1977, when Emshwiller (nicknamed "Stoney" at the time) was 18 years old, he sat down for a future interview with his older self. There was no one there to answer his questions, but Emshwiller nonetheless set up the one-sided conversation so that some day in some time, his aged counterpart could easily complete the illusion.
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"I sat in a well-lit chair in a completely black studio and, like some teenaged Johnny Carson, chatted with an invisible older me," Emshwiller writes. "During this one-way conversation, I asked my older self tons of questions about my future — from career to family to art to friendships to sex. Then I recorded many different reactions to each possible answer, ranging from polite nods, to joy, sadness, annoyance, surprise and outright horror."
Earlier this year, Emshwiller, now 56, decided the time had come to face his 18-year-old self and reveal a bit about the decades in between. The project, titled "Later That Same Life," is being crowdfunded to be turned into a short film. As you can see in the preview below, it's everything we all likely imagine would happen — from downright amazement to bittersweet truths and surprised disappointment. We all have an idea of what our lives might one day be, but as an older Emshwiller shows his younger self, it doesn't always turn out the way we expect.
"The final illusion should be a humorous, touching, sometimes combative, always revealing, totally impossible conversation between a bright-eyed teen and his own middle-aged self," adds Emshwiller.