Bohemian grunge: an encounter with my past self


People. It has happened. While at work the other day, I came upon a bookshelf cluttered with textbooks, interesting relics, and a VHS tape with a label of my name written in black Sharpie letters: JASMINE. My hands were trembling and my throat was itchy as I reached for the tape. This was it. I finally found the tape my future self sends to my present self to warn me that I absolutely must not, under any circumstances, go to that cheese festival next week.

After I watched the tape, I was so grateful for the knowledge that future me imparted on present me that I hoped to return the favor. I traveled back in time to one of my most vulnerable years, my junior year of high school, a time when I was desperately praying for things I didn’t know I would ever acquire. Here’s how it went down:

*I magically poof into the room to find Past Jasmine (PJ) doing math problems with dry erase markers on the closet doors that are also full sized mirrors. Dashboard Confessional serves as background study music*

Me (trying to sound unphased from the surely terrifying phenomenon that time traveling is): Why, hello, Jasmine.

PJ: It’s about time! What took you so damn long?

Me (suddenly realizing that Millennial entitlement was a real thing all along): Okay, um, well, I guess I’m just here to give you advice and knowledge and stuff but seems like you’re busy so I’ll just–

PJ: Where do we go to college? We do go to college, right?

Me: Yes. We go to UCI..Damn! Forget I said that. I’m not supposed to reveal anything concrete.

PJ: We didn’t get into UCLA?

Me: No. You go to UCI as an English major, not a bio major. Honestly, you should just apply to liberal arts schools on the East Coast, the professor to student ratio is–nevermind. Forget I said anything.

PJ: What? What’s a liberal?

Me: Listen, just go to UCI, okay? You’ll really love it. You meet your closest friends there, come to understand and embrace your intersectional identity, and meet your husband there.

PJ:…what’s his name?

Me: I can’t tell you that. It all has to happen organically. Don’t go looking for him either. So help me God if I go back to 2015 and I’m not married to him because some of your meddling with matters already settled I will come back here and make sure neither of us make it back to 2015.

PJ: OK. but…just tell me….does he wear a messenger bag? And flannel shirts? And ooh did we meet him at a poetry slam where he doesn’t actually write the poetry but he just leans against the back wall and appreciates the mood?

Me: No. Absolutely not. Stay away from those boys. Stay far, far away from them.

PJ: So, you don’t have red dreads.

Me: What??

PJ: Where are your red dreads?? And the piercings?? And do you even drink herbal tea? Don’t you remember? All I wanted to do in my early 20s was exude bohemian grunge.

Me: If you want dreads you do that now because I don’t have time for that. As for piercings, you did have a few but they closed and now I’m too lazy to get them redone. Also, we are a bit grungy but that’s just because of what was on sale at H&M.

PJ: Do we at least live in San Francisco?

Me: No…but you live in Burlington, Vermont and the hipster scene is pretty rambunctious there, too.

PJ:  What the hell’s a hipster?

Me: You’ll come to know soon enough child, in fact you probably only have one more year of blissful ignorance left.

PJ: And what do we do exactly?

Me: Um, I’m working on it.

*The Dashboard album has ended. PJ restarts it and continues practicing math problems on the mirror*

Me: Past Jasmine, we still listen to Dashboard from time to time. And…Candace is still our best friend…And we’re going to be okay.

PJ: Thanks, Future Jasmine. I believe you.