The latest is this: I would like to tap myself on the shoulder during one of several possible early mornings in 2003, at roughly 3am.
I’d be lying on my back on the bedroom floor of my first ever flat, holding a drink in one hand and cradling a badly out of tune guitar in the other, simpering the lyrics to ‘It’s Cool We Can Still Be Friends’ to no one in particular – a song written by the smiley chap sat to the left of my incongruously-wide legs in this photograph.
“Sam,” I’d say, sitting quietly on the edge of our bed. “You’d better put that guitar away and stop your wailing. Because in about 8 years time, you’ll find yourself sat across a table from Conor Oberst trying to ask him some serious questions about his music, the future of humanity and the political situation in Egypt.
“And instead of listening properly to his answers you’ll be trying not to blush remembering how many times you mistook yourself as being tortured and enigmatic by playing his song into the indifferent night like they were your own.”
Then I’d lean over into my own stunned, spotty face. Perhaps plant a kiss on its furrowed forehead. And I’d whisper: “While we’re at it: give up the music. The closest you’ll ever get to being a rock star is perching awkwardly in their hotel room sofas, asking questions they’ve heard a thousand times before. So stop embarrassing us both.”
And then I’d disappear in a plume of smoke, before the playing started up again.