I was walking to my car after visiting a diner in the Short North, an artsy old fashioned neighborhood near downtown Columbus. I had ordered a slice of pie. It was pecan and overwhelmingly sweet, thus immoderately good. But it was overheated and I burned my mouth at first, about which the waitress apologized. She was a friendly woman, about my age and tried to make me feel at home. And then she brought me my bill: Four dollars and forty cents. I was shocked, how can you charge four dollars and forty cents for a slice of pie! Nevertheless I made not a peep about it, rounded the total up to five, and left on foot. All the way back to my car, I kept indignantly repeating to myself: “How can you charge four dollars and thirty cents for a slice of pie. How can you possibly charge four dollars and thirty cents for a slice of pie.”
Instead of going to my car, I decided to take a walk through the park. This park was large and though not ever busy, on nice days, like this warm and sunny Spring morning, had a sparse amount of pedestrians. In the end I sat on a park bench to gather myself. While meditating, as I stared at the small pond ahead of me with ducks in the corner and the small fountain at its center, I couldn’t help but fall asleep. And I dreamt as if I had somehow travelled in time and found myself in the midst of a Socratic dialogue in an open air amphitheater of ancient Greece. Upon seeing me, Socrates, interrupted his talk, and called me down to center stage.
Socrates: Who are you and whence come you?
Me: My name is George and I come from the future.
Socrates: Have you lost your wits?
Me: No, sir, I come from the year 2021.
Socrates : Your name is foreign. What country is it from?
Socrates : Never heard of it. I shall call you Jorgo. How is life in the year 2021?
Me: Terrible, currently a huge pandemic has plagued our world.
Socrates: You are given to dreaming my son.
Me: I am not lying.
Socrates: And what is it that you are wearing?
Me: Jeans and a T-Shirt.
Socrates: You look terrible. Is this the fashion of the day or are you the only one without any sense of taste?
Me: Everyone dresses like this in the future.
Socrates: Tell me something else about the future.
Me: Greece is not the best country anymore.
Socrates: Shame on you, you lack wisdom! Greece will last forever. And what else is new?
Me: There is a lot of technology now.
Socrates: Such as?
Socrates: What do they do?
Me: They can be used to type, surf the internet, videochat, or hang out on social media.
Socrates: Hold on there, just a minute, you really have lost me. Is there no philosophy in the future?
Me: Not a single word.
Socrates: Really, is there no cultivation of virtue in youth?
Me: Not really.
Socrates : Is there no study of logic?
Me: Not really.
Socrates: What do you mean? Is there no philosophers in the future?
Me: There are some… but not like you and Plato.
Socrates : How so, how do they differ?
Me: In many ways.
Socrates : In dress?
Socrates : In hair style?
Socrates : In shoe style?
Socrates : In outward appearance, you mean to say?
Socrates : Well, what about their thoughts? Are they sound? Or do they go on ringing in a long harangue like brazen pots which when they are struck continue to sound unless someone puts his hand upon them?
Me: The philosophers of the future are eminent professors in universities, but perhaps, now that you mention it, they do go on ringing in a long harangue like brazen pots…
Socrates : Young man, all of this talk of the future is empty and hollow. The technology you have mentioned is hogwash, your clothes lack style, the philosophy of the future is a non-starter, and the idea that Greece is to fall is a big goose egg. If this is our future, I weep for it, and am so very glad I shall never see it!
I then woke up, as a baby in a stroller, being pushed by a mom was crying aloud. I gathered my wits, wiped the slobber off my face, and became well aware of my hapless situation. It was a strange dream indeed, thought I. I looked around the pond, saw a few people walking, including office workers on lunch break, a young couple, and the same ducks by the water fountain. The sky was blue and the sun was shining. I got up and walked to my car, meditating on my dream. I got to my car, opened the door, and drove off. So charming left Socrates’ voice, that I the while, thought him still speaking.
(Contains phrases from Plato)