Ambrose, a young man of 27 years, is upstairs in a musty room. The musty room belongs to the interior of an upscale cabin in Aspen, Colorado. This is the height of ski season, just shortly after the parties on New Years have all died down. This after party of sorts is to celebrate his friends most recent windfall. The friend, Mr. James Toppens, or J.T. for short.
Anyway, J.T.'s stockbroker invested in alternative energy right before the deal was made to construct solar panels and wind turbines somewhere in the desert that surrounds the city limits of Reno, Nevada. When the ink dried on the contract the price per share skyrocketed.
This brings us back to Ambrose. The room is not only musty but cramped and has a fine layer of dust that covers every surface. While he checks his reflection in a wardrobe mirror. Ambrose is a dark blonde man with high cheekbones and in a state of phenomenal physical fitness. His dates always comment on his washboard abs. But his abdominal muscles aren't on Ambrose's mind. Instead, there is the most interesting antique bureau made of fine dark cherry wood. There are so many drawers. Ambrose walks over and runs his hand across the top of the bureau. His hands leaves streaks on the cherry surface. Ambrose then decides to see just what is inside.
The drawer second from the top seems like a great place to start. Inside the drawer there is a bright white envelope, and that is all. The letter is sealed with crimson wax. Ambrose immediately notices the initials "L.N." pressed into the wax. He hastily slips his index finger across the seal. The seal is now broken. There is a piece of paper inside. The paper is folded in the way of a traditional letter. Ambrose unfolds the paper. Now, the letter is open. There is a time and date written upon a white sheet of paper. Nothing else.
Ambrose folds the letter quickly, but carefully. In a diligent effort to make the letter appear untouched, he folds the letter along each deep crease in the paper. Then the flap on the envelope lifts with the gentlest touch. When the letter is safely inside, the envelope falls back into the drawer. Ambrose pushes on the drawer with his left hand, but it sticks. With the use of both hands, to center the drawer, it takes the softest push to close.
Downstairs, Ambrose can hear so many party guests. Now, with attention paid to his reflection in the wardrobe mirror, his attire becomes the reason to focus. One by one, he fastens the buttons on his dark blue dress shirt. Each button fits snugly inside of their matching hole. It is time for Ambrose to make his grand entrance. Ambrose double checks his reflection to make sure there are no embarrassing omissions in his appearance. He walks out of the dusty room and down the long staircase. There are gigantic blue tooth speakers in every corner of the living room. The speakers emit popular and modern EDM at ear-splitting decibels.
The living room of the cabin has transformed into party central. There are streamers that hang high in the rafters of the cabin. The streamers have stock market symbols printed on both sides to resemble the ticker tape of yesteryear. There are also card tables set up with various drinking and board games alike. On one card table there is beer pong. Another table serves as a place for Pictionary. While a certain person is forced to take a drink, another ventures a guess before all the tiny white crystals of sand in the clear imitation hourglass finally rest at the bottom. Ambrose is bored of all of this.
However, there is something that catches his attention. J.T. is in the middle of a heated conversation. Ambrose wades his way through the throngs of guests. Just so he can be closer to his friend and overhear the conversation. The host raises his plastic red cup in recognition of Ambrose's arrival. Ambrose announces, "To the greatest party host and next captain of industry, Mister James "J.T." Toppens." Any guest who hears this declaration take a minute to applaud and cheer for J.T.
James' cluster of friends collectively take a drink. J.T. reaches his hand out to fetch Ambrose a drink. As the man pours a clear liquor into the cup, a large ring on James' hand glints in the bright light. The ring is very heavy, made of 24 karat white gold. There are impressive initials imprinted on the surface of the ring. They read, L. N. Ambrose pretends not to notice as he accepts the drink graciously. One party guest that Ambrose cannot recognize becomes quite red in the face. "The question you are asking, James, is preposterous! If we open the desk drawer we are stuck with the pertinent information of the time and date of our own passing. What then? Are we to simply accept our fate? Are we as living creatures supposed to resign ourselves to the absolute nature of fate. Or may we alter the present? The future? Who would like to receive that morbid letter if are ultimately doomed. Are we to avoid one accident only to stumble into another catastrophe?" The party seems to swirl around Ambrose in a dizzy fashion as he stands motionless.
Ambrose begins to perspire heavily. J.T. retorts, "All I'm offering is a hypothetical question. Would you open the desk drawer, if upon a piece of paper was written your time and date of death? The paper says nothing about the manner in which fate plays, if any, role in our lives. Let's just go back to the original scenario. You are alone in a room. There is an antique desk with a small envelope in a drawer. Upon that envelope, there is a wax seal. Like all wax seals, it can only serve to be broken. In your heart you know inside that envelope, written in a neatly folded letter is the time and date of your death. Do you read the contents of that letter?" James pauses and adds, "Are you alright Ambrose? You look quite shaken."