An older gentleman walked into the old bar with a well-pressed suit on, making his appearance trump the other shaggy beasts that staggered around him. He came up to the bar counter as I was polishing a glass leaning on one hip and said, “You’re a young filly, I can see it in your eyes.” I set the glass down and placed both hands on the wooden bar top and responded, “Well played sir, what can I get you.” He pulled the stool out from under the bar and took his time nesting into the seat as I watched his move; he seemed weightless yet every movement was trying. “I am here to let you know you have a legend of a destiny, “ he smiled but not typically, more sullen style.
I felt a giggle arise in my chest as I processed his words, knowing I had been behind this old counter for years and there had been no legend of anything even brushing the end of my skirt. “Oh yea, well is it hidden behind this Jim Beam Bottle?” I asked him as I raised the bottle and gave it a good swirl with a cheeky grin.
“It’s in your eyes, it’s in your stance and it’s been dormant in your heart for years. Some time your going to have to awaken to it and you have taken too long, so I am here to tell you, you have a legend of a destiny and you must fulfill it now.”
The energy around him went from light to heavy while the stare of his eyes penetrated my skin, and then crept deeper to my bones. I felt my energy turn from playful to scared in seconds and my hands went cold around the bottle. Not knowing how one would proceed in this type of situation I said, “I am listening.”
The man tilted off his hat slowly to one side finally resting it on the bar, then asked for a single malt scotch. I poured it in silence as the other man slumped deeper into their seats keeping to themselves, eating nuts and watching their self motivation crumble.
“I brought you a plane ticket, it’s to Argentina. There will be a man waiting for you at the airport he will have your name on a sign. He will take you where you need to go but it’s a long drive with plenty of heat so be prepared. You have blood running through your veins that is almost extinct and you must cultivate your purpose to share with others, you must meet his man and see about a horse.”
I found my breathe get shallow and my throat get tight, I felt every word he spoke ring true in my heart but every cell in my brain scream in agony of the surplus of unknown that had just been laid at my feet. It was like roots grew from the musty floors and strangled my feet to the ground, my heart was imploding upon itself as this man so calmly laid this before me without even a notion of how the words might shake me.
“I appreciate your honesty as I am sure you have some well thought out points here but I live here, I have never been to Argentina and I don’t even speak Spanish. I have bills to pay and a job to do. I am sorry but I can’t just drop my whole life because some random man told me about some legend like destiny in my blood.” My response was shaky and unstable, every word I spoke felt completely un true and unlike myself. I felt like shit after I spoke and something inside of me was screaming thank you! Thank you for saving me from this shitty life with a shitty job and a meaningless existence! So why could I not just say that? Why did I have to let my fear defend me?
“Are you done?” he said as if he had heard everything I had just spoken inside of my head.
I nodded. He slid the ticket across the counter and threw a $20 down next to it , as I looked up from the airline ticket he was gone, and the only thing remaining in front of me was this old mans hat and a new sense of freedom that I had not felt since I was 10 years old.
I took the ticket and looked at my departure time for tomorrow, then took off my apron grabbed my purse and left the bar, completely unattended as I knew somewhere in my heart, I was not coming back.