Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - Hat, an Irishman and a Promise
Last night we met an Irishman outside the pub. He was sitting with his father in-law having a pint of Shiner Black. We all got talking and it was actually amazing. What was an Irishman, from Cork, doing in a little place like this in a little place like Cedar Park? He'd married an American woman, and his father in-law, Sunny, was with him. So anyways - Tholam might have extended my life.
Sunny is in the vending business and he saw my hat and asked what it said - he was going to buy a cap for when he went to Ireland next week and he thought mine was neat. I told him that it was a Pepsi-Cola hat and I got it from Walmart for $5, but I doubted that they had anymore as this was the only one I'd ever seen. When he was looking at it, my intsant instinct was to let him have the cap. He was 57 years old, sitting there with a lovely drunken smile and a good vibe.
Before I could take it off my head he asked if he could buy it from me. He tried to give me twenty dollars, knowing full well it had only cost me five. He said that Pepsi-Cola had been very good to him, and being in the business that he was in, I could see how that might make sense.
Tholam, the Irishman, said that it was no bother and if I didn't want to then it was fine. And when I said that I didn't want any money for it Sunny tried even harder. He waited until I wasn't looking and stretched forward rubbing his back. As he did so he stuffed money into my handbag, cheeky chap. Tholam could see I would honestly have been offended and offered me a deal - as I'd clearly said that Sunny could have the hat. He said:
"Okay, we have two options. You can accept this money, from either Sunny, or me and we can call it a deal... Or, you can make a promise to me."
I waited to hear what the promise might be. What could he want, and why would it benefit me when I was already out of a hat? lol
"You can promise me that.." he looked at the cigarette in my hand, "..you won't smoke anymore. You 'will not', not 'shall not'. And... how old are you?" I told him that I am 24 and my birthday. He continued, "By ten years from now, you will never smoke again."
I smiled and I wasn't sure that he wasn't being serious but he grabbed my hand and said it again. He was looking me dead in the eye and told me that he wanted to live to see his grandchildren, he wanted to live to see his own children grow up, and life was so short, so why would we want to give any of those precious moments up without a fight?
So I promised him. On the 6th of November, 2018 - I will wake up and never smoke again. I've got just over ten years to decide how I want to approach this, but from that day on there will be nothing - no pot (obviously, since I don't smoke that anyways), no cigarettes, no cigars; nothing in that way of dying.
Last night a hat, an Irishman and a promise saved my life. Or, extended it, at least.