Back when I was twenty-six, I’d been living in London for a few years. Most of my times were great and came with fond memories, however towards the end I had days that started me on a downward spiral of depression. I was approaching rock bottom, although it would be several months, and back in Australia, till I actually landed there. As it turned out, I would need to stay there awhile to appreciate the rise back up again.
One day, a few months before I left London, I stood at the bar of one of my local pubs with a couple of friends. A guy about fifty called me over and I sat next next to him. He wore a big backpack with a blowtorch sticking out the top. Said his name was George and he wanted to help me because I looked down in the dumps. I couldn’t tell exactly what his game was, though he appeared to be genuine. He looked a bit like hobo, and I’d never seen him in my local pub before. Most of the other punters just ignored him, but to me, he seemed to emanate something…like an energy maybe.
I wasn’t one to believe in any of that mumbo jumbo but George said he could transfer energy into me, and for some reason, I believed him. He held up his hands and had me place my palms against his, then he closed his eyes and concentrated for a minute or two before opening them again.
“That’ll do,” he said.
“What?” I asked.
“You’ll see. I have to go now.” I looked at his half full pint, still a bit confused about it all. George continued. “I want to give you some advice: Don’t judge people, and always be happy, and you’ll never have a problem.”
I stared at George a minute, thinking he might dispense more wisdom, then nodded at him, realising he’d finished. George stood up and heaved his backpack onto his shoulders. He shook my hand and headed for the door, then pointed to the remains of his pint and said, “Drink that and you will trip.”
I watched him go through the door and I never saw him again. I’ve thought about his advice many times the past twenty-five years, and he’s right, I try to live by it, not judging people and always trying to be happy. It’s easier said than done, of course. Everything is. Even when I’m not that happy, just acting like I’m happy and making everyone think I’m fantastic usually rubs off on me and I start feeling the joy. Maybe there was something in that energy he pushed into my palms after all.
I drank his beer. I didn’t trip.