The post today has to deal with amazing people. They really do exist. You know, the people you see in movies or books: selfless, kind toward their fellow man, saviors. People who generally believe in the value of the person standing next to them, even if they do not know them. The people who do not judge, but see potential in their fellow human being. Who see a good thing, a good thing someone is trying to do with their life, and is willing to bet on it.
This is such a story.
I will be posting this story to both my blogs, because, well, it's a huge ego boost for my novice writing abilities. And it just makes me feel good to know that there are still people out there in the world who truly believe in the great potential of their fellow man.
The story begins a far few months ago. I was working at my bar, a trade I have been slaving at and keeping as a way to make money while I pursue my real dreams, the various they may have been, and in walks one particular gentleman.
He is a regular at one of our sister bars. (The Irsish guys who own the bar I work at also own about 20+ locations in the greater Houston area). So, we get a lot of regs from different parts of town simply because of the name we carry. And we have been an established bar for over 20 years.
He is an older gentleman, late 40's maybe. Has a very successful business, moving company. And he has worked all over the country and in his travels and work has had the pleasure of meeting quite a many famous and influential people.
This guy is literally the guy who just likes having someone to talk to. About anything. And he is super positive and proud of his life, and is loving the fact he is still around to share his stories with anyone who is willing to listen.
I like these kinds of people. They are genuine. You can tell just by the first five minutes of meeting the man he has had a very full life, and is still going. And wants to take anyone along for the ride, either literally, or through the form of his storytelling.
He came across me one Tuesday night. And like most Tuesdays, it was was rather slow at my bar, so I had plenty of time to talk. The usual subject came about, Patron asks bartender, "So, what are you doing with your life? How are things? What are your goals." The basic introductory, 'How are you, I want to know you better." Because, let's face it, The bartender is always an interesting stranger with stories to tell, Otherwise, why would anyone want to talk to us? ;)
So, I give him the shpeel about my life: I am a recent college grad, working on my first novel, hoping to sell it one day, and just sit on my bum pumping out fabulous stories through my fingers for the rest of my life. Oh, and make a comfortable living off of it.
Of course, he is interested. And most are! It's exciting to talk about my dreams, and I love sharing them with people. I consider myself an open book, and I will go on and on, especially about stories and writing.
So, I give him the premise of my book: A fucked up Alice in Wonderland story, psychological thriller, fantasy/horror elements, and oh yeah, it's gonna be a series because apparently I am a wordy muther fucker when writing. (You wouldn't be able to tell so much from me speaking. I write much better than I talk.)
And, he's hooked. So much so, that he straight up says he wants to buy the very first copy of the final draft. For $100.
Okay, guy. Sure thing! Of course, I am skeptical, but he seems legit. But, it's one of those things. "You say that now, but I'll believe it when I see it" kind of scenarios.
So we continue to talk and chat for another hour or so. (He tips well of course.) And I don't see him again for several months.
Months later, he comes in again, "Heyo! Remember me? How's the book coming?"
Of course, I give him an update (At the beginning of this year I gave myself a goal to be ready to publish by the end of the year, and I am still on track for this.) I tell him, and he's still excited. And he, not me, reminds me of our deal. He says he wants a written contract, saying that the very first copy, even if I have to kinko myself, bind, and sign for him, belong to him. And he will pay me the hundo.
Hell ya dude!
But, still, I'll believe it when I see it. Not to say I did not believe him. I just was not sure when I would see him again. It had been months, And it is just silly to count on an anomaly like this.
Then, last night, he comes in again, super excited. Tries fervently to get my attention. (This was an unusually busy Tues, so there were no seats at the bar. I see him, he wiggles his way into a seat, and says:
"Hey girl! Getting close to finishing?"
Me, all Hey guy! Nice to see ya again!: "Actually, yeah! Six chapters to go, and an epilogue, then time to edit, then publish!"
He smiles, and whips out a cool clean hundo. Hands it to me, and says, "I would like a receipt for this. I'm paying you in advance." *smiles wide*
I am star stuck. Jaw hits the floor. I look at him with an 'Are you serious?' look. I mean, I am not even finished with it yet, and this guy is serious!?
So, I grab the nearest piece of paper, a blank guest check of course, (as I am still barGooning) and proceed to write out the following:
He hands me the hundo, we both sign the 'contract', and we chat for about an hour while he has a couple beers, asking me about my life, and telling me about his.
He says he wanted to catch me early because he moved to the north side of town, and wasn't in much, and he had a feeling that if he didn't catch me soon, that he wouldn't catch me at all.
This is very eerie because I am actually thinking of leaving the bar trade very soon, for various reasons, the main one that I am pretty sure I am developing carpel tunnel in my left wrist (I'm not even 30 yet!) and I only have it in me to Goon until the end of next Spring.
I tell him how right he is, and my plans for the future, and that I reeeeaaally hope the novel takes off so I don't have to get a regular, normal, boring ass desk job that I will absolutely hate.
We chat some more. And he one ups our deal telling me he knows a lot of influential people that would be willing to invest in me if my novel is worth anything. I tell him, "Fuck yeah!" I hope that I am a good investment. I think my book will be good, and even if it isn't, it's not like it's the only thing I am writing, or will ever write again. I can only get better, right?
I keep telling him, "I hope this money is a good investment for you. If I do make it, that signed first edition copy might be worth a lot of money." *giggle-I-have-dreams-giggle*
I was being sarcastic and humorous, but he simply smiled and said, "Honey, I know it will be. Why do you think I showed up tonight? Did you think I was hitting on you?"
Yeah, most guys do, buuuuut. Weird thing. No, not really.
I told him of course not, because he knew I was married, from previous discussions, and that I thought it was really beyond amazing that he was willing to take a chance on me. He expressed no other intentions, did not ask me out, did not say how pretty I was. Was only interested in the fact that I had a dream , and he wanted to help.
I am still baffled that he was genuine in his intention. Because I have been in the industry for so long, that I automatically assume everyone, guys especially are hitting on me.
Or females hate me, because their guys are hitting on me.
I'm not vain. It's 90% fact. (More on this later for future TCBH posts.) *smile*
Anyhoo, we chat some more, and he eventually leaves, still tips very well for two Bud Light bottles, and I take down his contact info so I can let him know when his copy will be ready.
All in all, and he kept saying this, not me, 'How many authors have sold their first copy of their first book for $100? Not many. And you just did."
I was literally beaming with confidence and motivation after all this happened I had a hunch that he was serious from the get go, but when he followed through with his claim, I wanted to cry.
Moral of the story?
If you have ever wanted to be a writer, or artist, or follow any dream that was considered by popular society, 'outlandish' or 'impossible', then you will understand that by this one act of kindness, this one act of a complete stranger believing in the possibilities of another, how damn good that felt.
Thank you, Stacey Jackson. For taking a chance on me. I surely hope I do not disappoint you.
World, Are you ready for this?