When I gave Santos my personal story, he was able to read it like a Neolithic hunter sifting through the entrails of a recent kill to predict the next migration, or a Japanese fortuneteller, seeing the shape of things by looking at tea leaves in the bottom of a cup. He told me that I’d been a hungry ghost ever since I took that first sip of spiked punch at a junior high disco forty years prior. I’d been lost in the wilderness as long as the Israelites had searched for the promised land.
Up until that point, I’d only been fantasizing about having my way, living vicariously through comic books and superheroes who could say and do whatever they wanted. That night, emboldened by the trace amount of alcohol circulating through my veins, I’d stepped outside of my shy self, spoken to the cutest girl in the room, Linda Hawkins, and then held her close as we slow danced to Dream Weaver. It could not possibly have been me, lying beneath a table with her at the end of the night, my head propped up on her ass like a denim pillow, doing a little dream weaving of my own, and yet it was.
That was the way it had been since then. Me going out and wanting my way, dreaming my dreams, chasing my fantasies, escaping as often as I could, believing that if I drank enough, I could charm my way into, or out of, any situation. I stayed when I wanted to stay, and left when I wanted to leave. Whatever came my way was never enough.
Then one day I awoke from my reverie, like Rip Van Winkle, only to discover that years had passed and times had changed. I was no longer the young adventurer with a world of promise ahead of me. I was an old man, with a bald head and a grey beard, lost in the modern world, made irrelevant by the advent of technology, carrying a bag of stories on my back that no one wanted to hear, now appearing to young women only as an uncle figure, no longer drinking to celebrate life, but only to try and dull the immeasurable pain of it.
My will and my way had brought me to a place of wild desperation. There was an invisible sword-tip pressed into my throat. Any sudden movement and it was all over. I’d never been as trapped as I was right now. My only hope, was to ask for help.
What should I do, I asked my guide Santos? What should I do next?
He told me to read The Doctor’s Opinion.