I guess Patrick’s parents must have told him who I was and that I was new to the area. All that I remember was his presence. He had this peaceful, confident way about him, that even today as I sit across from him at this table at the bar, I only wish I could bottle and replicate. If I could, I would first shower myself with a little and then I would give some to my friends who like me are high strung, impatient, and lacking confidence which is masked only by our arrogance and lack of accountability. At least that is the personal description that was attached to me by a boss from my first job out of college. From my recollection, it appeared to me, he could use a little of this peace cologne also.
Now if you can’t tell, I’m not afraid to daydream a little. Unfortunately, this daydreaming causes me to forget to pay attention, which I was reminded of when Admiral said, “Joe, ever since that first time we met, I can tell when you are preoccupied.” I wonder what gave it away, was it my rather long pause in response to his last statement or does he really have that intuition that many of my friends have prescribed to him?
“Yes Admiral, I am preoccupied. I wish I could explain it to you but I don’t even know where to start. My business is struggling…”
Again Admiral interrupted me, “Always with the business, do you not remember my advice to you the last time we talked, which by the way was too long ago? I told you that one of the first lessons I learned from my father was the lesson of the three boats. My father said that I would always face severe struggles as long as I attempted to manage my life from three boats.”
“Admiral, you may not have heard, but I no longer have three boats. The partnership took two of the boats back after last season. And I don’t really enjoy telling you this, but the bank is threatening the third,” I said.
Admiral replied, “Of course, I remember the partnership taking two of your boats back. I’m one of the partners, do you not remember? These boats that I am talking about have nothing to do with your business. These are the lifeboats that I have noticed you sailing. The sea is full of storms and you should only have one lifeboat fully stocked and ready for use when the time comes.”
“I must be daydreaming again or perhaps it’s the fourth beer but I have no idea what you are talking about,” I answered. About this time, my cell phone rang and it was my wife.
“Where are you,” she asked?
“I am on my way home. Do I need to stop and get dinner,” I asked in response?
“Not for me, I have already eaten. But, you need to get home and say good night to your kids,” she directed.
So I bid farewell to Admiral and I went home. Yet Admiral’s words stuck with me and I concluded that I would give them consideration until I could figure out what they meant.