CREDOS : Kostos’ wisdom — II

Nobody understands problems like Kostos. I was a millionaire three times in my lifetime, lost it every time on a woman and gambling. And I’m now the poorest, most wretched 70-year-old former casino owner you ever met... and the happiest one, too!” With a vicious cast of his line, he proclaimed: “There ain’t a thing you can’t tell to Kostos!”

And so I told him...about Patty, about my broken heart, about my life, about it all. Just as if it was the most ordinary thing in the world that this stranger should ask. And just as naturally he said the words that lifted my burden as if it never had been there. “Boyo, you 21 years old, you the youngest doctor I ever met. You just startin’ this here wonderful life, got everything goin’ for ya, and look at the damn mess you got going on in that head.” Somehow, instead of insulting me, his words made me see, really made me see myself.

“You should write that young lady the biggest thank-you letter like nobody ever has. She’s done you the biggest favour anybody ever coulda. Boyo, at your age, you gotta be a crazy thinkin’ about hookin’ yourself up wit’ just one a girl. You should be goin’ out wit’ a million girls!”

Anyone else could have said the same thing.

Others had. But somehow, coming from this man at this particular point in time, the words resonated with near-biblical meaning. But he wasn’t done with me yet. “Somethin’ else is botherin’ you, boyo. You can tell me,” he said. —