Pawns and Padawans
My dad sat on the other side of this old chess board since he taught me how to play when I was a kid.
I got better as I got older and eventually, as Vader would say, the apprentice became the master.
He’d only beat me if I got cocky and moved a piece too hastily, or if he was able to get under my skin with a barrage of intentional annoyances to throw me off my game.
He’d either eat tuna fish loudly or ask me ridiculous questions or tap his fingers relentlessly.
God, I’d get so angry.
He’s been gone for awhile already, but I felt his absence stronger than ever when my nephews got home from sleepaway camp the other day. Maybe because it was the first barbecue I’ve been to
Although I’m a super strict vegetarian, I filled my gut with hotdogs, hamburgers and slices of steak. For him.
I feel him so overwhelmingly present right now. I felt him as soon as I found this old chess board in the back of my cabana today. And as soon as I saw the numbers he wrote next to the squares in order to teach my nephews how to play.
This table I’m writing on would be covered with every section of The New York Times. He’d get up to rummage through the fridge for blueberries or a piece of chicken and he’d always ask, “Do you want something cold to drink?”
I can still hear his voice as clearly as if I heard it yesterday.
Although I’m now typing with tears in my eyes, I am grateful to feel more grateful for these memories than sadness.
“In Live Like a Fruit Fly, Gabe Berman shares his recipe for living a more joyful, worthwhile, and abundant life in every way. A witty, entertaining, and insightful read.” — Deepak Chopra, Author, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success