by Gabe Berman – the author of Live Like a Fruit Fly

“Is This For Real Man?”

I had the green light, but a mom pushing her baby in a stroller radiated vibes that she might try to make it across from the left side of the street.

Inside my head, right behind my ears, I heard my dad’s voice say, “Slow down. Move to the right.”

I automatically heeded the advice but thankfully she decided to stay put.

And when I say I heard my day’s voice, I literally did. As if he was in the backseat.

And I really don’t think I really realized how much I missed him until I safely made it through the intersection.

My eyes welled.

I miss him like I’d miss my eyes if I went blind.

And now here I sit in Starbucks, with the echo of his words resonating in my mind, and tears are forming once again.

In less than a week, it will be three years since he left, and it fucking feels fresher than yesterday.

I went to a new doctor the other day and I had to fill out the obligatory, thirty-five thousand forms attached to the dreaded clipboard. For the family medical history, I put down that my dad died from brain cancer.

Almost out of body, I witnessed the pen in my hand as those words were being written and I was like, “Is this for real man?”

The truth is, my entire life has seemed out of body since the day he was diagnosed.

And that’s not good.

Nor is it bad.

It’s just what is.

Until, like everything else, it isn’t.

I am grateful for everyone who has been patient with me,


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