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A Lifetime of Yesterdays 4/23/24

Updated: Apr 29

Deja Vu 

Almost Cut My Hair, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young circa 1970. The song was perfect to describe my unwinding with my father. It's so easy to see now. In 78, I had totaled my car just a few weeks after getting my license. I skidded on an icy road into a telephone pole. I had my license for about two weeks—shit spot to be in when you're seventeen.

My parents would decide I needed to get back behind the wheel ASAP, so I wouldn't choose not to drive ever again. My Dad, Vlad the Impaler, aka Dracula in the 15th century, would go with me on this trip like extra nerves would keep me calm. His eyes stared me down like daggers as we walked to the Buick Riviera family car. This car was a status symbol for us, and now I was about to drive it with this guy to ensure I wasn't afraid to drive at all. Great idea. What a bonus! My father woke up daily with a bad attitude, which was one of his things. We all have things.

I got to the car first and started it. I turned on music with David Crosby bellowing, "It increases my paranoia, like looking in my mirror and seeing a police car," as Vlad approached the front window to peer in at me. "Turn this shit off, Increases my paranoia. What's wrong with you?" He yelled over the wailing guitars. I shut off the car, cutting the music. The neighbor's dog barked. I wasn't smart enough to think the answer to his question may lie within it. But I am now. Therapy helps here a lot. 

We drove silently for a few miles into a neighboring town. I rolled the car up to a stop light at the crossing of Route 35. We were first in line as the light turned from red to green. I waited several seconds as I saw a car approaching. Vlad yelled, "Go!" I didn't move the car one inch as a speeding car went through the red light. My Dad looked at me and said, 

'I am sorry I yelled at you to go. Wow." We both would realize we were close to being in a horrible accident and survived a near miss. Why? I didn't listen; I made my own decision for us and the person in the other car. 

Relationships with parents are challenging. For me, my relationship with my father was a mess at best. Near the end of his life, we didn't speak for ten years. During that time, I had the best and worst of what life can bring you. I had career success, I lost my beautiful sister, and I learned I was an alcoholic, this being followed by Multiple Sclerosis. I found an excellent psychiatrist; she saved my life. I have been both cancer and alcohol-free for over five years. I genuinely believe that if I can do these good things, almost anyone with determination can do so. I have not led a perfect life, but so far, it is well lived-warts and all.

Let your freak flag fly.

Peace, Chris 

  • Almost Cut My Hair - Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. 

  • AI was used in this post only for image creation.

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About Chris

Christian J. Farber

After a thriving corporate career, Chris now enjoys retirement at the Jersey Shore. As a prostate cancer survivor, he's committed to educating men about the disease and covers various topics like Alcoholism, Multiple Sclerosis, and Career Success in his featured writing on platforms such as The Good Men Project, Huffington Post, and Thrive Global.

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