This is the latest in a series of essays titled “Man Has Premonition of Own Death”

A strange phenomenon persists four years after my father’s death. It’s important to note that I never hated him and certainly loved the man, just instinctively because he was my father, and that as time went by I came to understand him more, see his weaknesses and failing for what they were – his humanity – and got along with well, as long a decent number of miles separated. If we’d lived together or near each other, if we saw each or spoke to each other too frequently, conflict would have been inevitable. But in the later years of my father’s life, as my children were born and grew and achieved one of their many milestones – or even when I had done something I thought he’d like to hear about – I’d often call my father to share some news, or brag about the kids, or – occasionally to borrow some money. So here’s the strange phenomenon. Sometimes something will happen that’s the sort of thing that would once have prompted a phone call to my father. And I’ll get this sudden impulse, this quick instinctive urge, this reflex, and just for a split-second I’ll think “I ought to call Dad.” Then the synapses will snap back into place and my brain will remind me that my father’s dead, that where ever he is they probably don’t have phones, or maybe they have phones but the numbers are unlisted, or maybe my father is simply not accepting calls at this time.


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