Stubby Chef Geoff
He plucked at the metal strings on his new mandolin, a1954 Lebanon with an abalone shell neck. His skin was wrinkled and surrounded by sunspots. We sat close, something we don’t do often.
“I’m going to be okay Emmalita.”
I’ll never know what it is about my Dad, maybe the big Santa Claus belly? Perhaps the extremely thin ponytail? Possibly the sad blue eyes. But no matter what he does I always forgive him. I lost my strict “I’m a mature adult” policy. My eyes stung and I bit my tongue trying to compose myself. I couldn’t. I wanted my Dad to be better.
“Kick its ass, Dad.” He put his short stubby finger on my nose like he did when I was scared of the boogieman.
Last year my dad developed prostate cancer. The cancer became part of our family, like a fifth member nobody acknowledged. My mom used Cancer to get us out of events and gatherings. My sister didn’t understand Cancer’s effects. My Dad wanted to kill Cancer. I ignored Cancer. Sickness doesn’t suit me. He underwent extensive treatment and after eleven months, beat it.
Dad gardened again. He played his guitar and sang with his friends. He surfed 38th with the cranky old men of East side. He cooked delicious steak and put on his Chef Geoff Show apron. Dad lived again.
Dad rested in his bed. He hadn’t been out lately. He slept a lot and didn’t go to work this week. When I walked in the room he smiled. I bear hugged him. His heartbeat seemed faint. It might’ve been my imagination.
None of us expected it would come back. He seems more tired this time around. He’s losing his vibrant chuckle and dog-walking energy. I want him to kill it. He is too good, I want to share his passion for life with others.
I believe in whatever I can. I have to.
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