Sometimes you get the middle seat on an airplane and the gray-haired men in the window and aisle seats percolate with Brut aftershave, which makes you sneeze and remember your father and his addiction to Brut.

Your father has been dead for 17 years, so you recall the grief more than you feel it.

This is an important business trip. Your boss is up in first class and will be judging you. You need more praise and money. Your father was an unemployable alcoholic, so he has nothing to do with your success.

In the hotel lobby, the bellman looks exactly like your father. You touch his arm to see if he's a ghost. But a ghost can't carry your bags to your room.

That night, you wake at 3 a.m. with a craving for Wendy's square hamburgers and chili.

So you walk through the quiet city streets to the nearest Wendy's, and you order your father's favorite meal, and you dip the burger into your chili like your father did, and you weep and you hope, as every son does, that you will become a better man than all of the men who helped create you. recommended