EDITORS NOTE: JULY

Last week, my grandfather sat and talked with me. We spoke like friendly men over scotch and cigars.

He wore black slacks and suspenders over a v-neck tee — clear specs, clean shaven — a maroon feather graced the hat he wore.

We did not speak about family, or anything related — the usual things you’d expect of a grandfather and grandson after 11 years apart. Instead, we spoke as if we’d already known the status of our well-beings and the details of our daily happenings.

There was no scripture he felt inclined to preach. There were no “I miss you’s” or “how have you beens”. He did not want to know about my life or my lady — 99EATS was not mentioned.  

His countenance was not a projection of my subconscious. His voice was his voice. His words were his words.

There was no awkward silence or filler fluff needed — our lines simply flowed like the scotch we poured.

His skin was healthy. His posture, mature. He did not move slow like tenured flesh.

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His words did not slur like old-age willed — his hair shimmered grey with wisdom’s kiss.

Opposite me he sat — legs crossed, fingers twined — his wingtips echoed the brilliant rays squeezing through pearl-white blinds. He did not look dead to me. He was very much so alive.

There was confidence in the familiarity of our exchange. We talked as if we talked everyday. We understood things we need not speak, and interacted like he hadn’t gone away.

Unlike the common characters of my dreams, there was no plot to discover once reality resumed. It was clear to me we were not in a dream — we were in a spiritual realm within a spiritual room.

Our chat did not finish with hugs and goodbyes, with tears in our eyes or with sorrowful sighs. Instead, he looked me straight in the eyes and did not move, and fixed the left corner of his mouth into an everlasting smile — the kind reserved for the triumphant child of an impressed and approving parent. The kind that need not be explained with words, and will forever be etched in the tiles of my mind.

He’d scheduled our chat a week prior to my 30th revolution to let me know he’d never left and to never fear, because the strength and courage of my ancestors has not, and will never cease to live within me — that in my darkest of hours and lowest of lows to not be afraid because they are here.

Suddenly, I was pulled back into this world, and staunch strings of consciousness animated my person. I felt as if I’d been influenced by the magic of Inception, and the doggedness of my hustle and motives of my purpose had been validated with the confidence of a spiritual vantage point.

I am not the same as I was before — there exists within me an inferno persisted by the will of my ancestors and strengthened by a God that is no longer externalized. The credence of transcendental marching orders guide my steps, and the fear of resolution is nullified by the courage — that is — walking in faith.

I have found my Queen. My ancestors live. My God is with and within me.
We are ready. Here’s to the next 30 years.

In loving memory of William Smith.

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D. Smith

is a Chef and former NFL player. He's also our EIC's bae. Find him here.