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'Who is this Guy?'

I am the guy standing in line beside you at Starbucks, or Chick-Fil-A, or across from you at the diner. I am that fella high-fiving you at the game (not the one with the body paint.) I am the one you saw standing on the platform in the freezing rain at the Summit Station waiting on the Jersey Transit Rail. Or the guy crossing the street in SoHo walking to the 6 train express to the Upper East Side.

I am the guy that fixed your flat tire--on your car or your tractor--or your tractor trailer. I am the person you tipped after an oil change. I am your former lawn man--and the guy you hired to build a fence for your dog and extend your deck in your backyard. I am the used car salesman that you actually thought was somewhat trustworthy. I am the guy you saw cruising the A1A with the top down or the PCH in Laguna. Or the one stuck on the beltway with you trying to get to Dulles on time--because there was no hope in getting to BWI in less than two hours.

I am the guy in the Bama hat that bought a bag of boiled peanuts from you on the way to Panama City last summer--and 3 pounds of tiger shrimp on the way back. The same guy you saw frantically searching for Dreamland BBQ sauce at the Piggly Wiggly. I am the one you invited to your hunting club a couple of years ago--and the one you helped dress a deer. I am that guy you passed in a 12 ft aluminum boat with a cane pole and a bag of crickets--and the one you heard pass you in a SeaRay.

I am the one you sat across from on the super rail from Paris Nord to the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof. I am the one that blew past you on the autobahn--and the guy you blew past in a Chevy pick-up down South. I am the guy in the room next door to your friend on the 9th floor of the Radiation wing in the Cancer Center. I am the guy you talked to at the PT clinic that was rehabbing a shoulder injury while you were recovering from knee surgery. I am also the one you gave up a walk-off home run to in the 11th grade--and one of the players your football team beat in OT in the semi-finals before going on to win the state championship 7 days later.

I am the young boy you saw perform at your daughter's piano recital when we were kids--and the man who presided over her wedding a couple of years ago --and the one who presided over your father's funeral seemingly a few days ago--but not before eulogizing my father's passing. I was the one that woke you up running a snow blower at 6000 ft up Mt. Rose—the same guy you paddle boarded with off East Shore near Incline Village. I was the guy one you surfed with in our backyard off the north shore in Puerto Rico—or just before sunset in Rincon.

I was the person in front of you in line at the DMV--and behind you at Disney. I am the guy you crashed into on your once-a-year skiing trip--and the same dude you undressed with in the security line at the Atlanta airport--or LaGuardia, or LAX, or O'Hare, or DFW. I am that guy with the loud music next door--and in the middle seat. But you didn't complain because eventually I played a genre that you liked. I was the guy you asked to take your picture on a 13,000 ft peak in the Swiss Alps--and the one that asked you for 50 cents for the pay phone at the Rattlesnake Rodeo because I lost my wallet and didn't have a ride.

I was the not-so discreet American that you caught trying to blend in in Brussels. The same one you steamed with at the Aqua Dome in SoeIden. I am the not-so obvious Southerner that gave my best attempt at a Brooklyn accent when I bought a Coney from you on the street. I am the same guy you scalped tickets from on the day of the game.

I am the one you talk to about your marriage or relationship around the water cooler. And I'm the one that talks to you about 18 years of marriage on the drive over to a client's office. I’m the friend you called that understands broken families and broken hearts. The same friend that told you to get on your knees to find your strength. I am the buddy you like to hang with when your wife or girlfriend is visiting her mother. I am the buddy you like to hang with when your wife or girlfriend isn't visiting her mother.

For the most part, you know me even though maybe we haven't had a chance to meet.

I am that guy you just read about.

The one thing that makes me a little different from most of your other friends is that I'm tired of meaningless existence--in fact, I am almost done with it---over it. Why? Well….you've read some of my story. I am a survivor. But then again, aren't we all? I know what it's like to quit breathing while fighting for your life--only to pass out and wake up again--and ask "How and why the heck am I still here??"

As you can tell, I am a guy's guy--always up for a good time. However, life has already demanded from me that I answer certain questions. One thing I have learned through all of this is not one of us is exempt from this duty to respond. The key is to question everything. Why am I here? Do I matter?

Am I making a difference?

Am I doing what I am supposed to do? I am convinced there is more to life than work, school, carpooling, vacations, parties, and approval from our peers.

Here's my disclaimer…I DO NOT have all of the answers--and in some cases the right answers. But if you will hang with us here, I promise to give it/you my best shot. Deal? Ok cool. Come in and grab a seat. Grab whatever you want out of the fridge...


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