Tres Vidas

We all have our three lives: Public, Private, and Secret

Madison Square Garden

With nods to Kastinkerbell.

Dated several people who’s favourite book’s 100 Years of Solitude. Tried four times to read it but couldn’t. Not my cup of tea. But the author once said something that I think of often: Uno tiene tres vidas: la vida pública, la vida privada y la vida secreta.

That’s the first thing I thought of when I heard about three lives this past April: Philip Markoff, Susan Boyle, and Russell Dunham. Philip’s this fairly attractive guy with an immense hidden evil. Susan’s this fairly unattractive woman with an immense hidden talent. Russell was a fairly average looking guy with an immense hidden strength.

I lived with a scumbag that murdered his girlfriend
. People asked me afterward if we knew that he was capable of such a thing. Always thought that was a stupid question – as if he liked to manically stab at his food when ate.

No, people’re really good at hiding their pretty and their dirty. Alla those little bits of this ‘n that, aggregated over time like piles of crumbs, cemented together by secrets.

It’s only when situations shift that our real selves cut through the chatter – whether that be by choice like Susan and Philip, or by chance like Russell. Our real selves are always there, just waiting.

After the London bombings, some dude quipped something like, “Always wondered how I’d act in a crisis. Turns out I’m rubbish in a crisis.”

It’s totally true. Everyone has three lives: a public life, a private life, and a secret life.

Me? I’d like to think that my angels’d beat my demons. Ah, but who doesn’t? Nobody wakes up hoping they’re a friend of the Devil.

An ex once said to me, If only your insides matched your outsides.

Do her one better: If only our outsides matched our insides.

Him: So, whatcha gonna do?

Me: (thinking) Dunno yet…

Composite image of Philip Markoff, Susan Boyle, and Russell Dunham

Location: 14:00 yest, being told to rinse and spit in Queens
Mood: satisfied
Music: hard to believe we need a place called hell

Thank you, it’s alright

Location: 9:00 yest, 14th and 6th
Mood: sleepless
Music: i have seen insane things all those grand historic paintings

A metro station in Washington DC

Was picking up some legal papers from a potential new client the other day. The weather was perfect so I took the long walk home in the daytime. Walking past Grand Central, Dar Williams just happened to be singing It’s Alright so I stopped to listen.

Ducked into a clothing store nearby to look things I can’t afford. Dido’s Thank You was playing. Didn’t realize I was singing along until the girl standing next to me harmonized a lyric and we turned and laughed at each other.

Me: (sheepishly) Thanks for the song.
Her: (laughing) Thank you.

———-

Went to Paul’s housewarming that night. The boy lives in a 2,500 square foot apartment. Yeah, with three roomies, but still. He has a laundry room in his apartment. In Manhattan. Heartgirl and Rain swung by so we caught up.

Heartgirl: (looking at apartment, turns to me) I don’t know how to tell you this but I’m strangely attracted to Paul right now.

Rain: (also looking at apartment) Y’kidding me? I’m attracted to Paul right now.

A metro station in Washington DC

Saw Heartgirl for some Latin food on a sunny street in Jersey.

Me: Y’know why they don’t put lids on crab baskets? Cause they don’t need to. When one tries to crawl out, the rest pull him back in.

Told Heartgirl that I was trying to be better than I was. She said she believed me.

A metro station in Washington DC

YASYCTAI: Summer’s here. Time to make some more changes. (time/2 pts)

So here’s what I remember

Location: 20:00 yest., eating another piece of sushi in Queens
Mood: burp
Music: I’m tearing at the seams. You on the other hand

Wedding flowers

Don’t wanna go out for my birthday but Paul insists. He, Hazel and WM take me out for some killer Indian food. Afterward, Paul and Hazel pick up a bottle of rum and we kill it on a balcony overlooking Broadway in the Village. Paul even picked up a cake.

Me: Have I thanked you enough for this?
Paul: Yeah…no prob, as long as you had a good one for a change. Everyone needs a good birthday.
Me: Well, my birthdays are usually pretty good – it’s just that the other 364 days leave much to be desired.

Stupid friends won’t even let a guy be depressed on his birthday.

Birthday with rum

Saturday, dash off to Brooklyn for something and rush home to make a wedding for a buddy I’ve not seen in years. The most beautiful woman in the room spies me walking in and takes my hand.

Her: (beaming) You came! I keep talking about you. (takes me by the hand and pulls me in front of a table of strangers) Everyone – this is my son.
Everyone (in unison): Hello!
Me: (laughing) Hi.

My world’s a small place. Alla my guy friends are comparing their ueber expensive automatic watches. Sold mine to pay for for law school stuff. Miss my Seamaster the most.

But don’t have time to be sad. Dash off to see my buddy El for her housewarming. Rain and the gang’re there including Tess (who’s in Kings, should it not get canceled) and Eve. We all go up to the roof, which is dark. But not in a cool way, more in a pitch black kinda way.

Eve: This is sorta nice.
Me: Yeah, if you’re a rapist.

Rape-y
becomes the word of the night .
NYC rooftop

While there, get a call from a girl Shin I’ve not seen in 15 years telling me she’s in town. She’s a professor now. Crazy. So we meet up and soon, about eight of us are in a karaoke bar downtown where people are butchering Phil Collins.

My brother’s best friend is there with her 18 year old sister who delights in the fact that I’m, quite literally, twice her age now. She puts a note in front of me that makes me laugh. But it’s almost 3AM and Shin’s boyfriend turns out to be a drunk douche so I bounce before I can deck him.

Logan's old

Yesterday, I see Heartgirl. We go out and she has a glass of wine and listens to my stories. I like her more than anything. Even rum.

Today, have dinner with the family at an all-you-can eat buffet.

Sister: Why are you sitting like that?
Me: So I can get a better view of the sushi chef. You have to plan these things.

Thanks for the birthday wishes, they meant a lot to me. Really. Every writer likes knowing that someone, somewhere’s reading them.

YASYCTAI: Have you called your mother? (10 mins/2 pts)

Logan’s 36/Say Anything

Location: noon, yest, midtown
Mood: stressed
Music: don’t know if our fate’s already sealed

Airplane Window at sunset

Two observations: (1) Got no fewer than four friends with relationships on the rocks; (2) I always get hit on more in the spring.

Think they’re related: it’s spring cleaning. People wanna be out and about maybe, capitalize on the weather, see what else’s out there.

As for Heartgirl and me, well, last weekend was just perfect. And we both know that perfect and I don’t work well together; she’s still tired of hearing me talk. But I’d like to see how our story goes.

There was a time when bad things happened to you, you put on a black mourning jacket as a quiet testament to your sorrow. Nowadays, it’s a lotta status updates, vitriol and poor grammar.

That’s why I try to sort things out before I write about them. Waited almost a month before I told you about the theft. And three months after my initial breakup to tell you about it. Need time to make sure something’s actually something and not a whole lotta nuthin. Wonder if I can still tell the diff.

Everyone’s got a place where they go to sort things out. King Midas had his reeds. Lloyd Dobler had his friends.

Me? I keep thinking that I’d like to go elsewhere, and still not necessarily somewhere and tell them my story. Cause who’d believe it? But since I can’t, suppose I got this here blog. Write it for me more than anyone.

But it’s my birthday and I get to make a request, yeah? I don’t ask for much, don’t think: world peace, some soup from time-to-time, the occasional call…

My request is this: who’s still reading? Yeah, I’ve got my stalwart group of people that comment and drop by with regularity (thanks guys) but I’m curious if it’s just them.

In my head, I imagine there’re people that never comment yet read me regardless.

So, just like last year and the time before: wish me a happy birthday and say something, all of you bastards that read me but never say anything.

Logan Lo

YASYCTAI: Comment. (5 mins/0.5 pts)

Eject, eject, eject

Location: 14:00, yest. spitting in Queens
Mood: pained
Music: and who needs love when there’s southern comfort?


Her
: So the first and second molds didn’t come through. (pause) So we have to do it again. You’re very brave to do it without anesthesia.
Me: (sighing in dentist’s chair) Nvave, oke. Evexpensivecmup.
Her: (removing tube) What?
Me: Not brave, broke. I’ve expenses coming up. Do it. Don’t mind me if I cry a bit.

Y’know how I always say that your friends’re mirrors to yourself? They’re also the thermostats to your mental health.

They’re the ones that pull you back and go, “Dude, what are you doing?” It’s why nutcases like Ted Kaczynski live by themselves in the woods.

The running joke between my friends and me’s that I beergoggle. They always whisper into my ear, “Eject, eject, eject.” And I always go, “Really?” shrug and bolt. Figure that I’m about 27.3% rum most weekends (by volume, not weight) so I should listen to them.

With mobile phone photography technology being what it is, they’re right more often than not.

Not all my friends eject when we tell them to, though, which is another running joke.

Another thing I believe’s that if three of your friends tell you something, unsolicited, it’s probably true. Like if three friends tell you that you’re acting like a jerk, chances are high, you’re acting like a jerk.

A buddy of mine’s all bent outta shape about a girlie that we all roundly believe isn’t worth his time. And yet he keeps trying. He insists that this is different, that she’s different. But we both know she’s not. It’s not.

He just needs time to sober up to see it. No worries. I’ll be sure to mock him once he comes up for air. It’s what friends do.

———-

Don’t wish me a Happy Birthday just yet. One more post tomorrow.

YASYCTAI: Get dental. Dental is totally worth it (60 mins/1 pts)

Easter 2009

Location: four hours ago, my couch eating cold cereal
Mood: potentially sick
Music: I like me so much better when you’re naked

Intercontinental-Barclay Hotel

My birthday’s this weekend but I’ve got more weddings to go to. Wedding season has begun again. So Heartgirl gave me my gift early.

LOGAN’S BIRTHDAY WEEKEND SCHEDULE OF EVENTS – APRIL 11-12 2009

Saturday, April 11, 2009

10:00 – Casa Heartgirl
Breakfast by Heartgirl. I make the pancakes.
She gives me presents: a good chef’s knife and a bowl – cause it’s about time, I guess.

13:00 – Intercontinental-Barclay Hotel
Check in and have people call me, sir and Mr. Heartgirl.
Walking distance to the joint that Leona Helmsley sued me over.
Long story, I’ll tell you about it someday (maybe).

14:00 – International Centre of Photography
Get rained out so we just relax at the hotel.

18:00 – Smith & Wollensky’s
Order the fillet migion with Roquefort, she has the trout.
Dessert is a coconut cake with vanilla ice cream.
Note to self: Work out.

21:00 – Photography around Midtown East

NYC Easter Hats

Sunday, April 12, 2009

11:00 – Breakfast at the Intercontinental-Barclay Hotel
$65 for ok eggs benedict and coffee. Breakfast at Casa Heartgirl was better.

12:00 – Easter along 5th Avenue
Evidently, during Easter, people put on all sortsa funny hats and parade about on 5th Avenue.
35 years and I did not know this.

13:00 – Crash other Expensive Hotels
Heartgirl poses in front of a chocolate sculpture when a douche reaches over.
just rips a piece of it right off and stuffs it into his pocket.

14:00 – West Branch
Order the cuban sandwich with fresh chips, she has salmon and a salad.
Note to self: Really you fat bastard, work out.
You’re gonna be 36 soon.

17:00 – Church
Ask for more days like these, if at all possible.
Heartgirl catches me planning out a recipe during the sermon.

Smith & Wollensky's

Today, spent the day running around looking for coin to pay my dentist and accountant, waiting in line at the bank, and trying to straighten out some mobile issues.

Days like the past weekend help me get through the rest of them.

Intercontinental-Barclay Hotel

YASYCTAI: Plan a nice getaway, even if it’s only in your head. Hopeful is good. (60 mins/1 pt)

God the Car Salesman

Location: a green couch she hates
Mood: optimistic
Music: Hey, he said, grab your things, I’ve come to take you home.


Her
: How can you believe in a religion where some people are saved and others aren’t?
Me: I don’t make the rules, I just try to follow them.
Her: What about girls that are raped and killed for just being? And children murdered for being children, where’s your god then?

It’s hard being a Christian in the big city. People look at you like you’re nuts. They expect me to be or act a certain way. A weird form of reverse prejudice.

I doubt my religion all of the time. But I doubt it hoping, really hard, that it might be true. S’ok to doubt, I think. Everyone does it. Abraham, Mary, Thomas.

A girlie I dated once called religion: a nice fairy tale. But fairy tales, and most religions, tell you that if you’re a good guy, you’ll do fine. Like god is some sorta used car salesman you gotta bargain with just right to get the best deal.

Unless I’m reading it totally wrong, what I believe seems to say that if you’re a good guy, you still get screwed. In fact, the gooder you are, the harder you get screwed. Consider:

  • John the Babtist did everything right and got beheaded.
  • Job did everything right and lost everything, everyone.
  • Peter, the head of the first church, was crucified upside down.
  • Mary, essentially a 16 year old kid, is a virgin and gets knocked-up only to live to see her son get killed as a criminal (I sorta feel she got screwed the most).
  • Joseph finds out that his first born son isn’t his either.
  • Jesus did everything right and gets nailed to two planks of wood.

So what’s the point of even trying then? I dunno. I also don’t know the answer the questions above. I’m not a theologian. Not anything, really.

But maybe we should go do good, not cause there’s a reward for our work in the end, but a debt we owe for our chances in the beginning. We owe it to the aether.

Her: I don’t think I need god. I’m a moral person.
Me: But we’re still just people and people fail all the time. I wanna believe in something bigger than my own imagination. Something bigger than my own strength of will.

What the human heart, if afforded one wish, truly wants is a do-over. A chance to get those chances again.

Spring, Easter, it’s all about rebirth. S’why we got all the pansy coloured egges. All about the do-over. My year always starts in Fall, yeah. But something about Spring, makes me hopeful.

Happy Easter for those of you that read the same book as me. For those that don’t, hope the sun is sunny where you are, you’ve got someone hot to make out with, and there’s something grand on cable for you to watch.

Actually, if you read the same book as me, I wish you the last three also.

YASYCTAI: List the good things you’ve got. (60 mins/2 pts)

Once I get better

Location: 1hr ago, in front of a mailbox on Broadway
Mood: indescribable
Music: a hustle here and a hustle there

A club scene in NYC

Him
: Come out with me – open bar, girls too young for us. The usual. You in?

Me: I’m in.

Think Heartgirl’s tired of hearing me talk about my life so I’ve been trying to talk to her less. Guess I don’t blame her, got a lot on my mind. So, RE Mike invited me out to the premier of Peter & Vandy where we chatted up some folk and a tall drink of water bought me a tall drink of rum.

But I swung by Paul’s new pad first where he was unpacking.

Him: Look what I found (pulls out a stack of papers) it’s all the numbers I got last year.
Me: Ah, I tossed mine a long time ago.
Him: (shakes head) Dude – you never do that. Not until you’re married. Even then…
Me: Nah, if you gotta, y’just get more.
Him: Suppose. Just wanna meet someone that thinks I’m awesome, y’know? I’m weary soldier.

Me: Aren’t we all?

Brooklyn Bridge at night

The next day, met up with Heartgirl for onea my oldest buddy’s wedding in Brooklyn. Heartgirl and I then got lit together and stumbled across the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan. Told her I lived here my whole life and never walked across it before. It’s true.

Her shoes kept getting stuck in the walkway and we couldn’t help but laugh.

Heartgirl getting her shoe stuck on the Brooklyn Bridge.

Life’s been stressful lately. Can’t keep taking the disappointments.

But the flip side’s the unexpected kindness, the grace I’m always talking about. Like old friends that make an appearance.

My friend Steel, his real name, stopped by and dropped off a rack of prime rib and some fillet mignion cause he heard I wasn’t doing so hot. And Bryson called me up to tell me he’s gonna be a pop.

And the last little bit I got tonight. Closing an office isn’t just shutting the doors and kicking everyone to the curb. There’s a lotta shredding involved. A lot of it. Was up at 4AM and it was 10PM in front of my shredder when my wrestling coach calls me.

Him: You’re doing well. I think maybe you can hold your own once you get better.

It made the hour commute home not so sucktastic. Cause, in some way, that’s what everyone’s been saying, that maybe I can hold my own once I get better.

Her (not Heartgirl): Are there lights on the Brooklyn Bridge at night?
Me: No, but if you get wet, you’ve gone the wrong way.

YASYCTAI: Take a walk on a bridge at night. If you get wet, you’ve gone the wrong way. (10 mins/1 pt)

Mrs. Reynolds, Johnny Handsome, and Psalm 33:10

Location: 4 hours ago, getting caught in the rain
Mood: depressed
Music: Now up and at em it’s on, I was raised to be strong

A church in downtown NYC.

Me
: Hello, you don’t remember me, but I was in your French class in seventh grade. My name’s Logan…

Ran into her last year grabbing a bite to eat near the rents. She was in a shop trying to get an old pair of glasses fixed. Pulled out this beat up purse and dug through for $20 to pay the guy.

She was laid off years ago. No one wanted to learn French anymore. The only reason I did was because of pretty girlie named Yvey in her class. But I digress.

She didn’t have $20 and they didn’t take Amex, which is all I had. So she put her glasses, held together with tape, back on her face.

———-

Me: I did terribly in French. You told me after the year was over that I was just one of those people that would never be good at languages.
Her: Did I? I’m sorry, that was mean.
Me: (laughing) Don’t be. Because of what you said, I taught myself three languages. One I still sorta remember. (gently) Y’made me try to be better than I was. You were a good teacher. And you were nice to me – not many people were back then.

Her: (quietly) Thank you. I wish they’d let me teach again.

———-

Had an awful day today and thought of the above cause here’s what I was thinking that day: I used to have coin. And now I didn’t even have a lousy 20 bucks to help out this little old lady.

My birthday’s coming up. Never woulda imagined I’d be where I am at 35. Want so bad to be better than I was. Maybe it’s not in the cards.

Me: It’s me. That gig still open?
Him: Logan? Nah, man. But someone always needs a favour, yeah? So…y’back?
Me: Yeah.

Don’t worry. Not gonna whine. Just lemme say that it sucks when you realize that the saying’s totally true: Men plan; God laughs.

And the Devil? He’s always waits.

YASYCTAI: Watch Johnny Handsome. Cause sometimes, they’ll never let you any better than you are. (90 mins/1 pt)