Just money, just allergies

Losing, Winning, Living

Him: Maybe she’ll come for dinner?
Me: No. She’s still on her adventure.
Him: What’s an adventure?
Me: It’s…it’s an exciting trip. (hesitating) Is…is that ok? If it’s just papa?
Him: (nodding) I want ham.
Me (relieved) You got it, man.
Him: I’m not a man, I’m a boy!
Me: Yes. (laughing) You’re my boy.

If only all these things were this easy to solve.

He’s graduating from pre3K this week. Like everything that should be a good memory, this one is bittersweet. It seems like we just started school.

I couldn’t sleep the other night because I knew that most of the other kids would have both parents there and he would look out and just see me.

Was going to call up the ABFF, or my sister, or even one of his sitters to come but, thankfully, Alison’s mom can make it. It’s a small thing but I slept like a log the day she told me she’d make it.

The thought of him just seeing me in the audience bummed me out no end.

Mother-in-law: Can I stay over the night before?
Me: God, no….joking! You’re always welcome here.

Should mention that I’m 100% confident that if I called Mouse and told her it was his graduation, she would come. Full stop. Cause she would do anything for him. But everything’s complicated enough as it is.

In any case, there’s so much guilt involved in parenting. Suppose it’s like a poor parent that looks at wealthier parents and feeling a niggling bit of jealousy and longing.

Except it’s not money. If only it were just money.

My dad once said to me that, if a problem can be solved by money, it’s not that big a problem. But when you have problems that can’t be solved by money, it’s a real problem.

But the boy doesn’t seem to notice, which is a small blessing, I suppose.

Another parent: Hi. I’ve been meaning to tell you that your son must be the happiest boy I’ve ever seen.
Me: Gotta say, that means more to me than you might imagine.
Her: Oh…well, it’s true. You and your wife are doing something right. (pause) Are you…
Me: Sorry, just…allergies. (clearing throat) Thanks. That means a lot.

I’ve got a lot going on but I’m trying to sort through it all so it’ll make sense to you. Cause not a lotta it makes sense to me.

And it’s Father’s Day in a week.

Me: Oh, I’ll make you a croque monsieur!
Him: No! Ham!
Me: But a croque monsieur is…you know what? Nevermind. Let’s get you some ham, ok? We’ll go to the market together. (gets keys)
Him: OK! (sings)

Location: home
Mood: allergies. Lotsa allergies
Music: gimme some, gimme some, gimme some sign. I think that we’re supposed to be

Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.
Blogarama - Observations Blogs

I have my rules

Whatever works for you, bud

Her: Hey!
Me: Hey!

Ran into a girl from my gym today while I was walking with the boy.  Like I said a million times before, NYC’s a small town sometimes.

Turns out that she babysits in my area. I’m literally collecting babysitters like other people collect Pokemon.

Speaking of babysitters, I was chatting with someone the other day on the train that mentioned that she babysat. As the Germangirl used to say, I’m a talker/glattzüngig.

Her: Your son’s so cute!
Me: Thanks! I have to keep him regardless, but the cute helps. (later) Oh, you’re right by my gym. You should join us, it’ll change your life.
Her: (laughing) Sure. Let me know when you’re around.

She’s super young but seems like a sweetheart. She has a blog as well. I miss having a group of blogger friends.

Speaking of the gym, I legit thought I’d have to change gyms this week for a number of reasons. I even called up a new one in my area to find out details to switch.

I swear, I have PTSD from my old gym.

Him: You’re fine.
Me: I was actually more anxious about this than I woulda imagined.

Speaking of friends, spoke to another young lady I knew from waaay back but never made it into this here blog.

She’s going through a breakup too, as is a friend of hers. We said we’d all get together at some point. She also wrote me something very nice about her friend and me.

Speaking of friends getting together, saw Curt a few more times. He and I have radically different ideas of what it’s like to be out and about in the city. Radically.

Her: 23.
Me: (laughing) Of course your are. Let’s play a game: How old does my friend look? (pointing at Curt)
Her: 25?
Me: OK, and me?
Her: A bit older. 27?
Me: I’m older than that, but thanks for making my night! Enjoy your evening, ladies.
Curt: (later) See, you care about things like that. The moment they told you their age, I saw you check out. And she’s the best looking person here.
Me: (shrugging) Still not my type; just seeing if I’m still me. Besides, I have my rules.
Him: (shaking head) You and your rules. I honestly don’t get you at all.
Me: (getting up to leave) It’s simple, man. She’s not the prize. (pointing at self) I’m the prize.
Him: (shaking head) You’re nuts.
Me: No, I’m Harvard. See, anyone can apply. Not everyone makes it in. Besides, I’m just killing time. I know what I want.
Him: (laughing, rolling eyes) Whatever works for you, bud.

Location: out and about
Mood: thoughtful
Music: makes me feel like nobody else, nobody else

Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.
Blogarama - Observations Blogs

She’s on an adventure

Where I’m supposed to be

The boy: Papa!!
Me: (grabbing him) There’s my little guy! How are you? Did you miss papa?
Him: (laughs, shakes head) Nooooooooooooo…
Me: (feigning pain, shaking head) Hurtful.  Hurtful.  (brightening) Well, I missed you.
Him: Where’s Mouse?
Me: She’s…she’s on an adventure!
Him: In Brooklyn?
Me: (nodding) Yes! In Brooklyn.
Him: When she gonna be back?
Me: (frowning) Oh, I don’t know. She might be gone for a while. Adventures sometimes take a long time.
Him: Oh. (frowning) I miss her.
Me: Of course, I do too. And, I know for a fact that she misses you. She’s definitely going to see you again, don’t you worry.
Him Good! I love her like a…toothbrush!
Me: (laughing) I’m gonna take that as a compliment to her and tell you that I know that she loves you like TWO toothbrushes.
Him: That’s silly! (thinking, quiet) Papa, will you go on an adventure too?
Me: (imitating him, shakes head) Nooooooooooooo… I belong with you.
Him: (laughs, sings loudly) ♪♫♬I belong to you, you belong to me, you’re my sweetheart…♪♫♬
Me: (nodding) Always, boy. (hugging him) Always.

Location: home, where I’m supposed to be
Mood: convinced
Music: think of what it might have been

Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.
Blogarama - Observations Blogs

What will you do?

Sober and productive

I’ve got a ton going on in my life and it’s hard to sort it all out.

Mouse finally wrote me. The details are her story to tell, not mine. We had an agreement and I intend to stick to it until she tells me otherwise.

Speaking of sticking to things, I allowed myself to go on a constant string of benders for May as long as I was sober by June. Well, June’s fast approaching.

It’s a good thing, cause Pac and some other friends are worried about me. He brought over some fried chix the other day – which he knows I never turn down.

Me: Why are you so concerned? I’m a high-functioning drinker.
Him: That’s why I’m worried. I never see you sloppy drunk. You don’t turn red. You don’t slur your speech. You just…drink a ____ton. I’ve never seen someone drink as much as you and be that normal.
Me: That’s the power of rum. Plus I know my limits. (getting two glasses) Look, May’s almost over. (pouring him a drink) Almost. I’ll be fine.
Him: (takes it) OK…

Speaking of fried chicken, he actually cooked some the other day as well and insisted that I post something about it, so here’s a pic:

I’m joking, it was delicious. When he’s not almost blowing up my apartment, he’s a good friend.

Another buddy came by with a full bottle of rum this past weekend. He never drank rum before. We essentially finished off a bottle between the two of us; he brought the Pyrat below and we alternated between that and the Black Seal.

The next day, he wrote me.

Him: You were right, that rum has no hangover.

In many respects, he and I are in very similar situations with the women in our lives as both of us are kinda in limbo. Well, he still is.

Me: What will you do?
Him: Wait until she gets back and hope it works out. And if it doesn’t, go back out there.

I actually feel how worried everyone is, which I find surprising. Cause if I was gonna do anything, it woulda been a while ago.

Thanks to Mouse and the kid, I didn’t.

Another friend: May’s almost over and you survived it. And by yourself, too.
Me: Did I? Sometimes I wonder if little bits of me just die at a time insteada all at once. Maybe that’s why I’m not the person I used to be. 

The pastor from Vision Church also visited, as well as another buddy who – shockingly – never drinks. So I just had coffee and kombucha with them, respectively.

Because those were the most recent, I’ve been completely sober for a few days now.

Gotta say, it feels…odd. It’s like I was living in greyscale again and someone turned up the saturation, brightness, and contrast again.

In that time, I’ve:

      • Gone to the gym three times and did 100 pushups (not in a row) each day. That’s me, below, being choked out by Curt.
      • Read a crapton of stuff I’ve been saving up.
      • Replaced the deadbolt I’ve had for over 20 years on my gate with a new one, right quick.
        • Then replaced that deadbolt with a smart one that I unlock with my phone but only after using a Dremel to shave it into place.
      • Figured out a leak issue on my roof.
      • Finally fixed my washing machine with a screwdriver, a butter knife, $0.05 of compressed air, and $0.05 of WD-40.

I’m both sober and productive. And it’s not even June yet. I’m gonna call that a success, which, let’s face it, is a pretty low bar.

Still, I gotta say that I’m super proud of myself for fixing that washing machine.

It took three days – well, two days of drunkenly taking it apart with the first hour of the first day forgetting to unplug it, and then one sober day of reading the manual and fixing it. There was also a disastrous water overflow that reminded me of the night I met Mouse along with people from my gym. I was gonna post up half of this entry yesterday but had to clean up that spill (and troubleshoot the roof). But really that’s all beside the point; the main point is that it’s f

Fixed.

I’ll drink to that.

This is a super lengthy entry.

Was gonna tell you why I changed my lock but I’ll save that for another day.

Location: home, with a fully assembled and working washing machine, front gate, smart lock, and roof
Mood: sober – I know, I’m as surprised as you are
Music: I wish you well and hope you find whatever you’re looking for

Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.
Blogarama - Observations Blogs

Sorry, are you Logan?

Double booking

A fella from my gym I’ll call Curt heard that I wanted to go on a bender the past weekend.

Him: Do you want someone to drink with? My girl’s away for the next month.
Me: Sure.

Somehow, I double booked with him and a last minute thingy with my usual buncha gym buddies so I invited him along.

Actually, I triple booked (I’m guessing people were worried about me for the weekend) but we don’t need to get into that.

Anywho, next thing you know, the four of us are on a train to the stop I usually go to in order to see my mom.

While there, I randomly asked a young woman if she would take a picture of alla us.

Her: Sure. (takes picture, pauses) Sorry, are you Logan?

Note that whenever a woman asks this of me, I freeze because I have to go run through some 30 years of living.

Me: …yes?

Turns out, she’s a friend of an ex.  And a friend of my brother’s. Plus, she’s also been to my pad before. What’re the chances?

Then again, I’ve always said that NYC’s a small town.

As for us, we ended up meeting our buddy Pac and going to an AYCE Korean restaurant that was just killer.

It was weird seeing that woman. Cause it was like running into one of my possible pasts and my possible selves.

I’ve not seen that version of me in ages.

Curt and I essentially finished a bottle of rum between the two of us.

We ended up drinking again later that weekend but I’ll tell you about it tomorrow. Or the day after.

What a crazy day this has been. I literally sat down and laughed at the ridiculousness of this life of mine. Then again, I get to live it.

Something else I’ll have to tell you about tomorrow. Or the day after.

Man, have I got stories for you…

Admin note: I put up a subscribe link on the right hand side if you want email updates of this here fine blog. Just say’n…

Location: home, still with a disassembled washing machine
Mood: okay
Music: she’s a forest fire, I do my best to meet her demands
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.
Blogarama - Observations Blogs

I like that you’re broken

Broken like me

I’ve had a surreal week/month.

The Gymgirl/Mouse came by on Friday to keep me company. Friday was the 24th of May.

She made it clear it was just a one-off. But I was happy to see her, regardless.

Her: Headed to you now.
Me: Great, see you soon.

I’d originally earmarked the day to go to Bethesda Fountain by myself but she was gracious enough to keep me company.

We sat by the water and marveled at turtles and fish going by as we ate. And drank. A lot.

After drinks and a full meal at the Loeb Boathouse, she said:

Her: I’m still hungry. (thinking) Since we both broke our diets, we should go to Chinatown and get dumplings.
Me: I’m down.

So off we went.

Before you knew it, we had a table fulla complex carbohydrates after eating just minutes earlier.

Gotta say, I wasn’t going to spend Friday with anyone but I always set her apart. It ended up being a really nice day, all things considered.

I was hoping to see her again before the weekend ended but she’s been non-responsive.

Then again, she wrote something once where she said that she speaks through silence. I’m trying to figure out if she’s trying to say something or if she’s just saying, I don’t wanna talk to you.

Generally default to the latter but everything’s weird these days.

Anywho, it’s late and I just took apart my washing machine (I’ll explain some other time) so I’ve gotta take care of that and crash.

I’ll tell you more about the weekend tomorrow.

Or the day after that…

Oh, the boy’s been at Alison’s parents home but he’s coming home by the time you read this.

I’m super excited. I skyped with him earlier.

Me: Hey there! I’ve missed…
Him: (loudly) ♪♫♬ I like that you’re broken..♪♫♬
Me: ?
Him: (continues to sing loudly)… ♪♫♬ broken like me, maybe… ♪♫♬
Me: (laughs) Well, the song choice is not inappropriate…

 

Location: home, in front of a disassembled washing machine and broken locks
Mood: accepting
Music: I could be lonely with you

Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.
Blogarama - Observations Blogs

It all fades to black, Pt 2

Even though I knew

It all fell apart, two years ago today. I remember writing this, hoping for a miracle that never came.


I was alone but heard a female yell out my name in my apartment the other day.

I ran out of my room and yelled, “Alison?” even though I knew she was gone.

I don’t believe in ghosts or anything like that. I do believe in auditory hallucinations caused by insomnia and copious amounts of self-medication. Yet, it seemed so real.

This is my life these days. Most days are ok. Some actually good, like when the boy and Mouse are here. Some are bad. Some are horrible.

This was a horrible day. I screamed in my blue bathroom, like I always do.

I have no plans to hurt myself. Instead, I plan on just going on a massive bender; apologies to my liver and those that will be running into me this weekend.

Still…I’m tired. I’d like to rest.

But, I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.

The boy: Why do you (imitates a sighing sound)?
Me: I’m sorry. Papa’s just tired.
Him: You need to rest.
Me: (nodding) I will. One day, I’ll rest. But not for a while, ok?
Him: Ok! (looking at me) Are you sad?
Me: (smiles) What do I have to be sad about? I have you. That’s silly.
Him: (laughs) That’s silly. Silly, papa.
Me: (nods, turns away)

Stop all the clocks,
Cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with the juicy bone.
Silence the pianos and, with muffled drum,
Bring out the coffin. Let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling in the sky, the message: “He is dead!”
Put crepe bows around the white necks of the public doves.
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my north, my south, my east and west,
My working week and Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song.
I thought that love would last forever; I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one.
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun.
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Location: the bottom of my staircase and of a bottle of rum
Mood: hollowed-out
Music: Hoping for the best, but expecting the worst
Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

It all fades to black, Pt 1

All the bonuses you didn’t want

 

Friday will be exactly two years since Alison left.  It’s hard for me to comprehend. She’s forever young.

No one wants to be forever young this way.

In those two years, I’ve dreamt of Alison exactly once. It was a late last year and I wanted to keep it to myself and tell you when the time was right. Suppose that’s today.

I dreamt that it was this day. and I was here/here, which is Bethesda Fountain in Central Park.

In the dream – and in real life – we were running late to a wedding. She told me to hurry up and walked down the steps leading to Bethesda Fountain and I ran after her.

She turned to smile at me one last time before disappearing around a bend. Stuck behind a crowd, I ran after her but she was gone.

I ran down the stairs and looked for her, then up again, then back down again. I never saw her again.

Then I woke up and plead to a god I don’t believe in to let me go back.

And I got the same fucking answer I always do.

It’s the same answer everyone gets.

People don’t seem to get it.

It wasn’t just Alison that died that day; my family died that day. All the hopes and dreams she and I talked about for so long, died that day. Everything we thought would be, died that day.

All our big dreams and little dreams died with her.

You know, something she talked about all the time when she was pregnant was how excited she was to push a stroller and hold a goddamn cup of coffee in the Upper West Side. She never got the chance.

How fucked up is that?

Losing alla that’s just bonus you get for free with the death of someone you love. It’s all bonus for shit you didn’t want in the first place.

Almost everything you ever loved dies all-at-fucking once.

Just like that. Poof. It all fades to black.

Location: hell again
Mood: hollowed-out
Music: So many dreams swinging out of the blue. Oh, let it come true
Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.

The Superpower

Taking Mice for Granted

This woman named Jo Cameron was born with two genetic mutations:

      1. A different FAAH gene, which reduces her ability to feel pain, both physical and emotional;
      2. A defective FAAH-OUT gene, whose sole purpose is to activate the FAAH gene.

Essentially, she feels no pain, no anxiety. She cannot suffer. She broke her arm when she was eight years old and only went to the doctor three days later because her arm looked funny. When she gave birth, it tickled her.

She’s a mutant with a superpower.

When I was a kid, outta all the superpowers, the one I wanted the most was the ability to become invisible. I think most bullied kids would welcome the ability to disappear and not be noticed.

But, after these past few years – barring time travel and/or the ability to detect and destroy cancer – I think that the superpower I’d like the most is Jo’s power.

Because, man, do I get people being hooked on painkillers.

This week/month has been a rollercoaster of emotional pain. Both from Alison and the Gymgirl. The kind where I’m sitting down on my shower floor hyperventilating.

I actually do have to take painkillers to manage it. That’s how severe it’s been. The insomnia’s back too, because, of course it’s back…

I’d like to tell you more about the Gymgirl but now’s not really the right time.

I will say that she floored me the other night because we hadn’t spoken for a while. And when we did, she said I took her for granted. That’s the last thing I would do.

Then again, I’ve always said that communication is what the other side hears, not what you say.

It’s my fault if she somehow heard that she wasn’t that important.

Her: (dismissively) I’m just a placeholder in your life.
Me:  (shaking head) That’s precisely the opposite of what you are. You’re not even a front-runner; you’re the only game in town.

That placeholder bit kept me up all night because it’s so far left field. I didn’t really fully appreciate the depth of what she was saying until I was alone in bed.

The worst things creep into my head in the middle of the night because it’s when the world and my thoughts quiet down. And I start to understand things.

I’m trying to wrap my head around everything but, FWIW, I was trying to do the right thing by her but it turned out that I did exactly the opposite of what she wanted me to do.

To top it all off, afterward, I behaved in a way that I’m not proud of and I’m disappointed in myself. It was rough all around.

I should remember that this never happens when I drink rum. But that’s neither here nor there.

There’s more, but that’s all I wanted to say for now.

That, and, should she and I exit each other’s Venn Diagram, you can still keep up with her wit and charm by following her blog: Melee Mouse/Mouse in the City.

Me: Hurry up, we’re gonna be late!
Mouse: We? You’re gonna be late. I’m gonna be a pleasant surprise.

She was my pleasant surprise in all this shit. I thought she knew.

On that note, I’m just going to call her Mouse here from this point forward, for however long that is.

Because the only reason I used Gymgirl instead of Mouse, which is what everyone calls her, was because of our inappropriately possessive ex-coach and his insane jealousy, which is a whole ‘nother story for another time.

Location: home
Mood: uncertain
Music: Oh, I guess I should have told her; I thought she knew

Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.
Blogarama - Observations Blogs

Conversations in May

Hugging porcupines

Been having a lotta interactions lately. Probably because it’s May. Some have been funny…

Him: I wanted to make sure you were still alive.
Me: It’s still early in the month.

…some just amusing…

Me: (holding out hand) My name’s Logan.
Her: (taking it) Malaga.
Me: Like the city in Spain? You know, I gave a lecture there years ago.
Her: Really?
Me: I know, I’m as surprised as you are.
Her: (laughs)

…some less so:

PT: I think about her a lot.
Me: Well, that makes two of us.

Alison’s really amazing physical therapist came by for the first time in almost over two years. She used to come here two-to-three days a week to try and help Alison – and refused to take any money for it.

We caught up and she saw the boy again for the first time in ages; he wasn’t speaking and had just started crawling the last time she saw him.

Her: He’s adorable! (later) I’m so glad we did this.
Me: Me too. I would have written you sooner but…(trails off)
Her: (gently) I know.
Me: I’d like to see you again, if I could. When you’re free.
Her: (nodding) I’d like that.

Actually, I communicated with a number of people that I’ve not spoken to in a while.

Her: How are you?
Me: (slight laugh) Probably exactly as you’d imagine.
Her: (later) I wanted to mention that my ex and I moved in together.
Me: That’s great. I always just wanted you to be happy.
Her: (pause) Why didn’t you ever let me meet him? Your son…
Me: (sighing) Alison told me once that, when you have a kid, and you see someone love that kid, you can’t help but fall in love with them. We were both in a weird…
Her: (interrupting) But the Gymgirl met him.
Me: Yes. She did. I set her apart.
Her: Before or after she met him? And did she set you apart?

Speaking of the Gymgirl, the boy asked about her every single day up until a few days ago. I’m not sure which of the two bothered me more.

And a dear friend took my breath away…

Her: The toughest thing for me is that the joy of my daughter’s birth is shadowed by my brother’s death. Every year she celebrates is a reminder that he’s gone for that long too. My mom took down almost every picture of him. It’s just too painful to see them right now.
Me: Yes. Someone, who lost his wife also told me that memories are like trying to hug a porcupine; you want to but it hurts too much to do it.

…while another friend took my breath away for different yet similar reasons.

Me: I was hoping I could avoid your fate. But Oedipus, and the Moirai, and alla that ____.
Her: You’re the only man I know that can bring up obscure Greek mythology and expletives in the same breath.
Me: I’m special like that. (later) I think about what you said alla time.
Her: But that’s me, Logan. You’re not me. (thinking) You should come visit.
Me: Maybe. I’m not the same person you knew. I’m not sure I can be or want to be.
Her: None of us are the same people we were. Everyone grows and changes, for better or worse.
Me: (laughing) That’s where you’re wrong. New York is fulla people who never grow up or change.
Her: (laughs) And that’s why I had to leave.

Finally, my old boss from decades ago contacted me too. Someone called him about his mom, who died, and he felt compelled to contact me.

Him: It was great to talk to her, but it was tough to get off the phone and be in tears. I thought you’d understand better than most.
Me: I actually signed off FB messenger because I was getting so many messages from people that meant well but didn’t really get it. Death is something no one truly understands until they experience it firsthand.

It’s funny. I wanna be alone alla time but I value these interactions – and rando bits of kindness – more than you might imagine.

Location: at the bottom of a bottle of rum
Mood: thoughtful
Music: missed you more than I thought I would

Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.
Blogarama - Observations Blogs