A bundle of three sticks

All your powers, and all your skills

Aged Rum on the Rocks

There is no way I could possibly do any of the things I do for my sanity if not for my sister and mom watching the kid on the weekends. And my sister has a full-time job and two rambunctious boys of her own.

Doubt she’d approve of any of my weekend extra-curricular activities but she helps me anyway.

She used to have a picture of the three of us – her, my brother, and me – with a quote from an Aesop’s Fable about how twigs can be broken but three twigs in a bundle cannot.

I liked that picture. Both for the quote and because I looked good in it.

Funny – the only thing that survives my pathos is my vanity.

My dad’s back in the ER.

With Alison, my brother was a huge help as he was a doctor. He answered every crazy question I had for him at all hours of the day. He insisted on being here for Alison when he knew her time was coming.

And now, he does the same for my father. Dunno how much sleep he gets.

I’m reminded of a scene in the Godfather – both the book and the film – where Vito Corleone tells the undertaker Bonasera, I want you to use all your powers, and all your skills. I don’t want his mother to see him this way …. Look how they massacred my boy…

I used all my research skills to try to save Alison and my father.

And my brother used all his medical knowledge to do the same. All with the same result.

I also used all my legal skills for the dirty work of getting together everything I needed to take care of Alison when she was here and after she was gone.

Last week, poured myself a stiff drink, sat down at my computer, and drew up the paperwork I had for Alison, took out her name, and typed in my father’s. Then I edited them for his needs, went to his bed and went through everything with him.

It’s a fraction of what my brother does for him but took all the strength I had left. Which is not much.

Me: Sign here. And here. Initial here. I have to notarize that now, Dad. Wait…OK.
Him: (tired) Is there a lot more?
Me: Not a lot. (clearing throat) We’re almost done.

Then came back here and drank myself silly. Spent the rest of the night in a daze.

Daisy: Are you OK?
Me: No. (thinking) Everything is a copy of a copy of a copy again. But it’s better than reality. In a way, none of this is real. You and me. All of this. The reality is, tomorrow, you go back to your job and life. And I go back to the nightmare that’s mine.
Her: Yes. (taking a drink) But that’s tomorrow…

Location: home, trying pull myself together
Mood: empty
Music: You and me, always between the lines
 Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.
Blogarama - Observations Blogs

A Family Guy

There are storms we cannot weather

My father, a cancer patient.

Me: You know, while Alison was dying, I was watching Family Guy. And while my father’s dying, I’ll be fencing and then seeing a woman for dinner.
Him: What are you going to do? You can’t be in all the time. You were in it long enough. You’re still in it.

My father’s not doing well at all. So badly that my brother flew in on a one-way ticket from California to see him as we figure out what to do next.

I see a great deal of what was going on with Alison in the end with him, and I can’t bear it. Spent 20 minutes with him the past Thursday and I couldn’t stay any longer. He barely registered that I was there.

Took a walk that was longer than the time I spent with him.

The level of grief I deal with is like staring into the sun; you can’t do it or you’ll go blind. It’s more like you glance at it and turn away quickly because it’s so unbearable.

Here, if I’m in the moment too long, I know I’ll die. Because such a large part of me wants to. To rest. But I can’t, cause I got a little human that needs me.

The main fella that teaches my particular form of fencing invited me to a seminar over the weekend. Good buncha like-minded guys. He and another instructor pulled me aside and said some incredibly kind things to me.

Been there once before; the last time I went, Alison was still alive and my dad was fine.

Was only able to go to the first Friday class when I had to come back.

Gradgirl was there when I returned home.

We ended up walking in the park. I’d not been there since Alison passed.

Me: There’s a song in Les Miserables that goes, “There are storms we cannot weather.” Some days I think I can weather this, most nights, I don’t know. (thinking) You know, in the Bible, there’s a story that goes like this: King David’s son was sick. So he refused to eat, cried, and prayed. But his son died. So he picks himself up, gets dressed, and eats. And his servants ask, “What’s the deal? When he was alive you wept and starved. Now that he’s dead, you’re fine.” And David said, “I’m not fine. I thought maybe God would show me some mercy. But he didn’t. My boy can’t come back to me, but I can go to him. Until then, I have to live.” That’s where I am right now. I know I have to live. I just don’t know how.
Her: I wish I could say something. I don’t know what to say.
Me: What can anyone say? The other line from from that song goes, “I prayed that God would be forgiving.” For my family, he wasn’t. He f___ked us. I had my own family once. But it was only for five days. And now, I lose the only other family I ever had.

Location: another goddamn hospital
Mood: dark
Music: we will live the years together. But there are dreams that cannot be
 Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.
Blogarama - Observations Blogs

Constant Daze

Hoping for an empty mailbox

Empty street in Brooklyn

Gradgirl: I’m worried about you being home alone, drinking like this. Is the other girl free?
Me: Funny you bring her up…

My mailbox was empty today. Usually, most days, there’s some new awfulness for me to deal with.

Invoices for things I’d never wish for anyone to pay, letters of condolences from banks, overdue notices – all death-related s___t.

There’s so much death-related s___t that greets you after you lose someone by way of a ceaseless stream of banal horrors: Letters, email, voicemail.

For those new to my blog, prior to Alison getting sick, I don’t think I ever cursed in over a decade here. And now my days and this blog are an endless stream of profanities. Cause it helps deal with the constant pain.

Speaking of constant pain, that’s what my father’s dealing with.

So, while I got an empty mailbox today, I also had to deal with things for him.

I can’t interact with him too long; can’t handle the cumulative sadness of everything. It bears down on my soul, like the sky on Atlas’s shoulders.

Feels weird complaining about anything as my dad lies somewhere out there, nearing his end.

And yet, I just want a break from this misery. Even if it’s only an empty mailbox and a day devoid of just another helping of s__t by way of electronic device.

Summer Street Fair in the Upper West Side

Although I do get some respite here and there.

Artistgirl dropped out of this story but Daisy and Gradgirl are still around; both are sweetly concerned about my well-being and check in on me more than I woulda expected them to.

In addition to the company, they also provide me with some much needed levity along the way.

Daisy: You gave me “Daisy” as a name?! Why “Daisy?”
Me: Well, you said that New York puts you in a constant daze so…
Her: Oh. My. God. You’re a writer and that’s the best you could come up with for me?
Me: OK, maybe not my best work…
Her: (goes to fridge pulls out two of three remaining beers, putting one into her bag) I’m taking these.
Me: You know, the other girl brings me vodka and you take my beer.
Her: (mouth agape, glares) So rude! You never compare a girl to another girl, Logan!
Me: Man, I’m….
Her: (opens fridge again, takes last beer) Well, you just lost your last beer.
Me: Dammit!

My son chasing after a ball

And I did have a moment of pure joy today, too. My son came back from a week away.

Me: Hey! Gimme a hug, you!
Son: (laughs, hugs me)
Me: God, I’ve missed you so much, kid. (kisses him, sighs) I’ve missed you.

Location: home, with the boy again
Mood: just…bad
Music: It seems a heavy choice to make
 Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.
Blogarama - Observations Blogs

So, I’m not ready for weddings

Especially not her wedding

Rose: So, did you clean up at the wedding?
Me: No, not even close. I *grossly* underestimated how emotional it would be to (a) go to any wedding, let alone (b) the wedding of the woman that came every Wednesday to give Alison food.

My goal has been to cry less than five times a day. Most days, manage to keep it under three. Some days it’s just once. Those’re rare but welcome.

Cause a body gets tired of crying all the goddamn time.

A few months ago, told you about a woman named Annabel that cooked for us every Wednesday for over a year. Well, she just got married this past weekend.

It started pretty well. Hopped on the metro and sat next to a young lady wearing all white. I’ve been wearing all black since the day Alison passed.

Asked her to take a picture with me.

Lady in White, Man in Black

Then I got to the place in pretty good time and pretty good spirits.

But promptly lost it when Annabel saw me and gave me a hug. She looked beautiful, of course.

Reminded me of Alison on our wedding day.

Lemme tell you: I coulda died the day I saw I Alison on our wedding day and woulda died a happy man.

Wedding ceremony in Brooklyn

But I digress. Annabel sees me in the middle of taking pictures at the front of the ceremony and gives me a hug.

So there’s Annabel in her wedding gown – and she’s like the only soul I know there – hugging me in the middle of everything and I lose it.

Like I’m 10 and someone took my security blanket away. Which, I suppose, is kinda what happened.

Anywho, her entire family came over to try and console me.

Her mom: We pray for you.
He: I don’t believe he listens.

Turns out that, my max for not crying was about 30 minutes at a time. And I didn’t think to bring tissues so I’m running to the bathroom every half-hour.

Pretty sure some attendees thought I had food poisoning. (Food was great, BTW – I may have cleaned off an entire tray of steak myself)

After all that, I needed a drink. But it was a dry wedding. So I went with two people I met there for a beer around the way.

Beer at a Biergarten

Later on, another woman, who caught me during cry number six or so, told me she had whiskey in a flask and gave me some of that.

Told the bride and groom that I wished them every good thing, which I did and do.

Me: (to groom) My married life was the happiest time in my life. (choking) I hope it is for you too.

Jon, Annabel, and Logan

Left early and made it home by 11PM.

The next day, a friend of mine – who just got married herself not that long ago and knows about my single life – asked me how it went so I told her, per the convo above.

Rose: You need to meet some old family-money type girls. Like trust fund babies.
Me: Yeah, these looks aren’t gonna last forever – especially in my advanced old age. I’m time limited.
Her: (laughing) Botox.
Me: I’ll have to botox my entire head. 

Wedding arch in daytime in Brooklyn

The truth is that that’s not the entire story of the night.

And Gradgirl stopped by over the weekend but these are other stories for other times, I suppose.

Waitress: Do you want to start with some drinks?
Me: Oh, yes.

Picture of a Polaroid
That’s sweet tea and whiskey, courtesy of a prepared young woman.

 

Location: home, drinking again
Mood: back to being heartbroken
Music: all out of love, I’m so lost without you
 Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.
Blogarama - Observations Blogs

Go nuts

You can’t just eat peanut butter all day


My son is definitely my kid.

When my mother-in-law stayed with me, she marveled that I ate an entire jar of peanut butter every 4-5 days. Nate may beat me.

Me: Kid, you can’t just eat peanut butter all the time…
Son: (refuses to eat dinner, throws it)
Me: (exasperated) You can’t…you can’t just eat…nevermind. (sighs, goes to kitchen) I give up. Here (handing him a spoon , bowl, and an open jar) go nuts.
Him (takes spoon, beams)
Me: Not literally nuts, per se – a peanut is a legume. (shakes head) Man, I hope you’re a nice, nerdy kid when you grow up.
Him: (smiles)

Was planning on seeing some other friends in Harlem for the fights on Saturday when I got a call.

Daisy: I’m thinking of coming over later.
Me: What if I have plans?
Her: You’ll break them for me.
Me: Dammit, this is true. (thinking) OK, bring food cause I got nuthin but rum, peanut butter, and baby food.

Location: home, in front of some peanut butter
Mood: resigned
Music: Oh no – having trouble finding out which way to go
 Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.
Blogarama - Observations Blogs

Disclaimers

Filling time

Me: You’d make a great girlfriend for someone. (flustered) I mean, not for me – we’re not right for each other – but someone.
Gradgirl: (laughing) You know, Logan, you don’t have to constantly give disclaimers.
Me: It’s the lawyer for me.

Been drinking less these days. Kinda. Which means I’m dealing with reality more. Kinda.

Got several writer friends of mine that tell me I should write down everything that happened for the future.

They’re right but I can’t do it yet. Leigh’s husband said that my memories of Alison are like loving pet porcupines; you want to pull them close, but you can’t.

That made me laugh, but it’s true. I think of her and then it’s too much to bear so I immediately distract myself, filling my time however I can.

Him: Oi, c___ty. You ready to come roll?

On that note, the owner of my old gym – an Aussie – told me to swing by, which I did before the weekend. It’s a weird sport where you literally, not figuratively, choke someone’s wife and they both give you a hug.

He and Kung took me out to lunch afterward.

I seem to break down every time I see people I’ve not seen since Alison was pregnant.

Me: (wiping eyes) I’m sorry guys. I can’t keep it together. I’m always two seconds away from waterworks.
Him: You think we didn’t know to expect this? 
Me: I’m told I give a lotta disclaimers.
Him: We’re mates. You don’t need to. You do whatever you have to do to get through this.

And that’s what most people are telling me. So I do. Told him that I’m meeting women here and there just to pass the time when the kid’s not around.

Him: Are you using an app?
Me: (pointing at self) I’m using this face and my personality.
Him: (laughs) That works?
Me: (shaking head and taking a drink) I’m as surprised as you are.

Location: my old desk, wondering what to do next
Mood: resigned
Music: Sometimes in my tears I drown, but I never let it get me down
 Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.
Blogarama - Observations Blogs

Mentally checked out, but home

The other part of the weekend


Been chatting friends and strangers a lot lately. The friends are people checking in on me.

The strangers are just me trying to remember who I was before Alison.

Some people are better with conversations at bars and clubs, others are better out and about. I’m the latter.

Me: I feel the need to tell you that I’m not following you.
Her: (surprised) What?
Me: We got onto the train at the same time, got off the same stop, crossed the street at the same time. I just didn’t want you think that I’m following you. (pointing) I live over there.
Her: (laughs) Oh, ok. Thank you.
Me: (holding out hand) Logan.
Her: (takes hand) Gabrielle.
Me: Hello, Gabrielle. Nice to meet you. You’re French, I take it?
Her: (laughs) Yes.
Me: Lovely. (turning away) I’m…I’m just gonna keep walking this way. (turning back) But maybe I’ll see you around the neighborhood?
Her: (smiles) Maybe.
Me: Goodbye, Gabrielle.
Her: Goodbye, Logan.

After I met up with Kung and Nadi, met up with other friends, all of whom already have nicknames courtesy of my gym. Kong, Panda, Mouse, etc…

Me: Man, I’m already lit.
Him: Logan, you are way too old to talk like that. Way, way, way too old.
Me: Why do you hurt me so?
Him: Because you’re old.
Me: That doesn’t even make sense!

Somehow, Mouse and another girl end up arm-wrestling on the floor of the bar, which is a story in itself. Mouse won. She was one of the people that ran for Alison.

Stumbled home just after 1AM. Took forever to fall asleep.

Met up with someone we’ll call Artistgirl for lunch. She’s going through a breakup.

Her: My thing is obviously a lot different.
Me: (shrugging) Everybody’s grief is grief to them. On that note, I should tell you that I will probably randomly start to cry.
Her: We’ll sit in the back.

Ended up going to a total of three bars across several hours with her. That’s also a story for another time, I suppose.

Stopped drinking so much last week. Because I have to start being OK with reality again.

Also because everything is just a copy of a copy of a copy again. And I’m just trying to clear my head somehow.

Her: Are you home?
Me: I’m home. I’m mentally checked out, but I’m home.

Location: same
Mood: same
Music: Feels like love is a losing game, that you can’t dodge the pain
 Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.
Blogarama - Observations Blogs

It’s called Brunch

Meeting up with friends

Burgers and Lobsters at Burger and Lobster

My friend Gradgirl came by Friday night for a movie.

Her: I bought vodka.
Me: You know I have a ton of rum, right?
Her: (shrugging and pulling out a bottle of vodka from bag) Just in case.

We ended up drinking far more than either of us intended.

Her: I have to crash here.
Me: OK. You’ll get a donut and coffee for breakfast.
Her: (laughing) Why?
Me: You’re my guest. My guests get a donut and coffee for breakfast.

Then Saturday morning met up at Burger and Lobster with my friends Kung – Alison was the girl in the third convo in that link – and Nadi. It’s been ages since I saw them. They’re part of my friends that knew Alison so it was difficult seeing them.

Managed to only break down twice with them, which, trust me, is a huge improvement.

Me: The truth is that I married Alison because she was the only person I knew I could be faithful to. Once I met her, I knew I was done.
Nadi: (laughing) Oh, we all knew she had your number the day she met you.

Which isn’t to say it was all tears and rain.

Server: OK, who ordered the pineapple cider?
Me: (turning to Nadi) Ummm, her?
Nadi: Sheyahright.

Kung ended up buying us all brunch.

Me: (to Kung) Thanks for…lunch? Breakfast?
Nadi: (exasperated) Brunch! It’s called brunch, Logan.
Me: I’ve been dealing with a lot.
Kung: Anytime, Logan. I’m right across the park.

Pineapple cider

Location: home, making eggs for the boy
Mood: tired
Music: You and me, always between the lines
 Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.
Blogarama - Observations Blogs

Dull and vicious

So little that’s good or noble

Missed a meeting for the first time in…

Can’t remember the last time I missed one, actually. Neither personally nor professionally.

Been late (rarely) to appointments but I’ve never missed one completely.

The past few weeks have been a blur of alcohol, women, and extracurricular activities.

Me: There’s a pretty good chance I’m going to make a pass at you at some point this evening.
Woman at bar: What? (laughing) Really, why?
Me: (sighing) Well, I’m heartbroken and you seem nice.

Still try to go the gym at least four times a week just to force myself to clear my head.

My timing and stamina is off. Everything is off. Feel dull and vicious. Almost got clocked in the head with a stick the other night.

On the plus side, July 2nd was the first day in over two months I didn’t cry.

On the negative side, July 2nd was the only day in over two months I didn’t cry. And part of that was due to a malfunctioning washing machine that day, as well as a spectacularly chaotic night that ended up with me getting home at 4AM.

Feel it necessary to point out that all this only happens when the kid is away at my parents home or Alison’s parents. I may be a mess but I’m a responsible mess.

Speaking of the kid, when he’s here, somehow manage to pull myself together. Without being overly dramatic, the only reason I’m alive now is because of him.

Merely a statement of fact.

Don’t think I have the words to describe the love of a parent to his/her child.

But it’s the kinda love that enables one to live in a world one wants no part of any more.

And it’s true. Left to my own devices, I’d try to see Alison again. I’d be the Orpheus to her Eurydice.

I’ve had enough. Been through enough. I’ve lived a full life and I’d like to stop hurting now, if possible. But that’s not an option for me.

So I exist for him and him alone. I hope that might change later on. For now, I do what I can to blunt the hurt.

As it stands, Nate is enough reason to stay in this goddamn place I hate so.

And I do hate it. Even more than I hate myself for existing.

Different woman: You should want to live for something else besides someone else.
Me: Why? Why does anyone exist? Happenstance? Duty? Will? If you’re gonna exist, it might as well be for something good and noble. (taking a drink and shaking head) And I’ve got so little that’s good or noble left. (exhaling) On that note, what’s your story morning glory?

Location: home, with the boy
Mood: a responsible mess
Music: these most loved losses are the hardest to carry
 Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.
Blogarama - Observations Blogs

Logan Music: Ghost of Goodbye

She used to pick out my shirts

Logan and Alison out to dinner

Spend my nights writing, sipping rum, listening to songs that make me cry, and looking through old pictures.

I’ve become such a cliche.

The writing is random, the pictures like the one above and the songs are like She’s Gone covered by the Bird and the Bee, Everyday is a Holiday, and Her Diamonds.

Probably not the healthiest thing to be doing right now but it is what it is.

The song I’ve been listening to the most these days is Ghost of Goodbye, by Ford Turrell, which is about right except I drink rum not whiskey, unless it’s an Old Fashioned.

But yeah, otherwise, it’s about right.

Alison always loved when I wore a simple, pressed, white shirt.

Rings on the table
From the sweat off my glass
Like the trace of a memory
Stained into the past

Whiskey and water
Burns the back of my throat
For a minute it lets me
Let it all go

CHORUS:
Can’t leave it behind me
It haunts my mind
When I try to fall asleep
It’s laying right by my side
There’s no place to hide
From the ghost of goodbye

Grey like morning
Clouds filled with rain
Like everything’s waiting
For something to change

I sip some more coffee
And get dressed for work
Remember when you used
To pick out my shirts

Location: home, alone
Mood: struggling still
Music: There’s no place to hide from the ghost of goodbye
 Subscribe!
Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.
Blogarama - Observations Blogs