My PG-13 life

At least I get to live it


The Gymgirl gave me an (unintentional) black eye the other day in my gym class.

Gymgirl: Do you need ice?
Me: God, yes.

In a nutshell, her foot went into my eye and nose. It was decidedly unpleasant.

Gym owner: You’re fine. You’re not even bleeding…wait, nevermind, you’re bleeding.
Me: Oh, good, that’s a relief.

I’m literally getting my ass kicked by all the women I know in life.

Which leads me to believe that Life itself is a woman because, I’m definitely getting my ass kicked by her.

The nurse that Alison liked the most during IVF called me the other day.

Nurse: It literally took me a week to get up the nerve to call you.
Me: I’m so glad you did. Alison adored you.
Her: (exhales) Thank you. I wasn’t sure how you’d be speaking to me.
Me: Yeah, I get it.

It was mostly admin stuff. But I was glad to hear her voice.

She left me a voicemail before but my voicemail transcribes messages to me so the last time I actually heard her voice, I was with Alison. And we were happy. Then everything went to shit.

Dunno why I always remind you of that. I should assume you know already.

Anywho, I often wonder if it’s fair to the Gymgirl that she’s with someone like me. I come with so much baggage.

Like my friend Somena once said, the key to a good relationship is to find someone whose baggage matches yours.

But I’m not sure I could bear knowing anyone with baggage that matches mine. And I’m grateful that the Gymgirl doesn’t have matching baggage. Suppose she is too.

Another group of friends were talking about television and movies the other day and I told them that I’m not sure I can handle anything beyond PG-13 these days.

Had to have a talk with another friend that didn’t understand why I was so upset by something he said. Casual things that people say mean different things to people like me.

Cause everything reminds me of something I don’t wanna be reminded of.

Wish everything were easier. But life itself isn’t easy so I’m SOL.

Then again, I get the chance to live it so I shouldn’t complain.

Me: Oh man, I missed you so much!
Son: I want a cookie.
Me: (nodding) You have your priorities.
Him: I missed you. I want a cookie.
Me: (nodding)

Location: bhavachakra
Mood: Groundhog-dayed
Music: I’ll let you in on something big. I am not a white teeth teen
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Heading north

I want to be wherever


The best thing about having this here blog is seeing the changes that’ve happened across all this time.

I don’t always use pictures that relate to the entry I’m writing about. For example, this entry is when I met a waitress that looked just like Natalie Portman, but the picture is one I took when I met a girl named Alice.

I don’t mention every person I meet in this blog for a number of reasons, least of which so many people I meet stay in my venn diagram. Natalie didn’t but Alice did.

Alice and I’d not seen each other in years; as I said, before Alison got sick, we stopped being social and in the world because Alison and I lost so many pregnancies. And then the fucking cancer came.

Been gingerly stepping back into the world here and there. When I was young and single, had a rule that served me well: Never turn down an invite.

It’s how I met both Alison and the Gymgirl. And a lotta others.

Anywho, Alice invited me to her birthday party the other day and I decided to go with the Gymgirl to this bar called The Churchill.

Cause I’d decided to stay here in this world so I might as well take part in it. From time-to-time, at least.

Alice: Logan! (hugs me tightly) You came. I haven’t seen you in…
Me: It’s been a while.
Her: (hesitatingly) How have you been?
Me: (shrugging) You know…it’s been a lotta rock bottom. But, maybe I’m heading north.

 

My brother wrote a song once about a girl named Alice – not this Alice – that I’ve always liked.

I seem to like women whose name begin with “Al.”

Location: Not north yet
Mood: pensive
Music: I want to be wherever Alice is
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Just a touch

Just one thing?


Came back from some work the other day and I found the below note from the Gymgirl.

She’s not the typical girly-girl, that’s for sure.

Me: (amused) There’s something wrong with you.
Her: (laughing) Just one thing?

Still haven’t done my taxes. Alison used to always do them so I find myself putting it off until the last minute for a variety of causes, least of which is that she did them for a reason: I used to tell her that I personally combat the stereotype that all Asians are good at math.

I’d earmarked today to do them but there was an unexpected snow day – despite a clear lack of snow – here in the big city.

Then, on top of that, he’s been complaining of pains enough that I’ve been concerned so I scheduled a last minute appointment with his doc today.

Him: (excited) Are we going to the park?
Me: (upbeat) We’re going to see the doctor really quickly.
Him: No! I don’t don’t wanna see her! No! No!

Ended up being mostly fine, which I’m grateful for considering he was in the ER just a few months ago.

Me: (after visit) That wasn’t so bad, right?
Him: I like lollipops.
Me: Yes, (nodding) always focus on the positive, kid.

On a different matter altogether, been working again like I used to and I feel – for better or worse – a little glimmer of who I used to be before everything went to shit.

It’s just a touch. Dunno if it’ll be more or less as time goes on.

Not even really sure which one is better.

Location: alone in my Mouse-free home
Mood: relieved
Music: Can we go back? This is the moment
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Trying not to fake it

Went out to eat again

Gymgirl: We’re both human. People make mistakes
Me: Some more than others.
Her: Like when you trusted Pac to watch the place?

Went out to eat with my cousin and her fella, along with the Gymgirl and my buddy, Pac – that’s him making some congee above.

We went to another hot pot joint, this time Spring Shabu Shabu in Flushing.

Me: The wait’s over 30 minutes? Why don’t we go someplace else?
Him: This place has all you can eat sides, veggies, and ice cream.
Me: Sold.

We stuffed ourselves silly. Being on this diet, it takes a long time to feel full – and this time I felt full, finally.

I had a good time. I feel like I’m faking it a lot but there are moments when I think I’m not.

Hopefully, in time, that feeling’ll go away.

Me: I want to have some ice cream but…
Gymgirl: (stopping eating) Say it! Say it!
Me: (confused) …I wish I had some peanut butter.
Her: (reaches into bag and triumphantly takes out a package and hands it to me) Here.

The company helps.

Location: Still at home with a mouse
Mood: still discomforted
Music: I feel like like there might be something that I’ll miss
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Taking a shower with a Mouse

All Cast of Amontillado-like

It was my anniversary recently.

Gymgirl: I’m sorry, it must be bittersweet.
Me: No, just bitter.

It sucked. That’s all I have to say about it.

There’s a mouse in my house.

The last time there was a mouse here, it was almost a decade ago. At the time, I’d trapped it in my bathroom and told Alison about it afterward. I remember that moment well.

This time, heard something in my utility closet and opened it to find that it chewed through every single thing it could in my pantry. I easily threw out $100 worth of food and there was sugar everywhere because it went through a huge bag of baking supplies.

We didn’t find it so, after spending most of the night looking for it, I decided to just call it and take a shower.

And while taking said shower, looked looked up at my shower curtain (which is made of a dimpled cloth) and there was the mouse looking right at me.

Right. At. Me. Eye level.

Mouse! I yelled and the Gymgirl came running over.

I told her to seal up the door with packaging tape to trap it and myself in the bathroom (they can easily slip under doors).

I then proceeded to chase it around my tiny, tiny bathroom with a rolled-up magazine.

The problem is my damn busted arm; I couldn’t move fast enough to get it and the mouse snuck into the space between my sink cabinet and the wall. So I sealed it up, all Cast of Amontillado-like.

It gets crazier; the Gymgirl noticed its tail sticking out from the side of the cabinet so we taped it there – but after a day, we felt bad and released its tail.

As far as we know, it’s still stuck behind the cabinet.

We set up what we hope is a one way tunnel out through a trap. Fingers crossed it works.

Me: Well, this has been quite a night.
Her: Do you want a drink?
Me: (nodding) Sheyeah.

Location: yesterday and tonight, stuck in my tiny bathroom with mice
Mood: discomforted
Music: take it for what it is. Go on and take it, for what it isn’t
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She’s stuck

She’s not in Queens

The boy’s at my mother-in-law’s right now.

She’d written down the names of two friends on a piece of paper the other day. Looking at it, he said, “That says, ‘Mike’ and ‘Pat.'”

He’s only three and can read and do simple math. This makes me so proud but it also reminds me that he’s getting older and smarter. And he’s asking questions.

The problem is that he’s asking questions that I can’t answer. Questions I don’t wanna answer. Questions that I have no response for. Because there’s no response. No good response, rather.

Him: Papa, mom’s in … Queens.
Me: No…no…she’s not.
Him: Not in Queens?
Me: No. But it’s time for bed.
Him: (nodding)

That was a few months ago. A few weeks ago, he asked me:

Him: Why doesn’t mommy come?

Holy shitballs.

Lemme tell you that nothing – nothing – can prepare you for that question when you’re in my situation (and god, I hope you’re never in my situation). I completely chickened out and choked. Completely.

Me: She’s…stuck. She wants to be here but she’s stuck.
Him: She’s stuck? (nods) She’s stuck.

Told this to my mother-in-law who, to her credit, told me as gently as possible that Alison woulda wanted me to tell him the truth.

Alison and I talked about that years ago and we agreed to be honest with our kids about whatever we could.

Felt like such a coward. Have a hard time dealing with cowards and liars and here I was being both with my son.

After a bath a few weeks ago, he looked at me and said, without prompting:

Him: Mommy’s stuck.
Me: No. (shaking head) Papa…misspoke. She’s not stuck.
Him: She’s not stuck?

And I told him what no father should have to say to any three-year old, or any kid ever.

He nodded but didn’t understand. Which, I suppose, is a good thing. He will one day and that makes me feel sick. As for me, I went to the bathroom and pulled myself together. Kindasorta.

I love this boy and I don’t wanna tell him things like this but these were the cards we were dealt.

Thought about Hobbes and his whole “nasty, brutish, and short” quote. For some, it’s shorter than others. It’s that unfairness of it all that eats at me the most.

A good friend of mine told me that, when you lose someone, you feel this uncontrollable rage that pops up randomly. He said that it never goes away.

Wrote him today and told him that he’s never said anything truer in his life.

Location: stuck in my head
Mood: angry
Music: I can’t believe she’s gone
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Burnt Bacon = Shattered Dreams

Dieting around town

Because of the Gymgirl’s hardcore diet, we’ve been cooking a ton. Mostly bacon, which I cook now because she wrecked her first batch.

Her: This place smells like burnt bacon.
Me: It’s what shattered dreams smell like.

She didn’t even break her diet when we saw ABFF for her kid’s birthday party. And they had cupcakes. Harry Potter cupcakes.

Me: I’m super impressed.
Her: I need more food.

The Gymgirl has two brothers and we met up with them and their respective wives for dinner the other night at her younger brother’s pad in NJ.

She brought some fish and asparagus that I made for her so she wouldn’t have to break her diet.

Me: Would you mind if I just ate what they have?
Her: Sure! You can eat whatever you want. Have a cheat day.
Me: Sweeeeeeet.

I brought a bottle of whiskey for them, since I had it…

Her Older Brother: Why do you two smell like alcohol?

…which I seemed to have spilled all over the interior of my bag on the way there. Evidently, I have the worst luck on NJ trains vis-a-vis my bags.

It was fine though, as they had plenty of food and drink. Ended up eating everything there.

And then some.

Other Brother: Do you want dessert? We have cookie dough ice cream and vanilla ice cream.
Me: Yes.
Him: Which one do you want?
Me: Both? (thinking) And do you have peanut butter?

They did, and I almost ate all of it.

We brought some board games to play and had a nice time before her other brother’s wife had to go because she was pregnant and getting tired.

They gave us a lift back to the City and dropped us off downtown so we walked around a bit before heading back home.

Her: Did you have a good time?
Me: Yeah. It was fun.

It’s still weird being back in the world. And yet, here I am.

Location: same planet as you
Mood: super busy
Music: ‪What do you do when a chapter ends?‬
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Starting a diet

Filling up the holes in our souls

This pic is from the Chinatown in LA but I liked how it looked.

The Gymgirl and I have been talking about starting a new diet for various health reasons and, because of this, we went out to Chinatown for dim sum the next day because the diet we were thinking about wouldn’t allow us to eat rice.

We went to Golden Unicorn, one of the more well-known dim sum joints in the city, but they weren’t serving dim sum at that time so we tossed down a few bucks, walked down the street to Dim Sum Go-Go, and had six plates of food.

Her: I want more food.
Me: OK, how about some dumplings?

So we walked over in the freezing cold to a dive dumpling place and had another plate of food.

Her: I want more food.
Me: OK, how about some Vietnamese food?

So we walked over in the freezing cold to a Vietnamese joint and had a bowl of soup with noodles and some rolls.

Her: I want more food.
Me: OK, how about some more noodles?

So we ordered more noodles and ate that before heading home.

I should note that it was so frigid that this is what I saw the entire way home: The Gymgirl running in heels, trying to get out of the cold.

She’s actually running in the below pic.

We eat a lot.

Her: There’s a hole in my soul that I’m filling up with food.
Me: I understand that. (thinking) Remind me to put that in the blog.

Location: home, fixing a window
Mood: coooooold
Music: Standin’ on canal and Bowery. She’d be standin’ next to me
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Salvaging broken things

The Gymgirl did my family a kindness

Me: What are you doing?
Her: Nothing…

The weather’s been absolutely brutal here in the City. It’s made my injury, which was (kinda) getting better, excruciating.

I was out today because I put in a bid for a portfolio of work that I wasn’t expecting to win and yet I did. So, suddenly, I find myself working again as if nothing’s happened in the past three years. And yet, so much has.

On that note, the boy accidentally broke the little grey ceramic owl from this entry, and crushed a little part of me at the same time.

But you can’t get mad at a toddler for being a toddler.

Still, I remember when Alison bought them for his room, before he was born. I teased her about her obsession with owls.

In any case, I was so busy that day that I didn’t have time to mourn the loss of it, though it stayed in the back of my mind.

The Gymgirl was here when the owl broke and she swept up the pieces. I assumed that she threw them away but I found out that she saved them.

When I came home the other night, I found her sitting at the table with some epoxy and all the pieces trying to glue them all together.

Ultimately, she did and put the grey owl back where it belonged in the boy’s room.

I loved those owls because Alison got them for the boy – because she loved him even before he was born. And now also because the Gymgirl did something so kind for us.

I once said that kindness is valuable because it’s so rare. I value kindness above all other traits because it’s such an attractive quality. It’s why I loved Alison so.

As for the Gymgirl, she has an uncanny knack for salvaging broken things. A boy could fall for a girl like her.

Because, like I said, all good relationships have these secret kindnesses that keep people together.

Me: Thank you. (thinking) That means a lot to me.
Her: It’s no big deal. (shrugging) It’s not perfect but I think it’s good.
Me: No, it’s perfect. Thank you.

Location: Antartica, I think
Mood: freezing but happy with my owls
Music: When they say only fools rush in, then I may be foolish
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Needlepoint

Que Sera Sera


I kept a couple pills of Alison’s super strong painkillers for emergencies.

Well, this past Saturday, I had that emergency.

I’ve only ever left the mat three times: Once when my ACL was torn, once when this girl neck-cranked me in 2011, and again this past Saturday when that same girl-now-woman arm-barred me.

I should mention that she’s ranked eight levels above my level.

In any case, she and I now run around in the same circle of friends so we’ve hung around socially before. But we’ve only ever met on the mat maaaybeee 20 times, tops?

Probably more about 10 times. And one time was that neck-crank time.

She’s actually a very sweet girl woman that’s now an instructor. But on the mat, something turns off in her head and she just gets super aggro.

Normally, the more experienced people are more chill but with her, I have to stay on my toes just to not get killed.

Anywho, this past Saturday, she  gets my arm in what’s called an armbar and I immediately hear: POP-POP  in my elbow and am blinded with pain.

The whole thing took less than one second; the Gymgirl was watching and she said it happened insanely fast.

The Gymgirl had her own injury not that long ago and she talked to me as I left the mat.

Me: (hopefully) Maybe it’s not so bad, it doesn’t hurt all that much right now.
Gymgirl: It’s cause you’re fulla adrenaline. When it wears off, then you’ll know how you really feel.

Well, the Gymgirl knew what she was talking about.

Right around Columbus Circle, I almost doubled over in pain. Made it home and immediately popped one of those pills I was saving up.

Both the woman and the coach wrote me that night and the day after to check in on me, which I appreciated.

She’s genuinely remorseful, as is the coach. Now usually, I’d just say que sera sera and just move on with my life.

But I’m a (single) dad now and I can’t afford to go to the ER for what is, essentially, a hobby.

Me: I think she’s is a bit too wild for me to roll with. So, I feel – for my own safety – that I have to ask that I never roll with her again.
Coach: That’s understandable. I’ll keep you two away from rolling. I’m sorry again.
Me: Thanks. I appreciate it. I’ll be fine. I don’t think anything is broken. Also, painkillers are lovely.

On that note, I gotta say that I understand why people can get addicted to painkillers.

Just taking care of the boy for the past 24 hours has been ridic difficult.

Me: (picking up son from bath and hurting arm (again)) @#$@#$@#!!!!
Son: (laughing) @#$@#$@#!
Me: No! Fiddlesticks! Say, oh, fiddlesticks!
Him: (laughs)
Me: (sighing, wincing) This is not good at all. I should take up something like needlepoint.
Him: Needlepoint.


As an aside, I have to say that I’m still getting used to the stark differences between my current and old coach.

When I tore my ACL and got neck-cranked, my old coach blamed me for both of them.

I remember lying on the mat in a haze – the same mat that I was lying on this past weekend, actually – with a completely torn ACL and my coach was yelling at me, “Why didn’t you relax!? You’re fine. If you tore your ACL, you’d know it.”

And with the neck-crank he simply said that I shouldn’t have let her touch my neck.

The more distance I have from that relationship, the more I realize how toxic it all was.

Oh well, que sera sera…

Location: my white drawer, rationing my last two painkillers and rotating my ice packs
Mood: ouchie
Music: Now I have children of my own
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