It’s been over a year, no?

Maudlin

Begin rant, with apologies to my friend Jaerik.

Someone mentioned that they found my blog maudlin.

That made me chuckle to myself. Maudlin means unduly self-pitying often with alcohol. That’s probably apropos. God knows I should probably drink less.

Still, I wonder how they expect someone – who just lost his wife and father and almost his best friend via suicide all in the same year and just over a year ago – should act?

I dunno enough about them to make a comment about their lives but I do hope they don’t have to watch the people they love die up close and personal, slowly and in fucking agony.

Cancer and suicide are nuthin if not death in slow motion.

That’s my hope for them. That they continue in their blissful, ignorant – and hopefully cancer, suicide, and death free – lives where someone can go through everything I’ve gone through and not be a little fucking maudlin.

After all, it’s been over a year, no? That’s gotta be enough time for someone to be normal again in their estimation.

I don’t think so, though.

Dunno what they’re made of but I don’t think most people would survive what I’ve survived, let alone function or raise a kid that’s – from all outward appearances – not a train wreck.

It’s hard figuring out the best way to end a rant but I always think that the way the girl with the Blue Jean Eyes used to do it was, and remains, pretty good:

Go fuck yourselves.

Me: Is he…is he happy?
Teacher: Oh yes, he’s always laughing. I mean, it’s a little rough for a minute or two when you drop him off, but then he’s fine.
Me: Good. (thinking) I worry.
Her: (gently) He’s doing well, Logan.
Me: (nodding) Thank you.

Location: In bed
Mood: sick with a fever
Music: What are you made up of?
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Comings and goings

Bad idea to be friends

The insomnia lasted three days. Which, let’s face it, is better than having a whole month of it, like August.


A buddy of mine sent me this article, probably because she thinks it’s a bad idea for me to try to be friends with the Gymgirl.

I get that. I’m actually not friends – on social media or otherwise – with anyone I’ve dated seriously. (Anyone else, rather). After all, we ended for a reason and the negatives of staying friends probably outweighs the positives.

Having said that, I am friends with about 1/3 of the people I dated (very) casually.

Plus, I’ve got a number of people I’ve met throughout the years that are of the opposite sex and we just kept in touch for one reason or another.

I recently reconnected with my old LJ friend Seemore and we caught up the other day. Pretty crazy how our lives unfolded.

And I just found out that the 18 year-old Italian I met on an airplane is getting married. It makes me happier than you might imagine that she found me and stayed friends.

Finally, just recently at a train station, I ran into the other Italian that I went with to Roosevelt Island all those years ago.

Her: Logan!
Me: (turning) Hey, what are you doing here? I thought you moved away for school?
Her: I did – I’m back.
Me: Do you live in the Upper West Side now?
Her: Yup, we’re neighbors! If you’re going downtown right now, let’s catch up.

Funny, who stays and who leaves your venn diagram. And who shows up again.

Turning back to the topic of dating, one of my biggest hangups is that I assume I’m just just going to end up meeting one laco-ovo-vegetarian after another, no matter what I do.

Him: How many laco-ovo-vegetarians did you date?
Me: Put it this way: If you put me in a room with 100 single women, I’ll end up with either the only 23 year-old laco-ovo-vegetarian or the lesbian from the group.

When I was dating the Gymgirl, I picked up two people, just to see if I could. Told her about it.

In hindsight, I’m kicking myself for not asking if they were laco-ovo-vegetarians or not.

Him: (laughing) Why does that matter?
Me: (joking) I wanna know what’s in store for me after all these years. God, if I keep meeting 23 year-olds again, I’m gonna shoot myself.

Location: this weekend, in an Italian restaurant with my favourite two people. Italians are a recurring theme in my life, evidently.
Mood: thinking
Music: each morning I get up, I die a little
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Sometimes the quiet darkness is your friend

Day 1 of the insomnia again


I shattered glass all over my kitchen and dropped two plates today because I got less than two hours sleep last night.

My insomnia stretches have no rhyme or reason.

I could be happy or sad and they happen. Successful or failing and they happen. Have a late night or early night and they happen.

But I did notice that a few weeks ago, when I stopped drinking coffee altogether, I slept for two days in a row without any of the hard meds I usually need.

Less than a  week ago, started drinking regular coffee again and last night, I slept for about two hours.

I also realized that No 6 and I started getting into our insane insomnia-fueled fights after we got an espresso machine.

Wrote someplace else a dozen years ago about our coffee ritual of my making us two cups of coffee before she went to work. That’s neither here nor there.

Now, I usually stop all caffeine by 4PM; the average person takes up to six hours to process caffeine.

Recall stopping coffee several times in my past with no effect on my sleep, or lack thereof. But my brother once said something like this:

The thing is, I only have, at most, two cups of coffee. But perhaps it’s related now. Maybe that and all those possible pasts that I’ve gathered in my head alla these years means that the insomnia is stronger than it’s ever been.

I used to have a ritual to help me sleep but that’s gone now for reasons I’m sure you can figure out.

Wonder sometimes if Sleepy Logan is the real me or am I just the fake him? I don’t remember so much of my pasts but he does. Dunno which one of us is the lucky one.

But we both love the boy. So I suppose it doesn’t really matter which one of us is here.

Him: Papa!
Me: What?
Him: Open the door, just a little bit.
Me: No – sometimes the quiet darkness is your friend. For example, it helps you sleep.
Him: Go to sleep, too.
Me: I would love to. If only I could.

Location: the edge of insomniaville again
Mood: clear-headed and addled at the same time
Music: Wonder how I ever made it through. And there are children to think of
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The deadliest hotdog stand in the world

Neither a rapist nor a hypocrite

The Pentagon was built like the old Bastion forts in Europe where the center  was the most protected area.

During the cold war, the Russians focused a tremendous amount of time, money, and manpower to try to get access to the building in the center of the Pentagon.

What the Russians didn’t know was that the building in the middle of the Pentagon was a hot dog stand. The reason it was in the middle of the Pentagon is because of (a) pure dumb luck and (b) the fact that the world was different – the Pentagon looked like a Bastion fort but wasn’t a Bastion fort, it just looked like one.

I think we spend our lives looking at information and trying to sort out what it all means. Sometimes we get it right, sometimes we get it wrong.

After this post, got a call from a friend-of-a-friend telling me about his dating life.

Him: …and that was it. Two years together, gone like that. (sighs) I moved in with my cousin last week.
Me: (joking) If this is it, I kinda need a new roommate. (thinking) Oh wait, you have dogs…
Him: (correcting) I have *a* dog. She has the other one.
Me: That’s *a* dog too many. (sighing) Sorry, man. People tell you what they’re all about if you listen.

On that note, the Gymgirl and I were in the gym (hence, the moniker) together the other day. Traditionally, she was my partner for most things and this day, she just ended up next to me and we were partners again, just like before.

Some of my buddies asked me if I thought that something else might be going on.

Me: (thinking) The thing is, I’m not a rapist nor a hypocrite.
Him: What does that mean?
Me: A lotta guys – too many – hear “no” from women and think: She doesn’t really mean that. Then, in the best case scenario, they hope and hang around, like a stalker. In the worst case scenario, they’re rapists. I’m neither of those things.  Like I said, it’s always better to be the dumpee than the dumper:  You grab your shoes, say, Thanks for the lovely evening, and bounce. I’ve been in her position before: Where I really like someone but there’s something missing. I can’t be a hypocrite and fault her for wanting me around but not wanting something more.
Him: That’s too bad, I liked you two together.
Me: Oh, I did too. We’re having brunch together on Saturday.
Him: (laughs) I don’t understand you two.
Me: (shrugging) I’m 45. I’m constantly shocked how little I understand about anything. Especially women.

Maybe I’m looking at a hotdog stand or maybe I’m looking at the most dangerous building in the world.

Who knows what it is? We’ll have to wait and see what happens.


The boy goes to school for the first time this week. I’m beyond excited.

Location: getting a speeding ticket in midtown, yesterday
Mood: significantly poorer, man, tickets are expensive
Music: How can you say, “It doesn’t matter much to me”
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The only thing that’s changed

My Labor Day 2018


The weekend was strange. But nice. Nicer than August, for the most part.

Friday, made the trip down to Alison’s family’s home in Jerz to drop the kid off. I was actually fine for most of it.

“Fine” is a relative term.

But I took a wrong turn and somehow ended up right in front of one of the hospitals she had to go to. Then, to leave, passed the very last hotel we stayed at.

God, she was so happy then. She almost glowed.

I cursed for 15 minutes straight. So much so that’d I’d lost my voice.

OK, that wasn’t the nice part.

Me: Do you wanna go to the diner around the way?
Her: I love diners.

On a slightly more upbeat note, the Gymgirl stopped by twice this holiday weekend. If you asked me why she did, I couldn’t tell you. And if you asked me why I saw her, the same.

Gymgirl: Have you seen your big plant?! When was the last time you watered it?!
Me: What day is today?
Her: Friday.
Me: I dunno why I asked what day it was. I have no idea when I did anything beyond taking care of the boy.

We ended up watching the latest Mission Impossible flick and drinking.

In fact, this weekend, I went on a bender of rum that I’ve not done in a while. She did it with me; I may have converted her to be a rum drinker.

Her: I’m going to sleep in the front room.
Me: Sure.

The second time we met up was when I woke up – mostly sober – and was in the mood for some sushi so I put up a random note that if anyone was free they should come join me.

Gymgirl said yes and we had lunch together along with another friend of ours.

I can’t explain that to you either. Not much makes sense.

Me: (puzzled) Did you just give me a bro-shake?
Her: Yes?
Me: Ok then…

My life is on repeat.

Mentioned to some of my friends that I saw her.

Him: I figure you to be more of the: Are we doing this thing? Cause if not, I’m moving on to the next thing, kinda guy.
Me: I usually am. But here, I’m just doing whatever. I’m not asking her for anything and she’s not asking me for anything.
Him: (laughing) So…you’ve officially started 6th grade again.
Me: (sighing)This is so true.

I’d be lying to you if I said it wasn’t was a nice surprise seeing her.

But the only real thing that’s changed is time. And that’s not enough for either of us.

There’s more that happened, both with and without her, but I need to sort it out, like everything else.

She said she missed the boy and I told her that he missed her too. He starts school next week, which is yet another entry I have to sort out in my head.

Only realized after she left that she cleaned the bathroom, made coffee, and folded the clothes. And she watered Harold and all the other plants.

Gotta remind myself that the only thing that’s changed is time.

Location: home, running outta rum again.
Mood: cloudy
Music: Don’t wanna wait until she finally decides to feel it
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Michael and the emperor of emperors

Karma is garbage


Met so many wonderful souls when Alison got sick. One was a fella named Michael. He’d been diagnosed with GBM six years ago, three years before Alison. Yet he was much higher functioning than her: He still worked and swam almost every day.

He did every experimental treatment he could. We spoke often, even after Alison’s death, the last time being July 23, 2018. He was worried about me.

How’s that for a kick in the head?

We talked about our kids a lot. Michael had two little girls that he adored. He fought like crazy to watch them grow up, just like Alison did.

And, just like Alison, he doesn’t get that chance, cause he died this week.

Fuck.

John McCain died this week as well, which is certainly less impactful but still a nice dose of fuckery for me and my addled head.

Michael was also the one that introduced me to Jeffrey Weiss who died last year from this goddamn thing. All of them died from the same cancer that took Alison.

Fuck. Did I say that already? I think people overuse it; it’s like antibiotics IMHO. You should use it when you really need it.

In any case, cancer’s called the emperor of all maladies; if that’s true, then GBM is the Emperor of all emperors. Capo di tutti capi. It’s kills so perfectly that, I gotta think that the other cancers are jealous.

I’ve always prided myself on not really hating much. There are things I dislike but few things I hate. Who has the time to hate?

But I hate this goddamn thing. If I could kill it with my bare hands, I would, then revive it to kill it again.

I’ve also learned to hate the concept of karma.

If ever there was a horseshit idea, there’s karma. Alison and Michael sure as fuck did not deserve this bullshit deal they got. Dunno anyone with GBM that did.

Sorry, I’m rambling. I’m battling a cold and my sleep’s been awful these days. August has been awful. It’s been a month of lies, terrible truths, death, and endings.

I’m tired of it all. I just wanna sleep and not know anything, especially about this fucking cancer. Blessed are the forgetful and alla that…

But I do know it.

I know a lotta things I don’t wanna know. So many things.

Fuck.

Location: a red chair
Mood: sick
Music: Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray, it might come true
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Logan with a lotta baggage

Bye-bye. Broke.

Friday, went to the cemetery for the first time since that awful day. I did not handle it well at all. McCain‘s passing and some other rough stories about friends meant that my August continued to be less-than-ideal.

In any case, afterward, my sis, her husband, and I went to eat some Korean food; I had the goat, which was pretty terrible.

It’s fine. It was a terrible day.

The boy’s been talking about Gymgirl a lot.

Mom: So what happened?
Me: What do you mean?
Her: He said, “Gymgirl, bye-bye. Broke. No more.” So what happened?
Me: (shrugging) The same thing that always happens to everyone, mom. Life. Life happened.

As for my talking, dating seems to come up with all my friends, quite often.  We all agree on this about it: It’s the constant disappointment that wears you down.

JF1: Dating is definitely – reliably – disappointing.
Me: That’s the worst, isn’t it? You put all this excitement and emotion into someone and then it all turns to crap. It’s designed to always turn into crap every time…except once. And even then, at least with me…

Then again, she’s 29, tall, beautiful, and blond. I’m 45, and neither tall nor blond.

Still, in my head, I think I’m 12 years better than I was before.

Thought about about Gradgirl and my ex, No 6, recently. Not a lot, enough. Not in a romantic sense. In a, it’d be nice to chat, sense. Couldn’t sleep the other night – of course – and was close to calling one of them.

But I got up and made a batch of chocolates instead. Sugar-free in case you’re wondering.

On the plus side, not one but two different people sent me this article to boost my ego: For Online Daters, Women Peak at 18 While Men Peak at 50, Study Finds. Oy.

Yes, that’s crazy unfair, I agree.

But, you gotta admit: Life’s been plenty unfair enough to me already.

ABFF: Dating sucks. Don’t get your hopes up, Logan.
Me: Cm’on, lady! Hope’s all I got.

Although I do manage to find entertainment where I can:

Her: Sandi – with an “i.”
Me: Nice to meet you, Sandi-with-an-i. Logan (thinking) with a lotta baggage.
Her: (laughs) Nice to meet you, Logan-with-a-lotta-baggage.
Me:  (grinning) Yeah, you laugh now, you haven’t seen my baggage yet, darling…


Ended up calling Gradgirl again, after all.

That deserves an entry on it’s own but it’s a story for later.

The insomnia is…better? It’s rotten, versus @#$@#$#@ horrible. That’s better by my reckoning.

Location: a train with passenger that wanted to be home
Mood: thoughtful
Music: I regret every single thing I ever said, I said those things too softly
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Here until you’re ready

I lost my father this time last year

My father was supposed to teach the kid how to make sushi.

He was supposed to teach him Chinese and Japanese.

He was supposed to explain pi to him.

He was supposed to show him how to make eggs.

And he was supposed to show me stuff too. He was supposed to tell me how to be a good father.

I have an indescribable hole in my person, not having him or Alison here to help me with the boy. It’s like a Schrödinger’s cat paradox: I’ll never know who the boy woulda been in the presence of them, with their influence. Nor will I know what kinda father I woulda been with them here.

When you take someone away, you’re never the same person that you woulda been if they were there.

It’s a feeling of despairing empty grief that I can only describe like this: Imagine you spent the day making dinner for someone you love. All that excitement and preparation. They’re late. And then you get a phone call that starts, “Mr. Lo? I’m calling about your father. I’m sorry, but…”

Except it’s every moment of every day, twice as bad after dusk, and exponentially more on the 24th. That’s the day I lock myself in my apartment alone and put on my real face. The one the boy’s never seen.

They were both supposed to be here, Alison and my dad. Nuthin is like it was supposed to be. All our beautiful plans

I miss my dad. I miss my family. I made this goddamn dinner and no one’s here for it.

I wasn’t ready.

Fuck all, I’m never ready.

Me: (running in) What’s wrong?
Him: (quietly) I want papa.
Me: Are you afraid?
Him: (nods)
Me: (lying down next to crib) Don’t be afraid, Nate. I’m here. (sticks hand into crib, boy takes it) I’ll stay here until you fall asleep, ok?
Him: OK, papa. (closes eyes)
Me: (on the floor) Life is sweet, in spite of the misery. I’m here. And I’ll be here until you’re ready.

Location: with a large glass of mint-flavored whiskey thanks to the day and yet another scare. It’s always something.
Mood: hollowed
Music: It’s a crying shame. Who pulled you down again?
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The Captain and the Kid

Having Tea with the Kid

Me: I love you, kid.
Him: I love you too, papa.

Holy s__tballs! Well, this was the best night this month, which, let’s be honest, is a low bar.  Not gonna lie, I might’ve wept a little. Just a bit.

Got no one to share it with, so I share it with you.


Speaking of the kid, I try not to write about him cause I always try to remember what it was like when I was a kid: I didn’t want to be discussed and dissected in public.

But now I get why my parents did it. Cause parents love their kids so much that they wanna talk about them and show them off.

So I allow myself a post every so often.

When my sister-in-law brought him home the other day, the song Clocks came on and he knew all the words and that the band was “cold.”

No idea where he picked that up from; she had no idea either.* Kids are really like sponges.

A song I’ve been listening to a lot is a song called Imaginary Tea about a dad writing about having imaginary tea time with his daughter.

I loved you before I heard ever heard your voice
Before I even knew your name
I loved you before I saw those pretty eyes
I loved you right away

That’s precisely how I feel about the kid and if ever there was a song that summed up parenthood, it’s this song.

Speaking of parents and parenthood, the one-year anniversary of my dad passing will be this Friday.

The kid’ll be away and I’ll be locked in my room with my half-bottle of rum, which is all that’s left of the rum from the cruise.

Last year, I had people around. This year, it’s just me and Captain Morgan.

Holy s__tballs (again). What an awful month this has been.

Then again, everything around me seems to go to hell. I’ll take it, though, if that means the kid’ll be ok. Alison woulda felt the same way.

We’d suffer any sling and arrow if the kid’s ok.

Me: Do you wanna hear that song again?
Him: (nodding) Yes, papa.
Me: OK!

*edit: My mother-in-law told me they listen to the album in the car; mystery solved!

Location: surrounded by dishes
Mood: nostalgic
Music: I’ve been picking up the pieces of the mess you made
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No place to go

Loss and threat of loss

ABFF: I read about the breakup and your insomnia, are you ok?
Me: Strictly, speaking, I haven’t been ok since November 8, 2015. But I’ll survive. After all, that’s what I do, right?

Wrote once that anxiety is fear of the hypothetical. But if you look at it from the fear side of the equation, there are really only two types of anxiety:

  1. Fear of loss
  2. Fear of the threat of loss

I’ve dealt with the horrible realization of some of the worst fears any human being can imagine. Repeatedly. And whenever I thought no horror could top what I was experiencing, life was like: Not done with you yet, man.

On a smaller scale, some fears regarding the Gymgirl were realized recently. As I said, everyone’s grief is grief to them, even when they’ve dealt with the worst-of-the-worst for so long.

After all, I adored the girl.

This blogger named Jamie Anderson wrote:

Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.

The start of my insomnia was actually because the father of one of my oldest and dearest friends just passed away, in a similarly horrifying and grotesque way. I actually fell to my knees when I heard. Literally, my knees buckled. Because I knew everything he was feeling and felt it with him.

What happened with the Gymgirl happened the very next day and just added fuel to the fire.

Agony plus grief is, well, just a lotta f__king grief.

I sent my buddy the quote above in the hopes that understanding grief would make it a little more bearable. It did for me. Kindasortamaybe.

The plus side of this type of grief is clarity, i.e., the disappearance of anxiety. My buddy, I hope, has some peace cause the hypothetical becomes concrete.

Although, I’m sure he, like I, wish it were all concrete in the opposite direction. Then again, I wish for a lotta things. Like I wish I sold my bitcoin back at 20K.

For me, I now know all this information that I never knew before about my relationship with the Gymgirl. She knew, I didn’t, rather.

If nothing else, this new info allows me to see things in a different light, and that’s somehow better. Somehow.

Her: I’m sorry, Logan. You don’t have time for this.
Me: (dismissively) Don’t worry about me, I’ve been through this, so many times, before. Sometimes you’re the dumper, sometimes you’re the dumpee. I’ve always said that I prefer being the dumpee if given the choice.
Her: Why?
Me: (shrugging) Cause there’s nothing for me to do but take my ball and go home. Now she and I both know what’s in the other person’s head. It’s too bad we weren’t listening to each other this whole time.

Him: [The Gymgirl] sounded great. Can’t you two work it out?
Me: (rolling eyes) How do I do that? Make a 15-slide powerpoint presentation that starts: Reason 1 that the kid and I should be enough…? That’s not how it works. She’s an adult, I gotta respect the choices she makes. But there is an upshot to alla this.
Him: What’s that?
Me: (thinking) I now know that I can feel something for someone again that’s not Alison. That’s eye-opening. Was always worried that it would just be a parade of randos that I’d have to somehow explain to the boy.
Him: (amused) So, no parade of randos?
Me: Well, I didn’t say that. The boy has his own room, I could always…
Him: (laughing, interrupting) I’ve seen your powerpoint presentations. You should consider that first, Logan.

Gradgirl once told me: I could never love someone that wasn’t in love with me.

That was good advice.

I joke about the parade of randos but some people leave a deeper mark on my life than I care to admit.

Location: on a white couch with the boy
Mood: okay
Music: we are fools. Throw our lives away, for one happy day
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