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
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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
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Seeing People after two years, Pt 2

We won’t let you

Later on that week, I saw my old co-workers.

Me: Apologies for the late notice but my son is away with my in-laws until Saturday. Free for a drink on Friday?
Him: We can definitely make time to see you and grab a drink or two.

Me: I get so much pity, man.
Him: It’s not pity, it’s sadness for you. For Alison. For the whole situation.
Me: (sighing) I’m worried I’m gonna f__-up the kid on my own.
Him: You won’t.
Me: How do you know?
Him: (thinking) Two reasons: Reason number one: You’re you. Reason number two: The f__ed-up things that happened to you, happened to you. You didn’t make them happen. Life happened to you.
Me: I dunno if I can do this on my own.
Him: You’re not on your own. You’re surrounded by people that won’t let you. We won’t let you f__-up.

On Sunday, saw some other friends in the park.

Her: You look good.
Me: Not eating or sleeping and crying all the time does that for a man, I suppose.

It’s all so surreal. This is my life now. I’m a 44 year-old widower with a infant kid.

Stopped drinking Saturday morning, when the kid got back.

There’s a song my brother sent me that has the line, don’t like being sober – that’s when it hits me it’s overIt’s true.

Late at night, after the alcohol wears off but before the pharmaceuticals kick in, I tell Alison in my empty room that I love her and miss her.

Then I think about how I wish it were all different.

And my thoughts rattle around my head and keep me up.

Location: the kitchen, making the kid breakfast
Mood: so sad
Music: don’t think that I’m that strong. It hasn’t been that long.
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Seeing people after two years, Pt 1

Wish it turned out differently.

Wrote this exactly one month after she passed. Still can’t believe she’s gone.

The kid was away for a week so I could continue doing all the admin stuff I needed to do. Like close out her bank accounts. Most were fine.

Bank of America was not. BoA was the worst. Call up their estate number (888.689.4466) and you’ll see what I mean; was on hold for a total of four hours over three phone calls.

Gotta figure that anyone calling their estate number is probably in the same mental situation as me so that shows how much priority they place on their customers.

/rant

The kid away meant that I could see friends.

Again, my life stopped some time in September 2015 because Alison and I just wanted to enjoy being expectant parents.

With the exception of my gym buddies, stopped seeing all my friends then.

Saw one group of friends early in the week that took me out for some Cuban-Chinese around the way. Ended up drinking until about 1:30AM.

Me: Get out.
Her: I gotta crash here.
Him: I gotta crash here too.
Me: OK, fine. Nobody throw up.

Before my liver had a chance to recover, saw my college friends. My old safe harbor.

They all came out at a moment’s notice.

Me: Last minute but the kid’s away if anyone is free for dinner and a drink.
Them: Wherever you want, Logan.

They brought me out to eat at KTown and drinks afterward; didn’t get home until after midnight.

Another Korean Stew

They all donated to Alison and gave me a pretty massive check made out to the kid to boot.

Me: It’s too much, fellas.
Him: You’d do the same for us.
Me: That’s what you think.
Group: (laughs)

They’ve known me 25 years. That’s how old we are.

Me: It’s hard for me to explain what’s going on in my head. I feel like I was just at your wedding. And we were all just at Bobby’s funeral. There are so many things I don’t remember. I can’t believe what I’ve been doing the past two years.
Him: It’s probably a survival mechanism. You don’t want to remember everything that happened.
Me: You’re right. I really don’t. (sorrowfully) Just wish it all turned out differently.
Him: (patting me on back and clearing throat) We all wish that for you, man.

Location: Soberville. It sucks here too.
Mood: still heartbroken, of course
Music: never felt so alone in my life
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My Bobby Pin Monster

Being hit all the time

Have you ever been hit in the solar plexus?

When I was a kid, got hit there a buncha times. What happens when you get hit there is that your diaphragm spasms and you can’t breathe at all.

You get lightheaded and double over, fall to your knees, and/or pass out.

Find myself regularly feeling something similar for a variety of reasons.

When I got those emails from my neighbor, for example, I had that feeling.

Just got it last night while (still) trying to clean up.

Alison used to joke with me that I’d never just put things back where I found them when I took them out.

I’d retort that I was always finding her long hair as well as random bobby pins everywhere.

There’s a table we have that still has Christmas decorations on it. Finally found the strength to start cleaning it when I found two bobby pins behind a basket.

And I felt that same hit in my solar plexus I felt as a kid and had to sit down. I haven’t seen her hair anywhere in over a year.

This was probably the last time I’d ever find bobby pins from her ever again.

So much for cleaning any more that day.

I can’t handle all the unexpected hits all the time.

Can’t handle being hit all the time. It’s slow torture.

 

April 2014…

Her: Is that a jar of peanut butter next to the bed?
Me: … No?
Her: Why is there a jar of peanut butter in the bedroom?!
Me: It’s probably the same creature that sheds bobby pins all over the place.
Her: (laughing) Great, we have a peanut-butter eating monster made up of bobby pins somewhere in the house.

\’

Location: in front of a donut and rum, the breakfast of champions
Mood: struggling still
Music: taken more hits than a world war blitz
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Hope springs eternal

The crazy continues


Was at the police station last week because this mentally disturbed religious nut of a neighbor sent me this long insane email that crushed me with it’s cruelty and pretty sick use of Alison’s passing.

Me: So you can’t actually do anything unless she physically assaults me? Did you read the sick things she wrote?
Policewoman: Yes. But she has to actually take a physical step before we can do anything.
Me: Ma’am, if she physically assaults me, one of us is gonna have a really bad day and it’s probably not gonna be me.

Then I went to see my dad at the hospital, which was excruciating.

All-in-all, a pretty soul-crushing Father’s Day Weekend.

Did write Leigh’s husband to ask him how he dealt with the loss and he wrote me back this long and incredibly kind message. He survived the blow, somehow. I know I have to as well.

For now, I wait for 8PM to come every night so I can have my one drink and pharmaceuticals and hope tomorrow is a better day.

No luck yet, but hope springs eternal, yeah?

Him: How’re you doing tonight?
Me: Same as yesterday.
Him: Consistency is good.
Me: (shrugging) Everything is consistently craptastic so I just go with it.

\’

Location: underwater
Mood: still broken
Music: here I stand, as a broken man
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Something a lot like love

I could never do it again

The only people I see these days are from my gym.

Probably cause they’re the only ones that have seen me regularly in the past two years. Most friends I’ve not seen since before October 2015.

Went out with some of them the other day in Queens, and two other guys stopped by my pad for some rum. One girl took me out for lunch.

It’s all very:

Him/Her: I don’t know what to say.
Me: What can anyone say?


A surprising number of women I dated have reached out to me or sent me stuff. BJE, The Sexologist, the reporter, the doctor, one of the schoolteachers, just to name a few of them that have appeared in this blog. I was touched that they kept up with me and cared.

The HEI not only sent me rum, she sent me oranges, limes, lemons, and mint for a whole smogasborg of rum drinks. I admit that I ended up just drinking it straight outta the bottle.

Speaking of rum, Caligirl also sent me rum. And called me.

Her: I was mad at you for so long. I thought your whole “looking for my person” was just a line that you used to get out of relationships. But you really were, weren’t you?
Me: (long pause) I was. I found her. It took a while. But I did.
Her: Oh, Logan. I’m so sorry. (crying) I’m so, so sorry.
Me: Yeah, me too.

Not all the women I’ve dated made it to this blog. Some made it clear that they didn’t want to be here.

Years ago, I met someone that lost her fiancee. After I spoke to Caligirl (and if you read her link above, you should also read this one) I decided to give this other woman a ring.

Woman: Logan…I was wondering if I should call you.
Me: Wanted to call to thank you for thinking of us. (pause) And to let you know that I understand now.
Her: (pause) I’m sorry. It’s a s___tty thing to have to understand.
Me: So I right when I said that I could never take the place of your man.
Her: I don’t know if people are ever really lucky enough to find true love twice in life. (laughing) Wait, what did you call what we had?
Me: “Something a lot like love.”
Her: You always did have a way with words.
Me: I think that’s all that’s in my cards now, like yours. (deep breath) Real love, I don’t ever want again. (quietly) I could never do it again. It’s too hard.
Her: (voice cracking) Yes.
Me: Man. F___k us.


I don’t know who I am anymore without Alison.

What we had was my something that I couldn’t put inna words.

Like I said, she was the best part of me. And I worry that without her, I’ll just be the worst bits of who I was.

Or maybe I’m just a sad story you tell other people about. Like when I told you about Leigh.

Which is what I am, I suppose. Damn cancer. It takes everything.

Location: home, alone
Mood: struggling still
Music: for you, I’d leave it all
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Pillowcases

Doing things I gotta but don’t wanna, for reasons I never expected


I don’t know where my pillowcases go.

Alison always did the laundry, folded everything, and put everything away. It wasn’t because it was woman’s work, it’s just that she liked her laundry done a certain way. That was the deal: She did what she was good at and/or wanted to do and I did the same.

I did almost all the cooking, she did almost all the cleaning. It was perfect: She hated to cook, I hated to clean.

When I told my mom that she passed, my mom cried, of course. But she also said, It’s so sad. You were so perfect for each other. You two were the same person.

That’s true. She was a complete person when we met. I was a complete person when we met. But when we got together, while we were complete, we were better. It’s why she was my person.

And now I’m worse. I’m doing things I gotta but don’t wanna, for reasons I never expected.

That’s why every little thing hurts so. It’s like someone took my left arm away.

Did the laundry two days ago. A mountain of it. Folded it as she would have liked. Kinda. And put away what I could. Had to call my mother-in-law to find out where to put the pillowcases and other things.

I’m a stranger to things in my own house.

Which is apropos, I suppose; everything is stranger in general.


My dad is not well. Wish I could see him more often but I can’t leave the kid and don’t want to bring him to the hospital.

And the truth be told, I don’t have the mental and emotional capacity to face that right now. I know I’ll have to at some point.

For now, trying to be as normal as I can for the kid.

Whatever that means.

Location: my strange home
Mood: the same
Music: You got a beautiful soul that I’m blessed to have known
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Best friends forever

I married Alison for her money

When we chatted about my theft, she noted that the amount that was taken was almost exactly the sum of what she had at the time.

Told her that the thing that bothered me most about the theft was what the money represented. Being a busboy in a Chinese restaurant. Walking home instead of spending the buck it took for the bus. Going to the library for textbooks instead of buying them.

And I told her that knowing that she had money made me like her more. Because she lived simply. She drove a Civic. She had roommates. She still used the same television she bought in college – something I mocked her for, relentlessly.

That’s when I told her that I thought she and I would be great together if we got serious.

Her: So, you want to be with me for my money?
Me: (laughing) Sure. It’s not the money but what the money represents. Self-discipline, planning, priorities, etc. (winking) I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ll spend our entire relationship trying to get at it.
Her: (smiling) At least you’re honest.

The kid came back on Sunday so I’ve been sober since then. Yesterday, gathered up the courage to go to her bank and close out her account.

Thought about what I said her all those years ago and felt gross. So gross that I took a shower and broke down in it.

Afterward, created an online account for everything from her that I’m gonna use for the kid. Because I want none of it.

He’ll get everything she worked so hard and sacrificed for. Because her money represents the sum of her life’s effort and sacrifice.

And the kid represents the sum of all her hopes and dreams.

Even in death, she’ll take care of him. Cause she loved him even before he existed. It’s why I married her.

Right after he was born…

Her: Oh, I love him. Look at all that hair! (beaming) Isn’t he beautiful?
Me: (solemnly) This whole thing is beautiful.
Her: (looking at him) We’re gonna be best friends, you and me. Best friends forever. (kisses him)

I’ll be shutting down the YouCaring page soon. It’s time to try pull myself together and put myself back into the stream of life.

No idea how I’m gonna do it, but I will. It’s what she woulda wanted.

Location: Soberville. It sucks here.
Mood: heartbroken
Music: people always wave goodbye and say hello
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True Love is Gravity

I try to float but I crash


Write this as a general response to everyone that asks me how I’m doing.

In my sleepless nights, I’ve come to conclusion that true love is most like gravity. It’s something that we don’t really think about, but it’s there to anchor us to the world. Both true love and gravity gives things weight and heft.

If either goes away, you’re unmoored. Adrift. Everything floats.

Since Alison’s left, found myself … fuzzy. It’s probably also the insomnia. Everything is a copy of a copy of a copy. My head feels like a balloon on my shoulders.

I further help the floating by forcing myself to not think about the loss, and self-medicating.

But it comes back. And – as you’d expect when gravity suddenly comes back after being off – everything comes crashing down.

Went to pick up Alison from the cremation place the other day.

Went alone. Took almost 90 minutes to get to her. 90 gut-wrenching minutes.

I’d been floating for the past 48 hours or so. But it all came crashing down when I walked through the doors of that place.

They told me to sit down and wait. So I took a picture of my sneakers cause I didn’t know what else to do. Another funeral was taking place.

Then someone called out “Mr. McCarthy?” I looked up and he handed me a heavy box. When I realized what, exactly, I was holding, started weeping so hard I could barely see.

Thought pure agony was setting up cremation services for your 38 year-old wife you love more than life itself.

No, man. Pure agony is what happens when you pick her up.

Somehow made it home 90 minutes later. Don’t remember much of it but I stood outside my door with this box, trying to will the ability to open the door and bring her home.

Remember laughing with her when we got married about whether or not I should carry her through the door.

Now, I carried her through the door one last time and fell to my knees.

I’m so sorry, I said, and kissed the box.

So, how am I doing? Not well. I float. I hear you and see you but I’m not really here.

Part of me is in a fucking cardboard box in my living room, so I’m not well at all.

I’m fighting gravity and trying to bend time and space with pharmaceuticals and fine, aged spirits.

Please don’t ask how I’m doing, cause you know how I’m doing. I’m struggling to make it to the other side.

I’m so sorry I couldn’t save you. I’d kill myself a thousand times over if I could bring you back as you were.

 

\’ FOR NATE

Location: home with her
Mood: dark
Music: I’m all messed up, I’m so out of line, yeah. Stilettos and broken bottles
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