More Random Conversations

Clearly, a better choice

Saw Mouse three times this past week including over the blackout we had over the weekend. More on that later, I suppose.

Nuthin’s changed so you’re not missing much.

Me: More food or alcohol?
Her: Alcohol.
Me: Done.

Continuing from my last post, friends I’ve not seen in ages have been reappearing in my life. The Professor, for example, was in town to give a lecture.

Me: You’re taking forever to finish your drink.
Him: I drink 5cc’s of liquor every five minutes.
Me: I see. Well, afterwards, we can discuss how the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman, nor truly an empire.
Him: That was an interesting non sequitor.
Me: (shrugging) No more so than your drinking my rum at a rate of 5cc’s per five minutes.

Been hanging out with some new friends as well. A buddy of mine has a very different take on dating than I do:

Him: Your rules are insane, man.
Me: Everyone has criteria.
Him: (shrugging) Not me. I figure one outta seven will be attractive enough to date but when it comes to ______ everything goes. When I had my own apartment, I’d just meet someone, go back to my place and ________, _______, and _______. Afterward, I might ________ but sometimes I just ________ ________ or she’ll ________. Either way, she’d ______ or _____ and I’d just _____ and it’d be fine. Although there was this one time this woman and I _______ and she ______. The next day, my buddy was like what’s that on your ______ and it was her ________.  (laughing) That was crazy.
Me: (standing up) OK, you need to stand in the middle of my pad and not touch anything. My kid lives here. I need to burn everything you *did* touch and then take a shower. And you should get checked out.
Him: Eh, I’m fine. Probably.
Me: (walking to the bathroom) I’m going to take a shower now. Don’t. Touch. Anything. I’m serious.

But some of the best moments in my entire life have also been happening lately and I’m always excited to see what else in store for the two of us.

Me: When you grow up, do you want to be like papa?
Him: No, I wanna be a pirate.
Me: Clearly, that’s a better choice.
Him: Then I wanna be a monkey.
Me: (nodding) Again, better choice.

Great song; weird video. Not sure if I like it but Asian dude’s the lead so I gotta support.

Location: earlier, the Oculus
Mood: rested, almost ready
Music: I’m right back where I started

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Die Berlingirl 1

A story within a story

I’m posting a ton because I’ve been awake for days. You’re welcome.


The rest of the weekend was pretty busy too. Saw some other old friends, including a woman I last saw 12 years ago.

Berlingirl: Do you remember exactly how we met?
Me: (nodding) Yes.
Her: Tell me about it. It was so long ago.

I met Berlingirl years ago at a club around the way.

I was actually there to meet someone for a date and I thought that Berlingirl was her. So I walked up to Berlingirl and randomly started chatting with her.

After a while, I realized she had an accent that I’d heard before whereas the girl I was supposed to meet was definitely American.

Me: Schuldigung…sind Sie Deutscherin, oder?
Her: (überrascht) Ja, und Sie?
Me: Nein, ich bin amerikaner…naja, chinesisch amerikaner. Sind Sie Jennifer?
Her: (lachend) Nein! Ich bin Berlingirl.

We hung out that night and for the rest of the week before she went home to…Berlin.

Berlingirl, Caligirl, and Gradgirl, all crossed my mind recently for related, but different, reasons.

For one, all three were/are unavailable to me – also for different reasons. In fact Caligirl, once chided me about only spending time with unavailable women years ago in this sad little blog.

She was wrong at the time; I was looking for Alison. However, if she said something similar now, I’d find it hard to argue with her.

Caligirl, if you’re reading this, we’re good.

And I recently had a dream about Gradgirl; we weren’t …us. I mean, we were, but not. It’s hard to explain.

If things were different, well, I’m sure you can guess. But time and chance and alla that.

Which brings us back to Berlingirl.

This was taken 12 years ago.

Doorbell rings.
Boy: (opening door, yells) It’s your friend!!
Her:  (to boy) Hello there! (smiling) Hello, Logan.
Me: (laughing, walking to the door) Hello, Berlingirl. You’ve met the boy, of course. (later) Can I interest you in a walk with us?
Her: Yes!

Berlingirl crossed my mind because she came to town with her family – and boyfriend – the other day. She stopped by to see the kid and me.

Me: To be clear, you told your boyfriend you were coming to see me, right? Sorry, I’ve all these rules. Plus, I’ve been on the other side where a girlfriend snuck around on me and it was humiliating. I’d hate to do that to anyone.
Her: Of course! You’re so…good.
Me: (laughing) Sheyah. Now, how’d you convince him to take time out of your vacation to see a guy you dated?
Her: (shrugging) I told him the truth – that you were nice. The real nice, not the “nice” Americans say when they want to be mean. I told him you were…a good guy.
Me: (laughing) I’ll take it.

This entry’s getting super long, so I’ll finish it later on this week.

Back to dreaming of sleep and my possible pasts.

Location: dreamland, still
Mood: exhausted
Music: she won’t believe me; it was only just a dream

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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

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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

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Catching a film

It’s a good thing


I finally saw Avengers: Endgame the other day. It was pretty good, I have to say.

It also makes sense why they split it into two films, cause, man, it was long enough as it was.

A buncha my friends said it made them cry, but there was only one part that made me. Without giving too much away, one of the dead significant others came back and called a character on his mobile phone.

That made me cry.

Because it’s just another thing that’ll never happen again.

The Gymgirl patted me on the shoulder, which she does a lot for me. Her kindness helps.

Well, that and our inadvertent comedic moments.

Her: I’m balling in this bathtub.
Me: You’re “bawling?” Are you ok?
Her: No, not “bawling” – “balling.”
Me: We have a 17-year age difference. I have no idea what that means; is “balling” good or bad?
Her: (laughs) It’s a good thing.

It’s May. I hate May.

Location: earlier today, 68th and Broadway, with a toddler
Mood: blah
Music: I would never do you wrong
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Armagnac and owls with friends

Interacting with people again

1975 Armanac de Montal

There are people that I’ve not spoken to now in years. After everything went down with Alison, I kinda just dropped off the radar, save for this blog.

But a little while ago, I met up with my friends around the way and had some 1975 Armagnac de Montal.

Me: What’s the occasion?
Him: Just good to see you again.

And KG Betty wrote me to ask if I was gone from her life. Called her this weekend to tell her I wasn’t.

Me: I’m sorry I’ve been away for so long. I’ve just been dealing with alla this stuff.
KG Betty: I know. It’s nice hearing your voice again. How are you?

The problem is that so little means anything to me these days, beyond the boy. It’s hard to muster the energy it takes to be part of society in any meaningful way.

Yet, I’m trying to come back however I can. Had dinner with my friends Kathy and Ricky at Nickle and Dinner to thank them for everything they did for Alison. Had a beer with an owl on it.

Hitachino Nest

Spoke to Gradgirl recently as well.

Me: Are you alright?
Gradgirl: Yeah.
Me: Should I stop asking?
Her: It doesn’t matter. I’ll keep lying.

And I saw my sister-in-law the other day at her new home in New Jersey to fix her WiFi network and grab lunch. Went with her for her closing earlier this year, just for moral support.

SIL: You should stop feeling sorry for yourself.
Me: I don’t think I feel sorry for myself. I feel sorry that she’s not here.

It’s weird interacting with people these days for any reason beyond child-rearing. Feel like I’m putting on a show alla time. But I suppose it’s a lotta, Fake it till you make it.

Did see the Gymgirl the other day, though. She invited me to a work/school thingy. We’re trying a few things out.

Gymgirl: Who was that?
Me: The Gradgirl. She’s in town for a bit.
Her: Are you going to see her?
Me: Why would I do that?
Her: Didn’t you say you like to make out with her?
Me: But I already have.
Her: Oh, that’s a good response. (holding up hand) That deserves a high five.

Location: still in my hellish week
Mood: weird
Music: And how the days have flown too few & fast

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Random Meetings at Arte Cafe

Empty men


She collapsed exactly two years ago today. So today, I drink.


Went to my law firm the other day for a bit of work. It was the first honest work I’d done in a while. It was as if nothing had happened.

Afterward, walked over to the train in a daze. An older fella asked me for directions to my neighborhood for a party and we got to talking.

Him: You know, I was supposed to go to this party with my business partner and he can’t make it. Why don’t you come with me?
Me: (laughing) I should head home.
Him: Why? You just said that someone was watching your son. You look like you could use a drink. It’s an open bar.
Me: You had me at “open bar.”

We walked a bit when I realized that the place we were going to was the very last place Alison and I ever ate out at: Arte Cafe.

She got nauseated when the food came and we both assumed it was from the pregnancy. I only learned later it was probably the tumor. She gave birth soon after. Then everything went to s__t.

My face turned white, so the man asked me what was wrong and I told him everything.

Him: (gently) Come in. One drink. It’ll be good for you.

I nodded and went in. Stayed for a moment cause it was too much and I politely said goodbye to the man, who nodded again that he understood.

As I walked out, someone handed me a glass of wine and I downed it in a gulp. I turned to leave and bumped into a young woman with brown eyes.

Me: (smiling, holding out hand) Logan. You must be…?
Her: (laughing) Sharon. Nice to meet you. Who are here with?
Me: Well, Sharon, it’s a bit hard to explain…

I chatted with her for a bit and left. I don’t know why I do it; meet so many random people for no reason. Something pathological about me and my childhood loneliness, perhaps? Who knows…

I put on personalities like you would an old coat. Take them off just as easily. But I always feel empty afterward. Like I’m the coat and not the person. It’s why the Devil calls me a friend; the devil likes hollowed-out men.

I’ve got so many stories that’d blow your mind. But I don’t want you to think less of me.

Not that I care. I only care what Alison’s family and my family thinks.

And the Gymgirl. She’s different to me than the others. Mainly, I suppose, because she actually tried to help us when Alison was alive. That means so much to me.

And because of this conversation:

Me: It’s only fair to warn you that I’m a mess.
Her: I expect that. If you weren’t, I’d think something was wrong with you.
Me: I should also tell you that I’ll love her until the end of the world.
Her: (nodding) Of course you will. She sounded amazing.
Me: She was. (pause) Thank you.
Her: For what?
Me: (exhaling) For letting me be in love with her. I miss her terribly.

Location: inside my head
Mood: empty
Music: maybe, you’re gonna be the one that saves me

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Finding comedy when you can

Caught a cold

Empty NYC #2 subway car, 2014
I’m sick.

Was on the edge of a cold for a few days but the body decided to just take it all the way there yesterday.

It’s probably just as well, I need to just spend a few days resting the shoulder, which is still wonky.

Unfortunately, had to wake up this morning an cancel meetings I had lined up for the rest of the week.

As a byproduct of my being 41, a number of my clients these days were originally friends of mine. This leads to some interesting conversations.

Me: Can we reschedule for next Monday, 10AM?
Him: Can’t that’s prime bathroom time.
Me: (laughing) I’ve never had to reschedule a meeting because of … prime bathroom time.
Him: …that you know about!
Me: Can I use this in my blog?
Him: Sure, just don’t use my name.
Me: OK, Jon (not his real name…or is it?)

The key to life, I think, is to take the comedy you come across in life and enjoy it.

Which seems harder and harder these days, seeing as there seems to be so much unspeakable evil in the world.

Location: should be the bed
Mood: sick
Music: cradle your head in your hands and breathe, just breathe

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A night out with some college buddies

Met up with some friends I’ve known for 23 years

Signs at Jongro BBQ in NYC
Last night I said goodbye to an old friend, which is a post for next week maybe. And then said hello to eight college buddies for our semi-regular meetup.

We met up at Korean restaurant called Jongro BBQ that I’d not been to before.

We picked the coldest night of the week to do it but it turned out for the best since most of the joint was empty.

Brrrrr

It’s fashioned like an old time Korean village complete with signposts and a bike that we all debated if we should try to ride.

Bicycle

Gar: Well, let’s order first. Should we get some steak or ribs? Or maybe some steak tartare?
Me: Yes.

Steak at Jongro BBQ in NYC
We also had some unaged, unfiltered rice wine that looked like soymilk and served in chilled metal bowls. Delicious.

Drinks at Jongro BBQ in NYC

Ox: What do you think?
Me: I like any alcohol I can get in a plastic bottle.
SJ: And with a twist-off cap!

Afterwards, we ended up playing something they called credit card roulette. We all put our credit cards into a bag and the waiter picked out four of them; the four he picked didn’t have to pay while the other four picked up the tab. I was on the losing side.

Credit Card Roulette

Me: Dammit!
Ox: Looks like all the lawyers have to pick up the tab.
Me: Nobody likes lawyers.
SJ: At least you’re not Cappy, he had to pick up the tab himself last time.

Steak at Jongro BBQ in NYC

Afterward we caught some drinks over at a nearby bar.

Me: (to waiter) Seven Old Fashions with rye and a martini. Do you need to write it down?
SJ: (laughing) Yeah, Logan, he needs to write down, “Seven Old Fashions with rye and a martini.”

Old Fashioned

After the drinks came, we settled into more more conversations. We’d all known each other 23 some odd years, which boggles my mind.

Ox: You know, my wife and I read your blog on occasion.
Duck: Yeah, I read it too sometimes.
Me: Ah, thanks. I always wonder if anyone reads it.
Gar: Man, you have some opinions!
Me: I am nothing if not opinionated. Then again, what do I know?

I had an early morning phone conference so one of the guys and I headed over to the west side to catch the train uptown.

Jeffe: It was good seeing everyone. We should do it more often.
Me: More than every six years at least. Good seeing you man, get home safe.

Location: in front of computer screens
Mood: chilly
Music: I’m a part of your circle of friends

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Survival of the strongest

Most people misunderstand the phrase, Survival of the fittest

Fishes off Bermuda Docks

Been meaning to post this for a while.

My coach just forwarded an article by a Ph.D named Dr. Rhadi Ferguson about who would win in a fight between Superman and Batman. You can hear the author read it in his own words here.

Now I agree with almost everything the doctor says with one major exception. He says:

In battles the strongest guy does not [always] (sic) win, nor (does) the fittest, but the one that has those qualities and is the smartest.

With all due respect to Dr. Ferguson, he gets what everyone gets wrong about the term “Survival of the fittest.”

If I say to you the words, “Survival of the fittest,” what do you hear?

Dr. Ferguson – and most people – invariably people hear, “Survival of the strongest.” They define fittest as being physically fit.

But this is an issue of logical equivocation: The meaning of “fit” in this phrase doesn’t mean physically fit, but appropriate to the situation.

In that sense, then, the actual meaning is the opposite of what most people think.

The phrase: Survival of the fittest, means: Survival of the most appropriate.

If you were locked in a smoke-filled room having a 3-foot window with a small girl, a strongman, and a billionaire, while the girl is the weakest, the poorest, and the most inexperienced, she will most likely survive because she is the most fit – the most appropriate – for survival in that situation.

I think that’s why I have so many interests; I wanna have the broadest skill set possible for any situation that arises. One of my goals for 2015 is to dust off some skills I had that were once pretty good and sharpen then up.

Tank in Staten Island

Speaking of 2015 and having skills, I started the year, as usual, by making a huge pot of chili and by fixing some technology around the house.

We were originally planning on heading out for dinner but the weekend was rainy and my shoulder was killing me.

Her: (canceling a dinner reservation) Open Table will be so mad at me for canceling that reservation.
Me: You know that OpenTable isn’t sentient, right?

 

2015. Maybe this will be our year.

Homemade Chili

One more nerdy pet peeve of mine; people seem to think that Darwin coined the phrase, but he didn’t.

A fella named Herb Spencer, who read Darwin’s work, came up with the term. Darwin used the term himself five years after On Species came out.

OK, now I’m done.

Location: at my desk again
Mood: hopeful
Music: You can get along if you try to be strong

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