Isolation Days 16-18: Not sure what’s me

(Virtually) Drinking with Friends

I spend my days completely alone, overthinking everything.

But, ever since I put up my virtually drinking with friends, others have reached out to me to do the same, which I appreciate and do when I’m mentally able to do it.

It’s nice to seeing who checks in on you.

RW: Happy Hour on zoom at 5:30p!
Me: I’m in.

Of course, I check in on some people as well…

Me: What’s going on with you?
NM: Do you know I moved?
Me: You might’ve told me. I don’t remember a lot of the past few years. Except for the things I don’t wanna remember – that stuff I remember.

Still others are mutual…

Me: We’re finally chatting! How’s quarantine?
KT: Well, I’m an essential worker so I don’t know. I’m back to work on Monday. Hey, we’re dressed alike!

Still others are as if it’s business as usual…

CV: Wait, I must’ve told you about this. It was back when I lived in Westchester.
Me: Dude, if it happened in the last five years, you probably did. I just don’t remember. I don’t remember a lotta things from the last five years.
CV: OK, here’s what happened…
Me: (later) I don’t hate him like you guys. I just think he’s lame.

Not everything was fun and games, though. Some interactions just drag me further into my head, even when it’s not intentional.

Him: One of my friends couldn’t do another shift at the hospital. So, I covered for him.
Me: (sighing) On the one hand, I’m proud of you that you’re helping people. On the other hand…
Him: I know. I’ll be careful.

I didn’t take pictures of alla them. Some I forgot…

Her: So, I’m dating someone.
Me: That’s great, how’d…
Her: (interrupting) Not really. I was just about to break up with him and then all this happened.
Me: (laughing) Only you, HEI…

…others I remembered but misplaced the pictures, and still others refused to let me take pics.

Her: God, no, Logan! I’m on day 10 of quarantine. You’re lucky I’m even video-chatting with you.
Me: (scoffing) Look at me, I look like a shaggy dog. I should shave.

The one that most affected me, though, had to do with the girl from this entry, way back when. An immediate family member of hers has the same cancer as Alison, glioblastoma.

Her: Are you ok talking about this?
Me: No. But I will. If I can help, I will.

Can’t seem to escape it. It’s everywhere these days; death, Alison’s cancer, cancer in general, and health issues like this pandemic. It grinds me down.

How do you escape your own thoughts? I’m a prisoner in my own head.

Me: I don’t believe there’s a god. If there is, he either hates us or is fat, orange, and stupid and only likes his fat, orange, and stupid creations.
Her: Well, it does seem like he has favorites, that’s for sure.

I try to stop eating and drinking by 6:30 every night. It’s part of intermittent fasting. Lost four pounds since this whole thing started.

But lately, I find myself drinking later and later. I tell myself that it’s only for now. Then again, I tell myself a lotta things.

Her: I’m surprised you’re all by yourself and didn’t find someone to keep you company. That doesn’t seem like you.
Me: I’m trying to avoid everyone these days. Besides, I’m  not sure what’s me anymore, anyways.

Location: a couch, being told about the Tiger King
Mood: weird
Music: I’m all but a victim in my prison head (Spotify)
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Isolation Days 9-10: Seeing the doc

First human interaction

As I said in my last entry, went to sleep on night 8 with a massive headache and an aching jaw.

When I woke up the next morning, Day 9, I had a terrible earache, which was oddly comforting as I was worried it was something else, like COVID-19, or Sleepy Logan was doing stuff again.

Rang my brother to ask him what I should do. I’ve never had an earache in my entire life.

Him: Normally, I’d tell you to go to the medemerge but this is a unique situation.
Me: Lemme call them and see how busy they are.

Turns out they were completely empty. Took me less than three minutes to see the doc.

Her: Well, you definitely have an infection in your ear. Nothing a few drops can’t help. Can someone help you put them in?
Me: Nope, you’re the first meaningful human interaction I’ve had in days.
Her:  Oh, I’m sorry.
Me; Yeah, me too.

Funny thing’s that I put up a pic of me on Instagram and people thought it was my eye, when I was just rolling my eyes at the ridiculousness of it all.

My eye was much worse a few weeks ago: click here if you’re not squeamish. If you are, absolutely do not.

Went to my local pharmacy to pick up the script but they were closed so I went to pick up the peanut butter I needed for later. My local supermarket’s now selling paper bags cause plastic bags are outlawed here in NY, these days.

When I went back to the pharmacy, waited behind a barrier of tape to get my meds.

The woman at the counter was just about to hand me my bag when the pharmacist in the back – who’d been speaking in increasingly strident tones – started yelling into the phone: “No! Do NOT come in. Wait outside. Sir. Sir! SIR! Do not come in! We’re locking the door now.”

With that, he sprang from the rear of the drugstore to the front and started yelling at the guys in the front to shut everything down.

This whole time, the cashier is continuing to hold my bag, despite my asking for it a dozen times.

Me: (leans over barrier and grabs bag from cashier’s hand) I’ll be leaving now.
Her: Hey! That was rude.
Me: (walking away) So was making me wait for no reason when – clearly – stuff’s about to go down, miss.

As I walked to the front, a crowd had gathered outside because they locked the door. They opened the door to let me out. Everyone outside was at least 70 years old.

Me: (exiting) Did they tell you what’s going on?
Old lady: No. They just locked the door.
Me: (walking away from crowd) They locked the door for a reason. I wouldn’t be standing around here or going in for at least the next hour, if I were you. Jus’ say’n…

And just like that, they all scattered.

Been having drinks with friends, online. My nightly drink card’s pretty full but not everyone’s willing to let me put up pics.

Still, you’ve met my buddy, Bryson, before.

Me: Good god, look at that beard.
Him: (laughing) I hate it but the girls (his daughters and wife) love it.
Me: You’re black and Asian; black don’t crack and Asian don’t raisin. You’re doing it all wrong, you look like your age. (later) Hey, can you send me a pic of this for my blog?
Him: Sure
Me: (later) Jesus Christ, look at the size of my head!
Him: (laughs)

Had to make that pic smaller so my enormous noggin didn’t take up your entire screen. Also drank with my buddy, Paolo, whom you see in the pic above.

Him: What are you drinking?
Me: Grapefruit beer.
Him: Not rum? Wait, that sounds like you.
Me: I got it for Mouse but she’s not around so I’m drinking it. Man, that hair is weirding me out.
Him: Can’t get to a barber, what with the kid and this lockdown.
Me: Got it. Suppose I’ll be rocking that look myself, soon enough.

Speaking of Mouse, one of her friends, whom I’ve only ever met once, reached out to me to see if I – and the kid – was ok. It was really rather sweet.

Alison always believed that the key to anyone’s heart is through their kids and she was totally right.

On that note, two other women from my past also contacted me just to see how I was. Combining the three convos so this entry doesn’t drag on forever.

Her: How is your little trouble maker? I’m sure he also misses you terribly.
Me: He’s great! We Skype like this, daily.
Her: I’m sorry about what happened with your wife. If nothing else, she was lucky to have you as a husband.
Me: I wonder about that sometimes.
Her: Trust me, it’s awful out there. I’m seeing someone that…(trails off) Well, now’s not the time to be alone, Logan. (looking around, laughing) Which I am.
Me: (nodding) You and me both, lady. At least you have a dog.

Location: a still almost empty UWS apartment building
Mood: inebriated and fulla cookies
Music: If we have each other then we’ll both be fine (Spotify)
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Hacking it

Seeking efficiencies

Been sick for the past week or so. Damn, that party really took it all out of me – prob more the setup than the actual party, TBH.

Coughed so hard that I blew out a blood vessel in my eye the other day.

But it’s also given me time to think.

When I was a kid – 11, maybe? – there was a store we all called Angie’s that sold these flying saucer type toy guns for, say, $2.00. But they were always sold out of them.

One day, found a store that sold them for $1. Figured I’d sell them for $1.50, a 50% markup but still 25% less than Angie.

So I took all of my savings, bought every gun I get my hands on, and brought them back to Queens.

Took me a while, but I ultimately sold alla them. My dad asked me where I got all the scratch I had and I sheepishly told him.

Afterward, he smiled, reached into his pocket and gave me double the amount I made.

Him: You made an honest dollar and you helped people. You get rewarded for doing things like that.

That was my very first business deal and I remember it to this day.

I bring it up for two reasons. The first is that I was chatting with my buddy Cable. He asked me about my past.

Him: Is it true?
Me: You really wanna know?
Him: Yeah, tell me.
Me: OK, make yourself comfortable. (15 minutes later) …and I did what any good Chinese boy would do; I sunk it all into real estate.
Him: I’ve always wondered about that. That explains so much.

I call it hacking: I hack my life.

Another example: The program that I use the most is something called Dropbox – my buddy Rick told me about it…10 years ago?

It’s free for 2GB of space; the next step up is $120 a year.

I did the math and figured out that if I used the free referral link they had, I could buy ad space on Google to advertise my referral code. Some rando would get an extra 500mb, I would get an extra 500mb, and Dropbox would get a new customer. Win-win-win.

Even cooler, I had a $100 credit for Google cost-per-click buys, so I used that, and netted…well, check out below:

So, for $0 across a decade, I’ve had 28.2GB of Dropbox space. The max is actually 16GB, but I hacked that too. That’s another story.

I’m not so much bragging – ok, I am, but it takes me 10-35 years for me to brag/talk about stuff – so much as I’m trying to explain what fascinates and drives me.

In The Godfather, Vito saw the world as two groups: pezzonovante or puppets.

Don Corleone: … I refused to be a fool dancing on the strings held by all of those big shots. That’s my life, I don’t apologize for that. But I always thought that when it was your time, that you would be the one to hold the strings. Senator Corleone, Governor Corleone, something.
Michael: Another pezzonovante.

But I’ve always felt there was a third option: Someone in the margins of society, exploiting inefficiencies while maybe making life a little better.

Those are my people: The Devil. Rain. Sheridan. We’re the hustlers that eat-what-we-kill. There’re few of us left. The grey men.

This is all prelude to the second reason I’m walking down nostalgia lane with you: A business associate recently presented me with a problem for which I think I have an elegant solution. It’s a gamble. But I believe in my power to hack things. So does she.

In some ways, it was that belief that crushed my soul the past few years; I think I felt the weight of Alison and my father’s death even more heavily because I felt I should have figured it out.

“It” being cancer. How fucking arrogant is that?

That’s what I’ve prided myself on my entire life; seeing things that other people didn’t see. I consumed every medical article I could get my hands on to try to hack that fucking thing.

In the end, I bought Alison and my dad a few more months/years, but at such a cost. Yet another bit of guilt for my soul to enjoy.

Him: You can’t hold yourself responsible for them dying of cancer.
Me: (drunk) Yeah? (laughing) Watch me…

And I hated myself so much for being able to figure out alla these meaningless bullshit things like Dropbox and toy guns, but not figure out the things that might have saved the people I loved.

I’m only now able to take solace in the fact that it was a fool’s errand, but at least it was borne of love. And I’m nuthin if not an arrogant fool for love…

In any case, I have a new puzzle to fill my otherwise dull and vicious life.

The stakes are more than toy guns but less than cancer. If I figure it out, I’ll tell you all about it.

In about 10-30 years.

Me: There’s actually a lot more. But that’s enough for today. Every day, we choose the life we’re gonna live. I choose to set myself apart. In my head, I’m in the world, but separate from it.

Location: bed
Mood: coffee/cough-y
Music: Staying in my play pretend, where the fun ain’t got no end

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You didn’t know this?

Still done

Been bringing the kid to tests for a little while and speaking with other parents. Literally, every time I speak to another parent, I find out something I feel I shoulda known.

Gonna condense about five or six different conversations into just three for clarity.

Her: (breathless) Were you stuck on the train getting here too? I was worried we’d miss our test slot.
Me: Oh, I live right down the block. We kinda rolled outta bed and ended up here.
Her: You live right down the block?! We came here from Staten Island!
Me: Staten Island?! Why?!
Her: (confused) Anderson’s the gifted and talented school for the entire city. People from as far away as the Long Island border commute into the city for hours to get in. It’s like Stuyvesant or Bronx Science for middle schoolers. You didn’t know this?
Me: (slowly) Yes?

For a different test:

Him: If we make it in, we’d sell our home in Douglaston and try to squeeze the four of us into a one-bedroom in the area.
Me: You’d move here just for a music school?
Him: (puzzled) Special Music School is the only free music school in the city, maybe even the state. The lessons are valued at $10,000, per year, per student. AND it has the highest academic rankings in the city because they only accept 24 students a year so – even though it’s a music school – they were ranked number one out of every school in the city for common core, three years in a row.
Me: Wait, it’s ranked even better than Anderson, PS 87, and PS 199?
Her: For grades K-to-3, yes. Each child is essentially privately tutored for 12 years. You didn’t know this?
Me: Yes? (laughing) Now I feel I shoulda prepared him for these tests. I bought my place decades ago and kids weren’t on my mind at all. (later) My wife would have known this but she passed away a little while back.
Her: Oh! I’m so sorry to hear that.
Me: I’m sorry to say that.

Then it got weird:

Her: Sorry, I couldn’t help but overhear your other conversation. Are you single?
Me: (amused) According to Facebook, yes. But it’s complicated. Why?
Her: My cousin’s single and she’s an educator working with special needs kids. She’s always dreamed of living in the Upper West Side.
Me: (laughing) I’m both flattered and slightly insulted.
Her: (quickly) Don’t be! Your son’s adorable and I love your jacket!
Me: Good to know…

On the topic of interpersonal relationships, with my last entry, my female friend admits that she might be catching feelings for one of the two guys that she’s seeing.

Her: I dunno if I’m ready to jump into anything serious just yet but…
Me: Is he on your side?
Her: What does that mean?
Me: (thinking) When we first started dating, Alison’s best male friend once said something rude about me. I think he loved her. She told him to knock it off. He did it again one day on the phone, so she hung up on him, blocked his number, and stopped hanging out with him.
Her: Whoa!
Me: (laughing) Yeah. The kicker’s that I didn’t know for months. She just handled it totally on her own, I wasn’t involved at all. When I asked her about whatever happened to him, she just said, “He said something rude about you.” That was it. When I found out about it later, I figured she was my person and we married just a year later.
Her: That’s really cool.
Me: (nodding) If you find hidden kindnesses and love – meaning he’s secretly on your side – then, bam, you’re done. Take it and go. Unfortunately, if you find out he’s secretly not on your side…you’re still done. Just not in a good way. Either way, you’re done, though.

Location: 9AM yesterday, W 67th listening to him sing
Mood: freezing
Music: I’m secretly on your side

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I sit where I sit and you sit where you sit

Lowe alley

When Alison passed, I made a conscious decision to not see old friends. They all knew Alison to varying degrees and I didn’t want to be reminded of her. Of the life I lost.

Also, I was planning on hurting myself. So I didn’t want them to be in more pain if I did.

Instead, I started hanging out with my gym friends and other people that knew only distantly.

Figured that if I was gonna go, they’d all get over it pretty quickly.

The diseased mind is pretty diseased.

I’m much better now.

Interestingly, I’m now legitimately friends with a lotta of these people, whom I thought of as just scaffolding. Most of them are far younger than me, so they ask me for advice and I give it when I think I have something useful to say.

Then put it all away in the vault. Unless I put it up in this here blog.

A woman I know is seeing two fellas, both of whom don’t want anything serious, as she says as well. But she thinks that one of them is developing feelings for her.

Her: So, should I stop seeing him?
Me: No. You’re not a stalker.
Her: What does that mean?
Me: It means that you’re not trying to read his mind. He said he wants it casual and to see other people. You have to take that at face value.
Her: I get the feeling…
Me: (interrupting) Stop. Don’t say what dude stalkers and rapists say. Things like, “I know she really wants me. She’s just being coy.” Or whatever. When people tell you what they want – or don’t want – you should believe them. People tell you what they’re all about if you listen.

After she left I started thinking that I should take my own advice when an old friend contacted me.

Him: How’s the kid?
Me: He’s good. Just waiting for him to be old enough to make some scratch and start pulling his own weight around here.
Him: (laughs) You becoming a tiger mom?
Me: No. But he’s the best parts of me and Alison. He could be someone.
Him: You coulda been someone. You chose to be like everyone else.
Me: I chose to have quiet life with the woman I loved and a kid or two if we were lucky. We weren’t. That’s why you sit where you sit and I sit where I sit.
Him: Didn’t you once say, We make our own luck in this world?
Me: I did. Before I realized that everything I touch turns to shit.
Him: Not everything. (thinking) And maybe that’s what he’ll want: A normal life.
Me: If he does, I hope he gets it. One of us should. I’d rather it be him anywho. I’d bear it all, if I knew he’d be ok. Alison too. She said if she knew that what she was going through was taking pain from him, she’d do a million times over.
Him: (sighs, nods) Yeah.

Location: meeting up with Joe and boy on 61st
Mood: nostalgic
Music: I’ve forgotten my past. I am only a mask, just a pretender
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We’re not talking about saving the world

You talk funny

One of my earliest memories is a kid saying to me, “You talk funny.”

I’m pretty sure that I spoke with a thick Queens plus Chinese accent back then but used some over-sized vocabulary. My dad drilled SAT words into us as early as I can remember.

No wonder I didn’t have any friends.

Fast forward to now, I can’t bring myself to talk to the kid in any other way than the way I normally talk. But I’m realizing how odd I must sound to other people.

Me: How’s your sandwich?
Son: It’s lovely, papa.

My buddy Spak has made fun of a few phrases I use, but – oddly – the ones that he points out the most are the ones from Alison.

Me: We’re late, let’s get crack-a-lacking, Lo!
Son: Let’s get crack-a-lacking!

Mouse has noticed it too.

Her: How was your day?
Him: It was amazeballs!

But it makes me happy to hear the words that Alison used coming out of his mouth. I can’t help but smile when I hear him say them. I want, so much, for him to have her influence in his life, somehow.

Of course, there are things he says that are exclusively mine.

Me: Do you wanna have a bubble bath?
Him: Sure!
Me: (later) How high are the bubbles?
Him: (runs to the bathroom, runs back) It’s so high! It’s cray, daddy! It’s cray-cray!

Some of the things he says to the world are so hilarious that I can’t help but think he’s brilliant, even if it’s just a typical dad thinking typical things of his typical son.

Uncle: Are you watching TV?
Son: It’s on but we’re not watching it.
Uncle: Then what are you doing?
Son:  Just talking
Uncle: Oh nice. What are you talking about?
Son: Nothing.
Uncle: You’re not talking about anything?
Son: No. WE’RE NOT TALKING  ABOUT SAVING THE WORLD!!

God, I hope he has friends growing up and I’m not screwing him up too much.

As an aside, he also runs cray hot – dammit, I have to stop using that word – like me. This is him when it was 40 degrees out. He flat out refused to wear his jacket, hat, or gloves.

Location: home, with Mouse and the boy
Mood: amused
Music: Sometimes you will hate me, but that’s alright
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You don’t have a soul…

…You are a soul

Four people I know – two acquaintances and two dear friends – lost their moms in the same number of weeks.

Rang the friend I’ve known the longest just recently to check in.

Bryson: I didn’t make it in time to see her. I was three goddamn hours away when I got the call. Because I know – because of what I’ve seen – I told them to do what they had to do with the body. I didn’t want to remember her that way.
Me: You don’t have to explain to me. You know, we don’t have souls. We *are* souls, we *have* bodies. You wanted to remember her soul – who she was to you – not her body. You made the right choice. If I could do it all over again…
Him: You should write that down. That was beautiful, thank you.
Me: It’s true. And true things are often beautiful. I’m sorry, brother. When I say, “I understand,” you know I do.
Him: Yeah, I know.

The boy’s been noticing that I’ve been sighing a lot.

Boy: Why do you (exhales sharply) so much?
Me: Because I think of your mama a lot these days. All the time, but more than usual these days.
Him: I miss her.
Me: Me too. But she gave me you and that makes it all a little better.
Him: I love mommy. To the moon and back.
Me: (sighing) Me too.
Him: You did it again.
Me: (nodding slightly) So I did. (boy leans over and hugs me)

Made me realize how lucky I am to still be able to ring up my mom at will so I did and told her I was going to see her this weekend.

Her: How about Sunday?
Me: That’s perfect.

As for my friend Bryson, told him I’d be there with rum any time he wanted.

Me: The kid’s away this weekend so if you’ve got time, I’m there.
Him: Thanks. I gotta clear up a few things but yeah. You know, we’ve known each other 30 years?
Me: Now you’re just being mean. (laughing) On a related-ish note, I lost 20 pounds! I’m so damn gorgeous now, if I were gay, I’d date myself.
Him: (laughs)
Me: I’ll see you soon, brother.
Him: See you soon, brother.

Right after I wrote this, I found out that Kirk Akahoshi passed away from stage four pancreatic cancer. He leaves behind a young wife named Jacki.

I know exactly what Jacki’s going through right now and I don’t envy her one bit.

It never goes away, that feeling of loss, helplessness, and anger.

It’s a horror and it’s all shit.

May she weather it the best she can. I hope she’s surrounded by good souls.

Here’s more of their story.

Location: the basement of my brain, again
Mood: gutted
Music: I will love you till my dying day
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It’s terribly lonely

So different from everyone else

I’m doing only a little work these days and yet it still manages to overwhelm me at times. Whatever work I do has to be interesting and challenging enough to keep me engaged for something more than just a paycheck.

Of course, it’s nice to talk to adults from time-to-time. Well, nice for me at least….

Me: …so that was the Battle of Vienna. It’s the reason why Europe’s Christian and not Muslim and is also a great example of how, when you lose your primary weapon – in this case, cannons – it’s better to bail than pour good assets after bad. Which is my point.
Him: Honestly, how do you know all this ____?
Me: (shrugging) We’re all given 24 hours to spend. It’s how you spend it that makes us different. For me, the choice is between self-improvement and mental masturbation.
Him: (laughing) You roll around on the ground with sweaty dudes all day, I’m not sure you should be one to talk about mental masturbation.
Me: I don’t like to run or lift weights. Wrestling’s the most economical way, in terms of raw time, for me to be physically fit.
Him: You’re the strangest dude I’ve ever met.
Me: Mission accomplished, then.

Went out to NJ this past Saturday and met up with an ex again.

Afterward, I went to a birthday party for a gym friend but rang up Mouse ahead of time.

Me: Free for a drink beforehand?
Her: (pause) Sure.

We ended up showing up late and leaving late.

There’s more to alla that, but that’s all I wanna share right now.

Life surprises me, almost always in ways I don’t like. Still, the occasional nice surprise happens here and there.

The boy, meanwhile, is always surprising me. Suppose time will tell if they’re ultimately good or bad.

Teacher: (in Irish accent) Mr. Lo, I have to tell you: In 11 years of teaching, I’ve never had a three-year old student read before and certainly, nothing like your son does. Every book I pulled out – even up to third grade level – he could read. I honestly don’t know what to do because he’s so far ahead of any child I’ve ever seen.
Me: He must take after his mom.
Her: Your son should be in the gifted and talented program. We may have to send him to another grade for reading.
Me: (shaking head) I don’t want that. I don’t want that for him.
Her: Why?
Me: Because…because it’s lonely. (long pause) It’s terribly lonely to be so different. I know it too well. (agitated) I don’t want that for him. To be so different from everyone else.
Her: (gently) You might not have a choice, Mr. Lo.

Solitary trees grow strong. But only if they grow.

Location: the pit of my brain
Mood: worried
Music: 11 minutes away and I have missed you all day

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A poor imitation of myself

My own sense of self

Me: If, one day, you find out something horrible about me, I hope that you’ll remember that I was a good friend to you.
Him: How bad?
Me: Not murder or rape bad. But bad. I never said I was a good person. I like to think that I’m a good friend, though.

My friends wonder why I keep certain people in my life. I suppose it’s because – despite their faults – they’ve always been good and loyal to me. For the most part.

Told this to one of the people I mentor. Because, I think, he holds me in high esteem. And that worries me. Cause I’ve made so many mistakes in my life.

Do you know what Charlie Chaplin, Hugh Jackman, Adele, and Bryan Cranston all have in common? They’re all poor imitations of themselves.

For example, Charlie Chaplin entered into a Charlie Chaplin look-a-like competition. He came in 20th place. Same with the rest of them – you can click the links to read their stories.

There’s this line from Elton John’s Rocketman that goes, “I’m not the man you think I am at home.” That’s kinda how I look at myself these days.

You see, I realized that Mouse saw the worst parts of me and still stuck around for over 18 months. Spoke to her about it recently:

Me: Why did you stay so long?
Her: I was hoping. Then I stopped hoping.

It’s almost like I’m waking up from a nightmare and realized how crazy everything made me. How crazy I was.

Mouse sees me as this terrible version of myself and I can’t really blame her because – at best – I was a poor imitation of myself, of who I thought I was. At worst, I was exactly who she thought I was.

But maybe I can be better. I’d like to be better.

Fucking cancer took so much from me. Even my own sense of self.

I’d like to be the best version of myself again. For Mouse, for myself, for the boy.

I suppose, even if I come in 20th, at least that’ll be closer to who I thought I was versus who I actually was after everything went to hell.

Another friend/mentee:

Him: You’re the strongest guy I know, Logan.
Me: Sheyeah, I’m a goddamn rock. (shaking head) I’m not sure if you’re saying that seriously or not.
Him: I’m dead serious. I dunno many people that coulda gone through what you went through and be ok.
Me: That’s the thing: Am I OK? I think I am now, but I’m not sure. And that’s what’s scary.

Location: this afternoon, the 17th floor of 1 New York Plaza
Mood: regretful
Music: I think it’s gonna be a long long time

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The 9th Step

I think that’s who you really are

Me: You met me at a strange and awful time in my life.
Her: You keep saying that.
Me: In some ways you never met me. Who I actually am. You only ever met me all f____d-up.

Alcoholics Anonymous has a 12-Step program where Step 9 is apologizing to all the people that you’ve wronged.

In some ways, since the 4th of July, I’ve been trying to do something like that.

People that grow up with zero friends seem to fall into two camps: The ones that learn to do ok by themselves or the ones desperate for companionship.

I’m definitely  more the former than latter. All the times that I said that I set Alison apart, the obvious question is how did I treat everyone else?

For better or worse, most people I’ve met in life were/are disposable.

There’s something about being social and glib that there’s always another interaction around the way, another new relationship just with a wink and a smile.

I’m better than most at shallow relationships; slightly more than half of the people I dated between 33 and 35 are still on good terms with me.

After Alison died, I went into full pickup mode and met a number of women. A total of zero are friendly with me. Well, one still kinda talks to me.

Don’t remember much of that time except the pain, guilt, and insomnia. Everything hurt. Everything was agony. Women and alcohol were a great salve. But somewhere along the line, I think I was just awful to everyone.

It’s hard to be nice to people when you’re in agony. And I hid it so well that I suppose that people kinda forgot that I was clinging onto life.

It sounds like I’m making excuses for myself and perhaps I am, to an extent, but I’m also just trying to let you know maybe why I was as I was.

I contacted about six people, including my brother and sister-in-law whom I stopped interacting with for various reasons; only my brother and sister-in-law responded.

Well, they responded and so did Mouse. But not the way I’d hoped.

Mouse: No. (shakes head) I think that’s who you really are, Logan.

Location: home, alone with the boy
Mood: thoughtful
Music: I need direction to perfection, no no no no, help me out

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