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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Conversations with Rose, Pt2

What am I, a child?

Rose and I talked for a lot longer than either of us expected we would.

Mentioned that I was still online friends with about a quarter of the women I (very) casually dated but not with anyone I dated seriously in my life.

Me: I got a lotta randos on my f-list, which is fine, because I’m a rando to them. Could probably cut out 90% of those and not blink. Told Alison I’d do it for her but she told me she didn’t care. She knew that I didn’t f___ with marriage
Her: Oh, no. I’m not friends with any of them at all. And I’d kill my husband if I found out he was talking to or seeing an ex.
Me: Does it really matter? Fiat and prohibition? You can’t stop people from doing what they wanna do. Even when you stop them from doing it, in their heart, they still wanna do it. You just end up making them wanna do it more. If someone thinks someone or something else is a better offer, you can’t do much but let them go find out.

As for her, she ended up marrying her fella from the UK not that long ago.

Her: I think we had quail.
Me: God, you’re so British.

I couldn’t go to the wedding cause it was in the UK and: Cancer, kid, life, death, drinking. You pick.

Her: I actually met him when I was Gymgirl’s age. We broke up for…three years? Because of a buncha things. It was Bobby that convinced me to try again.
Me: (curious) Why’d you try again?
Her: He was trying to get back with me. (laughs) He was 31 when he came back. I told him to put a ring on it or go away.
Me: Evidently, that worked.
Her: Evidently. (glancing down at phone) Oh, that’s him…

It was late when we started finishing up.

Me: I gotta kick you out.
Her: Fiiiine. I’m gonna chug this. (drinks more of my rum) You’re not really going back in the dating world are you?
Me: Not unless you can get me a trust fund baby. (grinning) Don’t think I’ve been single and non-suicidal for … ever. Maybe I should try it.
Her: You should. Hey, whatever happened to Daisy, or Gradgirl? Or X?
Me: X’s gone. Daisy’s seeing the love of her life. So is Gradgirl, I think. Besides, neither looks at love and marriage like you and I do.
Her: Yeah, you gotta respect marriage, or even committed relationships. (thinking) How do you keep meeting all these women? Do you use an app?
Me: Why do people keep asking that? I use my personality and this face here. (points at face)
Her: (laughs) Well, stop bashing it all up.

We talked and drank a little more. Had a whole conversation about God that I gotta organize and write about someday but not right now.

I will say:

Her: I feel the need to tell you that I’m about to cry. I’m not asking you to stop, but…
Me: OK, then just lemme say that if there is a God – your God – he f___ked my family. And now, (sighing) we can stop.

On that pleasant note, she got ready to go.

Her: Hey, if the Gymgirl comes back (pause) talk to her, OK?
Me: Sure. We’re in the same orbit and I owe her a lot. But why?
Her: Maybe I like her, despite everything. (shrugging) She impresses me. She’s impressive. She kept your attention and she kept you from dying. Both are unique and both are something. Big somethings. No excuse but still…
Me: Like I said, we should all be with the one we want most. But, I’ll take it under advisement. Now, you gonna get back to your hotel ok?
Her: What am I, a child? (hugs me) I can hold my liquor, Logan.
Me: So you keep telling me. Goodnight, Rose.
Her: Night, Logan.

Location: don’t even ask
Mood: hot
Music: in love with the shape of you
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Conversations with Rose, Pt1

Rum infused conversations are the best

Rose came by recently, as promised. She wanted to meet the boy.

Her: OMG, he’s so adorable!
Me: (shrugging) Eh, I’m required by law to keep him for the next 16 years, regardless.

Don’t let too many people meet him because he’s my most precious thing.

She thinks that I’m a good father although she’s concerned about my extracurricular activities.

Her: Y’know, a womanizer is not a good thing to be.
Me: We’re all what we are. And you sit and drink with me, anyway. So you’re obviously ok with it.

But she was there throughout Alison’s ordeal and more than earned the right to see the boy and me.

Her: So, you’re single again?
Me: Evidently. Now, why are you an investment banker if you can’t get me a wealthy investor banker? What good are you to me?
Her: To be clear, I’m a hedge fund girl.
Me: Then get me one of those.
Her: They’re pretty high in demand, you know.
Me: Please, *I’m* pretty high in demand. This is a waste of a friendship.
Her: (laughs) You do fine.

She wanted to know what I was up to, so I told her about the kid, work, and the Gymgirl.

Me: …and that’s all I have to say about it.
Her: She sounds like an typical 28-year-old girl. I know this because I was a typical 28-year-old girl and 28-year-old girls do things that don’t make a lotta sense. You’d be surprised at how much insecurity we have.
Me: You’re cute, I’m surprised fellas weren’t all up your grill.
Her: Sure, but not the right ones. Any girl can get a guy, it’s getting the right guy that matters.
Me: There’s a saying someone once told me in Chinese: 我不想要别人的东西: I don’t want another person’s things. I can’t take what belongs to someone else. That’s why you’re, as a married woman, safe here with me. For all my faults, I don’t f___ with married women.
Her: But aren’t you someone else’s thing, too?
Me: Fair. But the love of my life is no longer on the planet. The love of yours is. Likewise for her. I can’t stand between someone and what they want.
Her: And how do you know what she wants, Logan?

She told me a few other interesting things I wasn’t prepared for.

Me: Wait, you sold drugs? You were a drug pusher? You can’t be a drug pusher and be in my house.
Her: (rolling eyes) It was in college. Like I said, young people do stupid things. I liked having my own stash and some nice designer bags. Make sure you put that in your blog.
Me: How do you know you’ll even make it in? And that’s a distinction without a difference, Rose.
Her: Of course your gonna write about me, I give you some great dialogue.

We ended up talking about her husband, God, Trump, the Gymgirl, and other women and things in my life.

But it’s late and I’m really lit so I’ll finish this tomorrow. Or something.

Location: sitting with Rose looking at a picture of another time
Mood: lit
Music: talk that talk, baby; better walk that walk
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You had one job, Pac

So much for vacations

Me: Man, my phone is going off like crazy. (taking it out)
Her: Well, we’ve been away for a while.
Me: (checking my phone) Oh no…

Because this was the first vacation I’d taken in over four years, and because I help manage my building, had a buddy housesit for me for the first time.

Well, that was a disaster.

The first six days were fine but the last day, my buddy, Pac – evidently – left the gas on such that the couple three floors above me smelled the gas at two in the morning and called the fire department and ConEd to try and break my gate down.

For better or worse, my gate held but it still needed to be repaired.

Still, no one was hurt and that’s the most important thing.

Although I’ve had five surprise inspections by ConEd and the Fire Department with a sixth scheduled for tomorrow.

So much for rest and relaxation. It was nice while it lasted.

Me: You had ONE JOB – NOT ALMOST BLOW UP MY PAD!
Him: My bad.
Me: OMG…
Him: I’m pretty sure it was Kong.
Me: I’m gonna kill you, revive you, and then kill you again.

Location: home, waiting for ConEd
Mood: not rested, that’s for sure
Music: Our friends, our drinks, we get inspired, blowing s__t up
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Kindness Floats

Being Invisible

Me: I’m the best thing that ever happened to you!

The Professor wrote me this morning while I was writing this blog entry and sent me this article entitled: Shkreli vs. Holmes: 2 Frauds, 2 Divergent Outcomes. Were They Fair?

Actually read it last night but I thought it was interesting that he wrote me because he and I were both bullied as kids.

Suspect that all bullied kids wish they had superpowers but I think that they diverge on the type they hope to have.

Most want to be Superman – strong and invincible. But some wanted to be invisible. Like me. I just wanted to be left alone.

Left alone cause I was a weird kid that wanted to do my weird kid things in peace.

When I read Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, one story that stuck in my mind was that of what was the single biggest determinant of whether a doctor would be sued or not was how much the patient liked them.

And that story reminded me of yet another story – weird kids become weird adults – which was about James Bond.

Read somewhere that James Bond was protected, not by all the gadgets and gizmos he had, but by a cloak of affability. People just liked him and wanted to help him or sleep with him.

Always thought that was a pretty good deal.

I digress, back to the article: Martin Shkreli and Elizabeth Holmes were both morally bankrupt business people that broke the law. And yet Martin Shkreli is going to jail while Elizabeth Holmes essentially will get a fine and go on with her life.

Why? Because one was hated and one was not. Or at least, less so.

That thing I wrote previously about leaving people better off having met you than not isn’t so much about being nice to other people so much as it about me being left alone.

Being nice to other people is just a beneficial by-product.

What Johnny, Trump, and my old friend don’t seem to understand is that being hated is like a sinking ship; it forces everyone around you to either sink with you or frantically swim away lest they get pulled down with you.

It’s why I always value kindness above everything else. Because kindness is peaceful. Kindness floats.

And it lets you be the invisible man. No one pays attention to the invisible man. So you’re free to do your weird kid things in peace, even as a 44 year-old adult.

Gymgirl: (shrugging) Eh. You’re alright…

Location: bed, waiting for the kid to wake up
Mood: thoughtful
Music: Slow down my beating heart. A man dreams one day to fly
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You’re not gonna believe this

Had another accident


It’s been a pretty insane week – which is saying a lot considering everything that’s happened the past two years.

Immediately after my last post, I had a week of insomnia. Serious insomnia.

My demons seem to like to stop by after midnight and stay for a spell.

After about four days I took some serious sleep meds and woke up in daze at 3AM on my floor.

And a lotta blood. A whole mask of blood, in fact, courtesy of a two-inch gash on my eyebrow and blood all over my face. No idea what I hit but I probably tripped on a chair.

Got to my feet and staggered to the bathroom where I took a tube of crazy glue and roughly sealed the cut. Then I called up Gymgirl.

Me: Sorry to wake you. I had something happen and I need you to do two things: (a) Call me in three hours and make sure I wake up? And (b) do me a solid and come by tomorrow to watch the kid?
Gymgirl: What? Why?
Me: It’s a long story. But I need your help. Can do those two things for me?
Her: I’ll call you in three hours and see you as soon as I can.

She called me and I woke up.

The crazy glue kept the wound closed and I managed to drop the kid off at his daycare. Gymgirl would watch after him after his sitter.

Because I had to go to the ER and I had enough goddamn experience to know it’d take all day.

Surprisingly, the local medimerge said that they had a plastic surgeon that could patch me up. In six hours. Downtown. So I made it back home, crawled into bed and slept until it was time to make it downtown, which I somehow did.

Doctor: That’s quite a cut
Me: I always go for the superlative.

Took 13 stitches to patch me up. Had rough flashbacks the whole time.

Took a cab home cause I was so out of it that I was sure I’d end up in the train tracks otherwise.

Me: How’s the kid?
Gymgirl: He’s good. How are you? (looks at me) You look OK. You look like you’re wearing makeup.
Me: That’s the look I’m going for.

My demons come at me after midnight. Wish they wouldn’t.

Then again, I wish for a lotta things.

 

Location: home, sick and in pain, again
Mood: just @#$@#$@# peachy, again
Music: my life has been a silent fight to be ok
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Cleaning up the friends list

I’m running outta time


It’s been so long since I’ve seen most of my friends that I realized I’d an opportunity to whittle down the people in my life. I’m running outta time to do the things I wanna do. And the things I gotta do.

After all, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.  Without Alison to ground me, I worry that my worst instincts will take over.

Johnny I’ve known for 25 years. Invited him over the other day.

Me: I think our friendship’s run it’s course, man.
Johnny: What? What’re you talking about?
Me: You tried to con RE Mike outta his cut for that last deal I sent to you.
Him: (shrugging) Who is he to us, Logan?
Me: I sent him to you. That means he’s someone to me. $500,000 is a lotta hurt, man.
Him: We’ve known each other over two decades, Logan.
Me: And that’s why I’m cutting you out. I deserved better than this. Thanks for trying to help Alison. But she never woulda wanted you to be part of our lives after what you did. Lemme walk you out.

The Devil stopped by not soon afterward.

Him: This is the first time you’ve ever invited me over in all these years.
Me: Considering you didn’t ask for my address, I assumed you knew where I live.
Him: (laughing) You know I like knowing things.
Me: Good. I’m here to tell you that I think we’ve outgrown each other. I’m a different person from the kid you met alla those years ago.
Him: Are you really, Logan? You and I are different from the rest of the world. We need each other.
Me: I only need the kid. The rest of the world can burn. And this is for the kid.
Him: I’ve never hurt you and I’d never hurt the kid. (scoffing) You’re gonna raise your kid to be like everyone else? In a world of sheep he can be more than we ever were.
Me: He’s my son, and – more importantly – Alison McCarthy’s son. That means he’ll be better than alla us.

Of course, there are those friends without whom I couldn’t imagine life.

Me: You still working in the Upper West Side?
Bryson: Oh, I shifted over to the design department at The Olive Garden. I’m taking care of all of their interiors.
Me: Wait, do you get free food? Can I get free food? Answer the second question first.
Him: (laughing) Yes, and yes. Just tell me when you have time.
Me: For friends, I find time. For free food I have time.
Him: Great, we have a nice bar too.
Me: You had me at, “Free food.”

Location: a red chair in front of her desk
Mood: kinda sick
Music: Don’t say you’ll stay, cause then you go away
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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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Ancient conversations, just ancient

Conversations


For you to get the full effect of this story, you have to know that I’m a germaphobe.

Not a terribly bad one, but enough that I’ll return home to get bottle of hand sanitizer if I leave with it or buy a new one immediately.

At last count, I have 14 bottles of them. That I know of.

I gave the little guy a bath the other day and he did something he’s never done before:

Me: …and that’s why the story of Tyre, the seige of Alexander the Great, and the Elvis Barbershop. Wait, what are you doing?
Him: (concentrating)
Me: Wait, are you…? No, don’t you…don’t…ohmygod…what are you doing?! For the love of god, stop! Stop! Stop! Don’t! Oh, man…
Him: (doesn’t stop until he’s done, inhales, smiles)
Me: (sighs) Well, papa’s gonna go throw up now. Then we’ll clean you up and figure out how to sell this apartment. We can never come back here.


Was on 41st Avenue, between Main Street and College Point Avenue in Queens the other day. Saw this lanky construction worker lead this group of elderly Chinese women around the construction site.

That’s him in the pic above.

He spoke to them in polite but limited Chinese, despite not being Chinese himself. I had to chat with him.

Me: Dude, that’s cool.
Him: What?
Me: That you took the time to learn the words to talk to them.
Him: (laughing) Thanks! I try. I figured I should learn how to say the right thing.
Me: (holding out hand) I like meeting nice people. The world’s fulla douchebags. It needs more nice people.
Him: (smiles and takes my hand)


Striking up conversations is a skill, but not always one that ends up anywhere meaningful. Although they’re all interesting in their own right.

Me: (interrupting) …sorry, I have to ask how old you are before we go on.
Her: 22, why?
Me: Oh, that won’t do at all.
Her: (laughing) Why? How old are you?
Me: Not to ruin this lovely conversation but…ancient. Just ancient.

Speaking of conversations and foreign languages, here’s a video with Oakland Raider, James Cowser discussing dim sum with much (much) better Chinese than I ever have.

Went to dim sum with someone recently but that’s a story for another time. One can only jump around so much in a single blog entry without making the reader’s head spin.

I think I hate James Cowser. Purely out of jealousy.

Location: all over the place
Mood: not good, not terrible. Meh
Music: I’m a funny little thing, I can tell you this for nothing
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A(nother) night in Solas

A goddamn rock


My cousin invited me out again and I figured I should try and be social. We ended up going to my old haunt Solas downtown. The last time I was there,  I was with Alison.

Used to go there every week or so for years. Turned 30 there. Also found a lost heart once on the long walk home from there as well.

And old habits are hard to break

Me: Hi. My name’s Logan, and you are…?
Her: (laughing, takes hand) Joan.
Me: Joan. Y’know, I knew a lovely girl named Joan in college…

I asked another woman to take a picture of me and my friends.

Me: Focus on me, the others don’t matter.

Which was a joke, of course. Because the night was only bearable because of them.

Me: You’re 27 right? You don’t have a drink?
Pez: Yes. And no.
Me: (handing her mine) Here’s a gin and tonic. Do you know the story about how it came about?
Her: (laughing) No.
Me: Great, I’ll tell it to you. It started when the British were in India

Think I was fine, for the most part; was there a few hours. But then the bouncer – who’s an old and dear friend – showed up and I totally broke down. I remember introducing him to Alison.

“I’m gonna marry that girl one day, man. You watch.”

He gave me a bear hug and said he was sorry. The owner came out and gave me a hug and and handshake too, which only caused me to break down once again.

Me: I never thought I’d ever be single and back here again. I’m sorry I’m such a mess, man.
Him: (gently) You’re doing great.
Me: (bursting out laughing and wiping eyes) Sheyeah, I’m a goddamn rock.

Just managed to pull myself together when Bal and Mouse from my wrasslin class were leaving so I  ended up leaving with them as well.

Bal headed to NJ and I walked Mouse to her station.

Me: I’ve been meaning to ask – are you dating X?
Mouse: (laughing) You should ask him. Why?
Me: (shrugging) No reason. Let’s just say I’m curious. Oh, what are your thoughts on Nietzsche?
Her: (smiles, thinks) Blessed are the forgetful for they get the better of even their blunders.
Me: Ah, that’s my favorite quote from him. There’s a lot I’d like to forget.
Her: It’s funny: You’re a nice guy, without being a puppy.
Me: (laughing) You’ll have to explain that to me someday but I’ll take that as a compliment, I think. (arriving at station) See you in class on Monday?
Her: See you on Monday.

I took the long walk home again to the west side and ended up chatting with Gradgirl before I hopped the train and made it back to my pad.

She was there when I arrived.

Me: How was your night?
Gradgirl: I was out. Danced with some people. You?
Me: The same. Jealous?
Her: (laughs) No. We both knew you’d end up here with me.
Me: So it seems. Come on in. The place is a mess.

Blessed are the forgetful.

Yeah. There’s so much I’d like to forget.

 

Location: same old haunts
Mood: deflated
Music: Got no place to go but there’s a girl waiting for me down in Mexico
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