In the hospital again

No one else

Him: My tummy hurts. (cries)

My Labor Day began with a massive scare. Without getting into details, something happened that made my heart leap to my throat.

Me: Are you ok?
Him: No. (shakes head) No.

My pediatrician actually just closed her office so I couldn’t call her. Instead, I rang up my brother, who told me to take him to the ER in the morning, and another pediatrician buddy – Bryson’s wife – who told me:

Her: It’s probably nothing. (pause) But it could be intussusception – telescoping of gut. This has to be ruled out. I would bring him to the ER. Right now.

With two doctors telling me to get to the hospital, I was out the door in a shot. Or, I tried to, at the very least.

Him: No! I don’t feel well. I want to stay home.

I had never wanted to have another human being with me so much as that moment – with the exception of the last time I went to the ER with him.

With that, I ran about the house like a madman – getting him dressed, grabbing a car seat, etc. I think I tripped at least twice.

With one hand holding a baby car seat and my phone, and the other holding him, I stood on the corner of my block at midnight (I think) waiting for a stranger to bring us to the only hospital north of 42nd Street that I’ve not yet been to.

The boy, by his lonesome. He was a bit frightened.

After waiting hours, we were finally seen and cleared.

Doctor: We could run some more tests if you want, but I’m fairly certain it’s something viral that will pass his system at some point. It might take a while, but as long as you keep him hydrated and keep an eye on him, he should be fine.
Me: (relieved) Thanks, doc.
Him: Thanks, doc!!

I do note that he was a big hit with the nurses. He sang Love yourself to them.

Blue-Eyed Nurse: OMG, he’s made our night!

Then they finally let us go. And the experience made me feel relieved and yet terribly sad and lonely for reasons too complex for me to get into.

I think I stared at him the entire ride down.

Before we left, someone wished us good luck.

Me: I don’t…I don’t have the kind of luck that people want.
Green-Eyed Nurse: I don’t know anything about that, Mr. Lo. (gently) But he’s not you. He’s your little boy but he’s not you. He’ll be ok.
Me: (nodding) Thank you.
Her: I know about his mother. (pause) Is there anyo…
Me: No. (shaking head) It’s just me and him.

Location: The other night, 168th Street and Broadway
Mood: heartbroken
Music: I didn’t want anyone thinking I still care

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Afraid of the dark

Landslides take us down

Me: I forgot the anniversary of dad’s death.
Brother: I forgot too – until you brought it up.
Me: I feel guilty about that. I feel guilty about everything.

It was the anniversary of my dad’s death this past weekend. I actually went on a hike in Long Island to clear my head that day and somehow forgot it.

It’s a terrible thing, but when you lose someone you love that deeply, you can’t really think of them. You do everything in your power not to think of them.

And yet, late at night, I do. I don’t wanna. Because that gnawing anger and sense of loss is too much to bear and that’s when the insomnia creeps back in.

Two friends from the gym each gave me something to help me forget and sleep, and each worked for a while. But I ran out of one and the other ran out on me. And I’m left with … me.

I get how people become alcoholics or drug addicts. Pain is a difficult thing to bear in prolonged capacity. You blunt it however you can.

Used to be afraid of the dark because I thought I might not be alone when the lights were off.

Now I’m afraid of the dark because I am alone when the lights are off.

Ain’t that a kick in the head?

At least, though, you can scream out, “What the fuck?!” as loudly and as often as you want.

So there’s that.

Him: Why? He would never want to you to feel guilty about that. He’d want you to remember how he lived. Not how he died.

Wonder if my son will think I’m a good dad. Hope so.

Didn’t realize how much my dad musta wanted everything for us and how much it musta killed him that he couldn’t get us much when we were kids.

But he loved us. That was enough. Love’s enough, sometimes.

I get that now.

I get a lotta things now. The past few years have been a landslide of things I didn’t wanna know but now know.

The thing is, landslides take us down and bury us if we’re not careful.

So I struggle for breath.

It’s been over eight years of death, loss, and pain. And I still struggle for breath.

Location: chatting with a new friend on an orange chair
Mood: WTF
Music: Can I handle the seasons of my life?

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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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It’s gonna be ok

Suddenly, everything’s different

Him: Another drink?
Me: Thanks, but I can’t. Got an early morning tomorrow.
Him: I thought the kid was away.
Me: He is. I’m in court tomorrow morning.

Sorry for the lack of posts.

Took on some work a little while ago and it all came to a head this past week regarding three court cases; and I’m only a lawyer in one of them. In the other, I wear my other professional hat, and in yet another, I’m the petitioner, representing myself.

Been almost five years since I was last in court.

Submitted my legal memorandum to one client this past Wednesday after working on it for several months. Then, that same day, met up with another client in court downtown and happened to have my own case in the same courtroom with the same judge.

Turns out that there were several errors in my paperwork – not in any of the others. I suppose, when you’re your own lawyer, you’re less exacting.

That’s what I tell myself.

Guessing that the weight of what was going on must have shown on my face. Cause this stern judge admonished me for the errors and then looked at my ashen face and brightened a bit (only a bit) and said, “It’ll be ok, counselor. It’s gonna be ok.”

Then he signed my OSC and suddenly a lot of things were different in my life. And different for the boy. All with the stroke of a pen.

The judge also signed an order for my client, who’s also a good friend of mine. The path of his life just changed along with mine. And we walked out of the courtroom different men than the ones who walked in a few hours earlier.

Buddy: Thanks, I’m not sure I woulda done this if you didn’t help.
Me: Well, I wouldn’t have done it if you didn’t do it, so…same. Thanks.

Afterward, we met up with my buddy Pac…and Mouse, for some Vietnamese food.

Me: (getting up) Can we talk for a sec?
Mouse: (hesitates) OK.
Me: (privately) Thanks for coming. It really means a lot to me.
Her: I didn’t come just for you, they’re my friends too.
Me: I know. (nodding) I’m still glad you came.

Afterward…

Pac: Is lunch on you, Logan?
Me: (thinking) Well, considering the three of you are the only people I consider that I actually mentor, sure.
Him: I was only kidding!
Me: It’s fine. (taking out wallet) I want to do it.

The picture way above is with my buddy from around the way. He’s a writer and he and I talked about the craft. It felt almost normal.

And the drink was in the hotel I once stayed at with Alison when it was called Nylo but it’s now The Arthouse Hotel.

Everything changes around here. Sometimes I hate that. Sometimes, that’s for the best.

Suppose time will tell which is which with this massive change I made in our lives.

Location: home, telling someone that I’m sorry
Mood: hopeful
Music: more than worth it

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Grief can be fatal

The boy’s first picture

If there was a single moment that captured everything about my cleaning out Alison’s closet, it was when I found her Filofax, opened it, and something fluttered out.

For those of you that didn’t know her personally, this was a rarity. Because she was the single most organized and clean person I knew. Nothing fluttered out of anything when she was here because she always put everything away where it belonged.

But what fluttered out was a sonogram of the boy. Our first picture of him.

I remember walking into the room one day and catching her staring at it with a look of such love. Realize now that she musta taken out that sonogram a million times to just stare at her son.

Several friends and acquaintances have recently had babies. While I’m thrilled for them, it reminds me how much we’ve lost.

And I don’t think anyone except a mother could truly understand what must have gone through her mind when she was told she had cancer and would die.

Do you know the very first fucking thing she said to me was? Not about herself or even the cancer. It was,

I won’t see him grow up?

She cried for 24 hours straight after that. I didn’t think a body could cry so much. It was only five days after he was born. Fuck all.

Goddammit. Just typing that hit the pain button full-on and I’m trying not to be a basketcase.

So I put away the photo and try to not think about my most aching possible past.


Just watch the first four minutes. It’s worth it.

I’m putting stuff away cause, unchecked, grief can definitely be fatal. If not for Mouse and the boy, I wouldn’t be here.

In the past 45 days or so, a number of people that have been experiencing grief have reached out to me, exactly as I did to Leigh’s husband when Alison died. And like him, I’ve been trying to help as much as I can.

It’s hard. Cause I gotta dredge up things I’d rather not. But people like Leigh’s husband did that for me so I gotta do my part.

The thing is, you don’t know true grief until you feel it yourself.

And, while I wish you wouldn’t, you will, cause there’s nuthin you love that you won’t lose someday.

If you’re lucky, your grief will only be a small fraction of mine, which – trust me – is a blessing.

In fact one fella I spoke to whose wife died of cancer and left him with two boys told me, “Wow, I wouldn’t think it possible that someone had it worse; but you two’ve had it worse. I’m sorry.”

It’s a shitty achievement we’ve unlocked and one that I wished we didn’t, but, then again, I wish for a lotta things.

In any case, whenever I speak to someone about their grief, I’m reminded of the kid that said that I shoulda moved on after a year. As the video notes, you never move on; you move forward.

Evilly, I used to wish that she’d feel my grief for herself – like I said, I’m not a good person – but I was different then.

Now I just feel pity for her cause she’s just a dumb kid that’s never dealt with it. For better or worse, she will feel it one day, and I don’t think she’s equipped to deal with it.

I barely was. I barely am.

Now, I did promise Alison that I’d be here to take care of her son.

I didn’t mean it then. But I do now. I do. Really. Although there are moments that take your breath away, and not in the good way.

Me: Goodnight, kiddo.
Boy: Mommy’s sick.
Me: What?
Him: She’s sick. She died. She won’t get better.
Me: (dumbstruck)
Him: I love mommy. But she died.
Me: (fuck me) Get some sleep.


As I was writing this, one of the two people I still mentor called me to tell me that he’s worried about cancer with his aunt that raised him.

Man, it really is the emperor of all maladies.

Location: Earlier today, midtown, wishing I had an electric scooter
Mood: thoughtful
Music: in your shirt, the pain it really hurts

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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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Very different conversations

A little every day

Been seeing a ton of people lately. The fog in my head that’s been around for the past several months has lifted – mainly cause I’ve gotten some sleep. Like, real sleep.

So I wanna get things done.

Not everything’s been good. For example we had a small leak in my building that has turned into a major, major headache.

Him: You see this brick here?
Me: Yeah.
Him: (punches it, brick moves) Yeah, that shouldn’t do that.

The cost to fix is gonna wipe out my savings. Ah, the joys of homeownership.

On a happier note, spoke to an old buddy of mine, who was a lifelong New Yorker that somehow met and married a girl he met down south. Then, he up and left not that long ago to be with her.

Me: What’s life like in Virginia?
Him: It’s great. We’ve got 200 acres here.
Me: That’s insane. Don’t you miss New York at all?
Him: The New York I knew and loved is long gone. I had to leave. There wasn’t anything for me any more.
Me: So what are your days like?
Him: Usually in bed by 9PM or so, up by 6AM.
Me: And you’re surrounded by chickens?
Him: Surrounded. Oh, we have two emu.
Me: Who the f___k are you?!
Him: (laughs)

He says the key to a happy marriage is to miss each other a little every day. I get that.

More ghosts from my past came to visit. Kinda.

Her: I need to crash someplace. Is your son around?
Me: No…and no.
Her: What? Why not?
Me: Because, my life’s complicated enough and you would just complicate things more.
Her: (sighs) It’s you that makes things complicated, Logan.

Also saw RE Mike again.

Now that he knows I’m out-and-about again, he’s been sending me these really insane invites again, like old times, except we both have kids now.

I’ve actually only gone to a few things with him recently but the one I enjoyed most was a quiet drink and dinner with him and his infant son downtown.

We don’t really have that many serious conversations between us cause that’s not the nature of our relationship, save for when our fathers died.

Him: I just came from a buddy’s funeral. He…look, I need to know if you’re thinking of hurting yourself.
Me: Me? (laughing) I’m afraid to cross the street these days because I don’t wanna risk leaving the boy alone. (shaking head) No. I’m not. Honest.
Him: (sighing) Good. I couldn’t handle if I had to go to another friend’s funeral.
Me: I’m sorry, man. Sometimes people go through some dark things and come out the other side. Sometime they don’t. I’m sorry. (motioning to his son) They’re worth sticking around for.
Him: Yeah. (smiling at son) They are.

Location: in the middle
Mood: good? It’s been so long since I’ve been good I forgot what it’s like
Music: How did we get into this mess? Got so aggressive

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Twice as good

Friday Pt. 2

A few weeks ago, I changed all my locks. Here’s a bit of fiction that’s more interesting than, “I just wanted to.”

Me: (walking in) HOLY ____BALLS! What the ____, man!?
Him: (sitting on my couch) Hello, Logan. I was worried about you. You weren’t returning my messages.

We ended up chatting for a bit.

Me: Why do you care so much? Who am I to you?
Him: (laughing) You may be the last honest man in New York.  (thinking) In a city of bulls_____rs, you’re a man of your word. You’re unicorn. Who doesn’t wanna know a unicorn? Especially in my profession. (later) Like you said, rare things are valuable. That’s why.

/fiction

RE Mike, Caligirl, Daisy, and Gradgirl have all called me a unicorn in the past too. I thought that was interesting.

To continue from my last entry, I was supposed to meet up with someone at 1:30AM so I thought I’d take the long walk home when I realized I was in front of Kathy and Ricky’s. It was after midnight but I figured they were good friends.

We ended up having some fine aged rum on their roof.

Me: I’ve never been jealous of anyone. But you, Cappy, and the fellas have what I’ve always wanted, family.
Him: (joking) You were always with one hot women or another. That’s pretty good.
Me: (nodding) It’s pretty good. But it’s not family. (looking away) Family’s the one thing I don’t get. F__k all. (looking at watch) I gotta go.
Him: Can’t stay for another drink?
Me: No. I’ve gotta meet someone.

A little while later, I see another old friend. He was with a young man I’d not met before.

Him: Logan! Meet John.
John: So, you’re the Logan I’ve heard so much about. (smirking) Are you as good as he says you are?
Me: (sitting down) I’m half as good as I wanna be. (sighing) But twice as good as he says I am. Let’s see what you’ve got.

It was late when I get home. For reasons I can’t fully – or don’t wanna – explain, I slept on my couch.

“Slept” is a relative term. The insomnia’s definitely back and it’s not leaving anytime soon.

I feel dull and vicious again but don’t wanna be.

I’m Sleepy Logan again, also – swimming on dry land and hoping not to f__k up the real Logan’s life.

I’ll tell you a story about a dreamer and butterfly one day, but for now, I hope to sleep and dream of the people I love.

Or at least sleep. That’d be nice too.


I just washed all my color clothes with bleach and hot water. This is not good.

I’ll be posting a lot this week cause Sleepy Logan and I’ve been awake and doing stuff.

Lotsa stuff.

Only mildly interesting.

Location: between dusk and dawn
Mood: so goddamn tired
Music: Let the rain fall, I don’t care

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Love: Early and Often

Father’s Day 2019

There’s a lot going on again that I gotta sort out. Trying to organize it so it’ll make sense to you…and me, I suppose.

The main thing from last week was that my son graduated from pre-3K. My mother-in-law was there and I was glad she got a chance to see his school.

MIL: You know, I went to Catholic school for years. This reminds me of things.
Me: Everything reminds me of things.

It was Father’s Day yesterday. I spent a good part of it with Mouse.

Because that’s what she does: She shows up when she knows I’m on my knees. She sits with me and tells me that it’ll be ok. Even when we both know it won’t be.

I love her. Dunno if I ever told you that.

Do though. Suppose I have for a long time. Maybe it was obvious to you. Everything is obvious once you accept the answer

See, I accepted it too late. Told her even later.

It’s one of my ten thousand regrets.

Even though I didn’t wanna, thought about my dad a lot over the weekend. A man’s dying, and all…

That’s kinda what I said to my MIL when she was here: I try not to think of Alison and my dad.

Because it’s painful. It’ll always be painful, I suppose.

Lemme tell you this one story: When I was 32, I stayed over at my parents house in my childhood room because I had an appointment in the area.

Everyone had left by the time I woke up so I got dressed in my room and walked out the door to go upstairs. There, I saw something strange on the steps.

It was two hard boiled eggs that my dad made me for brekkie. And he wrote on them: “Good Morning” and “I love you.” I remember laughing and thinking I had to take a picture of it.

I’m so glad I did.

The running joke is that Asian/Chinese parents are not effusive. A college roommate told me that his father never told him that he loved him.

Him: I have no idea what it’s like, to have a father that says that.
Me: I’m sorry. I have no idea what it’s like to have a father that doesn’t.

But that was my dad. He loved me, my siblings, and my mother. And he wasn’t shy about telling us.

Hoo-boy, that man embarrassed me more times than I can count. And I’ll probably embarrass my son.

Because when you love someone, you should tell them that you do, early and often. See above.

Anywho, I try not to think about my dad because I loved him so and the weight of my grief equals the weight of my love.

Which is a shit-ton.

God, I miss all these people I love so.
But there’s no place for the love to go.

Location: home, in front of several glasses of rum
Mood: heartbroken
Music: I keep on wantin’ more of you and me

Just money, just allergies

Losing, Winning, Living

Him: Maybe she’ll come for dinner?
Me: No. She’s still on her adventure.
Him: What’s an adventure?
Me: It’s…it’s an exciting trip. (hesitating) Is…is that ok? If it’s just papa?
Him: (nodding) I want ham.
Me (relieved) You got it, man.
Him: I’m not a man, I’m a boy!
Me: Yes. (laughing) You’re my boy.

If only all these things were this easy to solve.

He’s graduating from pre3K this week. Like everything that should be a good memory, this one is bittersweet. It seems like we just started school.

I couldn’t sleep the other night because I knew that most of the other kids would have both parents there and he would look out and just see me.

Was going to call up the ABFF, or my sister, or even one of his sitters to come but, thankfully, Alison’s mom can make it. It’s a small thing but I slept like a log the day she told me she’d make it.

The thought of him just seeing me in the audience bummed me out no end.

Mother-in-law: Can I stay over the night before?
Me: God, no….joking! You’re always welcome here.

Should mention that I’m 100% confident that if I called Mouse and told her it was his graduation, she would come. Full stop. Cause she would do anything for him. But everything’s complicated enough as it is.

In any case, there’s so much guilt involved in parenting. Suppose it’s like a poor parent that looks at wealthier parents and feeling a niggling bit of jealousy and longing.

Except it’s not money. If only it were just money.

My dad once said to me that, if a problem can be solved by money, it’s not that big a problem. But when you have problems that can’t be solved by money, it’s a real problem.

But the boy doesn’t seem to notice, which is a small blessing, I suppose.

Another parent: Hi. I’ve been meaning to tell you that your son must be the happiest boy I’ve ever seen.
Me: Gotta say, that means more to me than you might imagine.
Her: Oh…well, it’s true. You and your wife are doing something right. (pause) Are you…
Me: Sorry, just…allergies. (clearing throat) Thanks. That means a lot.

I’ve got a lot going on but I’m trying to sort through it all so it’ll make sense to you. Cause not a lotta it makes sense to me.

And it’s Father’s Day in a week.

Me: Oh, I’ll make you a croque monsieur!
Him: No! Ham!
Me: But a croque monsieur is…you know what? Nevermind. Let’s get you some ham, ok? We’ll go to the market together. (gets keys)
Him: OK! (sings)

Location: home
Mood: allergies. Lotsa allergies
Music: gimme some, gimme some, gimme some sign. I think that we’re supposed to be

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