I got Covid-19, Pt 1

Get up, Logan

Man, the last 13 days of my life have been crazy.

Was feeling a bit off when I wrote my last entry but figured that it was just allergies or something. But then I kept feeling progressively worse.

Here’s  a quick breakdown of what it was like.

Friday 03.27 – Temp 99.1
I’m feeling off. Tired, irritable, cloudy-headed with some weird neck pain. Figure it’s allergies and me sleeping wrong. Pop a Tylenol and go about my usual day of nuthin.

Saturday 03.28 – Temp 99.5
The weird neck pain gets worse and the Tylenol doesn’t help, so I take a percocet. Percocet is lovely. This is when the hunger starts.

I’m normally hungry. The running joke is that, out of all our friends, there’s only one guy – Panda – that can regularly out eat me. Starting this day, however. I felt a hunger that I can’t describe to you.

Ate an entire shelf in my fridge and continued eating anything I could get my hands on for the next 11 days. The weird thing is that things losing their flavor. They didn’t taste like anything. I could taste major things – salty, sour, etc – but not any nuance.

Sunday 03.29 – Temp 99.7
Neck pain continues, eyes are tired. This is the last night that I sleep normally – which was never that normal to begin with.

Continue to eat everything in the house. Stop intermittent fasting because I can’t get full. Find that I can’t focus on things like 30-minute shows and such. Can watch the news because they’re 90 second segments and my attention span doesn’t last longer than that.

Monday 03.30 – Temp 100.3
This is my 19th night of isolation and when things started to really head south. Checked the allergy charts and it said that pollen counts were a 10 out of 12 in my area and chalked it up to that. Took some of my strongest sleep meds but had a completely fitful night of sleep, even though I was in bed from 7pm to 9AM the next morning. Probably slept no more than three hours total.

Still wasn’t sure it was coronavirus because my appetite remained insane. I ate nonstop from 10:30 to 5:30 including a box of protein pasta and a pound of sausages myself (serves four people or one Logan Lo). My sense of taste was clearly gone by this day.

Tuesday 03.31 – Temp 100.9
Woke up feeling even worse. Checked the pollen count and it was lower, at a 7. There goes that theory.  Hoping to taste something, order super spicy Chinese food delivered – and I never order anything delivered because I feel it’s an unnecessary extravagance. Bought two lunch specials including soups and ate everything. Felt the burn but zero flavour.

Took some of my sleep meds at seven again and this time they worked(ish) – woke up at 3AM. Took more meds at 5AM and slept until 9AM the next day.

Wednesday 04.01 – 100.6
Woke up feeling roughly the same. Ended up taking some more percocet for the neck pain. Tried to update my will but I realized I didn’t have witnesses to validate it so I stopped. Lay down on my living room floor because I couldn’t make it to the couch two feet away. Another fitful night of sleep.

Thursday 04.02 – 98.4
Last of the neck pain and I feel much better. Figure that I’ll be fine by the next day.

Friday 04.03 – 101.3
I am very wrong. Wake up with blood in my eyes again, a splitting headache, fever and just ravenous hunger. As soon as it was 11AM, I ordered a large pizza. Had the delivery guy leave it on my steps so as not to potentially contaminate him.

Promptly drop a slice onto one of my new chairs. Fuckballs. Somehow manage to clean it and then lie on my floor again.

Saturday 04.04 – 100.9
Now, things start getting weird.

I hallucinate that Alison is here. In the day time. I know in my head that she’s not really here but I pretend it’s real. It was the nicest thing that’s happened to me in months.

She’s telling me to sit up and get out of bed because my lungs will collapse if I don’t. I refuse. She says, “I’ll carry you if I have to.” I’m reminded of the Women of Weinsberg.

The story goes that, in 1140, the German king, Conrad III, defeats the Duke of Welf and placed Weinsberg under siege. All the men would be killed but the women would be allowed to leave in peace with whatever they could carry on their backs.

So, the women left all their money and belongings and – one-by-one – walked out of the castle with their husbands on their back.

The king, true to his word, allowed them safe passage.

Years ago, I collapsed at my front door due to food poisoning. Alison carried me back to bed all the way on the other side of the apartment.

Her: (laughing) Only you bring up a history lesson in the middle of being sick, Logan. Anyway, I did it once before, I’ll do it again if I have to.
Me: You’re not really here, are you?
Her: (shakes head) No, Logan. I wish I was.
Me: Oh, I wish you were too. I’ve missed you so much.
Her: (gently) Get up, Logan. You got this. You have to get up.

I did, because she asked me to. I could never say no to her. Even when she’s just in my head.

I’ll tell you more tomorrow.

Gonna go sit and cry for a bit now, if you don’t mind.

Location: my empty apartment
Mood: heartbroken
Music: I traveled the way. Wait for me, wait for me (Spotify)
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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 12-16: Organizing digital stuff

Back before it went to hell

The constant stream of images and reports from hospitals is hitting me with so many awful flashbacks.

Between that and the earache, I’m…discomforted.

Still, I thought I was ok enough to finally organize the massive amounts of videos and pictures I have of the boy. And Alison.

Do you remember when I said that I only have two videos of her?

That’s not completely accurate. My brother found a video of her and sent it to me, which brings me to three (good) videos total…before the cancer. Afterward, well, I’ve got a shitton.

They just sat in my computer all this time in a folder called, Alison (Sad, don’t open).

I never listen to me.

In the past three years, I’ve dreamt about Alison exactly one time. Since Monday, I’ve dreamt of her three more.

Just like our real lives, they started off so great. For some reason, I never remember she had cancer in them.

Her: Why are you looking at me like that?
Me: I dunno. It’s weird. It’s like I haven’t seen you in ages.
Her: (laughing) Werido.

But horror happens in each dream and the next thing you know, I’m watching her go. And then I remember.

Fuck. And then I remember. I don’t wanna remember.

Just last week, I joked that I would go to the back bathroom and scream because no one was around to hear me. Actually did that. Didn’t really help.

I’m out of my regular cheap sipping rum.

Time to start breaking out the fancy stuff, I suppose.

I spend a lotta time thinking about alla the people in Alison’s shoes right now. I remember the constant panic every time something happened. We went to the emergency room 11 times. 11 fucking times.

Can’t imagine what those people are going through now. Don’t wanna.

Around 11PM, I wrote someone that helped us. Don’t think I’ve really spoken to her in all this time.

Me: Sorry for the super late text. I just wanted to say, “thank you,” again for everything you did to try and help Alison. I’m using this time to edit videos and a lot of them are you helping her.
Her: Hey Logan, so happy to hear from you! Thank you for saying that. I think about you guys so often. And I miss your whole family.

This is one my shitty videos of Alison. I have more of these types but, as you can see, they barely count.

That first pic above is me almost exactly 19 years ago. It was taken March 29, 2001 by my brother sitting in the back seat of my old beat up BMW.

9/11 didn’t happen yet. I still had my life-savings. I still believed that god and happy endings existed. Man, I didn’t know shit about shit.

I loved that car. I loved my old red leather jacket. I loved that car stereo I installed myself. I loved tinkering with that car.

It’s been terribly isolating the last two weeks. I talk to friends but it’s different than having family in the room with you. So, I sit in the dark with my dark thoughts.

I think about alla the things and people that I love that I can can’t touch or hold any more.

Me: Hey. It’s me. Just wanted to make sure you’re ok.
Her: You called! I’m so happy you called. I missed you.
Me: I missed you too, mom. (sighing) I missed you too.
Her: Are you ok?
Me: (pause) Sure.

Location: Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn, waiting for strangers
Mood: gutted
Music: I wish I could turn it off sometimes. Oh, I can’t escape my mind (Spotify)
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Isolation Days 1-4: At least Sharon’s living it up

Heading to Chinaworld

Him: What did you get in Chinaworld?

Having been through 9/11, a couple of blackouts, a hurricane here and there, and just random emergencies, gotta say that this pandemic is something entirely new for me.

Spent most of the past weekend with the redheaded babysitter and the boy. She’s an actress so she literally lost all her gigs at once and I just found out today that the boy’s classes are cancelled until the end of April.

With her help, I was able to head back down to Chinatown in order to pick up some more supplies and support the Chinese community at the same time.

So, I hopped a nearly empty train – dressed as I’ve always wanted to dress in the city as a (not-so) closeted germaphobe – and picked up some stuff. One thing I made sure to get was some frozen dumplings from this hole-in-the-wall that I love.

Unfortunately, it was only after I returned home that I found out that the boy’s classes were cancelled. I immediately regretted my decision to only buy a single bag of frozen dumplings and only one bag of groceries.

Sitter: (laughing) I told him you went to Chinatown.
Him: Honestly, I think I prefer the name, Chinaworld.

Everything’s been a whirlwind of activity, mainly because everything’s taking longer and longer to do.

This is my local no frills grocery store, which had a line, the length of which I’ve never seen before.

TBH, there’s never a line of any sort here.

And I had to call both the NYC Dept of Finances and NYC Dept of Buildings for work; that took the entire morning – because you have to go through the 311 number for the city and the hold times were cray – and I eventually gave up.

With the kiddo being as young as he is, evenings are difficult because there’s nothing that we can both watch together.

Him: Why don’t we watch the news?
Me: The world’s a disaster and we’re surrounded by cretins; there, I just saved us 30 minutes.
Him: Cretins!
Me: No, don’t…nevermind…

On that note, I accidentally got an order confirmation for a woman named Sharon in Iowa who seems be living it up by prepping for isolation very differently from me and – gotta say – I’m slightly jelly.

Well, if nuthin else, Sharon’s living it up…

Location: surrounded by cretins and an awesome little boy
Mood: beat
Music: For a second, I thought you loved me
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What to do about the boy?

I wish it worked that way

Me: Do you wanna watch it now?
Her: Sure.

A little while ago, Mouse mentioned that she never saw Forrest Gump so I convinced her to watch it. It’s kinda hard to explain why it’s so endearing; you just gotta watch it to understand it.

I’ve always liked it on a personal level because I could relate to one important theme: The things that you think are holding you back as a child are actually the things that push you forward as an adult.

In the movie, young Forrest can’t walk properly so he has to wear these heavy braces. Because of them, his already outsider status is made all the worse. One day, while out with his best girl, he’s attacked by some local bullies. This is where the famous line, “Run, Forrest, Run!” happens.

So he runs. And while he runs, his braces tear off and he finds that he can run faster than anything because the years of carrying all that extra weight on his legs made them strong. It’s his ability to run that set off every good thing in his life. He never stops.

People don’t seem to believe me when I tell them I was a super fat kid. I don’t look like it at all. In  my head, I still carry that weight with me.

Yet, I think that almost every good thing about me came from my being fat. I started on a diet at 14 and, like Forrest, never stopped; I’ve been watching everything I eat for over three decades. I know exactly how much fat, fiber, protein, and carbohydrates I eat and have for 32+ years.

I’ve also been exercising and stretching for that long. I’m more flexible than most people half my age and regularly pass for someone in my early 30s despite almost pushing 50. I also regularly physically fight people – literally – half my age.

It also turns out that it’s not just your body that ages as the years pass but your mind as well. There, the diet has helped me as well, but so has other childhood misfortune.

You see, I had no friends as a kid. And we were poor so that meant every summer, I was home alone with my siblings with no air conditioner and no cable. So I went to the library every single day from the moment it opened – often until the moment it closed.

Remember sitting outside, alone, waiting for the librarian to come to open it. This wasn’t just for one summer, this was for years.

I remember that I decided to read every single book on the east side of this library (the children’s section). Took me three or four summers but I did it.

Every. Single. Goddamn. Book.

And when I did, I had no one to tell. In fact, I think this is the first time I’ve ever told anyone that.

The thing is, that enabled me to know things that other kids didn’t know. Like:

Again, already outsider status is made all the worse.

Yet, once again, the things that made me weird, makes me interesting now.

Alison: (the first time we were on the phone together) I’m doing a crossword puzzle. It’s asking me for Caesar’s first name but Julius doesn’t fit.
Me: That’s because it’s his middle name. His first name was “Gaius.”

She told me that she set me apart that moment.

Which brings me to my current existential crisis: What to do about the boy?

Do you remember when I told you that zebras cannot be tamed and that I’m grateful for my adversaries? Well, I don’t want him to be near lions and I don’t want him to have any adversaries.

And yet, I know he needs them.

I don’t want him to be fat, nor do I want him to be friendless, nor do I want to strap weights onto his ankles. But adversity makes us better – if we survive it.

Just like art only happens with restraint, all I know from personal experience is that excelling comes from limitations. But the boy will grow up in the heart of Manhattan, by Central Park, surrounded by the wealthy and the lucky. And with friends.

How do I make him anti-fragile? Or is that out of the hands of a parent and only left to life and chance?

Then again, perhaps he’s been dealt enough blows already with the loss of Alison. I feel guilty alla time that he only has me, a sleepless and strange old man, to keep him company and raise him.

Perhaps that’s enough adversity for a lifetime and I should give him as comfortable a life as I can.

But I find myself unable to do that.

Him: I wish mommy was here.
Me: Me too, all the time.
Him: (thinking) Can I have ice cream?
Me: No.
Him: Why?
Me: Because. You can’t have anything you want, just because you ask for it. That’s not how life works. I wish it worked that way, but it doesn’t.

Location: alone with the boy and my thoughts
Mood: conflicted again
Music: Tell me, won’t you miss Manhattan?
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See you tomorrow

Me: I’ve never had anyone in my life that wanted to hang out with me 24/7.
Katsmw: He’s your son!
Me: Yeah, but still…

While I don’t like publicly complaining about any one person, I have to say that the boy is probably the worst roommate I’ve ever had. And I’ve had roommates for longer than you’ve probably been alive.

Granted, I was never a perfect roommate. But I’m still better than the kid is.

He rarely, if ever, cleans up after himself and even something as simple as scrambled eggs transmogrifies to a mess of ginormous proportions. And he just leaves it there because he knows I’ll eventually clean it up.

On that note, he’s never offered to cook – ever – for me, instead he: (a) constantly asks what’s for dinner and then (b) refuses to eat whatever we’ve previously agreed upon.

Him: I don’t want to eat this.
Him: I just want milk.

On the rare nights we go out, he’s never even made the attempt to offer to pay. I’m not saying that he’s not offered to pay (which he hasn’t) he doesn’t even make the attempt to offer to pay.

Literally, the check will come and he’ll just look at me blankly.

Me: (looking at check) Should I get that?
Him: OK, papa!
Me: (muttering) Not really what I was getting at, but sure…

This isn’t just limited to food. Groceries, utilities, even the mortgage itself; not only doesn’t he offer to help with anything – anything – he doesn’t even say thanks when I cover things for both of us.

Which I do. Every time.

Me: You didn’t say, “thank you.”
Him: Thank you, papa!
Me: I shouldn’t have to keep reminding you!
Him: (laughing) Sorry, papa.

I will say that he does offer to help around the house, to his credit. But this is outweighed by the fact that, he almost always makes more work for me. Cabinet doors are open for no reason whatsoever…

Me: Why is this open?
Him: I don’t know.

…lights are left on…

Me: Please turn off the lights if you’re not going to be in the room.
Him: Why papa?

…even the toilet isn’t flushed. Who doesn’t flush the toilet? Oh, wait, I know, my roommate.

Me: Did you flush?
Him: It’s too loud.
Me: Oh, for goodness sakes…

Finally, and this is admittedly petty, he thinks he’s hilarious but I’ve yet to get a single joke he’s made. Not a one.

Him: Why did the chicken cross the house?
Me: I don’t know, why did the chicken cross the house?
Him: To get over the roof!
Me: (shaking head)

Instead of helping around the house, you know what he does? He spends every free moment working on his “art.” Seriously, I could do better than this – what is this even supposed to be?!

Worst. Roommate. Ever.

Him: Papa?
Me: Yeah?
Him: (quietly) I love you. And mommy. To the moon and back.
Me: (sigh) I love you too, kid. Go to sleep. When you turn 14, you better start bringing home a paycheck.
Him: (sleepily) OK, papa. See you tomorrow.
Me: See you tomorrow. (shuts door and smiles)

Met James Lipton at a shindig with RE Mike a dozen years ago.

He was a super nice guy and we chatted briefly about Phobe Cates, a crush I had growing up. A woman overheard and said that she set up Phobe Cates with her now husband, Kevin Klein. She tried to set me up with her kid but that didn’t work out, as told in the link above.

Anywho, I thanked him for the chat and he said he enjoyed it. Dunno if he was just being polite but I appreciated it.

93 – that’s a good number. I’ll take that today if I could.

RIP, James. You were a nice fella.

Location: Our pad, with open cabinets, egg on the floors, and the cutest damn kid on the UWS
Mood: tired
Music: I’ll help you if you’ll help me

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Blogarama - Observations Blogs

Treasured things and people


The girl – COB – from this entry wrote me recently:

Oh. Hi. Just popping round to say that I love you, you’re a most treasured friend. [My boyfriend] and I were talking about when you helped us and how much you’ve always been such an influential part of our lives even when we do not see you.

She’s a treasured friend of mine as well.

While COB and I never dated, every woman that I did date and still keep in touch with, except two, donated to Alison and me when they heard she got sick. That says a lot, I think.

When I was dating a ton, there were a certain set of rules I followed, which were essentially my rules on life in general.

But alla them can really be subsumed into one:

Leave people better off having met you than not.

My brother introduced me to a service ages ago called Spamgourmet. Essentially, it allows you to create a limitless amount of email addresses for websites to avoid spam.

It was created by a fella named Josh and was completely ad and payment free. If you donated, great, if not, you could still use 100% of the functionality.

If you click that link above, you’ll see almost exactly what I saw decades ago because it was never updated. It just worked. Why fix something that’s perfect?

I used it a lot; my brother used it voraciously.

He told me recently that Josh was diagnosed with GBM, the same cancer that took Alison. He just passed away.

Before Alison, I never even heard of this fucking thing. And now I see/hear it everywhere.

So, this rando guy out there in the world, created something that thousands of people use and enjoy and he asked for nothing in return. He made my brother’s life, and mine, a slight bit better. It wasn’t life changing, but it was nice. It was kind.

Kindness is really everything.

Anywho, I wanted tell you that today would have been Alison and my ninth anniversary. As I write those words, I’m filled with equal parts love and sadness.

Alison gave me so much. I can honestly say that no person has been a more positive influence on my life than she.

She left me a far, far, far better human being than when she met me. I will forever be grateful to her for that and my son.

To Alison, I say simply, thank you. For letting me be your fella. It was and remains an honor.

And don’t worry about the boy. I take care of him and he takes care of me.

You’re both my most treasured things.

For the past two years, I’ve looked at my anniversary with dread.

I’d pangs of suicidal thoughts that I worried would overtake me that day and I’d do something rash and stupid. Mouse was there in some fashion each year to make sure I didn’t.

We’d not really seen or spoken to each other since her birthday but she came by again this weekend.

I took her out to eat and then she took me out for a drink in a bar hidden in a department store. Think she just wanted to make sure I was ok.

Good souls are innately valuable treasure because they’re kind for no reason.

You should keep them around at all cost – if at all possible – because the world is shit and you need as many good and kind people as possible to help you weather it all.

Thank goodness for the good souls.

Mouse left on Sunday mainly because she believed me when I said that I don’t feel any thoughts of self-harm, at all. Just the normal level of sadness one might expect.

That’s good because I have no plans to leave. I need more time with him.

You see, if I left now, he’d be worse off and I can’t break my rules. If I could, I’d never leave him alone.

Him: Will you be stuck?
Me: No. (shaking head) We’re a team.
Him: We’re a team!
Me: (nodding)

Location: in my head, 2011 when we were so very, very happy and hopeful
Mood: fucking gutted
Music: I will never not think about you

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The Madison and Jollibee

A nice girl

Opened my door early morning on Valentine’s Day to find that Mouse had dropped off some fried chicken for me and the boy. She just wrote, “Happy Valentine’s Day, Logan Lo.” I thought that was nice.

She knows me so well.

Speaking of the boy, spent the day running around with him and met up with his teacher for parent/teacher conference. He scored the highest academics for his class, which I kinda expected. What made me much happier, however, was what she told me after:

Me: I’m more concerned about him socially. I didn’t have many friends growing up. (pause) Any, really…
Her: Oh, he’s very popular! Other kids seek him out. Because, he’s kind.
Me: Aren’t all kids nice?
Her: (laughs) No, not at all. He doesn’t seem to have a mean bone in his body.

I loved him so at that moment.

I thought, “Alison would be so proud.” It’s what we always wanted from him. Kindness floats, after all. It is it’s own armor.

My brother was in town with his girl, Q, who met the boy for the first time.

Her: He’s a great kid!
Me: I’m legally required to keep him for another 12 years.
Her: (laughing) Then you’re one lucky person!

The next day, we went to see ABFF for her kid’s birthday party. Despite having a full brekkie and lunch, he still managed to eat a slice of pizza and a full bag of gummi somethings.

Him: I want more!
Me: God, you’re so my kid.

Then the next day, we went to The Madison along with the SIL.

I told you once that Alison brought me there early in our relationship. While eating, I saw two old co-workers – each walking separately – that ended up getting hitched with each other. I remember waving to Anita who didn’t seem to recognize me but is such a nice gal that she waved back at us.

Alison said, “That’s nice of her – to wave at someone that she doesn’t think she knows.” She always thought the best of people. We said we’d meet up with them one of these days but never got the chance.

That was a nice day. Fuck.

I called the entry where first ate there, Batter Up, because Alison told me that the first baseball game ever was played right there. What’s funny is that the SIL told me the exact same thing.

Ended up getting a salad for myself as I’ve been cheating on my diet all week.

Didn’t help because I ended up eating half the SIL’s food AND half of the kid’s.

Plus I had a White Russian and a Bloody Mary as well.

Think I’ve developed a thing for white Russians.

Afterward, we were supposed to go skiing at American Dream  but decided that the kid would enjoy Uban Air in NJ; actually, a friend of Mouse’s had mentioned going there during her birthday party but they didn’t have room for him in the car and I was sick so I figured I’d make it up to him.

Man, did the kid have a good time.

Me: We have to go.
Him: Noooooo! One more minute! Please!?

It was really nice hanging out with the SIL and the boy.

He ended up staying with my SIL overnight and I went home and slept for thirteen hours. 13. Hours.

If you’re a parent, you know that’s like the equivalent of winning the lottery.

It was the afternoon when I woke and I dashed off to see my mom, who was just discharged, and family for dinner.

Me: How do you feel?
Her: Good. Tired. (wistfully) I wish you’d meet a nice girl like your brother.
Me: Stop calling him a nice girl, mom.
Her: What?

There’s more, but it’s getting late and I have a night of tossing and turning to start.

Location: four hours ago, my childhood room, looking for some chocolate
Mood: seriously full
Music: I don’t want it at all if I can’t have it all

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Another day, another hospital

Making it out unscathed

My mom just had spinal surgery. tl;dr: She’s fine. Went through it with flying colours.

It’s been on everyone’s mind for a while and we’ve all just been waiting for the day of the operation to roll around.

My brother flew in to make sure everything ran smoothly. It pays to have a doctor and lawyer in the family.

The day of, she was recuperating longer that expected so I didn’t even get to see her because I had to pick up the boy.

The next day, woke up early to make sure I saw her. She was tired but happy it was all over. My sister was there when I arrived.

Me: How do you feel?
Mom: Pretty good. Everything went well. (later) You look old.
Sister: Mom!
Me: I’m 46, I am old.
Her: You should do something about that.
Me: What can I do about time, mom?!

Speaking of time, I could only stay for 15 minutes. I told them that it was because I had a meeting, which was kinda true. But the real truth is that I can’t be in hospital rooms and be sane.

I could feel it: The sadness and cold self-hatred I used to feel alla time. Every second I was there, I could feel it spreading, like cold paint over a rusted wreck.

I’m nuthin if not a rusted wreck. Stopped off at a bathroom before I left and dry retched.

So that was my Wednesday. Good times.

Took the bus back because the hospital is so far from the subways. Gave me a lotta time to think. Had an awful night the night before; didn’t sleep for a number of reasons that are unimportant.

I’ve seen things, horrors you can’t imagine. You don’t wanna. Hope you never see them. Me? I can’t unsee them.

If there is one thing I’m proud of in my otherwise unremarkable and shitty life, it’s that I spared her parents what I saw. I’d do it again for them, but I’d drink first. A lot.

Was busy the entire day with meetings and kid so I didn’t really have time to check social media when I found out that yet another friend I spoke to a number of times died. He was always supportive and positive regarding my dad and Alison. He always made time to talk to me. Until he ran outta time.

Cancer’s a fucking beast. No one makes it out unscathed.

I’m sorry, Don. I thought you’d make it.

Anywho, speaking of shitty…

Him: How are you?
Me: Tired. I’m tired of feeling shitty, of being told by people that I’m shitty. (exhaling) It’s so lame but…I miss having someone that thinks that I’m made of awesome, even when I’m not.
Him: You’ve been through enough and helped enough people, I think, to say you are. Or, are at least close.
Me: That may be just you.
Him: No. Really. (later) I bet the kid thinks you’re made of awesome.
Me: (laughing) To be fair, if you showed up with a ripe banana and an open jar of peanut butter, he’d be your biggest fan.

Her: What’re you two doing for Valentine’s Day?
Me: If you mean me and the kid, probably just watching some Daniel Tiger and having some rum? He likes rum and I like Daniel Tiger.
Her: (laughs) What happened? (later) You once said that there’s no relationship if there’s no work and no forgiveness.
Me: Yeah. I forgot so much of who I once was before everything went to hell.

Location: yesterday, another fucking hospital
Mood: tired
Music: it’s such a shame that we don’t talk

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Food is an interesting trigger

Rock in a Stream

Food’s an interesting trigger.

When I had the mutton curry in the Bahamas, it reminded me of the very first time I ever had any curry.

It was actually one of my dad’s favourite dishes. He made it at least once a month. I remember that I thought it was disgusting the first time I had it. But it grew on me.

Fast forward to earlier this week: I’d been talking to my mom a lot for various reasons and I remembered the curry and thought of my dad.

While at a Korean supermarket near my pad, I came across my dad’s fave brand and bought it.

Sleepy Logan spent a good part of the night chopping up some goat, onions, and carrots to make it. My dad loved goat but only made the curry with chicken, otherwise my mom wouldn’t eat it.

This whole night, my pad smelled like my childhood home and – if I closed my eyes – I could imagine him making it downstairs while singing a Japanese song.

Boy: What’s that?
Me: Curried goat. My dad liked it.
Him: Can I try it?
Me: Sure! (gives him some)
Him: (makes a face, shakes head)
Me: (laughs) Maybe in 42 years, you’ll have it again and think of me.
Him: (putting food on plate) That’s a long time!
Me: It happens just like that, kid. (snapping fingers) Just like that.

Don’t have the words to express how much I miss my dad.

I’ll just simply say that my heart aches in a way I hope you never feel but know you will one day. For that, I’m sorry.

Because it’s just awful. It brings you to your knees.

On a related note, my mom’s been dealing with her own stuff recently but that’s her story so I’ll leave it there.

She told me something once years decades ago that I used as a guiding principle of my life prior to Alison getting sick and I was reminded of it recently.

When I was a kid, got upset one day over something that was probably nuthin.

Her: You let the world affect you too much. You should be like a rock in a stream.
Me: What does that mean?
Her: Imagine a rock in a dirty stream for a 100 years. You take it out and smash it open, you’ll see that the inside is dry. It’s unchanged. Nothing from stream got into the rock. It’s in the stream but unaffected by the steam.

There’s a power to being in the world but unaffected by it. Of course one should change and grow but I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about having hopes and goals and pursuing them, unfettered by the whims of the world.

People ask me how I’ve done so much in my life and my mom’s comment to the teenage me is a major reason why.

To me, things are either productive or just mental masturbation (OK, I watched Star Wars, The Rise of Skywalker recently but that’s another story). More on that later.

My 20s and 30s were best described as living a pretty blissfully uninvolved in life. I went to or threw parties (and invited 2,000 of my closest friends), worked, traveled, washed, rinsed, repeated.

I was in the stream of life but unaffected by it. Even when I met Alison, it was the two of us separate from the world. We were in it, but separate from everyone else. That was nice in its own way.

That is, until November 8, 2015. Then I felt every bump, bruise, and papercut. Because she suffered. And I felt all of it.

Mouse once said that, in some – not all – respects, it’s harder for the caregiver than it is the cared-for. That’s true, although my dad and Alison suffered more than I would wish on anyone I didn’t despise. Even then…

Speaking of wishing:

Mom: I wish…I wish things were different for you.
Me: Me too. But wishes are just that: Wishes. I’ll be ok. Honest. I survive things. It’s what I do. Even when I don’t wanna.

I’m still affected by the world but – gradually – less so, I think. Maybe in time, I can be who I was once before? One can only hope.

I wouldn’t mind, actually, if it was just me and the kid – in the world but unaffected by the world. But I don’t think that’s possible anymore.

Cause I want the boy to be in the world, more than I want not to be.

Little girl at the park: You want to be my friend?
Boy: (nods, laughs, and spends the rest of the afternoon with her)

Location: Chatting with new old friends around the way
Mood: affected
Music: Mama don’t cry, long as we try. Maybe things change?

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