Fiction, by Logan Lo

Nothing in this blog entry actually happened. Just writing some fiction.

An old friend rang me the other day to accuse me of trying to ruin his business and life. Found it so strange because that requires a level of hatred that I don’t feel for anyone. It’s hard to feel anything these days. For anything and anyone.

Me: To be clear, if I wanted to ruin you, I’d want you to know it was me. You wouldn’t have to call to ask. You’d know.

Hatred is actually the farthest thing I feel for him. You see, he and his wife raised more than anyone for Alison when she was sick. I owe a debt to him and his family.

But he’s also extremely difficult.

Don’t think we’ve ever had a conversation in the 18 years I’ve known him. He talks to you rather than with you.

Him: Wait, I’m not done.
Me: You do realize you’ve said 10 words for every one of mine, yes?

In many ways, he’s a classic bully: He uses his position in life to demean and belittle others.

He’s never been unkind to me – far from it – but like Trump, you kinda want someone to say to him, Dude, you know these are people, right? What you’re doing is wrong.

Like Johnny, what I actually feel for him is a mixture of affection, gratitude, and disappointment.

Mutual friend: You mean pity. You pity him. That’s not what you’re supposed to feel for a friend.
Me: I feel obligated to try to help him. For everything he’s done for me and my family.
Him: (gently) You’ve done that. He’ll only change if he wants to and he said, straight up, he’d rather lose everything and end up homeless than change. You’ve done your part.

Also like Johnny, the punishment for his cruelty is that he doesn’t get to hang out with me.

I’m running outta time. Don’t have time or energy to waste on anything or anyone that doesn’t make me better. And, by extension, my son.

The fact that someone wants to destroy him makes me more comfortable in my decision to cut him out.

Think about the level of hatred it would take to have someone spend weeks – if not months – of their time plotting how to unravel everything you’ve worked for.

And if someone has that level of animosity for you, think about how many people simply dislike you.

I’ve always lived my life – including the womanizing – with the credo, “Leave people better off having met you than not.”

In any case, it’s puzzling how someone can be so compassionate to some and yet so cruel to others. But many of my close friends are complicated.

Me: A relative of mine said that he thought I was a sociopath.
The Half Man: I disagree with that. A sociopath lacks empathy. You’re one of the most empathetic people I know.
Me: Perhaps it’s something else then? Or maybe he’s just wrong.

I wonder what others – Johnny, The Devil, him – see in me, both good and ill.

Me: What does that say about me?
Gymgirl: I don’t know. Maybe it was Alison that kept you from turning into them?
Me: Maybe. Then what am I without her?

Still, I’m not able to cut off all the deeply flawed friends I have. Because I see my reflection in them. I need them for some reason.

And they each have their own twisted humanity, in their own strange ways.

The funny thing is, that I did spend weeks – months – plotting to destroy someone that I did hate. But it wasn’t him.

Months ago…

The Devil: Are you sure you want to do this?
Me: (ignoring him) The three coins are worth about $20,000. (placing a USB stick on the coins) This has almost a whole bitcoin that I used to buy black market meds for Alison. It’s worth about $17,000. Both are untraceable and cash equivalent. The rest of the money is in trust for the kid and he’ll get that once I’m gone.
Him: I’m a thief and womanizer, not this thing you ask me to do.
Me: We both know what you’re capable of.
Him: That was in war and when it was my job. Neither is true here.
Me: I’ll find just someone else.
Him: You don’t have anyone else, that’s why you came to me. (laughs) But suppose we do this? I just wanna ask one thing: (leans in) Without you here, without Alison, who’ll protect your boy from someone like me? People, like us.
Me: (startled, angry) You’ll never meet him. Just like you never met her.
Him: Ah, there you are. (stands up) Pull yourself together, Logan. Raise your son. When you’re ready, we’ll talk again. (takes a gold coin, pockets it, turns to leave) I earned this. See you soon, brother.

I’m better now.

Don’t hate myself quite that much any more.

Location: home, sick
Mood: unsettled
Music: son, if you can hold on, if you can hold on, hold on
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Citrus Betty, the playa

Surviving it all

Me: (with kid in stroller) Can you pop the trunk?
Brother: Why don’t you just put him in the car seat?

My brother visited me the other day.

He used to come all of the time to see my dad. Now he comes to see my mom. He travels here from Cali and I wish I had more time to spend with him but I’m always taking care of the kid.

The week he came, I started potty training. It’s been tiring and gross, I’ll leave it at that. Also been sick. Seems like I’m constantly sick; kids his age are like sponges for germs so as soon as I’m over one cold, another one starts.

So I only got to see him one night and even then, we didn’t get to really spend any time together. But we all went out – him, me, the kid, and Gymgirl – and got some food at this joint called Playa Betty’s.

It used to be a Latin fusion place called Citrus. Was last there with Alison on December 31, 2008 at 11:30PM. I know the time because I wrote briefly about it here. We sat on the second floor and she and I both ate so much that we had to head home before it actually turned to 2009.

This is a picture I took that night. It’s not great but it’s all I got. She just laughed at something I said. I’m just hilarious.

And there I was at this new/old place earlier this week with our son and another woman and my brother.

Felt it kinda perfectly summed up my life now: Very different but with some unifying things. My brother has always been a constant in my life, and for that, I’m so grateful.

At his wedding (he’s single now) I joked that he was a year older than me. Said that I couldn’t imagine how he survived that year without me. Truth is, I’m not sure how I woulda survived all this without him.

As for me, I’m trying to move on as best I can. Mainly for the kid. Suppose it doesn’t really matter why I move on, just that I do.

And I’m always thankful for the good souls that keep me company along the way.

Nate: (pointing to his room while eating dinner) Mom! Mom!
Gymgirl: You want your mom? Let me get her for you. (gets up, goes to room and returns with Alison’s picture) Here you go. Mom!
Nate: (laughs, takes picture) Mom.

Location: In front of a potty
Mood: still injured, still heartbroken, still here
Music: In my heart, she left a hole
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Rum, beer, chili, and friends

A Chili Cook-off and Birthday

Had a buncha friends from my old gym over the other day to celebrate my cousin’s birthday.

I remember meeting her when she was just a few days old so it was kinda a kick in the head.

It wasn’t entirely for her because I insisted on making it a chili-cookoff, so it was win-win for everyone.

Well, me anyway.

Friend: Does she even like chili?
Me: (confused) Who doesn’t like chili?

We had five competitors and I made a pretty good batch with chocolate and dark beer for some added depth.

Here’s the thing: I either came in fourth or last. Everyone else’s chili was just that good.

Him: Are you ok coming in fourth or fifth place?
Me: (puzzled) Sure – I got to have four other amazing chilis. If that’s not a win, I don’t know what is.

Very, very little bothers me these days.

After dealing with – literal – life and death matters, it’s hard to take anything else seriously these days. I have no patience for the ridiculousness of others.

Besides, I have no problem supplying my own ridiculousness.

Gymgirl: Will you have prizes?
Me: The first prize is gonna be a portrait of me by my son.

Drew won both the first prize and the chef’s choice prize – a crystal cigar ashtray – because he made a killer batch with beef ribs.

It was amazingly good and I ended the day with a ton of new ideas for chili.

Her: Did you have fun?
Me: I had rum, beer, chili, and friends come by. So, yeah.
Her: Good. You deserve a little fun.
Me: (looking around) Yeah. Now I gotta clean up. Everything’s a mess.
Her: (picking up a dish) Don’t worry. I’ll help.

Location: At home, with a fridge fulla chili
Mood: still injured
Music: we keep busy. The waves come after midnight
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Long weekend

I’ll take a tiny win

Her: Do you know what the worst part about being short is?
Me: You don’t get to go on the adult rides in an amusement park?

This was a long weekend. The kid’s usually away at least every other weekend with my mom so I get a little break but this week, I had plans to bring him up to a birthday party with Alison’s college friends on Saturday morning.

See, I want him to have as much of the life that he woulda had with Alison. She woulda been there with her friends.

But he had a stomach thingy and we couldn’t go at the last minute.

This also messed things up for me because I was hoping that a neighbor or a sitter could watch him while I went to one of my oldest friend’s bday parties. But it’s not fair to stick someone with a vomiting kid.

Besides, I was worried it was the flu, despite him not having a fever.

So I stayed in the whole weekend. Then I started feeling rough. So the Gymgirl came over and spent one day watching him while I slept and drank fluids. She even brought him to an indoor playground through the pouring rain.

The Gymgirl is pretty short. I’m no giant but she’s tiny. I tell her that I could easily bench press her.

I like her cause she’s got a big heart, though. Actually met her because she did a few fundraisers for Alison.

I was in the living room resting when she was playing with the boy in the other room and smiled when I heard them interacting.

Her: Who’s that? Who’s that? (pointing at Alison’s picture)
Him: Mama.
Her: That’s right! That’s your mama.

Often write about how the only luck I’ve got is of the kind you don’t want.

But I did wake up this morning to this text from my phone from ABFF:

I have two kids with temps of 104 and one threw up tonite. So it’s good Nate didn’t come by…

It’s a tiny win but a win nonetheless. I’ll take it.

Me: Look at it this way, you and the kid can see eye-to-eye.
Her: I’m not that short!
Me: (looking over her head) Wait, where did you go?

Location: A white desk this time
Mood: tired
Music: So come over, just be patient and don’t worry
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A Parliament of Owls

A Murder of Crows


Me: What is that?
Him: Owl. Owl.

When I was younger, there was a film called The Crow that I loved. Heard they’re gonna re-do it.

Always thought that crows were cool. They’re all black, sociable, are one of the few animals that mourn their dead, and seek revenge.

Alison, however, preferred owls. In fact, we have several owl figures in the house, all purchased by Alison throughout the years. She was always surprised when I pointed out that we had other owls here and there.

Her: Oh! I didn’t even notice. I wonder what it is about owls that I like?
Me: What’s there not to like? They’re nocturnal, solitary, eat everything, are highly intelligent, and are quietly dangerous. 
Her: (laughing) I’m going to name it “Reginald.”

The Gymgirl also likes owls, as her family name has a part that means owl in her native language.

As luck would have it, one of the first words from my son is owl. He can recognize both regular and barn owls as owls.

I find the whole thing both peculiar and interesting

Since everything went down, I don’t suffer superstition well. I don’t believe in signs or the supernatural or anything of the like.

But I do like this, somehow. That my son likes owls. It must be Alison in him. This little thing makes me happier than you might imagine.

Did you know that owls and crows are mortal, natural enemies? They will try to kill each other on sight.

I’ve always said that we spend our lives seeking out our tribes. So, perhaps I was a crow that became an owl. Or maybe I was an owl all along.

It’s better this way, I suppose.

A group of owls is called a parliament. A group of crows is called a murder. I’d rather be a party of a parliament than party to a murder.

Current political climate notwithstanding.

Location: The same black desk
Mood: pensive
Music: You were only waiting for this moment to arise
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Something for her

The Gymgirl turns 20-something

Her: We should do something for her.

The Gymgirl turned 20-something the other day.

Brought her out to eat sushi downtown and we were going to spend a weekend at my place when my cousin decided we should throw her a surprise party at a beer joint around the way.

My cousin introduced us, you see. Well, after a fashion, but that’s another story for another time.

The thing is that I threw a surprise birthday party for Alison when she turned 30. That was the first and last surprise party I ever threw anyone. Felt guilty for Alison for throwing one for The Gymgirl. Then I felt guilty for the Gymgirl about feeling guilty about it.

Wrote once about the difference between guilt and shame: Shame’s hating what you are. Guilt’s hating what you’ve done.

When I tell people that I have little to no shame, that’s true. It’s why I was pretty good out there. I know what I am and I’m ok with what I am.

But, the truth is, that I struggle with guilt far more than most people, I think.

Logically, dispassionately, I know it makes no sense.

That Alison’s gone now and the Gymgirl’s here. And yet I wonder if I’m doing something I shouldn’t be doing. Having any joy at all. Moving on with my life. Not only going to a party but planning it.

Was going to tell my cousin that I couldn’t do it. But I refuse to be controlled by that which makes no sense.

The fact is that the main things that Alison would have wanted for me are: (a) to be right in the head to take care of the kid and (b) to meet someone good and decent that would help me take care of the kid.

Obviously, it’s way too early to figure out if the Gymgirl’s that person. If there’s even is the possibility of another person out there for me. Or if I could be someone for someone else.

But I’ve always been stupidly optimistic like that. Even when all evidence tells me otherwise.

Me: Ok.

After dinner, we went to my regular hangout downtown, Solas. A friend that’s part of the establishment lost his significant other as well. That’s his story so that’s all I’ll say on it.

We talked a few moments outside. He showed me pictures and it was too much for me to take.

So I went upstairs to a seat I used to sit at for years doing pickup, hoping it was empty. It was. So, I sat and cried.

But then my friend Drew came upstairs and sat down next to me. He’s the handsome weirdo next to The Gymgirl in that picture up there.

Me: (after a bit) I never wanted anything else but her.
Him: I know.
Me: Sorry, man.
Him: For what?
Me: For being such a whirlpool of sadness and depression alla time.
Him: You’re not. Not all the time.
Me: (laughing) Good. (wiping eyes) Well, we’re pretty sober. Let’s fix that. Lemme buy you a drink?

The Gymgirl and I ended up stumbling out of the bar after 1AM. She didn’t have a drop of alcohol because of her meds. I couldn’t say the same.

Me: Sorry I’m such a mess. I hope you still had a good birthday.
Her: It was great. Thank you.
Me: Sure. Everyone deserves a nice birthday. (thinking) You may have to carry me home.
Her: I’d do that.
Me: I know.

Location: My son’s room
Mood: conflicted
Music: I believe, I believe, I believe, I believe that I’m in too deep
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Closets full of her

Good save, Logan

After all these months, finally decided to clean out Alison’s closet.

Her clothing management was a lesson in urban organization.

She managed to put her entire life into an dresser and a closet measuring 6′(w) x 2′(d) x 8′(h). All her clothes were perfectly pressed and hung. Several had tags on them.

I remember she told me that she was excited to work out and get back to her “normal weight.”

I find people use too many superlatives to describe things. Let me just say these simple true things:

  • The sun is hot.
  • Space is cold.
  • I loved her more than anything.
  • I was in agony as I cleared out her things.

Spent a few days on it. Was pretty mechanical about the whole thing towards the end. With the random tourette’s sprinkled here and there for effect.

Managed to clean up a little more than half of it all before I had to stop. Gave away as much as I could to friends and family. Donated or tossed other things.

Kept far more than I intended. Had the most peculiar thought while I was cleaning it all up:

She’s gonna kill me if she comes back.

Ah, if only.

I’d kill myself a thousand times over if only. But you knew that.

The Gymgirl helped one day. I asked her if her helping me bothered her. She asked me if it bothered me. We both said no.

Caught her crying on the sofa over something of Alison and mine, but she wiped her eyes, cleared her throat, and continued to help. Almost wept myself because of it.

Gymgirl: (later) I wish I met her. I feel we would have been friends.
Me: Sure. You’re nice. She liked to clean stuff up.
Her: Wait, what?
Me: Well, you’re a mess…y person…?
Her: (shaking head, laughing) Good save, Logan.

The Gymgirl ended up cleaning up and tossing out a lotta my junk while I was focused on her stuff. She found my 1999 law school yearbook.

Her: (reading it) I’m surprised at how modern everyone looks.
Me: What do you mean?
Her: I thought the pictures would all be black and white, people would be wearing funny clothes, and the guys would all have waxed mustaches.
Me: (laughing) How old do you think I am?!
Her: (thinking) I was nine when you graduated law school.
Me: (shaking head) Not what I asked.

Location: A clean(er) apartment. For now.
Mood: sigh
Music: A brown headed stranger, with a five-letter name
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Everything turns

Should be a good thing

Before everything went to hell this past weekend, a good friend of mine just had a promotion at work so a whole slew of former co-workers and such got together to wish him well in his new position. It was nice seeing everyone out and about.

As for me, I feel as if I’m running in place. It seems everything I touch turns to s__t in one form or another. This past weekend being a case-in-point.

Everything that should be a good thing – like the birth of a child or his first steps – is followed by some horror or, at the very least, some downer.

Clients are calling me again but it’s always for the most complex of work.

Used to relish the challenge. Now I just wonder if I should get a job doing something mindless and insignificant just to not think about anything at all.

Man, for five days in 2015, I had everything I’d ever hoped and wished for. It’s 2018 and I only have one thing that really matters to me.

Although, to be honest, it is such a wonderful thing:

Me: Who am I?
Him: (pointing to me) Pa, pa!
Me: (nodding) And who is that? (pointing at picture of Alison)
Him: Mu, ma!
Me: (smiling) Oh, that’s my smart boy.


Location: still in the basement of my brain
Mood: troubled
Music: And I’m on my knees, looking for the answer
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No Happiness Scar to Show

Starting off 2018 with Dom

When Alison and I got married, her sister bought us a bottle of 1989 Dom Perignon. We decided to keep it for a special occasion in the future.

Her: Let’s have it when the baby’s born.
Me: Perfect.

Of course, we didn’t count on the heartbreaking amount of losses. And absolutely never thought our life together would start ending just five days after the kid was born.

So it stayed in my fridge all these years.

The messed up part of it is that, I grew to hate this thing born of family, kindness, and love. On a practical matter, it just took up space in my fridge. On a deeper level, it was a constant reminder of all the b______t things that were supposed to be sweet for us but were bitter instead.

Can’t tell you how many times I thought of just opening it and chugging the whole damn thing.

Was planning on staying in for New Year’s Eve. My mom had the kid. My mother-in-law just bought me a new bottle of rum so: Plans.

But then I got a text from an old and dear friend around the way.

Him: Yo. Are you around tomorrow or going out? RE Mike is coming by for drinks around 8 if you want to come by.
Me: Cool. Was just planning on staying in but that sounds like my speed.

Decided to bring the bottle for three reasons:

  1. The couple that invited me did more for Alison than most people, by a large margin.
  2. Alison always liked all of them. RE Mike’s girl was even from her hometown. She was excited to get to know her.
  3. I actually had a bottle of it with them in past, so I thought it’d be a nice continuation.

We cracked it open a few minutes after I arrived. We toasted my family and said the goodbye to the old year. And, like always, I hoped that this year would be better.

Should note that I spilled two glasses of champagne there – not the super good stuff – so the clumsy is still working.

Stumbled home just before 1AM. Gave the Gymgirl and my family a quick ring.

Afterward, I lay down in my suit on my white couch for while and opened up my jacket. For some weird reason, I like to have quotes sewn on the inside of my suits. On this one it said:

It’s a piece of a quote I told you about once before: It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness.

It’s funny. People notice the scar above my eye now. And the one on my lip from time-to-time. And the one on my leg and arms. The biggest scar I got is the one in the shape of Alison on my soul. But no one sees it.

Although, you know about it, I guess.

Wish I had a scar for all the amazing times I had with Alison. The amazing life I had with her. For that, I have no scar. Yet another b______t thing in my life.

Anywho, I laid on the couch, thought of that for a bit.

Then, I got up, poured myself a glass of rum, and sat down again.

Started 2018 the same way I started a lotta my days in my life: In an empty house feeling empty.

Me: Hey. I miss you like crazy. Happy New Year, hon.

Location: Seven days into 2018
Mood: thoughtful
Music: It’s gotta get easier and easier somehow. But not today
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Logan tries an mBerry / No Year in Review

Hoping for some sweetness

My friend Jaerik once said that he liked reading my posts because they were never ranty.

I kinda feel all my posts for the past two years have been ranty. Have to somehow get back to how things used to be. Somehow.

Used to write up these year-end reviews and be able to joke about things like death. That seems like a million years ago.

But I’m gonna try to make the most of the life I have now with the kid.

The Gymgirl bought me something called an mBerry from Amazon for Christmas, which makes sour things taste sweet. The above video is one she took of me eating a lemon. It’s pretty cool; it was like eating a super sweet orange.

God, if only there was something I could take to make my otherwise bitter life sweet.

2018 is coming up. Always hope that the new year will be different and better. Hope I’m right this time.

I hope there’s some sweetness for Alison’s family, the boy, and me in the years to come. You as well.

If only.

Location: 3 days from the new year
Mood: (very cautiously) hopeful
Music: dreaming of bigger things, and wanna leave my own life behind
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