The only thing that’s changed

My Labor Day 2018


The weekend was strange. But nice. Nicer than August, for the most part.

Friday, made the trip down to Alison’s family’s home in Jerz to drop the kid off. I was actually fine for most of it.

“Fine” is a relative term.

But I took a wrong turn and somehow ended up right in front of one of the hospitals she had to go to. Then, to leave, passed the very last hotel we stayed at.

God, she was so happy then. She almost glowed.

I cursed for 15 minutes straight. So much so that’d I’d lost my voice.

OK, that wasn’t the nice part.

Me: Do you wanna go to the diner around the way?
Her: I love diners.

On a slightly more upbeat note, the Gymgirl stopped by twice this holiday weekend. If you asked me why she did, I couldn’t tell you. And if you asked me why I saw her, the same.

Gymgirl: Have you seen your big plant?! When was the last time you watered it?!
Me: What day is today?
Her: Friday.
Me: I dunno why I asked what day it was. I have no idea when I did anything beyond taking care of the boy.

We ended up watching the latest Mission Impossible flick and drinking.

In fact, this weekend, I went on a bender of rum that I’ve not done in a while. She did it with me; I may have converted her to be a rum drinker.

Her: I’m going to sleep in the front room.
Me: Sure.

The second time we met up was when I woke up – mostly sober – and was in the mood for some sushi so I put up a random note that if anyone was free they should come join me.

Gymgirl said yes and we had lunch together along with another friend of ours.

I can’t explain that to you either. Not much makes sense.

Me: (puzzled) Did you just give me a bro-shake?
Her: Yes?
Me: Ok then…

My life is on repeat.

Mentioned to some of my friends that I saw her.

Him: I figure you to be more of the: Are we doing this thing? Cause if not, I’m moving on to the next thing, kinda guy.
Me: I usually am. But here, I’m just doing whatever. I’m not asking her for anything and she’s not asking me for anything.
Him: (laughing) So…you’ve officially started 6th grade again.
Me: (sighing)This is so true.

I’d be lying to you if I said it wasn’t was a nice surprise seeing her.

But the only real thing that’s changed is time. And that’s not enough for either of us.

There’s more that happened, both with and without her, but I need to sort it out, like everything else.

She said she missed the boy and I told her that he missed her too. He starts school next week, which is yet another entry I have to sort out in my head.

Only realized after she left that she cleaned the bathroom, made coffee, and folded the clothes. And she watered Harold and all the other plants.

Gotta remind myself that the only thing that’s changed is time.

Location: home, running outta rum again.
Mood: cloudy
Music: Don’t wanna wait until she finally decides to feel it
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No place to go

Loss and threat of loss

ABFF: I read about the breakup and your insomnia, are you ok?
Me: Strictly, speaking, I haven’t been ok since November 8, 2015. But I’ll survive. After all, that’s what I do, right?

Wrote once that anxiety is fear of the hypothetical. But if you look at it from the fear side of the equation, there are really only two types of anxiety:

  1. Fear of loss
  2. Fear of the threat of loss

I’ve dealt with the horrible realization of some of the worst fears any human being can imagine. Repeatedly. And whenever I thought no horror could top what I was experiencing, life was like: Not done with you yet, man.

On a smaller scale, some fears regarding the Gymgirl were realized recently. As I said, everyone’s grief is grief to them, even when they’ve dealt with the worst-of-the-worst for so long.

After all, I adored the girl.

This blogger named Jamie Anderson wrote:

Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.

The start of my insomnia was actually because the father of one of my oldest and dearest friends just passed away, in a similarly horrifying and grotesque way. I actually fell to my knees when I heard. Literally, my knees buckled. Because I knew everything he was feeling and felt it with him.

What happened with the Gymgirl happened the very next day and just added fuel to the fire.

Agony plus grief is, well, just a lotta f__king grief.

I sent my buddy the quote above in the hopes that understanding grief would make it a little more bearable. It did for me. Kindasortamaybe.

The plus side of this type of grief is clarity, i.e., the disappearance of anxiety. My buddy, I hope, has some peace cause the hypothetical becomes concrete.

Although, I’m sure he, like I, wish it were all concrete in the opposite direction. Then again, I wish for a lotta things. Like I wish I sold my bitcoin back at 20K.

For me, I now know all this information that I never knew before about my relationship with the Gymgirl. She knew, I didn’t, rather.

If nothing else, this new info allows me to see things in a different light, and that’s somehow better. Somehow.

Her: I’m sorry, Logan. You don’t have time for this.
Me: (dismissively) Don’t worry about me, I’ve been through this, so many times, before. Sometimes you’re the dumper, sometimes you’re the dumpee. I’ve always said that I prefer being the dumpee if given the choice.
Her: Why?
Me: (shrugging) Cause there’s nothing for me to do but take my ball and go home. Now she and I both know what’s in the other person’s head. It’s too bad we weren’t listening to each other this whole time.

Him: [The Gymgirl] sounded great. Can’t you two work it out?
Me: (rolling eyes) How do I do that? Make a 15-slide powerpoint presentation that starts: Reason 1 that the kid and I should be enough…? That’s not how it works. She’s an adult, I gotta respect the choices she makes. But there is an upshot to alla this.
Him: What’s that?
Me: (thinking) I now know that I can feel something for someone again that’s not Alison. That’s eye-opening. Was always worried that it would just be a parade of randos that I’d have to somehow explain to the boy.
Him: (amused) So, no parade of randos?
Me: Well, I didn’t say that. The boy has his own room, I could always…
Him: (laughing, interrupting) I’ve seen your powerpoint presentations. You should consider that first, Logan.

Gradgirl once told me: I could never love someone that wasn’t in love with me.

That was good advice.

I joke about the parade of randos but some people leave a deeper mark on my life than I care to admit.

Location: on a white couch with the boy
Mood: okay
Music: we are fools. Throw our lives away, for one happy day
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A lie is the truth, until

Giving and getting dating advice

JF1: Welp, I just ended things with the guy I’m seeing too. Heartbroken and disappointed again.

I think because I’m recently single, people are reaching out to me (a) to check in on me and (b) to relate their own dating issues.

A girl from my past – she’s been in the blog before but I’m renaming her JF1 –  just dropped me a line because almost exactly what happened to me with my last major girlfriend before Alison, happened to her. And she handled it the same way I did – better, even.

Dunno how much I can tell you, since it’s not my story to tell. I will say that little impresses me more than true bravery.

Cause she decided she’d rather be alone than be anyone’s second choice – and she’s a tall drink of water, so that guy’s an idiot.

There’s something about someone that stands up and is honest and brave, come what may.

It’s actually why I fell so hard for Alison; you get points in life for being brave. Alison was the bravest person I’ve ever met. Still is.

Just like everything valuable, bravery’s valuable cause it’s rare and difficult to find.

Me: You just walked out and bought a plane ticket that moment? Balls! Wow. Legit, impressed. You’re a rockstar.

Her: Yeah. I (packed my stuff), left him a note, and left.

Other friends are asking me for advice about their love life.

Find this amusing cause I’m great at having people enter my Venn Diagram. Having them stay is a wholly different matter.

Him: Hey, one last question, since I have you.
Me: Sure, hit me.
Him: What do you think about someone who’s life’s motto is: “A lie is truth, until it is uncovered and labeled as a lie.” Thoughts?
Me: (thinking, slowly) I think that when someone tells you what they’re all about, you should believe them. Even more if they show you…
Him: Smart. Super smart.
Me: I’m not just a pretty face, man.
Him: Oh, I’ve known that since the moment we made eye contact.
Me: Thanks…wait…(you heard I said “just” right)?

Got more time to write so I’ll write more later/tonight/soon.

If I can clear my head. Insomnia is a special form of torture.

1834.08.04, in case you were wondering.

Location: coming back from the world. I prefer being in my head
Mood: dull and vicious
Music: I’m a sucker for the way that you move, babe
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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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All that glitters is not gold

Playing cards with friends

Her: “All that glitters is gold.”
Me: (laughing) The saying is, “All that glitters is NOT gold.” You got that precisely wrong

Gymgirl’s gone again. The details are unimportant.

She’s great; I adored her, really. We just don’t see the world the same way.


Despite my reservations, three buddies of mine just showed up for drinks by mine…

…along with food, which I had to decline because of personal reasons.

Him: Man, you really didn’t eat anything.
Me: I told you, I’m a rock. I’m a goddamn brick wall.

Now, I desperately need sleep – see the convo below – which is another entry entirely, but I couldn’t say no to them.

I’m pretty touched that my friends always show up to see how I’m doing. Although they made their feelings about her clear as well.

Him: We all liked you with her, man. How much sleep have you gotten this week?
Me: Nine hours in the last 96.
Him: Are you sure you should be making decisions like this right now?
Me: (shrugging)The die is cast. We make our choices in life and accept the ramifications. Both of us. Alla us. These are the cards she dealt me and I, her. So we play them as we do.

Perhaps they’re my friends because I’m old as dirt and have learned a thing or two along the way.

Or maybe there’s just something in my life that makes some people wanna stay yet others not.

Death and f____ing cancer notwithstanding.

Although some of them could be a bit more supportive than others.

Me: What are you talking about? I’m the best looking Asian from our old gym.
Him: No, that’d be your cousin.
Me: (thinking) OK, that’s fair. She’s lovely.

Location: in the world, doing some work I’ve not done in a while
Mood: accepting
Music: Now, all I know, I know all these things
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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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Bermuda 2018, Pt 3

Heading home

Me: I need to get a frozen pina colada while we’re here.
Her: Why?
Me: It’s something I always did with Alison and I want to do it here again.
Her: OK.

We went to Horseshoe Bay right before we were going to leave.

It was fun being back – especially with my cousin, her guy, and the Gymgirl – but I did think about the other times I was there.

Everything is bittersweet.

The rest of the trip was more my speed.

We pretty much just ate…

…and watched shows…

…and ate…

…and played board games like Codenames, Settlers of Catan, and Good Cop, Bad Cop:

Cousin: Bang, @#$@#!
Gymgirl: I’m on your side!
Cousin: Oh. Sorry.

The best thing about this type of cruising is that there’s no jet lag.

Which is not to say that we didn’t have sleeping problems once we were home.

Her: (in the dark) I miss the rocking of the boat.
Me: It’s a ship, not a boat. (reaching over to the nightstand) And do you want a melatonin?
Her: Sure. (pause) You’re putting it up my nose.

Some crazy stuff happened once we got back, but that’s a story for another time.

Location: still at home
Mood: thoughtful
Music: Come home. ‘Cause I’ve been waiting for you for so long
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Bermuda 2018, Pt 2

You’re cliff-diving?

Gymgirl: Wait, you’re using the picture of me cliffdiving? I thought you were so against that.
Me: (shrugging) It’s still a cool pic.

In all the times I’ve been to Bermuda, never went snorkeling. It was just something that Alison and I never had an interest in doing.

But my cousin, her fella, and the Gymgirl all wanted to, so I booked us on a catamaran where we headed out to a quiet place to snorkel.

It was actually really cool; the Gymgirl’s a licensed scuba diver so it was old hat for her but new for me. Don’t think I ever did it before anywhere, actually.

Turns out that I was allergic to the snorkling mask and my entire face looked like a nervous teenager’s the day after. Which is just as well…

Gymgirl: I’m going with your cousin to cliff dive. Do you two want to come?
Cousin’s Boyfriend: No. / Me: God, no.

So I spent the rest of that day in the cabin and did what I would have done in the past – read and write.

There’s a story I told you about over a decade ago about how friends and family bring something out of you that only they can do.

In a weird way, I wish the Gymgirl knew me better when Alison was still here. I was different with Alison, just like I’m different with the Gymgirl.

Which is neither a good nor a bad thing.

It’s just a thing, I suppose. Everything’s just a thing now, and I’m just dulled to it all.

Well, that’s not completely true.

Me: Did you survive?
Gymgirl: Barely! We had to hitchhike back to the ship, and…
Me: Hold on. (getting up) I’ll need more food for this.

There’s more, but I’ll tell you tomorrow or something.

Location: still at home
Mood: thoughtful
Music: She got my heart in a chokehold
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Bermuda 2018, Pt 1

Trying to go back

Me: I never thought of you as a nervous traveler.
Gymgirl: I’m a control freak and I have no idea what’s going on.

Went on my first vacation in over four years thanks to my friends over at CruiseDirect.com, who are just amazing.

Went to the exact same place I went all the other times before: Bermuda.

You see, I always wanted a place that I just went to regularly. Lots of my friends, including the Gymgirl, want to explore new things and new places all the time. Not me. I like familiar.

In a way, Bermuda was the perfect place to go: Familiar, close, easy, affordable. And, for the most part, this return trip was just great.

This was the first time I’d gone with the Gymgirl but also the first time I went with another couple: My cousin Ras and her fella. It was also the first time I’d left out of New Jersey and not New York.

Me: We’ll see you guys at the park in Herald Square and head out to NJ from there.
Ras: See ya.

Before we knew it, we were on a ship heading out to pink beaches.

Gymgirl: I’ve never been in the middle of the ocean on a ship before.
Me: What do you think?
Her: It’s like my worst nightmare.

The Gymgirl was the only one of us that had never been on a cruise before, so she had to get used to it a bit. She was much more of an adventure-seeking traveler.

Her: You’re not an adrenaline junkie?
Me: I went to the ER 17 times in a year. I’ve had enough adrenaline in my life.

Which is not to say I didn’t have my heart-racing moments. This is cause I neglected to consider that it might not be a good idea to go to someplace that I’d gone to so many times with Alison.

One stormy night, the Gymgirl and I were at sea. She was impressed and scared at the violence of the waves. So was I, for different reasons.

The word sirens comes from Greek mythology where these sea creatures had beautiful voices that tempted sailors to either shipwreck against rocky shores or leap to their deaths in stormy seas.

There were moments when, looking out at the rough waves, gotta admit that I heard them.

A fleeting thought for a fleeting moment. But that’s the thing with those types of thoughts. All it needs is one moment to take over.

Her: We should go back in.
Me: Yeah. That’s a good idea.

I’ll tell you some nicer parts of the trip soon, if you’re interested.

Location: home again
Mood: rest(ish)
Music: Pretending that it’s all fine
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