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

She’s on an adventure

Where I’m supposed to be

The boy: Papa!!
Me: (grabbing him) There’s my little guy! How are you? Did you miss papa?
Him: (laughs, shakes head) Nooooooooooooo…
Me: (feigning pain, shaking head) Hurtful.  Hurtful.  (brightening) Well, I missed you.
Him: Where’s Mouse?
Me: She’s…she’s on an adventure!
Him: In Brooklyn?
Me: (nodding) Yes! In Brooklyn.
Him: When she gonna be back?
Me: (frowning) Oh, I don’t know. She might be gone for a while. Adventures sometimes take a long time.
Him: Oh. (frowning) I miss her.
Me: Of course, I do too. And, I know for a fact that she misses you. She’s definitely going to see you again, don’t you worry.
Him Good! I love her like a…toothbrush!
Me: (laughing) I’m gonna take that as a compliment to her and tell you that I know that she loves you like TWO toothbrushes.
Him: That’s silly! (thinking, quiet) Papa, will you go on an adventure too?
Me: (imitating him, shakes head) Nooooooooooooo… I belong with you.
Him: (laughs, sings loudly) ♪♫♬I belong to you, you belong to me, you’re my sweetheart…♪♫♬
Me: (nodding) Always, boy. (hugging him) Always.

Location: home, where I’m supposed to be
Mood: convinced
Music: think of what it might have been

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What will you do?

Sober and productive

I’ve got a ton going on in my life and it’s hard to sort it all out.

Mouse finally wrote me. The details are her story to tell, not mine. We had an agreement and I intend to stick to it until she tells me otherwise.

Speaking of sticking to things, I allowed myself to go on a constant string of benders for May as long as I was sober by June. Well, June’s fast approaching.

It’s a good thing, cause Pac and some other friends are worried about me. He brought over some fried chix the other day – which he knows I never turn down.

Me: Why are you so concerned? I’m a high-functioning drinker.
Him: That’s why I’m worried. I never see you sloppy drunk. You don’t turn red. You don’t slur your speech. You just…drink a ____ton. I’ve never seen someone drink as much as you and be that normal.
Me: That’s the power of rum. Plus I know my limits. (getting two glasses) Look, May’s almost over. (pouring him a drink) Almost. I’ll be fine.
Him: (takes it) OK…

Speaking of fried chicken, he actually cooked some the other day as well and insisted that I post something about it, so here’s a pic:

I’m joking, it was delicious. When he’s not almost blowing up my apartment, he’s a good friend.

Another buddy came by with a full bottle of rum this past weekend. He never drank rum before. We essentially finished off a bottle between the two of us; he brought the Pyrat below and we alternated between that and the Black Seal.

The next day, he wrote me.

Him: You were right, that rum has no hangover.

In many respects, he and I are in very similar situations with the women in our lives as both of us are kinda in limbo. Well, he still is.

Me: What will you do?
Him: Wait until she gets back and hope it works out. And if it doesn’t, go back out there.

I actually feel how worried everyone is, which I find surprising. Cause if I was gonna do anything, it woulda been a while ago.

Thanks to Mouse and the kid, I didn’t.

Another friend: May’s almost over and you survived it. And by yourself, too.
Me: Did I? Sometimes I wonder if little bits of me just die at a time insteada all at once. Maybe that’s why I’m not the person I used to be. 

The pastor from Vision Church also visited, as well as another buddy who – shockingly – never drinks. So I just had coffee and kombucha with them, respectively.

Because those were the most recent, I’ve been completely sober for a few days now.

Gotta say, it feels…odd. It’s like I was living in greyscale again and someone turned up the saturation, brightness, and contrast again.

In that time, I’ve:

      • Gone to the gym three times and did 100 pushups (not in a row) each day. That’s me, below, being choked out by Curt.
      • Read a crapton of stuff I’ve been saving up.
      • Replaced the deadbolt I’ve had for over 20 years on my gate with a new one, right quick.
        • Then replaced that deadbolt with a smart one that I unlock with my phone but only after using a Dremel to shave it into place.
      • Figured out a leak issue on my roof.
      • Finally fixed my washing machine with a screwdriver, a butter knife, $0.05 of compressed air, and $0.05 of WD-40.

I’m both sober and productive. And it’s not even June yet. I’m gonna call that a success, which, let’s face it, is a pretty low bar.

Still, I gotta say that I’m super proud of myself for fixing that washing machine.

It took three days – well, two days of drunkenly taking it apart with the first hour of the first day forgetting to unplug it, and then one sober day of reading the manual and fixing it. There was also a disastrous water overflow that reminded me of the night I met Mouse along with people from my gym. I was gonna post up half of this entry yesterday but had to clean up that spill (and troubleshoot the roof). But really that’s all beside the point; the main point is that it’s f

Fixed.

I’ll drink to that.

This is a super lengthy entry.

Was gonna tell you why I changed my lock but I’ll save that for another day.

Location: home, with a fully assembled and working washing machine, front gate, smart lock, and roof
Mood: sober – I know, I’m as surprised as you are
Music: I wish you well and hope you find whatever you’re looking for

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The Superpower

Taking Mice for Granted

This woman named Jo Cameron was born with two genetic mutations:

      1. A different FAAH gene, which reduces her ability to feel pain, both physical and emotional;
      2. A defective FAAH-OUT gene, whose sole purpose is to activate the FAAH gene.

Essentially, she feels no pain, no anxiety. She cannot suffer. She broke her arm when she was eight years old and only went to the doctor three days later because her arm looked funny. When she gave birth, it tickled her.

She’s a mutant with a superpower.

When I was a kid, outta all the superpowers, the one I wanted the most was the ability to become invisible. I think most bullied kids would welcome the ability to disappear and not be noticed.

But, after these past few years – barring time travel and/or the ability to detect and destroy cancer – I think that the superpower I’d like the most is Jo’s power.

Because, man, do I get people being hooked on painkillers.

This week/month has been a rollercoaster of emotional pain. Both from Alison and the Gymgirl. The kind where I’m sitting down on my shower floor hyperventilating.

I actually do have to take painkillers to manage it. That’s how severe it’s been. The insomnia’s back too, because, of course it’s back…

I’d like to tell you more about the Gymgirl but now’s not really the right time.

I will say that she floored me the other night because we hadn’t spoken for a while. And when we did, she said I took her for granted. That’s the last thing I would do.

Then again, I’ve always said that communication is what the other side hears, not what you say.

It’s my fault if she somehow heard that she wasn’t that important.

Her: (dismissively) I’m just a placeholder in your life.
Me:  (shaking head) That’s precisely the opposite of what you are. You’re not even a front-runner; you’re the only game in town.

That placeholder bit kept me up all night because it’s so far left field. I didn’t really fully appreciate the depth of what she was saying until I was alone in bed.

The worst things creep into my head in the middle of the night because it’s when the world and my thoughts quiet down. And I start to understand things.

I’m trying to wrap my head around everything but, FWIW, I was trying to do the right thing by her but it turned out that I did exactly the opposite of what she wanted me to do.

To top it all off, afterward, I behaved in a way that I’m not proud of and I’m disappointed in myself. It was rough all around.

I should remember that this never happens when I drink rum. But that’s neither here nor there.

There’s more, but that’s all I wanted to say for now.

That, and, should she and I exit each other’s Venn Diagram, you can still keep up with her wit and charm by following her blog: Melee Mouse/Mouse in the City.

Me: Hurry up, we’re gonna be late!
Mouse: We? You’re gonna be late. I’m gonna be a pleasant surprise.

She was my pleasant surprise in all this shit. I thought she knew.

On that note, I’m just going to call her Mouse here from this point forward, for however long that is.

Because the only reason I used Gymgirl instead of Mouse, which is what everyone calls her, was because of our inappropriately possessive ex-coach and his insane jealousy, which is a whole ‘nother story for another time.

Location: home
Mood: uncertain
Music: Oh, I guess I should have told her; I thought she knew

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Everything has a place

Most things, anyway

Her: I don’t think that there’s a way to keep those monitors on the desk safely, Logan.
Me: (looking at them) Dammit. You’re right.

I’ve not been sleeping again.

My last entry, wrote about how well I’d been sleeping. I took this new med and it was, like all the other times, a miracle drug. Was able to sleep like a brick for six or seven hours a night for almost three weeks.

And then it just stopped. Like all the other times.

Of course, there are other things involved. Last week was three years after Alison first collapsed.

That went even worse than I imagined it would for a number of reasons that we don’t need to get into now.

And then a comment from a dear friend from the mother’s group made me re-analyze the pad.

See, Alison and I set up one room as a nursery/home office. To this end, there were two huge 27″ monitors in the front room that wasn’t a danger to the kid when he wasn’t walking around.

But he is now. And grabbing everything.

So, with the Gymgirl’s help, I moved Alison’s old desk from our bedroom to the office and vice-versa. I kept it together as best I could but I think the Gymgirl noticed all the sighing.

Gymgirl: You ok?
Me: Yeah.

It’s hard. And to top it all off, the Gymgirl and I are also not really communicating.

It’s like she speaks Russian and I speak Chinese and we can’t make ourselves understood to the other. Ironically, I’m actually one of her few boyfriends that speaks English well.

Well-ish.

But we can’t seem to get through to each other. Which also makes me sad because when we do actually communicate, it’s amazing.

Gymgirl: Tell me about her.
Me: You don’t mind?
Her: Never. What was the most special thing about her?
Me: She organized my home by giving everything a place. She had a place for everything: pillows, tape, forks, everything had a place in the world. And now, I wonder where things are. Where I am in it all?
Her: Maybe I can help.

I suppose that will work out however it’s supposed to.

In any case, remember when I told you that this used to be my favourite time of year?

How long ago that seems.

Everything’s different and I wish it wasn’t.

Location: A white desk in a pastel bedroom.
Mood: tired. so tired.
Music: I don’t like walking around this old and empty house

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Michael and the emperor of emperors

Karma is garbage


Met so many wonderful souls when Alison got sick. One was a fella named Michael. He’d been diagnosed with GBM six years ago, three years before Alison. Yet he was much higher functioning than her: He still worked and swam almost every day.

He did every experimental treatment he could. We spoke often, even after Alison’s death, the last time being July 23, 2018. He was worried about me.

How’s that for a kick in the head?

We talked about our kids a lot. Michael had two little girls that he adored. He fought like crazy to watch them grow up, just like Alison did.

And, just like Alison, he doesn’t get that chance, cause he died this week.

Fuck.

John McCain died this week as well, which is certainly less impactful but still a nice dose of fuckery for me and my addled head.

Michael was also the one that introduced me to Jeffrey Weiss who died last year from this goddamn thing. All of them died from the same cancer that took Alison.

Fuck. Did I say that already? I think people overuse it; it’s like antibiotics IMHO. You should use it when you really need it.

In any case, cancer’s called the emperor of all maladies; if that’s true, then GBM is the Emperor of all emperors. Capo di tutti capi. It’s kills so perfectly that, I gotta think that the other cancers are jealous.

I’ve always prided myself on not really hating much. There are things I dislike but few things I hate. Who has the time to hate?

But I hate this goddamn thing. If I could kill it with my bare hands, I would, then revive it to kill it again.

I’ve also learned to hate the concept of karma.

If ever there was a horseshit idea, there’s karma. Alison and Michael sure as fuck did not deserve this bullshit deal they got. Dunno anyone with GBM that did.

Sorry, I’m rambling. I’m battling a cold and my sleep’s been awful these days. August has been awful. It’s been a month of lies, terrible truths, death, and endings.

I’m tired of it all. I just wanna sleep and not know anything, especially about this fucking cancer. Blessed are the forgetful and alla that…

But I do know it.

I know a lotta things I don’t wanna know. So many things.

Fuck.

Location: a red chair
Mood: sick
Music: Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray, it might come true
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Heading out for Halloween

A lifetime ago


Went to a friend’s place for Halloween with Gymgirl – you can see how I’m dressed above.

Me: I like your hair that way.
Gymgirl: I get it, I look better and less homeless.

Reminded me of last year when Alison, the kid, and I were the bat family.

Everything that should be nice and fun is never just that. Everything reminds me of stuff.

But I did have a nice night out with friends, which is always a good thing.

On that note, Gradgirl’s finishing up school here and heading abroad in a month or so.

Me: I wanted to say thanks for the company.
Her: (laughing) I could say the same.
Me: Maybe we’ll see each other again someday. If I can get my head on right.
Her: You’ll always love your wife. And that’s one of the things I find attractive about you. But…
Me: I know. That wasn’t our deal anyway.
Her: No, it wasn’t. Let me know if you’re ever by me.
Me: (nodding) Paris was nice the last time I went. That was a lifetime ago.

Location: on my white couch, looking at pictures of my family
Mood: conflicted
Music: I’m always thinking of you, but my words just blow away

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My father’s gone

Logan Music: Uptight

Louis Lo and Alison McCarthy Lo
My father passed away exactly 90 days after my wife did. How’s that for a kick in the head?

Suppose I’ll write more on that when I sort things out. Whenever that’ll be. For now, let me tell you a quick story:

When my father first met Alison, the two somehow got on the topic of hard-boiled eggs. You see, he was an amazing cook and a chef in his younger years.

He asked her if she knew how to keep the shells from sticking to the egg when they cooked. Alison said she didn’t know.

So he pulled her aside and whispered into her ear.

Her: (laughing) Really?
Him: (smiling) Yes, it’s true.
Her: I’ll try that next time.
Me: (to Alison) So what’s the secret?
Her: (laughing) If I told you, it wouldn’t be a secret. That’s between your father and me.

She never told me because secrets are special things between people. But her hard-boiled eggs always came out perfectly while mine always came out like crap. Still do.

If there is a heaven, hope they’re hanging out, trading recipes. She always loved to see him, and he, her.

Which makes sense – to know them was to love them.

My son’s favorite song right now is Uptight by Stevie Wonder.

The thing is that this is the song always made me think of both Alison and my dad. Probably why I play it for him so often.

The lyrics are below.

My father came here with nuthin. I was definitely born a poor man’s son.

But he refused to stay poor for long – people with talent rarely do – and I’m forever grateful for all he sacrificed for us.

He taught me how to be a father by being such a good one.

You know, I think that the dirt poor kid from Queens in me makes up more of my soul than I’d care to admit.

But it doesn’t matter. Not really.

Cause my dad and a beautiful girl named Alison McCarthy loved and believed in me. That means I must be somebody. Even if I was born a poor man’s son from Queens, New York.

I dunno what I am without them. Now, I’m forced to find out.

God, I miss them both terribly.


Baby, everything is all right, uptight, out of sight
Baby, everything is all right, uptight, out of sight
I’m a poor man’s son, from across the railroad tracks,
The only shirt I own is here on my back,
But I’m the envy of every single guy
Since I’m the apple of my girl’s eye
When we go out stepping on the town for a while
My money’s low and my suit’s out of style,
But it’s all right if my clothes aren’t new
Out of sight because my heart is true
She says, “Baby everything is alright, uptight, out of sight.
Baby, everything is alright, uptight, clean out of sight.”
She’s a pearl of a girl, I guess that’s what you might say,
I guess her folks brought her up that way,
The right side of the tracks, she was born and raised
In a great big old house, full of butlers and maids
She said, “No one is better than I.” I know I’m just an average guy,
No football hero or smooth Don Juan,
Got empty pockets, you see, I’m a poor man’s son
Can’t give her the things that money can buy
But I’ll never, never, never make my baby cry,
And it’s all right, what I can’t do,
Out of sight because my heart is true,
She says baby everything is alright, uptight, clean out of sight
Baby, everything is alright, uptight, clean out of sight
Baby, everything is alright, uptight, ha ha ha ha, yeah,
Baby, everything is alright, uptight, way out of sight
Baby, everything is alright, uptight, clean out of sight

Location: hell
Mood: dark
Music: I’ll never, never, never make my baby cry,

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Logan Music: Ghost of Goodbye

She used to pick out my shirts

Logan and Alison out to dinner

Spend my nights writing, sipping rum, listening to songs that make me cry, and looking through old pictures.

I’ve become such a cliche.

The writing is random, the pictures like the one above and the songs are like She’s Gone covered by the Bird and the Bee, Everyday is a Holiday, and Her Diamonds.

Probably not the healthiest thing to be doing right now but it is what it is.

The song I’ve been listening to the most these days is Ghost of Goodbye, by Ford Turrell, which is about right except I drink rum not whiskey, unless it’s an Old Fashioned.

But yeah, otherwise, it’s about right.

Alison always loved when I wore a simple, pressed, white shirt.

Rings on the table
From the sweat off my glass
Like the trace of a memory
Stained into the past

Whiskey and water
Burns the back of my throat
For a minute it lets me
Let it all go

CHORUS:
Can’t leave it behind me
It haunts my mind
When I try to fall asleep
It’s laying right by my side
There’s no place to hide
From the ghost of goodbye

Grey like morning
Clouds filled with rain
Like everything’s waiting
For something to change

I sip some more coffee
And get dressed for work
Remember when you used
To pick out my shirts

Location: home, alone
Mood: struggling still
Music: There’s no place to hide from the ghost of goodbye

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Pillowcases

Doing things I gotta but don’t wanna, for reasons I never expected


I don’t know where my pillowcases go.

Alison always did the laundry, folded everything, and put everything away. It wasn’t because it was woman’s work, it’s just that she liked her laundry done a certain way. That was the deal: She did what she was good at and/or wanted to do and I did the same.

I did almost all the cooking, she did almost all the cleaning. It was perfect: She hated to cook, I hated to clean.

When I told my mom that she passed, my mom cried, of course. But she also said, It’s so sad. You were so perfect for each other. You two were the same person.

That’s true. She was a complete person when we met. I was a complete person when we met. But when we got together, while we were complete, we were better. It’s why she was my person.

And now I’m worse. I’m doing things I gotta but don’t wanna, for reasons I never expected.

That’s why every little thing hurts so. It’s like someone took my left arm away.

Did the laundry two days ago. A mountain of it. Folded it as she would have liked. Kinda. And put away what I could. Had to call my mother-in-law to find out where to put the pillowcases and other things.

I’m a stranger to things in my own house.

Which is apropos, I suppose; everything is stranger in general.


My dad is not well. Wish I could see him more often but I can’t leave the kid and don’t want to bring him to the hospital.

And the truth be told, I don’t have the mental and emotional capacity to face that right now. I know I’ll have to at some point.

For now, trying to be as normal as I can for the kid.

Whatever that means.

Location: my strange home
Mood: the same
Music: You got a beautiful soul that I’m blessed to have known

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