Living Milestones

You know…

Mouse and I met up with Bryson in midtown the other night.

Me: We’ll go where ever your little heart desires, my friend. Of course, dinner is on me. Up to $4.23. I’m not super generous.
Him: Let’s let Mouse decide. If we do sushi it will be at a place that serves Nakaoche. Otherwise, how about The Meatball Shop?
Me: Fair. Hold on. (checking with Mouse, then back to Bryson) She said the better place to get snockered.
Him: The Meatball Shop it is.

We met up at around 8PM and ate a ton. But really, we drank most of our calories that night.

Him: Are you enjoying your girlie drink?
Her: He’d prefer to have an umbrella in it.
Me: Wait, is that an option?

And we talked about old times and old friends. It was nice having Mouse there to have someone hear our old stories.

Me: We used to be toe-to-toe once. You’re one of the few people that’s seen who I once was.
Him: (laughing) That was a long time ago, Logan. I’m way ahead of you now.
Me: I know, I resent it.

He and my buddy Steele came together to see my dad to learn sushi-making before he passed. It meant a lot to me that it was the two of them.

That’s the thing with friends; they’re the living milestones to your life.

Him: Did Logan tell you about the time he crashed at my – all black – fraternity because he was hiding from his ex-girlfriend?
Me: Oh no…

Then he paid for the tab when we weren’t looking. (!!)

Me: Don’t make me look like a jerkface mcgee in front of Mouse.
Him: Now, why would I do that?

So we paid for the tip and put him into an Uber home.

The next day…

Me: Man, my liver hates you. Haven’t done something like that in over a year.

We all end up on our knees at some point in our lives and it’s our friends and family that pick us up.

When Alison was sick, I was on the phone constantly with him and his wife.

Like I said, some people in your life are seasons and others seem like they’ve always been there.

Me: Are you ok?
Him: Good and bad. You know.
Me: (nodding) I know.

Location: another’s doctor’s office
Mood: beat
Music: It’s gonna be a good, good life (that’s what my therapist say)
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PSA: How to apologize

So, this is chivalry

It’s no great secret to say that a lotta people hated my old coach.

He knew it as well when he couldn’t figure out who, of his former students, tried to shut down his business.

Him: Was it you?
Me: I’m a lawyer. If I wanted you shut down, you’d be shut down. Plus, I’d want you to know it was me. (pause) You know both these things I’ve just said are true.

Wasn’t me because I was too busy trying not to kill myself and raise my son.

As I write these words, I’m amazed he thought he anything mattered enough to me to even bother. I think I was still sleeping with a bottle of rum next to me those days.

Plus, I never reached hate so much as pity and disappointment.

But I realized recently exactly what it was about him that bothered people on a visceral level while my son was watching Daniel Tiger: I don’t think that he ever learned how to properly apologize.

An apology consists of three steps:

      1. The words: “I’m sorry.”
      2. Some manifestation of contrition: “I feel awful about what I did; there’s no excuse.”
      3. And then some overt act to try make things right again.

Whenever he did anything untoward, he would either blame the other person, not mention it, or – and this was the best we could hope for – perhaps offer to buy us a lunch (step 3).

Don’t recall Steps 1 and 2 ever happening. Spoke to a few other former students and they agreed with me.

The last time we spoke, I asked him how he could be ok with so many people hating him – enough that someone was willing to ruin his life and business. He said he was fine with it.

That blew my mind.

Don’t mind being ignored – I wished for that as a kid. But to be hated so deeply by so many people who have known you for years shows a level of sociopathy that I don’t want anything to do with.

Who wants to be friends with someone that’s so ok with being hated?

Then again, I didn’t leave so much as I was asked to leave. In a very teenage sorta way:

Me: Wait, are you kicking me out?
Him: I’m not kicking you out, I just don’t think this is the gym for you.
Me: So, you’re kicking me out.
Him: No, I just don’t think this is the gym for you.
Me: So, I can come when one of the other instructors are here?
Him: No. It’s not a good fit.

You see, he told the Gymgirl/Mouse that if she dated anyone in the gym, he would kick the male out. If nothing else, he follows through.

This is despite the fact that she was a full-grown 28 year-old adult with brothers and a living father (which I only mention because it seems he thinks a male must be part of a female’s decision-making process). No matter, he knew best and he would make decisions on her personal life for her and she had no say.

It’s a special form of sexism that I, as a womanizer and a feminist, found repulsive. He called it chivalry.

I’ve always believed you don’t treat someone differently because they were or weren’t born with a particular organ.

You certainly don’t make decisions about their personal life if you’re being paid monthly to provide a service.

Mentioned this to my cousin, another former student, the other day.

Her: Wait, he said that? That’s so gross. I hate that.
Me: You and me both.

He never apologized to Mouse, or me, or anyone else for his poor behaviour. I wonder if it bothers him in the least.

Then again, we think he’s a sociopath so probably not.

I’m always surprised how many people have opinions on how two other consenting adults live their lives.

Oh well, not my circus, not my monkeys…

Here’s a picture of us just because I’m being petty. And she looks pretty in it.

Location: earlier today, another gym with three other former students
Mood: annoyed
Music: Burn all them bridges down, to the ground, cos I won’t be coming this way again.

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Goodnight, Fouad

That’s what friends are for

I’ve known this fella Fouad Youssef, for well over a dozen years. You’re literally looking at the best picture I have of him with me because someone else took it.

He had the distinction of meeting every women I was ever somewhat serious with – every single one.

This was happenstance; you see, he was the bouncer at Solas and saw both the people I brought there and the people I met there.

Was literally there every weekend for years and spent countless special nights there. He was the one that flipped me upside down in this entry here over a decade ago.

We talked a lot over those dozen years. About his life and mine.

Man, did he love his kids. Don’t think we ever talked without him bringing them up once he had them. His eyes lit up when I showed him my boy.

Him: Being a father, a parent. That’s everything.
Me: I get it now. It’s amazing.
Him: (reaching for his phone to show me pictures)

He died yesterday. He was the person I mentioned here. Fucking cancer.  He was just a bit older than me. His kids are so young.

Our mutual friend, KF – who also lost his love to cancer – and I both agree that at least he’s at peace now. It was awful what the cancer did to him. What it does to people. KF sent me a picture and I had to sit down to catch my breath.

I’m at an age where I say goodbye to people and it’s forever – in the infinite time/space sense of “forever.”

All goodbyes are sad, but the forever ones just gut you.

Fouad wasn’t a close friend but he was someone like Leigh – someone that I saw often and happily. He was part of the fabric of my regular life.

And that piece of fabric is now gone. You notice when there’s a chunk of fabric missing from anything. I’m missing all these major chunks and feel as if my life is in tatters.

I feel emptier knowing that he’s not in this world. No man is an island and all that.

It hit me a lot harder than I thought it would, mainly because I knew what his family was going through. I relived it.

I felt so terribly sad and lonely at that moment that I called a few people to chat but got no answer.

Suppose that’s how grief works. You call out but never get an answer.

Him: You’ll be ok, Logan.
Me: How do you know?
Him: (shrugging) Because you’re always ok. You’re tough.
Me: I don’t know if that’s true. But thanks for always listening.
Him: Of course. That’s what friends are for.

Location: Last night, with friends ignoring monsters with foolishness, like trying to spot it
Mood: gutted again
Music: Please say honestly, you won’t give up on me

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Love: Early and Often

Father’s Day 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s one of my ten thousand regrets.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m so glad I did.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which is a shit-ton.

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

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

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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