Me: What’s your name, darling? Random woman: I’m not your darling. Me: Not with that attitude, you’re not. Her: (laughs)
Speaking of attitudes, I just need to keep this up until the kid’s ready to be in the world alone. Figure trees have been able to do this for eons, I just have make about 5,000 days.
Piece of cake.
Him: I wish I met her. Me: Sorry, man. I’m not the best company these days. Him: Actually, I enjoy your company. Me: I always wonder if there was anything else I coulda done. Him: I don’t think so. (thinking) You loved her. In that sense, she was lucky. You both were. Me: (nodding) Yeah.
Decades ago, my mom was gardening in front of our apartment when a woman came out and started talking to her about plants.
She was Greek and spoke with a crazy thick Greek accent; my mom was Chinese and spoke with a crazy thick Chinese accent. Somehow, though, they connected – probably because both saw the world the same way,
They became best friends, to this day. Everyone finds it ridic cute, that these two lovely women found each other in this sad little world of ours.
When my dad died, it was this friend that called my mom constantly, just to make sure my mom was ok. That’s what friends do.
My mom wasn’t, of course, but her friend made it a little better, I think.
In any case, that woman’s husband, Nick, died earlier this week. I wasn’t super close with him, but he was in the fabric of my life since my earliest memories of the world.
Nick died this week right before his birthday, which bothers me greatly because Alison died just right after hers. And like Alison, and my dad, Nick suffered before he died. That makes me irrationally angry for reasons I can’t properly express.
Like Fouad and Kirk, he too died of pancreatic cancer. Three people I’ve known in less than a year. It boggles the mind and breaks the heart.
That pic above was taken almost 12 years to the day by my brother. Nick had come by for my sister’s birthday. They did things like that.
Their family has never shown us anything but kindness. When money, beauty, and possessions go away, kindness stays. That’s why I’m a sucker for kindness; it’s the only thing really worth anything in this shitty world.
It’s my mom’s turn to support her friend now. It’s hard; my mom just had surgery and this damn pandemic hangs over us all. But she does what she can.
Goodnight, Nick. Your family misses you very much. We all do.
All this death around me wears on my psyche, I think. I’ve been talking to other people that, like me, have dealt with depression in the past.
Buddy: I haven’t hugged anyone in over a month! Me: Dude, me neither. I don’t think I’ve touched another human being in over a month. I’ve also not hugged my son in this time, which is excruciating. Him: Man, that must suck. Me: So much. So much.
I miss my son terribly. When this is over, I’m gonna hug the crap outta him.
He’s gonna complain the entire time and I’m not gonna care, I’m just gonna do it. I’m bigger than he is and there won’t be anything he’ll be able to do about it.
Two buddies from college have birthdays around the same time and we all use these birthdays as an excuse to get together. I’ve been MIA for the past several years: Before Alison got sick with cancer, we kept losing babies and we both didn’t want to be social at all.
The very last time I attended one of these, Alison had recently lost another one but she insisted I go out and have a good time. I tried. She was diagnosed later that year.
Fuck. This is why I drink.
My college friends were some of the first people I called when I re-entered the world. Every single one of them came out.
In any case, I actually couldn’t make dinner because of a prior engagement but I showed up afterward for drinks. Walked into the middle of a funny debate:
Her: …I think most of the cool kids dated in high school. Did any of you not? Me: Do you know the nerds that the jocks and cool kids beat up? Well, I was the guy that those nerds beat up.
I actually did date two girls in high school. Both ended disastrously, as most high school things go, although I do have fond memories of one of them. But that’s besides the point.
On the topic of dating, one of the guys, Anthony, recently became single.
Me: It’s tough for me to do something like online dating because (a) I’m older and (b) I have a kid, so I kinda have to do real life pickup. Luckily, I have little to no shame. Her: What do you say to people? Me: “My name’s Logan. I’m looking to make some friends. You look nice.” Her: (laughs) Does that work? Me: (shrugging) The truth is a powerful thing.
Ended up buying Anthony some bourbon and he bought the table some shots. Tequila shots.
We all ended leaving east of midnight and Anthony and I were headed the same way. We kept chatting about dating and being single.
As we approached 14th Street, I looked up and locked eyes with a beautiful girl.
Me: Hello, darling. You look nice. How’s your evening been? Her: (laughs) Good. (pause) That’s a cool jacket. Me: Thank you. So, what’s your name? Her: (smiles) Serena. Me: How very nice to meet you, Serena. My name’s Logan. Now, have you met my friend, Anthony yet? (turning to Anthony) Anthony, this is Serena. (turning to Serena) Serena, this is Anthony. You two should talk. This is my stop. Have a lovely evening.
Now, I actually had two more adventures that night that I’ll keep to myself for the time being, but ended up drunkenly calling someone after 2AM, which is yet another story in and of itself.
Her: Are you…are you drunk dialing me? I think this is my first drunk dial. Me: What luck. Mine as well. It’s good to be first.
I woke up late the next day when I got a buzz on my phone.
Life is nothing if not entertaining.
Location: the basement of my brain, again
Music: Say something
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Random Girl: You threw her a birthday party? You’re such a good guy! Me: (shaking head) Nah, it’s a less the quality of my character, and much more the quality of hers. Anywho, that’s her story, not yours. What’s your name again?
We all stayed for a bit longer but I ended up trying to avoid several people that night, for various reasons.
Which, let’s be honest, sounds about right.
Him: Logan! You gotta stop drinking, or you’re going to do something you’re going to regret. Me: With them? (shaking head) They’re not the women you should be worried about with me. Him: All the more reason to stop. (stepping away) I’m getting you some water. Me: Yeah. (nodding, sliding into seat) That’s probably a good idea. Yeah…
There was one woman I spoke to that night who wasn’t a rando, though, and it was the most interesting conversation I had that night.
She was actually the wife of a friend and she asked me some questions about my past; turns out that she (kinda) knew me before I became the me you know
You see, she knew me when I drank with the Devil. But that’s a story for another time.
Her: Holy s__t! I was there that night! I must have met you! Me: (laughing) I was the grey man. Very few people actually knew or met me, which is how I liked it. Her: (later) Do you remember B? And C? Man, I had such a crush on B! Me: (laughing) Haven’t heard that name in decades. C called his group, Jade after a chick – well, Jade was my girlfriend. But she was a lifetime ago. It was all a lifetime ago. (shaking head) I’m not that person anymore. Not even a little bit. (looking around club) OK, maybe a little bit…
That couple went home – but not before handing me some red envelopes – and I sat down at our tables with my thoughts about all my possible pasts.
Shoot, I also need to thank my cousin Ras and her husband Kit – they gave me a red envelope for my son as well. More on that in a future entry.
Anywho, everyone slowly left, one-by-one.
Him: I gotta go. You should go home, too. Me: Can’t. Him: Why not? Me: (shrugging) Because I won’t leave Mouse alone on her birthday if she wants to keep hanging out. Him: We’re all too old for this. She’stoo old for this, now. Me: (laughing) Well, me for sure. Look, I gotta make sure she gets home ok. Him: She’s not your responsibility. Me: (shrugging) She is tonight.
Afterward, Mouse and a handful of friends went to the hookah bar next door. The one with the weird bathrooms.
Her: We are at hooks place.
Hadn’t done anything like that since my dad passed of lung cancer, but I knew she enjoyed it so I went.
I made the waiter laugh and told him it was her birthday so he comped us a plate of fries.
Him: You’re funny. Me: My life’s nuthin if not one tremendous f_____g joke, man. I’m gonna need some water. And some complex carbohydrates.
It was well past 2AM when we finally left. It was just Mouse and me at the end.
Mouse: Thanks for doing that. Everything. Even the hooka bar; I know how against that you are what with your dad and all. Me: Of course. It was your night. You get anything you want, if it’s in my ability. You deserve it. Her: My friends were impressed. Me: Well, win for me, then. So, what now?
There’s more but that’s between her and me.
I did everything I intended to do and more – both for her and Chad. That felt good.
The night went exactly as I had hoped it would. Better even, actually. They both left for home with huge smiles on their faces.
Like I said, if anyone deserved it, it was the two of them. Each for their own special reasons. We pick the people we choose to care about, for reasons none of us can fully articulate, but that we all innately understand.
Chad and I spoke the next day.
Him: I just wanted to say thanks for doing that. I had a great time. Me: Good. That’s all I wanted.
My reward for alla this? Slept like the dead for 13 glorious, uninterrupted hours.
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.
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:
The words: “I’m sorry.”
Some manifestation of contrition: “I feel awful about what I did; there’s no excuse.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Unlocked a new parenting/adult level: Dealt with a leaky Manhattan roof in the rain while holding a toddler singing “Little Talks.”
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
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.