Familiar unfamiliar territory

Finding me

BrightBea: You were by my place? You could have called.
Me: Honestly, how does anyone find me? I didn’t give you my last name.
Her: A girl’s gotta be careful.

I’ve spent the last several 4ths of July by my lonesome for reasons that aren’t important.

This year may be different but it’s hard to tell at the moment.

I’m in familiar unfamiliar territory, again.

Speaking of people reading my blog.

Lviv: You didn’t tell me that you went to see your ex.
Me: We don’t owe each other anything, yet. (later) Wait, I thought besides me you were seeing an economist and a male stripper something.
Her: Ex male stripper, who’s an ex. The economist wanted to hang out more, but I wasn’t feeling him. I like him as a friend.
Me: I need to start making a list.

Neither of us have plans for the 4th so maybe we’ll randomly run into each other somewhere on the Upper West Side?

Maybe.

On that note,

Mouse: I did quite enjoy that you managed to include in (our conversation) the part about a shipment of toothbrushes.
Me: (laughing) I honestly didn’t think anything of them until you mentioned it. I suppose that’s subconscious?

When I’m single I have more house guests for a variety of reasons, all of which revolve around my being centrally located in Manhattan.

Don’t read too much into it.

Mainly because, a rule I’ve always had is that: If you stay over, you get a toothbrush – with a choice of colour – and some sorta brekkie.

Before I met Alison, I bought three 12-packs of toothbrushes and went through two plus a couple here and there.

It might surprise you that some toothbrush conversations were quite sad, as odd as that sounds.

As for brekkie, that’s just to be polite.

Since we’re talking about food – Pac’s been making food videos. That’s his latest.

Do me a favour and like the video and subscribe? I need one of my friends to hit it big so I can borrow money.

Toothbrushes don’t grow on trees you know.

Podcast Version
Location: Morningside Heights, looking at stuff in the prepared food aisle
Mood: hopeful
Music: Ain’t I the best you had? (Spotify)

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Owing a debt

Mother is the name of God

Podcast Version

Him: Why do you stay in contact with her and people like him?
Me: I owe them a debt. Anyone that shows a kindness to my family, I owe a debt.

My head’s quiet again.

That’s more than I can say about the state of the nation, what with a pandemic, murder hornets, cannibal rats, state-sponsored murder, and now race riots.

The thing is: I get it. As my buddy from my gym said, you never get over the anger. And what’s the anger all about? Inequity.

It’s bullshit that Alison died so young, so close to her dream of finally – finally – getting a family. Bullshit.

I said earlier that I couldn’t watch the whole video. I stopped when Floyd cried out for his mother.

That broke my heart. As a regular, run-of-the-mill-normal human being, it broke my heart. That someone could die for no fucking reason whatsoever.

And what crushed it to powder was the thought that in the darkest moments of his life, my son will cry out for me. Because he didn’t know Alison.

And I’m half the person she was. You see, Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of children.

Except for mine, that is. Fuckballs.

I counted the days. Alison lived exactly 13,893 days. HALF of what she was promised. What we were promised. The inequity makes my blood boil.

Alison and George are gone now, for no good reason whatsoever. So, I understand the rage.

But there’s another facet to the rage. And that’s the debt.

In 1847 – after the Trail of Tears – the Choctaw heard about the starving Irish during their potato famine and somehow, managed to scrape together and send $170 (about $5,000 today) to help these people strangers.

For every bit of inequity – where one isn’t given what one’s owed – there’s a flip side. There’s grace; that’s when you’re given something you didn’t earn.

When Alison was sick, the grace I saw, humbled me. To those people that helped us, my family owes them a debt. That’s it.

We owe them a debt.

The Choctaw owed the Irish no debt but they paid a value to someone in need. And 173 years later, the descendants of those with the debt paid back some of it.

I think I hold a special place of contempt in my heart for those in mixed-race relationships – particularly white male and Asian female relationships – where the white male doesn’t realize the debt he owes the African-American community.

Like the the officer that murdered Mr. Floyd, who is married to a Laotian woman.

That officer doesn’t realize the debt his family owes to the black community, that was regularly lynched for just looking at a white woman, and had to go to court to gain us all the right to marry any one of any race we wanted.

I was able to legally marry Alison because a white man named Loving – of all things – wanted to marry a black woman, named Mildred. My family would not exist but for Mildred and Loving. The debt every interracial couple owes to them cannot be overstated.

If you’re white and in a mixed-race relationship and you don’t feel any rage over what happened to Mr. Floyd and don’t recognize the debt you owe to that community then I gotta point it out to you now.

You owe them a debt.

But rage against inequity works both ways.

Chauvin’s wife just announced that she was divorcing him.

Podcast Version
Location: 95th and Broadway
Mood: angry
Music: so sick of being so lonely; miss all my family (Spotify)
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On Children

And Now I’m Here

I wrote the stuff below the video way back in March 2013, not soon after Alison lost another pregnancy.

It was the start of all the horror we went through, long before the cancer. I don’t tell you everything because I’m not sure you’d believe it all. I mean, I barely believe it all, myself.

But, I’ve been chatting with two friends lately and I remembered that I never posted it because I didn’t want to bum myself out further. Or her.

The last line of the poem’s been in my head lately; on a parent (the bow) needing to be stable so that the child (the arrow) can fly as far and as high as possible.

I hope I’m enough to give the boy flight. Suppose only time will tell.

Saw him briefly this past Sunday, which I probably needed more than he. There’s more but that’s all I wanna share right now.

Me: Are you surprised?
Him: Yes, papa! I thought it was just Auntie that was coming and now you’re here.
Me: (nodding) And now I’m here. Lemme go wash up so I can give you a big hug.
Him: OK! You have to wash for 20 seconds.
Me: (laughing) Will do.

Been thinking a lot about family lately, for reasons I’d rather not get into.

My old boss told me once, when he was expecting his first child, that when men and women reach their 30s or so, they feel an incredible urge to start a family.

He’s right. Although, for me, I was a few years behind that curve.

But I feel it now; Life itself telling me that it’s time to grow up and be an adult because there are adult things I need to do. Things that need to be done.

One of my favourite poems I’ve quoted from before is Kahlil Gibran’s, On Children.

Like he says in the poem, I feel Life longing for itself and I can’t pretend not to hear anymore.

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Here’s hoping…

I wrote the earlier entry about On Children when I was mad at my dad.

I regret every argument I ever had with him and miss him terribly. There are some things that time doesn’t make any better.

Podcast Version
Location: my empty apartment, now with even more rum. And popcorn.
Mood: sober again
Music: Trust levels went way down (Spotify)
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How (I think) I survived COVID-19

Glucose, Zinc, Cholorquine, and a Fever

I’ve had time – nuthin but, actually – to reflect on getting sick.

Suppose the first thing to tell you is what I did to try to save myself.

I had gotten some base cholorquine for Alison when she was sick so I started taking that on the 28th. The dosage used by doctors for off-label empiric therapy is 500mg – twice the normal dose for those taking it as an adjunct to cancer therapy – but I was alone with no one to help if things went south quickly.

So, I stuck with a single 250mg dose in the morning along with a multivitamin.

As much as possible, I tried to take a Tylenol at 10AM so that by 5PM, I could take my temp again. The temps I wrote in my last two entries were either taken just before 10AM, just after 5PM, or before bed. So, my temps coulda been higher or lower than what I wrote because of when I took the readings.

More on Tylenol below.

I also took zinc gluconate five times a day for the first week. This should really be part of SOC considering that there’re years worth of well-founded research on this although some feel the aid is only slight. For me, every percentage improvement helped so I took it.

I also drank a lotta Propel water; my brother was worried about dehydration and I definitely felt worse when I didn’t drink enough.

In terms of preexisting conditions, I would guess it was a combination of smoking in my 20s and the resulting (slight) adult asthma I had afterward, which made my particular run of this damn thing that bad.

Still, with the exception of the loss of taste and smell, I didn’t really have any of the classic symptoms of COVID-19: I didn’t really have a cough, only one day of chest pain, and no real difficulty breathing. But the fatigue and loss of smell and taste made my brother and the professor feel that it was most likely COVID.

Me: What makes you say that?
Brother: Occam’s razor.
Me: Right.

The thing that they both found odd was my insane hunger. Again, this was the opposite experience of most people with COVID – Chris Cuomo ended up losing 13 pounds after only three days with COVID.

I ate so much that I ended up gaining a one-and-a-half pounds after this whole ordeal, going from 151.2 to 152.8.

Interestingly, glucose has been linked to better survival prospects for viral-based illnesses, like COVID-19, but worse survival prospects for bacterial-based infections.

Conversely, bacterial based infections require high fat/ketones for survival with worse survival outcomes with increased glucose.

Early on in my sickness, I felt this incredible urge to eat donuts, pancakes, noodles, pizza, and bagels. Alla which I ate and don’t normally eat.

I probably wouldn’t have done that, nor been as sparing with Tyleol, if not for Alison. You see, years ago, we had this conversation.

Her: You have a fever.
Me: Great. Can you get me a Tylenol?
Her: No! Your body is trying to get rid of something by heating it out. Try to endure the fever for as long as you can.
Me: Blargh. Well, can I at least have a popsicle.
Her: Yes, I’ll go get one for you. Your body probably wants it for a reason.

So, I like to think that Alison had a hand in keeping me safe. Which, I suppose she did, seeing as there was no one else here and I wouldn’t have had the choloquine if not for her.

Who knows, maybe I woulda been just fine without doing any of this. But, I didn’t wanna take that chance.

Harold’s next to worthless at times like this. The boy did keep me some company, though.

I probably made as much sense to him as he made to me.

Location: my empty and but cleaner apartment
Mood: pensive
Music: hope it’s gonna make you notice someone like me (Spotify)
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Another day, another hospital

Making it out unscathed

My mom just had spinal surgery. tl;dr: She’s fine. Went through it with flying colours.

It’s been on everyone’s mind for a while and we’ve all just been waiting for the day of the operation to roll around.

My brother flew in to make sure everything ran smoothly. It pays to have a doctor and lawyer in the family.

The day of, she was recuperating longer that expected so I didn’t even get to see her because I had to pick up the boy.

The next day, woke up early to make sure I saw her. She was tired but happy it was all over. My sister was there when I arrived.

Me: How do you feel?
Mom: Pretty good. Everything went well. (later) You look old.
Sister: Mom!
Me: I’m 46, I am old.
Her: You should do something about that.
Me: What can I do about time, mom?!

Speaking of time, I could only stay for 15 minutes. I told them that it was because I had a meeting, which was kinda true. But the real truth is that I can’t be in hospital rooms and be sane.

I could feel it: The sadness and cold self-hatred I used to feel alla time. Every second I was there, I could feel it spreading, like cold paint over a rusted wreck.

I’m nuthin if not a rusted wreck. Stopped off at a bathroom before I left and dry retched.

So that was my Wednesday. Good times.

Took the bus back because the hospital is so far from the subways. Gave me a lotta time to think. Had an awful night the night before; didn’t sleep for a number of reasons that are unimportant.

I’ve seen things, horrors you can’t imagine. You don’t wanna. Hope you never see them. Me? I can’t unsee them.

If there is one thing I’m proud of in my otherwise unremarkable and shitty life, it’s that I spared her parents what I saw. I’d do it again for them, but I’d drink first. A lot.

Was busy the entire day with meetings and kid so I didn’t really have time to check social media when I found out that yet another friend I spoke to a number of times died. He was always supportive and positive regarding my dad and Alison. He always made time to talk to me. Until he ran outta time.

Cancer’s a fucking beast. No one makes it out unscathed.

I’m sorry, Don. I thought you’d make it.

Anywho, speaking of shitty…

Him: How are you?
Me: Tired. I’m tired of feeling shitty, of being told by people that I’m shitty. (exhaling) It’s so lame but…I miss having someone that thinks that I’m made of awesome, even when I’m not.
Him: You’ve been through enough and helped enough people, I think, to say you are. Or, are at least close.
Me: That may be just you.
Him: No. Really. (later) I bet the kid thinks you’re made of awesome.
Me: (laughing) To be fair, if you showed up with a ripe banana and an open jar of peanut butter, he’d be your biggest fan.

Her: What’re you two doing for Valentine’s Day?
Me: If you mean me and the kid, probably just watching some Daniel Tiger and having some rum? He likes rum and I like Daniel Tiger.
Her: (laughs) What happened? (later) You once said that there’s no relationship if there’s no work and no forgiveness.
Me: Yeah. I forgot so much of who I once was before everything went to hell.

Location: yesterday, another fucking hospital
Mood: tired
Music: it’s such a shame that we don’t talk

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Late Late

Tequila is still not my friend

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.

Honest to god, I’ve lost two hats in my life and both were when I had tequila. Tequila is still not my friend.


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
Mood: disappointed
Music: Say something

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Chad and Mouse turn 30, Pt 1

Can’t be trusted

Friend: You’re throwing her a birthday party? Why?
Me: Because everyone deserves a kick-ass 30th birthday party, especially her.

Haven’t really seen nor spoken to Mouse since we got back from the Bahamas for a variety of unimportant reasons.

But she just turned 30 recently and I tried to throw her a surprise birthday party. Basically sent a bevy of out-of-the-blue messages to her friends and family asking them to get me in touch with everyone she knew.

The whole not seeing nor talking to each other didn’t help.

Didn’t matter – what mattered was pulling this off for her.

For me, this was bordering on stalking, but I figured that she’d be ok with it and everyone she knew already intensely disliked me so…sunken cost, if you will.

Besides, I did it because, even when she was super mad at me and we weren’t speaking, she always came through to help me, and keep me company – even when I didn’t expect or want her to. Think she knew that I needed her, despite my protestations to the contrary.

Plus, she did the same for me.

Unfortunately, she found out, which wasn’t ideal but still ok, as you’ll see.

It was actually a combo party with her and my coach, Chad, who also turned 30 a bit earlier.

Me: Are you ok with a combo?
Him: With my schedule, I kinda prefer it, actually.

Her co-worker Drea was a big help and picked up all the party favours and also two huge balloons that said: 3-0.

We started out at the same restaurant where we celebrated his getting a black belt.** It was all you could eat – both hot pot and BBQ.

After a while, two full tables couldn’t eat anymore while three people – me, Curt, and Chad – were still, somehow, eating.

Felt bad that everyone was waiting on us to finish so I asked them if we should wrap it up.

Chad: (waving his hand under his chin): Yeah, I’m done. I’m tapping out.
Me: I’ve never been so disappointed in you.
Curt: I’m not done!
Me: No one cares about you, Curt!
Curt: Shut up, Logan!
Me: You shut up!

So, Curt and I cleaned off the second-to-last plate. While everyone else got organized, I went over to Solas to make sure everything was ok with our reservations.

Mouse’s friend was there with his date when I walked in so I sat with them as the waitress walked over. He was supposed to bring her to dinner but because she found out – and he’s a vegetarian – I’d told him to just meet us there.

Her: Hi, I’m Janet and I’ll be your waitress tonight.
Me: Hi Janet – that’s Cha and his girl Jane. I’m Logan. (moving over) Take a seat and tell us about yourself.
Her: (laughs, shrugs, and sits down)

The rest of the the party meandered in and the whole party spent most of the night there as a number of people cycled in and out.

Now, this next bit’ll only make sense if I tell you that I took a hit to my mouth that looked like a cold sore.

Vazquez: (walking up to me) Were you making out with that girl in the corner?
Me: (shaking head) We were just talking – I left cause she was being handsy. What am I, an a_____e? I’m gonna make out with someone else at Mouse’s 30th? Plus, you think I’m insane? Mouse’d kill her, and then kill me – I gotta raise my kid and jail’s no place for her. Plus, I have this (pointing at lip). No, I’m just chatting up randos because I’m doing everything I can to avoid Mouse.
Him: Why, is everything ok?
Me: (takes him by the shoulders, incredulous) Have you seen her tonight?!? On a normal night, Mouse has my number. She’s insanely hot right now. I need you to stay until I leave cause I can’t be trusted around her. Full stop.

He did not stay.

Here’s a blurry shot of Mouse and Chad because this is mostly a family-friendly blog.

I’d like to say I made it blurry on purpose but really, it was because I was two sheets to the wind by the time I took it.

I’ll finish this up tomorrow or something.

Gotta find out where I left my liver. Wonder if there’s a lost-and-found box fulla livers.

Mine’d be one stinking of rum.

** Yes, I know I wrote that a co-worker got a promotion in this entry when really it was about Chad getting his black belt – I try to stay as truthful as possible in this blog without hurting other people. The latter bit’s why I lied.

See, our old coach was/is such a jealous nutcase that  we all knew he’d flip out if he knew we were hanging out without him.

Which he did, of course. It’s a major reason why we’re all not there anymore.

Location: our home
Mood: accomplished
Music: when you look at me like that, I don’t know how I feel

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A Christening in NJ

Across the river from my pad

My buddy Steele had a christening for his son so Mouse, the kid, and I went over to NJ one weekend to celebrate with them.

We picked him up from school so we had to change him in the middle of the Port Authority.

We ended up getting there a bit early so we went to a small playground pretty much looking at my apartment across the river.

Me: It’s nice here. I wouldn’t mind living someplace like this.

Afterward, we walked over to Waterside restaurant and settled into our seats. I remembered going to Steele’s wedding ages ago. I sat next to the same people that I sat next to then.

It was all rather surreal.

On the positive side, once again, I made the fool’s choice of filling up on the appetizers before the main course.

Me: Dammit, we did the rookie mistake again.
Her: Speak for yourself. I’m picking shrimp over everything else, always.

Although we did partake of some dessert.

Plus, for the kiddos, there was an insane table of candy. I might’ve accidentally left the boy’s box of candy there.

My sister-in-law, who lives near the restaurant, came and took the boy for a sleepover, allowing Mouse and me to drink to excess.

Mouse: Let’s get our faces painted!
Me: I’ll support your getting your face painted.
Her: Fiiiine…

It was a really great night.

There’s more because Steele and his entire family were very involved with Alison and our lives but that’s all I wanted to say about that.

Him: Thanks for coming.
Me: Thanks for having me. I’ve been…better.
Him: (nods)

Location: earlier today, a dance studio above a supermarket
Mood: embarrassed
Music: we’re torn, torn, torn apart
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We try

She’s a beast

My buddy Pac convinced me to compete in a grappling match the other day. And I convinced Mouse to do it with me.

Mouse: I haven’t been to the gym in three months – or trained in anything at all. Plus I have an exam the day before.
Me: Gotcha.
Her: Oh, I’ll still do it. I just can’t prep for it. Keep your expectations low.

She ended up passing her exam on Saturday and came by immediately afterward.

Her: I didn’t even bring any clothes to compete in.
Me: You have your top and you can wear a pair of my leggings.
Her: Well, I guess I’m doing this then.

Unfortunately, both she and I were overweight for the competition: Me by three pounds, she by five. Lots of people gave me lots of advice about losing weight but I’ve been on a diet since I was 14. So I ignored all of them and did my own thing.

Me: Do wanna have a porterhouse steak with butter?
Her: Should we?
Me: Probably not, but I’m doing it.
Her: OK, I’ll have one too.

Fast forward to this past Sunday. I, unfortunately, had a completely sleepless night the night before and was going to bail but since Mouse was going, I decided to just do my best.

Plus, she and I both ended up losing seven pounds so that I was underweight by four pounds and she was under by two. (!)

My coach and my cousin, Ras, both came to support us.

Me: God, I can’t stop thinking about everything I’m gonna eat after this is over.

Mouse and my Coach drilling

I think I went in with the wrong intent: Essentially, I got onto the mat thinking, “OK, don’t get hurt.” The other guy came to win.

He told me afterward that he had a lot of experience competing and it showed – while I struggled to understand what my coach was trying to tell me, he was a machine, instantly doing everything his coach was telling him to do on the side.

I was doing ok for most of it but ended up having to choose between getting my ankle broken or surrendering at three minutes and 58 seconds. Chose the latter.

Other guy: (afterward) I was wasn’t expecting you to jump guard like that!
Me: (laughing) I wasn’t expecting you to be able to break out of it like that.

That’s my story.

Mouse ended up winning all FOUR of her matches and taking home the gold. And she won all four matches by submission no less – that’s like winning four times in a row by knockout. It was an amazing thing to watch.

Coach: Damn, she’s a beast! Logan missed the whole thing!
Me: I’m standing right here!
Him: (turns to see me, laughs) Oh, I didn’t…
Me: Don’t worry about it, I was as engrossed as you were.

Mouse literally walked onto the mat with zero preparation – and spent the last week with her nose buried in study material – yet still took the gold from three other women who probably trained for months.

It was super impressive. Most of it, anywho.

Her: I’m gonna throw up.

As for me, everything went exactly as I planned for most of it; I followed my plan. The other guy was just better and put me in something I couldn’t escape.

Pac: You did the right thing, you know. If you didn’t know the escape, that means a broken ankle.
Me: I know. I’m kicking myself that I didn’t think to review that particular sequence.
Him: Well, now you know for next time.
Me: (laughing) Next time?

I forgot to tell you how Pac convinced me to do it. He told me to do it for the kid.

Him: You want him to know that his parents weren’t afraid of anything. And that they always tried – win, lose, or draw. You want him to know that you always tried.
Me: Dammit. You’re right. Fine, I’ll do it.

Wish I brought home the win, but I came back uninjured and generally happy for my coach and Mouse.

I did what I want him to always do, I tried. Just like the people I chose to hang around do, like Mouse. Just like his mama always did.

Boy: Will you read to me?
Me: Papa’s tired. I…you know what? Sure. (he hands me a book) Ah, Pigs Make Me Sneeze!
Him: (laughing) Pigs can’t make you sneeze!
Me: It’s a mystery – let’s find out.

Location: Last Sunday, uptown eating a ton of fried chicken and then icing my ankle
Mood: impressed
Music: Guard your grill, knuckle up
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You don’t have a soul…

…You are a soul

Four people I know – two acquaintances and two dear friends – lost their moms in the same number of weeks.

Rang the friend I’ve known the longest just recently to check in.

Bryson: I didn’t make it in time to see her. I was three goddamn hours away when I got the call. Because I know – because of what I’ve seen – I told them to do what they had to do with the body. I didn’t want to remember her that way.
Me: You don’t have to explain to me. You know, we don’t have souls. We *are* souls, we *have* bodies. You wanted to remember her soul – who she was to you – not her body. You made the right choice. If I could do it all over again…
Him: You should write that down. That was beautiful, thank you.
Me: It’s true. And true things are often beautiful. I’m sorry, brother. When I say, “I understand,” you know I do.
Him: Yeah, I know.

The boy’s been noticing that I’ve been sighing a lot.

Boy: Why do you (exhales sharply) so much?
Me: Because I think of your mama a lot these days. All the time, but more than usual these days.
Him: I miss her.
Me: Me too. But she gave me you and that makes it all a little better.
Him: I love mommy. To the moon and back.
Me: (sighing) Me too.
Him: You did it again.
Me: (nodding slightly) So I did. (boy leans over and hugs me)

Made me realize how lucky I am to still be able to ring up my mom at will so I did and told her I was going to see her this weekend.

Her: How about Sunday?
Me: That’s perfect.

As for my friend Bryson, told him I’d be there with rum any time he wanted.

Me: The kid’s away this weekend so if you’ve got time, I’m there.
Him: Thanks. I gotta clear up a few things but yeah. You know, we’ve known each other 30 years?
Me: Now you’re just being mean. (laughing) On a related-ish note, I lost 20 pounds! I’m so damn gorgeous now, if I were gay, I’d date myself.
Him: (laughs)
Me: I’ll see you soon, brother.
Him: See you soon, brother.

Right after I wrote this, I found out that Kirk Akahoshi passed away from stage four pancreatic cancer. He leaves behind a young wife named Jacki.

I know exactly what Jacki’s going through right now and I don’t envy her one bit.

It never goes away, that feeling of loss, helplessness, and anger.

It’s a horror and it’s all shit.

May she weather it the best she can. I hope she’s surrounded by good souls.

Here’s more of their story.

Location: the basement of my brain, again
Mood: gutted
Music: I will love you till my dying day
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