A poor imitation of myself

My own sense of self

Me: If, one day, you find out something horrible about me, I hope that you’ll remember that I was a good friend to you.
Him: How bad?
Me: Not murder or rape bad. But bad. I never said I was a good person. I like to think that I’m a good friend, though.

My friends wonder why I keep certain people in my life. I suppose it’s because – despite their faults – they’ve always been good and loyal to me. For the most part.

Told this to one of the people I mentor. Because, I think, he holds me in high esteem. And that worries me. Cause I’ve made so many mistakes in my life.

Do you know what Charlie Chaplin, Hugh Jackman, Adele, and Bryan Cranston all have in common? They’re all poor imitations of themselves.

You see, Charlie Chaplin entered into a Charlie Chaplin look-a-like competition. He came in 20th place.

There’s this line from Elton John’s Rocketman that goes, “I’m not the man you think I am at home.” That’s kinda how I look at myself these days.

On that note, I realized that Mouse saw the worst parts of me and still stuck around for over 18 months. Spoke to her about it recently:

Me: Why did you stay so long?
Her: I was hoping. Then I stopped hoping.

It’s almost like I’m waking up from a nightmare and realized how crazy everything made me. How crazy I was.

Mouse sees me as this terrible version of myself and I can’t really blame her because – at best – I was a poor imitation of myself, of who I thought I was. At worst, I was exactly who she thought I was.

But maybe I can be better. I’d like to be better.

Fucking cancer took so much from me. Even my own sense of self.

I’d like to be the best version of myself again. For Mouse, for myself, for the boy.

I suppose, even if I come in 20th, at least that’ll be closer to who I thought I was versus who I actually was after everything went to hell.

Another friend/mentee:

Him: You’re the strongest guy I know, Logan.
Me: Sheyeah, I’m a goddamn rock. (shaking head) I’m not sure if you’re saying that seriously or not.
Him: I’m dead serious. I dunno many people that coulda gone through what you went through and be ok.
Me: That’s the thing: Am I OK. I think I am now, but I’m not sure. And that’s what’s scary.

Location: this afternoon, the 17th floor of 1 New York Plaza
Mood: regretful
Music: I think it’s gonna be a long long time

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On probation

Hoping I’ll do better

Exactly 37 minutes after Mouse asked me to come downtown, I found myself shaking hands with her boss. Mouse whispered in my ear:

Her: She’s one year younger than you.
Me: (nodding slowly) Great…

She ordered me an Old Fashioned and I barely got to start it when her coworker pulled me aside and we went outside to chat.

Coworker: You know, she really cares about you.
Me: The feeling’s mutual. She’s just super mad at me. Justifiably so, to a good extent.
Her: She is super mad. You weren’t very nice to her. But I’m still on your side.
Me: Why?
Her: (shrugging) She said that you made her who she is and I can tell she’s still hoping you’ll be better. If you want to be with her, you have to be nicer to her. Do better, Logan.
Me: (nodding) I’m trying. She met me at a weird and awful time.

We went back into the bar and Mouse sat next to me and asked:

Her: Why are you such a jerky-jerk?
Me: Like I said, you met me…
Her: (waves hand, rolls eyes) I know, I know. (later) My friends and family can’t stand you…
Me: I figured.
Her: …except for Co-Worker – which I don’t get at all – maybe Chai, and kinda Twin. You don’t listen to anyone. It’d be different if you’d just listen sometimes. (later) It’s crap out there. Since we broke up, I’ve met a block of wood and was set up with a puppy. (sighs) If you’d just listen…

We bounced from topic-to-topic before it was time to go.

She ended up drinking way too much so I brought her back to my place and put her in my guest bed, but not before plying her with copious amounts of water.

When she woke up the next day.

Her: (groan) What happened last night?
Me: You said lots of rando stuff.
Her: (worried) Did I do or say anything I shouldn’t have in front of my boss?
Me: (laughing) No. I don’t think so. How do you feel?
Her: Not great.
Me: Sorry. In any case, brekkie? I’ve been making a lotta shakshuka lately but with bacon.
Her: Dunno what that is but sure.

Interestingly, not too long after that, we met up with our coach and a group of buddies for some AYCE Korean food downtown.

Afterward, some of them came by my pad afterward for some drinks and board games. Then it was just Mouse and me.

There’s more but that’s all you need to know for now.

Location: Home with Ros and the boy
Mood: hopeful
Music: make them know that you’re with me

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A date with her in a blackout

Send me your location

As I mentioned earlier, Mouse and I saw each other over the blackout. We were originally going to get a bite to eat downtown and then hit up Solas again but the trains stopped at Times Square.

Me: Wanna walk to Koreatown?
Mouse: Sure.

The next thing you know, we’re in a private room in restaurant near the gym.

Her: This is so cool!
Me: (nodding) Yeah, but I’m starving.

We ended up getting mostly full there and then heading to the same bar we went to once before with some other friends.

In hindsight, I shoulda taken the opportunity to speak to her about things but I assumed she didn’t want to talk.

Evidently, I’m not good at reading her cues. Working on it.

Fast forward to this past week when she messaged me.

Her: Where are you?
Me: Just got back from the gym, why?
Her: I’m out with coworkers and my boss wants to meet you. Wanna come by?
Me: Right now? (thinking) Send me your location.
Her: Yes. Fraunces Tavern. Downtown.

Less than four minutes later, I was on a downtown train to see her, her co-workers, and her boss.

It was pretty interesting but this is getting long so I’ll tell you about it in the next entry.

In the meantime, here’s a vid I made for her blog but she can’t post videos for some reason so I’m posting it here.

It’s from when we went axe-throwing. She’s pretty good.

Location: earlier today, a children’s library with the kid
Mood: tired
Music: just need the time and place to come through

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Very different conversations

A little every day

Been seeing a ton of people lately. The fog in my head that’s been around for the past several months has lifted – mainly cause I’ve gotten some sleep. Like, real sleep.

So I wanna get things done.

Not everything’s been good. For example we had a small leak in my building that has turned into a major, major headache.

Him: You see this brick here?
Me: Yeah.
Him: (punches it, brick moves) Yeah, that shouldn’t do that.

The cost to fix is gonna wipe out my savings. Ah, the joys of homeownership.

On a happier note, spoke to an old buddy of mine, who was a lifelong New Yorker that somehow met and married a girl he met down south. Then, he up and left not that long ago to be with her.

Me: What’s life like in Virginia?
Him: It’s great. We’ve got 200 acres here.
Me: That’s insane. Don’t you miss New York at all?
Him: The New York I knew and loved is long gone. I had to leave. There wasn’t anything for me any more.
Me: So what are your days like?
Him: Usually in bed by 9PM or so, up by 6AM.
Me: And you’re surrounded by chickens?
Him: Surrounded. Oh, we have two emu.
Me: Who the f___k are you?!
Him: (laughs)

He says the key to a happy marriage is to miss each other a little every day. I get that.

More ghosts from my past came to visit. Kinda.

Her: I need to crash someplace. Is your son around?
Me: No…and no.
Her: What? Why not?
Me: Because, my life’s complicated enough and you would just complicate things more.
Her: (sighs) It’s you that makes things complicated, Logan.

Also saw RE Mike again.

Now that he knows I’m out-and-about again, he’s been sending me these really insane invites again, like old times, except we both have kids now.

I’ve actually only gone to a few things with him recently but the one I enjoyed most was a quiet drink and dinner with him and his infant son downtown.

We don’t really have that many serious conversations between us cause that’s not the nature of our relationship, save for when our fathers died.

Him: I just came from a buddy’s funeral. He…look, I need to know if you’re thinking of hurting yourself.
Me: Me? (laughing) I’m afraid to cross the street these days because I don’t wanna risk leaving the boy alone. (shaking head) No. I’m not. Honest.
Him: (sighing) Good. I couldn’t handle if I had to go to another friend’s funeral.
Me: I’m sorry, man. Sometimes people go through some dark things and come out the other side. Sometime they don’t. I’m sorry. (motioning to his son) They’re worth sticking around for.
Him: Yeah. (smiling at son) They are.

Location: in the middle
Mood: good? It’s been so long since I’ve been good I forgot what it’s like
Music: How did we get into this mess? Got so aggressive

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It’s time

There is a chance

The boy was at my mother-in-law’s for the 4th of July. As I said in the last entry, my 4th was awful. That’s because I spent it cleaning out Alison’s closet and wardrobe.

You see, I finally got some sleep the other day and I woke up knowing I had to do it.

When my dad died, my mom, to her credit, spent a solid month cleaning out alla his stuff. Everything.

Like I said, women are simply emotionally stronger than most men.

But I let Alison’s closet and wardrobe sit there.

Man, Alison was a wiz at maximizing space; everything was jam-packed but perfectly organized.

The past two years, I cleaned things here and there but never really did what my mom did and just cleaned it out.

Mentioned alla this to my MIL when I saw her. She always says the right thing.

Her: I’m glad. Save a few special things, and then put everything else into two garbage bags and donate it. Alison would have wanted you to do that.
Me: I know. If the roles were reversed, I’d want her to do it too.
Her:  Yes. (gently) Clean out her things, Logan. It’s time.
Me: (nodding)

It was excruciating. However bad you think it was, it was worse.

Ended up dropping off seven bags worth of things at the local Goodwill. Screamed at no one about that many times.

Took until after midnight but once it was all done, I felt different. Better.

There’s never any closure but I think all the reminders of her everywhere added to my underlying sadness and complicated things.

I also put away her pictures, although they’re still out in the boy’s room, where they should be.

It’s a start.

Him: People got to know you through your blog, and her as well. It’s clear to everyone that you loved her and always will love her. Some of what you wrote was like poetry. (thinking) But I’m glad you talked to your MIL. She’s the only person that can give you any real advice.
Me: Yeah. (thinking) It’s like a million years ago and like yesterday.
Him: (nodding) It’s good. You did the right thing (cleaning out Alison’s closet).

I saw Mouse briefly the other day when some friends got together for AYCE Korean food and some axe throwing.

She’s quite good at it. Wanted to tell her about the closet and wardrobe but it didn’t feel right.

Afterward, she and I decided to get some dessert and coffee together.

There was so much I wanted to say to her, but she handed me one of her headphone earbuds and we just listened to music on the ride over.

Dunno what the future holds for us, if anything, but I’d be lying if I said wasn’t happy to see her.

Me: It’s no excuse, but you met me at a weird and awful time in my life. 
Her: I know, Logan. But… (shakes head)
Me: No chance at all?
Her: (laughing) Like a moonshot chance.
Me: I’ll take that. (later) So, there is a chance.

Suppose you’ll have to read her blog to find details, if any. After all, it’s how I get most of my info about her these days.

Speaking of music, my brother sent me some song suggestions the other day, before I wrote my last entry.

Interestingly, one of the songs he said I should listen to was Be the One by Dua Lipa, and the lyrics actually work well with the story about The Taming of the Shrew, which I found interesting.

Maybe that’s just me.

Location: an emptier home
Mood: hopeful
Music: just another chance

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Whatever you need it to be

..it is. It’s the moon, then

Hope you had a good 4th of July.

I didn’t really. Probably one of the worst I ever had, mainly because I did a buncha things I’d been putting off for…years, really.

But around 8PM, I started feeling much better and thinking a lot clearer than I have in a while, for reasons we’ll get into a bit later, I suppose.

Billy Shakespeare wrote this play called The Taming of the Shrew* where this fella named Pete says, “Good Lord, how bright and goodly shines the moon!

The only problem is that it’s daytime and he’s talking about the sun (just to prove a point).

So his girl Kate says, “Dude, it’s daytime. That’s the sun.”

Pete: I say it is the moon that shines so bright.
Kate: I know it is the sun that shines so bright.
Buddy: (to Kate) Just say it’s the moon or we’ll never get outta here.
Kate: (to Pete) Sun, moon, whatever. Whatever you say it is, it is.

See, Kate’s kinda a stubborn know-it-all, whereas Pete just wants them to have a happy relationship.

So Pete decides to test Kate by saying something demonstrably false, and Kate, to her credit, realizes that it doesn’t matter who’s wrong or right, as long as they have each other. So she says, essentially, “Whatever. If it makes you happy, I’ll say it and we can just move on with our lives.”

Someone once told me that I always have to be right. I don’t agree with that statement 100% but I see what they mean.

After all, what are you winning in life if you’re losing the really important stuff?

*Yes, I’m aware of the potentially misogynistic overtones of the story. But I’ve always liked this scene, where someone gives in because they know a happy relationship’s worth more. I get that. Here’s a slightly more modern – and reversed – take on the scene.

Location: surrounded by clothes, boxes, bags, and memories
Mood: rested
Music: right now there’s a war between the vanities

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I’m kind of a late…

What’s so funny?

Been catching up with lotsa people from various walks of life, including RE Mike.

Before I knew it, I’m on a subway heading downtown…

… and on some billionheiress’s  private guest list (for serious).

Me: Hi, I’m Logan. I’m kind of a late addi…
Greeter: Logan Lo?
Me: Uh, yeah!
Her: (laughing) I just added you. You don’t need to wait in line. 66th Floor. (puts a red ribbon around my wrist) Have fun.

RE Mike was, and will always be, amazing.

Anywho, the party was pretty nuts. That’s all I’ll say on the matter.

Mainly cause I got pics…

Me: Hi, I need a photographer for the evening. You game?
Girl1: (laughing) Sure!

Fella1: What I really need is a copyright lawyer.
Me: Oh man, are you in luck…

Me: Well, now that’s something you don’t see every day.

Girl3: Wait, you’re leaving?! So early?
Me: Yeah. I gotta see about a girl. Nice meeting you.

Me: (walking in late) Hey. (laughs)
Her: (laughs) What’s so funny?
Me: You tell me.
Her: (later) I kept hoping it was you.

Location: the 66th floor in the pics above
Mood: ready to suffer and ready to hope
Music: I’ve been a fool and I’ve been blind

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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

Just money, just allergies

Losing, Winning, Living

Him: Maybe she’ll come for dinner?
Me: No. She’s still on her adventure.
Him: What’s an adventure?
Me: It’s…it’s an exciting trip. (hesitating) Is…is that ok? If it’s just papa?
Him: (nodding) I want ham.
Me (relieved) You got it, man.
Him: I’m not a man, I’m a boy!
Me: Yes. (laughing) You’re my boy.

If only all these things were this easy to solve.

He’s graduating from pre3K this week. Like everything that should be a good memory, this one is bittersweet. It seems like we just started school.

I couldn’t sleep the other night because I knew that most of the other kids would have both parents there and he would look out and just see me.

Was going to call up the ABFF, or my sister, or even one of his sitters to come but, thankfully, Alison’s mom can make it. It’s a small thing but I slept like a log the day she told me she’d make it.

The thought of him just seeing me in the audience bummed me out no end.

Mother-in-law: Can I stay over the night before?
Me: God, no….joking! You’re always welcome here.

Should mention that I’m 100% confident that if I called Mouse and told her it was his graduation, she would come. Full stop. Cause she would do anything for him. But everything’s complicated enough as it is.

In any case, there’s so much guilt involved in parenting. Suppose it’s like a poor parent that looks at wealthier parents and feeling a niggling bit of jealousy and longing.

Except it’s not money. If only it were just money.

My dad once said to me that, if a problem can be solved by money, it’s not that big a problem. But when you have problems that can’t be solved by money, it’s a real problem.

But the boy doesn’t seem to notice, which is a small blessing, I suppose.

Another parent: Hi. I’ve been meaning to tell you that your son must be the happiest boy I’ve ever seen.
Me: Gotta say, that means more to me than you might imagine.
Her: Oh…well, it’s true. You and your wife are doing something right. (pause) Are you…
Me: Sorry, just…allergies. (clearing throat) Thanks. That means a lot.

I’ve got a lot going on but I’m trying to sort through it all so it’ll make sense to you. Cause not a lotta it makes sense to me.

And it’s Father’s Day in a week.

Me: Oh, I’ll make you a croque monsieur!
Him: No! Ham!
Me: But a croque monsieur is…you know what? Nevermind. Let’s get you some ham, ok? We’ll go to the market together. (gets keys)
Him: OK! (sings)

Location: home
Mood: allergies. Lotsa allergies
Music: gimme some, gimme some, gimme some sign. I think that we’re supposed to be

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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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