Yes, really

How is anyone ok with this?

Doctor: So what do you do?
Me: I’m a high-functioning alcoholic.
Him: (laughing) No, really.
Me: (nodding) Yes, really.

I finally got my COVID-19 anti-body test. It took about 90 minutes of waiting but I got it at the local CityMD – the same one I went to when I got my earache.

Nurse: Do you have any idea where you contracted it?
Me: Yup. Here.

Just a few days ago, the amount of people in the US that died from COVID-19, 58,355, surpassed the number of people that died from the Vietnam war, 58,220.

The Vietnam War lasted from November 1, 1955 to January 15, 1973, or 6,285 days. That means 9.26 people died each day in some faraway land.

The first case of COVID-19 here was on January 21, 2020; that’s 99 days to April 29, 2020. That means that 589.44 Americans died each day here, not on some foreign soil.

This is a picture of President Johnson listening to a tape of his son-in-law, a soldier in Vietnam.

Some reports say he was just tired. Others say that he couldn’t bear knowing that all these Americans were dying. I like to think that it was the latter.

589.44 each day. Each one of those numbers was a person with a mother and father. Maybe a sister and brother. Maybe some kids.

Alison and my father are numbers too. In 2017, 600,920 Americans died of cancer.

One of those numbers was named Louis Lo. He loved his three kids and his wife more than anything. He worked chopping fish in a tiny fish store and went to school at night so his kids could have a better life. He bought himself a harmonica when he felt extravagant.

He was my dad. I loved him.

Another number was named Alison McCarthy. She gave up a high paying job in a financial institution to travel to Africa to try and help people. It was lonely, hard, and dangerous but she wanted her life to mean something. She was beautiful, in every sense of the word. She was my best friend.

She loved her husband and son, like a fat kid loves cake. The first thing she ever said to her son was, “We’re best friends for life, you and me. Best. Friends. For. Life.” She died trying to comfort her mom and me telling us we’d be ok.

I don’t know if she’s right.

589.44 families, just like mine. Every. Day.

I try not to drink. It’s hard.

My mom wanted to come see me because I was alone. I told her she couldn’t. That’s what this thing does. It kills people extremely efficiently and cruelly. You die alone. Away from every one and everything you know and love.

But, there’s always some small positive, because now, you can drink all day, every day, if you want.

I don’t know how anyone is ok with this.

I don’t know how anyone is ok with any of this.

Podcast Version: Yes, Really
Location: my empty apartment
Mood: sub-optimal
Music: She’s gone (Spotify)
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Doubling-Down, Pt 1

Everyone’s got a red line

Do you remember when I gave you that three-step PSA on how to apologize?

      1. The words: “I’m sorry.”
      2. Some manifestation of contrition: “I feel awful about what I did; there’s no excuse.”
      3. Some overt act to try make things right again: “I’ll make it up to you. Let’s go to counseling.”

Think about Michel Scott from The Office: He’s lonely because he regularly hurts people but he can’t seem to do Steps 2 or 3. He can barely do 1.

The actress that played Pam said that she broke down twice while filming the episode where you saw why Michael was Michael.

[Michael is] asked what he wants to be when he grows up and he says, ‘I want to be married and have 100 kids, so I can have 100 friends and no one can say no to being my friend.’…This is when I had to turn off the episode.

I get it. I always make excuses for other people’s shitty behaviour.

But I submit that a lotta lonely people are the ones that don’t understand that apologies are a three-step process.

And the loneliest ones are the ones that not only don’t understand this, they’re the ones that double-down; they make the situation worse, so that there’s no coming back.

As much as possible, I make this blog about me. But screw it, I’m in a writing mood for reasons I’ll tell you about tomorrow. Lemme tell you about something on my mind lately.

I have an acquaintance that does Step 1: He apologizes for things, but that’s it. He never feels bad about what he did (Step 2), and, not only doesn’t do Step 3 either – try to make it better – he always doubles-down.

For example, he was always talking about his female “best friend.” While I know the girlfriend, I finally met the “best friend” at a party one night and she told me, “We’re not best friends, we barely talk. He’s just always been infatuated with me.”

The thing is, she might’ve once legitimately’ve been a close friend. But that stopped when he got jealous one day and bailed on her in a foreign country.

Two years later, he ran into her and did Step 3 – by pretending everything was fine – but never he did steps 1 and 2. The thing is, he caused an injury to that relationship that never healed. And now, never will. Too much time has passed.

Full disclosure – the best friend was honestly quite nice. And oblivious that the acquaintance was going around town calling her his best friend.

But it was only after we finally met that I realized that her being his best friend was all just a ruse; he told everyone that because he just wanted an excuse to be around her, even when he was dating other people, just in case an opportunity arose for him.

The opportunity actually happened – after a decade – when he got drunk and made a sloppy pass at his best friend at this party.

With his girlfriend there.

And the best friend’s boyfriend there as well.

The girlfriend demanded that he finally admit that they weren’t best friends and to defriend all the rando women that he kept picking up. That’s a whole different story.

Not only did he not apologize and not defriend anyone, he doubled-down and broke up with her.

How’s that for a kick in the head?

I guess everyone – him, his girlfriend, the mythical best friend, and everyone that saw him make this drunken pass at the party – finally knew what only he knew: He didn’t love his girlfriend and had been holding a torch for his supposed best friend the entire time. Ten years.

Why do I care? Well, I hate injustice.

But I also hate this whole situation because it goes against everything I know to be true; men and women can – and should – be friends. But people like this screw it up for the rest of us.

I’ve got so many female friends that I’ve not only never made a pass at, we’ve never come close. Even when massive amounts of alcohol are involved.

I feel bad for his ex, she wasted three years of her life with him. She loved him completely, and her life story would break your heart.

Me riding past the Hudson Yards and The Shed.

See, she actually supported the dude while he was a struggling student and one day, he won this prize. Instead of giving it to her, he ended up giving it to this random girl he met just a few weeks earlier.

Even when the girlfriend found out about the prize, she still stayed with him because he had an admittedly rough life, just like Michael Scott.

And she was madly in love with him. He literally bragged to people that he went on this date with this girl. It was hilarious to him. He showed me a text where he wrote his best friend, “At least I squeezed in two dates before I got caught.”

Like I said, he never apologizes and can’t help but double-down.

It’s a goddamn shame.

I mean, she’s an idiot, but it’s still a goddamn shame. That kind of loyalty and love is rare; if you’re lucky enough to find someone that’s always on your side, you should protect it with all you got.

Education’s expensive though. At least she finally learned and moved on. To quote one of my exes, Everyone’s got a red line.

This is getting super long, so I’ll finish it up tomorrow. I got a lotta time on my hands to think. And write.

Speaking of female friends, I just finished writing this when KG Betty wrote me.

We’ve known each other a decade as well. I crashed at her place a buncha times and she at mine. Never kissed her or anything ever. I just don’t get how other people live. For serious.

Cause, my relationship with KG Betty is valuable to me, I won’t jeopardize that for something stupid.

Her: Finally! I heard you got sick, I was worried about you.
Me: It’s good to hear from you. How’s life in Korea?
Her: (laughing) Much better than where you are, Logan. You guys are in trouble.

Podcast Version: Doubling-Down, Pt 1
Location: yesterday, riding past my possible pasts
Mood: free
Music: What a shame, we coulda had a good thing (Spotify)
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Stupid attractive

My best friend

One of the last conversations I had before COVID-19 hit was with a lawyer.

I’d gone to his office and one of his co-workers was stupid attractive. We walked out together.

Me: Hard to believe someone could be that attractive and that successful.
Him: She kind of annoys me, actually. She’s always dressing way too inappropriately for work.
Me: (stopping) Wait, you just a had a kid, yeah?
Him: Yeah, why?
Me: Well, there’s a weird quirk in relationships where couples in secure, happy relationships get turned off by third parties like attractive people, because they view it as a threat to what they consider the most valuable thing they have, the relationship.
Him: Whoa, that’s it exactly.

Think that’s why I never came close to cheating on anyone I’ve ever dated. I just never had an interest.

My buddy swears he saw me kissing someone at Mouse’s birthday party. But that’s just not in my nature. Other people are fine with it but then again, they reap what they sow, I suppose.

I may be a womanizer but, when it comes to an actual relationship, I’m all in.

Alison’s best friend was this guy named Shawn. She cut him off completely when he said something rude about me. I remember being so flattered and she just thought it was weird that I made such a big deal about it.

Me: He was your best friend.
Her: (rolls eyes) You’re my best friend, Logan.

Full disclosure, when Alison got sick, Shawn somehow found out about it and still sent her a large check to try and help. It’s hard to dislike someone that is nice to someone you love.

To know her was to love her.

On a related matter, I got a really sweet email the other day from one of Alison’s grad school buddies.

ABFF: Oh, her? I’m surprised because I recall that she was in love with a guy that was in love with Alison.
Me: (laughing) Alison never told me that and this girl certainly didn’t mention it.
Her: Yeah, she was jealous and maybe even had a fight with Alison over this guy? Because everyone always had some sort of real or hidden crush on Alison and so she was jelly
Me: I believe it.

My son was once going to be named Jack.

But this guy Jack kept asking her out, even when she said she and I were dating so that ruined the name for both of us. She told him to knock it off at this Halloween party with the ABFF; Alison actually shoved him against the wall.

I remember thinking I wanted to yell, “Yeah that’s right, she’s with me!” But I figured that would be too douchey.

I always liked the name Jack. I named one of the main characters in my book Jack because I liked it so much.

Spoke to Rain recently as well.

Him: You need to find someone that thinks you’re great. Like, I look at my wife and worry that I’m in a dream and I’ll wake up and find out it’s all imaginary.
Me: You know how you know this is real? I’m in it. And you hate me.
Him: (laughs)
Me: I don’t think people are lucky enough to find someone that thinks you’re made of awesome twice in life. I know I’m not the greatest thing on the planet; it’s just nice when someone thinks you are. We both married up.
Him: (nodding) Definitely. We definitely did.

It’s selfish, I know, but I miss having someone (not so) secretly on my side.

Really, though, I should just try and meet someone that thinks my son is the greatest thing on the planet.

Now, how hard could that be?

Podcast Version: Stupid Attractive
Location: my empty apartment, with the last jar of peanut butter
Mood: accepting that I’m not the one
Music: Why do you have to go and make things so complicated (Spotify)
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IDGAF

Why is that so much to ask?

Me: You wanna hear something true? I care about both of you deeply. But – honest to fuck – if someone told me that I could get Alison back by killing you two, or anyone, for that matter, I would do it without hesitation. I would feel bad about it, yeah. But I would be at your doorstep within the hour to cut you clean and cut you deep. Alison would hate me forever, but I would do it. There is no sin I would not commit to get her back. (sighing) But I don’t have that option. So, (raising glass) cheers…

The last time I got audited was twelve years ago for about $25K.

Got audited again this past week. Happy birthday to me.

Essentially, NYS wants to know how come I went from reporting $XXX,XXX in income in years past to $X,XXX (AGI) for the last couple of years.

Honest to god, my first instinct was to write them a letter that just said:

My wife and father died exactly 90 days apart in 2017 from some medical bullshit while other assholes get to live their shitty meaningless lives.

I spent the last three years trying not to kill myself cause of the injustice of it all. Frankly, I don’t give a fuck. Fuck you. Fuck everyone. Tell me what you think I owe you and send me a goddamn bill. I don’t give a shit.

Sincerely,

Logan Go Fuck Yourself Lo

I actually wrote something along those lines. Just with less restraint. I subsequently toned it down.

Logically, I know that some innocent bureaucrat that has no interest in hurting me will be on the receiving end of my vitriol but, I’m the eggshell plaintiff. And I don’t care.

Plus, now, I had to find her goddamn death certificate.

There is nothing more hateful or rage-inducing than having to look for – and, ultimately, find –  something that you despise with every fiber in your body. I keep it in a case, on the bottom drawer, in a folder, in a folder, in yet another folder.

It’s as if it’s radioactive and will kill me if there aren’t enough layers between us.

That’s probably not too far from the truth.

In the past, I used to go to the gym to get out my anger and frustration. I don’t have that option any longer. So, I sit here and quietly seethe, holding a piece of paper that tells me to go fuck myself because my family’s gone and we’re shit outta luck for a happy ending.

Well, that’s not entirely true. The silence part, that is. Cause, right now, I can scream to my heart’s content.

Always a silver lining, yeah?

Speaking of my gym, I think the last time I got hit with some pure truth was when I spoke to someone out there about Alison dying. He lost someone that he loved with all his soul as well.

I asked him if it ever got better.

Him: You never stop being angry. I’m angry right now thinking about it – and that was years ago.

We’re surrounded by bullshit 24/7 – our president is 24/7 bullshit – so that’s more true than ever. My Facebook feed is fulla people clearly ok with consuming and vomiting up Trump’s daily bullshit.

I don’t know how they live.

The thing with the truth is, when you hear you hear something that you know is true, your soul hears it. You feel it. In three years, what my friend said about the person he loved and lost was and remains one of the purest true things I’ve heard felt yet in my life.

Well, that and when my son said I had a big head.

When a toddler tells you that you have a big head – and your wife said the same – it’s probably true.

I’m sorry. I’m tired. I’m tired of so many things. I’m mostly tired of being surrounded by bullshit. I am craving some truth and peace.

I just want some goddamn truth and peace. And kindness.

Why is that so much to ask?

(c) Alyson McClaran

Sir(s);

The reason for my lowered income is that I find myself unable to work full-time any longer.

This is because my wife and father both died in 2017 and I find it difficult to care about anything. Including this audit, frankly.

Attached, please find her death certificate and a copy of my bank statements…

Podcast Version: IDGAF
Location: the basement of my brain again
Mood: blindingly white hot rage
Music: my best friend caught you creeping. You blamed it all on the alcohol (Spotify)
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Goodnight, Nick

I miss my tribe

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.

A man’s dying is more the survivors’ affair than his own. This was and remains true. There’s nothing I can do or say to my mom’s best friend beyond, I’m sorry, and I understand. Cold comfort, but the truth, nonetheless.

It’s good they have each other. Life’s hard enough without your people. She’s Greek, my mom’s Chinese, but they’re both part of the same tribe. In that sense, they’re lucky.

All we really have in the world are our tribes; the people that love us, I suppose.

Everything else is just hot breath and lies. And what good is that, in the end?

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.

I cannot wait.

Podcast Version: Goodnight, Nick
Location: you’d never guess
Mood: sad and pensive, and missing the people I love
Music: If we never met, I’d be drunk, waking up in someone else’s bed (Spotify)
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Isolation Days 12-16: Organizing digital stuff

Back before it went to hell

The constant stream of images and reports from hospitals is hitting me with so many awful flashbacks.

Between that and the earache, I’m…discomforted.

Still, I thought I was ok enough to finally organize the massive amounts of videos and pictures I have of the boy. And Alison.

Do you remember when I said that I only have two videos of her?

That’s not completely accurate. My brother found a video of her and sent it to me, which brings me to three (good) videos total…before the cancer. Afterward, well, I’ve got a shitton.

They just sat in my computer all this time in a folder called, Alison (Sad, don’t open).

I never listen to me.

In the past three years, I’ve dreamt about Alison exactly one time. Since Monday, I’ve dreamt of her three more.

Just like our real lives, they started off so great. For some reason, I never remember she had cancer in them.

Her: Why are you looking at me like that?
Me: I dunno. It’s weird. It’s like I haven’t seen you in ages.
Her: (laughing) Werido.

But horror happens in each dream and the next thing you know, I’m watching her go. And then I remember.

Fuck. And then I remember. I don’t wanna remember.

Just last week, I joked that I would go to the back bathroom and scream because no one was around to hear me. Actually did that. Didn’t really help.

I’m out of my regular cheap sipping rum.

Time to start breaking out the fancy stuff, I suppose.

I spend a lotta time thinking about alla the people in Alison’s shoes right now. I remember the constant panic every time something happened. We went to the emergency room 11 times. 11 fucking times.

Can’t imagine what those people are going through now. Don’t wanna.

Around 11PM, I wrote someone that helped us. Don’t think I’ve really spoken to her in all this time.

Me: Sorry for the super late text. I just wanted to say, “thank you,” again for everything you did to try and help Alison. I’m using this time to edit videos and a lot of them are you helping her.
Her: Hey Logan, so happy to hear from you! Thank you for saying that. I think about you guys so often. And I miss your whole family.

This is one my shitty videos of Alison. I have more of these types but, as you can see, they barely count.

That first pic above is me almost exactly 19 years ago. It was taken March 29, 2001 by my brother sitting in the back seat of my old beat up BMW.

9/11 didn’t happen yet. I still had my life-savings. I still believed that god and happy endings existed. Man, I didn’t know shit about shit.

I loved that car. I loved my old red leather jacket. I loved that car stereo I installed myself. I loved tinkering with that car.

It’s been terribly isolating the last two weeks. I talk to friends but it’s different than having family in the room with you. So, I sit in the dark with my dark thoughts.

I think about alla the things and people that I love that I can can’t touch or hold any more.

Me: Hey. It’s me. Just wanted to make sure you’re ok.
Her: You called! I’m so happy you called. I missed you.
Me: I missed you too, mom. (sighing) I missed you too.
Her: Are you ok?
Me: (pause) Sure.

Location: Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn, waiting for strangers
Mood: gutted
Music: I wish I could turn it off sometimes. Oh, I can’t escape my mind (Spotify)
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Isolation Days 5-6: A gaping yaw

Getting outta Dodge…again

Him: Where are we going?
Me: (as upbeat as possible) To see your aunt!
Him: Yay!

The redheaded babysitter and my regular babysitter have been the only company that the boy and I’ve had the last four days.

Because I manage my building, I realized that – with the possible exception of two people on one of the upper floors – there was no one else in my building.

Right around when I came to that realization, my sister-in-law called to check in on us and said that there was a chance that the mayor would be shutting down all non-essential travel. While I read that this wasn’t likely, I still felt this really cold dread.

You see, if anything happened to me, the boy would be all alone in the building. I could fall down the stairs (again), cut my my head open (again), get sick and pass out (again), or any number of things.

That’s when I hit the grief button (again). If Alison was here, at least it would be the three of us. But I didn’t feel safe being alone with just the two of us so we got outta Dodge (again).

Me: We’re out the door. What do you need from me, if anything?
Her: Just bring some extra clothes and I’ll bring them to my parents. Who knows how long he’ll be there?
Me: OK. We’re already on the subway.

I was about the same age as the boy when the Blackout of 1977 happened. I remember that my parents didn’t seem like themselves that day, even all these years later.

Didn’t want the boy to hear or feel any anxiety as I took him out of the city, so I played a version of “lava” with him to try to not have him touch anything. That was fine while it lasted.

Him: I’m tired of this game.
Me: (sighing)
Him: You’re doing (imitates a sigh) again.
Me: (nodding)

We were the only ones in our car.

I only saw my sister for a moment as I buckled the kid into the child seat and dashed off to catch the train back.

Me: Please try to be good, ok?
Him: OK. Bye, papa! (waves)

Told Pac that I’d support his mom’s business – Noona Noodles – while things were sketch.

Me: Should I head to your mom’s?
Him: Nah, she’s not picking up.
Me: Actually, fuck it, I’m here. Lemme see if she’s open.

She was – place was dead quiet. I was the only customer in the whole joint. Picked up some Vietnamese pho and a 40 on the way back, for no particular reason.

Woulda picked up more food but it’s just me. It was delicious.

Tried to be as productive as I could: Did my taxes, submitted my census form, and finally got around to cleaning up some digital files.

Found some pics of my family before everything went to shit. That’s an entry for another day.

On my last one pound jar of peanut butter to boot. Went through two jars in five days.

I already miss the boy. But he’s safer there than in an empty NYC apartment building with just me. Growing up with no friends, I’m used to being by my lonely. But this feels different. Finding those pictures didn’t help.

It’s a gaping yaw of existential loneliness that only comes with profound moments of grief that I can’t quite seem to explain.

Her: What are you going to do?
Me: Seeing as I’m here in this building by myself, I’m going to go to the back room and randomly scream for a bit.
Her: (laughs)

Location: an empty UWS apartment building
Mood: inebriated
Music: standin’ out there alone. A yearning, yeah, and it’s real
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Roommates

See you tomorrow

Me: I’ve never had anyone in my life that wanted to hang out with me 24/7.
Katsmw: He’s your son!
Me: Yeah, but still…

While I don’t like publicly complaining about any one person, I have to say that the boy is probably the worst roommate I’ve ever had. And I’ve had roommates for longer than you’ve probably been alive.

Granted, I was never a perfect roommate. But I’m still better than the kid is.

He rarely, if ever, cleans up after himself and even something as simple as scrambled eggs transmogrifies to a mess of ginormous proportions. And he just leaves it there because he knows I’ll eventually clean it up.

On that note, he’s never offered to cook – ever – for me, instead he: (a) constantly asks what’s for dinner and then (b) refuses to eat whatever we’ve previously agreed upon.

Him: I don’t want to eat this.
Me: YOU JUST ASKED ME TO MAKE IT!
Him: I just want milk.

On the rare nights we go out, he’s never even made the attempt to offer to pay. I’m not saying that he’s not offered to pay (which he hasn’t) he doesn’t even make the attempt to offer to pay.

Literally, the check will come and he’ll just look at me blankly.

Me: (looking at check) Should I get that?
Him: OK, papa!
Me: (muttering) Not really what I was getting at, but sure…

This isn’t just limited to food. Groceries, utilities, even the mortgage itself; not only doesn’t he offer to help with anything – anything – he doesn’t even say thanks when I cover things for both of us.

Which I do. Every time.

Me: You didn’t say, “thank you.”
Him: Thank you, papa!
Me: I shouldn’t have to keep reminding you!
Him: (laughing) Sorry, papa.

I will say that he does offer to help around the house, to his credit. But this is outweighed by the fact that, he almost always makes more work for me. Cabinet doors are open for no reason whatsoever…

Me: Why is this open?
Him: I don’t know.
Me: YOU’RE THE ONE THAT OPENED IT!

…lights are left on…

Me: Please turn off the lights if you’re not going to be in the room.
Him: Why papa?
Me: BECAUSE WE’RE NOT MADE OF MONEY!

…even the toilet isn’t flushed. Who doesn’t flush the toilet? Oh, wait, I know, my roommate.

Me: Did you flush?
Him: It’s too loud.
Me: Oh, for goodness sakes…

Finally, and this is admittedly petty, he thinks he’s hilarious but I’ve yet to get a single joke he’s made. Not a one.

Him: Why did the chicken cross the house?
Me: I don’t know, why did the chicken cross the house?
Him: To get over the roof!
Me: (shaking head)

Instead of helping around the house, you know what he does? He spends every free moment working on his “art.” Seriously, I could do better than this – what is this even supposed to be?!

Worst. Roommate. Ever.

Him: Papa?
Me: Yeah?
Him: (quietly) I love you. And mommy. To the moon and back.
Me: (sigh) I love you too, kid. Go to sleep. When you turn 14, you better start bringing home a paycheck.
Him: (sleepily) OK, papa. See you tomorrow.
Me: See you tomorrow. (shuts door and smiles)

Met James Lipton at a shindig with RE Mike a dozen years ago.

He was a super nice guy and we chatted briefly about Phobe Cates, a crush I had growing up. A woman overheard and said that she set up Phobe Cates with her now husband, Kevin Klein. She tried to set me up with her kid but that didn’t work out, as told in the link above.

Anywho, I thanked him for the chat and he said he enjoyed it. Dunno if he was just being polite but I appreciated it.

93 – that’s a good number. I’ll take that today if I could.

RIP, James. You were a nice fella.

Location: Our pad, with open cabinets, egg on the floors, and the cutest damn kid on the UWS
Mood: tired
Music: I’ll help you if you’ll help me

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Treasured things and people

Spamgourmet

The girl – COB – from this entry wrote me recently:

Oh. Hi. Just popping round to say that I love you, you’re a most treasured friend. [My boyfriend] and I were talking about when you helped us and how much you’ve always been such an influential part of our lives even when we do not see you.

She’s a treasured friend of mine as well.

While COB and I never dated, every woman that I did date and still keep in touch with, except two, donated to Alison and me when they heard she got sick. That says a lot, I think.

When I was dating a ton, there were a certain set of rules I followed, which were essentially my rules on life in general.

But alla them can really be subsumed into one:

Leave people better off having met you than not.

My brother introduced me to a service ages ago called Spamgourmet. Essentially, it allows you to create a limitless amount of email addresses for websites to avoid spam.

It was created by a fella named Josh and was completely ad and payment free. If you donated, great, if not, you could still use 100% of the functionality.

If you click that link above, you’ll see almost exactly what I saw decades ago because it was never updated. It just worked. Why fix something that’s perfect?

I used it a lot; my brother used it voraciously.

He told me recently that Josh was diagnosed with GBM, the same cancer that took Alison. He just passed away.

Before Alison, I never even heard of this fucking thing. And now I see/hear it everywhere.

So, this rando guy out there in the world, created something that thousands of people use and enjoy and he asked for nothing in return. He made my brother’s life, and mine, a slight bit better. It wasn’t life changing, but it was nice. It was kind.

Kindness is really everything.

Anywho, I wanted tell you that today would have been Alison and my ninth anniversary. As I write those words, I’m filled with equal parts love and sadness.

Alison gave me so much. I can honestly say that no person has been a more positive influence on my life than she.

She left me a far, far, far better human being than when she met me. I will forever be grateful to her for that and my son.

To Alison, I say simply, thank you. For letting me be your fella. It was and remains an honor.

And don’t worry about the boy. I take care of him and he takes care of me.

You’re both my most treasured things.

For the past two years, I’ve looked at my anniversary with dread.

I’d pangs of suicidal thoughts that I worried would overtake me that day and I’d do something rash and stupid. Mouse was there in some fashion each year to make sure I didn’t.

We’d not really seen or spoken to each other since her birthday but she came by again this weekend.

I took her out to eat and then she took me out for a drink in a bar hidden in a department store. Think she just wanted to make sure I was ok.

Good souls are innately valuable treasure because they’re kind for no reason.

You should keep them around at all cost – if at all possible – because the world is shit and you need as many good and kind people as possible to help you weather it all.

Thank goodness for the good souls.

Mouse left on Sunday mainly because she believed me when I said that I don’t feel any thoughts of self-harm, at all. Just the normal level of sadness one might expect.

That’s good because I have no plans to leave. I need more time with him.

You see, if I left now, he’d be worse off and I can’t break my rules. If I could, I’d never leave him alone.

Him: Will you be stuck?
Me: No. (shaking head) We’re a team.
Him: We’re a team!
Me: (nodding)

Location: in my head, 2011 when we were so very, very happy and hopeful
Mood: fucking gutted
Music: I will never not think about you

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The Madison and Jollibee

A nice girl

Opened my door early morning on Valentine’s Day to find that Mouse had dropped off some fried chicken for me and the boy. She just wrote, “Happy Valentine’s Day, Logan Lo.” I thought that was nice.

She knows me so well.

Speaking of the boy, spent the day running around with him and met up with his teacher for parent/teacher conference. He scored the highest academics for his class, which I kinda expected. What made me much happier, however, was what she told me after:

Me: I’m more concerned about him socially. I didn’t have many friends growing up. (pause) Any, really…
Her: Oh, he’s very popular! Other kids seek him out. Because, he’s kind.
Me: Aren’t all kids nice?
Her: (laughs) No, not at all. He doesn’t seem to have a mean bone in his body.

I loved him so at that moment.

I thought, “Alison would be so proud.” It’s what we always wanted from him. Kindness floats, after all. It is it’s own armor.

My brother was in town with his girl, Q, who met the boy for the first time.

Her: He’s a great kid!
Me: I’m legally required to keep him for another 12 years.
Her: (laughing) Then you’re one lucky person!

The next day, we went to see ABFF for her kid’s birthday party. Despite having a full brekkie and lunch, he still managed to eat a slice of pizza and a full bag of gummi somethings.

Him: I want more!
Me: God, you’re so my kid.

Then the next day, we went to The Madison along with the SIL.

I told you once that Alison brought me there early in our relationship. While eating, I saw two old co-workers – each walking separately – that ended up getting hitched with each other. I remember waving to Anita who didn’t seem to recognize me but is such a nice gal that she waved back at us.

Alison said, “That’s nice of her – to wave at someone that she doesn’t think she knows.” She always thought the best of people. We said we’d meet up with them one of these days but never got the chance.

That was a nice day. Fuck.

I called the entry where first ate there, Batter Up, because Alison told me that the first baseball game ever was played right there. What’s funny is that the SIL told me the exact same thing.

Ended up getting a salad for myself as I’ve been cheating on my diet all week.

Didn’t help because I ended up eating half the SIL’s food AND half of the kid’s.

Plus I had a White Russian and a Bloody Mary as well.

Think I’ve developed a thing for white Russians.

Afterward, we were supposed to go skiing at American Dream  but decided that the kid would enjoy Uban Air in NJ; actually, a friend of Mouse’s had mentioned going there during her birthday party but they didn’t have room for him in the car and I was sick so I figured I’d make it up to him.

Man, did the kid have a good time.

Me: We have to go.
Him: Noooooo! One more minute! Please!?

It was really nice hanging out with the SIL and the boy.

He ended up staying with my SIL overnight and I went home and slept for thirteen hours. 13. Hours.

If you’re a parent, you know that’s like the equivalent of winning the lottery.

It was the afternoon when I woke and I dashed off to see my mom, who was just discharged, and family for dinner.

Me: How do you feel?
Her: Good. Tired. (wistfully) I wish you’d meet a nice girl like your brother.
Me: Stop calling him a nice girl, mom.
Her: What?

There’s more, but it’s getting late and I have a night of tossing and turning to start.

Location: four hours ago, my childhood room, looking for some chocolate
Mood: seriously full
Music: I don’t want it at all if I can’t have it all

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