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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Hacking it

Seeking efficiencies

Been sick for the past week or so. Damn, that party really took it all out of me – prob more the setup than the actual party, TBH.

Coughed so hard that I blew out a blood vessel in my eye the other day.

But it’s also given me time to think.

When I was a kid – 11, maybe? – there was a store we all called Angie’s that sold these flying saucer type toy guns for, say, $2.00. But they were always sold out of them.

One day, found a store that sold them for $1. Figured I’d sell them for $1.50, a 50% markup but still 25% less than Angie.

So I took all of my savings, bought every gun I get my hands on, and brought them back to Queens.

Took me a while, but I ultimately sold alla them. My dad asked me where I got all the scratch I had and I sheepishly told him.

Afterward, he smiled, reached into his pocket and gave me double the amount I made.

Him: You made an honest dollar and you helped people. You get rewarded for doing things like that.

That was my very first business deal and I remember it to this day.

I bring it up for two reasons. The first is that I was chatting with my buddy Cable. He asked me about my past.

Him: Is it true?
Me: You really wanna know?
Him: Yeah, tell me.
Me: OK, make yourself comfortable. (15 minutes later) …and I did what any good Chinese boy would do; I sunk it all into real estate.
Him: I’ve always wondered about that. That explains so much.

I call it hacking: I hack my life.

Another example: The program that I use the most is something called Dropbox – my buddy Rick told me about it…10 years ago?

It’s free for 2GB of space; the next step up is $120 a year.

I did the math and figured out that if I used the free referral link they had, I could buy ad space on Google to advertise my referral code. Some rando would get an extra 500mb, I would get an extra 500mb, and Dropbox would get a new customer. Win-win-win.

Even cooler, I had a $100 credit for Google cost-per-click buys, so I used that, and netted…well, check out below:

So, for $0 across a decade, I’ve had 28.2GB of Dropbox space. The max is actually 16GB, but I hacked that too. That’s another story.

I’m not so much bragging – ok, I am, but it takes me 10-35 years for me to brag/talk about stuff – so much as I’m trying to explain what fascinates and drives me.

In The Godfather, Vito saw the world as two groups: pezzonovante or puppets.

Don Corleone: … I refused to be a fool dancing on the strings held by all of those big shots. That’s my life, I don’t apologize for that. But I always thought that when it was your time, that you would be the one to hold the strings. Senator Corleone, Governor Corleone, something.
Michael: Another pezzonovante.

But I’ve always felt there was a third option: Someone in the margins of society, exploiting inefficiencies while maybe making life a little better.

Those are my people: The Devil. Rain. Sheridan. We’re the hustlers that eat-what-we-kill. There’re few of us left. The grey men.

This is all prelude to the second reason I’m walking down nostalgia lane with you: A business associate recently presented me with a problem for which I think I have an elegant solution. It’s a gamble. But I believe in my power to hack things. So does she.

In some ways, it was that belief that crushed my soul the past few years; I think I felt the weight of Alison and my father’s death even more heavily because I felt I should have figured it out.

“It” being cancer. How fucking arrogant is that?

That’s what I’ve prided myself on my entire life; seeing things that other people didn’t see. I consumed every medical article I could get my hands on to try to hack that fucking thing.

In the end, I bought Alison and my dad a few more months/years, but at such a cost. Yet another bit of guilt for my soul to enjoy.

Him: You can’t hold yourself responsible for them dying of cancer.
Me: (drunk) Yeah? (laughing) Watch me…

And I hated myself so much for being able to figure out alla these meaningless bullshit things like Dropbox and toy guns, but not figure out the things that might have saved the people I loved.

I’m only now able to take solace in the fact that it was a fool’s errand, but at least it was borne of love. And I’m nuthin if not an arrogant fool for love…

In any case, I have a new puzzle to fill my otherwise dull and vicious life.

The stakes are more than toy guns but less than cancer. If I figure it out, I’ll tell you all about it.

In about 10-30 years.

Me: There’s actually a lot more. But that’s enough for today. Every day, we choose the life we’re gonna live. I choose to set myself apart. In my head, I’m in the world, but separate from it.

Location: bed
Mood: coffee/cough-y
Music: Staying in my play pretend, where the fun ain’t got no end

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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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Food is an interesting trigger

Rock in a Stream

Food’s an interesting trigger.

When I had the mutton curry in the Bahamas, it reminded me of the very first time I ever had any curry.

It was actually one of my dad’s favourite dishes. He made it at least once a month. I remember that I thought it was disgusting the first time I had it. But it grew on me.

Fast forward to earlier this week: I’d been talking to my mom a lot for various reasons and I remembered the curry and thought of my dad.

While at a Korean supermarket near my pad, I came across my dad’s fave brand and bought it.

Sleepy Logan spent a good part of the night chopping up some goat, onions, and carrots to make it. My dad loved goat but only made the curry with chicken, otherwise my mom wouldn’t eat it.

This whole night, my pad smelled like my childhood home and – if I closed my eyes – I could imagine him making it downstairs while singing a Japanese song.

Boy: What’s that?
Me: Curried goat. My dad liked it.
Him: Can I try it?
Me: Sure! (gives him some)
Him: (makes a face, shakes head)
Me: (laughs) Maybe in 42 years, you’ll have it again and think of me.
Him: (putting food on plate) That’s a long time!
Me: It happens just like that, kid. (snapping fingers) Just like that.

Don’t have the words to express how much I miss my dad.

I’ll just simply say that my heart aches in a way I hope you never feel but know you will one day. For that, I’m sorry.

Because it’s just awful. It brings you to your knees.

On a related note, my mom’s been dealing with her own stuff recently but that’s her story so I’ll leave it there.

She told me something once years decades ago that I used as a guiding principle of my life prior to Alison getting sick and I was reminded of it recently.

When I was a kid, got upset one day over something that was probably nuthin.

Her: You let the world affect you too much. You should be like a rock in a stream.
Me: What does that mean?
Her: Imagine a rock in a dirty stream for a 100 years. You take it out and smash it open, you’ll see that the inside is dry. It’s unchanged. Nothing from stream got into the rock. It’s in the stream but unaffected by the steam.

There’s a power to being in the world but unaffected by it. Of course one should change and grow but I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about having hopes and goals and pursuing them, unfettered by the whims of the world.

People ask me how I’ve done so much in my life and my mom’s comment to the teenage me is a major reason why.

To me, things are either productive or just mental masturbation (OK, I watched Star Wars, The Rise of Skywalker recently but that’s another story). More on that later.

My 20s and 30s were best described as living a pretty blissfully uninvolved in life. I went to or threw parties (and invited 2,000 of my closest friends), worked, traveled, washed, rinsed, repeated.

I was in the stream of life but unaffected by it. Even when I met Alison, it was the two of us separate from the world. We were in it, but separate from everyone else. That was nice in its own way.

That is, until November 8, 2015. Then I felt every bump, bruise, and papercut. Because she suffered. And I felt all of it.

Mouse once said that, in some – not all – respects, it’s harder for the caregiver than it is the cared-for. That’s true, although my dad and Alison suffered more than I would wish on anyone I didn’t despise. Even then…

Speaking of wishing:

Mom: I wish…I wish things were different for you.
Me: Me too. But wishes are just that: Wishes. I’ll be ok. Honest. I survive things. It’s what I do. Even when I don’t wanna.

I’m still affected by the world but – gradually – less so, I think. Maybe in time, I can be who I was once before? One can only hope.

I wouldn’t mind, actually, if it was just me and the kid – in the world but unaffected by the world. But I don’t think that’s possible anymore.

Cause I want the boy to be in the world, more than I want not to be.

Little girl at the park: You want to be my friend?
Boy: (nods, laughs, and spends the rest of the afternoon with her)

Location: Chatting with new old friends around the way
Mood: affected
Music: Mama don’t cry, long as we try. Maybe things change?

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You didn’t know this?

Still done

Been bringing the kid to tests for a little while and speaking with other parents. Literally, every time I speak to another parent, I find out something I feel I shoulda known.

Gonna condense about five or six different conversations into just three for clarity.

Her: (breathless) Were you stuck on the train getting here too? I was worried we’d miss our test slot.
Me: Oh, I live right down the block. We kinda rolled outta bed and ended up here.
Her: You live right down the block?! We came here from Staten Island!
Me: Staten Island?! Why?!
Her: (confused) Anderson’s the gifted and talented school for the entire city. People from as far away as the Long Island border commute into the city for hours to get in. It’s like Stuyvesant or Bronx Science for middle schoolers. You didn’t know this?
Me: (slowly) Yes?

For a different test:

Him: If we make it in, we’d sell our home in Douglaston and try to squeeze the four of us into a one-bedroom in the area.
Me: You’d move here just for a music school?
Him: (puzzled) Special Music School is the only free music school in the city, maybe even the state. The lessons are valued at $10,000, per year, per student. AND it has the highest academic rankings in the city because they only accept 24 students a year so – even though it’s a music school – they were ranked number one out of every school in the city for common core, three years in a row.
Me: Wait, it’s ranked even better than Anderson, PS 87, and PS 199?
Her: For grades K-to-3, yes. Each child is essentially privately tutored for 12 years. You didn’t know this?
Me: Yes? (laughing) Now I feel I shoulda prepared him for these tests. I bought my place decades ago and kids weren’t on my mind at all. (later) My wife would have known this but she passed away a little while back.
Her: Oh! I’m so sorry to hear that.
Me: I’m sorry to say that.

Then it got weird:

Her: Sorry, I couldn’t help but overhear your other conversation. Are you single?
Me: (amused) According to Facebook, yes. But it’s complicated. Why?
Her: My cousin’s single and she’s an educator working with special needs kids. She’s always dreamed of living in the Upper West Side.
Me: (laughing) I’m both flattered and slightly insulted.
Her: (quickly) Don’t be! Your son’s adorable and I love your jacket!
Me: Good to know…

On the topic of interpersonal relationships, with my last entry, my female friend admits that she might be catching feelings for one of the two guys that she’s seeing.

Her: I dunno if I’m ready to jump into anything serious just yet but…
Me: Is he on your side?
Her: What does that mean?
Me: (thinking) When we first started dating, Alison’s best male friend once said something rude about me. I think he loved her. She told him to knock it off. He did it again one day on the phone, so she hung up on him, blocked his number, and stopped hanging out with him.
Her: Whoa!
Me: (laughing) Yeah. The kicker’s that I didn’t know for months. She just handled it totally on her own, I wasn’t involved at all. When I asked her about whatever happened to him, she just said, “He said something rude about you.” That was it. When I found out about it later, I figured she was my person and we married just a year later.
Her: That’s really cool.
Me: (nodding) If you find hidden kindnesses and love – meaning he’s secretly on your side – then, bam, you’re done. Take it and go. Unfortunately, if you find out he’s secretly not on your side…you’re still done. Just not in a good way. Either way, you’re done, though.

Location: 9AM yesterday, W 67th listening to him sing
Mood: freezing
Music: I’m secretly on your side

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Travelogue: Bahamas 2019 Pt 3

A Wedding or My day with Pac

While Mouse was off doing her own thing, Pac and I decided to explore the island. The first thing we did was hit up the local KFC. Of course.

Me: Should we get a large order of fried chicken and then hit up the Greek place next door for a gyro?
Him: I didn’t come to the Bahamas for Greek food.
Me: We didn’t come here for KFC either!

Afterward, I went to the local supermarket for some fruit and soda.

Me: Do you want some oranges?
Him: I can’t think of food. I’m too stuffed.
Me: You’ll regret this later.

We met up with Mouse and some other people for dinner and drinks.

The next day, Pac and I went out again to try another fish fry, this time, right under the bridge.

Waitress: Do you each want a fish or split one?
Me: I’m not…
Him: (interrupting) We each want one.
Me: There you go.

Me: God, I’m so full, that was huge.
Him: We shoulda done this the first day.

The next day was the wedding itself.

The weather was just perfect. I’d tell you more but that part is their story, not mine.

Afterward, came the party.

Romance was in the air.

The next day, Mouse took me out for some all-you-can-eat.

Me: How is it? Worth it?
Pac: Worth it. They have oxtail and mutton curry.

And then it was time to go home.

Pac: I’m ready to go home, have a green smoothie, and make out with my girl.
Me: I just wanna see my kid.
Him: What should I get her? Chocolate and wine?
Mouse: No girl is gonna be upset getting chocolate and wine.
Me: Good to know…

Location: the boy’s room, surrounded by toys
Mood: worried
Music: We’ll hit the coast on the late night
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Dear Nate… 005: Language is telepathy

Some things demand perfection

Dear Nate;

Owls.

Stephen King wrote in On Writing that writing is, “Telepathy, of course.” That’s the power of words, of language. It passes time and space. Mr. King made me think of a bird, just as I did to you right now.

You just turned four recently but you could be 14, 44, or 94 when you read this. I may not be here when you read this but long after I’m gone, these words – my words – will be here and, suddenly, I’m with you again.

That’s why I keep everything I find that has your momma’s words on them. Even all her labels. It’s how I can hear her even now.

Words live on long after we’re gone so words matter.

Recently, I worked with your Uncle Chad on something called a Schultz Choke. It’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever learned but it has to be almost perfect to work. So I practice it.

I’ll teach it to you one day.

I suppose that you’re tired of my teaching you things. Maybe you even hate me at times. Because I demanded perfection in certain things that you think aren’t a big deal.

I understand. I sometimes hated my dad because he was always teaching me things, things that I didn’t think were a big deal. Now I get it.

I wish he were here to teach me one more thing.

But I digress. Yes, not everything demands perfection – often, good enough is good enough. But some things do. The Schultz Choke demands perfection, for example.

Language demands perfection as well. Because it has to be almost perfect to work the way you want it to.

In speaking, the right cadence, the right volume, the right words, the right body position – all these things affect how the listeners hears what your soul wants to say.

In writing, all the more so. Because – since you’re not in front of them – you don’t have things like cadence, volume, or body position to help you communicate. You only have the naked words themselves and  grammar to organize these words.

And that’s why things like vocabulary and grammar matter so much to me and why I’ve made such a big deal about it all these years. Because the loneliest people I know are people that don’t understand that if you cannot make yourself understood, you’re speaking Martian while everyone else is speaking English.

Just a few weeks ago, Aunt Roz came by to tighten up an important speech. Because I spent years writing and editing to understand how to string words together to give my thoughts life and she wanted my help in being understood.

Her: Speech was a hit! The jokes that got the loudest laughs were definitely yours.

Ending up with your mother was just a thought in my head but it was words that made it happen.

If you learn nothing else from me, I will teach you this, the power of words. And, ideally, the Schultz Choke, perhaps some kali, and how to make a decent bowl of chili.

As I just said: You don’t have a soul. You are a soul, you have a body.

Your soul is what writes and speaks. I hope it does so as perfectly as possible so that it can be heard the way you want to be heard.

Because, my hope is that you’re a soul that has something valuable and good to tell the world.

It’s all your mama and I ever wanted for you.

Him: When is mommy coming back?
Me: She’s not. She can’t.
Him: Because she got sick. (nods) I miss her.
Me: I miss her every day. Every day. But she gave me you and that makes it all a little better.
Him: I love mommy. To the moon and back.
Me: Me too. (sighing) Me too.

Dear Nate… 001
Dear Nate… 002: Wait and wish
Dear Nate… 003: Rain happens
Dear Nate… 004: Understanding is gold

Location: Yesterday, swinging lightsabers near Columbus Circle
Mood: busy again
Music: You’ll be more than alright.
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We’re not talking about saving the world

You talk funny

One of my earliest memories is a kid saying to me, “You talk funny.”

I’m pretty sure that I spoke with a thick Queens plus Chinese accent back then but used some over-sized vocabulary. My dad drilled SAT words into us as early as I can remember.

No wonder I didn’t have any friends.

Fast forward to now, I can’t bring myself to talk to the kid in any other way than the way I normally talk. But I’m realizing how odd I must sound to other people.

Me: How’s your sandwich?
Son: It’s lovely, papa.

My buddy Spak has made fun of a few phrases I use, but – oddly – the ones that he points out the most are the ones from Alison.

Me: We’re late, let’s get crack-a-lacking, Lo!
Son: Let’s get crack-a-lacking!

Mouse has noticed it too.

Her: How was your day?
Him: It was amazeballs!

But it makes me happy to hear the words that Alison used coming out of his mouth. I can’t help but smile when I hear him say them. I want, so much, for him to have her influence in his life, somehow.

Of course, there are things he says that are exclusively mine.

Me: Do you wanna have a bubble bath?
Him: Sure!
Me: (later) How high are the bubbles?
Him: (runs to the bathroom, runs back) It’s so high! It’s cray, daddy! It’s cray-cray!

Some of the things he says to the world are so hilarious that I can’t help but think he’s brilliant, even if it’s just a typical dad thinking typical things of his typical son.

Uncle: Are you watching TV?
Son: It’s on but we’re not watching it.
Uncle: Then what are you doing?
Son:  Just talking
Uncle: Oh nice. What are you talking about?
Son: Nothing.
Uncle: You’re not talking about anything?
Son: No. WE’RE NOT TALKING  ABOUT SAVING THE WORLD!!

God, I hope he has friends growing up and I’m not screwing him up too much.

As an aside, he also runs cray hot – dammit, I have to stop using that word – like me. This is him when it was 40 degrees out. He flat out refused to wear his jacket, hat, or gloves.

Location: home, with Mouse and the boy
Mood: amused
Music: Sometimes you will hate me, but that’s alright
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Living Milestones

You know…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The next day…

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

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

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

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

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

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