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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The 9th Step

I think that’s who you really are

Me: You met me at a strange and awful time in my life.
Her: You keep saying that.
Me: In some ways you never met me. Who I actually am. You only ever met me all f____d-up.

Alcoholics Anonymous has a 12-Step program where Step 9 is apologizing to all the people that you’ve wronged.

In some ways, since the 4th of July, I’ve been trying to do something like that.

People that grow up with zero friends seem to fall into two camps: The ones that learn to do ok by themselves or the ones desperate for companionship.

I’m definitely  more the former than latter. All the times that I said that I set Alison apart, the obvious question is how did I treat everyone else?

For better or worse, most people I’ve met in life were/are disposable.

There’s something about being social and glib that there’s always another interaction around the way, another new relationship just with a wink and a smile.

I’m better than most at shallow relationships; slightly more than half of the people I dated between 33 and 35 are still on good terms with me.

After Alison died, I went into full pickup mode and met a number of women. A total of zero are friendly with me. Well, one still kinda talks to me.

Don’t remember much of that time except the pain, guilt, and insomnia. Everything hurt. Everything was agony. Women and alcohol were a great salve. But somewhere along the line, I think I was just awful to everyone.

It’s hard to be nice to people when you’re in agony. And I hid it so well that I suppose that people kinda forgot that I was clinging onto life.

It sounds like I’m making excuses for myself and perhaps I am, to an extent, but I’m also just trying to let you know maybe why I was as I was.

I contacted about six people, including my brother and sister-in-law whom I stopped interacting with for various reasons; only my brother and sister-in-law responded.

Well, they responded and so did Mouse. But not the way I’d hoped.

Mouse: No. (shakes head) I think that’s who you really are, Logan.

Location: home, alone with the boy
Mood: thoughtful
Music: I need direction to perfection, no no no no, help me out

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Die Berlingirl 1

A story within a story

I’m posting a ton because I’ve been awake for days. You’re welcome.


The rest of the weekend was pretty busy too. Saw some other old friends, including a woman I last saw 12 years ago.

Berlingirl: Do you remember exactly how we met?
Me: (nodding) Yes.
Her: Tell me about it. It was so long ago.

I met Berlingirl years ago at a club around the way.

I was actually there to meet someone for a date and I thought that Berlingirl was her. So I walked up to Berlingirl and randomly started chatting with her.

After a while, I realized she had an accent that I’d heard before whereas the girl I was supposed to meet was definitely American.

Me: Schuldigung…sind Sie Deutscherin, oder?
Her: (überrascht) Ja, und Sie?
Me: Nein, ich bin amerikaner…naja, chinesisch amerikaner. Sind Sie Jennifer?
Her: (lachend) Nein! Ich bin Berlingirl.

We hung out that night and for the rest of the week before she went home to…Berlin.

Berlingirl, Caligirl, and Gradgirl, all crossed my mind recently for related, but different, reasons.

For one, all three were/are unavailable to me – also for different reasons. In fact Caligirl, once chided me about only spending time with unavailable women years ago in this sad little blog.

She was wrong at the time; I was looking for Alison. However, if she said something similar now, I’d find it hard to argue with her.

Caligirl, if you’re reading this, we’re good.

And I recently had a dream about Gradgirl; we weren’t …us. I mean, we were, but not. It’s hard to explain.

If things were different, well, I’m sure you can guess. But time and chance and alla that.

Which brings us back to Berlingirl.

This was taken 12 years ago.

Doorbell rings.
Boy: (opening door, yells) It’s your friend!!
Her:  (to boy) Hello there! (smiling) Hello, Logan.
Me: (laughing, walking to the door) Hello, Berlingirl. You’ve met the boy, of course. (later) Can I interest you in a walk with us?
Her: Yes!

Berlingirl crossed my mind because she came to town with her family – and boyfriend – the other day. She stopped by to see the kid and me.

Me: To be clear, you told your boyfriend you were coming to see me, right? Sorry, I’ve all these rules. Plus, I’ve been on the other side where a girlfriend snuck around on me and it was humiliating. I’d hate to do that to anyone.
Her: Of course! You’re so…good.
Me: (laughing) Sheyah. Now, how’d you convince him to take time out of your vacation to see a guy you dated?
Her: (shrugging) I told him the truth – that you were nice. The real nice, not the “nice” Americans say when they want to be mean. I told him you were…a good guy.
Me: (laughing) I’ll take it.

This entry’s getting super long, so I’ll finish it later on this week.

Back to dreaming of sleep and my possible pasts.

Location: dreamland, still
Mood: exhausted
Music: she won’t believe me; it was only just a dream

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A Flying Fisherman in an Aviary in NYC

Nice Surprises


Don’t like surprises. Mine are generally of the type no one wants.

I like knowing things, so surprises are anathema to everything that I’m about.

My birthday’s next week so the Gymgirl decided that the best way to surprise me for it was to take me out beforehand. Way beforehand.

She first told me that she was going to take the boy and me out to eat and that she had two places picked out or I could choose.

Since she and I are still on a diet – and I’m super lazy – I told her I wanted to stay local, so we went to The Flying Fisherman around the way.

I ordered fish and chips just because I felt like carbing it up; the boy was only interested in the fries and, even then, only as a vehicle for the tub of ketchup they gave us.

Me: You can’t just eat ketchup!
Him: (eating just the ketchup) Why not?
Me: Because it’s pure sugar.
Him: But I like it.
Me: (sigh)

It was a nice night and we went back to my place to get the boy ready for bed. But just as we were putting him down, the doorbell rang. I went to get it and was surprised to see my babysitter at the door.

Me: (to her) What are you doing here?
The Gymgirl: (from behind) Surprise! Get dressed, quick! (the sitter laughs)

It turns out that she got us a table at The Aviary at the Mandarin Oriental. So off we went.

Me: You already did enough! This is too much.
Her: I like doing stuff for you.

We ended up having several different types of drinks, including one that looked like a bomb and tasted amazing.

Me: You know, my cousin designed this hotel.
Her: I’m not surprised. (laughs) The people you know…

She slipped the waiter her credit card when I wasn’t looking.

We were actually there over two hours and just talked. And then we walked home. It was my ideal type of evening.

Me: (arriving home) Oh, we forgot to use our headphones to listen to music on the way back.
Her: It’s fine. I liked the conversation.
Me: Thanks for everything tonight, it was perfect.
Her: (beaming) Great! I’m glad. I had a good time too.

Location: 10PM the other day, The Mandarin Oriental
Mood: relaxed
Music: It’s gotta drive you crazy, how you keep it all inside
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Salvaging broken things

The Gymgirl did my family a kindness

Me: What are you doing?
Her: Nothing…

The weather’s been absolutely brutal here in the City. It’s made my injury, which was (kinda) getting better, excruciating.

I was out today because I put in a bid for a portfolio of work that I wasn’t expecting to win and yet I did. So, suddenly, I find myself working again as if nothing’s happened in the past three years. And yet, so much has.

On that note, the boy accidentally broke the little grey ceramic owl from this entry, and crushed a little part of me at the same time.

But you can’t get mad at a toddler for being a toddler.

Still, I remember when Alison bought them for his room, before he was born. I teased her about her obsession with owls.

In any case, I was so busy that day that I didn’t have time to mourn the loss of it, though it stayed in the back of my mind.

The Gymgirl was here when the owl broke and she swept up the pieces. I assumed that she threw them away but I found out that she saved them.

When I came home the other night, I found her sitting at the table with some epoxy and all the pieces trying to glue them all together.

Ultimately, she did and put the grey owl back where it belonged in the boy’s room.

I loved those owls because Alison got them for the boy – because she loved him even before he was born. And now also because the Gymgirl did something so kind for us.

I once said that kindness is valuable because it’s so rare. I value kindness above all other traits because it’s such an attractive quality. It’s why I loved Alison so.

As for the Gymgirl, she has an uncanny knack for salvaging broken things. A boy could fall for a girl like her.

Because, like I said, all good relationships have these secret kindnesses that keep people together.

Me: Thank you. (thinking) That means a lot to me.
Her: It’s no big deal. (shrugging) It’s not perfect but I think it’s good.
Me: No, it’s perfect. Thank you.

Location: Antartica, I think
Mood: freezing but happy with my owls
Music: When they say only fools rush in, then I may be foolish

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Nights out and Friendsgiving

In it, but not part of it

The Gymgirl and I went out to one of her co-worker’s birthday parties.

Girl there: I think you’re the same age as my dad.
Me: He must be awesome.

It was at this Italian joint in Little Italy called Pugliao, which I’d been to twice before. Super loud music and average food but it was fun enough.

A little while after that, my eating group went over to Pac’s place in Queens for a Friendsigiving celebration. Spak managed to turn off the gas at his own pad and also cook some killer food.

I made some traditional Chinese Thanksgiving guacamole while my friend Halfman made some mac n cheese and cornbread but these pics are all from Pac:

Him: If you’re gonna post this in your blog, gratuitously mentioning that I’m single would be dope.
Me: Done. Also, do people still use the word, “dope?”

I’ve been trying to balance my nights at home and out-and-about.

The weather’s getting cold and dark and I don’t want to do much but stay home and do stuff around the house. Try to sleep.

But the holidays are when people invite you places and I’ve got a full social card again.

Work’s picking up again, too. Like before.

My friends the Halfmen drove me and the kid home. He put on Uptight and kid sang most of the song.

When he got to the line that goes, She says, “Baby, everything is alright,” I broke down a little but recovered quickly enough that I don’t think the kid or the others saw.

I feel like I’m faking so much; being involved in the world but only enough to get by.

I’m in it, but not part of it.

Well, not part of the things that don’t really matter, at least.

Me: We’re home!
Boy: I like being home.
Me: There’s no place like it, right kid?
Him: (laughs, sings)

Location: home with the boy
Mood: full
Music: Blow all my friendships to sit in hell with you
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No place to go

Loss and threat of loss

ABFF: I read about the breakup and your insomnia, are you ok?
Me: Strictly, speaking, I haven’t been ok since November 8, 2015. But I’ll survive. After all, that’s what I do, right?

Wrote once that anxiety is fear of the hypothetical. But if you look at it from the fear side of the equation, there are really only two types of anxiety:

  1. Fear of loss
  2. Fear of the threat of loss

I’ve dealt with the horrible realization of some of the worst fears any human being can imagine. Repeatedly. And whenever I thought no horror could top what I was experiencing, life was like: Not done with you yet, man.

On a smaller scale, some fears regarding the Gymgirl were realized recently. As I said, everyone’s grief is grief to them, even when they’ve dealt with the worst-of-the-worst for so long.

After all, I adored the girl.

This blogger named Jamie Anderson wrote:

Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.

The start of my insomnia was actually because the father of one of my oldest and dearest friends just passed away, in a similarly horrifying and grotesque way. I actually fell to my knees when I heard. Literally, my knees buckled. Because I knew everything he was feeling and felt it with him.

What happened with the Gymgirl happened the very next day and just added fuel to the fire.

Agony plus grief is, well, just a lotta f__king grief.

I sent my buddy the quote above in the hopes that understanding grief would make it a little more bearable. It did for me. Kindasortamaybe.

The plus side of this type of grief is clarity, i.e., the disappearance of anxiety. My buddy, I hope, has some peace cause the hypothetical becomes concrete.

Although, I’m sure he, like I, wish it were all concrete in the opposite direction. Then again, I wish for a lotta things. Like I wish I sold my bitcoin back at 20K.

For me, I now know all this information that I never knew before about my relationship with the Gymgirl. She knew, I didn’t, rather.

If nothing else, this new info allows me to see things in a different light, and that’s somehow better. Somehow.

Her: I’m sorry, Logan. You don’t have time for this.
Me: (dismissively) Don’t worry about me, I’ve been through this, so many times, before. Sometimes you’re the dumper, sometimes you’re the dumpee. I’ve always said that I prefer being the dumpee if given the choice.
Her: Why?
Me: (shrugging) Cause there’s nothing for me to do but take my ball and go home. Now she and I both know what’s in the other person’s head. It’s too bad we weren’t listening to each other this whole time.

Him: [The Gymgirl] sounded great. Can’t you two work it out?
Me: (rolling eyes) How do I do that? Make a 15-slide powerpoint presentation that starts: Reason 1 that the kid and I should be enough…? That’s not how it works. She’s an adult, I gotta respect the choices she makes. But there is an upshot to alla this.
Him: What’s that?
Me: (thinking) I now know that I can feel something for someone again that’s not Alison. That’s eye-opening. Was always worried that it would just be a parade of randos that I’d have to somehow explain to the boy.
Him: (amused) So, no parade of randos?
Me: Well, I didn’t say that. The boy has his own room, I could always…
Him: (laughing, interrupting) I’ve seen your powerpoint presentations. You should consider that first, Logan.

Gradgirl once told me: I could never love someone that wasn’t in love with me.

That was good advice.

I joke about the parade of randos but some people leave a deeper mark on my life than I care to admit.

Location: on a white couch with the boy
Mood: okay
Music: we are fools. Throw our lives away, for one happy day
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Conversations with Rose, Pt2

What am I, a child?

Rose and I talked for a lot longer than either of us expected we would.

Mentioned that I was still online friends with about a quarter of the women I (very) casually dated but not with anyone I dated seriously in my life.

Me: I got a lotta randos on my f-list, which is fine, because I’m a rando to them. Could probably cut out 90% of those and not blink. Told Alison I’d do it for her but she told me she didn’t care. She knew that I didn’t f___ with marriage
Her: Oh, no. I’m not friends with any of them at all. And I’d kill my husband if I found out he was talking to or seeing an ex.
Me: Does it really matter? Fiat and prohibition? You can’t stop people from doing what they wanna do. Even when you stop them from doing it, in their heart, they still wanna do it. You just end up making them wanna do it more. If someone thinks someone or something else is a better offer, you can’t do much but let them go find out.

As for her, she ended up marrying her fella from the UK not that long ago.

Her: I think we had quail.
Me: God, you’re so British.

I couldn’t go to the wedding cause it was in the UK and: Cancer, kid, life, death, drinking. You pick.

Her: I actually met him when I was Gymgirl’s age. We broke up for…three years? Because of a buncha things. It was Bobby that convinced me to try again.
Me: (curious) Why’d you try again?
Her: He was trying to get back with me. (laughs) He was 31 when he came back. I told him to put a ring on it or go away.
Me: Evidently, that worked.
Her: Evidently. (glancing down at phone) Oh, that’s him…

It was late when we started finishing up.

Me: I gotta kick you out.
Her: Fiiiine. I’m gonna chug this. (drinks more of my rum) You’re not really going back in the dating world are you?
Me: Not unless you can get me a trust fund baby. (grinning) Don’t think I’ve been single and non-suicidal for … ever. Maybe I should try it.
Her: You should. Hey, whatever happened to Daisy, or Gradgirl? Or X?
Me: X’s gone. Daisy’s seeing the love of her life. So is Gradgirl, I think. Besides, neither looks at love and marriage like you and I do.
Her: Yeah, you gotta respect marriage, or even committed relationships. (thinking) How do you keep meeting all these women? Do you use an app?
Me: Why do people keep asking that? I use my personality and this face here. (points at face)
Her: (laughs) Well, stop bashing it all up.

We talked and drank a little more. Had a whole conversation about God that I gotta organize and write about someday but not right now.

I will say:

Her: I feel the need to tell you that I’m about to cry. I’m not asking you to stop, but…
Me: OK, then just lemme say that if there is a God – your God – he f___ked my family. And now, (sighing) we can stop.

On that pleasant note, she got ready to go.

Her: Hey, if the Gymgirl comes back (pause) talk to her, OK?
Me: Sure. We’re in the same orbit and I owe her a lot. But why?
Her: Maybe I like her, despite everything. (shrugging) She impresses me. She’s impressive. She kept your attention and she kept you from dying. Both are unique and both are something. Big somethings. No excuse but still…
Me: Like I said, we should all be with the one we want most. But, I’ll take it under advisement. Now, you gonna get back to your hotel ok?
Her: What am I, a child? (hugs me) I can hold my liquor, Logan.
Me: So you keep telling me. Goodnight, Rose.
Her: Night, Logan.

Location: don’t even ask
Mood: hot
Music: in love with the shape of you
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All that glitters is not gold

Playing cards with friends

Her: “All that glitters is gold.”
Me: (laughing) The saying is, “All that glitters is NOT gold.” You got that precisely wrong

Gymgirl’s gone again. The details are unimportant.

She’s great; I adored her, really. We just don’t see the world the same way.


Despite my reservations, three buddies of mine just showed up for drinks by mine…

…along with food, which I had to decline because of personal reasons.

Him: Man, you really didn’t eat anything.
Me: I told you, I’m a rock. I’m a goddamn brick wall.

Now, I desperately need sleep – see the convo below – which is another entry entirely, but I couldn’t say no to them.

I’m pretty touched that my friends always show up to see how I’m doing. Although they made their feelings about her clear as well.

Him: We all liked you with her, man. How much sleep have you gotten this week?
Me: Nine hours in the last 96.
Him: Are you sure you should be making decisions like this right now?
Me: (shrugging)The die is cast. We make our choices in life and accept the ramifications. Both of us. Alla us. These are the cards she dealt me and I, her. So we play them as we do.

Perhaps they’re my friends because I’m old as dirt and have learned a thing or two along the way.

Or maybe there’s just something in my life that makes some people wanna stay yet others not.

Death and f____ing cancer notwithstanding.

Although some of them could be a bit more supportive than others.

Me: What are you talking about? I’m the best looking Asian from our old gym.
Him: No, that’d be your cousin.
Me: (thinking) OK, that’s fair. She’s lovely.

Location: in the world, doing some work I’ve not done in a while
Mood: accepting
Music: Now, all I know, I know all these things
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Take your chances as they come

Waiting and hoping

Me: Where were we?
Gymgirl: I was talking about you.
Me: That I’m the best thing that ever happened to you?
Her: Why would I say that?
Me: Because it’s the truth!

Drunkenly met the most beautiful girl at a bar, once.

I was walking in, she was walking out. She was also drunk and happened to be on a date. I was heading out to talk to one girl after spending the night with another.

Called the girl walking in my Ship-in-the-Night girl. After a while, I knew her name was Alison, but – long after we started dating – still teased her that the girl I met that night wasn’t her.

Not so much because I didn’t think that she was that girl, but because I wondered if she was my girl; if I were her fella.

If we were each other’s person.

Then, one September day, we told each other that we didn’t wanna be with anyone else.

Alison: You’ve finally accepted that I’m your Ship-in-the-Night Girl, huh?
Me: (nodding) Yes.

That was a great day. Probably one of the happiest days of my life.

A good friend of mine was given an opportunity to start his own gym and asked me my thoughts.

Told him, honestly, that he owed it to his future self to take his chances as they come.

I mean, that’s the thing with every facet of life, yeah? You’re presented with an opportunity and you have to decide whether to stay with the devil you know or push all that doubt to the side of your mouth,  shut up, and take your chances.

When Alison met me that night, my business was failing. A family friend stole most of my money. Was drinking and womanizing way too much.

And yet she saw something in me that made her take a chance on me.

She believed me when I told her I was looking for her all those years. While it was the truth, I can see how that might be a hard thing to accept with a fella like me.

I admit that in my sleepless nights, I worried she’d wake up one day and realize she’d made a terrible mistake.

But she never did.

She’s been gone only a year and I’m already in another relationship. Can’t express how guilty that makes me feel. But she’d want what was best for me and the boy.

And Alison knew I loved her and only her. That’s all that really matters to me.

That’s not entirely true: I want the kid to know I loved his mamma completely.

Did everything I could to save her for us. Life f___d us anyway.

The Gymgirl left this story a while ago. Suppose in the simplest terms, she and I both thought that it was too early for us to be in relationship. She had school and life going on and I had…well, you know what I had going on.

But I can’t be a hypocrite and tell my buddy, and everyone else, to take their chances as they come and not do it myself.

You see, the Gymgirl sees my broken self and thinks I might be something or someone great. Or nearabouts. And I think she’s something great also.

So we both take our chances. And we wait and hope.

Me: I think we should give this another try.
Her: I don’t know, Logan.
Me: You can’t leave me. I’m perfect.
Her: (laughs, rolls eyes)

Location: my usual spot, wondering
Mood: cautious
Music: I’m beyond your peripheral vision

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