Too little is better than too much

We know our own

We had a gas scare in the area that meant we were waiting for an all-clear for a while so I brought him with me to the supermarket.

I dunno why I’m unable to talk to him like he’s a kid. I just…can’t. I’ve never been around kids before.

Him: What does it mean that a banana’s not ripe?
Me: An unripe banana has large molecules called oligosaccharides which are too big to digest. When a banana ripens, those oligosaccharides break down into simpler glucose molecules that you can digest, which manifest as the brown dots on the skin, which – as you can see – are not there.
Him: What happens if you eat something that’s not ripe?
Me: Bad things, kiddo. Bad stomach things.
Him: Oh. Ok, papa.

As I write this out, all I can think is, “Hopefully, he’ll have friends.” Then again, I didn’t growing up and I turned out fine.

Fine(ish).

Mostly fine.

Alison thought I was great, albeit with a giant, giant head.

Speaking of friends, I’ve been helping a buddy with a new hobby; something that I used to do years ago but just stopped doing for a variety of reasons. But he loves it. He gave me a buzz today.

Him: I met one of our kind today.
Me: Get outta here. How?
Him: At the gym. I was just making small talk and I mentioned what I do in my spare time.
Me: And what did he say?
Him: (laughing) He said demons know their own.

On that note, my only friend in that life’s been MIA since COVID. Wanna know the crazy thing? I don’t even know his real name after 20 years.

How’s that for a kick in the head?

Finally, a girl I’ll call Curls is going to start teaching the kid to fight. I’ve been chatting with a ton of people – including two of the highest ranking people in kali – about how to train this boy to be safe.

And the grand poo-bah told me: Remember too little training is better than too much at that age.

He’s the main man so I took his word to heart. Plus, I think the kid’ll have more fun with Curls and Chad than me.

Between the friends and family, I wonder if I’m better with people around or not.

After all, men go crazy in congregations,…

Location: home, making steak for my son, who’d rather have a bologna sandwich
Mood: tired
Music: …they only get better one by one. (Spotify)
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Re-Assembling Things

Projects I didn’t want

After over 10 months, my son finally played with someone his own age the other day; a young girl named Izzy he met at the park.

It was sweet and unexpected; unexpected because he was scheduled to meet up with the ABFF’s kids over the weekend, and I assumed they’d be first. But, I suppose, like father, like son.

I wrote the ABFF before we left.

Me: What’s the food and alcohol situation like?
Her: Pizza. Corona Lite, Sweet Action, white vino.
Me: I’m down. We may be a bit after six but order me a slice or two as well.

One of the very last things that Alison and I did together was build the kid’s nursery.

She was super pregnant but so excited to welcome this kid into the world and have everything be just perfect. I did most of the building but she cleaned and assembled smaller things.

It’s one of the reasons that I was so reluctant to paint.

Alison bought this really great dresser that she spent days researching to make sure it fit just right and got good ratings. Unfortunately, the part that keeps the drawer from shooting out snapped just after everything went to hell.

I vaguely recall calling their customer service to buy that plastic part and the woman I spoke to said that I needed to buy the entire side of the dresser.

Me: So lemme get this straight, instead of being able to buy a dollar’s worth of plastic and metal, I need to buy an entire other side of the dresser, dismantle my entire dresser, and replace the side – which is fine – just to keep the drawer from flying out?
Her: Yes.
Me: Well, that sounds ridiculous. Would you do that?
Her: (laughing) No sir, I would not.

It was fine. This was during the craziness of Alison’s cancer so I was just careful. But, because the kid’s been away so long, I forgot about the drawer and pulled it too hard, causing the drawer to fly out and almost hit me. He was eating brekkie so he was fine but I decided to buy a new one that day.

I ended up just picking out a wider dresser that was the same height. Now, the day that the kid and I were supposed to see the ABFF, the new dresser arrived. Of course.

Unlike last time, I was going to have to put this together myself. I figured I’d head up to the ABFF’s, chill with them for a bit, and then come down and spend the remainder of the night putting it together.

But on the way out the door, Chad gave me a ring.

Him: Hey, I’m in your area and wanted to see if you wanted to get some food.
Me: Dude, I will buy you dinner if you’re willing to help me put together a dresser.
Him: Works for me.

I told the ABFF that I wouldn’t be staying, said hello to all the girls, and then dashed down where Chad and spent the next four hours trying to decipher some seriously bad directions.

It was pretty late so I told him to just go and I’d wrap things up – together, we did a solid 80% of everything that needed to get done so I just did the last 20% myself until late in the evening and then the rest the next day. It took most of the second day to put everything in place and clean the joint up.

The last thing I did was attach the dresser to the wall. Because Alison asked me to make the place childproof.

Her: Promise me that you’ll always keep him safe.
Me: Of course. And you know I never break a promise.
Her: I know, that why I married you and that’s why I asked.

And that’s also why it had to be the same height, so I could use the same mounting bracket to attach it to the wall.

It was super sad. Everything changes on me when I wish I could just have some stability and sense in the world.

On that note, my mother-in-law keeps telling me to take apart the crib and put it away but I’ve been resisting it.

Alison took a picture of me building it on September 13, 2015, at 6:35PM.

Somehow, in my head, I kept thinking that maybe I’d be able to give the kid a baby sister or brother somehow but that seems unlikely. So, I guess that’s my next project.

Soon. Really.

Location: home, sitting in the front room staring at all the changes
Mood: reluctantly accepting
Music: he tried to reassemble it (Spotify)
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It’s spring in January

It isn’t hell

Speaking of FOMO and not caring, last year I threw Chad and Mouse a joint bday party but this year, Chad just swung by on his actual bday and I just got the two of us a massive amount of Vietnamese food.

Him: Somehow, they knew it was my birthday and gave me two cans of coke.
Me: (puzzled) Yeah – I told them.
Him: Oh…

He only recently started getting a taste for good alcohol so I taught him how to make Hemmingway’s favourite drink, the daiquiri. At least, my version of it.

We pounded about four of them each and just discussed his new hobby, which is a wholly different conversation.

Me: I baked cupcakes.
Him: Thanks!
Me: They’re mainly for the kid, but I saved you one for your born day.
Him: I’ll take it.

Another friend stopped by this week; she was just in the city to train but the gym wasn’t open that day so I invited her to come here to shower and clean up.

Me: Do you want brekkie?
Her: Oh, I couldn’t…
Me: (rolling eyes) You’re a guest, are you hungry?
Her: I could eat.
Me: A heart-attack sandwich it is then.

Like I said, I have no shortage of friends. It’s the shortage of family that weighs on me the most.

Speaking of family, do you know the Roman/Greek myth of the seasons centers around family?

Essentially, the goddess Ceres – from whom we get the word “cereal” – was the goddess of grain and harvest. Her daughter, Proserpina, was kidnapped by Pluto and she refused to allow anything to grow until her child was returned.

Eventually, she was, but Proserpina had eaten six pomegranate seeds and, because of that, had to live in hell for six months out of the year.

During this time, Ceres despaired and so came winter until her child was back and spring could return again.

The boy came home this week – after all this time – and it was spring once again, at least in a tiny UWS apartment.

Me: He’s home!!!
Him: (inspecting the house) The bathroom’s dirty. Grandma’s bathroom is cleaner.
Me: (laughing) Everyone’s a critic. Also, to be fair, no one’s bathroom is as clean as grandma’s…

Ridic easy daquiri
One shot of light rum
1/2 a lime, freshly squeezed
1.5-2 TBS agave
Soda water
ice

Squeeze half a lime into a highball and mix in the agave and shot of rum until it’s thoroughly blended. Fill the highball halfway with ice and then the remainder with soda water. Gently stir to combine. Pound.

Repeat until every person of the opposite sex looks beautiful.

Location: home, without any rum but plus one boy
Mood: tired but content
Music: It’s so cruel what your mind can do (Spotify)
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I’d be ok with that

We know our own

This is a video of my son on Xmas morning. He was a bit excited.

Cappy came by with his wife and two kids, like he said,  to drop off a ridic amount of clothes and toys for the boy.

Cappy: Heads up! Planning on stopping by your place Saturday enroute upstate so we can drop off some more clothes and books.
Me: Thanks for thinking of us!

It was nice seeing them, even if it was just for a moment. We’ve known each other since we were 16.

On that note, I had dinner with a friend the other night. He told me that when 2020 started, he was worried about his future. But, in many ways, 2020 was one of the best years – if not the best year – of his life.

Him: I feel like I’m seeing the world for the first time, on my own terms.
Me: Picture Athens. And other parts of Greece. There are statues everywhere. What colour are they?
Him: White?
Me: They’re white now. But when people were contemporaries of them, they were all coloured. We see what they look like now, not what they were originally. That’s the thing: People will look at you and think this is how you’ve always been, when it’s what you made yourself.

It’s like that story I told you about the colour of the sun.

We don’t see the full picture of what someone or something is. Only what makes it through to us.

I told him that the person he knows now as Logan, wasn’t the person that Alison knew. It wasn’t the person that my other friends knew. I’d changed so much throughout the years.

Or, rather, the years changed me so much. In some ways for the better, in some ways not. Not at all.

Every once in a while, I remember who I used to be, the life I used to lead. Before Alison. With Alison.

I’ve been thinking of an old friend of mine who’s not on any social media and he just disappeared after 2019.

He was someone that saw me and helped me change. I suppose I wonder where he is because certain people bring out certain things in us that only they can bring out.

He remembers me when I was…colourful. I miss being colourful, at times. This is what I looked like when we met.

Minus the colour.

Him: Most people live their lives of quiet desperation, Logan.
Me: And you?
Him: I live my life without anything or anyone controlling me. I could leave in an hour and be in a tuk-tuk in Cambodia tomorrow and no one and nothing would stop me.
Me: The girl I’m seeing…
Him: (laughs) Heartgirl?
Me: (nodding) Heartgirl. I’d go where ever she was.
Him: What happened to Dresden and Berlin, Logan? I know you. You’d never be happy with just one girl.
Me: I would be. With the right girl I’d be happy. I’d give everything up for my person. Dresden and Berlin are just cities. She could be my person.
Him: She would control you. Love controls people. The moment someone controls you, you wouldn’t be safe.
Me: I’d be okay with that.

He was right about not being safe.

I suppose demons know their own.

Location: home, with daiquiris
Mood: very drunk
Music: my past now, like my house, was always made of glass (Spotify)
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You don’t know what you don’t know

Volkwagen Part 199.398.500.A

Went to the doctor’s. Again. Seriously.

Me: Another finger’s infected. He’s never seen anything like this.
Pac: You’re kidding me.
Me: He thinks that I’m washing my hands too much – like twice an hour, on the hour.
Him: Now that I believe.

Way back in 1997, I mentioned to a lawyer that lived in my building that I was thinking of buying stock in either International Paper or Iomega, the maker of the zip disk.

He rolled his eyes and said sarcastically, Paper. Yeah, real forward thinking, Logan. That’s gonna be a money-maker for sure.

One of my rules I have  in life is that if someone says something sarcastically, they’re probably hiding either a complete lack of knowledge on a subject or, at the very least, aren’t very well versed in it.

But this guy was a pretty smart lawyer so I was conflicted. In the end, I decided to stick to my rule and assume that he was, in fact, an idiot.

He was. Iomega’s bankrupt now. While I did buy some, I also bought a lot of International Paper and did well with it.

You see, the lawyer scoffed because – to him – paper meant letters and newspapers, two things that the internet was crushing.

But to me, paper meant cardboard boxes, packaging, and coffee cups – all of which were rising, rapidly, in demand, due to the internet.

OK, maybe not coffee cups, but you get my drift.

Anywho, the lawyer’s problem was that he couldn’t see things for what they really were, only what he thought them to be.

Now, if I asked you what Volkswagen sold the most of for the past 45 years, you’d probably say, cars. Or trucks.

But those aren’t its number one selling product.

Volkswagon’s number one selling product is a sausage. Specifically Volkswagen part number 199.398.500.A – Currywurst sausage.

In 2017, it sold 6.8 million currywursts, significantly more than number of cars or trucks it sold during that same time.

The point of all this is that you don’t know, what you don’t know, until you know, that you don’t know it.

Like, I didn’t know that over-washing my hands might lead to infections. Now I do.

Past Contestant: You’re not exactly my regular type, Logan.
Me: And what’s your regular type?
Her: (laughing) Well, not a 47 year old widowed Chinese guy with a kid.
Me: And how’s that worked out for you so far? All I’m saying is that if you keep doing what you do, you keep getting what you get. Besides, you’ve never met a fella like me before. Shoes off, please. 

On that note, think I’m gonna take a little break from dating.

It’s all the disappointing and disappointments I told you about before.

Podcast Version
Location: the doctor’s office, seriously
Mood: busy again
Music: I think it’s all in my mind (Spotify)
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Goodnight, Luciano

I don’t understand why

Haven’t heard from the Devil in months. That worries me because he’s one of the few people in the world I think of as a friend.

How odd, to have a friend you call the Devil.

We’re friends because we see the world in the same way.

Me: Why me?
Him: (shrugging) Because you can separate signal from noise.
Me: So?
Him: As you get older, you’ll realize that most people can’t.

On July 14th, I felt compelled to reach out to this fella named Luciano Anthony.

What a name. Picture a super-built, really good-looking guy that was brilliant and you’d be picturing Luciano. He looked like a dude named Luciano Anthony.

(I also just found out that he went by Luciano Bianco as well – I only ever knew him as Luciano Anthony).

We were never close but he always said hi to me at the gym and was never anything but the nicest fella. He was covered in tats so I immediately made some judgments about him. All wrong.

He had a masters degree in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins and worked as a science engineer. He did woodwork on the side.

Quiet and thoughtful, he was a beast on the mats. I remembered that I liked rolling with him because he always kept his gear clean.

Anywho, Luciano posted something random that night. It seemed out of sorts for what I knew of him.

I’m so fucking clever, you see.

So, I wrote him. I was probably drinking.

He was struggling with some demons. As a friend of the Devil, I know demons. In fact, I knew these particular demons he was struggling with. They’re old hated companions of mine as well.

Him:  (afterwards) Sorry if that’s too straightforward. Don’t have much family or friends so I tend to word vomit.
Me: No. That’s fine. When I say I understand, I really do. And more.

The last thing I said to him was, “I get it. If you’re in heed [sic] of someone to vent to, lemme know.”

That was it. Even though I knew something was wrong, I thought, I did my part. I reached out. I patted myself on the back. And I went back to my life. And I didn’t reach out to him again.

He killed himself exactly a week later. I didn’t know until today.

In ironies of ironies, I just wrote about depression and suicide in my last entry.

In the past four years, I’ve known six – now seven – people that died; I loved two of them completely. Luciano was the only one that took his own life.

I knew there was something wrong but I didn’t follow-up.

I get it. What could I have done? With him, with Alison? But what’s the point of hearing signal if nothing changes, if it doesn’t make a fucking difference anyway?

His mom posted that he died on Facebook. That’s how I found out. Fucking hell. No parent should have to do anything like that.

Like I said, a mother’s love for her child is like nothing else.

I think the same thing I always think whenever I hear about someone as good and as talented as Luciano dying – doubly so when it’s suicide – why?

For all my cleverness, I’ll never understand why. I suppose I don’t really want to. He was only 29. To me, that’s just a kid. What a fucking waste of a good soul.

Goodnight, Luciano. I’m so sorry you suffered and felt like you had to go.

I hope you found your peace.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Hours: Available 24 hours. Languages: English, Spanish.
1-800-273-8255

Podcast Link
Location: Pier 84, talking about Luciano with Chad
Mood: not good
Music: Didn’t get to sleep that night till the morning came (Spotify)
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About Naya

Being a feminist

I’m pausing my usual nuthin to talk about a celebrity.

The last celebrity death I wrote about was George Michael. Today, it’s about Naya Rivera, who died earlier this month.

I’m writing because I assume that not everyone who reads this blog keeps up with television actresses – or 80s pop singers for that matter.

But Rivera deserves a mention for reasons you’ll soon understand.

All evidence seems to point to the fact that she and her son went swimming on an unmoored boat. Rivera probably realized that the boat was slipping away from her and made a choice – a mother’s choice.

She swam after that boat, carrying her son. She musta used all her strength to (a) get to the boat, and (b) get her wet, exhausted four-year old son onto it.

My kid’s four-years old. He’s heavy as it is; I can’t imagine how heavy he’d be wet and tired.

Yet, this lady got her son back onto the boat. It’s apparent that she used the last of her strength to get him to safety because, according to her son, he saw her disappear under the surface of the water.

Think about that.

She was close enough to him that he could see her die. There’s no way she wanted that but she had no strength left.

Alison and I used to watch Glee from time-to-time, but I don’t know anything about Miss Rivera except how she died. I gotta say, that’s enough. She died saving someone she loved more than herself.

That tells me everything I need to know about her. She died her child’s guard. There is no greater love than that.

I said it before, A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity. It dares all things, and crushes down, remorselessly, all that stands in its path.

Since we’re on the topic, I was asked once if I considered myself a feminist. I never thought about it, really.

I’m definitely not chivalrous because that’s just a bullshit way to say that (a) you’re gonna treat someone differently because they do or do not have a particular organ, and (b) that women are weak and need a man’s help. Fuck that.

Alison was the toughest person – man, woman, or child – I have ever met.

You would not believe the shit that Alison went through to stay with her son. And she did so with complete and utter stoicism.

I find Trump supporters particularly distasteful because they support such a weak, whiny, shadow of a man. Like, shut the fuck up you big whiny crybaby. Jesus Christ, don’t you ever get tired of whining?

Alison’s pinky was tougher than Captain Bone-Spurs entire corpulent gross body. And Alison’s mom and then my mom are the second and third toughest people – not women, people – I know. Mouse is up there too.

Women give birth. Women suffer unbelievably for their family and children. For a man to have anything but a profound respect for women, celebrity or otherwise, is to just admit that they are weak, fragile, bone-spur nothings.

If that means I’m a feminist, sure. If nuthin else, this blog is all about me being a fan of women, which I find ridiculous that I even need to point out.

But we’re living in a time when stupid is full-on run amok, so there you go.

Anywho, I wanted you to know that Rivera died, not as a celebrity, but as mother trying – and succeeding – to save her child.

That’s a life worth remembering. That lady was tough as shit, actress, celebrity, or whatever. Tough. As. Shit.

OK, back to the usual nonsense next week.

Podcast Version
Location: my slightly less-hot apartment
Mood: humbled
Music: She is the best thing that’s ever been mine (Spotify)
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Heartgirl was Queen of my Heart

Except in reverse

Speaking of sad stories, I finally told Lviv mine before she went home for a bit.

Her: Can I ask what happened yet?
Me: I suppose you earned my sad stories. I’ll need some rum. (deep breath)
Her: (later) I’m sorry, Logan.
Me: Yeah, so am I.
Her: (wipes eyes) Man, I need a drink now.
Me: Yeah.
Her: I’m glad she had you.
Me: Yeah. (sighing) Lucky her. She was Queen of my Heart and I was her guard.

Lviv’s heart is in NYC but her home’s somewhere else.

I understand that all too well, except in reverse.

I took that pic of Alison/Heartgirl the second night I ever met her. Told her that, if she was my Ship in the Night Girl, I’d marry her someday. I never said that to anyone.

She laughed. But she was.

She had the most beautiful green eyes and happy laugh.

There’s no sin I wouldn’t commit to see and hear them again.

Podcast Version
Location: my hot, hot, home
Mood: drunk
Music: Your love is a secret I’m hoping, dreaming, dying to keep (Spotify)
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Clinically or…?

Bike Mechanics, fight commentators, and rum drinkers

Me: (shrugging) Everyone’s got their front-runners and back-burners. If I’m your back-burner, I’m fine with that. Kinda prefer it right now, actually.
BrightBea: God, who says that? Are you insane?!
Me: You mean clinically or…?

Chad came by the other day to help me assemble a bicycle. It’s a ridiculously long story that I’ll summarize as follows:

      • I bought a used Dahon Matrix – also in Brooklyn – to install an iMortor (sic) 3.0 electric wheel. It didn’t fit.
      • After dremeling it and widening the fork, the fork broke.
      • So we got another fork. No love; still didn’t fit.
      • During this whole time, Chad’s discovering he likes biking. To wit, I sell him the Dahon Matrix and buy a used Dahon Espresso that he picked up for me from Staten Island.
      • Because that bike had v-brakes and not disc brakes, the electric wheel fit perfectly.
      • But then we had to install brand new brakes to make it work.
      • And then a bike rack to hold the kid, which is why I started this process in the first place.
      • Plus safety lights and stuff.
      • This whole adventure took a few months. And we’re not done yet. But, we’re close. When I finally get it completed, I’ll take some pics and show you.

I’m thinking that, if this goes well, we should make business cards that read:

Logan and Chad: Bike mechanics, fight commentators, and rum drinkers

Only two of those three statements are functionally accurate.

Her: Why do you prefer it?
Me: People aren’t ready for me and what I can do.
Her: What can you do?
Me: Oooh, you haven’t earned that. Yet. You might.
Her: (laughs)

Speaking of rum, two tenants moved out today and gave me a bottle of rum. They’re probably two of my favourite ones. The tenants, that is.

But I get it; no point in paying Manhattan rents if you’re working from home alla time.

Me: Wow, I’m touched. Man, I’m so sad you two are moving out. We have to keep in touch!

The crazy thing is that I dropped the glass bottle coming down the steps and it BOUNCED on two concrete steps before it landed in an extremely gross and putrid city puddle.

But, it survived relatively unscathed.

There’s a life lesson there, somewhere. The power of rum, perhaps?

Podcast Version
Location: 48th Street and Riverside Park
Mood: curious
Music: you freeze up like winter season in June (Spotify)
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Si vis pacem, para bellum

Seems so easy

BrightBea: You don’t seem scary or violent.
Me: I’m not. Si vis pacem, para bellum.
Her: What does that mean?
Me: If you want peace, prepare for war. All I ever wanted was to be left alone. To become invisible. Easy. I just wanted easy. 

While the price of the antibodies is – for serious – outrageous, it’s now a sunken cost. At least for me. So, I mean to enjoy it.

The city’s opening up again but I don’t think people are fully prepared for what this virus does. Don’t think they fully realize the price that has to be paid.

But I understand the allure of being blissfully ignorant.

Me? I know more than I wanna know.

Her: I’m sorry you didn’t get that.
Me: You and me both, lady. You and me both.

On a related(ish) note, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to – safely – see the boy with more regularity. I’ve got a few ideas that I’m toying with.

Speaking of toys, Mouse sent him and me a gift recently for Father’s Day. She admonished me not to open it until Sunday and I listened.

That’s another of my ten-thousand regrets.

I’m gonna need a bigger list.

LViv: You met your ex for pizza? Are you sure she’s an ex?
Me: Quite. Well, I suppose it’s time to share our sad stories then.

Podcast Version
Location: on line at TJ’s
Mood: hot in the hot-hot heat
Music: the kind of thing I always hoped I’d find (Spotify)
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