You sold me out, kid!

Happy places


Went out to Queens twice this past weekend. The first time was with the boy and the Gymgirl when we stopped by a Chinese joint in Flushing.

Waitress: Does he speak Chinese?
Me: About as well as I do.

Then, on Sunday, my buddy Pac took the Gymgirl, my cousin, her fella, and me out to Korean restaurant out in Queens. (Eating’s a big thing for my friends and me.)

Her: There’s a great place in Murray Hill, Mapo.
Me: That’s one block from my childhood home!

The Gymgirl and I got there a little early so I walked her to my home and showed her my old digs.

Me: Alison was the last person I brought here over a decade ago.
Her: I’m sorry.

I looked where we were heading and saw the train tracks from my youth and crossed the street. Was gonna mention why to the Gymgirl but decided that was too dark for the day. Not that we didn’t veer dark.

Me: I can show you pretty much every place I got beat up.
Cousin: You remember that?!
Cousin’s fella: We never forget getting beat up.

That’s mostly true. We all have our scars. It’s always sad, that we have no scar to show for happiness.

In any case, we ate a ton of food…

Cousin: You’re ordering more food?
Me: You’re a Lo; you’re supposed to be able to eat.

So afterward, my cousin got us some shave ice – I can only think, as penance for her inability to keep up with the rest of us.

While there’s no scar for happiness, it is still nice when your mind wanders to some happy place; as I write this, I’m reminded of when the Gymgirl taught the kid how to put on his own shirt:

Gymgirl: (suspicious) Did papa help you?
Him: Yes!
Me: Wha?!
Gymgirl: Was papa supposed to help you?
Him: Noooooo.
Me: You sold me out, kid!

Location: In Queens, picking up my son
Mood: wistful
Music: the only living boy in New York
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Anthony Bourdain: I am certain of nothing

I know that I know nothing

Me: (handing her a pack) Pick a toothbrush.
Woman: (picks one) Wait…where are all the others?
Me: In use.
Her: Do you label the toothbrushes?
Me: I’ve got enough to deal with – you all have to remember which toothbrush is yours.

Made some Soleier the other day. It’s a pickled hard-boiled egg and I did it because of Anthony Bourdain’s Cologne episode of Parts Unknown, where he eats it in a bar.

Gymgirl had never seen any episodes of Parts Unknown, but, when Alison was trying to get pregnant, she and I watched a ton of episodes. In some way, we were trapped at home but it was our escape. When she got sick, we saw a few episodes here and there.

So I put on the Cologne and Senegal episodes for the Gymgirl; Alison worked a lot in Senegal and I think she woulda loved watching it.

In the Senegal episode, towards the end, Bourdain said that he had a tatoo that read paraphrase of a Greek/Latin phrase I’ve always liked, scio me nihil scire: I know that I know nothing.

He said, I am certain of nothing.

Don’t think it’s any major surprise to anyone, but I spent most of the time after Alison passed trying to think of ways to end my life with two major goals: (a) ensure my son got the maximum amount of money but only when he was old enough to use it responsibly, and (b) ensure he would not be the one to find my body.

I’m ok now, in case you’re worried.

Dispassionately speaking, those two things kept my mind racing for days…weeks? Months? I’m not sure. Was drinking a lot. Spent my time in the company of strangers trying to forget things.

Eventually, I sobered up, both literally and figuratively. Without getting too into it, essentially bureaucracy saved my life: There were certain things I was waiting for in order to accomplish goal but by the time I got what I needed, I was already feeling less depressed and more just normal, heart-breaking, sadness.

But there were many nights when I was pretty cloudy and thought about just ending it all. But those two things and my OCD kept me from making that final cut.

Me:  Do you ever daydream about, like, a fancy car?
Friend: Sure, I guess.
Me: That’s how I think about dying. I dream about it. It’s not real, per se, it’s just something I think about.
Him: Do you think you’d ever do it?
Me: No. But I think about it.

I wouldn’t be here if not for the kid. Alison was always worried because I often had bouts of depression.

Alison: Wouldn’t you stay just to keep me company?
Me: It’s never as easy as that.
Alison: Why can’t it be?

Ah, if only everyone could stay in the world because someone wanted them, desperately, to stay.

But suicidal depression doesn’t make a lotta sense, especially to the suicidally depressed. Even at my worst, I was pretty high-functioning; I knew suicidal people that weren’t even close. Bourdain was clearly high-functioning.

Two years ago, told you that I had two other atomic bombs in my life besides Alison and the cancer. My father was dying of cancer too; that I eventually told you.

My So-Called Thermonuclear Life

But the third was that one of my favorite cousins tried to kill himself in the middle of everything happening with my dad and Alison.

I remember getting that call and thinking that my life was as insane as it could ever be.

He survived, though. Alison and my dad didn’t. But that doesn’t make suicide any less dangerous. It’s as deadly as cancer because it kills you just the same.

Just snap outta it.

I’ve said that before to people that were suidically depressed, before I knew any better. It puts the blame on them – they’re doing this to themselves. But, as I said, that’s not how depression works.

No normal person wakes up dreaming of ways to end their lives. It’s the opposite of normal.

I know I’m not normal. Perhaps that’s part of why I don’t think I’d ever do it.  Because I know I’m not ok.

Never met Bourdain but I like to think that it was a momentary – and awful – lapse of reason that made him end his life. He had a kid and I doubt that, if he was thinking clearly, he’d ever hurt his daughter like that. Maybe in that last moment, he had some clarity and wanted to stay.

Then again, I’m certain of nothing. Except that I love Alison and her boy.  If only love was enough for things like this.

As long as the boy is here, I’ll stay to keep him company. He shocked me with this conversation today and made me cry.

Me:  (absentmindedly) I miss your mama.
Boy: (nodding) I miss mama too.

Think Bourdain’s daughter’s name is Ariane. Always thought that was such a pretty name.

Location: Last week, Bermuda
Mood: tired
Music: I’m sick of sitting ’round here
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Self-destruction

Fiction, by Logan Lo


Nothing in this blog entry actually happened. Just writing some fiction.

An old friend rang me the other day to accuse me of trying to ruin his business and life. Found it so strange because that requires a level of hatred that I don’t feel for anyone. It’s hard to feel anything these days. For anything and anyone.

Me: To be clear, if I wanted to ruin you, I’d want you to know it was me. You wouldn’t have to call to ask. You’d know.

Hatred is actually the farthest thing I feel for him. You see, he and his wife raised more than anyone for Alison when she was sick. I owe a debt to him and his family.

But he’s also extremely difficult.

Don’t think we’ve ever had a conversation in the 18 years I’ve known him. He talks to you rather than with you.

Him: Wait, I’m not done.
Me: You do realize you’ve said 10 words for every one of mine, yes?

In many ways, he’s a classic bully: He uses his position in life to demean and belittle others.

He’s never been unkind to me – far from it – but like Trump, you kinda want someone to say to him, Dude, you know these are people, right? What you’re doing is wrong.

Like Johnny, what I actually feel for him is a mixture of affection, gratitude, and disappointment.

Mutual friend: You mean pity. You pity him. That’s not what you’re supposed to feel for a friend.
Me: I feel obligated to try to help him. For everything he’s done for me and my family.
Him: (gently) You’ve done that. He’ll only change if he wants to and he said, straight up, he’d rather lose everything and end up homeless than change. You’ve done your part.

Also like Johnny, the punishment for his cruelty is that he doesn’t get to hang out with me.

I’m running outta time. Don’t have time or energy to waste on anything or anyone that doesn’t make me better. And, by extension, my son.

The fact that someone wants to destroy him makes me more comfortable in my decision to cut him out.

Think about the level of hatred it would take to have someone spend weeks – if not months – of their time plotting how to unravel everything you’ve worked for.

And if someone has that level of animosity for you, think about how many people simply dislike you.

I’ve always lived my life – including the womanizing – with the credo, “Leave people better off having met you than not.”

In any case, it’s puzzling how someone can be so compassionate to some and yet so cruel to others. But many of my close friends are complicated.

Me: A relative of mine said that he thought I was a sociopath.
The Half Man: I disagree with that. A sociopath lacks empathy. You’re one of the most empathetic people I know.
Me: Perhaps it’s something else then? Or maybe he’s just wrong.

I wonder what others – Johnny, The Devil, him – see in me, both good and ill.

Me: What does that say about me?
Gymgirl: I don’t know. Maybe it was Alison that kept you from turning into them?
Me: Maybe. Then what am I without her?

Still, I’m not able to cut off all the deeply flawed friends I have. Because I see my reflection in them. I need them for some reason.

And they each have their own twisted humanity, in their own strange ways.

The funny thing is, that I did spend weeks – months – plotting to destroy someone that I did hate. But it wasn’t him.

Months ago…

The Devil: Are you sure you want to do this?
Me: (ignoring him) The three coins are worth about $20,000. (placing a USB stick on the coins) This has almost a whole bitcoin that I used to buy black market meds for Alison. It’s worth about $17,000. Both are untraceable and cash equivalent. The rest of the money is in trust for the kid and he’ll get that once I’m gone.
Him: I’m a thief and womanizer, not this thing you ask me to do.
Me: We both know what you’re capable of.
Him: That was in war and when it was my job. Neither is true here.
Me: I’ll find just someone else.
Him: You don’t have anyone else, that’s why you came to me. (laughs) But suppose we do this? I just wanna ask one thing: (leans in) Without you here, without Alison, who’ll protect your boy from someone like me? People, like us.
Me: (startled, angry) You’ll never meet him. Just like you never met her.
Him: Ah, there you are. (stands up) Pull yourself together, Logan. Raise your son. When you’re ready, we’ll talk again. (takes a gold coin, pockets it, turns to leave) I earned this. See you soon, brother.

I’m better now.

Don’t hate myself quite that much any more.

Location: home, sick
Mood: unsettled
Music: son, if you can hold on, if you can hold on, hold on
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