IDGAF

Why is that so much to ask?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Logan Go Fuck Yourself Lo

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

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

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

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

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

That’s probably not too far from the truth.

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

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

Always a silver lining, yeah?

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

I asked him if it ever got better.

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

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

I don’t know how they live.

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

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

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

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

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

Why is that so much to ask?

(c) Alyson McClaran

Sir(s);

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

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

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

Podcast Version: IDGAF
Location: the basement of my brain again
Mood: blindingly white hot rage
Music: my best friend caught you creeping. You blamed it all on the alcohol (Spotify)
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Isolation Days 5-6: A gaping yaw

Getting outta Dodge…again

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We were the only ones in our car.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Location: an empty UWS apartment building
Mood: inebriated
Music: standin’ out there alone. A yearning, yeah, and it’s real
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When you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you

Demons and Darth Vader on the Washington National Cathedral

Been sick so the insomnia’s been pretty bad.

Have you ever heard the saying, When you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you?

It’s from Friedrich Nietzsche’s “Beyond Good and Evil,” and the full quote goes:

Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.

In a nutshell, the idea is that, as you fight demons, you have to be careful not to let the demons affect you so much that you’re consumed by them. And potentially even become one of them.

We see it all the time in literature and movies: Oedipus, Macbeth,  Darth Vader, etc.

It’s an explanation as to why narcotics cops can become dealers and defense lawyers become criminals themselves. It’s why we have to always be on our guard.

But lately, at night when I’m awake, the demons come and sit beside me and tell me that it won’t be ok.

And there’s always a possibility they’re right. So I listen to them.

For now, at least, they seem to be wrong and I hold out hope.

Him: I’ve got some good news!
Me: Man, I could use some. What is it?

A lot of people don’t realize that there is a grotesque of Darth Vader carved into the Washington National Cathedral in Washington DC.

It makes sense, doesn’t it? To have our modern devils beside our historic ones?

Location: an hour ago, still in bed sick
Mood: still sick, but less anxious
Music: I can’t wait, I can’t wait, I can’t wait
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We’re titanium

Riddle me this


A riddle from Good Riddles Now:

Something all men have,
but all men deny.
Man created it,
but no man can hold it.

What is it? – the answer here.

On that note, last week was quite possibly one of the worst weeks of my life. And I’ve had some bad weeks. Got two separate calls for two separate issues; one was horrible, the other merely terrible.

Call 1
Her: It’s the doctor.
Me: S___t.

Call 2
Him: So it’s not good, it’s not any worse than we thought, but it’s still not good.
Me: Let me sit down.

But at some point, you just get tired of being sad/anxious.

So my brother went out to drink, and my wife and I went out to dinner around the way. We sat next to an actress we’d seen a few times on television who was very friendly (good) and very loud (bad).

Afterward, my wife and I took a short walk around our neighborhood.

She also made me some oatmeal cookies, so that’s a plus.

Finally got to have some rum again, too.

Me: We’ll be ok.
Her: We’re titanium, Logan. We’re frick’n titanium.

Location: -3 hrs, shoveling the walk
Mood: deflated
Music: Shoot me down, but I get up
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Gradually, then suddenly

Hemingway summed up the human existence in three words


Went to the doctor’s again this weekend. Not for me but it was just as stressful.

The thing with life is that you expect everything to happen to someone else. Injuries, disease, general misfortune, etc., these are things that happen to other people and not you.

And when it actually does happen to you, you think, What the … ?

Ernest Hemingway had a character in The Sun Also Rises that was asked how he became bankrupt.

“Gradually, then suddenly,” he replied.

And that’s why Hemingway was a brilliant writer. Because in three words, he summed up the totality of human existence.

You live your quiet, banal, little life when suddenly:

Or whatever personal little hell you have to deal with.  And you have to drop everything to deal with it.

And there’s not much else to do but deal with it. Some days you deal with it better than others.

Him: How’re doing?
Me: Well, I broke down crying like a 10-year-old girl on the 7 train the other day; which I don’t recommend. Because of a whole other list of craziness, I haven’t had a drink for 45 days and won’t be able to until next week – when I’m gonna drink the CRAP outta my rum stash. And my insomnia is kicking up so I slept one hour last night. But besides that, not too bad. You?

However, there’s hope.

Because joy also inevitably comes.

And it comes just as unexpectedly and just as suddenly. And so I wait for it.

For the time being, without my rum, but still…

———-

Did get a tiny piece of good news last week, which is that a Facebook Fan site I created for A Great First Date hit over 1,000 likes in less than ten days.

Take a look and maybe hit that LIKE button yourself.


Location: an hour ago, in front of a large needle
Mood: anxious
Music: Someday all this mess will make me laugh, I can’t wait, I can’t wait, I can’t wait
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There’s always room for more down

On my knees again

Doctor: You’re not having a good day?
Me: I’ve had better.
Him: (pause) Well, it’s about to get a lot worse.

So after I wrote the last entry, went on with my day. Later that night, got another phone call for a wholly different reason.

In 40 years, think I’ve honestly been on my knees twice. This is a third time. There are things that one knows but does not truly believe in life.

Like last time, I could handle it all, if it was only one at a time.

Spent the day slogging from offices to offices in the blinding snow, trying to make sense of a litany of things that make no sense; making decisions I’m ill-prepared to make.

Him: Well, you gotta figure that this is rock bottom.
Me: No, there’s always room for more down.

But I went to teach my fencing class last night and for about 90 minutes, I got to put down the things I’d been carrying all day.

It’s a blessing to have things in your life where you can put down the weights you bear.

Student: This wasn’t what I expected.
Me: We’re not here to dance, we’re here to fight. We’re here to struggle. Life’s a struggle we all lose one day. But until then, we struggle.

Never saw that student again.

The thing with leaving things at a doorway is that, ultimately, you have to pick them up again on your way out.

So I do, trudging home in the snow, bearing it.

And I swear that the whole goddamned weight of it all is sinking me deeper into the snow.

———-

If you write or see me, I won’t tell you so please don’t ask. As with last time, I’ll tell you when I’m ready.

 

Location: yesterday, three hours in a frozen car
Mood: heartbroken
Music: It’s true, the suffering shapes you
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Bearing it

Took the bike from my pad on the UWS to my gym on 27th street twice over the weekend.

The first time I did it, it was harrowing. Then on the way back, it was a little less so. And even less the next day.

There’s this saying that I’m sure I’m going to mangle but it goes something like this: There is no situation that you cannot bear if you see those around you bearing it.

When you read things that people have done – trench warfare, the D-day invasion, Thermopoylae – it does seem to explain a lot.

After a couplea large buses whizzed past me, was thinking: What the hell am I doing? Until this little old lady puttered past me.

Laughed at myself as she went by.

Course, there’re times when there’s no laughter and all the bravery you can muster isn’t enough cause it’s something that truly puts you on your knees.

A buddy has a sick family member who’s not going to get better. These are hard words to hear and, obviously, much harder to say.

And there’s never really much to say to someone that tells you such things, just a lotta goddamn nodding. Wish I could offer him more than my condolences and a pat on the back.

In my head, though, I know he’s tough. I know that he’ll overcome the blow even if he doesn’t know it himself. And I wish them all peace.

Later that weekend, I sit in the back of my church and think about all those how and whys.

And then I come home and make some calls for no particular reason.

Him: Hey! How are you?
Me: I’m good, dad. Just thought I’d call. Oh, I bought a bike…

Location: a magical place called Staten Island
Mood: busy
Music: got to push on through but while I’m gone
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Thinking about all the Hows and Whys

Watch time

This woman named Alice Neel once said that All experience is great provided you live through it. If it kills you, you’ve gone too far.

Had enough distance now from my old troubles to think about it objectively. Alla these things I thought I’d never make it past I did somehow.

Suppose that’s just human nature, to survive the blows. And the one benefit of the gut-wrenching is that peculiar feeling that, If I could survive XX, I could survive anything.

Alison and I were in the hospital on Thursday.

The hows and whys are for some other time and from some other narrator.

My parta the story’s that I was two hours north of the city when I rushed down to hear the news.

Just lemme tell you that there are times in a man’s life when he just wants to cover up his ears like a child and not hear to those impatient things that need to be heard.

But you listen cause you’re not a child. Not for a while now.

And you nod. There’s always a lotta goddamn nodding.

And after all that listening and nodding, you manage to compress all of that agony and fear into a tight little ball and stuff it into some crack in your soul where y’hide that stuff.

Then y’take a deep breath, and say out loud, It’s gonna be ok. Partly for them, mostly for yourself.

And it is, almost always, somehow ok.

But cause you’re an insomniac, you get up in the middle of the night to sit by your lonesome on an uncomfortable couch and, without fail, retrieve that ball you hid earlier. You unpack it, smooth it out, and examine it from a million different angles, hoping for some understanding that never comes.

Finally – despite your best efforts – y’think about all of those hows and whys. Mostly the whys.

Location: Last week, a waiting room at Columbus Circle
Mood: worried
Music: sun is going down but it will rise again
YASYCTAI: Remember that you made it through all the other times. (time/2 pts)
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How a body can fall

 

Bar in New York City

The ability for a body to get accustomed to things is just mind-blowing. If you ever watch things like The Pacific, you wonder how a body can fall asleep when people’re trying to kill them and bombs’re going off. And yet they do.

Got another letter and it looks like I’m off to court yet again. While I’ve won or settled pretty much all of these things, it’s still nerve-wracking.

And yet, you get used to it a little, somehow.

On another point, should just never check my mailbox. Nuthin good ever comes by post, except maybe my subscription to The Economist.

Wonder if they ship rum via mail.

———-

Started fencing and wrestling again and left my keys at the westling place. Hadta run back downtown to get them. That wasn’t the bad part.

Me: Where’re my keys?
Owner: Right in front of you.
Me: Where? (looking down at the men’s protective cup on desk) Oh for goodness…I gotta wash them now. (removing keys from cup) I don’t know where they’ve been.
Him: (laughing) Oh you know exactly where they’ve been!
Location: room, pacing
Mood: craptastic
Music: Scared of losin’ all the time He wrote it in a letter

Me Again

Location: on my couch
Mood: refreshed
Music: Please allow me to introduce myself

At the enda Interview with Vampire, we find out this once wild vampire’s alive. But he’s a shella himself – scared and scarred.

Hold that thought.

Contrary to what most people think, the fast food fight isn’t between McDonald’s and Burger King. McDonalds has about 31,000 stores across the world but Subway will have more than 32,000 by the end of the year. Cause during this yeara horrible economic times, Subway profits grew by 17%.

It went from number whatever to number one cause it saw it’s chances and took them.

And Wayne Gretzky said that, You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. It’s all about seeing your chances and taking them.

There’s been debate as to JFK’s notion that the Chinese word for crisis is an amalgam of the characters danger and opportunity – but that doesn’t make it less true a concept. Crisis’s when y’can take your shots.

The breakup, the theft, the car accident, my grandmother leaving, and the cancer scare took their toll on me. Once told someone that as a lawyer, a fencer and a kickboxer, wasn’t afraida nuthin. But the last three years, was scared and scarred. Of everything (cept maybe the girlies).

A body can only handle so many crises.

Three years’s enough to not take my shots, to be onea those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.

After three years, a twelveth of my life, not only am I home again, feel like I’m me again.

Gonna be in DC over the weekend. Catch you next week.

YASYCTAI: Take your shots. (0.5 secs/3 pts)