Chasing the Dragon

I am the people

Chad’s been teaching in Brooklyn the past few months at Kings Williamsburg – great bunch of folks so if you’re in the area, you should definitely give them a go.

Pez gave the boy and me a lift there twice this week; I needed to go because it’s Chad’s last week there teaching so he can focus on getting his own gym up so that means at least a month-to-two-months of not rolling.

The fella sitting behind Chad giving the bunny ears in the main picture above is my buddy Robinson and he’s taking over the BJJ program at Williamsburg.

My son was super cute because he kept asking everyone where Mouse was.

Him: Did you see her?
Curt: Don’t worry, buddy, she’ll come.

I’ve been helping Chad with things in his gym when I can. And it’s interesting because you can see there’s a clear difference between how the wealthy look at the world and how people like me look at it.

Heiress: You’re there doing manual labor? Don’t you have people for that?
Me: Lady, I am the people.

There’s a saying called, “Chasing the Dragon,” which has multiple drug-related meanings but the one I find the most interesting is this one: The very first time someone tries a new drug, it produces this amazeballs high that they’ve never felt before.

Addicts then spend the rest of their lives trying to feel that insanely good first hit: They chase the dragon.

Now, I’ve never done any hard drugs in my life but I have been in love before and it’s the most indescribable and intoxicating feeling when it’s real.

It’s how I know the difference between love, something-a-lot-like-love and just killing time.

And when it’s gone, man, the crash is something else.

Causea that, I feel that these adventures I’ve been having lately is just me chasing the dragon. I can’t shake the feeling that something-a-lot-like-love and just killing time – but not love itself-  is in my cards.

The question is if it’s even worth the bother. Like I said, I’m le tired.

Having said that, at least I’m being entertained and some people are more entertaining than others.

After all, if you can’t have love, you might as well be entertained, yeah?

Her: I have my Hermes bike for [recreation].
Me: You have a bike…from Hermes? They make bikes?
Her: Yep.
Me: That’s wild.
Her: LOL. It’s at the beach house. If you weren’t always so busy and have the kid and took some time off you would see it!

Location: jits with The Chad in Billlyburg one last time
Mood: resigned
Music: Been steering clear of your face (Spotify)
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Not my bag

Literally, everyone has a dog

When Shawn and I went drinking a few weeks back, he said he never saw anyone talk to a stranger like I did the other day.

Him: Dude, you’re on fire.
Me: I’ve had a lotta practice in my life.

But being able to meet people and being able to connect with them are very different things.

I get that I don’t look 48, but – mentally – I’m probably a lot older than that.

And I don’t fit into this world of modern dating, I don’t think.

I have a very good friend that never wants to get married, nor kids, and wants to just have a string of one-night stands, like that old song, Goodbye Stranger.

It’s not my bag but it is his. That’s fine, we all get one life to live.

After Alison died and I started filling in my time with women I met out and about, I realized that a lot of the people that I was meeting up with were non-starters.

Because what they were looking for and I was looking for was radically different. You only get the highlights in this here blog; the nitty-gritty conversations that make the basis of any relationship aren’t really for public consumption.

But in the end, what I want out of life, I don’t think is in high demand, and that bums me out.

I used to speak high intermediate German but I never had anyone to speak to on a regular basis so I just kinda forgot it all.

Similarly, I feel like I’m the last person that speaks my language and that bums me out in ways I can’t adequately express.

Her: Just because two people are married doesn’t mean that they’re not attracted to other people. I wouldn’t mind if my guy has his fun as long as I do too.
Me: (shaking head) That’s just not my bag.
Her: What’s wrong with you?
Me: Evidently, quite a bit. I wasn’t meant for this modern love. I just want my person and I want my person to want just me. 

As an aside, I will probably die alone in NYC because I don’t like dogs and every woman in NYC – including the Heiress – has a dog.

Another random: But he’s only 10 pounds.
Me: I’m just not a dog person. Plus my condo don’t allow pets.
Her: Well, this has been a complete waste of my time.
Me: For that, I’m sorry. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s having my time wasted.

Location: in front the computer, breaking down numbers for my biz partner
Mood: solitary
Music: Will we ever meet again? (Spotify)
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Stay outta the sun and be born Asian

Demolition time

My son was away for a good part of the week and weekend so I spent some of it saying hello and goodbye to a buncha people all over the place.

I’ll tell you more about that some other time. Maybe. I’m le tired.

The resta the time, worked on Chad’s new gym.

Surprisingly, or perhaps not that surprisingly, Mouse’s brother helped us out with some of the demolition that needed to be done.

And then Chad, myself, and several friends took down two walls with a crowbar and several power drills.

This is us pretending we’re in a boy band. I don’t know what I’m doing.

Afterwards, Chad wanted to bring us all out to eat.

Panda: I want all-you-can-eat.
Me: Everything is all you can eat if you spend enough money.
Hef: I’m down for Korean food.
Shawn: I’ve never actually had Korean BBQ.
Me: It’s great and keto friendly(ish) so that’ll work for me and Chad. We have a Scenic Fights shoot coming up this week.

We rolled up to Koreatown and essentially ordered five of the below. I stuffed myself silly. Think we all did.

There are worse ways than finishing the day with a cold beer and hot Korean BBQ. I should know.

Speaking of Scenic Fights, the producers are about the same age as Chad.

Him: It’s hard finding time to work out.
Me: I’m 48 with a kid, find time.
Him: If I look like you look at 48, I’d be thrilled.
Me: It’s easy – just (a) stay outta the sun and (b) be born Asian.
Him: Well, I already screwed up one of those.
Me: That was your first mistake.

I recently read that men and women age about the same until age 50 – and then women’s faces age three times faster.

Someone once commented that she thought I was a great feminist but I don’t think of myself like that at all.

Just think women get the short end of the stick with a lotta things and are still emotionally tougher than most men.

Don’t like unfair things and all that seems terribly unfair.

Location: 1PM, Union Square, with power tools and out of the sun
Mood: productive
Music: ride or die, two rebels, you and I (Spotify)
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Survival is not pretty

Ned Stark was an awful father

Ned: You want me to serve the woman who murdered my king, who butchered my men, who crippled my son?!
Varys: I want you to serve the realm! Tell the Queen you will confess your vile treason, tell your son to lay down his sword and proclaim Joffrey as the true heir! Cersei knows you as a man of honour; if you give her the peace she needs, and promise to carry her secret to your grave, I believe she will allow you to take the black and live out your days on the Wall, with your brother and your bastard son.
Ned: (laughs) You think my life is some precious thing to me? That I would trade my honour for a few more years of…of what?! You grew up with actors; you learned their craft and you learnt it well. But I grew up with soldiers. I learned how to die a long time ago.
Varys: Pity. Such a pity. (Varys moves to leave, but turns back for one last word) What of your daughter’s life, my lord? Is that a precious thing to you? (Spoiler: Ned chose his honor over his own fucking daughter, who ended up getting raped and tortured repeatedly)

Years ago, I wrote a letter to my son, telling him about our family motto, “Survive.”

I had a number of people tell me how much that entry spoke to them but, in my head, I knew they didn’t really understand what I was saying.

Because they looked at it as some noble, honorable thing, when it was the exact opposite of that.

One guy I knew thought it was such a deep entry, but we clashed years ago about – of all things – Ned on Game of Thrones.

He’s the same guy who, like most people, completely doesn’t understand what “Survival of the fittest,” means

You see, I think Ned Stark was an awful father. Let’s run through the list:

      • Robb Stark – Murdered after he executed Rickard Karstark and the Karstarks abandon his army
      • Sansa Stark – see above. She suffered until she learned to be cold and survive.
      • Arya Stark – Survives because she’s precisely the opposite of what Ned hoped her to be.
      • Bran Stark – crippled but survives because he’s 10 when Ned dies
      • Rickon Stark – Killed
      • Theon Greyjoy (ward/foster son) – Hoo-boy, you don’t wanna know
      • Jon Snow (foster son) – Survives but only because he dies first

This dude was so upset that I said Ned was a bad father – note that he’s not a father himself – that he kicked me. That was the one of the last times I ever saw him.

A grown-ass 50 year-old man kicked me over a fictional guy. Jesus Christ. That tells you everything you need to know about him and why he and his business are struggling.

But, on a deeper level, it goes to a fundamental misunderstanding of what I wrote and mean.

Survival is not – at all – pretty.

Think about what survives things: Rats, roaches, weeds.

These aren’t pretty, glorious, honorable things. These are the things that don’t care about anything but surviving.

When I killed that rat last week ago, I felt nothing. He was huge and bit the shit outta what I was using to drown him.

If the roles were reversed, there wouldn’t be a moment’s hesitation of that rat trying to end me to survive. I respected that it fought to live, but it was it or me.

Ned taught his kids honor, duty, pride, politeness, etc.

That’s all fine and good, but if it’s a choice between my honor and my kid, fuck honor every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

You want me to bend the knee so my kid is ok? Which knee do you want?

Ned died – as did his wife, and two of his kids, while the rest suffered immensely –  because he did the noble thing, rather than the right thing.

The right thing woulda been to survive, protect his family, his sons and daughters, and – as Varys noted – the people of the realm.

How many people died in his family and throughout the kingdom(s) because of his honor, whatever the fuck that means? Based on his conversation with Varys, it sounds more like his pride at work.

I survive things, even when I don’t wanna. Because I’m this kid’s guard. That’s the reason why I’m here.

My buddy and his bullshit 14 year-old ideas of parenting and honor can go pound sand.

Friend: If we go to war with China or Russia, I’m finding you.
Me: (laughing) Why ?
Him: Because, out of everyone I know, you’re the one most likely to survive.
Me: OK. First things first, we get the fuck off the island and make it to NJ. Then we head west.

Location: earlier today, W 18th Street, having a beer with an almost relative
Mood: amused
Music: I spent so many nights just thinking how you’d done me wrong (Spotify)
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Aladdin Sane

Calling it a win

Remember that I told you that I’ve been seeing a therapist? Every single one of our weekly sessions’ve been starting off the same way…

Me: So, you’re not gonna be believe what happened to me this week.
Her: This is different than what happened last week?!
Me: Yeah. (afterward) Listen, I’m not crazy, this actually happened. Don’t 2PC me.**

Wonder if she thinks I’m just making stuff up. Heck, I wonder if you think I’m making stuff up.

FWIW, I wish I was just making all this up. Imagine if I were just an insane lad?

Maybe I am mad. Reality’s worse, though. My reality, anywho.

She did ask if I had anything happen that was good recently and I told her, honestly, that I had two weekday wins.

The first was getting my fridge fixed so quickly. The second was me as a lawyer.

As a lawyer, I concentrate in a very narrow, relatively arcane, area of the law. One of my buddies got a threatening letter from an attorney that just happened to be in my exact wheelhouse. So, I dashed off a quick little letter and shot it off to him.

Less than three hours later, the threat was withdrawn.

Him: They totally just folded.
Me: I wouldn’t call myself an expert in anything. But in *that* particular area of the law, I wouldn’t fuck with me.
Him: I believe it.

Still, the weekend was a stressful mess with me thinking that my pad’d flood again.

I got a plumber and workmen in to do what they could to ameliorate the issue and there was no new flooding.

But the aftermath of it all was still palpable, and I’m still reeling from it all.

Did manage to have some entertainment but that’s a story for another time.

The Heiress, and several of Chad’s other friends, wanted to invest in the gym. Chad’s in a weirdly lucky spot where he has more people wanting to help him than he has place to put them.

Him: Should I take their take their investment?
Me: Everything comes at a cost. At the end of the day, this is your slice of the world. You get to pick who you share it with. For me, the less people involved in my slice of the world, the better.

The Heiress is an interesting character for sure; the fact she’s ridonk wealthy is cool, but doesn’t really affect me in any meaningful way.

The fact that she understands tragedy and brain cancer is much more impactful.

Perhaps a little too impactful.

Her: Yes, I was thinking that I might not be the right one for you, and vice versa.
Me: I get it. In the end, we’re all just looking for our tribe, one way or another.

Who knows, perhaps she’s the mad one and I’m the sane one? Who else would want to get involved with me in any capacity, given my track record?

Me: You still have time to cut me out, you know.
Chad: It’s too late, Logan. We’re in it. Let’s go.

Speaking of Chad, with all the craziness of last week, I forgot to tell you that we had a new Scenic Fights video.

I think that we’ve really hit our stride with Scenic Fights these days.

It’s onea the few things I’m really jazzed about these days.

OK, I’ll call that a win too.


** There’s no good definition I can find for 2PC so I’ll just explain it here. In NYS and other states, if two doctors think that you’re nuts, they can lock you up in a mental ward, essentially indefinitely, and you have few-to-no legal means to get let out. It’s short for “two-physician commitment.”

When Alison and my dad were both in the ER, a relative of mine was 2PCed and I couldn’t help for obvious reasons.

It’s the last third I never told you about during that fucking year.

Yeah, my life is nuts, man. I don’t believe half the shit I tell you about myself.

And yet, here we are.

Location: Queens, having a killer keto pizza
Mood: mad
Music: Who’ll love Aladdin Sane? (Spotify)
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It’s 2021, dontchaknow?

Ever True

Been talking to the Heiress quite a bit. She offered to send me the full amount of the theft.

Me: What? That’s insane! No.
Her: I already cut you a check, Logan. It’s fine. It’s just money.

I didn’t take it, though. Although, that was before the flood.

After the flood, she was concerned about our staying in the apartment and kindly offered to fly the boy and me down to Miami in her jet to stay at her home there for a bit.

If I wasn’t trying to keep an eye on things here, I woulda said yes.

Unfortunately, we had another misunderstanding that I’m still trying to wrap my head around. Communication is the hardest thing between any two people.

The thing is, both parties have to at least want to try and understand each other. I suppose it’s just easier to think that the other is a selfish narcissist, though.

Shame, though. Don’t meet too many smoking hot billionaires in my regular day-to-day.

Meeting the Heiress reminded me of two, very lovely, women I met way before I started this blog.

One was the daughter of a film director.

She had crashed her Lambo right before we met so she was a little banged up. Evidently, I was super nice to her, so she developed a crush on me. She told me that if I moved with her to Singapore, I would never have to work another day in my life.

Gotta say, as a 20-something, was kinda intrigued. But, I ended up saying, no. I did crash at her pad for a while before I locked down my current (flooding) pad.

Before that, I met a designer that had a good amount of success on her own, coupled with money from her father.

She also told me something along the lines of, “If you stay with me, you can just do what you want all day…as long as you love me.”

The problem was that I didn’t love her, despite all her great qualities. I didn’t love either of them.

Love’s a weird thing. There’s no rhyme or reason for why you fall in love with one person but not another.

But man, when you find love, it’s something else. I wouldn’t have given up the two women I actually loved for anything or anyone.

On that note, I spoke to the Doctor – whom I also dated in my 20s – briefly on the phone this week because I still manage one of her properties for her. Purely business but it was the first time I’d heard her voice in years. It was a head trip.

It was something a lot like love with her, but not love.

As I write this, I remember a night where Buckley and I drank with one of her uncles and he said that he would buy me a yellow Porche when we got married. I remember wondering why it had to be yellow. In hindsight, he probably had one he had to get rid of.

Lost touch with the FDD and the Designer but I last heard they were happy, as is the Doctor. That’s good.

Maybe I don’t fuck everything up.

Or maybe they’re not fucked up because they didn’t end up with me?

Don’t answer that.

Things like Porches, Lamborginis, and private jets are nice.

But I’d trade it all in a heartbeat for family and a quiet middle-class life with the boy and my person.

I came back to find that my fridge was busted.

My luck rings ever true.

Him: Well, that’s your problem right there, your motherboard burned out.
Me: The fridge has a motherboard?
Him: Yeah, man, it’s 2021, dontchaknow?

Location: a cafe, waiting for someone that was waiting for me at another cafe
Mood: suboptimal
Music: Ask me how I am, I’m getting by (Spotify)
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Life wants to break me

The streets flood

Here’s what’s happened with me since the theft:

      • A rat swam up my toilet. Evidently, it’s a thing.
      • I killed said rat. That was an interesting flashback.
      • A switch in my apartment arced and almost set it on fire.
      • My apartment flooded.

I only have the luck of the stripe people don’t want.

Sometimes I think that Life wants to break me before it ends me. I honestly wonder why it doesn’t just end me.

Then again, if I was Life, what would be the fun in that?

Speaking of life, I’ve never stood anyone up, ever. Well, until recently, that is. Of course.

The Heiress and I have both had hectic schedules lately – me for obvious reasons, her because she’s working from her beach house. She agreed to travel 2.5 hours to meet me in my hood the other day.

But I felt we never firmed up and, when I didn’t hear from her after ringing her, I figured it was a flake. I reached out a little while later just to make sure it wasn’t something like an accident.

I wasn’t prepared for what I got in response.

I’ve called numerous times. Honestly I’m not into games. You totally wasted my day.

It turns out that we both flaked on each other. I think it’s related to my phone number being stolen.

Of course.

Me: I’m so sorry about that. I’ll head to your beach house.
Her: It’s a five-hour round trip.
Me: You did it for me.
Her: Then I’ll send you a car.

She’s one of nicer and more interesting people I’ve met in life.

But I don’t even have time to process her, or anything, because so much is coming at me at once. Just need a second to take it all in.

I think I could deal with most anything one at a time.

I could deal with most anything if they were spaced the fuck out.

When the dams break
And the streets flood
I’m stuck trying to fight my way out
When the earth shakes
And the floor drops
Free falling, I hit it all on my way down
Good or bad nothing lasts
I tell myself
Ooh I know
I will see the sun
Even when it feels like
The day will never come
When everything is broken seems like the light is gone
Ooh I know ooh I know
I will see the sun
When nothing feels real
But a heartbeat
When you’re so numb, that it seems just like a movie
Then you’re crying like a little kid
Guess no one said that this life would be easy
Good or bad nothing lasts

Location: home, waiting the rain
Mood: suboptimal
Music: the streets flood. I’m stuck trying to fight my way out (Spotify)
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Paxibellum

Taking what family we can

 

Me: Man, I didn’t think you were so knowledgeable about people.
Her: Yeah, I second-guess myself with work, but when it comes to people, I know things.

Met up with my cousin Ras the other night because she wanted to take me out to eat for helping her with a certification she’s pursing.

I chose to see her over other options because I was feeling rough after everything and my sister and mom are busy and my brother’s in California.

Suppose I just wanted a low-key night out with family.

I figured that I’d get back to my diet after the boy returns so we went out for udon noodles and sushi.

Her: I love this place, The bowls are bigger than your head.
Me: That’s what I like to hear.

Afterward, we walked by my old digs on Times Square.

Me: I lived here for four or five years.
Her: I never knew that.
Me: I think that’s when we lost touch.

I told my brother that it was nice seeing her; it was like the best of seeing family and friends. After trauma, I think people just want quiet and familiarity.

Me: We should do this again soon.
Her: Yes! I’ll see you again this week.

Unfortunately, both times, she cancelled last minute so that was disappointing. Still, it was nice to see her when I did. 

Like I said, after a trauma, you want family somehow.

Speaking of family, it woulda been my uncle’s birthday recently so I my sis went to his store and saw the below video.

Wish my family met him.

It’s one of my ten-thousand regrets.

On a wholly different matter, Chad signed the lease on his martial arts academy: Paxibellum.

We based it on one of my favourite Latin sayings: Si vis pacem, para bellum.

There’s a lot that needs to be done and I’m trying to help him however I can.

Unfortunately, I’m still being pulled in a million different ways and the boy’s back after being away for a bit with my family.

There’s more but that too, like everything else in my life, is in flux.

4AM update: And my apartment just flooded…

Location: home, waiting for a call
Mood: conflicted again
Music: One night to push and scream and then relief (Spotify)
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What if?

You’re not gonna believe this

Forgot to mention that I spent the 3rd of July on a boat. There’s an interesting story there, but I’ll tell you next time.

4th of July was never a special holiday. But it’s become one.

As I get older, I realize that I think about my dad during the 4th because he would bring us kids to fireworks and it would be something amazing to a young boy.

It really is meant for family. Except, I don’t have one. Not a complete one, anywho.

The very last time I saw fireworks with someone I loved was in 2012, almost a decade ago. I spent this one alone too.

Although, that was by choice.

Me: Wait, you deep fried them?
Him: Yeah, we deep fried the hot dogs but cooked burgers on the grill.
Me: Had I known this, my answer might have been different.

Maybe next year?

I spoke to Caligirl, the ABFF, and another friend.

Me: I interfered in your life because I wanted something. And you’re where you are now. I wonder if you woulda been happier had I stayed out of your life. Would you and he be fat and happy with some kids right now but for me wanting something different for you?
Her: Maybe. People create stories to justify the world. I would have told myself that I was happy. How true would it have been? I think partly, yes, but mostly frustration. I like my life now.
Me: I wonder if the two women I loved would have been happier if I never got involved in their lives. It’s a road I never go down for fear of what I might learn.

When I drink, I gain the courage to talk about things that rattle in my head but I’m too afraid to say out loud.

Me: What if Alison would be alive right now but for meeting me? Sine qua non. What if it was me?
Her: I don’t think that anything would have been different.
Me: But…what if it was me? Everything I touch turns to shit.
Her: Logan…
Me: (nodding)

The heiress and Alison share quite a bit.

But they share one thing that literally made me throw up.

Her: I had brain cancer. Less than a 12% chance to live. But I survived. I pay about $400,000 a month to stay alive.

Like I said, it’s all far darker that you would imagine. And there’s more but I’m sobering up now.

Me: It’s amazing that you’re here. That’s insane. But lucky. So lucky. I was on the other side of that luck.

There are times that I believe that there is, in fact, a god.

And man, does he fucking hate me. I think it’s all one big cosmic joke. I’m like King Midus but instead of gold, everything I touch turns to shit.

And instead of reeds, I have you – one of whom stole most of what I own.

I literally started laughing while writing this. What else can you do but laugh?

And throw up.

But at least I get consolation prizes. That’s gotta be worth something.

 

Location: dark places
Mood: suboptimal
Music: you pulled me inside out and outside in (Spotify)
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Hello, Darkness

I can’t do this

Gonna try and be more careful about updating this blog. But it’s what I do.

Figure that, once the boy gets to be a certain age, I’ll have to take it down. But, until then, I’ll just tell you about the nonsense that is my life.

On that note, I’ve been meeting…myself, lately.

For example, I met a woman with a young son. Her husband died on a motorcycle, hit by a log truck.

Every time we talked, she spoke of her husband, and I spoke of Alison.

I never really appreciated how giving Mouse was with her patience and ear when it came to Alison. But that’s a post for another time, I suppose.

As for this woman, I knew I wasn’t her fella. And I  wanted to tell her that I couldn’t be her guy because the weight of her loss and my loss would be too much for either of us to bear.

But she actually beat me to it.

I’m sorry, Logan, for you losses. But I’m trying to be ok – for me and my son – and I don’t think I can do this. I’m sorry.

I felt such a relief, I can’t tell you.

And I felt guilty that I felt that relief.

But the shadow of death does just that: Shadows us. Even if you don’t know it yet, she does.

I know because Shawn came by my kali class around the way and afterward…

Him: Do you wanna get a drink?
Me: Sure. There’s a place around the way I used to go to all the time.

While there, I met a girl named Lake who was traveling to Arizona the next day.

Me: What’s in Arizona, Lake?
Her: My best friend’s sister.
Me: (laughing) But not your best friend?
Her: (long pause) No. She died.
Me: Well, I guess we’re trading our sad stories then.

Shawn left early and she and I continued our conversation. It was fun, but dark.

Like me. Fun Logan.

Still, when it came to darkness, I wasn’t prepared for the Heiress.

I’ve never met an Heiress before. Prior to her, Caligirl was probably the wealthiest girl I’ve ever dated, but the Heiress was/is an…heiress. And a Harvard educated doctor, to boot.

But I’m guessing she’d trade it all to have her family again.

Me: What happened to them, if you don’t mind my asking?
Her: They all died. My husband and my twins.
Me: Holy shit.

It went even darker than that – far darker, if you can believe it – but I suppose that’s enough darkness for one night.

Sorry, I guess not.

Because another girl I’ll call the Shrink told me about a friend of hers that just died two days ago from a drug overdose.

All this happened in the span of about five days after my last horror.

What madness.

There’s always more than enough darkness to go around, isn’t there?

And it puts everything else into perspective.

Paul: Are you ok, Logan?
Me: OK is a relative term. But yes, I think I’m OK.

Location: earlier today, Williamsburg, trying to break someone’s leg
Mood: dark, but hopeful
Music: people bowed and prayed to the neon god they made (Spotify)
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