How can Chauvin be guilty of three things?

Falling Back

Her: I don’t understand people that want to see that video.
Me: I still haven’t gotten through more than two minutes of it. I never will. That’s some sick stuff. And that’s the world I’m raising this kid in.

Once again, we pause the usual nuthin to discuss world events.

The professor and other friends dropped me a line to ask a very sensible question:

How can Derek Chauvin be guilty of three things for one murder/manslaughter?

I’ll start with an illustration: Assume, arguendo, you rob a bank. During that bank robbery, someone with a weak heart dies of a heart attack. At the same time, you also decide to get frisky with the attractive teller. Then you get arrested.

You are charged with:

      1. Bank robbery
      2. Felony murder
      3. Sexual assault

These are three separate charges requiring three separate sets of things the prosecution has to prove. If the prosecution proves all three, then you’ll be convicted of all three charges.

Let’s go over to the Chauvin case.

He was convicted of:

      1. Second-degree unintentional murder (facing potentially 40 years)
      2. Third-degree murder (25 years)
      3. Second-degree manslaughter (10 years)

For an overview of these charges, check out my award-winning entry about Murder vs. Involuntary Manslaughter.

Why all three? Because the prosecution had enough evidence to prove all three and the judge allowed them to try and prove all three.

Second-degree unintentional/Felony murder

Question: Did Chauvin want to hurt Floyd and end up killing him instead?
Answer: Clearly, fuck yes. You don’t put your knee on another human being’s goddamn neck unless you want to hurt him. Oh, he died? That’s murder. The prosecution proved every element of this charge.

Third-degree/Depraved-Heart/I don’t give a fuck murder

Question: Did Chauvin not give a fuck that he might accidentally kill Floyd?
Answer: Again, clearly, yes. The man was gasping for air and begging for his life and Chauvin ignored all of these pleas for mercy from the assault that Chauvin himself was inflicting. The prosecution proved every element of this charge as well, so guess what, asshole, you’re guilty of this too.

Second-degree manslaughter

Question: Did Chauvin create a situation where a reasonable person would think, “Oh shit, if I do this, I might end up killing the man,” and proceed anyway?
Answer: Same. Any reasonable person would know that, if you put your knee on someone’s neck that person might die. So, once again, the prosecution proved every element of that crime.

So, what about double-jeopardy? How can you be convicted three times of essentially the same murder?

The reason why is because, even though he was convicted on all three charges, he’ll probably only face the most serious charge of second-degree murder, which is potentially 30 years of jail time and 10 years of parole.

And there’s a tactical reason for this: Because if the jury wasn’t convinced of the most serious charge, the other two are fallback positions – basically, they’re contingency plans, which you know I love.

And this is important because, right this very second as I write this, there’s – I shit you notanother Minnesota’s third-degree murder conviction of an officer (this one is an equally charming prince of a fella) that’s being challenged before the Supreme Court.

Note to self: Never leave Manhattan.

Assume Chauvin only got convicted of the third-degree murder and not the other two. If the Supreme Court decides to find for officer in the other case, Chauvin goes home.

So, this is belt and suspenders on the part of the prosecution. If they didn’t get the top two charges to stick, the hope was that the third would stick.

But the evidence, and Chauvin’s own douchebaggery, was so overwhelming that they landed all three charges.

You wanna know how amazing this was? Since 2005 – 16 years – only seven officers IN THE USA have been convicted of murder. Seven. In 16 years.

So, yeah, thank god for video tape evidence.

Finally, for the numbnuts bitching that the bystanders did nothing but videotape, those bystanders made this happen.

Shut the fuck up, Rambo and sit the fuck down.

/rant

More nonsense tomorrow this week soon(ish).

Sigh, I wanted to be a law professor once. Instead, I’m just a high-functioning alcoholic womanizer.

Eh, I’m ok with that.

 

Location: Hudson Yards versus Brighton Beach
Mood: determined
Music: I’m selfish I always made your problems ’bout me (Spotify)
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Two Joans, a Superstar, and the Manic Pixie Dream Girl

Awesome Once

I think the reason why the narcissist accusation bothered Chad and me so much was because we both had to deal with a self-aggrandizing narcissist for years.

Him: These people think we’re like him?! (shakes head) You gave up everything to try and save Alison – your career, your personal life, your friends, everything. I don’t know many people that would do that.
Me: Still…
Him: Logan, saying that about anyone is serious, saying it about you and what you’ve gone through is beyond fucked-up.

You see, a cornerstone of a narcissist is that they’re always bragging about their credentials and achievements. But Chad never knew I knew kali, let alone taught it, until the day he showed up at our first video shoot.

You still don’t know even know what I do for a living. Not really.

In fact, one major reason why I resisted the idea of Scenic Fights for over a year was because I like to keep my private life private.

Chad is similar in many ways. I suppose that’s why he and I get along so well. We both live by the credo that we want to leave people better off having met us than not, the opposite of what a narcissist does/is.

After a long conversation, we came to the conclusion that the people that called us that either don’t fully understand the gravity of what they’re saying or they don’t really know us at all.

It’s kinda like people in Asia wearing tee-shirts with words they don’t fully appreciate.

BTW, there are whole blogs dedicated to them and they’re, admittedly, hilarious.

(c) Someone else

On that note, I wouldn’t have brought this matter up again but for three women and a superstar. One is a stranger, one is an old friend, one is someone I adore, and one is a…superstar.

The first was a woman named Joan that wrote that, at least from my writing, I didn’t seem like a narcissist.

There was no reason for her to contact me but she did it anyway. I don’t understand people that go out of their way to ruin other people’s day, but on the flip-side, there’s something about someone that voluntarily decides to make a complete stranger’s day better, donchathink?

I told her, honestly, that I always liked the name Joan because of this lovely woman named Joan I knew in college.

Joan-from-College was probably one of the coolest people I knew. She was beautiful and popular – the opposite of me. She dated one of my closest buddies so I never thought of her as anything but a good friend.

With the exception of one staggeringly drunken night, I’ve never made a pass at a female friend. Considering how many nights I’ve been out and how many women I know, I’m pretty proud of this.

As for Joan-from-College, we lost touch after she graduated but she wrote me out of the blue one day, two months before Alison got sick.

Joan: I wonder if you remember me. When I was going through a really difficult time my sophomore year you were very sweet to me. I know it must have helped me because I still remember you fondly.
Me: Of course I remember you! I don’t remember the conversation either but I remember it being around Uris Hall and you smoking (a lot).

I do remember feeling flattered and awestruck as a nobody freshman that a cool and pretty sophomore girl deigned to talk to me.

Late one night, I also sent out a quick message to a buddy of mine who happens to be a legit superstar; you’ve definitely seen some of his movies/shows.

Me: I am so upset.
Him: Give me a call [sends number].
Me: You’re a prince.

We literally chatted for an hour. It was surreal. And he was just great.

Like I said, random, unexpected kindnesses are the absolute best.

But, really, the most impactful thing that made me believe that the person that said the narcissist comment was both cruel and wrong was, of course, Mouse.

Honestly, that girl is like my own personal MPDG except that, obvs, she has her own agency.

I can honestly say that, for the past few years, she was my best friend and the biggest influence in my life outside of the boy. I adored her.

While, I haven’t seen or spoken to her in a bit, she sent me a lovely gift and wrote a little something about me on my birthday on her blog.

I gotta say, between the two Joans, the superstar, Mouse’s kind words, and seeing my family, I had a pretty sweet birthday.

The next time someone tries to convince me that I’m something I know I’m not, I’ll pull up Mouse’s entry and remember that someone I once thought was pretty awesome, once thought I was pretty awesome too.

After all, The respect of those you respect is worth more than the applause of the multitude.

Location: earlier today, rolling with some friends
Mood: determined
Music: what I have to do, I don’t wanna (Spotify)
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Logan’s 48: The Foreseeable Unforeseeable

Basil Get

This fella named Joseph Bazalgette designed the London sewer system back in the 1860’s.

He said, “Well, we’re only going to do this once and there’s always the unforeseen” and doubled the diameter of the pipes suggested by the engineers.

Had he used the pipes that were originally recommended, the sewer woulda stopped working a hundred years later in the 1960s but instead, it’s 2021 and they’re still going strong.

While it was unforeseen that London – and the world – would see its population explode, it was also somewhat foreseeable as well.

In some way, that’s a lot like me.

I have contingency plans for my contingency plans. People are surprised that I not only have one advanced degree but two – in two wholly different fields of work. The idea was that if one career flopped, I would always have the second one to fall back on.

Alison and I always said that if everything – positively everything – failed, she could go back to waitressing and I could go back to building networks and teaching people how to stab each other.

We would survive. Or so we thought.

We planned for everything. Except her dying. That was the very last thing either of us thought of. It was our black swan.

We even thought of my dying, just not her; we took out a half-million dollar life insurance policy on me that expires this Friday at midnight.

In other words, if I die before 11:59 on Friday, the boy gets $500,000.

2021.04.16_09:59 edit: It’s actually $750,000. Damn, I’m worth more dead than alive. At least until midnight tonight.

And the reason why it expires this Friday is that I’m turning 48 on Saturday.

I was supposed to get another ten-year term for the foreseeable unforeseeable but I just didn’t have the stomach to go through the whole nurse’s visit and alla that again.

I still remember when Alison and I did it together the first time around but this time, it’d be just me (she had a tiny fraction of my policy amount because we figured that the chance of her dying was so small).

We got it ten years ago this month, right after we found out she was pregnant. Later, we heard the heartbeat. Three months later, the heartbeat and the baby were gone.

I thought 2011 would be the most painful year of my life. I was wrong.

Man, I was so fucking wrong.

Two people independently, and separately, called Chad and me a narcissist recently. Here’s the definition of one.

No one had ever called either of us that before and it threw us for a loop because we know someone that assuredly is and we don’t feel we have any nexus at all with this person.

It’s definitely not true about Chad, and I don’t think it’s true about me either. I’m many fucked up things but that’s not one of them.

Because the only thing I ever wanted wasn’t accolades, fame, or fortune. All I ever wanted was to be known as a good writer and a family/fatty to call my own.

These days, my hopes are even more modest; I’d like nothing more than to be remembered as Alison McCarthy’s faithful companion and the boy’s faithful guard.

If I am remembered as nothing more or less than those two things, I consider my time on this shitty little planet well earned.

In any case, even though it’s a foreseeable unforeseeable thing, I let my policy lapse. Maybe I’ll pick up a new policy later on this year. Just not right now.

Because it’s just me and him. If I die after midnight this Friday, the kid’ll get the money Alison left for him, this apartment, a shit-ton of knives, several hundred worthless comic books, and tech up the wazoo.

I’m just tired of thinking of death and the weight of the world.

I’ll just try and be extra careful for a bit.

Before Alison got sick, I used to ask for the same ridiculous and crass thing every year because I thought it was funny.

Suppose this is as good a year as any to start that up again. So…

Wish me a happy birthday, alla you bastards that read me and never say anything.

Location: in front of 48
Mood: pensive
Music: blink your eyes and the years go by like that (Spotify)
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Sounding reminiscent of me

An early birthday

Went to see Pac in midtown the other day. It was kismet because I was meeting a friend near Koreatown and Pac was there to see his mom (at Noona Noodles) so it all worked out.

Well, that part worked out; the part afterward with my other buddy was a complete mess.

Because I’ve been an entrepreneur and lawyer for over two decades, I give a lotta free advice to people. Normally I bill at $325 an hour; $225 an hour for friends and family.

Lemme tell you, people are much more deferential with your time when you bill them $325 an hour at 15 minute intervals versus when you do work for them for free.

Anywho, this buddy of mine ate up close to 3.5 hours of my time and finally, I had to just bolt.

In the end, though, he reached out to me, apologized, said he felt awful, and then sent me $300 to cover some of the cost.

People have mocked me for my three-step apology but it works. If I didn’t take the apology then, I would be the jerk.

So alls well that ends well.

Part of the reason that I was so irritated was that it was my last few days before the boy came back from my in-laws and I was pressed to get as much done as possible.

Also, because I’ve been alive for exact 17,520 days. I only have 9,000 days left. Of those 9,000, you gotta figure that only 5,000 are gonna be any good.

I did know that I wanted to get to the gym as much as I could, so the next day I got one final class in with Chad.

Chad: You have to move the shoulder back first to expose the ankle, then use your chest and spine to do the actual ripping.
Me: So, pulling the hands up high…
Him: …only tightens the grip. It’s your body that rips through the muscle and ligaments.

That conversation probably sounds very odd to you but it’s all quite normal for me.

It’s related to that old weak bean soup and insect vomit story I told you about years ago: What’s normal to one group can sound/be abhorrent to another.

On that note, Chad took me out for my birthday on Saturday with a buncha guys from our old gym. I think he wanted to do something like what I did for him and Mouse last year.

Holy crap, I’m turning 48 in six days.

Then again, getting old is a luxury. This time last year, I spent completely alone, covered in my sweat and piss so this was an upgrade, regardless of how you look at it.

My buddy Stan stopped by as well.

Stan: It’s your birthday? Jesus Christ, you’re like Benjamin Button, you’re getting younger every time I see you.
Me: It’s all the booze and women.
Chad: I swear to god, Logan’s a fucking vampire.

We went to my fave authentic Szechuan Chinese joint in the hood to support local Asian-owned businesses.

I ordered some of my favourite dishes and they were all a hit with the fellas.

Thor: This food is great! Good choices.
Me: Chad, be careful. These dishes have a lot of Szechuan peppercorns in them which are different than regular hot food.
Him: I’m in it. It’s happening.

I was honestly there for the carbs – the glorious, glorious carbs. Well, that and the whiskey sours.

The fellas  asked me what I would be doing if I could do anything and I told them that I wanted to a law professor once. Alison hoped I would be.

Instead, I’m teaching people how to stab other people. Life’s weird.

Me: Our legal system is one of the richest in the world.
Him: How so?
Me: Because it’s the amalgam of three, very different but related legal histories. It all started in 1066 with William the Conqueror, who should be considered as French, not English. Anywho, he started this thing called the Domesday Book

Chad reached for the check but Thor grabbed it and covered everyone. I was touched.

Afterward, we headed to one of my old haunts around the way, Dive 75.

Me: I had to stop going for a while.
Robinson: Why?
Me: Well, I picked up so many women at this bar that I kept running into them for years afterward.
Him: You’re not gonna have that problem anymore.

The weather was nice so we sat outside and traded our stories until late.

48. Nothing in my life is as I expected it to be.

Although I try to find humor where I can.

Him: (building a train set and we were missing a piece) Dammit!
Me: You can’t say that!
Him: You say that.
Me: (sighing) Admittedly, that does sound reminiscent of me, but you still can’t say that. It’s an adult word.
Him: When I can say it?
Me: I need to get back to you on that.

Location: home with the boy
Mood: touched
Music: in the end it wasn’t what you wanted (Spotify)

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Hitting the gym while I can

Happy to see your face

Like I said, I’ve been hitting the gym as much as I can while the boy’s away.

After not going steadily to the gym in over a year, after just a week of going, I’m already down six pounds.

Everything hurts afterward because I’m so out of practice.

Mouse was there so we spoke briefly and it was really good to catch up with her. Chad, Spak, and I were getting drinks around the way so I invited her.

On the way there, we came across some distinctly NYC items.

It’s still odd to me to sit indoors with a group and have a conversation – although the conversations made me laugh, like always.

Chad: I got a (spa) facial the other day.
Her: I have so many things I wanna say.

Spak ended up ordering a whole buncha food but I fought my fatty, fat, fat urge to eat it all.

Instead, I had another Old Fashioned and then a rum and diet coke, the latter of which was a poor choice on my part.

Afterward, I asked her if she could give me a lift home in my old whip. It was late so it didn’t take long for her to pull up to my door.

I thanked her and left but then I turned around and stuck my head back in the car and gave her a kiss on her cheek.

Me: Thank you for everything.
Her: (nods)
Me: For what it’s worth, I hope you find your person.

Dunno why I always think that I can drink a rum and diet coke at night and not have a sleepless night.

Normally, the caffeine interrupts my already poor sleep but I’ve also not been drinking much lately as I’ve been managing the kid all by my lonesome so that also threw things off.

Ended up tossing and turning all night until, finally, at 6AM, I just got up and started to get some things done.

The boy’s back on Sunday so I feel pressure to get as much done as I can before that.

Unfortunately, my phone’s been ringing off the hook because people I’ve not seen in ages are calling me to hang out but I’m already completely booked up. Still, I’m flattered that people wanna hang with boring old me.

Then again, the person I wanna hang with the most is the one that also keeps me from hanging out with others.

He’s totally worth it though…

Him: Papa! You look tired.
Me: (laughing) Thanks.
Him: OK, so today…

Location: 5:59AM this morning, my bed, making a decision
Mood: exhausted
Music: Was it off the cuff, or was it planned? (Spotify)
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So I smoked a joint for the first time

And got my vaccine – all in the same weekend

Dropped the boy off with my in-laws last week so they could spend some time with him, both of them having gotten the vaccine. It also meant that I could catch up on a whole buncha things.

While there, I had some fish and seafood, neither of which were a good idea due to the gout but I did it anyway.

Arriving home, I literally hit the gym every opportunity I could.

I also had been trying to get the vaccine myself and ended up getting one last minute at 11AM for 2PM a few blocks from BrightBea’s place.

I contemplated dropping her a line but decided against it (again). It was a one hour 45 minute trip from my pad to there.

Because it was in the middle of nowhere, I took my scooter but the cop at the front of the hospital told me I couldn’t bring it in. Not knowing what else to do, I convinced the guy running the coffee cart outside to watch it for me for 10 bucks.

Him: I’m leaving in exactly 30 minutes, at 2:45. You need to be here by then.
Me: I’ll try my best, thanks!

You can see the cart behind me in this picture below.

I dashed upstairs and ended up being the first in line. Immediately after I checked in – about 5 minutes – I turned around to see that the line was easily 10-15 deep after me. So, I lucked out.

The nurse was sweet but chatty. I just wanted to get going. At 2:37:

Her: You’re all set.
Me: Great, I gotta run downstairs.
Her: No, honey, you gotta sit for 15 minutes.

I explained to her my situation and she sighed.

Her: Can you stay until 2:40? Three minutes.
Me: You got a deal, lady.

At exactly 2:40, I ran downstairs and made it just in time.

Him: Hello, my friend! Congratulations on your shot!

Felt pretty good afterward so I hit up my kali class after teaching a quick private. Pez, Panda, Shawn, and Iron Chef all came to my Friday kali class and I saw three out of the four of them the very next day for jits.

While there, I ended up chatting with my buddy Miller, who always gives me good parenting advice, as well as Jay, who got a promotion.

Later on, met up with Chad, MJ, Pez, and IronChef for drinks around the way and made some new acquaintances.

Her: Mary. And my brother’s name is Logan, too.
Me: He must be pretty cool. Not that I am but I’m hoping to grow into the name.

Also spoke to a tall blonde wearing a red leather jacket in the bar.

Me: Have you ever heard of aposematism?.
Her: I’m sorry, what?

On the way back, we remarked how interesting it was that marijuana was now legal in NYC.

I’d had cannabis  in my recent past – after Alison got sick – but I never actually smoked a joint before.

Her: I have one if you want.
Me: Sure, but I have to go first or after you. Because of cooties. (she laughs) I don’t know where the guys have been.
Him: You don’t know where she’s been!
Me: Fair, but, given the right circumstances, it’s within the realm of possibility that I end up making out with one woman or another. Not you, of course, just women in general…

Afterward, we headed back to mine where we attempted to play some Exploding Kittens but ended up talking for hours instead.

Him: I respect how the three of you seem to talk to people you don’t know.
Me: (shrugging) I just assume they want to talk to me.

After a bit, we all ended up on a topic that’s relatively private so I’ll end that story here.

Didn’t sleep very well that night. As I said, I never smoked a joint before in my life and the things I was thinking and feeling were unsettling.

I apologize to Alison a lot when I’m by my lonely. For failing her.

It was a rough night and I’ll leave it at that as well.

It was my first joint but I feel like I’ve been drunk for three years and fifteen days.

Location: saying hi on 77th and Amsterdam
Mood: busy
Music: Why does it hurt (Spotify)
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Aposematism

Red and Yellow

Me: I think you’re off starting next Monday
Him: I’m off starting this Monday, papa.
Me: Well…that’s suboptimal.

Thought the boy’s Spring break began April 5th. I was incorrect.

Annnnd…shitballs. Here’s Pez watching the kiddo because I was in a pinch.

Her: You have the cutest kid!
Me: Thank you – you’re the best!

Earlier this week, I did some legal work that beat 96% odds.

Him: You did good work, Logan.
Me: No, I didn’t do good work. I won with 4% odds, that’s not good; that’s fucking fantastic. I did fucking fantastic work. They weren’t ready for me.

Because the kid was off, we went up to Connecticut to see a buddy of mine so the boy could have a playdate with his daughter.

While I was there, I took a picture of myself looking very out of place in my usual red leather jacket and the woods.

I always had this bright yellow/orange jacket – that picture below was taken by the Green-Eyed Schoolteacher back in 2007 – but when Alison got first got pregnant in 2011, I had my tailor make me a bright red leather jacket as a celebration.

It took a few months to get to me and, by then, we already lost that child. That was the start of our hell, which only ended six years later when she died. It was complete bullshit.

I never wore it while she was here and only rarely wore the other jacket during that whole time. Instead, I wore my beat up dark red leather jacket – that’s me when I was in Prague twenty-five years ago – and my other rando stuff.

I told a buddy of mine that most of the world lives an unexamined life. If anything, I examine the world around me a little too closely.

Why do I think the way I do?
Why do I dress the way I do?
Why does this matter to me?
What does this mean?

When Alison died, I wore only black for the first six months. I wore only black because I saw only black.

And then I realized that I had to reenter the world, as much as I didn’t want to. But after that, I put on my red leather jacket and wore it out for the first time. It’s pretty much my daily driver now, although I do break out the yellow/orange jacket on occasion.

There’s this thing called “aposematism,” which comes from the Greek ἀπό apo “away” and σῆμα sēma “sign.”

Aposematism, then, is “a sign to stay away.”

Basically, dangerous things are often brightly coloured, with the most dangerous things either red or yellow/orange against black.

      • Black Widow (red against black)
      • Yellowjacket (yellow/orange against black)
      • Murder Hornets (yellow/orange against black)
      • Monarch butterflies (orange against black)
      • Pitohui (red against black)
      • Poison Dart Frogs (blue, red, and/or black)

Just to name a few.

I wear bright red and yellow against black because I’m a lawyer with two decades of experience that teaches knife fighting in his spare time.

There are other reasons but that’s all I wanna share right now.

Most people, subconsciously, get that a guy doesn’t wear a bright yellow/orange or red leather jacket unless he can.

Although not everyone uses the sense god gave them. On the way to one Scenic Fights shoot, I had this conversation:

Him: You want to start some shit?
Me: I think I do, homie.

Subtlety only gets you so far sometimes.

Although, to be fair, I also paid extra to have a paisley print put into the red jacket and artwork to line my yellow/orange one.

I thought it made them look prettier. 

Location: home
Mood: pretty
Music: Ooh-ooh-ooh, that’s my violet (Spotify)

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Fate shuffles the cards and we play

The Illusion of Choice

Him: Why does everyone go away?
Me: Sometimes they have to, sometimes they want to. If we miss them, it means that they mattered to us. That’s not a bad thing, kiddo.

The boy’s sad because a number of people in his life have exited his venn diagram. Some temporarily, some more permanent.

It hurts me to see him hurt but I try my best to acknowledge his feelings as much as a 47-year-old-man-who’s-seen-a-ton-of-shit can vis-a-vis a five year old.

Alison’s sickness and death rocked me. For years, I prided myself on being dispassionately aloof to the workings of the world – in it but unaffected by it.

But when she got sick, I was a raw, open wound. I felt everything. The years before she got sick, while she was sick, and after she died, I lost all sense of self.

My career, my friends, my hobbies, my life goals, even my own sense of self-worth and pride. It all disappeared.

Poof.

Love does that to people. It’s neither a bad thing, nor a good thing, it’s just the cost of love. You surrender to love, because that’s its price.

I want to say that I’ve gotten better these past few years, but that wouldn’t be true. It’s more accurate to say that I’ve gotten better bit-by-little-bit.

One thing that I used to believe with all my heart was that there’s luck and there’s fate. They are not the same but they both can’t be affected by us.

I always believed that there are things in our lives that we think we can control but we can’t. When Alison and my dad got sick, I wanted to believe that we had a chance.

In the end, we only have the illusion of choice, and some things were never meant to be as we hoped them to be – oftentimes, there’s just luck and fate.

In the Dark Knight, the Joker puts a gun in Two-Face’s hand. Two-Face then takes out his double-sided coin and tells him that if he flips it and the scarred side pops up, the Joker dies, if the unscarred side comes up, the Joker lives.

Two-Face thinks that chance will determine the Joker’s fate but he was tricked all along.

You see, the Joker had a his finger on the hammer. He was controlling the outcome no matter what.

Two-Face only had the illusion of choice. Just like us, oftentimes.

I drove myself starkers all these years thinking I could change things I had no control over. The joke was on us.

Him: (nods) I’m still sad.
Me: It’s ok to be sad. Papa’s sad all the time. Fate shuffles the cards and we play.
Him: What does that mean?
Me: I’ll explain it more when you get older. How about some ice cream?

If there’s one thing that I want to teach the boy, it’s to play the hell out of the cards he’s dealt.

It’s one of a million things I need to do with him before I have to go.

I watch a lotta comic book movies.

Location: home
Mood: thoughtful
Music: I wipe my feelings off (Spotify)

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Blogarama - Observations Blogs

Memories of a chocolate teapot

Seeing the world but once

Me: What’s wrong?
Him: Annie doesn’t want to play with me. Can we go?
Me: OK, let’s go to another playground.

I’ve noticed something interesting about the kids that my son is closest to – they’re all hapas like him.

Dunno if this is some subconscious thing or because there are so many hapas running around the Upper West Side.

This lady named Louise Glueck once said, “We look at the world once, in childhood. The rest is memory.”

I couldn’t agree with that statement more. I think that, by the time we’re 14 or so, we know the broad contours of what we like and we don’t like.

For example, there was this little girl named Christine that I used to hang out with all the time growing up. We were both maybe six or seven, way before any real rational emotion was possible, but all I knew was that I loved hanging out with her.

She was blond with coloured eyes. Just like Alison.

I tell my friends to always be careful that they aren’t controlled by their 14 year-old impulses. But sometimes, you can’t help it – I’m no different.

In any case, the way I look at it, I have nine years to shape this kid’s perception of the world and I feel I’m already running outta time.

As much as possible, I try to have him the see the world for what it is – both the good and the bad – rather than what someone else wants him to see, what’s for sale.

The things he values now, he’ll value the rest of his life so I try for him to value things that are innately valuable. Those things that cannot be taken from you, like skills and kindness.

Because, in some way, we’re all prisoners of our 14 year-old selves.

Him: Isn’t that cool?
Me: It’s about as useful as a chocolate teapot.
Him: (laughing) What does that mean?
Me: Think about it, kid. It’ll come to you.

Then again, he may just be fine.

After all, he’s not just my kid, he’s Alison’s too. And maybe he won’t be quite as lonely as I was, growing up.

Me: Are you ok that Annie didn’t want to play with you?
Him: (nodding) I’ll meet someone else. (later) This is Sandy, papa, she lives on West 74th.
Me: (laughing) Hello Sandy who lives on West 74th. Why don’t you two play and I’ll watch your scooters?

Location: earlier today, watching some scooters by some stone elephants
Mood: hopeful
Music: All you got to do is blink your eyes and the years go by like that (Spotify)
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Inchoate Manslaughter notwithstanding

That’s a no

My brother came to town for a visit. He’s helped so many people in the world that his schedule was jam-packed cause everyone wanted to see him.

But, he stayed by me for a little while and it was good spending time with him and the boy.

Me: Uncle wants Thai food.
Boy: (confused) It’s food that’s tied?
Me: (nodding) Yes.

One benefit of having people around is that they can hear the kid speak so they know I’m not making up his peculiar little mannerisms.

For example, he was sitting on my friend KT’s lap when this happened:

Me: Do you want corned beef and cabbage for dinner?
Him: That’s a no.
Me: (to KT) OMG, I’m so glad you heard that.

Because my brother was here, plus my foot was feeling much better, I decided to head to gym early Saturday morning. My buddy Sean picked me up and off we went.

While there, I tried to be as careful as possible. But, during one exchange, this younger, and pretty tough, guy ended up taking the top position.

On the bottom, I did something called head-scissors that’s one of those moves that are generally though of as low-percentage in terms of getting a win – although Mouse managed to get a legit tap on Chad with them once – but I was really just trying to use it to get this guy off of me.

On the plus side, it worked.

On the negative side, after I got him off me, he started convulsing and his lips were blue.

Me: Holy fuckballs!

Now, Sean’s an EMT, which is good because it turns out that I’m absolute rubbish in a crisis. For example, I sat this guy up, exactly what I shouldn’tve done.

Sean: I got this.
Me: Good, cause I definitely don’t.

I’ve never put anyone out before, although I’ve gone out maybe twice?

It was probably the scariest thing that’s happened to me since I thought I was going to die during COVID.

I honestly thought I killed, or at least horribly injured someone. But he came to and was actually in better spirits than me.

Chad: (to the guy) Are you ok?
Him: I think so.
Me: Jesus, I’m not.

Ended up trying to break people’s legs for the remainder of class, which – trust me – was a lot less scary.

As a bonus, saw two of my buddies – Iron Chef and Robinson – get promotions. All-in-all, it was great day at the gym, inchoate manslaughter, not withstanding.

When I got back, my brother and I headed out to see my mom. It was a bit convoluted because I didn’t have the boy’s booster seat nor his heavy jacket so I had to scramble to make due.

The three of us – me, the kid, and my brother – eventually took the train to see them.

It was the first time in over a year that I gave my mom a hug. That’s nuts.

Me: Come here, lemme give you another hug.
Her: We just hugged!
Me: I’ll take another.

I’ve been thinking a lot of where I was last year at this time. To say that it was lonely is a massive understatement: There was no one in my building besides me. My son was away. I had no one at all but myself.

I’ll admit, a year later, that I thought some seriously dark thoughts during this time.

In some way, getting COVID was a good thing for my mental state. When I honestly thought I was going to die, I realized that I didn’t want to.

I remember thinking, in my fevered dreams, of something I heard once from a fella named Charles Perrow: “It is normal for us to die, but we only do it once.“

And I decided that I didn’t wanna use my one chance right then and there. I wanted to see the boy again.

Which is good, cause life’s worth living just to hear this kid talk.

Me: What else can you do there?
Him: (thinking) I can see my girlfriend in Brightview.
Me: I didn’t realize you have a girlfriend in Brightview.
Him: (shrugging) I do.
Me: (laughing) Charmer like you? I believe it.

Location: midday, around Oceanic Boil
Mood: exhausted
Music: If you ask me how I’m doing, I say “I’m alright” (Spotify)
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