Chinese New Year with Annabel

My first friend

The boy and I high-tailed it to the East side for a Lunar New Year Party.

Do you remember when I told you about the lovely nurse Annabel that cooked for Alison and us every Wednesday when we were trying to save her?

She’s the one that invited me to her wedding, which I’m sure she regretted as I was a sobbing mess at the time.

Anywho, it appears that she never learned her lesson as – without fail – every year, she invites me to numerous events. She invited me to a Lunar New Year event that was that night.

My life’s been frozen for quite some time now, I think. But I decided I needed to go; the last time she saw the kid, he was 18 months or so.

Me: Hi there, stranger! Can I bring [the boy]?
Her: Yes absolutely! There will be other kids around his age, so should be fun.

So, we headed to Grand Central, near my office – but only after we stopped to watch some breakdancers – and soon found ourselves in a room packed to the gills with nice people, nonstop, fresh handmade dumplings, and the best smells you can imagine as a secretly fatty-fat-fat Chinese boy.

The boy was shy at first but then quickly made friends.

I was tickled when two mothers pulled me aside.

Her: I just want you to know, you have the nicest son! He introduced himself to every kid.
Me: Oh, that’s awesome! I’m legally required to keep him another 10 years or so, but that certainly helps.

Didn’t actually get to speak to Annabel’s fella much at the wedding, I did this night. Turns out that he’s a professor of tax law over at NYU Law.

Him: Do you still practice the law?
Me: I’m still on the masthead at my firm so, yes? But I have the luxury of only taking on things that interest me.

He was super interesting and a marathon runner. We both agreed that, had things been different, he and Alison would go running together and Annabel and I would stay behind and drink while waiting for them.

In any case, I’m great at parties because you can really just cut me loose and I’ll make friends.

Her: You’re funny, you should have a YouTube channel.
Me: Actually, I do…in a manner of speaking. Google “Scenic Fights.”
Her: (she does) Whoa! You have 6.9 million views on one of your videos.
Me: To be fair, I’m pretty sure my mom is 6.8 million of those views.

At the end of the night, a very pretty teenage blond girl sat next to the boy. He turned to her and looked at her admiringly.

I had mentioned to my brother the other day that my earliest memory was our pretty blond neighbor, Jennifer. So, he shot me the picture below.

I really do think so much of what shapes our lives are guided by little things from our childhood.

It might explain why I have a weakness for certain types of people.

Him: Did you see the older girl that sat next to me, papa?
Me: (smiling and nodding) I did.
Him: She was nice.
Me: She seemed it. (later) Did you have a good time today?
Him: Yes! We did so much!
Me: Yeah, we did. Who knows, maybe we’ll see some of these people again, someday.

Location: earlier tonight, picking up dog food on 79th Street in the rain while explaining who John Danaher is
Mood: soaked to the bone
Music: I know we’re moving fast, too good to let it pass (Spotify)
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OK, Boomer Logan

Yatzee

Her: Do you know what I wanna do right now?
Me: Yatzee?
Her: (laughs) I wanna watch Scenic Fights!

The Firecracker actually has a son slightly older than my own kid. While this was a bit surprising, it wasn’t really an issue for me.

Her: Am I your first MILF?
Me: (thinking) I think so?

Previously, I’d never entertained the thought of dating anyone with a kid just because I’d never done anything like that before.

But my buddy Miller extolled the virtues of it.

Him: Are you kidding? That’s the best. You have a built in playdate!
Me: I dunno.
Him: Expand your horizons! You have a kid, why shouldn’t she?

Only two people I’ve ever dated met the kid.

Personally, I think that the more good souls the kid meets, the better, but I understand her point of view, which is that she doesn’t want her kid to get super attached to a fella only to have him disappear.

She dated a few people before me but no one ever met her kid.

But my own kid and I had a weekend class thingy just a few blocks from her house.

Me: Do you have any interest in randomly running into me and my son on Saturday at 2:45 in the park?
Her: Maybe?
Me: Works for me.

Already had a full morning with the kid, and then the gym, and then this kid’s party thingy, and then a party with some other friends of mine so I was already packed to the gills.

What was one more wrinkle?

The gym was fun…for the most part.

Me: (bluffing) You got nuthin!
Him: OK, Boomer!
Me: (mock offended)  I’m GenX!
Him: (laughing) OK, Boomer!
Me: I’m gonna kill you!

After the gym, we were running late so I brought the kid to the local McD’s around the corner.

Me: I’ve failed as a parent.  (later) We’ll be at [the park] by 2:30 but I’m sure we’ll message beforehand.
Her: I’m positive you’ll message me before then.
Me: Don’t be so sure! You think I like you *that* much?
Her: Yup.

30 minutes later, I’m in the park and I see her come in with her son. She sits down and we “introduce” ourselves. After a little while, our kids start to interact.

It’s really quite cool, I must say.

We were out there in freezing cold for a solid two hours – I think some of the other parents were wondering what was going on.

Afterward, the kid and I walked them halfway home before heading to our last destination of the day.

Me: (holding out hand) It was lovely meeting you, Ms. Firecracker, and you too Little Firecracker.
Her: (taking hand) Nice meeting you Logan Lo, and you as well.

And then the boy and I went on our final adventure for the day but I’ll tell you about that tomorrow or something.

My normal modus operandi when I meet someone I really like is to immediately find 2-5 other people to date, if I’m not already seeing anyone else, so that I’m not obsessing over one person.

That’s served me well for decades. After all, I’m aware of how a lotta things work, particularly myself.

But I’m still upgrading my OS and trying to do things differently.

In fact, for the first time, I went the other way around, in a manner of speaking.

Like always, I’ll let you know how it goes.

Location: earlier today, reading the NY Times with the Firecracker
Mood: curious
Music: can’t help but fall right in, I don’t even stand a chance (Spotify)
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The other shoe

Aware of how things work

Her: I guess I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Me: Do you know where that saying came from? It came from packed tenement housing here in NYC back in the day. Mothers would put their kids to sleep and, late at night, a labourer would come home and loudly drop their shoe in the apartment, waking up the kids and making life hell for the family below them. But the worst part was when they took their time taking off the other shoe. These exhausted women would sit in their apartment, rocking their crying kid, and screaming in their heads, “Just drop the other fucking shoe already!”
Her: (thinking) You should be on a game show.
Me: I was.


The Firecracker came by the other night for dinner and I made some Fish Meunière, with cauliflower rice and a salad, which she seemed to enjoy.

Her: That was really good! (later) Although, I would have done a better job.
Me: What the hell?
Her: (laughing) I cook, Logan! When you make dinner for women that don’t cook, they’re gonna think that everything you make is great.
Me: (grumble)

Like I said, there was something familiar about us to each other but, at least, she figured out part of the reason I was familiar to her.

But I’ll tell you that part in a sec.

She also has a dog, but a very small one. That’s more of an issue than anything else.

First, I gotta say that having someone you’re dating live ten minutes from your pad is a game-changer.

Mainly, because we can do last-minute, unplanned things like lunch at the local diner.

Which is what we did the next day when I went over to her pad and chilled out while she got ready.

Her: I gotta blow-dry. It’s gonna get loud.
Me: I’m aware of how blow dryers work.
Her: I’m just telling you!

While she was getting ready, we just made some small talk as we were still getting to know each other.

Her: Which one?
Me: (laughing) Cash Cab.
Her: Cash Cab?! I loved that show! Really?
Me: Yeah, Google “Logan and Masa on Cash Cab.”

She did exactly that and, presently, I was in this stranger’s apartment watching myself on her television while she got ready.

It was all very surreal.

Her: I remember that episode! I remember you!
Me: Get outta town.
Her: No, really, I remember that episode and watching it. I swear I thought you looked familiar.
Me: That’s nuts.
Her: The first stop after I brush my teeth is your face.
Me: Good first stop.

The actual lunch was a bit nuts. We had just sat down and ordered at my local diner when I got word that I had to grab my son earlier than expected.

Me: I’m so sorry, I gotta dine and dash.
Her: No problem. Do you want me to drop it off later?
Me: Sure!

But after I got the boy, he asked for a playdate with onea his friends.

Me: You just got back!
Him: Please?!

So, I rang his friend’s dad, who told me to drop him off for a couplea hours.

Then I dashed back to see the Firecracker, who was still sitting having a cup of coffee.

Her: Hey, you’re back.
Me: I’m back. (thinking) Man, I shoulda thrown a scene, tossed a few things around, and then come back sheepishly apologizing.
Her: (laughs) Just sit down and eat.
Me: Done. I’m starving.

One of the earliest entries I ever wrote in this blog was a philosophical question as to the nature of hope.

Was/Is it the ultimate good or the ultimate evil?

After everything, I think it’s the latter. Hope brings us to such great heights, only to have us fall and almost crush us. The greater the hope, the greater the fall.

Every time I think, This time, it’ll be different, I’m always shown that it’s not.

And so, I try my best to just live and not hope any more. As much as any human can do, anywho.

Suppose I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop, cause it always does.

But as much as I try not to hope that my life might possibly be different, I can’t help but do it.

And that just makes everything worse.

Location: earlier today, waiting in the rain with the boy for the next train to Manhattan
Mood: exhausted
Music: everything looks perfect from far away, come down now (Spotify)
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This is going well

Hello, Firecracker

I don’t write about most of my dates these days because social media in 2023 is a lot different than in was in 2006 and people get annoyed, even if there’s no real identifying information.

But also because they all start blending together into that soupy grey I dislike so much.

The same, “So, what do you do, who do you know, blah, blah, blah,” gets monotonous.

Me: So, Jane, what brought you to New York?
Her: Ann. My name is Ann.
Me: (nodding) This is going well.

But every so often, someone cuts through the hazy grey and gives me some colour.

I cancelled two other dates this week, although one was kinda mutual, but something about the blue-eyed blonde from my neighborhood made me not, despite my not feeling the best, what with all the medical issues popping up.

Plus, she really made everything super easy for me by agreeing to meet up at a bar just a few blocks south of my pad.

She was sitting at the bar in red with her back to me when I showed up. The seat next to her was open so I slid into it.

She turned to me and looked at me with eyes the colour of faded blue jeans. And you know I’ve always loved that.

We both looked at each other and laughed.

Her: (smiling) Hi, Logan!
Me: (laughing) Hello, Firecracker. Don’t you look nice.
Her: You too.

With some dates, conversation’s a struggle.

The actual exchanges are usually fine but it’s really the quality of the segues that make a conversation interesting or desultory.

Lemme tell you that the odds are much improved when someone has an easy laugh and upbeat enthusiasm.

Confidence helps…

Her: (mischievously) Anything you want to tell me?
Me: I take it you found the blog?
Her: (laughing) It’s the first thing that showed up when I googled you.
Me: (shrugging) I never mention it because it’s so easy to find.
Her: You date a lot.
Me: (nodding) I do. I like to say that I’m like Harvard. Anyone can apply, not everyone makes the cut.

..but like I’ve always said, the truth is a powerful thing. And true things are often funny and earnest at the same time.

Her: I’m like this dorky girl that’s attractive
Me: (chidingly) Ah, you admit you’re hot.
Her: Oh yeah, I’m hot.

Actually brought her to the same two bars that I brought my buddy, the Frenchman. Just because it was familiar and easy.

Too much of my life, lately, has been strange and difficult.

Me: Do you want to go to another bar?
Her: So, I take it this is going well?
Me: This is going well. (shaking head) Shit, I’m in trouble.
Her: Because I’m a buxom blonde?
Me: Well, yes. And you’re sweet. I like kindness. Kindness is hot because douchebag is forever.

I told her to eat the dried lime. That was a huge mistake.

We first met up at 7PM and didn’t call it a night until 3AM. Those are the types of interactions I hope for and it’s so rare it happens.

Even when it does, it doesn’t really mean anything.

Her: You’re an onion. [Every time I think I get you, there’s another layer.]
Me: I’ll take that as a compliment. (later) Thanks for a lovely evening.
Her: Same.
Me: I honestly never do this but…I don’t suppose you want to grab dinner [this week]?
Her: (smiling) Sure. It’s a date. Goodnight, Logan Lo.
Me: (nodding) Goodnight, Firecracker.

But hope springs eternal.

Location: earlier today, wondering if 9AM’s too early for a burger on Broadway. It wasn’t.
Mood: cautious
Music: me and luck had a dance but when it comes to you and me: No guts, no glory (Spotify)
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Another (almost) trip to the ER

It’s a date

On the night I taught the class, I took a heel to my forehead from one of the guys and saw stars.

The guy was apologetic – it was an accident, after all – but he’s been pretty wild before. I did manage to get the tap after we resumed so there’s that.

Fast forward a few days and I woke up with some eye irritation and a lot of floaters so my doctor brother strongly suggested that I get that looked at.

Didn’t wanna go back to the ER for the millionth time so I called a buncha places with no luck but then I found a place just a few blocks south of my pad on W 79th. They closed in 40 mins.

Receptionist: When can you get here?
Me: 20 mins? Less, maybe.
Her: Run!

So, I did.

Before I knew it, I was on the ground floor of a beautiful townhouse and getting stuff pointed and sprayed into my eye.

Honestly, I’m thrilled that I managed to find him versus having to head to the ER. And within walking running distance to boot.

Some 40 minutes later, I was being checked out. I was the last patient of the day so the doc and I got to talking.

Turns out that we had a lot in common as I shared what happened with my dad and Alison.

Him: You’ll be fine. No detached retina. The floaters will be a problem for a while but not much to do there.
Me: That’s a relief.
Him: I’m glad we met. Come back for a checkup in 4-6 weeks and we’ll chat some more.
Me: Sure thing, doc.

He dilated my pupils so getting home was an adventure in itself.

Almost got hit by a car more than once. It was like walking outside and staring right at the sun. Had something similar happen before I started writing this blog.

Maybe I’ll tell you about it sometime.

Driver: WTF is wrong with you?! Are you @#$@# blind?
Me: Well, yeah, actually…

Speaking of beautiful things in my neighborhood, there’s this effervescent blonde from my neighborhood that I met recently.

She found something familiar about me and I, her.

Her: You really are so easy on the eyes.
Me: My mom thinks I’m dreamy.
Her: She has good taste.

After the GES all those years ago – and the fact that I had to avoid my fave bar for a few years because I kept running into women I dated there – I had a rule to not date women in my area.

GES was the last one, and that was 16 years ago.

edit: Actually, the Aerialist was the last one but that was so quick that I forgot about it.

But I’m trying some new things these days. Plus, her particular charms helped encourage me to break my rule(s).

The kicker was that she lived steps from the doc.

Her: I can meet you for a drink [that] evening. We can keep it local since it’s convenient for both of us.
Me: Perfect. Let’s do that. We’ll work out details today/tomorrow but it’s a date.
Her: Those are three magical words: “It’s a date.” So full of possibilities.

Location: earlier today, W 77th and Broadway, making plans
Mood: good
Music: a chance, it’s worth taking (Spotify)
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Violence and Mexican with the fellas

You’re always hungry

Sorry, more out of order entries.

Been insanely busy these days, mainly with my slowly stirring social life, which itself is an entire entry.

On that note, the Frenchman and Bryson – who both know each other – stopped by my gym the other day.

It’s been ages since Bryson was at my pad last. I’m 33 in that pic in that entry.

I miss that leather jacket.

It was cool to see the Frenchman roll because a number of the gym members knew him as only as a beginning kali student and definitely not as a seasoned BJJ black belt.

I rolled with both Bryson (a brown belt) – who missed the entire class but ended up catching the sparring part – and the Frenchman. I was surprised to see that I survived as long as I did.

They both wrecked me. It was glorious.

Did manage to catch Chad in an omaplata (!!) in one of our rolls, which is the second time I’ve tapped him in 14 years. Pure luck.

So, I’m averaging one tap on him every seven years, which is actually far better than I woulda expected, lemme tell ya.

Unfortunately, the Frenchman, like me, had a number of injuries and he definitely tweaked it again rolling with Chad, who I’m sure, was happy to be on the mats with two high-level fellas like them.

Him: Rolling after 40 is a different thing.
Me: Preaching to the converted, man.

Afterward, the three of us left with the kid to head back to my place to drink and catch up.

Me: Heya! Are we still on for tonight?
Her: I mean, I’m still testing positive for covid…

The reason I had the kid with me was the same reason that we had to shut down the gym the other day; his sitter was supposed to watch him so I could hang out with them but she ended up getting COVID. Ditto for his guitar instructor.

But I was happy he got to meet Bryson. I consider him one of my oldest and dearest friends, even though we rarely see each other.

Kinda think that’s just how it is these days.

The kid’s been on a taco kick lately; this is what I made for him earlier in the week…

But there’s this killer taco truck one block away from my pad and we left the gym late. Like, really late.

Me: You guys should get something here. The food is outstanding.
Frenchman: You don’t want anything? It’s on me.
Me: Nah, I’m still single so I gotta try and look good. But I’m sure the kid’ll want something.
Boy: YESH!

It was great catching up with them. The kid liked having a full house. And the late-night Mexican.

Me: Why are you always hungry?!
Boy: YOU’RE ALWAYS HUNGRY.
Me: (scowling because I was just bested by a seven-year-old)

They gave me a ton of gossip about all the other schools and the goings-on there. We also talked a lot about child-rearing.

Me: As the only one of us without a daughter, I’m just gonna say I’m guessing that’s even more stressful.
Bryson: No way, boys are a terror. Terror!

It was pretty fun night that we said we’d do again.

The next day, I brought the kid out to my in-laws and then came back.

Also met up with another single-serving girlie, which is all that really needs to be said. Another date to nowhere.

It was a short little innocuous meetup.

Her: You’re a little too charming for my tastes. My spider-sense goes off when someone’s too charming.
Me: Give it time, darling. I’ll be sure to disappoint you, somehow.

Had a few more dates lined up this week too but an unexpected trip to the doctor for a medical emergency and a blue-eyed blonde firecracker messed up those plans.

But that’s for another entry.

Her: You’re the first guy I’ve ever googled and actually found something besides their LinkedIn.
Me: You’re welcome?

Location: this morning, getting an early morning Reuben with a new friend and not getting to eat it.
Mood: super tired
Music: never get old (Spotify)
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Mortise locks

Locked outta the gym

Watching either my BJJ or kali instructor do their thing is always something impressive. It’s like they can read your mind and know what you’re going to do before you do.

It really just comes with experience and knowing what’s possible versus what’s probable. The longer you do something, the more you see what the likely outcomes to things are.

I’ve run my building for decades now. Think I first told you about it some 16 years ago but, really, I’ve been managing buildings with my dad since the 90s. Did my first big deal when I was a senior in high school.

Kinda like Trump and his dad but without the greed, lying, and closeted racism.

Because of that, I’ve seen the same mistakes happen time and time again.

One thing I’ve had the worst luck with is a specialized lock called a mortise lock. Up until recently – I’m guessing due to things AirBnB and people wanting higher-end stuff – it wasn’t very common here in the US but is super common in Europe.

Except in NYC where almost every building has these goddamn things.

They’re elegant but very confusing to people that have never used one before. Because one single lock with one single key controls three different types of locking mechanisms on a door; a single mortise locks:

      1. the knob itself
      2. a deadbolt built into the lock, and
      3. the latching lock.

To make things even more complicated, there’s an internal toggle that switches on the knob lock (number 4 in the diagram below). So, let’s just say that there are three “locks” in this single lock.

They’re mechanically beautiful and like most beautiful things, troublesome.

(c) Bella Maximum Security

It’s hard to explain but if you’re ever in NYC, just go to any old building and check out the locks. Chances are good, it’s a mortice lock.

Anywho, when Chad and I opened up the gym, I knew that this lock was gonna cause us problems.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had to return to NYC after being in NJ with Alison or the reporter (who also lived in NJ) because someone got locked out due to one of the three locking systems of the mortise lock locking a tenant outta their pad.

So, I hooked up this very elegant wifi enabled lock to bypass the mortise lock entirely in the gym with the kicker being that we could unlock the lock anywhere in the world.

But the students kept yanking at the wifi lock, because it’s oddly shaped and some people thought it was a handle, breaking it.

Super frustrating.

Chad was mindful of costs, which I understand, and didn’t wanna replace the wifi lock and I was too busy to fight him on the matter.

Unfortunately, he got COVID earlier this week so people had to cover class. That part was fine. The issue arose when one of our buddies, Thundercat was helping around in the gym and locked all three of the locking mechanisms on the mortise and also locked the deadbolt we had the wifi lock attached to.

Obviously, he was trying to be helpful so it’s not like he did anything wrong per se. But since we never used the mortise, no one had a key for it.

Long story short, about 10 people, including my kali instructor, were standing outside for over an hour waiting for Chad – who was still sick with COVID and had to schlepp all the way from his warm bed – to come by with the one key necessary to open the lock. Poor guy.

He went up alone because he had COVID, and didn’t realize how the lock worked – again, not his fault either, look at that damn thing, hence my wanting to bypass it altogether with the tech solution – and told everyone to go home before I had a chance to say anything.

I wanted to take a look and expected that Thundercat broke the key in the lock because Chad couldn’t get it open but it turns out that it was just the trickiness of the lock itself.

By the time I opened the gym up, several people already left.

Honestly, I feel that I shoulda insisted on replacing the tech lock and sealing off the toggle of the mortise, which I finally did with athletic tape.

But it’s so hard to explain and I always figure it’s best to just let people figure things out for themselves.

Like I said, I’m upgrading my OS. I’m trying to focus on just making sure I’m working ok before I try to fix anything or anyone else.

Me: Put on your long socks.
Him: I don’t wanna.
Me: You gotta trust me on this, kid.
Him: I don’t wanna!
Me: [In my head: It’s raining. Which means you gotta wear your boots. If you wear your short socks, they’ll get pulled down in your boots, which means that you’ll keep stopping every five minutes to fix them, meaning we’ll be late for school] Hokay. But we’re not stopping for any reason.

He wears long socks when it rains now.

Location: yesterday night, telling people to not die on 18th Street
Mood: super tired
Music: You’re a good soldier, choosing your battles Tsamina mina, eh, eh Waka waka, eh, eh Tsamina mina zangalewa (Spotify)
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Single-serving friends

A late-night walk in Hoboken

It’s been busy lately with a lot of comings and goings. Nothing really noteworthy; honestly, all the faces and names start to blend together.

Still, I was out in Hoboken the other day to meet up with someone but she was running late.

Her: I’m just aborting my current mission, shouldn’t be too late.
Me: Your phrasing made me laugh.

Since I had time, I found myself walking around Hoboken like I did Jersey City the other night in fall.

Dunno why I revisit these things but I do.

Of course, I found myself in front of Alison’s apartment.

Remembered when I first visited there and the day we moved her stuff out. It seems like both yesterday and a lifetime ago.

Wanted to ring the bell because there was a tiny (crazy) part of me that hoped maybe she’d answer. But the saner bits of my brain won out.

Barely.

Probably for the best, otherwise, I’da been arrested.

As for the girl, we met up at a restaurant I’d never been to.

It was a nice night. She was easy on the eyes, which helped.

Her: I wore this for you.
Me: Trust me when I tell you that I appreciate it.

We ended up hanging out and chatting for about five hours and hit up a few different places before she gave me a lift in her whip.

It was after midnight when I finally went to bed.

To be honest, it was a really fun and interesting night. But, like the narrator says in Fight Club, these are all single-serving friends; her for me and me for her.

It was a one-and-done, like most of these nights go.

Me: We’re both looking for something we can’t put into words.

It’s fine. We all know the rules of the game.

Lviv dropped me a line the other day as well to wish me a Happy New Year.

She and her fella moved outta state and they seem to be doing well. I wonder if things would be different if we met now instead of then.

It’s strange, you never can tell who stays in your Venn Diagram and who leaves.

Her: I’m sure something good is coming your way 🙂
Me: Thanks, Lviv! Here’s hoping…

Here’s hoping.

Location: earlier tonight, on West 94th Street, playing Taboo
Mood: hoping
Music: I been looking for a new ride (Spotify)
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All my gods are gone

Poof

Me: I have to be careful with what I say and do around him.
Him: Of course, you’re his father.
Me: (shaking head) More than that. He’s a little kid. I’m god to him. I provide him love, a home, food, everything he knows about the world. I’m his god and I have to be careful because of it. All parents are god to little boys and girls.

Before Alison got sick and died, I went to church most Sundays. I believed in God and Christianity, most likely because my mom did. If she was Muslim, I’m sure I woulda believed in Allah. But that’s how it goes.

Then Alison started losing babies and I quietly clung on to the hope that there was a merciful god and he would show her/us some mercy. And then she got sick and died in May of 2017.

Exactly 90 days later, my father died in August of 2017.

This whole time, another relative of mine was sick that I never mentioned because I was asked not to mention it.

There’s so much I tell you about; imagine if you knew alla the things I don’t tell you about. But we all have our three lives: Public, private, and secret.

All three losses were devastating to me. Imagine if your spouse, father, and close cousin all died within a few weeks of each other, how would you fare?

In all of this, I also lost my career that I spent 20 years building. An entire portfolio of clients gone – poof. Because I didn’t give a shit about it anymore.

Me: (to a different woman) What happened to your last fella?
Her: (shrugging) His family wanted a nice Catholic girl and I’m … definitely not that. What are you?
Me: Oh, I’m a devout atheist. If there is god, he can go fuck himself.

In the New Testament, when Jesus is on the cross, he cries out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” He’s in pain, dying on some wood, and his father is nowhere to be seen or heard. And that’s when the son just gives up.

He says, “I’m thirsty. I’m done. Take it.” And he dies.

Because imagine if you’re dying and your dad knows this and you call him.

He picks up and says, “I know you’re dying, I know you’re in pain, but it doesn’t matter, I’ll never speak to you again, you’ll never see me again.” And then silence. Pure silence.

Now that’s pain. I’d give up too.

But that’s what happened to me. Times four.

Now, this fella named William Makepeace Thackeray once said, Mother is the name for God on the lips and hearts of all children.

But the kid never knew her. So that leaves me and me alone.

Still, with all due respect to Mr. Thackeray, my dad was my god as a little boy because I think it’s fairer to say that parents are gods to their little children. He and my mom were mine.

As an adult, my god was the god of my church and Alison – there was no sin I would not commit to keep her alive.

My minor god, but something I worshipped nonetheless, was my career. I think most people, if they were honest, would say that the thing that bring them income and security, they worship, to some degree.

But in 2017, I was hollowed out because I lost all my gods – everything I ever fucking believed in – all between the months of May and August. Alison, my dad, my religion, my job.

Poof. Gone.

And I filled those gaping holes with rage, women, and varying forms of pharmaceuticals. Not a single woman from that period speaks to me.

Because I was just rage and sadness and they were all unfortunate enough to be swept up in it all, hoping that I could possibly be normal.

I’m just starting to feel normal now, five years after the fact.

My buddy Jaerik commented in 2007 that I was never angry. Cause I always felt anger was the most useless of all emotions and I was pretty anti-emotion as a whole.

During NYE, one of the sisters remarked that there must be some part of me that believes in the Christian god somewhere and that’s when I realized why I was so fucked up for so long. Because this whole time, I thought I was grieving the loss of my wife and my dad, and – to lesser extent – the death of my old life and career.

That’s when I realized that I lost my religion as well.

Man, I lost all my gods at once. Losing one would be enough to drive anyone starkers. I lost everything that I felt made me…me.

To answer my friend’s question: The god I knew and believed in is as dead and gone as Alison and my dad is. The only thing with any spark of life is my career and even that takes a massive backseat to raising the kid.

Somehow, realizing that that night was the missing piece in my head and I felt my head quiet in ways I’ve not felt in over a dozen years – not since at least November of 2011.

Glad they asked me out for a drink, I gotta say…

And that’s why I decided to upgrade my OS. Or rather, replace it altogether.

It was originally built on ideas, people, and things that no longer exist, save for things about Schopenhauer that I still believe to be true.

But I’m tired of the anger and the rage. I miss being the quiet grey man no one knew could fight or knew experienced the devastating losses I did.

Then again, I wish alotta fucking things and I’m tired of wishing for shit that’ll never happen, people I’ll never see again, gods that never existed.

I just want things quiet again. In my head. In my life. I want it quiet, peaceful, and calm.

I think I’m at like 5% now in the upgrade process.

Him: Papa, I got a golf game. Do you want to play golf with me?
Me: I’ve never played…sure, kid. Lemme finish this email while you set it up, ok?
Him: OK! There’s a blue ball, a yellow ball, a green ball, and a red ball. Pick two.
Me: Red and yellow? (thinking) No, wait. Blue and green, please.
Him: OK, I’ll be red and yellow. I’ll get it ready. Hurry up with your email and let’s play!
Me: You got it, kid. I’ll be right out.

Location: earlier today, on 18th, drilling again like I did before everything went to shit
Mood: quiet
Music: I can do without sorrow, there’s a day after tomorrow, so I’m leaving it behind (Spotify)
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New Year’s Eve 2022/23

The Quiet

Had a very interesting and chill New Year’s Eve.

Like most of you, I spent NYE 2021 alone – completely alone – because of COVID. NYE 2022 wasn’t much better because of COVID, as well.

This year was the first proper NYE I’ve had in quite a while; it was just me and two friends.

Got there first, where I opened the door for a girl with crutches.

My friends showed up not soon afterward.

Sister1: (wearing a gold lamé  blouse) Happy New Year, Logan!
Me: Thanks, same! You know, I was just thinking that not enough people wear lamé on the regular.

It was totally last minute; we were supposed to just meet up for drinks at 6:45 and I was gonna see RE Mike, but the food was good…

…the drinks were solid, and the crowd and company were great…

…plus, there was live jazz so, before you knew it, we were toasting 2023.

Sister1: It’s 10:50PM!
Me: Welp, I guess we’re staying here. I need another drink.

The two of them are in the growing group of people that don’t want to be in this blog, which I get, which is why I’m trying to keep the conversation as non-identifiable as possible.

Still, the first sister had a list of really insightful questions which led to some pretty deep conversations I wish I could share with you.

One of which ended like this:

Me: I’m thinking 2023 might be the year I finally lose my virginity.
Sister2: (laughing) Did you go to church summer camp? Is that why?
Me: No [to the second question] BUT I did go to summer camp, once actually. Of course, because it was me, it was because of a girl, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.
Her: I think that Christian boy in you is still there, somewhere.
Me: And that’s where you’re wrong. He died the day my wife died. But we can change the subject…

Because of that, I came to a realization the next morning – and a pretty wild one at that, which deserves its own entry.

It’s part of the reason I decided to upgrade my OS in the first place.

I spoke at length with my therapist about my realization today.

Me: An acquaintance of mine told me a little while back that, in all the years he’s known me, he’d never seen my level of rage that I am these days. He said that, when it comes out, I’m a completely different person. I didn’t realize how long I’ve been angry for.
Therapist: And now?
Me: I’m still angry, of course. At the unfairness of it all. But, it’s not blinding rage anymore.
Her: I hear it in your voice.
Me: What?
Her: The quiet.

My buddy who lost his mom was 100% right, the anger never goes away. But I’m hoping the rage is gone.

Suppose only time will tell.

Y’know when you upgrade your computer’s OS, it goes like “73% completed,” or whatnot? I think I’m like 4% in.

It’s a start.

Location: earlier today, on 18th, wondering if I should roll
Mood: quiet
Music: my trust in God and man, no confession, no religion, don’t believe in modern love (Spotify)
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