We got an award!

YouTube Creators Silver Award

Chad: What facts about the world did you learn?
J: Facts?
Chad: You were hanging out with Logan Lo for three hours; you definitely learned a fact.
J: (laughs) Well, we did discuss a lot about depression.
Chad: (to me) Are you doing ok?

Don’t get many visitors just because I like my privacy – this is in contrast to the kid, who has visitors come by alla time.

Having said that, Chad told me he was going to be in the area on Friday on a date so I told him to stop by afterward to meet up with our Scenic Fights producer, J.

Before J, showed up, though, I got a call from my friends Kathy and Ricky. They were in the area with their son so they popped by first.

Kathy: Can I sit down on the stoop?
Me: Sure – I spent many a years sitting on this stoop watching the world go by.

We caught up for a spell, along with my son, before they left.

Afterward, J stopped by. We were supposed to go over notes for a SF shoot later on this week but Chad was out of pocket until late. We didn’t want to disturb him so J and I just chatted a bit.

Him: This is actually the first time I’ve been social in a while.
Me: Besides Chad and randos, I don’t get many visits from people I actually wanna see.

J brought over a YouTube Silver Creator Plaque, which Scenic Fights got because we hit 100,000 subscribers – the crazy thing is that we’re actually at 144,000 subscribers now.

Chad showed up late and starving so I cooked everyone some food before we cracked open the package.

This is us when we finally opened it – I was so tempted to open it myself but I’m glad we waited for him to stop by.

Oddly, Chad was in my neighborhood the very next day for another social thingy.

But I’ll tell you all about that tomorrow.

I’m not sleeping again.

Location: earlier today, on 78th, watching the Meetles
Mood: confused
Music: I really want to know: Who are you? (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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Hell isn’t hell if you’re there too

I’m the dumb girl

Don’t think I’ve ever spent a New Year’s Eve completely alone.

In 2006, I went to a restaurant around the way with Alison called Citrus. It’s now called Playa Betty.

In 2016, I spent it in the hospital with Alison. As I did on 2015. She felt bad I was spending New Year’s Eve with her there.

Her: You should be out there having fun. Or at least be with our son.
Me: Heaven wouldn’t be heaven if you weren’t there and hell wouldn’t be hell if you were. You’re here, I’m here. It’s how it’s supposed to be.

That was her; even with cancer, she was worried about me and my happiness.

This year, the most social I got was that my good friend Angel from Hong Kong dropped me a little message and I chatted with my friends around the way, whom I’ve spent the last few New Years‘ with.

Mouse dropped by with some flowers and tried to get me to see people, but I just wasn’t in the mood. Lviv dropped me a nice note, too.

Me: You feel good about this new year?
Her: I felt good being at home with family. I never had a chance to spend NYE in New York but this year, I didn’t have that FOMO feeling.

I suppose that’s it; there’s nothing to miss out on. I’m not lonely because I’m alone; I’m lonely because I don’t have my family.

So, I guess everything was how it was supposed to be.

On that note, here’s the saddest happy song in the world.

The girl keeps hoping the guy will get better but the guy knows he won’t be there to keep her company and feels terrible about it:

Soon you’ll be alone, sorry that you have to lose me

That was Alison. She wasn’t so much sad to go, as she was sad to leave me and the boy.

And I was the dumb girl in the song thinking everything would be ok.

Me: Happy New Year, Alison. I wish you were here.

 

Location: home, without any more rum
Mood: sober
Music: I don’t know why this has happened, (Spotify)
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Goodnight, Luciano

I don’t understand why

Haven’t heard from the Devil in months. That worries me because he’s one of the few people in the world I think of as a friend.

How odd, to have a friend you call the Devil.

We’re friends because we see the world in the same way.

Me: Why me?
Him: (shrugging) Because you can separate signal from noise.
Me: So?
Him: As you get older, you’ll realize that most people can’t.

On July 14th, I felt compelled to reach out to this fella named Luciano Anthony.

What a name. Picture a super-built, really good-looking guy that was brilliant and you’d be picturing Luciano. He looked like a dude named Luciano Anthony.

(I also just found out that he went by Luciano Bianco as well – I only ever knew him as Luciano Anthony).

We were never close but he always said hi to me at the gym and was never anything but the nicest fella. He was covered in tats so I immediately made some judgments about him. All wrong.

He had a masters degree in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins and worked as a science engineer. He did woodwork on the side.

Quiet and thoughtful, he was a beast on the mats. I remembered that I liked rolling with him because he always kept his gear clean.

Anywho, Luciano posted something random that night. It seemed out of sorts for what I knew of him.

I’m so fucking clever, you see.

So, I wrote him. I was probably drinking.

He was struggling with some demons. As a friend of the Devil, I know demons. In fact, I knew these particular demons he was struggling with. They’re old hated companions of mine as well.

Him:  (afterwards) Sorry if that’s too straightforward. Don’t have much family or friends so I tend to word vomit.
Me: No. That’s fine. When I say I understand, I really do. And more.

The last thing I said to him was, “I get it. If you’re in heed [sic] of someone to vent to, lemme know.”

That was it. Even though I knew something was wrong, I thought, I did my part. I reached out. I patted myself on the back. And I went back to my life. And I didn’t reach out to him again.

He killed himself exactly a week later. I didn’t know until today.

In ironies of ironies, I just wrote about depression and suicide in my last entry.

In the past four years, I’ve known six – now seven – people that died; I loved two of them completely. Luciano was the only one that took his own life.

I knew there was something wrong but I didn’t follow-up.

I get it. What could I have done? With him, with Alison? But what’s the point of hearing signal if nothing changes, if it doesn’t make a fucking difference anyway?

His mom posted that he died on Facebook. That’s how I found out. Fucking hell. No parent should have to do anything like that.

Like I said, a mother’s love for her child is like nothing else.

I think the same thing I always think whenever I hear about someone as good and as talented as Luciano dying – doubly so when it’s suicide – why?

For all my cleverness, I’ll never understand why. I suppose I don’t really want to. He was only 29. To me, that’s just a kid. What a fucking waste of a good soul.

Goodnight, Luciano. I’m so sorry you suffered and felt like you had to go.

I hope you found your peace.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Hours: Available 24 hours. Languages: English, Spanish.
1-800-273-8255

Podcast Link
Location: Pier 84, talking about Luciano with Chad
Mood: not good
Music: Didn’t get to sleep that night till the morning came (Spotify)
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The Call of the Void

Marley’s Chains

Co-Worker: I thought you were afraid of heights.
Me: I am. Kinda.
Her: Well, you seem fine.
Me: I hide it well.

I’m afraid of heights.

But not in the way you might imagine. There’s particular type of suicidal thought called the “Call of the Void” where, at a very high height, some people feel an incredible urge to jump, even though they don’t wanna.

It’s part of the original siren’s song.

When I was younger, I avoided open heights on the reg because the urge was so strong. It’s part of why I lived in basements and ground floors for essentially my entire life.

This fella named Rudolf Diesel invented the, well, diesel engine. But, he was so convinced that it would be failure that he killed himself. He jumped from a ship into the sea, unable to resist his siren’s song.

Not soon after he killed himself, his engine became the standard of Europe and of most of the trucks here in the US. If only he ignored the song for just a little bit longer.

I’m not – at all – suicidal right now. But I remember hearing my siren’s song a lot, throughout the years. It was partly Diesel’s story that kept me from jumping.

The idea that, maybe it’ll be somehow  ok if I hold out for just a little bit longer, keeps me going.

I bring this up because I saw a buddy recently and he was in a funk.

Him: It was like the start of a depression. But, not depression.
Me: I call that “bummed.” It’s a feeling of general boredom, sadness, and hopelessness all in one. I feel it too. You have to be careful it doesn’t snowball into a full depression.
Him: Yeah. I feel it.

Funny, I always feel it, like Jacob Marley’s chains.

Link by link, and yard by yard…

Podcast Link
Location: outside, feeling the sun on my face, if just for a bit
Mood: So. Damn. Hot.
Music: It’s like a part of me must love it (Spotify)
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IDGAF

Why is that so much to ask?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Logan Go Fuck Yourself Lo

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

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

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

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

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

That’s probably not too far from the truth.

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

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

Always a silver lining, yeah?

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

I asked him if it ever got better.

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

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

I don’t know how they live.

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

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

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

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

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

Why is that so much to ask?

(c) Alyson McClaran

Sir(s);

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

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

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

Podcast Version: IDGAF
Location: the basement of my brain again
Mood: blindingly white hot rage
Music: my best friend caught you creeping. You blamed it all on the alcohol (Spotify)
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My PG-13 life

At least I get to live it


The Gymgirl gave me an (unintentional) black eye the other day in my gym class.

Gymgirl: Do you need ice?
Me: God, yes.

In a nutshell, her foot went into my eye and nose. It was decidedly unpleasant.

Gym owner: You’re fine. You’re not even bleeding…wait, nevermind, you’re bleeding.
Me: Oh, good, that’s a relief.

I’m literally getting my ass kicked by all the women I know in life.

Which leads me to believe that Life itself is a woman because, I’m definitely getting my ass kicked by her.

The nurse that Alison liked the most during IVF called me the other day.

Nurse: It literally took me a week to get up the nerve to call you.
Me: I’m so glad you did. Alison adored you.
Her: (exhales) Thank you. I wasn’t sure how you’d be speaking to me.
Me: Yeah, I get it.

It was mostly admin stuff. But I was glad to hear her voice.

She left me a voicemail before but my voicemail transcribes messages to me so the last time I actually heard her voice, I was with Alison. And we were happy. Then everything went to shit.

Dunno why I always remind you of that. I should assume you know already.

Anywho, I often wonder if it’s fair to the Gymgirl that she’s with someone like me. I come with so much baggage.

Like my friend Somena once said, the key to a good relationship is to find someone whose baggage matches yours.

But I’m not sure I could bear knowing anyone with baggage that matches mine. And I’m grateful that the Gymgirl doesn’t have matching baggage. Suppose she is too.

Another group of friends were talking about television and movies the other day and I told them that I’m not sure I can handle anything beyond PG-13 these days.

Had to have a talk with another friend that didn’t understand why I was so upset by something he said. Casual things that people say mean different things to people like me.

Cause everything reminds me of something I don’t wanna be reminded of.

Wish everything were easier. But life itself isn’t easy so I’m SOL.

Then again, I get the chance to live it so I shouldn’t complain.

Me: Oh man, I missed you so much!
Son: I want a cookie.
Me: (nodding) You have your priorities.
Him: I missed you. I want a cookie.
Me: (nodding)

Location: bhavachakra
Mood: Groundhog-dayed
Music: I’ll let you in on something big. I am not a white teeth teen
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Halloween 2018

The Nightmare Before New Year’s Day


It’s Halloween.

Thought about my first Halloween with Alison the other day. It was exactly 10 years ago today. That’s her shoulder in the pic at the bottom of this entry. She dyed her hair brown.

When everything went down in 2015, I remember thinking a lot about the movie title, The Nightmare before Christmas. That’s exactly what it was.

Can’t properly express to you the depth of the sadness and anxiety we all felt then. Probably for the best.

I remember hearing ages ago that Vincent Price was supposed to be Santa in the film but his wife passed away and he was “so grief-stricken that the director felt he sounded too sad for Santa.”

Man, I totally get that. I was a zombie for years while Alison was sick and continued after she passed. I was a shadow of myself.

Halloween fills me with a dread. Cause it’s the start of the holiday season.

My son was supposed to be born around Halloween but he wasn’t so Alison took a walk around the neighborhood that day.

She took these pictures in this entry.

She was so happy that day. She was in love, pregnant, and about to be a mother. Everything she ever wanted. And it all turned to shit a week later.

I worried for a while that the boy would feel my grief but I wear my painted faces in front of him to hide it as best I can.

Time’ll tell if it worked.

In any case, today, I’m going to dress up the boy and myself for Halloween. The Gymgirl’s coming too.

At the end of the day, I’ll take off my costume but I’ll keep my painted face on until New Year’s Day, so the kid doesn’t know how much I hate the holidays.

And I do so hate the holidays. Dunno if that’ll ever change.

Location: 2015, in my head
Mood: crestfallen
Music: Painted faces, fill the places I can’t reach
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Anthony Bourdain: I am certain of nothing

I know that I know nothing

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

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

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

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

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

He said, I am certain of nothing.

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

I’m ok now, in case you’re worried.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My So-Called Thermonuclear Life

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

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

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

Just snap outta it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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1,000 times an hour

Promises made, promises broken

Watercolor view of the UES, NY,

Nurse: Do you have her password?

Without getting too deep into it, the past week has been the most difficult week at home since November. And we’ve had some awful weeks in the past three months.

My insomnia makes this surreal experience all the more surreal. What little is in color is watercolored and runs together before fading to grey again.

The doc wants us to bring her back to the hospital but she was so distraught and confused the last two times that I feel it’ll only be worse a third time.

Ultimately, I have to make that decision and it is to keep her at home, however difficult that is.

Marriage is such an odd thing. You meet a stranger one night and, a little while later, you become family. To the point where I make decisions for her instead of her own parents, who have been totally supportive of all the choices I’ve made.

I have tremendous respect for them. Her mom is about the nicest person I know and her father – a war hero – is someone I would like to call a friend regardless of the reason why.

We got married five years ago this month. I told them I would always keep her safe.

I’m failing that promise right now. Keep thinking there must be something else I can do.

But there isn’t. There’s only the waiting.

The last time we were in the hospital, the nurse wanted to make sure I was family so she asked for the password I gave them when I admitted her.

It’s the same three words I’ve been saying 1,000 times an hour, every waking hour, since the beginning of November.

Me: Yes. It’s: “Please be ok.”

\’

Location: hell
Mood: struggling
Music: Skies turn to the usual grey

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