A night on the Virgin Revvel

Alesya Yelisow Alesya Yelisowa

Not the wurst night

RE Mike invited me out to a party on a ship – which is vastly different from a party on a boat – and comped me two extra tix.

I’d always thought that my SIL and Mouse would get along so I invited both of them expecting that one, or both, would demur. Surprisingly, they both said yes and the three of us had a great night.

We were supposed to link up with RE Mike and my buddy from around the way but we only saw them briefly because (a) we got there much earlier than them and (b) there was some scheduling issues.

It was the first time we were hanging out since April of 2019.

But it ended up being fine. We headed first to the restaurant.

Her: We should leave a tip.
Me: It’s all taken care of.
Her: We don’t leave a tip?!
Me: It’s all taken care of. Trust me on this.

Again, I don’t think I ever taken out my wallet a single time for anything that RE Mike’s ever invited me in all these years.

RE Mike and our buddy around the way both showed up to say hi during dinner and they accidentally took my jacket, which led to me hunting them down all night – a harder task when there’s an open bar involved.

Speaking of which, afterward we went to the bar…

…then a club…

…then a show…

…then more bars…

…before ending the night at a diner on the ship.

Her: God, that was the worst sausage ever.
Me: It was definitely the wurst. (no one thought that was funny, but I still entertain myself, no end)

I was thrilled to hang out with both my SIL and Mouse at the same time. It made me think of all my possible pasts – for better or worse – all night.

Told Mouse to be herself that night because of her last entry in her blog.

Always hated when people were cruel to Mouse, although I’m sure she’ll point out that we were cruel to each other.

The last face she makes in the video below is essentially how she looks at me whenever we’re fighting.

Later on at home that night, I had a dream. In it, a woman that I didn’t know called me and told me that an old friend of mine was looking for me.

Me: Why doesn’t he call me himself?
Her: You know him. He said you’d understand and that he needed your help.
Me: (thinking) No, he didn’t.
Her: What do you mean?
Me: Because, he would never say that. Demons in the night know their own.

Location: my childhood home for dinner
Mood: confused
Music: Wasting time and stuck inside a broken dream (Spotify)
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Trying to be better

The kid is in first grade

It’s weird having the kid back in school again. I feel as if no time has passed this summer but so much has.

And yet, here we are, in a new grade, with new classmates and teachers. Picking him up the first day, I met his teacher for the first time.

Me: So how did he do?
Her: Well, you obviously know how social he is. He made a lot of new friends pretty quickly.
Me: Yup, that sounds like him.

He does have some social anxiety when we first show up to anything, but I encourage him to feel whatever he feels.

Him: I’m sorry I’m scared, Papa.
Me: (shaking head) No. Don’t ever apologize for your honest feelings. You’re always entitled to your true feelings, kid, and no one – not even me – is allowed to tell you that you can or cannot feel something that you honestly feel.

This actress named Charlotte Cushman once said, To try to be better is to be better.

Suppose I tell the kid these kinda things in the hopes that he’ll try to be ok and, maybe, that will be enough to make him ok.

I just want him to be ok.


Alla that sounds very sensible but the truth is that I question my own feelings about any number of things.

And yet, I try my best to not get down on myself for feeling what I feel.

And what I don’t feel.

Her: Why?
Me: I don’t know. I just know I’m not your guy.
Her: Well, thanks for telling me, I guess. (later) I didn’t even want dessert.

It’s still a work in progress. I’m trying.

Looking back at women I’ve dated, there are at least three women that I know that married the very next guy they dated after me.

That’s just off the top of my head.

Suppose, after me, it became very clear what they did and didn’t want in their life, for better or worse.

Writing that made me laugh. Perhaps I’m just so awful that some people needed to marry the very next person to get me outta their systems.

Maybe trying to be better isn’t enough after all.

Someone just rang my doorbell from my building. He found a crowbar on the floor in the hallway and it’s pretty clear, someone was trying to break into one of the units here.

I should really move to the burbs.

Location: in my apartment building
Mood: exhausted
Music: been feeling lazy, I’ve been going crazy (Spotify)
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Rooting for you

I could get used to this

Between the normal work I have to do and trying to get the gym off the ground, it’s been an insanely busy month but I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Mouse came by one night where she did us a huge favor (and also got injured) so I took her out to eat.

It was nice and familiar. She told me about her dating life:

      • It’s awful to be single and male in NYC.
      • It’s awful to be single and female in NYC.
      • It’s awful to be single in NYC.
      • It’s awful to be single.

We hadn’t really spoken in ages so it was nice to catch up.

That’s not entirely true. We occasionally video chat, but that usually involves her scaring the bejeezus outta me with alla the filters she has.

My son also came back today for school. I missed him terribly.

We immediately went to a friend’s birthday party…

…and then another party, where he sat with a girl he’s known since he was 18 months old.

Her mom, Emely, has always been super sweet to me, for completely undeserved reasons.

Her: I saw your latest video with the ice knife. And you opened a gym too?!
Me: I get how crazy a lotta what I say is.
Her: (laughing) There are a lot of people that are rooting for you, Logan.

…and then went for a long bike ride down Manhattan’s Hudson River Greenway, before heading out for dinner.

There’s a small cafe around me that has been at least a half-dozen iterations of cafes since I moved into the hood decades ago.

This was the latest one, which is a combo cafe and bodega. I got a salad and some sweet potato fries. He got a pizza burger. We sat down to eat surrounded by kitty litter and cat food.

Him: Liver cat food…gross.
Me: I think if you were a cat, you’d rather like that.
Him: Yuck!

One of the first things, however, that we did alone together was that we played our favourite songs for each other. I played for him Shotgun by George Ezra, as covered by Us the Duo.

Him?

I’ll let you listen for yourself. I’m not the best parent – not the worst, either – but, yeah, not the best.

Location: home
Mood: happy
Music: If you need me you know where I’ll be (Spotify)
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When $5 is more than $5

Cleaning things out

This is my last week without the boy for a while. Once school starts, he’ll be with me until December, because of the stupid Delta variant.

So, I’ve been working on getting my life on track the past month, like cleaning up his room so that it’s more functional for a young boy and not a baby.

It also includes cleaning out the last bits of Alison’s things.

It’s hard getting rid of things. Everything matters to me in some manner or another.

But the flooding was a good push for me to do what I knew I had to do.

Alison was never overly sentimental; she would rather have a clean and functional home than one packed to the rafters with unused things.

Her daily driver for outerwear was a simple black puffer coat. Of course, I don’t have a single fucking picture of her wearing it.

I gave it away yesterday to someone special, but I went through the pockets of it first. There were exactly two things there: A very neatly folded five-dollar bill and a Metrocard that expired November 30, 2015.

It was the first time I cried in 2021, I think.

I put them both away. It’s weird, I deal with value on a regular basis.

There’s a tenuous connection between value and emotions/nostalgia. Consider a cheap $0.25 pen. Now imagine it was your favourite actor that used that pen for years and then finally tossed it. Is it worth $0.25?

Or far more, because he used it? Or far less because it’s broken?

I always found that whole thing silly and amusing.

Until lately, I guess. Now, $5 is worth a lot more than $5, as is a used, expired Metrocard. At least to me.

Ah, I’m doing it again, aren’t I?

On a funnier note, I had the ABFF’s cleaner come by to give the pad a solid clean – usually it’s just me, I’m the people –  but, before she came, I wanted to give things a once-over, because I’m weird like that.

On top of one of my cabinets, I found yet another knife. That made me laugh.

I have issues.

I will say that I’ve enjoyed being able to meet up with people willy-nilly and whenever I wanted these past few weeks.

Me: Are you in the mood for wings?
Her: Depends.
Me: Goodness, on what? Even bad wings are still ok wings.

Me: Do you want to get a drink?
Her: Sure.

Her: I could go for some pie.
Me: I was just telling someone that pies are superior to cake.
Her: Let’s not go that far.

Him: I got shots. Tequila and pickle-juice.
Me: I’m pre-emptively throwing up inside.

Location: my disaster of an apartment
Mood: busy!
Music: No more waiting, I’m taking the chance (Spotify)
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Hanging with Ida and Steve, Pt 2

Dealing with the loss

I literally chugged the negroni I ordered, grabbed my stuff from coat check, and walked out to … just, a whirlwind of rain.

I’d literally never seen rain like this before. It was almost as if I was in a shower going full blast.

This is a video I made on the way to the concert. The rain on the way outta the concert was significantly worse. Significantly.

Made it to the yellow line station in Koreatown where I got onto a train that crawled into Time Square.

What normally would be a two-minute ride took closer to 15.

And when I left the train to transfer to my regular line, the signs were all flashing “delayed.”

Looking down onto the tracks, there was just a sea of humanity waiting for the next train.

I made a game-time decision to leave the station and try to get a taxi or Uber. Turns out that it was good that I did because RE Mike later told me that he ended up having to walk home in the rain from 38th to the village. Nuts.

As for my Uber, it was a whopping $59 for an uber ride that normally costs $15 but I grabbed it.

Presently, an older fella picked me up. Man, he was driving insanely slow. The buses and trucks around us were moving faster.

Me: Could you drive a little faster?
Him: (pointing out the window) There’s a rainstorm.
Me: I am aware.

He finally started moving a bit faster but it still took 20 minutes to get home, for what is typically a five minute ride.

As soon as I saw my building, I dashed out the door of the whip and went to the basement. A tenant was already bailing water when I arrived.

There wasn’t much else to do but start doing the same.

So, very drunk, for the next two hours, I was bailing water and tossing yet more of the kid and Alison’s stuff.

What I got rid of is mostly stuff that is personal to me and not worth discussing. Except for my Xmas tree.

I told you when Alison and I bought the tree almost a decade ago. I have such fond memories of it. It gutted me to get rid of it. It was a good little plastic Xmas tree.

Because it was our first year, we didn’t have any ornaments for it yet.

Below’s a picture of our first Xmas dinner together. The tree would be on your left if you’re reading this. I made Coq au Vin, and she made a salad of goat cheese and pears.

Shit, fuck me.

For a moment, I was trying to think of a way of salvaging it when I realized that Alison woulda just tossed it versus allowing something that might make the kiddo sick into the house. So I did. But it was difficult.

The next day, I took inventory of everything I lost from this latest round of flooding. Speaking to my therapist, we discussed it.

Her: You talk a lot about loss and losing things. That seems to be a theme in your life.
Me: Not by choice, doc. Definitely, not by choice. Nothing gold ever stays.

Location: my damp apartment
Mood: exhausted
Music: You’ve got to know that you are good as gold (Spotify)
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Wishing for horses

Wins and shady secrets

My father died exactly four years ago. It feels like yesterday and a lifetime ago.

I talk a lot with older male friends about what it’s like being a father, I think – in part – because I can’t talk to my dad.

It’s less than ideal.

If wishes were horses…

The boy’s been away for a few weeks and will be for a few weeks more.

While I miss him terribly, it’s good because I’ve been coming home at midnight most nights because Chad and I are setting up this new gym.

I’ll tell you more about it once it’s all set up.

Last Saturday, NYC had the most rain it’s ever had in a single hour and I’m happy to say that my apartment did NOT flood, although it came pretty close a few times there.

It was super stressful, but now I know that the things I did to help the situation worked.

I’ll take any win I can get

I’ve become a shady secret again, this time to four different women – not all of them romantic interests, but all have their own reasons for wanting me not to mention them.

Which is a shame because some of the stuff they say is truly amusing. Here are some rando convos, completely out of context.

Her: (to waiter) Do you have something like a Corona Light?
Me: (to her, after) Wait, why didn’t you just ask for a Corona Light?
Her: I’ve been disappointed too many times in the past.

Her: How’s the gym going?
Me: We’re moving at lightning speed so I’m exhausted.
Her: You’re the knife instructor?
Me: Technically, I’m the backup knife instructor.
Her: Oh, you should tell people that you’re a substitute knife instructor.

Me: How’s online dating going?
Her: I like to think of it as, Meeting-strangers-online-to-waste-three-weeks-of-my-life-with-at-a-time.
Me: Accurate.

Remember when I told you that the Heiress had the same type of cancer as Alison? Welp, I was just introduced to yet another woman with this fucking cancer.

She’s asking me for help/advice and – while I don’t want to relive the past – I have to help, I feel. And so, I do.

Again, this type of cancer mainly affect older, white, males. This woman is the third young white female I’ve met that had it.

It’s madness.

Then again, I’m finding that either madness tends to find me, or I tend to find it. Not sure which one is which.

Had lunch with a business associate of mine as well as dinner with another friend of mine.

They each offered me a job in two radically different fields of work. One was a high six-figure a year job, the other a very low five-figure a year job.

Both jobs have their charms.

Him: What are you gonna do?
Me: (shrugging) Not sure. In the end, I suppose all I really want is to raise my son and have a family.
Him: You can’t have it all?
Me: Have it all? (sighing) Clearly, not. If wishes were horses…
Him: …beggars would ride.
Me: (nodding)

Location: not Union Square, lemme tell ya that
Mood: busy, busy, busy
Music: I lost my mind trying to fix broken things (Spotify)
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Why an umbrella?

A sad little broken umbrella

Me: Do you have an umbrella for it?
Bartender: (thinking) Wait, I do. You want it just in the can?
Me: Heck, yeah, lady!

Ever since I started this blog, I’ve been writing about my affection for umbrellas in my drinks.

My friends always make fun of me for it; it’s not something that I’ve ever hidden.

I always liked going to Bermuda was because I knew I could always get an umbrella in my drink.

Got a sad little broken one tonight – in a can, of all things – but I was thrilled to get it. They’re much rarer these days around New York.

Part of the reason, admittedly, was so I could say, The night is young and we have umbrellas in our drinks.

I never told anyone the bigger reason though. No one ever asked and it never occurred to me to tell them.

But I’ll tell you.

My father owned one of the first Japanese restaurants in Westchester when I was kid.

I didn’t see much of him at home; I only have a handful of memories of him not in the restaurant. But I was always so excited when I went to see him there. He was my dad, after all.

Think all dads are gods to little boys.

Whenever my brother and I would come in, he would make a big show of his “important guests” and have us sit at the bar. And he’d make each of us a Shirley Temple.

He always topped it off with a maraschino cherry. And a small umbrella.

I remember feeling so cool. And so loved.

We only got one each visit, so I saved them. Lost them all when we moved back to New York City after the restaurant failed.

When the people you love die, you’re left with just these random memories. I never told my dad because I always forgot to bring it up. Another of my 10,000 regrets.

I wanted to call my dad and tell him that I finally got an umbrella tonight. They’re hard to come by, like I said.

And then I remembered that I couldn’t. Fucking cancer.

Wonder what random memories my son will have of me when I’m gone. In some ways, I’m excited for the gym to open just so he’ll have memories of the two of us being there.

I miss my dad. I miss my family. It was a sad little broken umbrella but I thought it was fitting.

Her: …and it was cancer. (pausing) Wait, is this ok to talk about?
Me: (shaking head and pulling out umbrella to take the picture above) It’s fine. When I drink, I’m always 50/50 for breaking down at any minute. Anywho…go on.

Location: my local dive bar, listening to Eric Clapton
Mood: drunk and sad
Music: what have I done? (Spotify)
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You’re Welcome!

For sure, I’ll be ok

The Heiress is gone from this blog. The details are unimportant but the fact that she had the same cancer as Alison really messed with my head.

She showed me a picture of herself in front of a MRI machine and that sent me for a loop, although I think I hid it well.

I most definitely cannot deal with anything like that ever again.

Like I said, I only have the type of luck people don’t want.

It’s a shame though. She was the first billionaire I met although I wonder if this other fella in our gym is also one as well.

I think I’d like to meet another just for the conversations.

Me: What happened with your ex?
Her: He was going through some things so I bought him a building in Greenpoint so he could recuperate.
Me: Well, if you’re giving away buildings, the kid and I could use a townhouse in Hoboken at some point. Nuthin fancy, but central air would be nice. Oh, and one that doesn’t flood.

I’m really not that picky, considering that I live in a place where a rat swam up the toilet and it flooded, all within two weeks.

Interestingly, the Skinny House in Boston is for sale again; I visited it back in 2018. Boston seems fun but it looks like I’ll be in NYC for at least the next five years, what with the new gym et al.

On that note, Chad and I are both running on fumes trying to get this thing off the ground. As you might expect, it’s all the unexpected stuff that’s slowing us down.

Him: Uh, is that supposed to move like that?
Me: Jesus Christ.

Also, other things in the city seem to be falling apart as well.

My apartment almost flooded again earlier this week so I had plumbers come in today yet again.

And cops were all over the place the other day.

Still, I suppose, though, I am lucky in some ways.

Him: When did mommy die?
Me: (sighing) 2017.
Him: Oh man! That’s was a long time ago. (looking at me) You’ll be ok, papa. I’m here.
Me: (smiling) Then, for sure, I’ll be ok. Thank you.
Him: You’re welcome!

Location: earlier today, ducking out with the kid from some thunderstorms
Mood: exhausted
Music: Summer’s only ending if you let it, babe (Don’t let it) (Spotify)
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I won the lottery

The pyramids were white

Him: It’s a regret of mine, that I never met Alison.
Me: You woulda loved her. She was great.
Him: I also really didn’t know you before she got sick.
Me: I was…better.

Recently spoke to three different women that I spent time with after Alison died, purely by happenstance.

They each told me, in their own ways, that I was not very nice to them (to put it mildly). I can see that. I’ve repeatedly said throughout the years that I’m not a very nice person.

It’s somewhat related to that old quote from Margaret Atwood I told you about years ago:

Wanting to meet a writer because you like their books is like wanting meet a duck because you like pate.

I’ve always been a good writer and a bad person. Suppose some things are constant.

First: I really liked you and you took advantage of me.
Me: I wish I could tell you I remembered or that I didn’t do it. But, that does sound reminiscent of me. For what it’s worth,  I’m sorry.

Oddly, that Atwood entry was about kindness, and these women reminded me just how unkind I can be. Not that I need much reminding.

Second: You made me feel uncomfortable.
Me: You were never anything but kind to me. I’m sorry. Let me know how I can do better.

It made me think of the more recent entry I wrote where I told you that all those Greek and Roman statues you see as white were all painted in bright colours once.

On the flip side, for 3,800 years, the pyramids were a bright white. Then in 1303 CE, an earthquake happened that changed their look to what you know now.

Been working with Chad every single day since the middle of July. I find it odd that he only knows this broken version of me.

I think I was better when she was alive. Something good died in me when she died, I think. Maybe the best parts of me.

Him: You’ve been a good friend to me.
Me: Have I? I wonder about that. I have my own horse in this race.

Just wanna have enough good left in me to raise the boy so he’s better than me.

My mom also broke my heart this past weekend, but for an entirely different reason.

Her: Today’s Chinese Father’s Day. You know, your dad would always buy a lottery ticket and he’d always win.
Me: Really? I never knew that.
Her: Oh, nothing big, nothing big just a few dollars here and there but he won a lot. I never won anything. (quietly) Well that’s not true I guess I won the lottery when I met him.
Me: (sighs) I think you both won.

Location: riding around Riverside with the boy, early this morning
Mood: resigned
Music: Damaged, but I’m copin’, holding on and hopin’ (Spotify)
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That’s really unnecessary

Coinbase finally got back to me

My MIL called me today to tell me that my son rang her while at the park today – he’s got this Dick Tracy watch thingy that we just got repaired.

You can kinda see in the pic above.

She said this was the conversation she overheard.

Him: That’s my grandma! Hi grandma!
Her: Are you with your friends?
Him: Yes. They’re a bit annoying.
Girl: (in the distance) I just wanted to give you a hug.
Him: (turning to her) That’s really unnecessary.

The kid is five. I’m literally raising a 65 year-old Italian man..

One that’s taken to lying on top of the couch cushions a la Snoopy. It’s so funny to see his particular personality develop.

Him: Do you know what street Sandy lives on?
Me: 125th?
Him: Close. But incorrect. She lives on 119th. (gently) It’s ok, papa. Now you know.

I mentioned to my MIL all the peculiar things he says.

Me: I wonder where he picks it up?
Her: (laughing) A lot of it from you!
Me: Really?

For example…

Me: It’s a pen…and a whistle!
Him: (nodding slowly) Well…that was unexpected.

…I didn’t realize that I said, “That was unexpected,” all that much, but there you go.

Was planning on writing more but Coinbase finally got back to me – 49 days after the fact – and pulled me outta this entry.

Evidently, the thieves didn’t get everything.

I can finally get that Metrocard I’ve been saving up for.

Location: just now, telling someone that I didn’t mind the cigarette
Mood: eh
Music: thinking ’bout something you said (Spotify)
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