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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Upgrading my OS

I like it when we play 1950

Her: I’m sorry about your wife.
Me: So am I. All my gods look like her.
Her: What does that mean?
Me: Nuthin. (brightening) Let’s play a game…

It’s the first day of 2023.

I’m writing this on a computer that I first built when Alison was still alive and upgraded repeatedly, such that there’s nuthin left of the original computer, just like I talked about in my Ship of Theseus.

One thing that I did after the hack was to upgrade the operating system of that computer from Windows 10 to Windows 11, something I did with great reluctance.

Still working through the pros and cons of that, but I note that I went through Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10 on this machine before finally arriving here.

Just like the philosophical exercise of the Ship of Theseus, the question remains if there’s anything left of the original computer that I originally built all those years ago.

Speaking of philsophy, this blog has, more than anything, been my own personal repository of how I see the world, kinda like Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations.

Suppose my operating system has always been based on German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, who was introduced to me in my 20s by the Devil.

One of my earliest blog entries spoke about a quote that served me well my entire life: With increased intelligence comes increased capacity for pain.

When Alison, my dad, and another relative got sick – all at the same time – and I essentially gave up my career(s) to try (and fail) to save them, then lost Gradgirl and Mouse, I think that the truth of that statement is why I’m here writing you now.

Schopenhauer’s worldview was that life is, at its core, suffering.

Life swings like a pendulum backward and forward between pain and boredom. – Arthur Schopenhauer

At no point in this blog – through all the highs and lows – did my baseline OS change; it was always run on some variant of Schopenhauer.

And you know my feeling about those who’s worldview never changes. I can’t be a hypocrite.

All this, despite the fact that some baseline beliefs of his contradicted directly with my own heart’s desire.

For example, I’ve always wanted family and family, by definition, requires children. Yet Schopenhauer, like my billionaire buddy, feels that “Bearing children into this world is like carrying wood into a burning house.”

Schopenhauer, as the base operating system of my life, was ill-equipped to deal with the overwhelming sadness and despair of it all, for various reasons.

For example, Schopenhauer’s world view of Wille zum Leben respected love like one respects a dangerous animal, but it doesn’t deal with love, which I both respect and submit to.

To Schopenhauer, love is an illogical means to an important end: The extension of our very species.

I understand that but, having loved and lost in the profound ways I have, I think it’s an idealized version of what humans are actually capable of.

While it’d be nice to live a life purely pragmatically, the way humans are designed, it’s not practical. Because emotions exist and aren’t going away.

I need an OS that reflects that reality.

The Devil’s gone from my life and, while I appreciate all that he’s shown me in the world, the OS he helped build for me doesn’t work with who I am now, especially given all that’s happened.

Moreover, I want more for my son. Assuming that Schopenhauer was correct, and our universe is only what we experience through our mental facilities – our operating system – then I plan on giving my son the best one I can.

After close to 30 years of working on myself, I think that answer lies in Stoicism. Not “stoicism” with a lower-case “s,” rather the full philosophy of Zeno, Marcus Aurelius, and Seneca.

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts. – Marcus Aurelius

I don’t think, at all, that Schopenhauer was wrong, or that the last three decades of my life were wasted. Rather, I think that it’s served its purpose for what I needed for that time and that version of me. Now, I have a new purpose – the boy – and that requires a new way of thinking.

We suffer more often in imagination than in reality. – Seneca

It’s still early yet in all this. Just like it’s early in the new year.

But I spent the last month reexamining my life and need to discard the things that aren’t working for me anymore, if they ever did, and find things that do work.

Don’t think you’ll notice any drastic changes here, per se. Just little things for myself as I try to give myself and – by extension, the boy – the tools I’ll need to be the best version of myself.

Man conquers the world by conquering himself. – Zeno

I’m still me, but I wonder how much of who and what I am/was is still there or if I’m a completely new being altogether, just like this computer I type alla this out on.

On that note, let’s start the new year off with a song.

This is by a young woman named King Princess that my brother introduced to me a little while ago.

Can’t put my finger on it, but it always makes me dream that my life might be better than it is.

Maybe it’s the line that goes, “I will keep on waiting for your love,” which goes directly against Schopenhauer’s distant respect of the concept of love.

Because love’s not only something I respect, but also something I want – to both give and receive – so it’s worthy of patience and time.

Even if it never comes my way again.

Here’s to 2023 and changing for the better.

Her: (surprised) Why did you do that?
Me: (shrugging) Seemed like the right thing to do at the time.
Her: (laughing) OK. (pause) You can do it again.

Location: in the first hours of 2023, on W 97, wondering if we should sell our apartments and move to NJ
Mood: new(ish)
Music: I love it when you try to save me
(Spotify)
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Kintsugi: The tenacity of the broken

Nothing gold seems to stay

Read yesterday that scientists discovered that a humpback whale named Moon that they’ve been tracking for a decade had broken her spine.

For 10 years, they followed her from Canada to Hawaii – 3,000 miles – something she had to do for food and to teach her calf how to do the same.

Sometime recently, a ship hit her and broke her spine, dooming her.

There’s no question she’ll die, it’s just how long she’ll survive in excruciating pain.

But she longs to live. So, she swam the same path she always swam – except upside down and in pain and a broken tail.

She swam 3,000 miles doing the breaststroke.

Look how broken she is, yet I find her beautiful, nonetheless. I’ve always found people and things that struggle and scuffle against their fate, beautiful.

She’s going to die and I wonder if she knows.

I’ve long said that females seem stronger than males in many regards.

The stories I’ve read about Moon aren’t clear if she made this last trip with her calf or not but I wouldn’t be surprised.

As I said before – and quoting Agatha Christie – A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity. It dares all things, and crushes down, remorselessly, all that stands in its path.

It dares all things.

Including swimming upside-down for 3,000 miles with a broken back and tail.

Have you ever heard of kintsugi?

It the Japanese art of repairing broken things with melted gold.

Essentially things like pottery bowls are put back together with melted gold and the result is something beautiful despite its scars.

I always thought Alison was so beautiful, despite all she’d gone through.

There’s something beautiful about tenacity, especially when it’s driven by love.


Me: They thought I was 35.
Him: Were they white? It doesn’t count unless they were Asian.
Me: (laughing) All three were Asian.

I feel myself retreating into my head again. But, I’m remembering things, so I’m not alone.

For better or worse.

My therapist thinks I’ve been making great strides in putting this mess that is my head back together again but I’m not sure.

The rage is better – all the hours at the gym seem to help with that – but I look at my face and don’t recognize myself a lot. And I’m tired.

Three different people from my gym thought I was 35 when I’m really pushing 50. Actually, one guy thought a woman there was the oldest person in the room when I was actually 17 years older than her.

But I wonder what I’d look like without all the trauma from 2014 to, well, today.

I feel those years aged me more than pretty much anything.

This is one of the few good pics I have of me from 2014, with PerfectCircles, at my fave dive bar.

I’m 41 in it but I usually got that I was in my 20s.

And this one is when I actually turned 41.

Me with Abe

This is me with my buddy a few weeks later:
Logan Lo and a buddy on the Staten Island ferry

I’m flattered that people think I look so young but that vain, shallow part of me – which, granted, is pretty sizable – wonders how much younger I woulda looked like without all that fucking shit we went through.

Which, of course, is hopelessly stupid and banal considering all that I’ve lost.

But it’s just bonus pain to my grief.

I feel that if Alison were still alive, she’d think that I look great, despite the grey and the scars, both visible and invisible.

Love is blind, after all.

I wonder if I’ll ever meet anyone that thinks I’m great the way she did.

Or am I just so obviously and irreparably broken inside and out, without her or anything else gold to mend me?

It’s an old saying but it weighs at me, that nothing gold seems to stay.

And we’re all on our doomed journeys, some shorter and more tragic than others.

I suppose that, like Moon, there’s not much to do but keep going until the end.

Her: What’s going on?
Me: Well, pour me a drink, darling, and I’ll tell you. But you won’t enjoy the story.
Her: How does it end?
Me: (shrugging) Like most true stories, love: In tears.

Location: earlier today, watching the boy sing Jingle Bells and wishing everything was different
Mood: complex
Music: I’m broken but, I’m ready to feel better. Glue me back together? (Spotify)
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As popular as I was not

Whose kid?

Been baking a ton lately.

The major reason is that the kid – like all kids – loves things like cake, cookies, and pies.

But I don’t want him to have alla the junk and empty carbs that that stuff entails.

So, the only soultion is for me to bake everything. So far, in the last couple of months, I’ve baked:

        • Four pumpkin pies
        • Two chocolate cheesecakes
        • A batch of 60 double-chocolate oatmeal chip cookies
        • A batch of 60 oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
        • Four chocolate cakes
        • Two banana breads (which are just cakes)

Alison was always the baker while I was always the cook but she’s not here so I gotta do this.

It’s a different skillset than cooking but it’s still enjoyable.

It’s always been the cleanup that I hated; that’s what made Alison and me such a great couple – she loved to clean, I loved to cook. It was a good yin-yang.

Now, I do it all, for better or worse. But he’s happy and eating well, and that’s all that matters.

Everything’s made with high-fiber, high-protein flours like carbquick or almond flour, monk-fruit sweetened chocolate chips, oatmeal or nuts, and erythritol or coconut sugar for sweeteners so everything’s actually not-bad for him and some are actually good for him.

But he doesn’t know that, he just knows he likes them.

And I try to play the role I need to play to make sure he keeps wanting more.

Me: How is it?
Him: Sooooo, good. Can I have another?
Me: Well…
Him: Please?!
Me: (mock sighing) Fiiiine, I suppose you can have ONE more.
Him: YAY!

The kid’s ability to be innately social is something I find endlessly fascinating – only because it’s such a foreign thing to me. I’m very social but by design.

He’s just naturally social in a way that Alison and I were not. Not sure where it comes from but, like I said, it’s so interesting to me.

For example, the kid went to a birthday party last week where he met another boy that invited him to another birthday party, which was this past Sunday.

And then he had another birthday party on Friday – in a building that I sued once that went all the way to trial and decision, which is a whole ‘nother story – where yet another boy invited him to a birthday party on Saturday.

One party was at Medieval Times, someplace that Alison always wanted him to go to so I’m grateful for the experience.

Him: I’m hungry.
Me: How is that possible? You just came back from a birthday party at Medieval Times.
Him: (shrugging) I didn’t like the food. I just had the cake.
Me: (stopping everything I was doing) You didn’t like the food?! Whose kid are you?!
Him: YOURS!


Honestly, this kid is as popular and social as I was not at his age.

Not sure how I feel about this but I’m hopeful we can manage it so that he doesn’t make it into a burden nor burn out with it early.

Me: You had THREE birthday parties this weekend. I think that’s as many I’ve gone to my entire childhood.
Him: I know, I’m tired.
Me: (laughing) Awww, poor popular you.


Put up the tree. Finally.

I remembered where every single ornament came from.

I’d forgotten so much and it’s too much to remember all at once. Way too much.

Him: Why are you looking…? (makes a face and stares off into the distance)
Me: I’m just…papa’s in his head again.
Him: Oh. It’s ok, papa.
Me: Thanks, kid.

Location: tonight, covered in flour but happy to see the kid happy
Mood: so. full. of. cake.
Music: got too many friends (Spotify)
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PSA: The Typical Colonoscopy Procedure

My colonoscopy procedure

After I taught the class, rushed back home where my sitter was watching the kid.

Me: Papa’s gonna be in the back doing…stuff.
Him: Can I watch?
Her: (laughing) I don’t think your dad wants you to see.
Him: To be fair, I don’t want *anyone* to see – or hear – what’s about to happen.

What I had to do was drink TWO liters of a pretty gross laxative – I opted for the “lemon flavoring,” I can only imagine how gross it is without it – which I had to consume a cup at a time every ten minutes starting at 9:30.

Now, I was supposed to have done this at 6:30PM, because my procedure was scheduled for 10:30AM the following day.

But, like I said, I already agreed to teach the class, so 9:30 was the earliest I could get things going.

Having said that, after the third cup, things happened pretty quickly, and it took a solid two hours for things to slow down.

That’s not the worst of it, though. You’re supposed to get up five hours before your procedure to do it yet again.

Yup, FOUR liters of laxative for this bright-eyed boy in eight hours.

Had to start at 5AM so I wouldn’t have an accident dropping off the kid in the AM. So, from 5AM to 7AM, it was yet more grossness.

Now, I probably coulda skipped the second round because of my intermittent fasting. See, the last time I had solid food was Sunday night at 6:30PM while my procedure was set for 10:30AM on Tuesday.

Got the kid to school ok, then went home to basically chill for an hour before I made my way to the place, which was on the Upper East Side, near the where the Counselor and the Blue Jean Eyed girl lived.

From the time I walked in the door to the time I left, was almost exactly 50 minutes. Legit.

        • I walked in at 10:28.
        • I was on the table at 10:42.
        • They started doing stuff at 10:46.
        • They finished at 10:53.
        • I was conscious at 10:58.
        • I was up by 11:05.
        • I was out the door by 11:18.

Honestly, the smoothest procedure I’d ever been part of.

Although you probably couldn’t tell with this shot the nurse took of me after I came to.

Not my most flattering shot. But it pretty accurately represents how I felt at that moment.

And, because of alla Alison’s hell, my dad’s, and my own clumsiness, I’ve been part of more procedures than anyone in their right mind would wanna be part of.

Walking out the door, I felt ok enough to just take the train back.

My brother just happened to be in town that day and offered to pick me up, but I declined.

Gotta tell you, there was something oddly and sadly fitting about going home alone after this procedure and thinking of how Alison went to get me the first time around.

Been in my head a lot lately causea the holidays but it’s not been all bad.

Before Alison and my dad got sick, I just happened to be doing a lotta reading into stoicism and the idea of amor fati, or loving fate.

It’s essentially accepting one’s fate.

I’ve been fighting everyone’s fate – including my own – for so long now that I’m tired and am ready to just slow-drown in my life.

Emphasis on slow

Him: Are you ok, papa?
Me: OK’s a relative term, kid.
Him: Thank you for coming home and not dying.
Me: (fuck) I’ll always come home to you, kid. Dontcha ever worry about that. I’ll drag myself home to you if I have to, always.
Him: Promise?
Me: Pinky-swear. Always.

Location: home, with a tumbler of rum
Mood: def not sober
Music: boy, I believe in us (Spotify)
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My second colonoscopy

So much different from my first

Got a message from Chad the other night.

Him: [I’ve got the flu.] Would it be possible for you to teach class tomorrow night?
Me: Sorry to hear that. OK.

I’ve actually covered class a couple of times in the past, so that part was fine – kinda fun, I gotta say, because I got to focus on some things that I both really like and need to work on.

What I messed up in, though, was that I scheduled my second colonoscopy for the very next day and had to be up at 5AM doing god-awful stuff to myself.

So, I went in, taught the class, rolled around, and bolted as soon as I could get off the mats and shower.

Her: You did a good job.
Me: You think?
Her: (nodding) That’s one of my favourite moves and you explained it well.
Me: Thanks! That means a lot to me. I appreciate the vote of confidence.

If you’re a long-time reader, you know that I got a colonoscopy almost exactly eight years ago.

Alison made me orange jello.

Don’t remember much about the first time except that she came to pick me up. See, when you have a procedure under anesthesia, you’re required to have someone pick you up.

I remember that Alison took a half-day off from work and came to get me. Didn’t tell you any of that part because it was a such small thing about our day-to-day life.

Had no idea that day that she would be dying less than a year later.

Who the fuck would ever think such a thing?

I didn’t tell you that when she opened the door, she had the widest smile when she saw me.

With the exception of my son, don’t think anyone was ever that happy to see me ever in life.

She thought I was greatest thing and I thought she must have self-esteem issues to think that she couldn’t do better than a fella like me.

Don’t remember what she said when she saw me. I’m sure it was something like, Are you ok, honey?

But I remember that smile. I loved it so.

I remember I was still dazed from the anesthesia and when she came in –  despite our being together for years by that point – thought I was the luckiest guy on the planet that such an important, smart, and pretty girl would take time outta her busy day to pick a nobody like me and make sure I got home ok.

Ah, fuck.

I’ll finish this tomorrow.

I hate the goddamn holidays…

 

Location: home, putting up a Christmas tree and trying to forget things
Mood: sober for now
Music: don’t wanna see what I’ve seen (Spotify)
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Books that made me, me

Some more fiction

Rarely read fiction anymore. I used to read fiction voraciously but I’ve so little time these days that it’s been years since I read something with a plot and characters.

Read the entirety of John Grisham’s novels from 1990-1999. That’s the last time I remember reading fiction, although I’m sure I did in the 2000s – I just don’t remember.

It’s a shame because this fella named Charlie “Tremendous” Jones once said, You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.

There’s a lotta truth to that.

Think that I’m the person I am today because of the books I read when I was a kid. After all, my summers were spent in the library.

A handful of books spring to mind immediately when I think of books that profoundly affected me.

Some, I already wrote about at length including:

  • The Godfather (sophmore year, college)
  • The Count of Monte Cristo (high school)
  • Les Miserables (high school)
  • The Little House series (grammar school)
    • Honestly, I read these books because I was always hungry and they had the most vivid descriptions of food. I still remember the description of the kids cooking pig’s tail and making maple candy. This is probably at least part of the reason I’m a fatty-fat-fat.
  • The Great Brain series (grammar school)
    • This one taught me the value of hustle, something that I took to heart immediately after reading the book and literally never stopped.
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (high school)
    • I keep thinking about the saloon owner and his relationship with his wife for reasons that are mine alone, but I digress.

Lately, I find myself remembering books I read in late grammar school and junior high school, just because I want the kid to read them, someday.

On that note, I recently spoke at his school. But that’s an entry for another time.

Two books that really fucked with my head growing up were:

Tuck Everlasting
This is about a little girl that met a boy about her age, but he’s really 104 years old. He’s immortal and she wants to be immortal like him, but he tells her it’s a curse. The ending really messed me up but it made me realize for the first time that I would die someday.

And it was the first book where the boy and girl didn’t have a happy ending.

I think it was the start of me wanting to do something important because I knew my time here was limited.

It also meant that I never wanted to live forever.

In light of all that’s happened in my life, I think that all the more lately. I feel I’m just waiting around to die, already.

Bridge to Terabithia
Now, this messed me up because I’d never read about a main character dying before. The heroes always lived and won. This was the first book where that wasn’t the case and it made me realize that the good guys lose as much as win.

If these two books didn’t help, in some small way, prepare me for the last few fucked up years of my life, I dunno what did.

Speaking of bridges, since I have you, maybe you can help me find two books from grammar school that I just cannot remember the author nor title of because I was a little kid.

The first book was about a young boy in Manhattan that would sneak out and climb one of the bridges (the Manhattan Bridge?) in the middle of the night and just sit and think.

I used to sneak out of my house and just on random corners to think, because of this book.

When I first moved to Manhattan (Times Square) as a young adult, people would always wanna go out to parties or bars and meet people.

Me? I’d sit at the corner of W 46th Street and 6th Avenue and chat up whoever was there around midnight.

When I moved here, I used to sit on my stoop and make small talk with whomever.

Did I ever tell you that I met the doctor at a phone booth in Columbia and the German Girl at my local dive bar?

So much of my life has been chance encounters. Including Alison.

Don’t think I ever told that the girl in this entry was her.

She was my ship in the night.

Ah, fuck me.


Sorry.

Anywho, the second book was about a group of kids that found a key which turned out to fit into a hole in a stone wall. Inside the wall (the key was really a hook that hooked onto a box) was essentially a time capsule.

That book is probably part of why I write this blog.

Because I think that, maybe long after I’m gone, someone will find this and it’ll be a time capsule of some rando’s life in the early 2000s.

Gotta make sure someone pays the internet hosting bills, I guess.

Location: 5PM tonight, chatting with a buddy about the people we love, dying, on W 77th
Mood: thoughtful
Music: we should go get lost in the big wide world (Spotify)
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Thanks for the Joy, Cammie!

Hot damn, that’s damn hot

Can’t tell you the number of times people question why I even have this blog.

Heck, *I* question why I even have this blog and wonder on the regular if I should just pack it up.

In fact, the Counselor stopped talking to me for a bit after she found out about it. She could have been the only one that told me; who knows how many women stopped talking to me because of this blog and not because of my dreadful personality?

Now, I honestly tried once before, but then Alison got sick and I felt that if I didn’t write, I’d go starkers.

Some would argue that I did anyway, but that’s neither here nor there.

Suppose, this is as much my own therapy as it is my keeping track of the comings and goings of my life.

Every once in a while, though, I’m reminded that I connect with people that I might never have connected with ever, through this thing.

One person I met years ago when this was on LiveJournal was a girl that called herself WebCammie.

She was a young law student when we first (virtually) met, while I’d been practicing for a decade or so.

Now, the world hit eight billion people just five days ago.

Meaning, there are eight billion randos in the world – and I’m one of them. Yet, this one rando (Cammie) felt that this here rando (me) was special enough to keep track of. Even after all this time.

If that’s not flattering and kind, man, I dunno what is.

Here’s the kicker, though – she wrote me a pithy line the other day:

I work for FB so if you need help getting your account back, let me know. My email is…

Turns out, she’s an associate General Counsel at Facebook.

That’s…a pretty big deal.

So, I hit her up and FOUR HOURS LATER, my permanently deleted Facebook/Instagram/Whatsapp accounts all came back.

Goddamn, it’s nice knowing people in the world with this much juice.

Is it hot in here or is it just me?

Because, hot damn, that’s damn hot.

Me: Hey, if FB needs an extremely lazy, semi-alcoholic, somewhat maudlin, but very charming IP lawyer, let me know?
WebCammie: (laughing) We just laid off 11,000 users but are you seriously looking?
Me: (laughing as well) No, I’m just a full-time dad now.

So, when people ask me who I write my blog for, I always tell them that it’s a roundabout way for me to find people in my tribe.

Those that see the world (kinda) how I see it. As a complex tragedy fulla joy.

On the one hand, I spend my life bearing the endless fucking tragedies for the promise of some goddamn joy.

On the other hand, I try to give a little joy to others if I can, knowing that they’re living in a tragedy too.

And I think I’m not the only one.

Mr. Rogers famously said, Look for the helpers. I take that very much to heart.

The people that helped me when Alison was sick, the people that picked me up when I was on my knees after she and my dad died? These are all the kinda people I wanna know and I want my kid to know.

Because Alison lived her life trying to help people find joy in the tragedy that is our lives and I try to do the same, if only to just to meet people like her and Cammie.

And be grateful for the rando acts of kindness towards other randos.

Cause, honestly, what greater joy is there than to bring joy to others? I couldn’t tell you because I don’t think there is one.

So, thanks, Cammie, for the help and the joy.

The world’s a shitty place but people like you make it just a little less so. I’m grateful that you took time outta your insanely busy day to help this rando.

Thanks for existing.

Your fan,

Logan

PS – Surely, you can use an assistant. I make great ok passable coffee.

Him: Look at all the fog! It’s so cool!
Me: It is.
Him: What’s fog, papa?
Me: Well, essentially, water molecules condense – that means gathers – around little bits of fine parti…you know what? It doesn’t matter. Let’s stand for a bit and look at it together, ok?
Him: OK, papa! Look at the lights!
Me: (laughing) It’s pretty. Our little city’s pretty sometimes, yeah?
Him: (nodding) Yeah…

Location: earlier today, my gym at a private party
Mood: tired, but joyous
Music: How’d you always know when I’m down? I feel joy, when you call me (Spotify)
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