He would have been 83

More than all the gold in the world

Saw a buncha kids around my son the other day cause he was telling them a story.

Laughed to myself as I approached them because I find him so amusingly social.

But then I heard him what he was saying.

Him: She died when I was a baby. I was only a few days old.
Boy: Were you sad?
Him: (nods)
Girl: How did she die?

That’s when I had to turn back. This is not how it’s supposed to fucking be. Shit. Piss. Fuck.

He’s in fucking first grade. This is not what a first grader should be talking about.

Speaking of painful, my dad woulda been 83 this week.

It hurts that my son will never know him. That he’ll never know Alison.

My dad took us back to Taiwan when his dad, my grandfather, died. I was the same age as the kid in the photo above, about two?

So, I have no recollection. Suppose I turned out fine but I realize how much this must have hurt my dad because I feel the loss myself now.

Whenever we would talk, he would want to cook me something. I suppose that was his love language: Food.

When I was doing keto/Atkins, he made it a point to keep steaks in the freezer so he could make me a steak with broccoli on the side. I eventually got tired of steak – a wild thing to say, I realize – but I never said anything because I knew he bought an army’s worth of steak for me to have.

If you have both parents and all grandparents, consider yourself very lucky in that regard. I never knew my dad’s dad, just like my son won’t know his dad’s dad.

Him: You miss your daddy? Because he died?
Me: (slowly) Yes. I miss my daddy.
Him: I’m sorry, papa.
Me: Thanks, kiddo. You’re my favourite, you know?
Him: Even mommy?
Me: (thinking) We both loved you more than anything else in the world.
Him: More than anything?
Me: (nodding) More than anything. More than all the gold in the world.

Location: this fucking place
Mood: heartbroken
Music: the beautiful thing You’re doing is making new things out of ruins (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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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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These unknown versions of me

Maybe I was always awful

We had a soft launch of our gym this past Thursday and Friday with just an evening class on Thursday, an afternoon class on Friday, a nighttime open mat, and then a party afterward.

Before that, Chad and I were putting in full days, leaving most nights after midnight. It was busy but not terrible. We basically just focused on the task at hand each day.

In the end, the gym was mostly how we wanted it to look; I’ll have to go in and take some proper pics soon but not until after some more artwork comes in.

A buddy I met in the city some 20+ years ago was there there on Friday for the open mat. He showed me pictures of his kid.

Him: (proudly)
Me: She’s adorbs! We need to have a playdate.

I remember him applying to be on the force all those years ago. He’s about to retire. Crazy how long I’ve known some people.

I pride myself on keeping good souls around.

After the open mat, everyone waited patiently to shower – man, having showers is a godsend after spending years at a gym without a shower – and then I started making a half-dozen trips downstairs to get food and drink for everyone.

We had a platter of sushi, two platters of wraps, one tray of wings, a huge fruit bowl, and countless bottles of alcohol.

Hawk brought a bottle of bourbon, Curt brought more beer, someone else brought some tequila, and Mouse bought a bottle of Chad and my favourite rum.

Speaking of Mouse, we spoke for a bit after the party and she told me things I didn’t realize before.

Me: You’ve never said any of this.
Her: (rolling eyes) I’ve said this to you a dozen times.
Me: I don’t think you were ever this specific. Are you ever gonna not be mad at me?
Her: I don’t know.

Speaking of keeping good souls around, I used to pride myself on the fact that women I dated prior to Alison still liked me after the fact and wanted to be friends with me.

Evidently, I’ve just become an awful person. Or maybe I was always awful and never noticed.

I don’t remember these versions of me.

Chad hit me up on Saturday, he was sick with a cold – but not COVID as per a rapid test – and our first official day of the gym is tomorrow.

Because of that, I went down on Saturday to clean up some after the Friday night party. When I got back, I realized I left my wallet there.

So, I immediately headed back downtown to retrieve it.

Welp, my luck’s running true to form. I suppose there’s something to be said for consistency.

Location: Union Square, where else?
Mood: having rum in my coffee
Music: such a bummer, there must be more behind the summer (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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Chasing the Dragon

I am the people

Chad’s been teaching in Brooklyn the past few months at Kings Williamsburg – great bunch of folks so if you’re in the area, you should definitely give them a go.

Pez gave the boy and me a lift there twice this week; I needed to go because it’s Chad’s last week there teaching so he can focus on getting his own gym up so that means at least a month-to-two-months of not rolling.

The fella sitting behind Chad giving the bunny ears in the main picture above is my buddy Robinson and he’s taking over the BJJ program at Williamsburg.

My son was super cute because he kept asking everyone where Mouse was.

Him: Did you see her?
Curt: Don’t worry, buddy, she’ll come.

I’ve been helping Chad with things in his gym when I can. And it’s interesting because you can see there’s a clear difference between how the wealthy look at the world and how people like me look at it.

Heiress: You’re there doing manual labor? Don’t you have people for that?
Me: Lady, I am the people.

There’s a saying called, “Chasing the Dragon,” which has multiple drug-related meanings but the one I find the most interesting is this one: The very first time someone tries a new drug, it produces this amazeballs high that they’ve never felt before.

Addicts then spend the rest of their lives trying to feel that insanely good first hit: They chase the dragon.

Now, I’ve never done any hard drugs in my life but I have been in love before and it’s the most indescribable and intoxicating feeling when it’s real.

It’s how I know the difference between love, something-a-lot-like-love and just killing time.

And when it’s gone, man, the crash is something else.

Causea that, I feel that these adventures I’ve been having lately is just me chasing the dragon. I can’t shake the feeling that something-a-lot-like-love and just killing time – but not love itself-  is in my cards.

The question is if it’s even worth the bother. Like I said, I’m le tired.

Having said that, at least I’m being entertained and some people are more entertaining than others.

After all, if you can’t have love, you might as well be entertained, yeah?

Her: I have my Hermes bike for [recreation].
Me: You have a bike…from Hermes? They make bikes?
Her: Yep.
Me: That’s wild.
Her: LOL. It’s at the beach house. If you weren’t always so busy and have the kid and took some time off you would see it!

Location: jits with The Chad in Billlyburg one last time
Mood: resigned
Music: Been steering clear of your face (Spotify)
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It’s 2021, dontchaknow?

Ever True

Been talking to the Heiress quite a bit. She offered to send me the full amount of the theft.

Me: What? That’s insane! No.
Her: I already cut you a check, Logan. It’s fine. It’s just money.

I didn’t take it, though. Although, that was before the flood.

After the flood, she was concerned about our staying in the apartment and kindly offered to fly the boy and me down to Miami in her jet to stay at her home there for a bit.

If I wasn’t trying to keep an eye on things here, I woulda said yes.

Unfortunately, we had another misunderstanding that I’m still trying to wrap my head around. Communication is the hardest thing between any two people.

The thing is, both parties have to at least want to try and understand each other. I suppose it’s just easier to think that the other is a selfish narcissist, though.

Shame, though. Don’t meet too many smoking hot billionaires in my regular day-to-day.

Meeting the Heiress reminded me of two, very lovely, women I met way before I started this blog.

One was the daughter of a film director.

She had crashed her Lambo right before we met so she was a little banged up. Evidently, I was super nice to her, so she developed a crush on me. She told me that if I moved with her to Singapore, I would never have to work another day in my life.

Gotta say, as a 20-something, was kinda intrigued. But, I ended up saying, no. I did crash at her pad for a while before I locked down my current (flooding) pad.

Before that, I met a designer that had a good amount of success on her own, coupled with money from her father.

She also told me something along the lines of, “If you stay with me, you can just do what you want all day…as long as you love me.”

The problem was that I didn’t love her, despite all her great qualities. I didn’t love either of them.

Love’s a weird thing. There’s no rhyme or reason for why you fall in love with one person but not another.

But man, when you find love, it’s something else. I wouldn’t have given up the two women I actually loved for anything or anyone.

On that note, I spoke to the Doctor – whom I also dated in my 20s – briefly on the phone this week because I still manage one of her properties for her. Purely business but it was the first time I’d heard her voice in years. It was a head trip.

It was something a lot like love with her, but not love.

As I write this, I remember a night where Buckley and I drank with one of her uncles and he said that he would buy me a yellow Porche when we got married. I remember wondering why it had to be yellow. In hindsight, he probably had one he had to get rid of.

Lost touch with the FDD and the Designer but I last heard they were happy, as is the Doctor. That’s good.

Maybe I don’t fuck everything up.

Or maybe they’re not fucked up because they didn’t end up with me?

Don’t answer that.

Things like Porches, Lamborginis, and private jets are nice.

But I’d trade it all in a heartbeat for family and a quiet middle-class life with the boy and my person.

I came back to find that my fridge was busted.

My luck rings ever true.

Him: Well, that’s your problem right there, your motherboard burned out.
Me: The fridge has a motherboard?
Him: Yeah, man, it’s 2021, dontchaknow?

Location: a cafe, waiting for someone that was waiting for me at another cafe
Mood: suboptimal
Music: Ask me how I am, I’m getting by (Spotify)
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PSA: Talk to Someone

Mental Health Awareness Month 2021

May’s almost over, thank goodness, as it’s an awful month for me for reasons you probably already know.

Having said that, May’s also Mental Health Awareness Month and I wanted to get in this entry before the month was over.

This Thursday, I’m seeing a therapist again for the first time in over a decade-and-a-half. My buddy Miller’s been really supportive and encouraging for me to just talk to someone.

Should note that I’m actually not in a bad place right now, all things considered. But the insomnia’s  always just one poor food choice or one argument away. And that’s not a good thing, because my insomnia’s always a trigger to bigger problems.

With the kid and my age, I’ve gotta be extra vigilant to be ok.

That means brushing my teeth three times a day, exercising regularly, watching out for carbs, avoiding zombies, keeping up with the people important to me, and making sure that I’m on top of my mental health.

If you’re not making sure your health – mental and physical – is where it needs to be, you’re setting yourself up for a difficult time down the road.

Broken people become broken people over time.

After all, alla your life’s problems can be divided up into health, wealth, and relationships. So you should be spending a little bit of time on all three every day.

Being a gym rat, I meet tons of people that are also very attentive as to their physical health but I wonder if they’re equally watchful of their mental health.

The thing is, you gotta take care of your mental and physical health because when you’re not ok, it’s the people you love that pay the price.

Someone’s gotta pay for you to be alright, and it should be you and not them.

May’s almost over but attention as to your overall health never ends.

Him: Why do you go to the gym so much?
Me: So I can stay healthy and stay with you a long, long time.
Him: Will you go away?
Me: Someday. But not for a while.
Him: Not for a hundred thousand years?
Me: If I could stay with you until the end of the world, I would.
Him: That’s a long time!
Me: Not long enough, kiddo. When it comes to the people you love, there’s not enough time. There’s never enough time.

Location: Chinatown, eyeing the carbs
Mood: healthy
Music: It’s easy when you’re not around (Spotify)
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Tooth Fairy Logan

Achievement unlocked

Was brushing the kid’s teeth the other night when I reached down and noticed that his new teeth were growing behind his baby teeth instead of underneath.

So, late Sunday night, I contacted his dentist and set up an emergency morning procedure.

It was stressful. All this happened on the anniversary of Alison’s passing so I was already rough and this didn’t help.

Still, within 12 hours of finding this out, I had a procedure scheduled. I pride myself on getting shit done.

He was blissfully unaware Monday morning so, when it was around time for us to walk out the door for school, he said, “Why haven’t you started making lunch? It’s almost time to go!”

That’s when I told him we were going to the dentist.

He was sad and upset but only for literally a minute. In some ways, he’s what I always wished I was, like a reed – bending at bad news but then springing right back to normal.

Honestly, the whole experience could not’ve gone better. The dentist was a pro and the kid was a doll. 30 minutes later, it was all over.

Me: You get a burger for lunch and ice cream for dessert tonight.
Him: Yay! Will the Tooth Fairy come?
Me: I think so!
Him: (thinking) Does she come every night to check? How does she know when someone loses a tooth?

This kid’s really too smart for me to handle.

This is him counting his “money” – from the dentist – after everything was over and done with.

Note that he was high as a kite on laughing gas and that’s a story for another day.

Every year Mouse would come spend time with me on the 24th but she’s gone now.

But Chad was kind enough to show up to check in on me. He ended rolling with both me and the kid.

Thank goodness for the good souls, yeah?

The night was interesting.

Spent a solid 15 minutes trying to get into his room without waking him up and finding the teeth under his pillow.*

Once I found them, I bent over to pick up the crisp two dollars I lay on the floor and my knee made this insanely loud popping sound. I froze for a solid 90 seconds as he tossed around.

I would not make for a good burglar.

Anywho, he didn’t wake up and I managed to slip the two dollars near his pillow – didn’t want to chance getting this far and waking him up by slipping the bills underneath his pillow.

Level unlocked: Tooth Fairy.

Like everything else, it was bittersweet. This woulda been something fun and sweet to share it with, instead, it was just me and my bum knee.

OK, and Chad…I get why people look at us funny.

But the boy’s ok, and that’s all that really matters.

Him: (next morning) Papa, papa, the Tooth Fairy came! I got two dollars!
Me: Great! I get 10%.
Him: I thought she didn’t give me anything but I found the dollars next to the bed.
Me: You gotta believe in the system, kid.

*As an aside, whose bright idea was it to have this whole tooth fairy thing UNDER the pillow of a sleeping child?

If I manage to take over the world someday, that’s gonna be one of the things I’ll have to change.

That, world peace, and basic universal healthcare.

Location: earlier this week, my office, of all places
Mood: empty
Music: be okay, be okay, be okay (Spotify)
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