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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Inchoate Manslaughter notwithstanding

That’s a no

My brother came to town for a visit. He’s helped so many people in the world that his schedule was jam-packed cause everyone wanted to see him.

But, he stayed by me for a little while and it was good spending time with him and the boy.

Me: Uncle wants Thai food.
Boy: (confused) It’s food that’s tied?
Me: (nodding) Yes.

One benefit of having people around is that they can hear the kid speak so they know I’m not making up his peculiar little mannerisms.

For example, he was sitting on my friend KT’s lap when this happened:

Me: Do you want corned beef and cabbage for dinner?
Him: That’s a no.
Me: (to KT) OMG, I’m so glad you heard that.

Because my brother was here, plus my foot was feeling much better, I decided to head to gym early Saturday morning. My buddy Sean picked me up and off we went.

While there, I tried to be as careful as possible. But, during one exchange, this younger, and pretty tough, guy ended up taking the top position.

On the bottom, I did something called head-scissors that’s one of those moves that are generally though of as low-percentage in terms of getting a win – although Mouse managed to get a legit tap on Chad with them once – but I was really just trying to use it to get this guy off of me.

On the plus side, it worked.

On the negative side, after I got him off me, he started convulsing and his lips were blue.

Me: Holy fuckballs!

Now, Sean’s an EMT, which is good because it turns out that I’m absolute rubbish in a crisis. For example, I sat this guy up, exactly what I shouldn’tve done.

Sean: I got this.
Me: Good, cause I definitely don’t.

I’ve never put anyone out before, although I’ve gone out maybe twice?

It was probably the scariest thing that’s happened to me since I thought I was going to die during COVID.

I honestly thought I killed, or at least horribly injured someone. But he came to and was actually in better spirits than me.

Chad: (to the guy) Are you ok?
Him: I think so.
Me: Jesus, I’m not.

Ended up trying to break people’s legs for the remainder of class, which – trust me – was a lot less scary.

As a bonus, saw two of my buddies – Iron Chef and Robinson – get promotions. All-in-all, it was great day at the gym, inchoate manslaughter, not withstanding.

When I got back, my brother and I headed out to see my mom. It was a bit convoluted because I didn’t have the boy’s booster seat nor his heavy jacket so I had to scramble to make due.

The three of us – me, the kid, and my brother – eventually took the train to see them.

It was the first time in over a year that I gave my mom a hug. That’s nuts.

Me: Come here, lemme give you another hug.
Her: We just hugged!
Me: I’ll take another.

I’ve been thinking a lot of where I was last year at this time. To say that it was lonely is a massive understatement: There was no one in my building besides me. My son was away. I had no one at all but myself.

I’ll admit, a year later, that I thought some seriously dark thoughts during this time.

In some way, getting COVID was a good thing for my mental state. When I honestly thought I was going to die, I realized that I didn’t want to.

I remember thinking, in my fevered dreams, of something I heard once from a fella named Charles Perrow: “It is normal for us to die, but we only do it once.“

And I decided that I didn’t wanna use my one chance right then and there. I wanted to see the boy again.

Which is good, cause life’s worth living just to hear this kid talk.

Me: What else can you do there?
Him: (thinking) I can see my girlfriend in Brightview.
Me: I didn’t realize you have a girlfriend in Brightview.
Him: (shrugging) I do.
Me: (laughing) Charmer like you? I believe it.

Location: midday, around Oceanic Boil
Mood: exhausted
Music: If you ask me how I’m doing, I say “I’m alright” (Spotify)
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A Lucky Gold Star

Things change

I met up with my SIL in Hoboken with the kid for dinner. I wanted to go to Benny Tudinos.

Her: Why do you want to go there? There are so many better options!
Me: I thought the kid might like it.

Alison brought me there years ago, after I told her about Koronet Pizza here in the UWS – a place known for having absurdly large pizza slices.

She then told me to meet her in Hoboken where she brought me to Benny’s, which has something similar.

Walking there was the longest time I spent in Alison’s part of Hoboken since she died.

It was surreal and sad, and I’ll leave it at that.

In any case, I told the kid that the pizza was bigger than him and he was (somewhat) impressed when he saw it.

Her: (to him) Is it good?
Me: It’s pizza, of course it’s good to him.
Boy: (nods enthusiastically while eating)

I ordered a pitcher of sangria for us but she could only have a glass because she was driving so I finished the rest.

Ended up crashing early that night because of all the alcohol while the boy stayed over with her.

Just as well; it got me ready for Daylight Savings.

The next night, the buddy that I told you about in this entry was in my nabe and stopped by for dinner.

Me: Do you remember the two of us meeting?
Him: (thinking) I’m sorry, I don’t.
Me: (laughing) That’s fine. Mouse remembered the other guy I was with when we met and not me. That’s kinda how I like it – to blend into the background and not be seen unless I wanna be seen.
Him: Well, you accomplished that with both of us then!

When I was a kid, the thing I wanted the most of all was a ColecoVision. Similarly, my sister wanted their other insanely popular toy, the Cabbage Patch Kid.

We didn’t have much money so we got neither – but that’s neither here nor there.

When I got older, I found out that they were called Coleco because they were once the Connecticut Leather Company.

In a similar vein, when I was working for a Fortune 500 company, my boss gave me two jewels to manage: Samsung and LG. At they time, they were big but not the behemoths they are now.

When I went to the meeting with LG, I called them Lucky Goldstar a few times because that was their original name and what I knew them as, as a kid.

That’s when one of them stopped me in mid-sales pitch to tell me:

Him: We’re just LG. We stopped being Lucky Goldstar years ago. Please stop calling us that.

I was…mortified.

Eventually, everything got smoothed out but that and the ColecoVision story stayed with me all these years decades because it reminds me that things and people are more complex than we think and that reinvention is a lot more common than we think as well.

My buddy lost some friends because he’s changing and they don’t like that but that’s what people and things do.

When I was Hoboken, I wasn’t sure what bothered me more: The things that didn’t change and were exactly like they was when Alison and I were there or the things that had changed so very much.

The boy’s growing up quickly. He’s outgrown most of the clothes that I feel I just got for him.

And while I was writing this entry, Gio hit me up; he’s selling his apartment and moving upstate for more space for his family.

I was his attorney for that purchase, which happened way back in 2013. Seems like yesterday.

Everything keep changing on me but I have to remember that it’s usually good for them that they change, even though I want some things to stay the same.

I wish so many things stayed the same. Then again, I wish for a lotta things.

Him: When will I be a teenager?
Me: I suppose when you’re thirteen. That’s eight years from now.
Him: That’s a long time from now.
Me: Tomorrow always comes a day too soon. For now, just stay my little boy, ok?
Him: Ok, papa. (thinking) Eight years…wow…

Location: freezing on West 70th today
Mood: nostalgic
Music: the winds are always changing, and the clouds are rearranging (Spotify)
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We can breathe together

How’d it all go?

That post I wrote about years about about the grief button remains the truest thing about grief I know.

This past weekend was busy, tiring, and fun. Oh, so much fun.

Chad, who’s normally pretty funny, was messing up the shoot for everyone because he was just full-on hilarious.

Me: (to the director) You gotta leave if you can’t stop laughing.
Him: (though tears) I gotta, yeah. I gotta.

Hopefully, some of the insanely funny things he said will come across the videos.

And Mouse and I have been getting along better than we have in a while. Plus the kid’s been adorbs.

All-in-all, I’ve been doing pretty well. That is, until I did my taxes.

You see, Alison did our taxes because she was a math whiz. And when she got sick, I did them, as best I could. Been doing them ever since.

I just finished them up before our weekend shoot when I remembered that our tax software was linked up to Alison’s email addy so I signed in and…nuthin.

Evidently, Yahoo erases ALL YOUR FUCKING EMAIL if you don’t log on for a while. Which I didn’t. She had that email since she was a kid.

Everything that made her life hers, digitally, was there. Because she lived before texts and FB but after email so the bulk of her digital life – as it were – was on that.

Gone.

That gutted me.

But then I spoke to her mother and we both agreed that, because I never read her emails in the four years since she left, I never would have. And I have no business reading it because those were for her and not for the kid or me.

That brought me some peace. Still, it was a rough day/night.

Then today – the very next day – I got a phone call from my very last client that I did work for back in 2015 before Alison went into the hospital.

Him: I had a question I wanted to ask you so I hope you don’t mind my calling. Hey, how’d it all go your first child? Boy or girl? How’s momma?
Me: … I’m…outside right now him, actually. Can I call you back?
Him: (confused) Oh, sure. Sure. We’ll catch up later.

And it’s like I stepped on the grief button and just stood on it. Grief-stricken.

It hit me all at once. I remembered.

I remembered Alison telling me to take that one last gig because we would both be busy raising the kid for the first 60 days and we’d need the money.

Little did we know just how fucked up the first 60 548 days of the kid’s life would be.

My uncle, my other uncle, Nick, Kirk, my dad, Fouad, Luciano, I remembered them all at once today, vis-a-vis Alison. And it was too much to bear.

For just a moment, I felt the awful emptiness that I felt after Alison left.

I stood there with the most insane impostor syndrome feeling you could imagine.

The fuck are you doing, Logan? You’re not a dad, you can barely raise a houseplant. And you’re trying to raise a kid without her? Are you mad?

So, I just crumpled into the same park bench that Alison and I walked by a million times but never sat at because we never had a kid that needed watching on that goddamn park bench.

Him: Papa, papa, can I…wait, what happened?
Me: I…I hit something and it hurts. So, I had to sit down.
Him: Was it your foot? (I nod) I’m sorry it hurts.
Me: (deep breath) Thanks, kid. You go play. Papa needs to just breathe through it.
Him: I’ll stay with you. We can breathe together! (starts breathing deeply)
Me: OK. Thank you.

Location: Back in the basement of my brain, again
Mood: like the song below
Music: Shit, you’re a mess, you’re a mess, good God, you’re a mess (Spotify)
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I forgot

Seeing around the world

Son: You’re not watching the news?
Me: The DVR didn’t record for some reason.
Him: No news?! How are we going to see around the world?

I forgot my anniversary the other day. We got married exactly a decade ago.

Put another way, it would have been our ten-year anniversary this week.

My son’s first sitter was in town so he spent the day with her while I worked on my taxes and some personal items. I just forgot.

I wonder what’s better: That I forgot and it was a productive day or that I remembered and drank myself into a stupor.

Logically, it’s what actually happened but that damn guilt again.

Survivor’s guilt is real and devastating. Every good moment I have with the boy, there’s some small part of me that feels that it should be Alison here seeing the kid laugh or say something brilliantly hilarious.

After all, nothing really compares to a mother’s love.

Even though I love the boy so, she woulda loved him more.

Me: I made you something to drink.
Him: Yes! Cold lemonade is soooo good on a hot sunny day.

In some ways, he’s lucky that he didn’t know her; he has no idea what he’s lost.

Realized that I forgot it tonight while taking and shower and my knees went weak.

I must have stayed in there a really long time because when I came out…

Him: What took you so long?
Me: I had to make sure I was clean.
Him: That long? You are super clean!
Me: (laughing) Yes, I’m super clean. (sighing)
Him: Oh. You were thinking of mommy.
Me: Yes, my smart little boy. I was.

Another anniversary without the person the anniversary was for.

And just like that, I’m back in the basement of my brain again.

Location: I just told you
Mood: guilty
Music: love never lasts (Spotify)
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To know them

Is to love them

Mouse and I’ve been fighting. Hard to say why, exactly.

I tell you that as background to the following conversation.

Me: I need a favour. My uncle died and I need to know if you can watch the boy and lend me your car on Monday so I can say, “goodbye.”
Her: What time?
Me: 9AM to 1PM or so?
Her: OK. I’m sorry about your uncle.
Me: I am too. And thank you.

And that’s Mouse in a nutshell. To know her is to love her.

She came by, right on time, and immediately started chilling with the boy while I dashed off in my black suit and shirt to go someplace that no one ever wants to go.

Didn’t sleep a wink the night before so I got there in a complete haze.

When I arrived, I texted my cousins – the two children of my uncle and a third from my other uncle, his older brother. It was the first time I saw all of them since Alison and I got married.

I sat outside in the cold car trying to steel myself to enter. I called Mouse, ostensibly to check in on the boy.

Her: Are you ok?
Me: Honestly? No.
Her: You got this. We’ll be here when you get back.
Me: OK.

So I went in.

I said hi to my uncle’s son first and wanted to say hi to the daughter and my aunt but I couldn’t. I just stood quietly in the corner.

Funerals should always be about the person that died, not some rando that shows up and makes a scene so I composed myself as best I could.

After a bit, I walked over to the daughter, and then my aunt, who sat with my other cousin, and said hello. I’d still not really walked up to my uncle yet. I was putting that off.

I told my aunt I was sorry and she just nodded. She looked old and she never looks old. Rather, she looked shellshocked and I knew that look. Think I looked that way for most of 2017.

Finally gathered up the courage to go to my uncle and when I saw him, I had to laugh. He wore a suit but under the suit was a red CARVEL tee-shirt.

Of course, that was so perfectly him. He was so proud of his store and his work.

My mom told me to tell him some things from her…

I’m sorry you had to go through this. You didn’t deserve it. But you’re with grandma and grandpa now. And if you see my dad, please tell him we miss him, terribly. And we miss you.

…but I added my own little thing.

You never met Alison but you would have loved her. She always said she couldn’t wait for the three of us to head over to Carvel and eat as much ice cream as we possibly could. If you see her, tell her the boy and I love her so very much. She’ll want some ice cream, but not plain vanilla. Ah, the boy and her woulda both loved you and you, them.

Don’t remember much else. I did see a dozen women show up, crying. These were all the girls he hired across 30+ years. I overheard one woman say that she met her husband at that ice cream shop and that she loved my uncle.

Realized then that that was the reason he was my favourite uncle: To know him was to love him. Just like my mom, my dad, Alison, and all the people I’ve loved in my life.

On the way back, I got lost – even with GPS – at least three times.

And when I tried to gas up Mouse’s whip, my card was declined but then my phone rang asking me if I would authorize the charge.

I clicked yes and bam, it worked.

Wonder what tiny but amazing things the kid’ll see that I’ll never see.

Me: I should be back by 2.
Her: We didn’t eat lunch yet.
Me: Don’t wait for me, there’s some brined pork in the…
Her: We’re waiting for you to come back and make us lunch.
Me: Done. It’s a deal.

Location: earlier this week, Hamilton, NJ, thinking of rocky roads
Mood: heavy
Music: not asking for a miracle(Spotify)

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Blogarama - Observations Blogs

My baby brother ran away

Goodnight, JoJo

My uncle died from COVID yesterday, just after noon. That’s him with my grandma and how I picture both of them in my head. I loved them both, very much.

My mother said the saddest thing when she told me. What she said in Chinese was, My little brother ran away.

That’s what broke me that day. He was my uncle, but he was her baby brother.

He was actually my favourite uncle because he always seemed thrilled to see us. He owned and operated a Carvel in NJ for decades and none of us ever saw him without coming back with a cooler full of ice cream.

The mayor of that town wrote a nice little something about him.

He was as good and decent a human being as the universe allows, just like my mom and everyone else from her family.

He didn’t deserve to die and certainly not like this. COVID. But I suppose that’s true for the vast majority of the people that die from this stupid virus.

His family – my cousins and aunt – are grieving because this came out of left field for them.

It’s not my story to tell so I’ll stop here.

As for me, I feel a tremendous amount of guilt. Because, while I grieve for my uncle’s death, I really grieve more for Alison’s.

You see, whenever some tragedy happens, you also get some bullshit bonus.

Like if you lose your job, the bullshit bonus might be that you can’t pay rent and also get kicked outta your apartment.

Or if you crash and destroy your car, the bullshit bonus might be that you can’t walk again.

The bullshit bonus that my uncle’s family has to deal with is stuff like who’s gonna manage the store and how are they gonna to set up the funeral?

I know this because I dealt with things like that too. I wasn’t ready. No one ever is.

This fucking cancer took so much from me, from my family.

Actually, it took my family.

I laughed when I wrote that last sentence. Because what else can one do?

That’s why it’s bullshit and why it’s bonus: Cause more just randomly shows up at your doorstep when you least expect it.

The bullshit bonus I hate the most is that I don’t grieve like normal people.

When my dad died, I felt like…20% of what I should have felt for this man I loved and that loved me so. I was his boy and he was my dad.

But all I could think was, “At least he lived longer than Alison.”

How. Fucked. Up. Is. That?

I loved my old man. God, I loved him. Like a fat kid loves cake.

And yet, all I could think about was all that Alison had been cheated out of. The same for Fouad. Nick. Kirk. My Uncle Jay. And now my Uncle Nelson, whom I used to call JoJo.

It’s not right. It’s not fair.

They deserved to be more than mirrors and magnifying glasses to Alison and yet, that’s all I can muster. And the guilt from that is just more bullshit bonus.

I’m rambling. I’m sorry.

Everything’s fucked up and nothing’s right in my head anymore. Nothing’s been right since November 2015.

My uncle took us all fishing once, when I was a kid.

I remember being so deliriously happy that day and I thought he was the coolest guy ever. He deserved so much more than this.

Son: You’re thinking of mommy.
Me: Yes. I’m thinking of family. How did you know?
Him: You went (breathes deeply)
Me: (nodding) You’re a smart boy.
Him: Are you sad?
Me: Now, how sad could I be? I have you.

Location: hell
Mood: guilty
Music: Get back to where you once belonged(Spotify)

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Bright-line rules

Life is easier when decisions are made for you

Him: Regular shipping is free but it’ll take 7-12 days to get to you.
Me: What about 2-day shipping?
Him: That’ll cost as much as the sled.
Me: OK, I’ll take that, please.
Him: Are you sure? You might get it as soon as five days.
Me: I’m sure. Thank you.

Ended up ordering a sled via express mail; it was an astronomical sum to pay for a $10 slab of plastic. But I promised the kid I’d get him one before all the snow melted so I had to keep my promise.

When I was nearly broke after college, my roommate Joe asked me to deliver an envelope to someone and made me promise that I would. I did and ended up losing it.

Him: There was $3,500 in it, Logan!
Me: I’ll get it back to you by tomorrow.
Him: (shakes head) You’re gonna get me $3,500 tomorrow? How?
Me: I’ll find a way.

And I did.

The hows and whys are a wholly different story, but I kept my word.

Handed him an envelope the very next day with $3,500 in it in 1998, when $3,500 meant something.

Ate tuna fish for about a year afterward and I was known as the guy in law school that always had a can of tuna fish in his bag.

Still can’t really eat tuna fish all that much.

I think this is all because of that story about Apollo and his son I told you about a while back. I remember reading that and wanting to be a person of my word, no matter the cost. I would draw the line at my son’s life, but up to that…

Years ago, Rain – who argued with me as much as anyone – got drunk once and told everyone that if he had one call in jail in Panama, he would call me. Because he knew that, if I told him I’d take care of it, it’d be taken care of.

Your reputation is your brand and I try to stay on-brand as much as possible, because it defines me to everyone else, but also because it defines me to me.

Our reputations bring us places.

It also just makes life a lot easier because my rules are bright lines that tell me the choice that I have to make. I have no say in the matter.

After Alison died, I was a shell of the person I once was but my rules helped me operate when I could only operate at fractional capacity.

If that.

Spent the past few days making up for the day I didn’t have the sled. Today, while we were out, I met a young Asian father with two kids sledding down the hill on a pizza box.

Me: Hey, man, do you wanna borrow my sled? I was in your exact situation just a few days ago.
Him: (walking towards me) Oh, that’s really kind of you. (leaning in, lowering voice) Actually, I’m going to decline because…
Me: (interrupting) COVID?
Him: (laughing, whispering) Ah, yeah, no. I just don’t want them to know how good a real sled is because I don’t think I can get one for them.
Me: (nodding) I get it.
Him: Thanks though, you’re the only one that offered.
Me: No problem. Lemme know if you change your mind.

He didn’t. As for the kiddo, after a few rough sled rides, I insisted that he wear a helmet – also courtesy of Cappy.

Eventually, he got the hang of everything.

Me: Do you like your sled?
Son: I love it! Thank you.
Me: You’re welcome. I always keep my promises. Remember that, kid. Be someone that people can trust.
Him: OK, papa!

Location: earlier today, this perfect hill
Mood: much better
Music: Thought I couldn’t live without you(Spotify)

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