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Two Pizza Joints, an Indian Restaurant, and a Park – Pt 3

The Cavalier’s dream

After Blond Banker left, I walked past the station and ended up walking down that, somewhat familiar, street. Vaguely remembered how to get to the GBA’s old pad.

Last I heard, she had a kid or two and is living in the City with them and her fella.

But 20 years ago, she lived around here. Somewhere. And this was the street I walked down to get to her then pad.

Walked by this Indian restaurant and remember that this was maybe our first date place? I don’t remember.

My memory’s like Swiss cheese these days. But it was definitely this restaurant where we went on one of our earlier dates. I think she paid.

Had just bought my apartment a little before I met her – maybe a year or two earlier?

Was looking into possibly getting a second place at the Majestic Theatre Condos, which was a theatre that just turned into condos. Don’t think it was open yet at the time.

But back to my story; I was still kinda lit so I just went with my instincts and ended up outside Van Vorst Park, which is where we used to hang out from time-to-time.

Couldn’t – for the life of me – remember which apartment building was hers but I knew I was on the right street.

Oddly, I remember the address of a nearby building, 285 Varick Street. This is because the owner wanted to sell us the building, which had a deeded parking spot, for $800,000.

It seems she sold it for $895,000 back in 2006 and it’s selling again for a cool $2 million now.

Wonder what my life would be like right now if GBA and I bought the building and just stayed there. We’d probably be divorced.

Because we weren’t each other’s person, obviously.

Never did figure out which one was her exact building. That’s 285 Varick Street, above, not her actual old pad.

I taught myself how to forget because of her and it seems that it’s worked like gangbusters.

Still, I do remember that, the week I met her, there was a snowstorm when I’d gone to visit her for the first time and we ended up getting snowed in that weekend.

I remember that we had a snowball fight but I don’t remember much else.

For this entry, I dug up a picture someone (her roomie?) took of us that day. I was 29, almost exactly two decades ago.

Have almost no pictures of her because I wasn’t yet into photography and no one’s camera on their phones were worth a damn.

There’s a song by Pink Floyd called, The Gunner’s Dream that has the lines:

Floating down, through the clouds
Memories come rushing up to meet me now
But in the space between the heavens
And the corner of some foreign field
I had a dream

Suppose that’s what I was expecting: To walk down the street and have my memories come rushing up to meet me.

All I could remember was that she had two cats. I forgot their names. She liked scarves and adrenaline. Struggled to remember anything else.

See, when I decide to do something, I go all out. I wanted to forget her and she’s almost completely gone from my head.

We had something-a-lot-like-love but not actual love.

Because true love is a self-proving thing; it either stays with you forever, or you struggle to remember anything you did together.

Spoke to my therapist about it today.

Her: But, it’s what you wanted isn’t it? To forget her, completely and move on?
Me: Yes, but I thought maybe they’d still be there, somewhere in my head. My memories.
Her: But it worked, didn’t it? You forgot her so was able to move on and meet Alison.
Me: Yes, but, now I’m forgetting Alison. I’m forgetting so much.
Her: You’re surviving. That’s why you do it. Because it works.
Me: Suppose you’re right. But what are we, if we’re not our memories?


In any case, I walked back to the station and headed home. I felt like I visited a ghost. It didn’t feel good, at all.

Started remembering things of a friend from years ago who disappeared. And nuthin made sense.

In the first entry of this brief series, wrote that my past came to visit me and I went to visit my past.

Suppose it would be more accurate to say that my past came to visit me and I went to visit someone else’s possible past.

Because, while I know it was mine, it didn’t feel like mine at all.

My memories are all copies-of-a-copy-of-a-copy.

Just realized now that, perhaps, I’m a copy and the real me is out there somewhere.

Man, wouldn’t that be something?

Location: Penn Station this afternoon, to go get my treasure
Mood: fake
Music: Night after night, going ’round and ’round my brain, his dream is driving me insane (Spotify)
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Two Pizza Joints, an Indian Restaurant, and a Park – Pt 1

Simple things of kindness

Recently, my past came to visit me and I went to visit my past.

Regarding the former, my buddy Ed came into town with his kid the other day. His son’s heading off to NYU this fall as a freshman.

I met him here via my then-girlfriend, the Doctor. He actually ended up living in my building for a spell, which was maybe 20 years ago?

It’s funny, we used to hang out alla time, but we lost touch after he moved back to Cali. My life is a series of endless venn diagrams.

It was such a kick-in-the-head to see him here with his almost-adult son.

Brought them to John’s Pizzeria at Times Square so they could (a) check it out since it’s in an old cathedral and (b) they wanted really good, authentic NYC pizza, which this definitely was.

The last time I went, it was October of 2017 with Gradgirl. She said it was an awful date – it might have been one of our first – and she wasn’t wrong.

Didn’t tell you about that because I was such a mess back then. Not that I’m not still starkers now.

Do think that, if circumstances were different, she and I might have had something. Maybe even a fatty of our own right now.

Fucking cancer is the awful gift that keeps on giving.


On a related note, it’s funny, for a long time, I divided up my life by the women I seriously dated/cared for.

Everything’s been such a mess since…you know…

Everything and everyone just blends together into a soupy, grey, mess.

Anywho, it was nice seeing Ed and his kid. I joked that, despite us being roughly the same age, I had a second-grader while he had a freshman in college.

Me: Give me a buzz if you need anything. I’ve been here my whole life and I’ll probably die here too.
Him: For sure, thanks! (later) Anyplace else we should head to?
Me: (thinking) Go to Hudson Yards. I always loved that place.

As for the latter, and on the topic of ex-girlfriends and my past, that’s a much longer story.

Essentially, I tried to visit an old version of myself but it didn’t pan out – at all – like I’d hoped. Lemme explain:

It all started when I hit up Blond Banker to see if she wanted to catch a show (totally as friends).

She countered with an invite to go to a mixer with some co-workers of hers for a project that she was volunteering for – out in Jersey City.

Her: I’m going to Barcade tonight. You can come to that if you want
Me: Hmm, ok, I’m down! Any particular dress code or just don’t be a schlub?
Her: Just how you’d dress for Barcade.

Since she wasn’t planning on getting there until after 6:30, I slipped into kali for 45 minutes before I hopped the PATH across the river.

On the way there, I sat down next to this one hulking dude and he turned to me and said, That’s a cool tee-shirt, man.

I got two more compliments before I arrived in Jersey City and one more when I was at the bar.

Man, simple things of kindness really make your day, don’t they?

Me: Get home safe, man!
Him: (smiling broadly) Oh, you too!

The last time I went to Grove Street in Jersey City, was May 5th, 2013 – Cinco de Mayo – almost a decade ago.

Alison and I went there for a chili cookoff and we met up with a couple from my old gym. Don’t think I ever saw them again.

Venn diagrams, like I said.

This was almost a decade ago in 2013. I have pictures of alla these randos but not of Alison.

It hurts because I keep thinking, if Alison was alive, I could ask her questions like what did we wear and what was that game we played?

Do you know how many pictures I have of her that day? Zero. Zero fucking pictures, because she didn’t like being photographed.

Sigh.

I’ll pick this up tomorrow. Suddenly got super tired.

Location: tonight, having my arm relentlessly attacked in kali
Mood: thoughtful
Music: God knows it’s not supposed to be easy (Spotify)
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Still speaking Martian, Pt 1

With a Queens accent

Him: I don’t wanna go to camp!
Me: I wish I had camp as a kid! (annoyed) For goodness sakes, why not?!
Him: (sadly) I don’t want to be away from you, Papa!

Well, I’m a jerk.

Just got back from a 12-hour Scenic Fights shoot. Pac, Chad, and the resta the crew are still there shooting.

I suppose that I’ll tell you more about the shoot some other time but Pac was there along with the producer, who – like Pac and me – grew up in Queens.

Pac: (insert very questionable language here)
Me: It’s funny. I spent years trying to hide my Queens accent and speech patterns and you highlight it.
Him: Why would you do that?
Me: (shrugging) Long story. You know, I stopped cursing when I was 18 and started up again just a few years ago?

Told you once that I read the entire side of a library once. But never told you why.

What were your summers like as a kid? Camp? Parties? Just hanging out with friends in a basement?

Mine were nuthin like that at all.

Like I said, I grew up poor. Really poor. Air conditioning was essentially non-existent.

But the local library had air conditioning and both my parents worked full time.

So, every summer from third to roughly seventh grade was about the same: I would wake up, eat, and walk to the library – either by myself or with my mom – and sit at the entrance of the library and wait for it to open.

Here’s what it looks like, same as it did when I was nine years old.

I knew the librarian there so well. She wore a red sweater no matter what the temperature was outside because, man, that AC inside was kicking.

I was always the only kid sitting outside, waiting for the library to open, unless my brother or sister were with me. Then I/we would go in and read.

I read until they kicked me out. They literally kicked me out every night. Although I did head home in the middle of the day for lunch.

This lady named Susan Wiggs once said that, “You’re never alone when you’re reading a book.” And that makes sense to me because those books were my friends.

I read entire series of books – every single one of the Little House books, all the Narnia ones (The Horse and His Boy was always my fave – The Silver Chair sucked.), all the Great Brain books, all the Sherlock Holmes books, all the Tom Brown books, the entirety of the World Book Encyclopedia – for serious – all of Bullfinch’s Mythology, etc.

By the time I was 15, I was reading 750 words a minute. I still read about 650-750 words a minute.

I read the entire fucking wall. It took me four summers. But I read that whole goddamn wall.

These were my friends. My only friends, for most of my childhood.

It doesn’t make one well socialized. At least, not for a long while.

Ultimately, though, you either change, the world changes, or a little bit of both.

Him: Cursing is fucking great.
Me: (nodding) It’s fucking great.

I told the Counselor about my summers not that long ago. She found it both sad and endearing, which was really sweet of her.

There’s a point to alla this, though.

But it’s super late and my brain’s feels heavy, so I’ll tell you the rest tomorrow.

EDIT: Day after tomorrow. Got injured at the gym being dumb. Again.

Location: 8:42PM, just catching the train before having to wait 12 minutes for the next one, on 14th Street
Mood: nostalgic
Music: Every day’s another day to have the best day with you (Spotify)
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Everybody wants to rule the world

That must be nice

When my dad dropped me off at college, he gave me a hug and told me loved me before he left.

My suitemate – who was also Chinese – marveled at that.

Him: I don’t think my dad ever told me that he loved me.
Me: Really?
Him: Yeah. It’s not a really Chinese thing to do. Was he born here?
Me: (laughing) No, not at all.
Him: Oh. (quiet) That must be nice.

When I was a really young adult, I went to this rooftop party and chatted with this pretty girl. I suppose to impress her, I hopped onto the parapet while we were speaking.

Decades later, I still remember her eyes widening in horror. “Dude, we’re like 20 stories up! Get down from there!”

I remember laughing and hopping back down but then glancing over and realizing just how stupid that was. It was a straight drop down onto the Manhattan pavement.

The rest of the night was a disaster as I fully absorbed the what-if of that whole scenario.

The war in Ukraine eats at me for any number of reasons, least of which is the inequity of everything. These people were literally just living their lives when some douchebag decided to start murdering people, including pregnant women and unborn children.

And therein lies my own personal nexus with the matter.

Unlike Russia, which has been called the world’s gas station, Ukraine has a number of industries that the world relies upon. One major shadow industry they have is surrogacy:

It’s one of the only countries in the world where you can legally pay someone to have your own biological child.

For reasons we don’t need to get into now – although I’m sure you can guess – since 2021, I’ve been heavily researching surrogacy. To the point where I got one of my Russian speaking friends to speak to an agency about costs and procedures.

Fast forward to now. There are hundreds – if not thousands – of day/week/month-old infants whose biological parents are probably emotional wrecks knowing that their child – possibly their only chance to ever have a child ever – is being kept alive by nurses that are literally risking their lives just to keep them somewhat alive.

Man, Putin is really a special kinda motherfucker. Women really should rule the world.

It’s heartbreaking and maddening and yet another thing that pulls me away from the golden mean.

Just like the what-if of my parapet jump comes out of nowhere from time-to-time to haunt me, I’m haunted by the what-if I sent one of my only chances to have another biological child of mine and Alison’s to a warzone?

Would I try to get her, somehow? Or stay here to take care of the boy and not risk leaving him alone in the world?

Would she roam the world wondering who her parents were? Would she even be alive? Would people be nice to her? Would she be nice to people? Would she know she had a brother? Would she know I loved her?

Would she have Alison’s laugh?

 

 

Shit.

Him: Why are they doing that?
Me: I don’t know. I suppose everybody wants to rule the world.
Him: Do you?
Me: (thinking) If only to keep you safe. (later) I love you, you know?
Him: (laughing) I know.

Location: earlier tonight, just off West End Avenue and W. 79th Street, waiting
Mood: so conflicted
Music: It’s my own design, it’s my own remorse (Spotify)
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Then let’s go

Who knows about tomorrow?

One thing that the kid takes after me is that he runs hot. He often doesn’t wear a jacket out and I see parents looking at me as if I’m crazy.

But, I figure, he knows when he’s uncomfortable so I’m gonna respect that.

On that note, I’ve been wrestling with bringing my son to jits these days because of his eczema.

But, from everything I’ve been researching, most kids grow out of it so I’m hoping that this is just because our apartment is obscenely dry.

Hoping that the summer will be much better for him.

My very first girlfriend came from this very wealthy family. In 1990, her weekly allowance was $100, which is about $215 in 2022 purchasing power.

Mine was $20, I think?

At that time, I thought McDonalds was eating out, but she took me to places like Tavern on the Green and the restaurant at Rockefeller Center.

For our one-month “anniversary,” I bought her a pair of cheap gold-plated earrings; she got me a limited edition automatic Fendi watch. It was strange and different.

I think that the people that we let into our lives leave pieces of themselves with you – again, that whole you’re the average of the five people thing I always talk about.

She was not the nicest person and, because she was my first girlfriend, she left a lot of her good and bad traits and outlooks with me. How I look at dating, women, relationships, etc.

I think that, even some three decades later, I’m still trying to rid myself of bad traits people leave with me, including hers.

On the flip side, after Alison died, I left most of my old friends – who probably represent some of the best parts of me – because they were a constant reminder of her to me but, enough time has passed that it’s not that sharp anymore, which is one of the reasons I’m seeing them more these days.

One person I see somewhat regularly is her best friend. We actually don’t talk about Alison all that much but she’s a constant presence in our conversations, regardless.

It’s nice because I still feel connected to Alison in these small ways as I disconnect with others.


It’s strange. I feel like the past six years, my life was lived by someone else, someone I feel sorry for. He suffered, Alison suffered. It was all just shit.

Over a decade ago, I wrote about St. Augustine and how he ran into a prostitute that he used to visit before he became St. Augustine. The story goes that she tried to get his attention and when he walked past her, she said, Augustine, it is I.

And he replied without stopping, Yes, but it is not I. Because he wasn’t that guy any more. He looked like him but was not him.

That’s kind of how I feel again. I remember the horror and sadness, but I almost feel detached from it. It was me but not me.

Suppose it’s a survival mechanism but I do need to survive after all, so it makes sense.

Anywho, it was actually the second time I wrote about St. Augustine because, five years prior to that, I felt the same way.

Honestly, I don’t remember either guy at all – neither the 2006 version of me, nor the 2011 version of me.

If there is anything I have of value, for better or worse, it is the ability to survive and forget. Blessed are the forgetful, for they get the better even of their blunders.

I remember seeking the Golden Mean in 2006, again in 2011, and again now. It’s not ideal but it’s better than the alternative, I suppose.

Her: Are you ok?
Me: (shrugging) I am today. Who knows about tomorrow?

On that note, I limit myself to only a few articles a day about what’s happening in Ukraine. I feel my blood boil and the emotions rise again when I read about pregnant women being attacked in a hospital for, really, nothing but money.

This article about a man losing his entire family set me off for a while before I put it away in head.

His wife was 43, his son Mykyta was 18 and daughter Alisa was nine, when they were murdered this past Sunday.

All I could think was that, if it was me, I would burn the entire world down and wouldn’t stop until someone killed me. Hardly a healthy mental state.

And this fucked up world is the world I’m bringing this kid up in.

I wonder if my buddy was right about the ethics of having a kid. But it’s too late, regardless, I’m in it. We’re in it.

I’ve gotta make sure he’s ready.

Him: Are we going to jiu-jitsu?
Me: Do you want to go?
Him: Yes!
Me: (laughing) Then let’s go.

Location: earlier today, watching him do an armbar for the first time
Mood: affectionate
Music: you ain’t coming home. I am your family tree (Spotify)
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Taking it apart

My pretty but dead dreams

I built that crib with Alison on September 13th, 2015. She was in her last trimester at the time and insisted that she help but I had her just direct for the most part.

Seven years later, I finally took it apart.

Well, not me, a fella from my gym that helps us out with stuff. I couldn’t do it.

Just like when my friends came by to paint it at the height of COVID two years ago, it was just something that I kept putting off.

Alison took that picture above, almost as a joke. I didn’t know she had brain cancer at that moment.

Put it off for two things, really.

One was Alison, of course. She was a part of that crib, just like she was a part of how that room used to look. The other was that I think I was hoping that maybe Mouse and I might have a kid of our own.

But they’re both gone now and the kid deserves to have a bed that matches his age instead of me clinging onto all my pretty, but dead, dreams.

When my buddy left, I sat down to finish the bottle of rum I’ve had sitting on my countertop.

I always have a bottle of fine aged rum on my countertop.

But, I decided against it and put it back. Had a cup of tea instead.

Baby steps, yeah?

Do you see the little boy’s outfit hanging on the closet knob in the background?

For a while now, I’ve been giving a lot of the kid’s clothes to Mouse to send off to her relative in the Ukraine.

The kid last wore that in December of 2019, when we went to that Christening in NJ. I always thought the kid looked adorbs in it.

That was something that I’d been meaning to give her for some time now, along with some other stuff for them, but I just hadn’t gotten around to it.

The thought that there’s some little boy running around in Ukraine, scared and confused, younger than my own kid, wearing my kid’s clothes, bothers me in a way I can’t fully express except to say that it’s fucking bullshit.

He’d be the same age as my kid was in that pic above.

It’s bullshit that some innocent kid has to pay for a billionaire’s greed for more fucking money.

I wonder if he’s dressed in one of my son’s outfits now. It bothers me because – but for time and tide – that couldn’ve been my kid.

Well, I guess I could express it, after all…

Doesn’t make it any less bullshit. Maybe I should have that drink after all.

 

Her: Why didn’t you tell me you were in LA? I would have seen you.
Me: I know. I had a lot going on. Have.
Her: What’s new? You’ll see me next time, though, yes?
Me: Of course, darling. Promise.
Her: (laughing) You and your promises.

Location: earlier today, waiting for the pool shower
Mood: trying to stay in the golden mean
Music: I don’t really feel bad news anymore (Spotify)
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I only have two modes

Getting Old is a Gift

A few weeks ago:

Her: Here. You want some?
Me: No, I’m good, darling.
Her: (laughing) I thought you were a lawyer, not a cop.
Me: It’s not that. I’m only have two modes: Way too much or not at all.

Decades ago, I was in a club called Club USA for work when I was called upstairs to chat with the big mucky-muck.

There was a mirrored platter – maybe it was just a mirror, I don’t remember – with a mountain of cocaine on it. They motioned for me to sit down and the fella that called me upstairs handed me a rolled-up piece of paper.

Me: No, I’m good.
Him: What are you, a cop?
Me: No. I had some earlier and I don’t wanna overdo it.

That was a bald-faced lie, I was just scared.

The clubs were always swimming in drugs but I never took any because I was a club producer not a club consumer. But I was certain I’d be seen as what I thought myself to be: A fake and a poser.

After what seemed to be forever, the main guy looked at me and…

Him: (slowly nodding) Never had one of you say no. It’s good to know your limits, kid. So, what’s your offer?

And that was the start of my twenties in NYC, which were pretty nuts. Too bad I didn’t have a blog back then.

Funny thing is, a fella joined my gym earlier this week and brought up Rain, who did have a blog during that crazy time.

Him: …I was part of all that. Like AsianAvenue.
Me: (laughing) Do you remember Rain?
Him: Wait, you’re Logan from Bachelor Cooking?
Me: That was a lifetime ago, but yeah.

Thought about that because I got an invite to a party thrown by my friends around the way.

Last time, it was me and the Gymgirl at The Time Warner Center. This time, it was me and the kid on an entire floor at the Park Hyatt.

As soon as we walked in, we saw RE Mike and his wife, Maggie.

Her: OMG, that’s your son? He’s so big now! He’s adorable.
Me: It’s good, because I’m required by law to keep him another 11 years.

It was a great night – the kid sang all the songs and danced up a storm – well, until people took note of a little kid singing along to all the current pop songs.

Her: How does he know all these songs?
Me: Heck if I know, he just does.

Then he just wrapped his arms around me and asked to go back the table.

But he spent most of the night with Maggie and all the other women I knew there at the party.

Which is just as well, because I’m worried that he might be developing a gambling habit.

The funny thing is that my buddy from around the way, me, and RE Mike used to head out on the town together and hit up the clubs.

They remember when I met the German Girl at a local dive bar and any number of other random women/outings.

And now we’re having filet mignon and tuna tartare with champagne at the Park Hyatt with a live band, professional dancers, and more entertainment than you can shake a stick at.

Although, it’s good I didn’t bring any sticks to shake.

It’s also good having success models as friends.

Speaking of friends, my friend Sue wrote me recently, noting that she was sad she was getting older.

Me: I get it but I appreciate the luxury of being able to get old at all. As you know, I know too many that don’t have that. So try to be grateful that I can get old at all.
Her: You’re right, that’s something to be thankful for.

Every day is a gift.  And these gifts are even better when they’re with good and old friends.

Me: Thanks for always including us. We so appreciate it.
Her: Of course. We love you both.

And family.

Location: earlier today, at a swimming pool wondering if I should jump in
Mood: grateful
Music: You gotta wake up every morning, see the day as a gift
(Spotify)
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Success models

We can’t stay here

The dinner itself was fun and the food was killer. It was also good to see the fellas outside of the gym and in our regular selves.

Him: I’m starting up a new venture with some big Hollywood stars.
Me: Do you need a lazy, high-functioning alcoholic lawyer?
Him: Oh, we have one of those already.
Me: Dammit.

It was so much, in fact, that we ended up staying out until they turned on the lights in the restaurant.

Him: I think they’re trying to tell us something.
Me: Yeah, we don’t have to go home, but we can’t stay here.

Most of what we discussed is unprintable, either because it was about the business or because it was about our personal lives.

Him: …and then the kid and his friends came out with guns and started firing.
Me: Well, I’m not visiting you there, then.

Told you once that you’re the average of the five people that you spend the most time with. These people should be your success models: The people we wanna be.

But there are probably just as many failure models in your life as there as success models. These are the people that are people like the consistently poor decision-makers, the immature, the selfish, the willfully ignorant, etc. Unfortunately, it’s a lot easier to end up with failure models than success models.

Him: I remember some of the advice he gave me.
Me: Man, taking business advice from him is like taking relationship advice from someone that’s never been in a good one.

Chad and I know a fella that’s super-focused on building, essentially, a martial arts cult for some mythical yesteryear versus a commercially successful business for 2022 NYC.

It’s mental masturbation full of nonsense versus concerted, dispassionate grind. And a life focused on mental masturbation produces precisely the same result as a life focused on actual masturbation. After all, if you keep doing what you do, you keep getting what you get.

He’s our walking, talking, cautionary tale.

In the end, we picked the investors because they’re all very successful in their respective fields and all had a skill or attribute that would be a tangible benefit to the gym and each other.

A plus is that they’re all extremely good fighters in their respective arts, which helps if you’re running a martial arts gym.

It stopped raining when we finally left.

Me: We should do this again, soon.
Investor 1: I’m away for the next three months at [a resort I own]. You guys should visit.
Investor 2: I’m away for the next two months in [the Caribbean with my family].
Investor 3: I’m in Europe for a day for work this week but back for the holidays and then traveling again.
Me: Clearly, I’ve made some poor life choices. If I didn’t have the kid in school…

Speaking of the kid, he and I put up a Christmas tree together. I bought a slightly larger tree than the one that was damaged, and I had to toss.

It was the first time we decorated a tree together. Man, he was so happy. I told him the story – as best I could – of each ornament, alla which had a story with them.

Him: The bell really works!
Me: (laughing) Yes, yes it does.
Him: It’s so cool! (thinking) I miss mommy.
Me: (sighing)

When he went to bed, I sat there and just stared at the tree for a while before I poured myself a glass of fine aged rum and thought about all of my possible pasts.

God, I fucking hate the holidays.

Location: earlier yesterday evening, looking at diamond rings
Mood: hopeful
Music: He’s been living in a pure illusion (Spotify)
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Déjà vu with burgers and lobsters

A business dinner

Me: I think I’ve been here before.
Him: You don’t remember being at a place called Burgers & Lobster?
Me: (pointing to wall) Well, I remember seeing lobster pots at a restaurant I went to, but that whole time was a blur.
Him: (laughing) I’m gonna say you’ve been here before.

The other investors of Paxibellum and I had our end-of-year dinner this week to go over where we were with the gym.

I screwed up the times so two of them were already at the bar when I showed up – it was raining and, despite it being just a few blocks from the gym and me with an umbrella, I showed up with my bottom half pretty wet.

Chad picked the joint, which is odd because that dude does not like seafood.

After I settled into the bar, I felt this huge sense of déjà vu. It was only when I saw the lobster pots on the wall that I realized that I’d gone there with Nadi and Kung.

Nadi about to devour some lobster, four years ago.

I had spent the night before with Gradgirl and she had brought over a bottle of vodka, which I recall I enjoyed.

Me: Have you ever had some fine aged rum?
Her: No, is it any good?
Me: It’s my favourite because if you take really bad rum, and put it on a ship…

I’d just met her and she was honestly just lovely.

We communicated via disappearing messages the entire time so I literally have nothing to remember her by except my own cloudy memories, which bums me out more than I can express.

I remember waking up the next morning and, like most of that time, not wanting to do anything but stay in bed with my bottles of rum/vodka. And her.

But I’d already told Nadi and Kung that I’d meet up with them. So, I remember crawling out of bed and getting ready to go.

I don’t recall if Gradgirl stayed or left that morning but I remember that she was the first person I actually wanted to spend any time with versus going out to put on a good show for my friends.

To be honest, there’s a good part of me that wonders if she was real at all. Nothing seems real before I recovered from COVID.

Maybe I made it all up.

In any case, it was strange walking into the same restaurant, this time with a completely new set of friends, save for Chad, whom I really didn’t know all that well at that time.

Haven’t talked to Nadi and Kung in a while; suppose I’ll ring them up this week. I think I cried twice sitting with them that morning. Don’t remember much of that time.

Except that so many people – friends, new friends, and strangers – were kind and worried about me.

I dunno if I truly thanked everyone for their kindness during that time.

Hope they know I appreciated it then, and still do now.

Getting back to now, Chad and the remaining investor showed up (another was away) not long afterward and we got seated.

As it happened, the investors and I literally sat in the same area that Nadi, Kung, and I sat at four years prior. Fuck…it’s been four years.

As for Gradgirl, I’ve not seen her in years but, in my head, she’s finally happy with her fella.

We should all be happy with our person.

There’s more but I’ll finish it up later on this week.

Location: earlier today, trying on some new gear at Paxi
Mood: drunk
Music: You’re better off this way, I was never gonna stay (Spotify)
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Categories
personal

Who are you?

Not as long as you need me

Pac: You already told me this.
Me: I did? Sorry, I’m forgetting a ton of things.
Him: What is wrong with you?
Me: Well, insomnia, a possible concussion, lots of pharmaceuticals and general feelings of pain and loss. I’m actively trying to forget things and people and sometimes other things get caught up.
Him: Great, now I feel bad for saying anything.

Recently made a channel on YouTube for Paxibellum and got a call from one of the producers of Scenic Fights. Evidently, I did a number of things he wasn’t happy about but mainly…I did it twice.

Him: …AND you uploaded the videos twice to each channel!
Me: I did it in my insomnia phase so I’ll take them down. Sorry.

Evidently, Sleepy Logan’s back. It also appears that he’s on a health food kick because there are half-a-dozen avocados, and two large containers of salads in my fridge that I have zero recollection of getting.

MIL: I bought toys for him. You told me you got them and put them away.
Me: Mom, I hid them so well, that I forget everything about them.

Chad’s been telling me to get an MRI and I really struggled with whether or not to do it but I ultimately decided that there’s nothing to be done.

Let’s say, arguendo, that I do have a concussion, what is there to do but wait and see how everything shakes out?

Plus, I’ve been to every fucking brain MRI joint in this goddamn city. I know what they all smell and sound like. I will literally walk in the door and projectile vomit.

Chad also thinks I should get one on my wrist, shoulder, and neck since all three are pretty messed up. Those I’m still considering.

The wrist one bothers me the most because, who/what am I if I can’t hold a sword again? Because, in my head, I’m a swordsman.

That’s how I define myself to myself.

I’m living in waking dreams again; remembering things from possible pasts again.

Him: You know the difference between the devil and a demon?
Me: No, tell me.
Him: The devil is a creation of god himself. He exists because god allows him to exist. But a demon is a god. It’s what the Judeo-Christians called any old god that existed prior to their god. So that’s why the devil looks like Pan, an old Roman god.
Me: So you believe in god?
Him: I believe God is an asshole. He has nothing to do with me, and I have nothing to do with him.

Always found it somewhat poetic that demons are our old gods. The things we used to worship in the past, torment us in the present.

Speaking of torment, both the kid and I getting nightmares for some reason.

Him: Sorry to wake you. I’m worried there are snakes in my room.
Me: Dude, there are no snakes in Manhattan. If you’re gonna worry about something, worry about flooding, which is an actual issue.
Him: (eyes widening in horror) We might flood again!?
Me: (fuuuuuuuuuccckkk…)

In any case, before Alison, my old gods were various pharmaceuticals and late night excursions. But she became my new god and my old gods faded away.

But I lost her and found other new gods. Then I lost those new gods as well

I honestly wonder if I made one up completely or if she was real. Told you once that my insomnia means that I can even remember things that never happened, people that never existed.

Coupled with a possible concussion, I’m lucky I remember my own name these days. And my old gods/demons are back as if they never left, even though the devil has.

Then again, I have one shiny new god I adore in the form of a tiny human.

Him: Halloween was last week! You mean, “See them for Thanksgiving!?”
Me: I said, “Halloween?”
Him: Yes! You’re being silly, papa!
Me: So, I am. It’s time for bed.
Him: (quietly) Don’t go. Please. I’m scared.
Me: What are you afraid of?
Him: I don’t know. (thinking) What if you’re not here when I wake up?
Me: Why would you think that?
Him: [People leave].
Me: Not me. I won’t leave you. Not as long as you need me.

Location: home with the kid and Sleepy Logan
Mood: fuzzy
Music: I really wanna know, who the fuck are you? (Spotify)
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