Me: The problem is that you’re homeless and a stranger in a strange land. You’re not valued by him and never will be. But your friends and family are here. Her: I can’t afford to live in NYC any more, Logan. I don’t have a job and I’m not 20 anymore. Me: Plenty of people – your parents and mine – came here with less and spoke even shittier English than you… Her: (laughs) Me: …they all survived. They all thrived. It’s time.
A dear friend of mine, who moved away to be with the man of her dreams suddenly found herself in a nightmare.
She gave up everything – her home, her friends, her family, and her job, to be with this fella.
That’s her story to tell so I’ll end that part here.
But I told her things that I never told anyone.
Never told you either.
Because I not only lost both my families in 2017, but I also lost my career.
Never told you, but when I lectured in Malaga, over a decade ago, my topic was the right of publicity versus the right of privacy.
With the rise of computational power, we’re rapidly coming to a point where we don’t need an actual actor or singer but merely their likeness to create art. And that will open up a whole new world of possibilities, both for good and bad. – Logan
Watched one lawyer talk about it, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t angry and jealous – because the focus of my entire practice was going to be about the intersection of the rights of publicity and privacy.
I knew a decade ago that this current AI crisis was coming and I wanted to be at the forefront of it all.
Her: Holy shit, you were ahead of the curve, Logan! Me: Yeah, by over a decade. I’m gonna be honest with you, I threw myself a pity party last week thinking that coulda been me.
That fucking cancer took almost everything from Alison and me.
12 years of work, poof. Gone.
I’m still a lawyer but I’m not…that lawyer anymore.
Me: I’m not making light of your situation. It’s gonna be shitty and hard. But I just want you to know that you can survive this. You can survive this blow. Because, somehow, I did. Her: (silence then laughing) I can’t believe I’m saying this but you’re making a lotta sense. Me: (laughing) I’m as surprised as you are. (pause) Listen, X, it’s done. That place isn’t your home, not anymore. But here, you matter to a lotta people. Me included. Her: (sighing) OK, Logan. Lemme think about it. Me: Do that. It’s time to come home.
The Firecracker’s kid and my kid were away, plus she was in the middle of moving, so I ended up helping her schlepp her stuff here and there.
Her: We have to bring this TV to my new place so I can give it away. Me: What?! That’s ridiculous. It’s gonna rain soon. Just slap a sign on it that it’s a free TV and someone’ll take it. Her: Are you sure? I’d hate for it to end up in a landfill. Me: Trust me.
It was gone in a few hours.
After a full day of that and a million other errands, we decided to treat ourselves afterwards to a drink at a local bar.
We got some appetizers…
But the night seemed super early yet.
Me: Do you wanna go someplace else? Her: With you? Sure!
Her: Who wrote Robinson Crusoe? Me: Daniel Defoe. Hey, did you know that it was based on a real person named Alexander Selkirk? Just before he died, he dreamt of being back on his island. Her: You know a lotta useless information, Lo. Me: We’re using it right now!
Of course, I ended up spilling hot sauce all over the cards.
Her: LOGAN! I can’t bring you anywhere. Me: (sighing) Evidently not. I’ll get some paper.
After several drinks and food, we walked outta the bar.
Me: I want more food. Her: We can get some chicken sandwiches and a pina colada over at Tiki Chick. Me: Sold!
While the Firecracker went to the restroom, I chatted with the manager.
Me: Where in Africa are you from? Him: Sengal. Me: Oh. I loved a girl once that worked in Dakar. Him: Really? That’s so great. Was that her? Me: (shaking head) No. No, that’s my girlfriend. The girl from Dakar was…someone else. She…got sick. Him: Oh. (gently) Your girlfriend is very pretty. Me: (nodding) I think so too. Thanks.
The Firecracker was busy for most of the following day but we met up for a walk to the pier near my pad when she was free.
There was a salsa party going on so we had to fight our way through that to make it to the edge of the pier, but it was worth it.
Me: What are you thinking? Her: These are the times where I think, I can’t believe that I live here.
This fella named Richard Ford once said, The more we see our parents fully, see them as the world does, the better our chances to see the world as it is.
The boy just got his first red stripe in BJJ, which is kinda a big deal – certainly to him, if nuthin else.
Him: LOOK, LOOK! (shows me) Are you proud of me? Me: Of course. But that’s not as important as if you’re proud of yourself. Are you proud of yourself? Him: (beaming) Yes! Me: That’s the most important thing, kid. Do things that make yourself proud of yourself, not me or anyone else.
I mean, my mom’s still around and she and I talk about these things but I wonder what my dad was thinking when I was the kid’s age and doing similar things.
Realize all the times that my dad was right – and wrong – about things. I so wish he was here to talk about it all.
If he was, I wish I could tell him that I understand now, so much more about him than I ever did.
Wish I could tell him that I loved him, still do, and always will.
I wonder if he’d be proud of me. Then again, I think I did the best I could with everything I was given.
In that sense, then, I’m proud of myself.
Still, I wish he was here.
Although, truthfully, I always wish the people I loved were here with me.
Him: You looked like this again (makes face). Were you thinking of mommy again? Me: (smiling, shaking head) I always think of her, but at that moment, I was thinking of my papa. Him: (hugs me) I’m sorry, daddy. Me: Thanks, kid. You’re my faves. Him: YOU’RE MY FAVES! Me: (laughing, hoping that I’ll stay in his top 10 forever)
Location: getting a second free soda at a street party because the person wanted a pic of me
Music: how I wish you were here (Spotify) Subscribe! Like this post? Tell someone about it by clicking a button below.
Her: Should we have a code word, like Beam me up, Scottie? Or Full steam ahead? Me: Oh my god…
The next day, the Firecracker and I continued to work on our joint project.
But we decided to take a little break to meet up with her sister, brother-in-law, and niece for a quick drink around the corner.
There was a nice wine shop there; every time I see I wine shop, I stop by to check if they have my fave bottle of regular rum.
Me: I don’t suppose you have Captain Morgan Private Stock. Him: No, sorry. But we have Bacardi. Me: Yeah, no. It’s not the same thing.
The street was closed off for a block party and there was a band out as well, so we were all well entertained.
I got the table two dozen oysters…
Her: A dozen for everyone? Me: No, a dozen for me, and a dozen for the rest of you. Her: You’re gonna eat a dozen oysters by yourself? Me: I believe in myself.
…while they got greens and fries for everyone.
Afterward, we walked over to H Mart where I bought a whole buncha frozen Asian food for me to cook during the week.
Her: Look, face masks! It’s great for your skin. Do you want one? Me: Do I have a choice? Her: I’m getting them. Me: (later) I look like a serial killer. Her: But your skin will be fantastic!
So many of my friends are dealing with some life altering things.
A good friend of mine gave me a ring over the weekend.
She and her husband of seven years were divorcing. She filled me in on everything that was going down.
Her: I’m so sorry to use you and Alison as inspiration for surviving this. Me: Don’t. I get it. My life was a horror and I’m still around. I’m sure I’m many people’s worst-case scenario. Her: It feels wrong. Me: It’s not. It means that Alison’s story still matters in the world. I can’t think of anything that would honor her more, really.
In a last-minute decision, I decided to bring the boy out to NJ to spend the weekend with his grandparents so that the Firecracker and I could work on a personal project of ours.
To that end, I was scheduled to head out to NJ, drop the kid off, and come right back, for an approximately 180-minute, round-trip excursion.
Welp, my luck held ever to form. Because I dropped the kid off without issue but the return trip was delayed a solid hour, so my three-hour round trip took four hours.
Once I made it back into the city, I ran to the restaurant where the Firecracker was waiting for me.
Me: I’m so sorry I’m late. Her: It’s fine. I’m just happy to see you.
We were gonna go to a restaurant that Pac had suggested to us but the wait on that was an hour, so we just ended up going to my regular joint, Jongro – the last time I was there was with my buddy Bridget.
The Firecracker actually wasn’t all that hungry cause I was so late so it was mostly me that ate all the food.
Even that wasn’t enough, so I ordered a pancake that feeds 2-3 people and ate almost alla that myself.
Afterward, we went to a rooftop bar called K-32, right across the street.
There were only a handful of other people there because it was supposed to rain (but didn’t) so it just me and her.
Since it was just us, I ordered my fave drinks: Oversweet girly drinks made of rum.
Me: Don’t judge me for my drink. I like them like I like my women: Sweet and with fruit. Wait… Her: (shaking head and turning to the bartender) Can you do something to make it more manly? Like put a tool belt around it or something. Bartender: (nods) I’ll fix ya up!