I, the doctor?

My quixotic quest for paw-paws

Been having this peculiar Baader-Meinhof moment with alla those paw-paw fruits that I got a month ago.

I’ve been noticing the tropical variants on sale everywhere – the three below I got while getting some suits tailored in Chinatown with my usual guy.

The big one in the middle is a cherimoya while the two on the side are sweetsops or sugar apples.

Gotta say, the sugar apple version was pretty amazeballs with so much sugar in them that there were actually sugar crystals in the fruit itself, which was both weird and cool.

The cherimoya was definitely good and tasted a lot like the paw paw although slightly less banana-like.

Her: I like this one better – it’s less banana-y.
Me: What are you, a Communist?

Also found some sour sops in Queens when I visited my mom – I’d never had them before and was tempted to buy them but I figured I’d blown enough scratch on my quixotic quest for paw-paws.

Speaking of my family’s home, went to see my mom for her birthday the other day but she was stuck at work, so I didn’t even get to see her.

At least last time I saw her for 20 minutes.

But the kid and I did get to spend some time with his cousins as well as my sister, which was nice.

No one could pick us up from the train station so we ended up taking the bus from Manhattan to literally two blocks from their house. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be BUT the bus itself was 30 minutes late, so that was annoying.

We did take the train home though.

I find that we spend an inordinate amount of time planning on leaving and then leaving the city.

And yet, we always come back.

Me: Would you ever wanna move, kid?
Him: No. I would miss my friends too much.
Me: You could always make new friends.
Him: I suppose.
Me: (laughing) We could always just stay here.
Him: It’s our home!
Me: Yes, yes it is.

The Firecracker cut open her head pretty badly the other night.

She was gonna go to the ER when I convinced her that I could patch her up with some Hibiclens and Crazy Glue.

She was a bit hesitant but I asked her to trust me. After all, I’ve done it to myself a dozen times or so.

But she did and I patched her up. A week later, most of the Crazy Glue had broken off and the super deep gash on her head was completely gone. Barely a scar.

Hmm, I wonder if my brother shoulda been the lawyer and I, the doctor?

Location: the kid’s room, asking why there are always pencils everywhere
Mood: super beat
Music: I see you; do you see me? (Spotify)
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You’re kidding me


Me: Did you pack your lunch?
Him: Yes.
Me: Are you sure you packed your lunch?
Him: Yes!

The boy got strep throat the other day. It was a comedy of errors.

I’d dropped him off at his summer camp and I just arrived home when I got a call from one of the camp counselors.

Her: Your son said he left his lunch on the bench.
Me: You’re kidding me. (walk over to bench) Jesus Christ…
Her: It’s ok, we can buy him…
Me: (interrupting) No, it’s fine. I’ll come back and bring him his lunch. (hang up) *grumble*

So, off I went again to drop off his lunch.

An hour later I get another call.

Her: Your son said he doesn’t feel well.
Me: You’re kidding me.
Her: He said his head hurts and he has a sore throat.
Me: OK, I can be there at 2PM.
Her: Great. We’ll tell him.

Managed to get a doctor’s appointment that afternoon and we saw the doc less than 30 minutes after I picked him up.

That was a bit of good news/luck in an otherwise unlucky day.

Her: Yup, he’s got strep. It’s pretty common. He’ll be fine after 24 hours but you gotta make sure he continues to take the meds for the full 10 days.
Me: Got it, Doc.

What stinks is that that the very next day, we had three orchestra tix for a show that he was dying to see – and they were ridonk expensive for just an hour show.

Him: I can’t go?!
Me: Sorry, kiddo. We don’t wanna ruin other people’s summer vacation, do we?
Him: (sadly) I guess not.
Me: I’ll make it up to you, kid. Promise.

Then, the Firecracker and I started feeling off so we managed to get a doctor’s appointment for ourselves that same day.

There were two funny things about that doctor’s office – the first is that it was the same office I went to when I got into that scooter accident. They turned me away because I had a head injury.

The second funny thing was that there were pictures of TV and movie doctors everywhere.

Anywho, it turns out that neither of us had staph, we were just being waaay too cautious – I had stayed home with the kid for a couplea days until we got the results back just so as not to get anyone else sick.

After we left the doctor’s office, we walked around looking for my favourite bottle of rum.

The kid’s fine now, and back in camp.

As for me, I’ve been pretty good lately, although both the kid’s and my not feeling well meant that the pad got a little messy.

Her: Logan, can’t you clean up? Go put your nuts against the wall.
Me: (laughing)
Her: Your can of nuts, sitting in the middle of your countertop!
Me: Phrasing, Firecracker, phrasing!

She sent this to me recently on IG. I’m gonna assume that means she wants to keep me around.

Location: The gym, for the first time in days
Mood: headachey
Music: I ruin good things ’cause I feel guilty when I’m happy (Spotify)
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My soul is lemonade

Make me write bad checks

Me: What makes a proctologist decide to be a proctologist? I mean they have to look at assholes all day.
Firecracker: (shrugging) I’m sure that you lawyers deal with just as many, if not more, assholes every day.
Me: Fair.

I find the Firecracker pretty funny, mainly with her earnestness in life.

Because the funniest things come from a place of honesty.

There’s something refreshing about having someone that is relentlessly upbeat and positive, especially considering my recent past.

In terms of the big three buckets of health, wealth, and relationships, relationships seem to be the one that my friends talk with me about the most.

With that said, I’m not the only one whose life seems on the upswing.

Ran into a friend of mine the other day who was with someone new. Afterward, she and I chatted about it.

Me: I didn’t realize you and [your ex] broke up. Was there any particular thing?
Her: (thinking) It was weird. I told him – straight-up – things like, “Could you let me know if you’re running late, “or “Could you drop me a line to make sure I got home OK?” Nothing. Ever.
Me: That’s weird.
Her: Yeah. Basically, that relationship was: “He knew what I wanted but he never did it.”
Me: Jesus Christ, can I relate to that…

Of course, for every person whose life is getting better, there’s gotta be at least one person whose life is getting worse.

Or two – see, two friends of mine just announced that they were divorcing each other. I didn’t wanna pry but it seemed that things mainly come down to issues in communication.

Have you ever actually read the story of the Little Mermaid? The original story is…dark. Waaaaay, dark.

Essentially, the mermaid saved this prince’s life but couldn’t speak so the prince thought some other chick saved his life and married her, and she died.

The end.

Think the loneliest people in the world are the ones that aren’t actually mute but can’t communicate.

I feel for them. After all, communication isn’t what you say, it’s what the other person hears.

Besides, what is life without someone to talk to?

Then again, some things might be best left unsaid.

Me: Can you do me a favour?
Her: Sure, what?
Me: Can you walk on my back? I’ve had a rough day at the gym.
Her: (laughs) Sure!
Me: (10 minutes later, groaning) OMG, hurt me, call me names, make me write bad checks!
Her: Umm… you…Mad Hatter!
Me: (laughing hysterically) MAD HATTER?!
Her: That’s all I could come up with! Now write me some bad checks!

I feel like I’m finally past my lemon days, maybe? That’s the hope, anywho.

So, here’s to some lemonade…

Location: day-drinking with her in an empty bar on 80th and Amsterdam
Mood: completely exhausted
Music: Everything’s just fine, I’ma be just fine (Spotify)
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Catching lunch at the Hudson Yards

A last-minute get-together

Her: At least you can drive.
Me: Drive? I’ve been driving for 35 years.
Her: (laughing) I was barely alive when you started driving! (laughing harder) I’m dead, I’m dead.
Me: (grumble)

My brother was in town again with his new girl…

…so, the Firecracker and I met up with the two of them at Hudson Yards, along with KTO.

It was a very last minute thing since we weren’t planning on meeting up until later in the week but everyone just happened to be free that day so off we went.

Haven’t been to Hudson Yards in a while for a buncha reasons but I was looking forward to going for the first time in a long while.

We met up at Mercado Little Spain there and had some tapas, again.

I’d never been before but it was essentially the entire basement area in one of the buildings so that was surprising.

Ended up having some mussels

…and a killer mushroom, onion, and date sammie.

Afterward, we all piled into a bus that brought everyone to another restaurant directly across the street from the Firecracker – which was totally by happenstance.

Later on that week, the Firecracker had a small celebration of her own for personal reasons and my brother and his girl came out for that.

But I’ll tell you about that tomorrow.

May’s almost over. I’m relieved.

Location: My basement, taking measurements and hoping for the best
Mood: hating today
Music: I will love you until my dying day (Spotify)
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A trip to Queens, Pt 2

Five Tomatoes

My mom drove the three of us back to her place.

The Firecracker explained she grew up in places that looked very similar, although every home was on an acre of land.

Boy: How big is an acre?
Me: 43,560 square feet.
Him: Is that like 10 miles?
Me: Do you know how many feet are in a mile, kid? 5 Tomatoes.
Him: 5 Tomatoes?
Me: Yeah. 5, 2, 8, 0. A mile has five-thousand, two-hundred, eighty feet. “Five Tomatoes.”
Firecracker: I’ve never heard that before!
Me: And…now you have.

Once we got back home, I introduced the Firecracker to my sister and her kids.

Everyone seemed to get along pretty well as my sister and she chatted for a bit, while my mom cooked.

My sister got a bouncy house as a gift and asked we could help set it up for the kiddos.

I figured out how to inflate the thing and set it up while the Firecracker hammered the stakes into the ground.

Afterward, we borrowed my mom’s car for a drive but we only made it two houses when the Firecracker noticed an open house just a few doors down.

Her: Let’s check it out!
Me: Sure, I’ve always wanted to know what other houses looked like inside.

We stepped in and checked it out. Since she’s from the south, she’s much more about big houses with yards than tiny apartments in the concrete jungle.

It was a pretty house but I’m still hoping to stay in my apartment, somehow, despite the massive increase I pay every month.

We got back into the car and we took a drive out in Long Island because the weather was just perfect.

Ended up at a Barnes and Noble that I used to go to every single day to study for the LSATs.

I think that was one area where Alison and I differed on what a perfect day was. She always liked to keep busy while I liked to sit and read in cafe.

Used to spend entire days there reading and having coffee but haven’t done that in over a decade.

Me: Are you ok with sitting here, having a cuppa coffee and reading for a bit?
Her: That’s my love language!

Afterward, we took a slow drive back. My mom had made a bunch more Taiwanese and Chinese dishes, which the Firecracker also loved.

Mom: Do you want to take some home?
Her: Yes! If that’s ok.

We stayed for a little while longer, just lounging around the house, while the kid continued to play with his cousins until it was time to go.

The Firecracker found the note above the aquarium ridic funny.

Before we knew it, it was time to head to the station to catch the train back to the city.

The trains are rarely late but this time, they were delayed some 30-40 mins, so it was pretty late once we got back.

The Firecracker got out at our station but immediately walked home because she had work the next day and a lot to do at home.

So, the kid and I went home.

Me: Did you have a good day?
Him: Yes! What are we doing next weekend?
Me: Not sure yet, I’m sure we’ll think of something.

Location: Koreatown, with some of my oldest friends and a crapton of food – alla which I ate
Mood: stuffed
Music: we should jump right into the personal facts (Spotify)
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A trip to Queens, Pt 1

Lu Rou Fan

Firecracker: Wait, you didn’t mention that I was the one who thought you might have left your phone at Dark Bullet, called them, and found your phone for you?
Me: …no?

The Firecracker really does love to cook.

Mentioned to her that I’d not eaten Taiwanese food in a while so she ended up making me a dish I absolutely love called lu rou fan.

Her: I’ve never had it before so I didn’t know what it should taste like.
Me: (shaking head) It’s still good though. And these endives are killer – how did you cook them?
Her: I blanched the shit outta them.

What she made was good, but it didn’t really taste like lu rou fan – I think the recipe she chose wasn’t the best so I wanted to take her out to try the genuine article.

Now, I’d been meaning to see my mom and sis for a while now but my sister’s the most peripatetic person I know; trying to see her and her kids is a lesson in scheduling.

Mom: You know your sister – she’s like a horse, always running around.
Me: Isn’t that the truth!

But I figured that it was time they met The Firecracker and my sister just happened to be in town last weekend, so I grabbed the kid, met up with the Firecracker, and headed out to the wilds of Queens.

Usually, I can take the train straight to see them but, because of construction, we had to transfer in Woodside.

Her: I think we should be on another track.
Me: Nah, it’s gonna be this one.

It was not.

So, because I didn’t listen to her, we missed the transfer and waited half-an-hour for the next one.

Me: Oh man, I’m so sorry. I was wrong and you were right.
Her: God, I love how that sounds!
Me: (grumble)

Because I screwed up so badly, and because I’ve been dreaming of Taiwanese food non-stop since the Firecracker made me the lu rou fan, I brought them to a Taiwanese restaurant literally right across the street from the Korean joint that Pac brought me to, years ago.

Neither of them ever had Taiwanese food before so I did all the ordering.

I got the classic pork chop on rice with lu rou fan, some pork stuffed crepes, soup dumplings, an egg scallion pancake and a soy milk.

The boy didn’t like the soy milk but loved everything else.

Me: How is it?
Him: Sooooooo good!
Her: Everything is delicious – you’re five-for-five, Lo!

Afterward, my mom came by to pick us up and bring us over to her place for dinner but that’s a story for tomorrow.

Me: Hi, mom! This is [The Firecracker].
Firecracker: Hi! Thank thanks for picking us up!
Mom: Of course, get in!

Location: earlier today, a schoolyard, introducing myself to a parent and asking them what they thought about a school I was thinking about for the kid
Mood: plants are trying to kill me and I don’t like it
Music: I know I always come and go but it’s out of my control (Spotify)
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A walk up Broadway

I hate May a little less now

Me: The hardest thing about being an adult is relationships, because we all have our quirks.
Her: (laughing) *snort*… yeah, especially with you.
Me: Wait, what?

The weather was really nice the other day so the Firecracker met me outside the gym for a walk up Broadway.

We spent most of our time checking out stores.

We barely got three blocks from the gym when we stepped into a home goods store.

I’d mentioned that I wanted a new carpet for my room and we spent some time checking them out…

…although, I gotta admit, the ones we were looking at were a little outta my price range.

I mean, even the cooking utensils were outta my price range…

…for real.

It felt really domestic, though, to be checking things like home furnishings out.

It’s almost like we’re playing house or something like that, except we’re both adult parents that have seen way too much of life as it is.

Which is not to say, she wasn’t down to check out some less-than-adult things like the local Harry Potter store.

Her: Do you want a Butterbeer?
Me: I have no idea what that is but I like butter and I like beer.

We ended up at a Chik-Fil-A and having some sandwiches before we went to a few other places and called it a day.

There’s more but that’s really all I wanted to tell you.

It’s May again.

I’ve hated May with a passion ever since Alison died. I still don’t like May but it feels better this year.

It’s not just that so much time has passed since she died, it’s also that I’ve cut out so much negativity and toxicity around me, which – coupled with the Firecracker and my therapist – has been really good for my overall mental health.

And I’ve got a super busy month ahead of me, most of which is my friends, family, and the Firecracker trying to keep me busy and sane.

I’m grateful.

Him: Why don’t you like May, papa?
Me: (sighing) Well, it’s because your mom’s birthday is in May and I wish she was here to celebrate it. And Mother’s Day is in May and I’m reminded again that she’s not here. And she died in May so…
Him: Oh…I’m sorry. I wish she was here.
Me: (nodding) You and me both, kid. You and me both.

Location: earlier tonight, going to yet another open house, but this time, two doors from my family’s home.
Mood: pretty good, all things considered
Music: I stuck by ya, you’re the sunflower (Spotify)
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Japanese BBQ for Linner

Mixed feelings

The Firecracker was away down south visiting family for a few days but flew back early to spend some time with me while she was still off.

Me: If you’re gonna do that, I’ll meet you at the airport when you get back.
Her: You don’t have to do that.
Me: I know. I want to.

The plan was to take a cab back to her pad, drop of her luggage and then go get a late lunch/early dinner.

But, as always in NYC, traffic was at a crawl.

Her: I’m starving.
Me: You know me, I’m always hungry.
Her: We’re [kind of near the restaurant]. Should we just tell the driver to head straight there?
Me: Heck, yeah!

So, after just a couple of minutes, we hopped outta the cab and walked a few shorts blocks there.

The weather was great so the walk was nice but it wasn’t far so, before we knew it, we were already at the restaurant, quickly ordered some drinks, and then our food came.

I’d actually been to the restaurant once before with a friend, but this was the first time I did the barbeque version of it.

We started off with the salad and veggies…

…before turning to the meat…

…which the Firecracker was nice enough to cook.

We were pretty full but not completely when the waitress came by to inform us that they only brought half the meat we ordered.

There were three more trays of meat to be had.

Me: Yes!

Our birthdays are pretty close to each other so she did the same thing that I did when we went up to Legoland, and had the waitstaff come by with dessert and sing me a happy birthday song.

I think it was the first time anyone did something like for me. It was sweet.

Me: I can’t remember the last time I had regular ice cream.
Her: I’m not sure it’s regular ice cream, it tastes more like gelatto.
Me: No, I mean full fat, non-keto ice cream.

It’s been on my mind a lot, my birthday. It’s coming up in like less than a week.

I’ll be turning 50. Half-a-century old.

For me, it gives me all sortsa mixed feelings.

For the Firecracker, it just gives her something to amuse herself with.

Me: (on phone) It’s asking for my birthday. Hold on…
Her: (a few moments later) You know you’re really getting old when you have to spend forever on the click wheel [to get to your birth year].
Me: I’m at the 80s now, almost there…

Location: earlier today, having a picnic with her by the river
Mood: allergic to all this damn pollen
Music: Let’s get out of this town. Drive out of the city, away from the crowds (Spotify)
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The lady in green’s bday

A stop by a local bistro

Me: (laughing) Good god, that’s the kinda pushcart my grandma would wheel around.
Her: Look, I’m dating a grandpa, I might as well have a grandma cart.
Me: So mean!
Her: You started it! Plus, someone’s gotta get your ego down a notch.

The dinner the other night after the theme park was really just a spur-of-the moment kinda thing.

I actually planned out the Firecracker’s birthday to a French bistro around the way

Me: What do you want for dinner?
Her: Well, I love salmon. So, any place that offers that?

It turns out that she’d been to the place I picked out but she came right after COVID so they only had a tasting menu.

This was the first time that she was trying out something from the full menu.

Whenever I’m in a French bistro, I always order the mussels if they’re available – pure protein if I skip the bread (which I should do, but never do).

Her: Give me your camera, I want to take a picture with all of the steam coming off of it.

It was pretty good, I’ve gotta say.

Man, I miss Paris.

The vegetable sides were great; think I’m gonna try and make some carrot purée next time, because theirs was killer.

The Firecracker would probably agree.

Afterward, we went to the second bar that we went to on our first date.

We ordered two drinks and a dessert.

Purely by coincidence, she wore a green dress, I wore a green suit, and one of our two drinks were green.

Because it was a school night, I had to leave pretty early but it was nice to celebrate her bday with her.

Me: Technically speaking, you’re probably the oldest woman I’ve ever been serious relationship with.
Her: You’re kidding me, right?! So, you keep getting older, but the girls always stay the same age? That’s messed up, Lo.
Me: (laughing) Yeah. It’s a wonderful thing.
Her: (rolls eyes) Are you done dating children, Logan?
Me: Evidently.

Location: earlier today, making the last of Steel’s tuna
Mood: hungry – what’s new?
Music: Hey there, baby, now ain’t it the life? (Spotify)
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Our hearts are red balloons

I need to change that

The Firecracker got home a bit earlier today so, after I dropped the kid off at his afterschool – which is just two blocks from her pad – I stopped by.

She usually buzzes me into her building and unlocks the door so I can let myself in.

Me: Hey, where are you?
Her: (running towards me, hair and limbs akimbo) BANZAI!!!

God, it’s nice when someone’s happy to see you.

Last week, when we saw the Surgeon, my buddy Steel wasn’t available.

This time, though, he was so the Firecracker, the kid, and I went down to Chinatown to grab some food and headed to the Surgeon’s pad for another get-together.

Steel cooked everything…

…while the Surgeon made some mixed drinks.

Him: Do you want rum or som-
Me: Rum!
Him: (laughing) No surprise there.

The Firecracker was a big hit with Steel’s wife.

Her: We love her!!! I am keeping her!

The Firecracker and I tried to limit our drinking and we did an ok job. It was hard because the surgeon does mix some killer drinks.

He and Steel own a few bars in the city.

Firecracker: Wait, I’ve been to that place. That’s yours?
Steel: Yup. Which one?
Her: There’s more than one? The uptown one?
Him: Oh, we have another one downtown.
Me: We’ll head out there onea these days.

We did, however, eat continuously since we arrived. Especially since there was a ton of sushi for the adults, alla Chinese food I brought, and pizza for the kids.

Me: I want a slice of pizza.
Him: What about the carbs?
Me: I already ate so much sushi that I figure that I’m in it.

Speaking of carbs, the Surgeon’s wife pulled out a whole stack of Klondike bars. I’d not had one since I was a kid so I took one.

The next day, I hosted one of the kid’s classmates and then brought the two of them to another class outing at a playground near me.

I’m looking forward to spending the summer hanging out with kid and maybe having the Firecracker for company.

My summers have been pretty sad lately.

I need to change that.

Location: the Barnes & Noble on the UWS, realizing they blocked all the windows so people wouldn’t sit on the sills anymore
Mood: hungry and dreaming of apple pie
Music: The skies are wide open (Spotify)
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