Ruining my own weekend plans

Wanting things to be different

I’ve not spent the 4th of July with anyone in years.

Alison spent most 4th of Julys with her extended family. Mouse did the same but not even extended family, just immediate family.

And for this 4th and the past one, the boy’s been away.

This year, I wanted it to be different. To this end, I made alla these plans with a pair of pretty brown eyes except, a few days beforehand, she asked me a question I couldn’t answer.

Her: I wonder if you can make room for someone in your life right now?
Me: What do you mean?
Her: You seem set in your ways.
Me: I think that, for the right person, I could find room.
Her: Yeah. For the right person.

And it made me realize a lotta things – not just about her and me – but about some questions that has been rattling around my head for a while now.

I finally understood what someone was trying to tell me for years. But, I suppose, that’s another entry entirely.

In any case, I didn’t sleep a wink that night. In the morning, I woke up and promptly ruined all of my weekend plans and hurt my own heart.

Still, it was – honestly – the most adult breakup I’ve ever had in my entire life.

Me: … I wanted to be upfront with you about everything.
Her: And I appreciate you being honest with me about all that. All that being the case, I think it’s probably best to just take a bit of a step back from this.

And that was that.

I was gonna just spend the weekend at home drinking but life had other plans for me.

To start with, that night, a female friend invited me to see a concert and then we sat on my stoop afterward to have some wine, something I hadn’t done in decades.

Somehow, we got onto the topic of our respective dating lives and god.

Her: The real spiritual path is a higher calling to true redemption.
Me: OK. I’m vomiting in my mouth right now.
Her: Oh man, you have so many issues.
Me: Refusing to have sex or hating God?
Her: Both.

The next day, I was supposed to go with the Counselor to see Isabel the Singer but things fell through there as well for a whole host of reasons.

Mouse was at the gym and I was tempted to ask her if she wanted to come but that always ends in a gun fight so I decided against it and just went by myself.

It ended up being pretty cool.

Isabel: Thanks so much for coming!
Me: It was great, thanks for having me.

On the way home, way later than normal, got a call from the Acrobat but I’ll keep that part to myself.

The next day – and totally outta the blue – a girl named NC that I’ve not really chatted with in close to a decade hit me up to chat.

After a spell, I invited her to come by Paxibellum because we actually met at my old gym years ago.

Me: Come by my gym and roll!
Her: I can come by on Friday!

She did and we had a pretty fun time. She said she’d try to come by again.

She’s trying to figure out things in her own life as well.

Man, aren’t we all?

Was actually supposed to get dinner with some friends in Chinatown with some other friends I’d not seen since before COVID but that fell through as well.

In truth, that was fine by me. My week was already a lot more social than I wanted after everything went down.

Figured that I’d spend the rest of the weekend alone at home, but life had other plans for me, which I suppose I’ll tell you about later.

Me: Why don’t you set me up with one of your coworkers?
Her: Why would do that when you’re already in love with someone else?
Me: (sighing) Alison’s not coming back.
Her: (rolling eyes) I wasn’t talking about Alison, Logan.

Location: earlier tonight, the Campbell, thinking of my possible pasts – and possible future
Mood: conflicted
Music: tell me that you miss me – baby, get your ass home (Spotify)
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The hard nos and the quiet moments

It’s only the quiet moments that matter

Her: And you?
Me: Twice, I think.
Her: What happened?
Me: The first girl wanted to stay, but couldn’t. I wanted her to stay, too. But wishes are just that.
Her: Oh. (later) And the second?
Me: She wanted to go, so she left.
Her: Did you want her to stay?
Me: (shrugging) She didn’t, so it doesn’t matter. People are who they truly are in their quiet moments. It’s only the quiet moments that actually matter. Because we’re made in our sleep and by our lonely.

The older I get, the less willing I am to deal with other people’s nonsense.

But, I’m finding out that this is pretty much the same across the board.

As I mentioned in my last entry, my friends usually hit me up to either discuss dating in general – men and women – or ask me to help them out with their profiles and/or messages.

One friend I find particularly hilarious. He literally has a spreadsheet of hard nos that he goes through with each and every one of the people that he finds remotely interesting.

Here are just a sampling of his Hard Nos

      1. Any of these pictures in the profile:
        • Most pics are them doing outdoorsy stuff and/or traveling
        • Pics of them golfing or scuba diving
        • Large tattoos
        • Pics of them with dog(s)
        • Pics with ONLY dog(s) and no humans.
        • Expensive looking lifestyle like in a private jet
        • Not smiling in any pic
        • Pics where they’re in the middle of eating something such as a large turkey leg or huge sandwich (I don’t have this problem, at all)
        • At a gun range, aiming / shooting a gun or a rifle
        • Only ONE photo and it’s of them wearing a face mask
        • More than one photo of JUST scenery or some landscape
        • More than one photo where must ask “which one is her?”
        • Photos where they are deep sea fishing and holding up a large fish they caught
        • Large set of photos where she is either not identifiable (back to camera, taken from far away so they’re tiny, etc) or not even in the photo
        • Photos of them kicking some guy’s ass in martial arts class (I definitely don’t have a problem with this)
        • Pics where they are on a motorcycle (obvs not a stopper for me)
        • Photos are only shoulders & above—none below
        • There is only one photo and it makes no sense
      2. Christians
      3. Beach lovers
      4. Golfers
      5. Attorneys (I think I may exclusively date lawyers in the future, frankly)
      6. Anyone that puts down their Myers Brigg and the third letter is a T – logic, versus F

And I thought I was picky!

My buddy says that he goes on far fewer dates but, the ones he actually goes on, he feels are more likely to last.

I think I’m the same way in that general concept. I get a lotta applications, but I send out only a handful of acceptance letters.

As for me, I have my own particularities but one clear red flag for me is when someone brings up how much they hate their ex or someone in their lives because I find that it’s usually the exact opposite of what they say.

Her: You have a lot of secrets.
Me: Yes. Because I’m very good at keeping them.
Her: Like you keep me a secret?
Me: Only because you asked. And I do as instructed.

Location: earlier tonight, in the rain just outside Union Square
Mood: content
Music: I started over again (Spotify)
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Cyrano de Low and the Siege of Melos

Yo-Yo, the Philosopher

Back before I met Alison, I recall writing emails to women on behalf of my friends, or – at the very least – editing them.

Now, with everyone texting these days, I find myself being asked by friends to respond to messages from women. It’s all pretty amusing for me, gotta say.

I was trying to explain to one friend that communication isn’t just what you say but what the listener/reader hears.

To further drive the point home, I told him something that I tell my friends alla time but also gave him two versions of the same concept: The first is by Thucydides during the Seige of Melos and the second by a kid called Yo-Yo in my junior high school.

 

On a related note, a young woman in my gym is going back to college – an ivy league – and wondering what she should pick as her major if she wants to go to law school.

Been telling her that, if that’s the case, she should really consider philosophy and read more from people like Thucydides – although, admittedly, he’s more of a historian than straight philosopher.

I actually never took any philosophy classes as an undergrad and it’s a regret of mine.

As for my own dating life, I saw the Acrobat and the Counselor recently, which is always entertaining, conversation-wise and otherwise.

Me: (noticing her ordering an open drink) Aren’t you concerned about roofies?
Her: With you? No. Not even sure I’d object. No wait, I would. I’d want to be awake for that.
Me: Noted.

The Counselor was actually in my area doing a cold sauna, for people with inflammation (everyone has inflammation to varying degrees).

The concept is to step into a super cold – negative 140 degrees Celsius – room and just be there for three minutes.

She was part ice cube when I met up with her.

Her: It was so cold, Logan!
Me: (laughing) I can imagine.

We ended up going to the Dublin House, which I’ve actually never been to, despite it being only a few blocks south of me and one of the oldest bars in NYC with a really cool neon sign that was recently rehabed.

Me: You should take advantage of me while you can. These looks won’t last forever.
Her: (shrugging) I figure that if you were going to fall apart, it would have happened already.

The Dublin House was cool but without air conditioning so we went to another of my usual bars around the way.

This one had both air conditioning and candy all over the place. Unfortunately, I’m dieting for a couple of things coming up so I ended up trying to hand the candy to other people so I wouldn’t be tempted.

We’ve both been so busy that we’ve not actually seen each other in a while so we ended up chatting most of the evening.

Her: My last boyfriend was closer in age to my dad than me.
Me: No kidding. What was the age difference?
Her: (thinking) 15 years?
Me: Wait, that’s the difference between us.
Her: Oh! You’re right. I forget.

Location: sitting in front of a 14TB external USB drive at 5400RPM and an 8TB external USB drive at 7200RPM with a USB-C hub and wondering if I should shuck both, and then swap the internals.
Mood: super tired
Music: Fell in love with a girl who’s a few years younger (Spotify)
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Don’t lead with that

That’s misleading

Her: So, you have allergies but you decided to bring in a ton of pollen producing plants into your home? If you two aren’t together any more, why don’t you get rid of them?
Me: (shrugging) I’ve grown accustomed to them. Plus, while it’s awful for me, hopefully, the boy will grow up with pollen and won’t get allergies. That’s the hope, anywho.

Back when Mouse was staying here, her health took a nosedive which broke my heart. Still does, TBH. But that’s neither here nor there.

We couldn’t figure out why – it turned out that my apartment is ridonk dry, with winter humidity levels in the teens but, I didn’t know that then – and thought it was maybe the air quality.

So, to this end, I started getting alla these air-purifying plants.

While she’s not been here in years, I kept alla the plants alive (mostly) and even started adding to the plant collection.

Now have two avocado trees, one of which is supposed to do well in apartments and fruit,…

…two blueberry shrubs, a snake plant, several ZZ plants, a spider plant from my friends at Evolution, one tomato plant, and a ton of scallions.

And, of course, I still have Harold.

Always wanted a fig tree and my mom was going to give me one, but it turns out that you actually need wasps to pollinate them so I’ll just have to content myself with figs from my mom.

Maybe I’ll try growing some strawberries?

So far, only the tomato plant has borne any fruit but I was thrilled to have them and made a sandwich with them just the other day.

It goes back to me liking to fix and build things myself. There’s just something about consuming – literally and figuratively – something you made yourself.


Speaking of fixing things, I’ve been fixed up about six or seven times in the past few months.

More if you count people like the French Dancer and Pharmacist that just randomly end up in my orbit.

I don’t write about most of them because the people that set me up are friends of mine that think well of me, so the last thing I want to do is gossip about the friends that they send to me.

Besides, everyone’s been lovely just…not really my speed for a number of reasons. Let’s just blame it all on me and my particularity, for the sake of brevity.

The funny thing is that, despite this blog detailing my pretty ridonkulous dating life, people continue to try to set up their friends with me.

I can only imagine that it’s pretty awful out there if I’m a top contender.

Still, hope springs eternal…

Her: I told her you were a lawyer.
Me: That’s misleading. I’m essentially an unemployed single-parent that spends most of his time rolling around with sweaty dudes.
Her: Don’t lead with that.
Me: Noted.
Her: Also, don’t mention the blog. God, why do you even have that thing?

Location: earlier tonight, the gym, trying to rip off my ex’s foot – she was trying to do the same, but better
Mood: hangry, of course
Music: Let’s make believe that we can fly (Spotify)
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Just-ever-so-slightly

Controlling the effects

Saw my mom and sis this past weekend. They were happy to see us, I think.

The cat, less so…

Also saw the surgeon, his brother, and their families this past weekend at another dinner party.

Surgeon’s wife: You really should ask out French Dancer. Except, she’s really young.
Me: Yeah, really young. I’m busy enough as it is, anywho.
Her: Oh! What’s the latest?
Me: Where to begin?

A couple that I didn’t know was there and the wife commented that I was probably 34 vis-a-vis something else entirely.

Me: Well, you get a hug for that.
Her: Wait, how old are you?
Me: Almost 50.
Her: How is that possible?!
Me: (shrugging) Same as everyone else: 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For 49 years.

I often marvel at how many really good souls I’ve met in my life.

While my luck – broadly speaking – is of the stripe most people don’t want, in that small regard, I consider myself lucky.

On a related point, there were about five women that I met after Alison died. They all had a hand in helping me pull myself outta my crazy and depression, to varying degrees.

Unfortunately, I was probably the worst version of myself so it’s no surprise that none of them are really on speaking terms with me. I get that.

It’s one of my 10,000 regrets.

On that point, Lviv rang me today. After everything that went down between us, I’m touched that she still finds the time to check in on me.

I told her, honestly, that I was grateful.

Me: Before you left, you said, very simply, “Love shouldn’t be this hard,” [about a messy situationship I was in]. I appreciate that and you. Thanks for that.
Her: Aww it’s good to hear, I just want you to be happy.

She didn’t realize what a profound effect her throwaway line had on me. In fact, it’s probably the main reason everything in my life has been so different – and better – these past several months.

Of course, she’s part of my possible pasts. I wonder what woulda happened between us if things were different.

I wonder about so many things that were just-ever-so-slightly outside of my control.

Boy: Why’s he so mean?
Me: I dunno, kid. Here’s the thing, though: You can’t control other people and how they treat you. But you can control how you let things affect you. Pretty soon, you won’t care. So, you can start not caring right now.
Him: OK. I’ll try.

Location: earlier today, chatting up a tall singer named Izzy in a park
Mood: hopeful
Music: I’m out of my mind but I’m feeling just fine (Spotify)
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The bar is on the floor

Dating nonsense

It was a strange week.

I joke a lot that I appreciate men in NYC being so bad with women because it makes my job so much easier.

As the Counselor likes to say, “The bar is on the floor,” so any improvement on top of that is significant.

Like I said, compared to the average NYC dude, I’m a goddamn pleasure.

Having said that, there’s a distinct negative to this reality, which is that very wealthy and/or very attractive women just behave in ways that are, frankly, appalling.

Case-in-point, one rando, but very attractive, blonde hit me up outta the blue the other day on IG and she seemed really friendly and nice with a large number of followers, which made me think she was normal.

But, when I took too long to respond to a question, she lost her mind and started ranting about some crazy stuff.

I had to block her and delete that convo because it got so unhinged.

Here’s the thing, I realize that I – as a man – have the luxury to simply move on with my life, while women that have to deal with this kinda nonsense have to contend with stalkers and far worse.

Still, I wonder a lot how people are raised that they can make demands of another person they barely know.

And my follow-up question is, how many men are jumping through every hoop this lady throws at them?

Me: Man, it’s awful out there.
Her: Well, yeah. On that note, what are we doing here?

As for the other reason why it was a weird week, was because I had two defining-the-relationship talks with two different women.

Like with Alison, I figure that I’ll know what I want when I meet what I want.

I’ve always found that logic has a limited role in these types of things.

Her: I just want to know that I’m not wasting my time.
Me: I get that. I only have about 11,000 days left here and I’m not looking to waste any of them. I wish I could give you more clarity than that.

After all these years, people are still the same, and – I suppose – I’m still ever the same.

We all have our front-runners and back-burners and the only real question is when to tell people where they are and where I am.

It’s the part of dating I hate the most and the part that I’d hoped I was long past almost decade-and-a-half-ago when I told Alison that all I wanted was her.

Location: the gym, of course, trying to drop two more pounds
Mood: earnest
Music: Nothing’s good enough for anybody else, it seems (Spotify)
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Still Mr. Fix-It

I’m a slow learner

Do you remember when I told you that I had my fridge repaired almost exactly a year ago?

Welp, it broke again. Last time around, it was the water dispenser, this time around it was the ice maker.

I did some research and it turns out that most modern icemakers in fridges attach via only one or two screws and a single power cable. My particular model attaches with only one screw and one cable.

You can see the screw on the left in the middle attached to the fridge, and the cable on the right, attached to the power.

So, I decided to order the part and try to fix it myself.

20 minutes after it arrived, it was installed. Fastest repair I’ve ever done.

Don’t understand people that don’t like to fix things themselves because it’s like a real life puzzle with tangible rewards at the end.

If anything, I try to fix too many things that I should just toss.

Sometimes, it takes me a while to realize that something’s broken beyond repair. I’m a slow learner but I do eventually learn.

Eventually.

Speaking of tangible rewards, the Scenic Fights guys want me shirtless in our next shoot so I’m back on a strict diet for the next 45 days.

But my physical therapist was having a party with pizza and I figured it was worth it to have one last night of carbs in the form of beer and pizza.

Several people from my gym came by so that was fun – especially since several people from my gym decided to do some human tricks.

It was all pretty entertaining. I probably had a lot more pizza than I shoulda.

His office is right around the Gamergirl so I was tempted to give her a ring just to catch up but then The Counselor hit me up with what I thought was an emergency.

And it was, in a manner of speaking. She found an unwanted guest in her Manhattan apartment: A stink bug.

I found our conversation pretty hilarious and figured you might as well.

The Counselor went to DC for work not soon afterward (and potentially stayed at the same hotel that Alison and I did, which was kinda a kick in the head) so she’s hoping at the bug made it way out and is happy somewhere in Central Park.

We should all get to visit pretty ladies in Manhattan at night and go to Central Park the next day.

Location: earlier today, asking a pretty blonde to get lost
Mood: hangry…very hangry
Music: I’m sorry for being broken (Spotify)
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Memorial Day Weekend 1: Putting on our administrative hats

$10 and a six-piece Chicken McNuggets

The Boy: How do you clean a tuba?
Me: With a tuba paste.
Him: Correct!

I dropped off the kid with my in-laws the other day and, after some food and computer repairs, high-tailed it back home to try and make my gym class.

Me: So, should I mail you the bill for the computer repair or just email you a PDF?
Her: Why don’t we call the child-care and computer repair a wash, Logan?
Me: (laughing) Fair. Thanks, mom.

Unfortunately, there was an hour delay due to a fire in the tunnels on the NYC side, while rain was coming down on the tracks on the other side.

It was something else.

Debated not going into Paxi but went in anyway. On the way in, I ran into Mouse, who was also late, and we ended up paired together for part of the class.

It was nice to spend some time with her, I gotta say. I asked her to give me a lift back but she declined. I understood.

It took a few years but I’m trying to accept the world as it is, not as I wish it to be.

Which was the core of who I once was before I lost everything.

Making it home, I broke my fast – because I hadn’t eaten since 4PM and it was 9PM – and ate four burgers.

It wasn’t my proudest moment.

The next day, I met with a friend of mine…

Her: Do you want to make out?
Me: Sure.

…and also arranged to see the Counselor.

Her: I’ll see you around 8:30?
Me: Yup! By mine?
Her: Yes.

We ended up catching Uncharted but our phones kept going off.

Me: These damn dating apps are always trying to get me to spend money.
Her: Weird, I don’t get that problem.
Me: You’re a woman, you don’t need to. Didn’t you say you had 1,800 messages/likes on one of them?
Her: God, it gives me anxiety whenever I think of it. I just delete the apps and start over again.

Later, we somehow got onto the topic of injuries. She actually had far more than I had expected and I think she was unprepared for how many I had.

Her: Whoa. Was all that from fighting?
Me: Well, that’s what I tell people but the vast majority of them are because I’m super clumsy.

It took us a while to watch the film because, not only were our phones going off, I kept stopping to talk about random things.

Me: Have you ever heard of the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon; once you see something, you can’t unsee it. Well, I was telling my son about water barrels the other day…
Her: How do you know all this stuff, Logan?
Me: I don’t have many friends.
Her: (laughing) I doubt that. I think you might be a little ADD.
Me: (shrugging) Maybe. (later) Wait, how much was your haircut?
Her: OK, in my defense, it’s been a while since I had a proper haircut. (pause). $X00.
Me: $X00! Jesus Christ. Listen, next time, I’ll cut your hair for $10 and a six-piece Chicken McNuggets.

That was the second time in 24 hours a pretty lady declined a generous offer from me.

Which is probably for the best because we ended up killing what was left of my good rum and I was likely to try and re-cut her hair that night.

Me: (very drunk) I have some administrative things for us to discuss.
Her: (equally drunk) OK, let me put on my administrative hat.
Me: Oooooh, lemme get mine on too…

Location: earlier today, saving him from drowning in Long Island
Mood: protective
Music: momma always said, “Look up into the sky, find the sun on a cloudy day” (Spotify)
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I have weapons too

A birthday party with Paul

My buddy Paul moved close to me in the UWS years ago but I hardly saw him.

Nothing happened between us so much as life happened to us, individually. Plus COVID.

He knew Alison really well – in fact, he was there when we met, when we dated, and everything afterward. Until she died.

I remember asking him if Alison was attractive because I thought she was so beautiful that I thought I might be seeing things.

He told me she was. That’s happened exactly twice in my life.

In any case, whenever I thought of him, I thought of his wedding, which Alison couldn’t come to because she was pregnant with the boy and didn’t want anyone to know.

And then everything turned to shit. He did nothing wrong at all.

Like I said, I was avoiding people from my old life for a while after Alison died because everything reminded me of her and I wanted to forget.

But, because I don’t hit the grief button as often as I used to, I’ve been slowly seeing my old friends again.

He invited me to his kid’s birthday party the other day and the boy and I went.

Boy: Will I know anyone there?
Me: Maybe. But there’s pizza and cake.
Him: OK!

Weirdly enough, ran into a fella that went to my old gym that we used to call The Chessmaster. He was a really good fighter but was tactically very good as well.

He moved to the hood too. It’s funny how many people move into my area.

There’s a spot in Central Park, the Bethesda Fountain, where if you sit there long enough, the entire city walks by.Fools Rush In

Afterward, the boy and I went on another bike ride around the park.

I wonder what, if anything, he’ll remember of these moments.

Him: Papa, look! A raccoon.
Me: Man, you have some good eyes, kid.

Did manage to catch up with the Counselor the other night near her pad, though.

Me: Before I come in, you should know that I’m armed.
Her: (shrugging) It’s fine. I have weapons too.
Me: (laughing and handing them to her) Noted. Please don’t stab me.
Her: I can’t promise that.
Me: Fair.

I had injured myself yet again at my gym, this time my knee.

Her: Do you want me to wrap it for you? I’m pretty good at it.
Me: Why is that?
Her: (shrugging) Cheerleader captain. You have to know this kinda stuff.

She propped me up on a knee brace she happened to have and put an icepack on my knee.

Me: I gotta say, this is one of the weirder dates I’ve been on.
Her: (laughing) Rum?
Me: (looking at her bottle) That’s like moonshine.
Her: This is what I grew up on.
Me: Well, ok then.

She gave me back my scarf too.

I think I’m making progress. A little.

Location: earlier today, unwrapping dinner for the kid in the gym
Mood: hopeful
Music: You told me I was selfish (Spotify)
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Maximum Angles and Old Ghosts

So much for sleep

The second birthday party was pretty brief – people from my old gym.

Chad and Kung were there – like me, they both had wrist issues, but much, much worse. Both had surgery.

That’s them comparing the maximum angle they can have their hands.

It was pretty funny. OK, you had to be there.

They did it a lot.

A fella that worked for the government and helped me with the whole crypto theft was there too.

Me: I gotta take you guys out for some steaks and beer.
Him: No, it’s really…
Me: Dude, don’t be selfish – what if I just want an excuse to eat expensive steaks and cheap beers? Or cheap steaks and expensive beers? I’m easy.

Probably too easy. Even before I arrived, I had way too many drinks already that night, including two more there. Think that put me at eight?

At some point Chad said that he had to dash, which I was thrilled to hear because I just wanted to get home and crash.

He barely got the words out when I was already high-tailing home.

Walking out the door, I made it to West 4th to hop the train. Somewhere between there and home, I ran into an old ghost with blond hair and green eyes.

Her: Logan!

I’m such a sucker for blond hair and green eyes. A boy could marry a girl like that.

So much for getting any sleep.


These late nights have caught up with me because I woke up today with a fever and sore throat after weeks (months) of battling allergies.

I’m convinced that COVID has made my – previously almost imperceptible – seasonal allergies into weeks of misery.

Me: I think I’m going to just spend the night in bed watching junk. Sorry, just feel like trash.
Her: No worries, definitely been there. Feel better!

Location: double-masked, waiting for the boy in Union Square
Mood: sicky-sick, send soup
Music: Three months without you, I don’t know what to say next (Spotify)
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