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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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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What gets wetter the more it dries?

Unseeing things

Him: What gets wetter the more it dries?
Me: A towel.
Him: Correct!

It’s been a weird week, which sounds about right. Like always, I need to sort it all out.

Her: I just want to be normal and boring: A job that I sort of hate, two kids that have too many activities, and a husband that knows that when I make a certain favorite dinner of his, it’s my silent I Love You.
Me: Let me get the kid down and I’ll give you a quick ring. 
Her: Not best time to speak.
Me: OK, then we’ll try at some point. I’m sorry things are so hard.
Her: Thank you. I feel like you understand better than anyone else
Me: Like I said, grief and I are old friends. Take care of yourself.

For all the other single parents out there, I honestly don’t know how you do it. I’m tired all the damn time. Him getting COVID and missing a week of school didn’t help matters.

Still, I’m grateful that his COVID experience was radically different than mine. He was happy as a clam and at full energy levels.

Him: What was the tallest mountain in the world before Mount Everest was discovered?
Me: Hmm, I don’t know.
Him: Mount Everest!
Me: Clever…

He’s so full of energy and curiosity that it’s hard to manage. But I’m trying to see the world as he does – full of wonder and mysteries to be solved.

Him: (walking outside with me) How does water get into our apartment?
Me: (stopping) Do you see that wooden barrel on the top of that building? Ok there are two pipes inside, one small pipe that sends water up to the barrel. The second pipe is bigger and…
Him: (later) There are wooden barrel everywhere, papa!
Me: That’s called the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon; once you see something, you can’t unsee it.

Therein lies my problem with life. I’ve seen way too much. I know too much.

As much as I’d like to unsee things, most times I can’t. Which is why I value the ability to forget so much.

I spend a lotta my time actively trying to forget things and people. To survive everything I’ve survived, I have to leave so many things I once loved in the past.

Man, to be like this kid and see the world for the first time. To get a do-over.

Him: What are those lines in the street for?
Me: It’s so the cars don’t hit each other. They’re called “lanes,” and people try to stay in them to keep everyone else safe.

I’m not sure how I could possibly be more jaded. Shit, the entire month of May is a reminder of things I’ve lost and try to forget.

Him: What do you have to break to use?
Me: Eggs.
Him: Correct!

As much as I take care of the boy, the boy takes care of me as well.

I can be coldly dispassionate about things but, with children, that’s not healthy. So, I find myself trying to be in the moment with him as much as I can – with optimism and joy, which is pretty much him in a nutshell.

Him: What has four legs, is green and brown, and would hurt you if it fell off of a tree?
Me: (thinking) I don’t know.
Him: A pool table!
Me: (laughing) Well, that’s just silly.
Him: (giggling) I know! A pool table!

I know he doesn’t know that I’m faking it.

But I worry that, someday, he will.

See, while I know a shitton of nonsense, people escape me.

I don’t get people. While I’m great with people, I don’t understand people.

That’s a whole entry in itself.

In some ways, I’m great with the kid because I talk to him the way I talk to most of the world, for better or worse.

Few people get my full dispassionate cerebration, otherwise, I’d just be alone again, like I was when I was a kid.

Him: What eats apples and books?
Me: A bookworm!
Him: Correct!

I remember watching Dexter with Alison in Bermuda and wondering if she made the connection that both that character and I (to a much lesser degree) fake so much of being normal.

If she did, she never let on.

Suppose, in the end, it didn’t matter.

As for the kid, all I really want is for this kid to be better, and happier, than I. At the very least, I hope and expect that he’ll get along with people as well as I do but he’ll understand them in a way I don’t think I ever will.

If wishes were horses, yeah?

Him: What building has the most stories?
Me: A library!
Him: You’re good at these, papa!
Me: (nodding) I spent a lot of my life thinking, kiddo. A lot of time alone with my thoughts. Something that I hope you won’t have to do.

Location: the basement of my brain again
Mood: dreading Mother’s Day
Music: Are we out of the woods yet? (Spotify)
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Grief and I are old friends

Falling in love, repeatedly

The boy’s away for spring break so I’ve been catching up with people when I can.

Before he left, though, I went to his school for career day.

Me: OK, so I have few jobs I do. I’m a lawyer, I run a building, I own part of a gym, and I teach people how to fight. Which one do you…?
Kids: Fight!

That made me laugh. The boy looked so happy and proud of me, I coulda burst.

This fella – don’t remember who – once said that you don’t just love your kids, you fall in love with them. I’ll add to that: Repeatedly.

Gotta say, that’s spot on.

Him: Thanks for coming, papa!
Me: Sure. Thanks for being glad I came, kid.

 

Met someone recently that I’ll call Heidi. In many ways, she reminds me of Daisy; dealing with a lotta things, ranging from simple heartache to some serious horrors.

Her: It’s sweet that you’ll listen to a stranger. I’m sorry I’m crying.
Me: After my wife died, strangers listened to me. So, I figured I’d pay it forward. And you should never apologize to anyone for your honest emotions.
Her: Whatever happened with the last girl?
Me: (shrugging) We were awful to each other, in our own ways. I suppose –  not that it’s an excuse – that we were both trying to survive. Which is what you’re trying to do now: Whatever you need to do to survive.
Her: That’s the first helpful thing anyone’s told me.
Me: Unfortunately, grief and I are old friends.

Saw the Acrobat, briefly and I’ll just keep the details of that to myself. We’re both unmoored in the world, but for very different reasons.

I suspect we’re all looking for home, but she’s a leaf in the wind and I’m a ship on the waves.

Because of that, what we want for ourselves are two very different ideas of home.

Sunday, it was my birthday.

I’m 40-freaking-nine. I cannot believe it.

Him: Honestly, you’re like a vampire, Logan. I don’t think you’ve aged a day in the two decades I’ve known you.
Me: I always believed that I just aged slower than other people, for a buncha reasons. (thinking) But the last six years aged me more than any other time in my life, I think. So, I’m catching up.

Of course, I did the traditional Chinese breakfast of cooking a six-pound pork shoulder overnight and waking up early to make a Cuban Sandwich for myself with an overly sweet, hot cuppa joe.

Birthday brekkie of champions.

Her: You spent your birthday alone? (laughing) You need better friends. I would have taken you out.
Me: I know. I appreciate that. It’s fine. I’m not sure how good company I’d be, anywho.

My birthday always falls around Easter but this time it fell on Easter. I remembered that Alison made a whole weekend of plans for me once and we caught the Easter parade too.

This year, I wanted to see it alone.

But I didn’t quite make it – partly because Heidi called me, and partly because, I hit the grief button because Heidi called me and I couldn’t.

I was doing so well.

Maybe next year.

Location: home, baking four dozen high-protein chocolate chip cookies for him
Mood: allergic to life
Music: you are flowing like a river, washing right over my soul (Spotify)
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Dreaming of Revenge

A deadly diaspora

More thoughts on Ukraine: Do you remember when I went to Boston and wrote about the Irish?

Did you know that there are seven times more Irish in America than there are in Ireland? Legit.

There’s a new world coming – again, provided these fuckers don’t blow it up first – and it’s going to be a diaspora of Ukrainians who aren’t going to forget who and what did this to them took their home from them.

Like, the Irish aren’t forgetting about the famine anytime soon. And the Jews aren’t forgetting about the Holocaust anytime soon.

And, as I’ve said before, if cancer was a person, there is nothing on earth that would stop me from getting to him/her after what it did to my family. Nothing.

I’m beyond incensed over what’s happening in Ukraine and I’m 100% Chinese.

I can only imagine the hatred and dreams of revenge that young Ukrainian men and women are feeling right now.

I wrote a novel once that you can buy on Amazon if you’re so inclined. In it, I opened the book with a quote from artist Paul Gauguin:

Life being what it is, one dreams of revenge.

Knowing as many Ukrainians as I do, I don’t see them forgetting who and what did this to them who took their home from them.

I don’t think the Russian government/Putin fully realize how many of these young men, women, and children now dream of revenge. That’s not a good thing for them.

Her: Did you read about…?
Me: I did.
Her: Wait, you didn’t even hear what I was going to say.
Me: If it’s about the war, I did. I most definitely did and wish I didn’t.

I made the kid some duck confit again – the first time around, he kinda liked it. Well, he liked it with the rice at least.

This time around, a lot less so.

Him: Why can’t we just have McDonalds?

Now, here’s the kicker – I said the exact same thing to my dad ages ago.

See, when I was his age, my dad owned a Japanese restaurant and food that he couldn’t sell and would go bad, he’d bring home for us.

So, we had sushi constantly and lobster and crab pretty regularly. I remember him telling us that we would regret this when we got older and he was totally right.

Me: OK, if I gave you some barbeque sauce from McDonalds to dip the duck into would you…
Him: Yes! I want that.

Ah, it’s moments like this I wish my dad were here so I could tell him about the boy. And that he was right. About so much. And that I miss him terribly.

Now, I want some sushi. Or more duck. Or even McDonalds.

I’m just hungry, yo. That, and I like to eat my feelings.

Speaking of eating my feelings, Daisy’s back. Kinda.

It’s a long story and hard to explain.

I’ll try and sort it all out for you at some point. Really, I’m trying to sort it all out for me, but I’ll tell you all about it if I do.

Location: at the gym, getting repeatedly strangled by Pez and Erin
Mood: so, so, so hungry
Music: Home Sweet Home (Spotify)
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The Mouse that Roared

Punching above our weight classes

My son’s eczema seems to be getting progressively worse and it’s alarming.

I’ve, unfortunately, had a lotta experience in watching someone I care about suffer from it. Watching my son trying to deal with it is just awful.

It was originally just a small patch on his back but now it covers large amounts of his body and he’s always asking me to scratch him.

Him: Stop, stop!
Me: Why?
Him: I have to scratch. (does so) I’m sorry I keep stopping.
Me: (shaking head) Don’t apologize for that. I’m sorry you’re uncomfortable.

I’ve now spent a small fortune on ointments, creams, and bath additions as well reading up on any number of things that are supposed to ameliorate things, with limited effectiveness.

Oddly, oatmeal seems to help matters, at least according to what I’ve been reading and what I know.

So, in addition to giving this kid regular oatmeal baths, which he tends to enjoy save for his annoyance with taking baths in general, I’ve been baking him oatmeal cookies and feeding him bowls of oatmeal like there’s no tomorrow.

The hope is that, once summer arrives, he’ll do much better.

In the meantime, I’m spending waaaay too much time reading up on the matter and feeling for everyone that has to deal with this nonsense.

On an unrelated point, and very separate from the horrors that we’re watching unfold in Ukraine, I’ve been thinking a lot about the novel, The Mouse That Roared.

I last read it when I was in grade school, maybe, so I’m sure I’ll get some of the details wrong, but it’s essentially the satirical story of a tiny nation that decides to start a war with the US in the hopes of losing and having the US rebuild them, stronger and better.

The kicker, however, is that they win and have no idea what to do after they’ve won.

It’s a bit like the Joker’s speech in The Dark Knight where Joker tells Two-Face that he’s just a dog chasing cars.

I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it.

Just like the British were unprepared for America winning the Revolutionary War, the Soviets were beaten by the Finns in WWII – fighting on skis of all things – the Koreans thrashed the Japanese Empire in 1592, and modern America was essentially beaten by Vietnam, I wonder if Ukraine has a chance to not just claw back its original territory from Russia but also regain Crimea and any other regions that Russia annexed.

If I’ve learned anything in my life, it’s that it’s difficult to adequately gauge the effects of (a) motivation, (b) home court advantage, and (c) luck on expected outcomes.

Let’s hope the Ukrainians continue to punch (way) above their weight.

And FWIW, I’m pretty sure the Ukrainians can figure out what to do if they do get back what’s rightfully theirs.

On a completely unrelated matter, we finally have a new Scenic Fights video up, this time regarding Atomic Blonde.

Give it a go?

I’m not sure what I’m doing in that still above…

Location: 7PM, the kitchen, making duck confit for a six-year old that wants McDonalds
Mood: irritated that I have to compete against McDonalds
Music: Remedy, running through the red lights (Spotify)
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Doubling-Down Pt 3

Being rude

Her: Did you all meet at [your old gym]?
Him: We don’t say that name.

The words that jump out at me with this whole Ukraine madness is “doubling-down.”

These are just the first five articles. There are dozens. And it’s maddening to me.

To me, the whole concept of doubling-down is an extension of mental masturbation; it literally accomplishes nothing except emotionally gratifying the person doing it.

Unlike actual masturbation, where the result is nothing, this mental masturbation is assuredly something – something horrible, evil, and sad.

Unborn babies and pregnant mothers are getting killed. Cities are being bombed to oblivion.

3.6 million 3,600,000 people have lost their friends, homes, livelihoods, and familiar lives, just because one guy can’t stop mentally masturbating and doubling- and tripling-down – despite all evidence that all he’s doing is hurting others and himself.

There’s no positive here for anyone. The only thing that might possibly happen is that Russia withdraws and then what? It’ll take decades to rebuild Ukraine, physically, and Russia’s goodwill, metaphysically.

Doubling-down is such a stupid fucking concept that I wrote about it before – twice in fact.

An old friend of ours, Hawk, stopped by the gym today.

A solid chunk of the people in our gym either knew us or heard about us from our old gym and left there to come to us or went somewhere else.

While I’m happy that our gym’s doing well, I’m still filled with a sense of pity for our old coach. At any point, in all the years of us being there, he could have just listened and corrected his course.

I actually sighed writing that.

Man, to make so many people miserable and destroy one’s own life for some childish dream because one won’t – or can’t – just open one’s mouth and communicate is just the height of absurdity and sadness.

But he not only didn’t, he doubled-down every chance he got. Rumor has it that, after downsizing, he’s struggling to fill up even that smaller space.

And like I said, if you keep doing what you do, you keep getting what you get.

Doubling-down is such a foreign concept to me, I suppose because, even when I was a kid, I was an old man inside; just didn’t see the upside of hurting myself and others for some weird mental pride thing.

I’ve just never seen such destructive stubbornness played out on such a grand – and horrifying – scale before.

In the end, I wonder if we’re at the cusp of World War 3, just because of one man’s stubbornness and pathological need to mentally masturbate.

None of the people that are my success models do anything like that and I’ve never known anyone doubling-down on anything that came to any good.

What a waste in every sense of the word.

Her: Why do you carry that around?!
Me: Oh, I…wait, to be clear, I would never hurt you. That’d just be…rude.
Her: (laughs)

Location: 14th Street, wondering I should also get a taco
Mood: resigned
Music: if we get it wrong, we can’t blame no one (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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