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personal

Love is the eye of the storm

That’s why I asked

It’s been busy lately, for a number of reasons.

Red: I should tell you I’m married.
Me: That would have been useful information to have prior to this.
Her: We have an open relationship.
Me: I’m glad you found your person. Unfortunately, that’s not my bag.
Her:  I’ve never [had someone just say no].
Me: Life is nothing if not unexpected. I’m a terrible person, to be sure. But I don’t fuck with marriage.

Blue: Do you really want to know?
Me: That’s why I asked.
Her: Both my parents died and I was 16. So it was either leave school or be homeless. I made a choice. That’s probably why I’m [so successful now].
Me: That’s called a “Hobson’s Choice,” because you really had no choice at all. And I’m sorry.
Her: Don’t be. You didn’t do anything. And everything worked out.
Me: (shrugging) I’m sorry because I’m human. And some people’s human experience is much worse than others.
Her: I appreciate that, after all you’ve been through, you still have empathy for others.
Me: (laughing) How could I not? 

Green/White: I was married. Twice. Are you sure you want to hear about it?
Me: That’s why I asked.
Her: (shrugging) The first one, I was just a kid and it ended early. But the second one just ended right before the pandemic. He had his own trauma and the deal was that he would go to therapy after we got married.
Me: I assume he didn’t.
Her: (bitterly) No. You can tell I’m still angry about it. Sorry.
Me: Don’t apologize for your genuine emotions. You earned them. So, you’re entitled to them.


White: There wasn’t a straw in my drink.
Me: OK. (thinking) Ah, you think I put something into it.
Her: Well…
Me: (taking a sip of her drink) If I end up passing out because someone – not me – roofied your drink, just make sure I get into a cab toward the upper west side?

Black: It’s like a job. Once or twice a week, I wake up, switch on an app, answer a few dozen stupid/boring questions from a buncha stupid/boring guys, and then go on with my week.
Me: Ah, modern romance. Where do I stack up?
Her: (laughing) Are you sure you want to know?
Me: That’s why I asked.
Her: Charming. Handsome.  But shallow. Unable to commit.
Me: (nodding) Seems accurate.

Me: Well, I don’t mean this sound overly romantic, but if you’ll allow me to be maudlin and sentimental…
Her: Let’s hear it.
Me: (nodding) The universe, all of reality, is a storm. Love is the eye of that storm; the one bit of peace in an otherwise cruel and dispassionate world that doesn’t give a shit if we live or die. We’re born naked and confused, without claws, teeth, or fur. Nothing. We only survived because someone loved us enough to make sure we did. I don’t get why someone would want less than that. It’s like someone turning down a billion dollars. Yet, they throw away love for stupid shit as if it isn’t the most rare and valuable thing in existence. And that, Counselor, is what I want. Something I had once and was taken from me.

Location: Solas, of course
Mood: exhausted
Music: Put your arms ’round my neck, and your heart on my chest (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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Opinion: Understanding the 2022 Russo-Ukrainian Conflict

It’s about the money

I interrupt my usual talk about nuthin to discuss yet another topic I know very little about. As you read this, please keep in mind that I’m basically a stay-at-home dad that owns a gym so everything I’m about to say is most likely nonsense.

Just like everyone else in the world, I think I’m right, though.


In 2015, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said that “Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country.”

This was echoed recently by Harvard economist Jason Furman who went further to say Russia’s economy is “incredibly unimportant in the global economy except for oil and gas….[i]t’s basically a big gas station.

What Putin is selling to the world right now, however, isn’t gas but the following story: The Ukrainians are essentially Russian and he’s just trying to unify them and protect them.

I call bullshit. But hold that thought.

(c) Wikipedia

Let’s turn to 1931 Japan for a hot second.

See, that’s when Japan sought to create the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere (GEACPS) by saying that, “[w]e’re all Asian. We need to unite against white people. We’re gonna do that by taking over everyone so we can adequately protect you all.”

Sound familiar?

Under the banner of GEACPS, Japan did all manners of incredibly fucked-up shit.

But, according to Washington Post reporter Daniel Yergin, this was all bullshit – of course – it was for something a lot simpler: Oil.

Japan had – and has – zero oil and realized that it needed to invade other countries to acquire oil, hence all the GEACPS bullshit.

Things hit a massive bump when Japan invaded China in 1937, freaking out the US and causing the US to freeze all oil sales to Japan on August 1st, 1941. This action, plus the freezing of Japanese assets the month prior in July of 1941, directly caused the Asian Theatre portion of World War II.

 

Back to today, 2022.

Here, we have the same situation in reverse; Russia isn’t in need of energy – in this case, gas not oil – it has too much of it. And nuthin else. That’s all it has. Think of the last Russian car, jeans, movie, you purchased. I’m guessing you can’t.

All they have is a shitton of gas but, lucky for them, the world could use that.

But, just like most things in the world, it’s not the product itself that’s the issue, it’s the getting of the product to the consumer’s hands that’s the issue.

(c) Wikipedia

That’s why you’ve probably read about the Nord 2 pipeline; that’s this big-ass pipe Russia’s been building for the past ten years or so to get its gas to Germany and the rest of Europe.

But how’s Russia been able to get its gas to Europe for the past ten years while they’re building this damn thing?

BAM! Ukraine, baby.

Well, Ukraine and Belarus. But Belarus is essentially Russia. Check out the map below.

(c) Wikipedia

Here’s where things get nuts. Well, nuttier.

See, Ukraine and Russia worked out a deal where Russia would pay it for transport of gas from Russia via those red lines you see above. Irritating for a fella like Putin but business is business, right?

Except in 2009, Ukraine was accused of skimmin a little off the top for themselves. The facts, on both sides, were a little muddy but kinda irrelevant: Putin believed that they were stealing gas and that was when things really started heating up between the two countries, ending up where we are today.


I’m a New Yorker. There’s one thing you learn early on in NY; you don’t mess around with organized crime. And you sure as hell don’t interfere in the money-making ventures of organized crime.

But imagine a mob that ran a country and only had one single thing of value (albeit a shitton of that one thing) and (a) you were responsible for distribution of that thing to their biggest customer and (b) you were thought to have skimmed a little off the top?

Well, if you know anything about Bugsy Siegal and/or watched Casino, you know how well that worked out.

A poster of the film Casino. Distributed by Universal Pictures

I’m, not-at-all, blaming the Ukraine for this mess. They’re just trying to get paid for use of their land and the people of Ukraine are just trying to live.

They’ve been at war for years now, with Ukraine having battle-hardened soldiers ready to fight.

But Russia’s still bigger in every sense of the word and they’re betting that it’s easier, and cheaper, to take over the Ukraine a la Belarus than keep paying Ukraine.

What NATO has to do is convince them that the economic cost of trying to take over the Ukraine is gonna cost a lot more than just paying them rent.

Hence alla the sanctions.

It’s anyone’s guess if they can do that.

Russia is willing to start WWIII under the same pretenses of Japan in WWII. Probably with the same disastrous results.

None of this is good. And it’s gonna get a lot worse before it gets better.

Location: earlier today, wondering if we should move to Montana
Mood: concerned
Music: Man, I had a dreadful flight (Spotify)
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Lil Rollers

Gaius Julius Caesar

Her: How did you meet your wife?
Me: (laughing) Same way I met you, darling.

My buddy is currently juggling about three or four women right now. Each one was a street pickup, which might sound crass to you, but it’s not meant to be; a street pickup simply means someone you have zero nexus with – a total stranger.

When I met Alison, she was just a beautiful girl walking into a club I was walking out of. I literally thought she was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen.

Even though she was on date – with a guy called Tall Scott, which gives you some indication of what he looked like relative to 5’8″ me – I knew I had to meet her. Even if that meant I’d get socked in the face.

Best decision I ever made.

The best decision she ever made was to go on a date with Tall Scott (who, I should note, was a nice fella, but she was mine, not his).

Most people have some nexus with the person they love the most in the world with: They’re classmates, gym buddies, co-workers, something.

But a street pickup is zero nexus – it’s a complete and utter stranger.

Now, as it turned out, we ended up having a friend in common, but when we first spoke to each other, we didn’t know that.

For some reason, I’m quite proud of that fact.

Me: In one of our first conversations, I told her that Julius was Caesar’s middle name. His first name was Gaius.
Her: (laughing) I never knew that.
Me: And now you do.
Her: (later) You’re very nice. But you’re obviously still in love with your wife.
Me: I am. It’s even more complicated than you might imagine. (shrugging) I don’t think true love ever dies. And I don’t think most people would call me, “nice.”
Her: What would they call you?

Me: Did you have fun?
Him: I loved it! Can we come again tomorrow?!
Me: (laughing) Sorry, kiddo. Only once a week for us for now.
Him: Awwwwwwww!

We just recently launched our kids program that we named the Paxibellum Lil Rollers. My son was a bit apprehensive but both Chad and I were floored at just how good our buddy Mike was at teaching kids.

For example, at one point, he fell and started to cry and Mike totally brought him back and made him just fall in love with program.

Today was his second class and, when he came in, I told him Mouse might be there so he hit the mat and started running around screaming at the top of his lungs, “I wanna see Mousie!!!”

It was pretty adorbs, I gotta say.

She ended up not coming but Pez was there – she’s going to be the assistant kids coach – and the kid was thrilled to have a friend on the mats.

Afterwards, I got them all Taco Bell, just because … oh, you know

Anywho, if you have a kid between the ages of 5 and 14 in Manhattan, bring them by our gym at 4 W 18th Street. They’ll be in great hands.

Me: Dude, he’s so good at this.
Chad: Yeah, man, he really is.

Tonight, my kali coach was late to class so I covered the first half.

It was weird teaching again. I think the last time I taught a class was maybe in 2014. And, I gotta admit, I missed it.

Chad: I’ve never seen you teach before.
Me: Really? (thinking) Oh, I guess that’s right.
Him: You’re good at it. You should do it more.
Me: Maybe someday. I got the kid. (laughing) Besides, we can’t afford me yet.

Location: home
Mood: remorseful
Music: that’s how you’ll stay. That’s why, darling (Spotify)
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Sine qua non

Villan it is

Me: Goddammit. The RTX 3090 needs three pcie power connectors and you only have two.
Him: Goddammit.

My buddy Panda just left. Was trying to upgrade his computer but no luck. Still, we did manage to sit down and have some rum together.

Him: You’ve accomplished a lotta stuff with your life.
Me: (taking a sip) What have I accomplished besides being a high-functioning alcoholic?
Him: (shrugging) Well, you’re high-functioning at least.

Spoke to someone I dated after everything went down with Alison and my dad. I literally had to dig up my old phone – and old phone number – to figure out how to get in touch with her. My brain’s like swiss cheese lately.

That’s an interesting story that I’m still trying to sort out. Maybe I’ll tell you about it someday.

Me: FWIW, I think I loved you. Everything was just…crazy then.
Her: (laughs) You think?! You did. You still do.
Me: Sure. And I think you still love me. But in the end, it doesn’t make a difference does it?
Her: No, it doesn’t. (shaking head) I’ve never met anyone so out of touch with what they’re thinking and feeling.
Me: It was too much. It’s still too much to take. In the end, we were both right: We’re incompatible.

On that note, I thought of my ex before Alison recently.

This woman named Alana Davis sang a cover of Ani DiFranco 32 Flavors that I prefer to Ani’s verison. Alison always thought that was blashphomy.

In any case, both versions start off with a line that goes, “Squint your eyes and look closer; I’m not between you and your ambition.”

When my ex and I broke up, she essentially said I was holding her back: From making new friends, from getting promoted at work, from blogging, from public speaking, from everything.

In law, there’s a latin phrase, sine qua non, which translates to “but for…”

eg: She would be happy and successful – but for Logan holding her back.

I thought of that phrase and the Ani song as she was telling me how awful I was.

Don’t think I was angry so much as I was sad that she blamed me for so much. I like to think that she was just lashing out because everything was such a mess.

Have zero idea what’s going on with her now but I always wondered if her life became everything she dreamed it would be if only I wasn’t in it.

Sine qua non Logan…

Honestly, as I write this, I hope she was right. That it was me, all along, keeping her from being the best version of her self.

I wrote once that I was always secretly on her side and I still am.

In fact, I’m secretly on the side of a lotta people who probably don’t know that I am. Because, for some moments in time, they meant the world to me.

In the end, that’s fine.

Everyone needs a good enemy and if that’s my role in someone’s life, so be it – sometimes, we don’t get to choose if we’re the hero or the villian, life chooses for us.

Villan it is…

In other news, I finished making the duck confit for the kid recently.

Him: I don’t want to try it.
Me: Try it, you might like it.
Him: (reluctantly) Oh, it’s good!
Me: See?!
Him: I’m just going to eat the (plain) rice, OK? Yummy. This rice is so good.
Me: (sighing)

Location: stepping out of the car on W 76th and Amsterdam
Mood: villanous
Music: God help you if you are a phoenix and you dare to rise (Spotify)
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And I pay it

The keys to the kingdom

My son’s memory is pretty insane. My SIL and I once went to a parking deck and I thought we parked the car on the fourth floor, my SIL on the 3rd, and my son thought we parked on the second.

Me: There’s no way [it’s on the second floor].
Him: It was the second.
Her: That’s impossible.
Him: (10 minutes later) I tooooooold you!
Her: How is that possible?
Me: I have no idea. He’s ridic.

This past Friday, I completely forgot that he was due for his second shot but got an email reminder. I quickly had to cancel a bunch of plans and reschedule things to make this appointment.

Her: How could you forget your son’s appointment?
Me: Lady, you wouldn’t believe the stuff I’m forgetting these days. I’ll make it up to you.

Picked the boy up from school and, after his music lesson, sat him down and put my hands gently on his shoulders:

Me: OK, kid. I have good news and bad news. The good news is that we’re having dinner together and you can have anything you wan…
Him: McDonalds!!
Me: (laughing) OK, a deal’s a deal. We’ll get McDonalds. (deep breath) OK, the bad news is…
Him: More bad news? I’m already getting a shot!
Me: Wait, how did you know that?
Him: It’s the 3rd. I’m getting it at 6PM tonight.
Me: Whoa…that’s…whoa…

Legit, he remembered something that was mentioned in passing by the nurse, after he’d gotten both the flu and COVID shots. Crazy.

He didn’t even wince when he got stuck, let alone cry.

Me: Are you ok? Did it hurt?
Him: (shrugging) Not really. Can I have candy?
Me: Heck, yeah!

This is not to say that alla my conversations this weekend were easy. A buddy of mine asked to meet up.

Him: We need to talk.
Me: Do I need to be armed for this conversation?
Him: I hope not.
Me: Fair. (taking a seat) What’s going on?

It was unpleasant but not altogether bad. It was half about me and half about another buddy of ours.

Me: People like him never understood the power of these tools. [Our buddy] who mocked [the three-step apology] thinks it’s a joke, but you see its power now.
Him: It’s gold. It’s amazing.
Me: (nodding) And that’s why he’ll never be as good as you, in health, wealth, or relationships. None of them will. Because they think all these things I do are an inconsequential joke. But you know – you’ve seen – that these are the keys to the kingdom.
Him: I know I owe you a debt for these things.
Me: (shaking head) That’s where you’re wrong. You don’t owe me a debt; I’m repaying a debt I owe you. You gave me something I wasn’t entitled to, that put me in your debt. And I pay it.
Him: I appreciate that. (later) I see your rage and I’m sorry because I know where it comes from. But…
Me: (interrupting) I know. I’m well-aware…

The next day, I had a young new sitter come by to take care of the kid while I ran a seminar at Paxibellum given by the big man in my system, Tuhon Bill McGrath of Pekiti Tirsia International.

It was the first of what I had hoped would be regular guest seminars at the gym. We were packed to the seams with attendees, which was impressive…

Attendee 1: I remember reading, “Logan Lo,” and I thought, where do I know that name from? And then I remembered: You’re the Scenic Fights guy! I’ve seen every video!
Me: (laughing) That’s great. Thanks for the support.
Him: How long have you been doing this for?
Me: 17 years?
Him: What? How old are you!?
Me: Ah, we’re playing the game…

…but, Chad and I are making more moves with the gym that we didn’t anticipate – some annoying but some really quite cool and unexpected.

I’ll tell you all about them when and if they happen.

Attendee 2: I just want to say that I’m a big fan of Scenic Fights.
Attendee 3: (overhearing) Me too!
Me: And here I thought it was all just my mom leaving comments. Thanks, fellas.

Afterward, Bill and I took a walk back to his car.

Me: I never got a chance to say, “Thank you,” for all the kindness and support you’ve all shown me after everything went down.
Him: We’re old school, Logan. We try to take care of each other.
Me: I appreciate that, sir. I really do. Thank you.

Location: earlier tonight, looking for ice for my wrist
Mood: grateful
Music: yeah, that’s my kid / did I leave a better life for the rest? (Spotify)
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Who are you?

Not as long as you need me

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s how I define myself to myself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Three people, independently

Another of my many life rules

What do coffee, tea, and chocolate have in common?

      • Coffee comes from relatively tall trees originating from a region called Kaffa in Ethiopia, Africa.
      • Tea, meanwhile, comes from an evergreen shrub in East Asia.
      • Chocolate, finally, comes from the relatively short cacao tree from South/Central America.

They’re really completely different species of vegetation that have absolutely nuthin – nuthin – in common with each other.

Yet, somehow, each plant, completely independently of each other, somehow figured out how to make the below chemical compound as a means of self-protection from animals that might eat it:

(c) Someone else

Caffeine.

I always found that remarkable. That three, completely unrelated organisms (they’re literally on different continents), can come to the same logical conclusion: Creating the chemical compound of caffeine will help it survive – and potentially flourish – somehow.

It musta worked because they all started this potentially millions of years ago, and are still doing it now, to this day.

I developed my own life rule  from this rando bit of knowledge.

Case in point, a little while ago, I was unkind to a fella at the gym I was going to at the time. Three people that I like and respect told me that I was in wrong.

So, I found the guy, sat him down, and apologized for how I treated him and he was pretty receptive to it. We now chat regularly and he actually joined Paxibellum.

Told you repeatedly: I’m not a good person.

It’s one of my many life rules that I keep for myself to similarly survive and, hopefully, flourish:

If three people, independently, tell me something, it must be true.

And the same rule works in the contrapositive:

If something is not true, then three people would not independently tell me about it.

I’ve been doing a lotta self-reflection with my therapist lately and just spoke to her today.

Me: What do you think, in your honest professional opinion? Am I a narcissist?
Her: (thinking) The hallmark of narcissism is a lack of empathy, but I don’t see that at all. You tried to help your father, your wife, your ex, Chad, etc, because you empathize with their struggles.
Me: And the rest? Am I irredeemable for all the things that I’ve done?
Her: I don’t think so. I see someone who went through – and is still going through – a lot of trauma but trying to be better for his son and those around him. I mean, you’re talking to me, after all.  It’s the people that never bother trying to be better that end up staying the same.

Location: earlier today, the Metal Park
Mood: trying
Music: I don’t want to dream about the things that I used to be (Spotify)
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Categories
personal

Trying to be better

The kid is in first grade

It’s weird having the kid back in school again. I feel as if no time has passed this summer but so much has.

And yet, here we are, in a new grade, with new classmates and teachers. Picking him up the first day, I met his teacher for the first time.

Me: So how did he do?
Her: Well, you obviously know how social he is. He made a lot of new friends pretty quickly.
Me: Yup, that sounds like him.

He does have some social anxiety when we first show up to anything, but I encourage him to feel whatever he feels.

Him: I’m sorry I’m scared, Papa.
Me: (shaking head) No. Don’t ever apologize for your honest feelings. You’re always entitled to your true feelings, kid, and no one – not even me – is allowed to tell you that you can or cannot feel something that you honestly feel.

This actress named Charlotte Cushman once said, To try to be better is to be better.

Suppose I tell the kid these kinda things in the hopes that he’ll try to be ok and, maybe, that will be enough to make him ok.

I just want him to be ok.


Alla that sounds very sensible but the truth is that I question my own feelings about any number of things.

And yet, I try my best to not get down on myself for feeling what I feel.

And what I don’t feel.

Her: Why?
Me: I don’t know. I just know I’m not your guy.
Her: Well, thanks for telling me, I guess. (later) I didn’t even want dessert.

It’s still a work in progress. I’m trying.

Looking back at women I’ve dated, there are at least three women that I know that married the very next guy they dated after me.

That’s just off the top of my head.

Suppose, after me, it became very clear what they did and didn’t want in their life, for better or worse.

Writing that made me laugh. Perhaps I’m just so awful that some people needed to marry the very next person to get me outta their systems.

Maybe trying to be better isn’t enough after all.

Someone just rang my doorbell from my building. He found a crowbar on the floor in the hallway and it’s pretty clear, someone was trying to break into one of the units here.

I should really move to the burbs.

Location: in my apartment building
Mood: exhausted
Music: been feeling lazy, I’ve been going crazy (Spotify)
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