feb. 9 – feb. 24.

feb. 9

to

feb. 13.

we did nothing.

i went to

work, she went

to daycare.

but the nights,

the nights were

spent hanging out

together, just daughter

and father.

no friends.

no family.

no camera.

just music.

and books.

and toys.

and fun.

and laughter.

and frozen indian food.

and pureed fruits

& vegetables.

and sleep.

there was not

a night that

i didn’t go to

sleep before 10:00pm.

sometimes it was

earlier, but

never later.

one night madeline

did not want

to go to sleep

and there was

no way i could

keep my eyes

open, so i sat

her on the couch

and laid on her

legs, to keep her

in place.

that worked for

20 minutes,

which was all the

nap i needed.

saturday.

feb. 14.

fuck valentine’s day.

today we

met up with a

couple of strangers friends,

erin & chelsea

from the nc.

met up for some

tea at a coffee

shop in my neighborhood,

stopped for a

few photos with

the robot

robot + chelsea.

robot + erin.

then took them

on a tour of

the city.

happy.

we spent a

little time in

the bh, trying to

track down some

chocolate bars with

bacon, but we

were unable to

procure them.

(erin would later track them down via the interweb and send a few my way…thank you, erin!).

dropped them off

at their hotel

and maddy and

i drove up to the

house of gentle ben

and his family.

the lovely dana

cooked up some

amazing food

and we all ate

while the kids

made noise.

john and heather

arrived late

and we all watched

old cartoons and

talked while

the little ones

passed out.

peter and eileen

left early

(as usual)

and this night,

maddy and i

weren’t too far behind.

my eyes just can’t

stay open as

long as they

once could.

we drove home,

and as maddy

slept, i thought

about last valentine’s day.

i think

liz

had just started

bed rest,

or maybe she was

to start soon after,

it doesn’t really matter.

i remember that

we were both

unwilling to do anything

that evening.

and i remember

that i was

too busy to go

get her the gift

i wanted to pick up

for her,

(jewelry to replace the shit stolen from our house in january)

so instead,

before leaving work

i printed out the

screen shot of the

thing i was

going to give her

and gave her the

stupid piece of

paper with a

note that said,

“i ♥ you”

a year ago,

no,

a lifetime ago.

double fuck.

sunday.

feb. 15.

another visit from

a stranger friend.

this time, diane l.

came to visit

to talk about death.

yes.

you read that right.

she came to

talk to me about death.

and it was great.

she’s taking a class

at a local university,

and the central

theme is death.

she was tasked with

meeting someone

who has lost someone.

when she contacted

me a few weeks

earlier, i jumped at

the opportunity to

chat with her.

why?

well…sometimes it’s nice

to talk to a

complete stranger about

this shit.

when she arrived,

she got a

photo with the robot

robot + diane.

we had a great

conversation, though i

did most of

the talking

(sorry, diane).

reliving some of

this is tough, but

it was absolutely necesarry

for me,

and i am forever

indebted to my

new friend for

her willingness to

listen to me while

i talked about

the most awful

day of my life.

we said goodbye

to diane…

i was exhausted after

our conversation,

so maddy and i

took a long,

long nap.

that night we

played together

on the floor,

composing songs that

no one will ever hear.

monday,

feb 16.

a day off of

work, thanks to

our former presidents.

spent the morning

playing with maddy

standing.

chewing.

scared?

and later,

drinking saffron tea

and talking with

our old friend, marie h.

haven’t seen her since

liz’s

service in pasadena

and before that,

maybe 13 years

since our last conversation.

it was great to

catch up with

her and we

promised to do

it again soon.

that afternoon,

i took my two favorite

things on a little trip.

two of the greatest things in the whole wide world.

the bob ross

painting was going to

be framed…can’t

wait to get it back.

we drove home

and saw this:

outside our house on monday.

then maddy spent

the night playing

while i did

a little writing.

it’s weird to

not be traveling.

tuesday.

feb. 17.

back to work

and daycare.

before leaving

we took advantage

of the sunshine

and got a few

photos in

maddy on chair.

maddy + musical bell.

trying to get away.

and maddy played

the piano.

early to bed

on the 17th.

just couldn’t deal

with evening.

thankfully my

child likes to sleep.

feb. 18,

wednesday already.

went to dinner with

creepy kate and

her family,

maddy + male siegels.

opting for some

polish food in the

restaurant in my neighborhood.

maddy stared at

the lights

madeline.

while we talked

about things.

went home and

fell asleep

on the couch at

9:00 even though

i had a

lot of work

to do tonight.

it will have

to wait until tomorrow.

feb. 19

the day was spent

working and

getting reacquainted with

some records i

haven’t heard in awhile.

one song in particular

played over and

over again,

while i played

with maddy,

so happy.

because it reminded

me of

liz.

she fell in love

with that song

when we saw

crooked fingers open

up for wilco

when i first moved to

los angeles.

i realized that

i left chicago

for los angeles almost

exactly seven

years ago to the day.

and then i remembered

another time that

liz

got pissed at me.

she wasn’t

robot pissed this time,

but she wasn’t

happy with my decision.

in the days before

i left chicago

i decided that i wanted

to get something

as a souvenir that

would remind me of

my time there.

i stumbled into

a record store one

afternoon and saw

a sign that

would solve my problem.

“original artwork by wesley willis.”

holy fuck.

this guy was a

legend in chicago

and no matter what

the cost,

i needed some of

his artwork.

so i used the last

$50 i had

on my credit card

to buy my

first piece of original artwork.

based on the

low, low price,

i assumed the art

would be on a

small canvas or something.

no.

it was on a

giant piece of tagboard.

this is a drawing by wesley willis. he could really draw his ass off.

this is a drawing by wesley willis. he could really draw his ass off.

this is a drawing by wesley willis. he could really draw his ass off.

it was huge.

and it was awesome.

i knew that

liz

wouldn’t be pleased.

she didn’t like

the music of wesley willis

and she certainly

wouldn’t like that

i used my remaining

credit to buy

this damn thing.

i sort of planned

on hiding it from

her until i had a job,

then yelling something like,

“surprise! look at the stupid fucking decision i made with the only money i had in the world! pretty funny now that i have a job, right?”

but how does one

hide something

this big?

shit.

i decided the best

thing to do was

to tell her i

only paid $10

for it.

(brilliant plan, i know).

so after driving

from chicago

to los angeles,

excited to be

moving into a

one-bedroom apartment

with the lady

of my dreams…

after giving her a

hug and a kiss,

i said,

“look at what i bought!”

“what is it and how much was it?”

“it’s original artwork by wesley willis and it was only $10!”

“you spent $10 on a bic-pen drawing on a piece of tagboard?”

“yeah…isn’t awesome?”

“no. it isn’t awesome. and it’s not coming inside.”

we obviously didn’t

have the same

idea about what

real art is.

when i finally

got a job

and started making

some money,

i told her the actual

cost of the art.

she just shook

her head.

eventually she became

okay with my

decision, even giving

me the option of

a new computer or

getting the wesley willis

original artwork framed

for my birthday

one year.

(i chose the computer)

and when we moved

into our second

apartment, she even

felt bad for me

after the cable guy

accidentally drilled a

hole through the artwork,

though i told her

it was karmic retribution

for my little white lie.

she agreed.

i wouldn’t lie

to her again until

i bought the robot.

whoa.

that was quite

a diversion.

but that’s

that happens when

i hear certain songs,

and tonight,

"the rotting strip" by crooked fingers)

transported me back

to 2002.

it was nice to

be back there,

if only for a

short time,

and only in my mind.

it’s all

i’ve got left.

i spent the night

trying to write,

but i was distracted

by things.

went to bed

at 4:00am tonight.

not good.

feb. 20th.

morning came way

too early,

with maddy waking

up at 5:30am.

i was not ready

to wake up,

but it didn’t

matter because

she was.

going back to

sleep is not an option.

instead we got

up and got ready

for the day.

work and daycare

were done

by 3:30 this day

and tonight

it was time to relax.

ordered some thai

food and spent

the evening playing

some records for maddy.

the early morning

led to an

early evening.

Feb 21st

woke up early

again and got

ready for the day.

then we did something

i really miss doing

when we’re off on

our adventures…

strapped maddy into her

stroller and we walked

down the hill

to the new

bakery/coffee shop

in our neighborhood.

had a spam

and egg sandwich

with a cup

of tea.

haven’t had spam

since my last

trip to hawaii with

liz.

maddy, sitting in

the high chair,

made a quick move

for some of the

egg and nailed her

forehead on the

edge of the table.

she screamed,

everyone stared.

the old lady glared.

i turned bright red.

it sucked.

but within a minute,

maddy was

back to normal,

smiling and laughing.

in the afternoon

we did a

little shopping.

i bought a few records

that we spent

the evening listening to.

maddy feel asleep

pretty early, so

after a short nap,

i started watching

“paddle to the sea”.

she woke up about

5 minutes into

the movie,

just as the little

canoe made its

way to the river.

it’s been over

20 years since

i last saw this movie,

but i remember it

like it

was yesterday.

maddy stared at

the screen

and seemed to

love the music.

feb. 22nd.

sunday.

started our day

exactly the same

way as

we did on saturday,

though this time

maddy didn’t

hit her head on

the table at

the coffee shop.

then it was off

to auntie anya’s

house for maddy.

i had a bunch of

stuff to do,

plus they haven’t

spent any alone

time together in

a long time.

i had grand plans

for my 4 hours of

alone time.

clean the house.

get some writing done.

pay some bills.

go grocery shopping.

instead?

i slept.

the entire time.

i really, really needed

to get some stuff done,

but i also

really, really needed

the sleep.

though after a

year of

not sleeping,

there is little chance

that i will ever

catch up.

i picked madeline up

after my long

nap then met up

with creepy christa,

& husband, and

creepy kate & son.

went to a place

in burbank,

just a few blocks

from where

liz

used to work.

this was a place

we’d hit every few

weeks, especially when we

wanted to avoid

the traffic home.

i’ve been here

a few times

since she died,

so it’s not so

hard to go in anymore.

maddy chewed on

some crayons

eating crayons.

and we laughed.

dinner was great,

but it was time

to go home

and get working on

some of the things

i was supposed

to accomplish while

maddy was with

auntie anya.

i put her on

the living room

floor while i

did the dishes

that have been

piling up over the

past few days

something caught my eye…

it was madeline,

and she was

on her hands and

knees, crawling for

real, for the first time.

for the past two

or so months,

she has been

dragging her legs

behind her, pulling

herself around

with just her arms.

it was funny and

sad because it

looked like she

had two broken legs.

but now…

oh shit.

she’s truly mobile now.

this is not good.

now everything has

to be baby proofed.

double shit.

when she caught

my eye she was

already in

the dining room,

heading toward

the kitchen.

i yelled,

“holy shit! you’re really crawling!”

(i kinda hope “shit” is not her first word)

she looked so

proud when i

gave her the attention.

she made it

all the way to me,

so instead of

finishing up

the dishes,

i picked her up,

brought her back

to the living room

and made her

demonstrate her

new-found abilities over

and over again.

i watched as

madeline

made the transition

from baby to

little girl.

i laughed as

she got

into everything,

pulling dvds and cds

off of the shelves,

making sure that

everything on the

coffee table somehow

ended up on the floor.

i can’t believe

i’m so happy

that she’s tearing

up my house

(and this is just the beginning),

but it’s been

one hell of a

journey to get

to this point.

i just hate

doing it alone.

feb. 23rd.

monday.

another week

further away

another week closer.

today i got

a snuggie from

the people

i used to manage

(i just started a new role at work and this was a good-riddance gift from my former team).

me in a snuggie.

that’s all that

happened today.

seriously.

maddy and i

went to bed

really early.

what i want to

know is,

when the hell will

i be back to normal?

when will i

be able to stay up

past 10:00 again?

february 24.

tuesday

madeline was born

11 months ago today.

holy crap.

she’s almost a year old.

got her dressed

and took a couple

of photos before

heading off for

the morning.

staring.

yawning.

looking.

"why do you do this to me?"

singing.

i got to work

and got a

message from auntie

angel fan…

“dinner tonight?”

yes.

we have no plans

and we need

to celebrate this day.

so after work

we met up at

a place near our house.

maddy ate some

mac and cheese

and diane and

i talked about

the past.

the memories have

been flooding

back for both of

us, and that’s

not necessarily

a good thing.

we talked about

next month and

what that will

mean to everyone

who knew

liz.

madeline and i

will be back in

mexico with the

colianni family,

back in that spot that

we all planned

to go to

together.

diane agreed that

getting out of

town was the best

thing for us.

then we went

to get some dessert

maddy + diane.

(that makes everyone feel better, right?).

madeline was asleep

when we got home.

i transferred her

from carseat to playpen,

and i went to

sit on the couch

listening to this.

that night,

i,

for the first time,

felt a little guilty

for taking away

from everyone

the medicine

that we all need

so much

on march 25th.

fuck.

but diane’s right…

maddy and i

need to do this.

and we will

be sure to

take care of everyone

else when we

get back.

i promise.

but on that day…

we must be away.

Copyright © 2007-2012 matt, liz and madeline. All rights reserved. This blog may not be reproduced on any other site without the expressed written consent of Matt Logelin.