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The Manny Diaries


His parents, John and Mark, were in their early 50s, slender and tattooed (one with a sleeve), both SoHo salon workers (one a colorist, the other a stylist) who spent their days cutting, coloring, pampering and stroking the locks and egos of businesswomen, wealthy housewives and Hollywood actors. They were cool, hip and showed me that it was possible that I too could have it all one day.

The idea of having children was something I had always imagined, even more than having a partner. I had spent my entire adult life up to then (all six years of it!) single, never putting much effort into finding love, using dating apps more to find artistic collaborators than romance.

I had only been on two real dates in the city. One was a dinner with a guy who didn’t seem to grasp the concept of eating with his mouth closed. The other was a coffee date where the guy spent the afternoon discussing his habits on popular hookup apps, the tops and bottoms of his many experiences.

When it came to sex and relationships, I was a late bloomer. While college friends were busy boozing it up at house parties, I was in rehearsal for a Tarell Alvin McCraney play and having my first kiss with, yes, a woman. Mainly because the script said to. I bloomed late all the way through college in Indiana and during my early years in New York.

With Lucas, I almost felt as if we were growing up together. For two years, until the pandemic interrupted our routine, I took him through the same daily paces — pick him up from school, help him do his homework, feed him a snack, take him to the park, then taekwondo, dinner, bath, bed.


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