Saturday, 21 July 2018

My morning routine these days.

I woke up this morning in physical pain, kind of a nice change, if you ask me. I was clutched tight in Lochlan's arms, on my stomach, with my right arm tight around his neck and my left arm tight around Caleb's neck.

Because I choose.

And I called him at three this morning and said he needed to come to me and weirdly he was awake and so he did, stripping down to a t-shirt and his boxers and he climbed into bed and kissed my forehead, stretching out beside us and said sleep now. Everything is okay. And it was but it wasn't but Lochlan slept. It's as if he knows Caleb isn't the extreme physical threat he once was. It's as if Caleb knows we'll have room for him if he listens to me. It's almost as if we have managed to find a way to take the sharpness from the past, blurring it into unrecognizable shapes, blobs of emotion we have to think hard about to conjure up and that's good enough for everyone present and everyone presently. We seem to need to clear the air on a regular basis first and then everything is okay for a little while.

It's okay, Ben was there too. He was wrapped up like a very large comfortable mummy on Caleb's other side, and takes absolutely no offense to trading spots as sometimes he gets me all to himself and he likes that too but as he says he's getting old and needs help to handle me.

:)

So yes. I woke up in pain, shoulders jacked the wrong way, arms asleep, unable to move or fix it as I had no leverage so I cried out.

Oh my God. Someone help me. 

Lochlan startled hard, almost finishing me off. He reached out and pulled my other arm from around Caleb's neck, moving my right arm back underneath me as he turned me onto my right side and slid me back even closer against him, his arms tight around mine, using warmth and pressure to bring the feeling back and take the pain away.

Breathe, Peanut. (I hold my breath when things hurt. And my tongue.)

I did and tingles flooded through my extremities. After a few minutes he told me to go take a hot shower, which was heaven. I stood under the hot spray for twenty minutes. When I came out Caleb was gone and Lochlan was trying to tickle Ben, who remained wrapped up like a mummy and was too deeply asleep to notice.

I threw on my lingerie and a pretty cotton shift and ran my fingers through my pixie cut. I adjusted my necklace (I don't take it off) and checked my rings and asked what he wanted to do today.

Not the same thing we did last night. He makes a face at me. Also, you look beautiful.

Friday, 20 July 2018

Sharp points (and a lovely literary transition, just for you).

I was a shadow on the screen
I was a drifter on the prowl
Now I’m the lights behind the scenes
Now I’m the wolf that’s yet to howl

Yet to break out and yet to run
Yet to be outdone
Waking up to twelve degrees. The windows are open. My skin is cool, shivering in full effect now. The moment I startle from sleep Lochlan reaches out and pulls me in tight against his chest with one arm, not awake at all but also never completely asleep.

Last night the past clouded the present and he and Caleb argued heavily into the dark and I was brought home. Not going to leave me there, not going to turn his back on the monsters, not going to risk further damage tonight, and definitely not going to negotiate on any of it.

There are no choices here for you to make. The Devil stands his ground, reminding Lochlan. Caleb owns this show, somehow. We are merely the performers. Irreplaceable, sure, but also partisan to each other in a way I never expected. One giant writhing mass of limbs and hearts and tears and when one steps away a hole is created which remains until they return to the fold.

Even for the Devil. Oh, yes.

Lochlan stands staring at him, bottom lip jutted in defiance. He's thinking. I'm sure he's thinking he's going to burn the whole thing to the ground. Again. Instead he kisses my hand and looks to me for his answers.

Tell him. 

I shake my head. I mean no, but Lochlan takes it as fear that I don't want to tell him. It's the same in the end.

Neamhchiontach, please. Caleb would also like to know how this will end.

I shake my head again. I'm looking sideways, up into the night. Tears spill over. So tired of this. So tired of everything. I wipe them away and find a voice that will suit them for the moment.

Another time. One of my famous empty promises. Collected by the armful. Usually resulting in being ordered to do something at gunpoint, with shaking hands and angry voices raised. Like always.

Of course. Ever the gentlemen, not willing to show Lochlan how fierce his cravings really are, Caleb lets me off the hook. He crosses to me, hesitates briefly as Lochlan tenses, pulling me closer by the hand, and kisses my cheek gently.

Get some rest, Bridget. We'll have some time in a few days.

Lochlan pulls my hand hard and we're gone, into the dark, back across the line to the safe side of the world where the lights are golden bright and the hemlocks push back against the monsters.

He's right. You need sleep. Candles aren't supposed to burn at both ends, Peanut. 

They do if you light them. 

He smiles softly in the morning light, bending his head down, leaving a kiss against my lips. It's not a dismissal or a placeholder, it's all of the oxygen in my lungs.

What do you want to do this morning?

Damage control. 

He lets go of me and rolls to his back, covering his eyes. You don't need to do that. 

I do. We're supposed to find peace together. 

Never gonna happen. 

We can try. 

We've been trying for our entire lives. It only works if everyone actually tries, Bridget.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Reasons/Seasons.

It feels like fall, today.

These days no one remembers I like my toast well done. I'm finishing the Gatorade flavors no one likes and I'm craving a long hot bubble bath like it's the best vacation I will ever have. I need color. I need loud music. I need distraction. I need sleep, as always and I needed it last month and the month before that and now with critical mass staring me down I feel as if suddenly I don't need anything, and everything is weightless, unimportant and shallow.
You're stuck in my head and I can't get you out of it
I chased one cool evening with another and I can't remember what day it is. I'm down to reminding myself to breathe, certain my heartbeat no long keeps time, no longer keeps me alive and I feel like the wind is the only thing that matters. Not even the sea, for the sea is the wind's bath, a discarded, long-cold empty vessel full of discarded memories, drowned in a fit of impulsive, necessary change.

Come inside, Neamhchiontach. I can fix this. His voice is soft and low. It sends a shiver down my spine, as always, but I shake my head.

Look at it. 

Magnificent, isn't it? But he's not looking at the dead sea or the live wind. I know this because his eyes are boring holes into my soul. He craves it like I crave that hot bath, like I used to crave the sea before I suddenly arrived at this place where I momentarily don't love him, don't feel anything, don't care. Don't want. Don't look. Don't breathe, Bridget, for he's close enough to touch and you'll fucking care when you get burned again.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Defeatist.

Am I nice? I must be nice.

I approach every new situation as one in which I ask for help figuring it all out and today I was met not once, but three times with people willing and capable of making our lives extremely easy and efficient when they had no pure incentive to do so other than the prospect of helping someone out who needed help.

I needed that. I needed help to make the day smooth and I had to trust strangers. I took a breath and did it and it all worked out.

So the day is wrapping up and I'm taking that breath for the first time since eight this morning.

Things aren't going all that smoothly with my patient. Things are downright rough but after all these ER trips and today a surprise trip to the surgeon I feel like there's hope in sight. I will try to stay positive and tonight I'm going to make my gratitude list here because I need to see it written down. Here's all the things I'm completely, unabashedly grateful for today:

-Queer Eye Season two. (I'm not crying, you're crying.)
-Memes. Because memes.
-The impending picture galleries from the Gathering. Seriously. They're just all spectacle. It's incredible. I love it. It reminds me of the circus.
-A car full of gas and in good repair for my four trips into town today. Easy traffic (well). Worried boys.
-Prayers from Sam for energy and compassion. I am always low on the former and never ever run out of the latter.
-A big old wet juicy kiss from Lochlan this morning, almost in our sleep.
-A text from my boyfriend reminding me he has unlimited, infinite resources, if I need them.
-PJ slipping a granny smith apple into my bag.
-Picking the first cauliflower of the season.
-Henry having a day off the point with friends and having a blast.
-OH. I preordered Alice in Chains' new album, Rainier Fog. I love that name. We see them next month. SO excited. I also preordered Eisley's I'm Only Dreaming..of Days Long Past because acoustic versions of anything make me so happy.
-Ben saved me a chocolate chip cookie for after dinner. I baked a huge ham in between making trips into town. I'm a multitasker, finally.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Stuck in my jumpsuit (a pep talk for one or twenty. You pick).

We never got it right
Playing and replaying old conversations
Overthinking every word and I hate it
'Cause it's not me ('cause it's not me)
And what's the point in hiding?
Everybody knows we got unfinished business
And I'll regret it if I didn't say
This isn't what it could be (isn't what it could be)

You could break my heart in two
But when it heals, it beats for you
I know it's forward, but it's true
A reprieve last evening. Reading up on the news. Watching Selena Gomez and Twenty One Pilots videos with Ruth. Eating fried eggs and spicy sausages. Shopping for pretty shirts to wear when it's too hot outside to breathe. Having lemonade and vodka late, when the temperature dipped back down to reasonable. Being cranky with each other, but mildly, in order to find civility in the craziness. Trying to take deep breaths. Trying to keep up.

Henry's birthday was yesterday. We celebrated quietly over the past weekend, with gifts on Saturday, a special dinner and cake on Sunday and of course yesterday Henry had cake for breakfast and cake for a bedtime snack. You would think he is related to me for the love he has for cake, wouldn't you?

The only person who likes cake more than me is Caleb.

(Surprise, motherfucker. Right?)

(Forty-eight messages on my phone from him right now and I don't know what to do.)

Today is going to be better. My work is cancelled for the week, the heat is supposed to let up after today and hopefully this time everyone is on a roll toward greater things. I think yesterday was a hiccup, a wrinkle in the fabric of time. A bad day, when most of them are actually pretty good.

Let's have a good day, guys.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Such a PRO at Emergency Rooms. Got our parking, brought my book and a granola bar, just in case. Six hours and fistfuls of Percocet later (HA), we're home again.

Jesus fucking Christ.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Fresh starts are a blessing.

This week's big small goals:
  1. Get everyone to 100 percent, physically and mentally.
  2. Eat outside every night for dinner, Monday through Friday. 
  3. Celebrate Henry's birthday in style (17!!)
  4. Get him driving at least twice.
  5. Work three shifts without wanting to cry/quit
  6. Find a place to buy cute summer patchwork apron tops.
  7. Sit under the strings lights and listen to the wind thread it's way down the mountain (this can be accomplished alongside #2
  8. Make butterscotch ice cream with raspberries.
  9. Work on knitting and finish watching Queer Eye
  10. Plan out the month of August. 
  11. Breathe. 
  12. Pray.
  13. Be/Bee.
Wish me luck!

Saturday, 14 July 2018

A conversation in three easy pieces.

When life gets really really overwhelming, God yells CATCH, Bridge. It's not a contest to see who can take the most suffering or difficulty, it's simply a reminder that life is full of ups and downs, it's unpredictable. It can be easy or hard. But you don't control it. He does. 

He needs to let me take over for a bit. 

What would you do? 

Firstly, I'd turn the waterfalls to chocolate syrup. 

Really. You're given power over mankind and you decide to be Willy Wonka? 

Maybe. 

Sam laughs and sips his iced tea. We're on the big hammock down by the gate to the beach. It's more private, quieter somehow. I had to be talked into it, but my iced tea isn't iced tea, so that helped.

What else?

All horses would be pegacorns. 

What is that?

Wings and horns. 

Oh. 

Just imagine. 

Those are not the things I would do. 

No, I don't imagine. 

I would ensure peace between all living souls. 

Ha. Going to start with Lochlan and Caleb? 

They're on the list. 

We rock some more. It's growing dark. The mosquitoes are coming out. Sam doesn't notice but I start to get itchy just thinking about them.

Okay, there has to be something fluffy you would do. 

I'd give people tails. 

Tails? 

Yes, tails. Like monkeys or lions. Then they would remember where they came from and what they lower to.

They'd also be easier to catch. 

Glory, Bridge. You think of everything.
 

Friday, 13 July 2018

Why, yes, they did have the World Cup on in the OR prep area. I really wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry so I continued doing both.

The gratitude here today is fresh-baked and still warm, as my wanderlust was quickly drowned, never to be seen again, dissolved in an acid bath of sheer panic.

I held it together well, though. Go me.

I even not only found the hospital and paid for parking but I found the ER and navigated registration, triage and the long wait afterward.

Then I did it all again on Wednesday. LOL

No, seriously. I did. Fuck this. Fuck everything. Where are the boys. Why can't they do this. REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-

(Be an adult)

(No)

(Tough. Do it anyway)

(Fine)

By yesterday morning I was so done with the whole thing. I need sleep. I need a shower. I'd like a meal, or better yet a drink. I'd like a little break. Here I was teetering over the edge of exhaustion, a trickle into a stream and now it's a waterfall and I'm keeping my white-knuckle grip here, best as I can.

But we lived and now we're home.  To freshly-made beds, freshly scrubbed bathrooms, freshly-watered gardens, laundry caught up, and reunions full of laughter. Finally.

The only difference is that now, one of us no longer carts around a ruptured appendix.

(Not me. I still have mine. I'm tempted to have it removed preemptively, however.)

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Honor among thieves.

This is the calm before the storm
This is the sea between the isles
And this ain't the time to chase the dawn
This is the time to count the miles

So hold your fire and clear your mind
You won't get left behind
I can't sleep. The night is cool and quiet, the house muted. Someone left a light on in the kitchen. I wander quietly through rooms, turning off lights, closing curtains. Checking doors and windows. I touch the door at the end of the hall before the foyer. PJ's domain now. Used to be Lochlan's. I miss crawling in with Lochlan when he wasn't the way he is now. When history didn't jam itself down between us like a wall, separating us until we can no longer even touch without the world burning its reaction into our lives with a swift flash of flame.

I miss a lot of things.

I miss being everything to you. He says it softly behind me. Pulling on pajama pants, following me as I made my rounds, me oblivious to any sound he would have made, Lochlan's been behind me this whole time. But the house is muted for me virtually all the time, not just in the late hours before dawn. I wouldn't hear him if he were an intruder and yet the person I trust most in this world just walked up behind me and stuck a knife into my heart.

I start to shake my head as he pulls me in but he twists the knife and leaves it jammed between, cracks forming in the wall that keeps us apart. It hurts. Oh, it hurts.

Don't fight it. You didn't need them when you were with Jake.

Because I had you. 

No. Not most of the time, Bridge. You didn't. You had him. 

It was fleeting. You act like it was so long-

I watched you fall in love with him right under my nose. And there was nothing I could do. That changed me. Watching you slip away changed who I am. And I've been trying to get back to who I was before that but I'm just not having any luck.

The tip of the knife now sticks out my back and is catching on everything. I thought pain was a feeling. Now I know it's an object one has to get around. Or through. But not over. Never over.

So what can I do? Here it is. The part where my trust strips back and shows the raw pain on the inside, the part where he said goodbye because he couldn't manage his own feelings. He never could. I thought I do better but the fourteen-year-old he kissed goodbye all those years ago still regards him with suspicion while she waits for the other shoe to drop. And that's why she goes to them. And keeps him at arms length even as she swears she won't.

Trust me. 

Oh, that's a big one, Lochlan. 

You trust your demons. You trust your nightmares, Bridge. 

They've never left. 

I won't either. 

Those are just words, Loch. You're so good with them. 

Not compared to you. Your words have torn me apart and rebuilt me. I'm asking you to stop. To trust me. I'm not playing musical beds for the rest of our lives. I'm not. Something has to change. I've tried everything. We need to try this. 

We did it before-

That was then. This is now. 

Why is now different?

Because we deserve this. She. She deserves this. 

But he doesn't mean Ruth. He means the fourteen-year-old he left standing beside the fair gates.

How do I just forget that and go forward? 

Believe in magic. 

It's a risk. 

So is everything else you've ever done but the Bridget I raised would jump with a laugh and not hesitate. 

The Bridget you raised has been through too much to be that girl anymore. 

See, that's where I think you're wrong. He pulls the knife out and I bleed all over the floor in my own death before being resurrected in his flames once again. Let's have the greatest love story ever told. Like we always planned.