Tuesday, 15 January 2019

And now twice in fourteen months.

Got my Breaking Benjamin tickets early early this morning before work. I almost died of fright. Chrome didn't want to play nice and so Firefox stepped in and saved the day. They're playing half an arena in Abbotsford, a place I only know as the place where everyone passes their driver's licenses and the home of Castle Fun Park and the Maan Farms haunted Halloween maze.

Asking Alexandria is opening for Breaking Benjamin. I almost expected Avenged Sevenfold AGAIN.  So now who do I contact so I will get to hear The Road and Moving On live?

I might die. This is amazing. Twice in less than two years after waiting almost twenty to see them at all?

The most amazing part is it's the night before my sixth (seventh? Don't even know anymore and will have to check) Switchfoot concert. So I get to see my two favorite bands of all time in a single weekend.

If you try to pinch me this time I'm going to run away.

Monday, 14 January 2019

Just say when.

Caleb has slowly morphed the little den that begins his wing into a proper office, though slightly less sterile and uh, venture-capitalistic than before. It's more rustic, more homey, with some big easy chairs and a heavy rustic wooden desk and bookshelves. 

The lighting he redid as well and now it's so cozy it almost makes me want to do work for him, though I declined easily this morning when he asked if I would consider helping him with his year end and tax reconciliations. 

I can't. Switchfoot's new album comes out in four more sleeps and in the meantime Lochlan bought me Nothing More's Stories We Tell Ourselves so I'm a little bu-

Bridget, I adore the fact that you eat, sleep and breathe your music. You can bring your airpods with you. 

Numbers mess up the music. It only works with words. 

I'm sorry? 

I can't listen to music while working with numbers. 

I didn't know this. I've always put on music for you-

I can't hear it. 

But you can write and listen-

And sing along. While writing completely different thoughts. 

So are you saying you're throwing me over for Nothing Less?

Nothing More. And yeah. We said this last year. No more taxes. 

It's the only thing certain in life, Neamhchiontach. 

No, that's death. Remember?

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Fifteen degrees in January and my life is different now but also the same.

Lochlan picked a fight. Apparently Matt did too, though from a distance instead of directly in Sam's face and so Sam and I took a day off. He let one of his other ministers lead Sunday services and I told Lochlan off so gently I'm not entirely sure he heard me but it felt good.

Sam took me out for breakfast to a place with bottomless coffee and fried potatoes and then we came home and put on our swimsuits and towels for a long hot sauna. When we couldn't stand that anymore we retired to the hot tub on the lowest setting. PJ brought out an ice pack for my head and a mimosa for me, orange juice for Sam.

I thought Sam was going to try and rearrange my brain so I started babbling but he just gazed at me wearily and told me to stop. That we didn't need to do this today. That today could just be rest. That I should close my eyes and flatline my brain, just for a little while. That everything could wait.

And so it did.

After too long in the hot tub my headache began to come back and I was just thinking about getting out when Lochlan appeared. Sam stepped out, put a towel skirt on over his swim trunks and said he would see us at supper (everyone's excited about supper. I'm making SOPP-sausages, onions, peppers and potatoes in three of the big skillets tonight. And buttered rolls besides.).

Lochlan bent down beside the edge of the hot tub and held up a towel.

Is that the towel of arbitration or the towel of forgiveness?

It's the love towel. 

Oh, yuck. Is it...clean? 

He laughs. I love you, stupid. This towel is to show you how much. 

How will a towel show me how much you love me? I am suspicious and remain where I sit.

Get out and see. 

Still with my eyes narrowed, I get out and he wraps me tightly in the towel. It's fresh from the dryer and warm. He was right. He loves me an awful lot.

Told you.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Far too much to ask for (the real devil would have already done it by now, just to enjoy the fallout, FYI).

I'll be right there
But you'll have to grab my throat and lift me in the air
If you need anyone
(If you need anyone)
I'll stop my plans
But you'll have to tie me down
And then break both my hands
Lochlan fell asleep the night that Caleb and I had our two-restaurant date and now blames himself for my fear.

As always, he blames himself where the blame surely lies more squarely on the devil, aligned perfectly along the edges so that it doesn't stick out sharply, wounding me with clean cuts that bleed a waterfall down through the house, drowning everything in crimson.

I don't let him take that blame. He can't have it. It does not belong to him. It has nothing to do with him. He makes a generous allowance for my wants and then stands back and bites his tongue as I throw myself over the edge of it, taking too much, being greedy, and as always it comes back to bite me on the shoulder in the throes of its own selfish ecstasy.

For him that fear is confirmation of my loyalty. It's his peace of mind, his own watershed of comfort in playing the hero of my story now, again, as always.

Enough, Lochlan said when Caleb remarked that he enjoyed our evening and that we should extend it through the weekend.

I thought we had fun, Caleb looks at me curiously (maybe accusingly) and waits for my confirmation, waits for my assurance that Lochlan is being possessive and overbearing.

I shake my head just slightly, as if his interpretation is just plain mad.

Alright, outside. Caleb orders, he doesn't ask.

This is new.

Fine. I bring my coffee cup. In the daylight he doesn't scare me. With my clothes on as armour he doesn't scare me. It's only when conditions are just right and the night is full of regret and poor choices and old wounds and inexplicable needs that he terrorizes (I mean terrifies me).

This is supposed to be working. 

What is?

You, me. This. Even Lochlan is on board with trying to make things better for you and trying to give you what you want. 

You won't give me what I want. 

He stares at me. He knows exactly what I mean and we're going to be at a stalemate until one of us dies, and then I'm going to be so disappointed because it will be him.

I can't do that, Neamhchiontach. 

Then we're done here. I take my cup and go back inside.

Friday, 11 January 2019

Because you can't actually fix anything with a sandwich and an orgasm, contrary to popular belief.

I'll be the one to protect you from
Your enemies and all your demons

I'll be the one to protect you from
A will to survive and a voice of reason
He tried, I guess.

Dinner was beyond decadent. Vertical food. Probably plated with tweezers like I've seen on Chef's Table so it was cold by the time it made it to me, and then I didn't know how to eat it.

You haven't touched your food. 

(Sorry, I'm busy savouring this six hundred dollar wine instead. Tonight's going to hurt, better anaesthetize myself while I can.)

I don't know what it is, Cale. 

He rolls his eyes. Chicken. Mushrooms. Risotto. 

Which part? I squint at my plate. I see no chicken. I can identify a green bean and what I think is shaved parmesan. The rest is roasted beige something. It's a poultry inukshuk. We were here alright.

Tell you what. Finish your glass. We'll go find some Monte Cristos. 

Really? I light up. I'm starving and pretension robs my appetite.

Tension robs everything else. Including common sense. As I never saw the shift in him, the one that took him from trying to please, to expecting to be pleased. There's always a price for a six hundred dollar bottle of wine. I should have stayed in Vegas. At least then it wouldn't have been the same monster over and over again. It would have been a different one every day.


Mmmm? My attention is drowning in oak-aged grapes and wrath.

You're preoccupied. 

Sorry. Just thinking. 

About what? Be honest with me. He's got our coats now, helping me into mine, the familiar roughness taking over where his gentlemanly efforts are beginning to wear away. He leads me out by the hand and we are in the car and then we're in a more-brightly lit but far less affected restaurant where he orders cokes and sandwiches and then he smiles but only with his mouth and we eat quickly (he eats the half I leave) and then we're in the car again. It's late. Deciding you chose the wrong place for dinner and having to choose again takes time.

Oh, nothing. I was just thinking about how Joel said Lucic makes one-point-five million every time he scores a goal. It made me laugh.

I didn't think you followed Edmonton. 

I don't. I follow Lucic though.

And then we're home and it's hardly lit at all, the outside lights are mostly off. It's later than I thought and the house is quiet. The kids' doors are closed and no one is around and there are a few lights burning in the library and Lochlan is there but I don't even know if he followed as I am led upstairs, still with my coat on. Still with my buzz on. Still with no lights on and I stumble against furniture as we make our way to my room. He wastes no more of his precious time, stripping me down, again without the gentleness of before, now with barely-concealed need leaking out from the darkness of his eyes, the strength of his hands and the bent of his brain that has to do this.

(Why does he have to do this?)

And then he has already begun, his hip bones grinding against mine, his fingers in my mouth, my buzz heading out the door. Lochlan isn't coming. No one's going to save me now. I can feel doors closing in my brain as history takes over and a ten-year-old starts calling the shots in the best way she knows how.

Don't shut down on me, Bridget. It's a warning I can't heed. It's too late.

He shines a flashlight directly in her eyes. You're safe. Everything's okay. I'm here. He slows down, no longer grinding down my bones, instead bearing down hard enough to break them instead. My jaw unclenches and he holds my head in his hands, hard enough to squeeze my brain. I cry out and he loves that and his fingers go back into my mouth and I can't move a muscle. But I don't have to, the Devil is working my limbs, trying to touch my brain, trying to reach my soul so he can have it back. And the ten year old suddenly steps away and he sees my hiding place and I can't help it anymore and I give in.

This is his reward, the one I never want to give him anymore.

Go, baby, he whispers. Go get it. 

Harder, I cry and he twists my arms up over my head as I arch my back. I can't reconcile anything anymore but goddamnit I'm going to get something out of this fucked-up life too.

But the moment it's over she steps back in to hide me, my hands start shaking and the look of certain victory on Caleb's face in the dark makes me want to throw up.

This is why I would give you the moon if you asked, Neamhchiontach. 

Can you just get Lochlan for me instead? I need him. The look of victory and all of the air is sucked right out of the room with that request and I can no longer breathe at all.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

The only thing darker than my last death.

In these diamonds we're left with coloured glass
As pressure takes its toll, we will outlast
But you can't break my heart
As long as I can be myself, I'll never fall apart
And you can't take me in
If I'm not broken, break me down
So I will never feel alone again
Have to get in the mood. Have to breathe evenly. Have to delete the message just like the good old days when several hours prior to a date, he would tell me what I should wear. Have to stop my hands from shaking as he pulls out old triggers and new risk. Have to button all of these stupid buttons but I can't breathe. I can't breathe. Can't let Lochlan see this fear after I said I was fine. In control, even. So not in control. Why did he agree to this? My terms are simpler. My ways are safer. You let him call the shots they'll be aimed right between my eyes.

Or worse. At my heart.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

This is frustrating (and no I'm not drunk.) (Okay, I'm not drunk YET.) (Okay, maybe a little.)

New Jake is growing a beard (omg what's wrong with my knees?)

John just shaved his off. (I might have cried out in alarm when I saw him, as I didn't know who he was at first.)

PJ plans to grow his to his knees. God love my metalhead.

Ben has his customary-scary winter one.

Lochlan just looks weird and homeless with one. It doesn't work for him. 

Caleb looks like a serial killer hiding in plain sight with his. 

Daniel will never ever grow one and waxes. 

Schuyler shaves twice a week, sometimes only once. 

Christian also looks downright strange with one. 

Batman always looks like a Wall Street financier down on his luck with one. 

Sam looks like a... a Hobbit now with his. 

And I have been trying to grow one for years and years and it never happens, and they won't tell me the secret of how to do it. 

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Hold my planner.

Caleb comes around this afternoon after I get home, trying once again for a date. He's less lonely than before but also makes twice as much effort to cement his place in the house (and my  life) but he's doing it sweetly, at least. 

Can I borrow her...just for a meal? 

She's not very high in calories. Lochlan is amused, playing with words like he plays with fire. Actually he's doing that too, as Caleb is running down a sensitive subject and sometimes when you joke with him when he's feeling like this he has a tendency to get violent. 

Except he knows that I don't permit violence in my house (much) and that it won't win him any dinners, lunches OR breakfasts. He needs to play nice to play at all. 

I'll let them figure it out. I'm too happy to be home and head first in Lochlan's shirt, his arms around me tight. He smells like goatsmilk soap and coffee and he's nice and warm. 

Thursday. When she's off work. Then you can come back with her. 

My eyebrow goes up and bumps into Lochlan's collar. Did he just set up my date and then invite him home afterward? 

I was thinking a late dinner, so eightish and back around eleven? 

Sounds fine. 

Yes. Yes he did.

Monday, 7 January 2019

Continuity errors.

If you knew me (you're so lucky you don't), you'd know that the only thing I want to do after sex is go to sleep for a bit. And by a bit I mean hours and hours, preferably overnight or at least for the remains of the day.

So when Ben gently turned me out the door I contemplated not doing my jean-buttons back up but I did and then boy, was I surprised when I ran into Caleb coming down the basement steps and I quickly tried to casually fix my Ben-hair, as he had it gripped good and tight in his hand and it's a disaster.

Oh, I was just looking for- He stopped. No amount of surprise casual-ness will hide what I was just up to. Jesus. You can't even wait until dark? 

Did you need something? Ice will cover my fluster. Ice will freeze it in place forever and I'll never ever change. I'll never be as cool and collected as the devil, I'll never have a poker face or be able to hide a thing. I'm clear. See-through. A jellyfish.

A well-fucked jellyfish.

I was hoping to steal you away for some brunch but now I feel as if I should just go back upstairs and pretend I never saw you. 

You could do that. 

Do you want to get ready and go out? 

No. I need to lie down. I start laughing. I'm the man. Don't men always want to fall asleep right after sex? Yeah, that's me. I'm a dude. So happy. Be right back, going to pee in the snow.

What's so funny? 


Are you laughing at me? 

No, I'm tired. Maybe brunch tomorrow. 

You work tomorrow. 

That makes me laugh more, only it doesn't sound much like a laugh. More like a sob. True. Maybe later, when I get up. 

Are you alright?

Oh, I'm good. I'm so good. 

Sunday, 6 January 2019


I got to sleep in. Sam conceded that since I heard the sermon, live and up close, and that I live it already, trying to protect myself against all of the things that threaten to tear me down, that I was cleared to not attend.

He didn't let Lochlan off the hook and after a lot of grumpy swearing and even some indignant hollering down the hall at Sam's back as he went home to find a suit (and the famous Argentinian flag-bucked belt) Lochlan also put on a suit, a plain brown belt and brown shoes and went to church.

It almost made me laugh except that I was so damned surprised that he followed through the laughter ended up far behind me. I went down to see Ben instead. Ben sometimes still disappears for too long and it's one of the thorns that stuck into our relationship and let it bleed out so slowly nothing hurt and he is always, always there when I need him mind you. He's just distracted and always caught up in wonderful projects.

I snuck in through the door and up behind him as he sat in his chair. I didn't know he was asleep or I would have left him be but I wrapped my arms around his head and he startled fifty feet and shouted. AH!




Oh my God, Bridget, you scared me. 

Probably because you forget what I look like. 

I just look for the short blonde blur. 


Have I been down here too long? 

I didn't nag. 

Maybe you should. 

I'm not that type of person. 

He snorts and I make a note to follow up on that. I am persistent, though I won't harass you if you're busy unless I'm kidding and you're clearly not busy.

Where's Loch?

He went to church. 

Huh. What'd he do? 

I just told you. 

I mean to go alone? Did he kill someone? 

Sam guilted him into it. 

Sam is everyone's favorite sitcom wife. 

True. But Loch went that's good. 

And you're bored. 

Yup. I'm just using you for entertainment. You know, til he comes back. 

How much time do we have? He's not in his chair anymore, crowding the spot where I stand, head down, lips against my hair, hands absolutely all over.

What's time again? Oh, that thing we don't measure. 

Lock the door, Bridge. 

Already did. My smile is wicked, my intentions crystal-clear.