Thursday, August 25, 2016

Late.

Being big and tough is exhausting. I don't know how the boys do it. I gave up my efforts well into the evening and barricaded myself in the library with Ben's headphones and a plan to fall asleep on the fluffy white rug.

Only I felt a hand on my shoulder just as I was drifting off. I opened my eyes and there are big brown eyes staring back at me. It's gotten very dark and he's turned on a small light on the table across the room.

Bee. Come upstairs.

I'm good. I hug myself smaller and close my eyes again. He takes off the headphones and sees what's playing. Nothing. I didn't even think to turn on music, I just needed to block out the world.

Come on. I'll take you up.

I need a pantry.

You need to not get caught up in their power struggle. Take what you need and leave them to their bullshit. Don't take it on.

It's hard not to.

I know but their emotions and their actions aren't your fault or your doing. Remember what you've learned.

I learned over the years that if Ben drinks for whatever reasons, I'm not to blame. Even if I fucked up and pushed him or fought with him or ignored him. It's supposed to not be my fault. I never ever believed that for a second. Not any more than I believe that right now it totally isn't my fault that Lochlan and Caleb have spent their entire adolescent and adult lives fighting over me.

 I can't cause, control or cure it.

Except that I know I did, I can and I should.

This is hard.

Ben kisses my forehead and lifts me into his arms. I hold on for dear life. There's a reassurance tinged with regret in our embrace as he tries to believe that he's relevant and required. He is but maybe he has an easier time believing in things he finds at the bottom of a bottle or in a jar of pills. Demons grow quiet under those perfect circumstances. I don't have the self-disregard to go there. He tells me that's a gift. I tell him it's a curse, as I am an anxious, fearful idiot now and I'm supposed to know better. I'm supposed to be good at life. I'm old enough to understand these things and I'm old enough to control my own destiny.

This is far too heavy for a Wednesday night, Bumblebee. Let's go to sleep and tomorrow we can grab Sam and talk some more. He's good at this. Sam's a jack of all trades. He's a patient prince and he's somehow just about off limits suddenly. Again.

Lochlan would prefer I talk to just about anyone but Sam.

Loch's a carny. He's got no training. I'll deal with him.

Who else do you know that can juggle fire that well? It's only partially a euphemism. But my eyes are heavy and my words slur against the proper pronounciations. I give up and fall asleep against Ben's shoulder, his reassurance blanketing me in total warmth. I worry for nothing and soon I don't worry at all.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Woke up at four. This is how the day's going to go.

My wrists are two different sizes. I think maybe I was supposed to be a twin. I must be the stronger of the two. I bet I absorbed my weaker sibling in the womb before she even registered on the map. I bet I ate her with gusto and spit out her bones and proclaimed that I would win everything and never have to compete with her for anything.

It would explain an awful lot.

It would explain everything.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The appearance of conflict

He said I'm fabulously rich, come on just let's go
She kind of bit her lip, jeez, I don't know
But I can guarantee, there'll be no knock on the door
I'm total pro, that's what I'm here for

I come from downtown, born ready for you
Armed with will and determination, and grace, too
I have to admit I burst into tears when I watched the recap of The Tragically Hip's Kingston concert and saw Gord Downie break down at the end of Grace, Too.

That's the song I like most by the band. I wasn't much of a fan, per se and it was only today that I realized 38 Years Old is by them and not by Tracy Chapman. The things you learn. Holy.

A couple of the boys are psycho-fans and cried all weekend and have been playing the Hip's music nonstop ever since while I go around and pat their shoulders at regular intervals. This is mostly happening in both other houses so I don't have to be bombarded.

PJ has stopped broadcasting his selections over the speakers here as well. It as getting out of hand again. The new rule is that music is just for you unless it's a random setlist for dinner or something that is agreed upon by everyone within earshot. That's never going to work. Voting generally results in misery. We have to draw slips out of a top hat to pick a restaurant. Imagine something as precious as music and see how easy it is to agree on what to listen to.

Yeah, good luck. Headphones for all.

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Bachelor Canada.

I was reading an article introducing the first half-dozen bachelors vying for the heart of some hopeful Vancouver hairdresser and I thought to myself,

Holy shit.

They need to do The Bachelor: Perdition Point Edition. Based in Canada with a bunch of international men vying for the broken heart of one already-married woman who would love nothing more than to set them up for life with someone sweet. I'm not sweet. I'm a mess.

Sadly, you won't find love (messy or sweet) on a reality show, as noted by the decided lack of long-term success stories.

I also refuse to give any of my boys up so if they find love, she ain't coming here to live. Two women on the point is enough (Ruth and I). One of them the guys wouldn't cross if their lives depended on it, the other one is me.

But I might watch it anyway because it's fun to watch the cast judge each other, pretend they're all about 'realness' and 'honesty' when in reality they've presenting a hyphenated facade of themselves for the rolling cameras and the subsequent material is boiled down into dramatic edits for ratings.

You won't find love on television. You will however, find it everywhere else. Just keep your eyes open and your facade tucked away somewhere safe. You won't need it after all.

They will, just to maintain their dignity of having their hearts ripped open on television.

It's so sad.

Let me go place my bets.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

A light liquid courage.

It's a glorious twenty degrees today and already I've been offered and have accepted Caleb's summerweight suitjacket as we have lunch on a patio over the water. The food is perfect, the other tables far away and the weather the best of the previous six weeks.

It's downright cold and fallish yet sunny. I love it.

He is disappointed that I didn't come over last night for movies and yet elated that I agreed to lunch. If only I can treat because it's my turn. That delights him but I'm sure he would agree to anything if only to have the time.

My ego chokes on a mushroom, chasing it with sparkling water, failing and dying in front of his eyes.

You're finished, his psyche tells me.

It's been fun, I tell him as everything fades to black.

In real life Caleb frowns as I take a second piece of bread. I catch the frown just before he corrects. He would rather I sat here looking pretty instead of actually eating. He likes to keep me fragile and frail while Loch wants to see me sturdy, brown and healthy. Well-fed, he says with a laugh and I know it's post-traumatic memories stealing the moment from him.

What? I hold the bread out in surprise, mouth full, eyes challenging.

Would you like me to order more? I was going to eat that. Caleb laughs.

I pass him the remaining piece and he nods in appreciation. Okay, sharing is good. He laughs and I roll my eyes as I take another sip of Prosecco.

Stay for a walk? 

No. I have to get back. Henry needs lunch and I have some gardening to do. 

Can't someone else look after things while you're away? 

No? It's my son and my garden. I stare him down over the rim of my glass. I look after my responsibilities. 

My apologies. I only meant that the boys should afford you more breaks. Following the suggestion -or reminder- of more time for fun for you. 

They do a tremendous job of it but no one's going to make space for more time for you right now, Diabhal. There's just been too much upheaval between us this year already. First with Henry and then with Lochlan. I told you I needed time and I still do. 

Funny that's the one thing I can't currently afford you. 

Why the hell not?

Because I lose too much ground and you won't let me make it up. Because I love you too much to let go.

Take the hint. Be a friend. Be a distant friend and be glad I haven't evicted you from my house yet. 

From your house? 

Right. From MY HOUSE. 

Neamhchiontach-

If you're going to be here you're to stand where I tell you to stand. 

This is Lochlan. He's turned you against me. 

You did that all on your own! 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Reverend Run.

Sam got very busy very quickly, somehow winding up with a funeral and two weddings this weekend, plus regular services. He's pulling a hundred-hour week and I'm trying to help him as much as I can, not only by filling him up with coffee and taking care of his chores every chance I get but I also went out this morning and bought him an off-the-rack black suit in a huge hurry when a particular bride decided at the last minute that everyone at the front of the church (including Sam) had to be in black or white. 

I wasn't going to buy him a white suit. He'd look like a BeeGee. 

Though, now that I think of it, that would have been amazing. But it's too late now. He's already left, pins in place on the hem of his pantlegs because I didn't have time to sew them but I will tonight when he is home. 

At least the weddings will keep him well-fed and the stipends are several hundred bucks a pop so he comes out tired but ahead. And he only agrees to officiate the weddings of people he has met and counselled and actually likes so that's an extra bonus. 

I love weddings. Really I do. But I love Sam more because he's a good person, deep down. I'm not sure if I am. He says I am but I think he would have told me I was Cleofuckingpatra if only because I'm the only one in the house who could shorten his pants on such little notice.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Obverse and Bridge.

Lochlan waits until the room is at least forty-five degrees and then he pulls me up into his arms, one arm around my shoulders, the other scooping the rest of me up hard against him, not touching anything else. He can move us both, he's strong and he's overly warm and I didn't know heaven was a sauna until I met him.

Jacob described heaven as a garden, but only around the edges. He said he thought it was more like a digital picture frame you could walk right into, or change at will. He wondered if it was like a university and God was the professor and you would go from class to class processing everything you have learned, studying the meaning of life and having coffee or lunch, spending time with those who arrived before you.

What a weird concept, Pooh, I told him from my pale sun-dappled nest in bed. He's bunched all the quilts up around and over me, and just my head is peeking out. It's freezing and the summer bedroom is unheated, save for him and the woodstove we forgot to bring wood in for. Jesus, Jake. I think we need to run better vents in here. 

I think I can keep you warm, Princess, he promises, pulling me up against him.

Lochlan says heaven is a day at the fair. No one steals your wallet, you never get hungry or sunburned and the tiny lights are never turned off because you never have to go home. It doesn't pack up or shut down, it's just always there.

What a perfect idea, Locket. 

It would be except that heaven doesn't exist, Peanut. We have to live now because once we're gone, that's it. This is the reward, only most people don't know that. They hope for something later instead of now. That's a waste. 

What about God? 

What about him? If he pays he can come in and see the show. Just like everybody else. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

HOT and FAST.

I'm all fixed up. Lochlan gave me a hard line for my internet and suggested once again that I give up on Firefox and use Chrome.

Of course he's right, but that's okay too. He's the computer guy, I don't know anything about computers or networks or HTML, because you've had to look at the same design of my blog for almost five years now and while I'd love to change it, I don't know how.

In other news, we have heat wave and wind warnings and the humidity is high and so I'm just going to slither down into a chaise by the pool and pray for winter. I told you I wasn't good with the heat. I have a headache and my eczema is all over my hands now. It's probably got less to do with the heat and more to do with how neurotic I am but who cares? I'm broiling. I'm also wearing the absolute least amount of clothing I can get away with and still considering making this into a nudist camp. It's the only stone still unturned in this commune. May as well throw caution (and clothing) to the wind.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Short and sticky-sweet.

Today is all about Pallbearer covering Love You To Death, a very mild case of sodium hypochlorite poisoning (I'm FINE, Jesus. Locked myself in the shower to scrub it, used way too much bleach. Shower is incredibly clean but my throat hurts and my eyes did that thing like in erotic asphyxiation when the black comes in around the edges just before I pass out but I survived. I always do.) and plotting to have ice cream for dinner, which never goes over well because big guys seem to require big plates of chicken and vegetables or huge slabs of steak and garlic bread to not be hungry.

Offering up a frozen cone of something sweet probably won't cut it but it's too hot even to barbecue at this point. We'll have to stand in the shade and eat the ice cream reallllly fast or it could get messy (also like in erotic asphyxia-oh, nevermind) and really I don't have much time to write much more here today.

Because someone (I won't name names but it starts with L) seems to be throttling my internet something awful lately and it's taking too long to do anything online, This is it for the day, though Andrew offered to look into it later. I'm sure he'll find the root cause and Lochlan will pretend he forgot to do something when he reconfigured things and then I'll be back up to speed but in the meantime it's too frustrating. I'd rather be choked into unconsciousness than wait for these pages to load.

I'd rather be outside with ice cream dripping off my elbows.

I'd rather be loved to death.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Devil's cover letter.

There's such a tiny little part of me that is a shallow, materialistic nightmare most of the time I can forget about her, but the Devil knows how to coax her out of hiding in spite of my best efforts to kill her off, quash her forever and be the free spirited light traveler I was groomed to be before the Devil took over. Now I run a fine balance between being a capable earth mother and a helpless walking nightmare. I'd like to say it's all his fault but I'm loathe to give him anything, including credit at this point.

I was out watering the herbs on the patio this morning when he wanders over oh-so-casually and without preamble drops his latest thought on my head. It was heavy. I'm shorter now and have a headache. Talk about left field.

If this property isn't satisfactory, Neamhchiontach, we can find one that is.

I'm sorry. What?

He takes a deep breath. Everyone has dealbreakers. You have to decide if this is one of yours. 

Frankly I don't care if we live in a cave. The discussion was private, the thought was fleeting. 

I can have the camper moved, if he won't do it. I can look after virtually anything he won't do, Bridget, and you know this. It worked for Cole and for Ben and it can work for Lochlan too if you stop writing down every single thought that crosses your mind. 

Maybe you should stop saying every thought that crosses your mind out loud. 

Consider it. Seriously. No man can be everything. Especially to someone like you. 

Someone like me. I wondered for hours afterward what he meant by 'someone like you'. And the little tiny part of me that goes for broke (or maybe goes for rich) started jumping up and down yelling Oh boy! We get our house on the beach! SCORE!, even though it will probably never happen.

Because I can't be discreet, and because he'll never settle for second place.