Friday, December 2, 2016

Sixty days of rain (like 30 Days of Night but with only one monster).

I should write a book.

How not to keep your sanity when it's been drowned in a puddle. 

It'll be a bestseller and everyone will call me 'refreshing' and 'honest' for my insistence that it's okay to be a goddamned mess. Aren't we all at this point? I can pick mushrooms off my shoulders and eat them. My hair never dries. I can't stand the darkness anymore and I want to scream.

I used to say this about snow and endless winter, endless cold. Then I moved to the rainforest where it hardly gets cold enough for a jacket but it also never. 

stops. 

fucking.

raining. 

CHRIST.

August is shopping for a SAD light for me. I've only been asking for one for seven or ten years now. I want to sleep all the time and I can't seem to accomplish much and then I have a manic/panic flurry and catch up in the bright artificially-lit room, like a moth, sticking my face right up to lightbulbs and frowning madly at the dark.

Flap flap flap. 

(goes the giant blonde moth)

Where is the perfect place for me? It isn't endless winter, or endless rain, it's a little bit of everything, tempered by the beach, which doesn't care what weather we're having as long as I'm there spending my time like a new-money millionaire in an exclusive casino.

Except I don't want to make it rain anymore. I really don't.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Indulge her, oh she with the tiniest of rants.

I'm appalled that so many of the Christmas crackers you can buy now contain wine charms.

(I'm aware: first world problems)

Especially since in this day and age one should never leave their drink unattended. What am I saying, 'in this day and age'. The warnings to keep an eye on your drink/keep it with you have been going around since the mid-1990s and if you think you can wander back into a room, pick up a random glass and point to the charm on it and say, Yes, I was the umbrella! That's right, and go on as if nothing happened means...well, you're probably going to tamer parties that I ever have, that's for sure.

I gave up wine a long time ago anyway. Go hard or go home, says the Scotsman and I usually snort and give him a look that says I like it when he goes hard but he means hard alcohol. And no one's going to come out with whiskey charms, because fuck that, we're smart enough to hang on to our drinks and sip them slowly, you flighty, wine-y motherfuckers.

(But if we did have markers to delineate our drinks they would be made of bone and barbed wire and maybe bits of hair and teeth, because what doesn't kill you...certainly won't drive you to collect fucking wine charms.)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Yesterday, part two.

This is mine, because what's yours is mine. Mmmkay? And I picked up the champagne bottle and walked out Caleb's front door.

(Don't worry. He owes me. Everything. Anything I want. That's the deal.)

I brought the bottle back to the house and told PJ we were having a champagne lunch.

Sorry, Bridge, you're having coffee and maybe a sandwich. 

Well...what kind of sandwich? PJ's the best parent ever. Take the coveted item and replace it with delicious possibilities.

What kind would you like? 

Radish sprouts, pickles, ham and havarti. 

Jalapenos too?

Did I ever tell you I love you so much? 

Yes but sadly only when you're drunk. 

That's not true. You're my favorite metal God. Plus you use conditioner so you have great hair. It's so shiny.

Don't ever change, Bridget. 

Because you can totally fucking tell which bands don't use conditioner, right? I mean they could all have great hair but they just don't give a fuck. If you're going to make the effort to maintain it long you should nourish it, shouldn't you?

A sandwich is slid under my nose. And a coffee. Just like that. Magic.

And then actual magic walks through the door and I realize there's an extra plate.

Lochlan! Are you off early?

No, just home for lunch and to see my baby. 

Huh? Ruth's at school. It's Tuesday. Oh, wait. I get it.

Drunk Tuesday?

GOSH. How'd you know?

A little birdie told me. 


One with really shiny hair? 

That's the one. 

(I didn't realize until much later that it was August that called him. August also uses conditioner.)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Oh, God, whatever you do please don't tell me you're lonely.

Kir Royales for breakfast and I can see what the Devil is up from to a mile away.

Through my Tuesday drunken googles, mind you.

I can't drink on Tuesdays, I guess but I can brunch any day and he found a free moment that wasn't taken up by Lochlan, Ben or PJ, who is drugging my food as I found out when I was slurring after one drink.

Caleb noted this as well and quickly made me a second, because nothing says love like incapacity, right?

Then he shoves me out the door and across the driveway in the rain because he's all about the Big Gestures, this week. The Look, I didn't hurt her (much) and the Hey, if she can still walk then clearly we're still friends kinds of declarations that only Caleb can get away with, the ones I don't think I ever actually recover from, in spite of his insistence in their harmlessness.

Though I think he would be much happier if I actually couldn't walk and then I would have to stay instead of stretching out to spread myself so thin I have broken through in places and it's getting hard to hide the patched areas again.

On my way back I stop in at the loft to see August. Unrequited needs or something something we'll make sure we put our friendship first and I find him right where drunken-Bridget wants him. Flat on his back in bed, fully clothed, staring at the ceiling, the bed swaying gently against the huge ropes that suspend it from the vaulted ceiling, a look on his face that says Look, I won't hurt her (much) and I don't know if we can still be friends, actually. He's a walking contradiction and the first thing he says when I come in is So?

So...Happy Tuesday! 

Have you been drinking, Bridget? 

I purse my fingers together to mean only a little and trip over his boots, landing on the floor. It's funny though. Everyone loves a vaguely drunk Bridget and he jumps up and comes over, picking me right up off the floor, standing me on my feet, vaguely amused at how hard I went down (because if I can still walk then clearly we're still friends), making sure I am steady before he lets go.

Or making sure he is steady before he lets go, because even drunk Bridget saw that before he could cover it up.

We need to talk about Sam. 

Sam is none of anyone's business. 

Sam is everyone's business! August shouts it at me and I flinch hard enough to shock my system into tears again. Was having such a good drunk too and now we're going down this road. Christ.

Don't cry, Bridget. I'm trying to protect you. 

Then don't let Caleb anywhere near me. If you could all start with that, that would be great. 

We've tried but you won't let us. 

Oh. Of course. I'm dumber than I thought. 

He's your outlet for missing Cole the same way I'm a stand-in for Jake. That's all. Dangerous maybe, but not unexpected. Completely understandable. 

So I get a pass? I waver slightly and he puts his arms out to steady me again.

Of course, he says, not realizing I just talked him into a trap.

Okay. Thank you. I have to go. 

Where are you going? 

There's free drinks down at the bottom of the hill and it's Tuesday, didn't you hear?


Monday, November 28, 2016

I hate airports, volume #4657362748595021615354219.

I never told you then that I'd be easy to love
Supposedly I'm a man but I felt like a cub
I wondered if the planes flying farther away
Not ever knowing I would never come back the same
As my lungs gave way, I swear I felt something burst
It's been 13 days and now I'm dying of thirst
For the birds who prey I pray that someone else will get here first
I am not alone, I'll be alright
Just take these bones and bring them back to life
Ben called early this morning and asked if I would send PJ or Chris to pick them up for ten.

No problem, I told him smoothly.

What are you up to today? Can I book dinner, just me and you or is it taken?

Oh, I'm so busy today with errands and Christmas shopping. I'll let you know about dinner. I played it cool. Gotta practice on someone.

In reality I was standing on the stupid grey carpet by the arrivals hall at nine-forty-five with tears threatening to fuck my composure over completely.

The tears won. I saw him coming down the hall and his whole face lit up when I yelled his name. Sorry to all the other people waiting. People look so annoyed before lunchtime. I feel bad for them. But not too bad. Because Ben. He walked really fast and then I was off the ground in his arms and the tears anointed him as mine.

Busy bee, huh?

Busy being with you.

That so?

It is.

You are the best thing about my life, you know that?

Might go both ways.

Might?

You've been gone four days. You'll have to refresh my memory.

I can do that.

Since we got home I've been in a haze of plane fuel and overwhelm, in his arms as he did indeed remind me all the things I know about him, all the things I love, and everything I missed so much while everything else threatened to distract me away from someone who does nothing but give while everyone else takes.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

It has rained for 55 out of the past 59 days so you may as well just give in, already.

(I like to make Sundays not about me.)

I am the ship that will carry you to safety.

I am the ship dashed upon the rocks.

I am the anchor left behind, heaving against the rock shelf, unable to be broken out.

I am the sea that drowns you.

I am the surf that will wash you in with the tides.

I am the grains of sand, that can be molded, swept and tossed into the wind, or hardened into glass by lightning. I will sift through your fingers, falling back to the earth.

I am the rocks upon which the waves break.

I am the tall grasses waving in the wind, my shallow roots unable to hold fast.

I am the shore.

I am your peaceful place.

I am your secret hideaway.

But I am not your respite, nor your despair.

Each sentence carried a short story and each one tied in with the next. Each one was at once profound and destructive. Each one hit home with a resounding *thwock*. Each one hurt like a son of a bitch and each one was perfectly placed, perfectly told.

Each one, relayed by Sam from his place at the edge of the sea, and then from within as he waded in up to his knees for effect, in the pouring rain, the pages of Jacob's bible becoming wavy and crinkled, his hair curling from the humidity, and the water absorbing up his pantlegs until he was mostly soaked to the waist and still not truly noticing how effective his sermon was.

Until he was finished, holding the first candle of advent aloft as it sputtered in the rain, wading in from the surf, pulling himself along with his hand out for his congregation, using their momentum to bring himself to shore.

Maybe weights have been lifted. Maybe we had a really good talk last night. Maybe he just figured he's got to go one step further to keep interest in church at this time of year, when things get crushingly formulaic for him with advent beginning and he just said fuck it and did something else. He can do that, if he wants. It's a very easy church to helm.

And he's good at it.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

I went Christmas shopping with Batman today. We didn't buy a thing, we didn't talk much at all and we hardly ate, short of grabbing a coffee and a pastry, eating as we walked, which was awkward to hold everything for me. I need to ditch the purse and find clothes with more pockets because this is dumb. 

What's dumb? 

Dragging around all this...stuff. I point out. I show him the bag. 

What's in it? 

My wallet, phone, headphones, hearing aids and seven lipsticks. 

Only seven? 

It's my thing. I like lipstick. 

And bobby pins. 

Oh, yeah. There's ten or twenty at the bottom. How did you know? 

I remember them. I thought you had morphed into a porcupine the first time I touched your hair. 

I did, actually. No pins that day. I shrug and then laugh, giving myself away. 

He grins. So pare down. 

I suppose I could leave my wallet home. 

Bridget-

I'm kidding! 

No more sugar for you. It makes you silly. 

I shoot a look at him sideways to see if that's a euphemism. It isn't. He means actual sugar. 

I think it's the coffee, not the sugar, I tell him as I dispose of the wrappers and napkins and then the cup too. 

He stops and waits. I don't know what for so I wander a little ways and then walk back to him. 

Are you coming?

I was waiting for you to stop and reapply your lipstick. 

I'm not wearing any. 

Why on earth do you need seven with you then? We reach the car and he opens my door for me. Chivalry burns so brightly with this one.

Just in case of emergencies. 

What constitutes a lipstick emergency, Bridget?

Well, if I don't have a pen then I'm fully prepared to take a lot of notes on the backs of cocktail napkins. 

I didn't see napkins in your purse. 

At some bar. 

'At some bar'. What bar are you going to? 

None, I don't like bars. 

So where are you going to get the napkins then? 

Oh my GOD. If I have to justify my lipstick hoarding then I'm done for the day. Take me home, please. 

Can you mark down the route on this map? Wait, I don't have a pen. 

I take out a lipstick and draw all over the map, and then the inside of the windshield and then his face, for good measure. 

We clear now?

Yes, ma'am. Is this my shade? What do you think? 

I think you're warm-toned, so no, probably not. 

Well, try one of those then. 

I don't have any of those! I'm cool. 

Yes, yes you are, he says under his breath, as he pulls out of the lot. I can't believe he left all the marks I just drew on his face but suddenly I love him for it and I realize that the 'errands' trip was more to get me away from the house for a day because I needed it and didn't realize. 


Friday, November 25, 2016

Well, the Rev's out of the bag now, so to speak.

Ben, Daniel, Gage and Schuyler have gone to Nolan's for a few days. It's hovering just below zero there with a week's worth of snow is on the way and Ben couldn't get a satisfactory answer from Nolan about whether or not he had his property winterized sufficiently already. Nolan is getting old. He forgets things. He's having a bit of trouble keeping up and I daresay we're going to double our efforts to get him to move to the city after one false start and change of heart already. His sons have their own lives and he seems to tell them even less and they have neither the time nor the cash to drop in on him and check and all of his neighbors are gone, haing sold their own properties and moved to assisted living. Nolan will never ever give up without a fight, even if he can't remember who he's fighting with. 

So we packed up a huge hamper full of notes, presents, food and goodies for him to enjoy and Ben checked it through at the airport and they're off. 

It was like a satellite army of flannel and purpose and I'm so proud. It also gives Ben time with his sponsor that he hasn't had in a while and it gives two sets of very close brothers time to hang out with each other, which doesn't happen enough, sadly. 

When we got home, Sam found me putting away wrapping paper and the extra luggage that the boys didn't need and asked if I wanted him to make some lunch for us. That we have turkey left, and ham too, that he could make a mean Monte Cristo given enough space. 

I didn't know that. 

Well, I can make a mean french toast and this is the same but it's rare for us to have both ingredients on hand and a virtually empty kitchen so we may as well do it sooner rather than later. 

I don't think he's talking about sandwiches anymore and I'm such a brat, I want to see where he's going with this or if he's just grasping at...at...I don't know what. 

So I smile really big and ask if he needs help getting it together.

No, sit up though and we'll talk while I cook. 

So I did and we did and I forgot he was being innuendo-ish or maybe I just read something into it that wasn't there (blame the boys for making me such a flaming deviant) but we had a nice afternoon and the sandwiches were amazing. I even took one out to Lochlan afterward, who was thoroughly enjoying a day outside in the sun working on replating the exterior of the camper while it wasn't raining. He was grateful, starving and completely unaware that yet another minister is making a not-so-subtle play for his girl, right under his nose. I said nothing and just went back to collect the plate later on. 

When I brought it into the kitchen I had my confirmation as Sam made an incredibly awkward, yet profoundly sweet offer to fill in for Ben if I missed Ben enough to consider doing something I might have been waverish on thus far. If I needed an extra sleeping person for the night or if I needed anything. If I wanted anything.

Oh, Sam. 

Literally the least evil of all the souls here on the point, he smiles bravely but he's trembling behind it. 

I know you are. 

Then just keep it in mind. 

Your openness is something new. 

Matthew, of all books, chapter seven. 'Take the plank out of your own eye and then you can see to remove the splinter from your brother's eye.'

Which brother? 

I don't think I have to clarify that. I just don't know what to do, so I'm starting with being honest.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Short weeks, tiny birds.

It's turky without an e. Like murky.

He's lying on his back. All teeth and whites of his eyes in the dark. Grinning like a fool. It's five a.m. and we can't sleep. Or rather, Loch couldn't so he woke me up too and now that I'm flushed and breathless he's talkative and silly.

I'm the one with the spelling skills. 

Not for this, I reckon. All these years, Bridge, and we've let it go, living with that extra e. It's time to finally set the record straight. 

I wonder what other words we've done this to. 

What, added an extra e? Hundreds of thousands of words. Like cooki, hairdryr, and Bn. 

Bn? So it's...bun? 

No, it's still pronounced Ben but there's no e in his name.

What about me? Is it actually Bridgt? 

That's a single syllable. Too abrupt and harsh. Not at all like you. He laughs and turns his head to the side to look at me. You should have an extra e to draw it out sweetly. 

Bridgeet? I sound like a bird. 

Sometimes, ye-

PEEP.

Okay, this isn't going where I thought it would AT ALL. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Midway to Christmas.

Okay! The lights are up finally. All eight-point-three kilometres of beautiful multicolored vintage bulbs on all-weather strings that I special ordered and spent a small fortune on so we could cover the house, the garage, the stables and the boathouse too and as Dalton flicked the switch inside the front hall and it all lit up like an airport in a snowstorm I told Ben we were never ever taking them down again, that I would consent to turn them off for the month of July, maybe, if it went to a vote first but otherwise can't we just leave them up? 

Besides, it's dangerous and Daniel shouldn't be up there. He is damaged and already fell off the roof once and broke something so they keep sending him back up, as he's defective now and who wants to risk a second?

Nice, boys.

Lochlan asked if I still liked the lights and I smiled at him with an uncharacteristically self-satisfied smile, chin up high. Of course I still like them. I'll never stop. 

He grinned back and kissed my forehead. Now he's gotta go. He and the Batman and Schuyler have work and then the rest of the week beginning tomorrow is American Thanksgiving and we opted to celebrate it this year just for fun. Because we need more fun around the point and less suspicion, less pushing and shoving, less shouting and shelving and sweeping things under the rug. We need a break from each other maybe. Maybe we all need lobotomies. But that's unlikely. I've been asking for one for years and I CAN'T WAIT until the day I can come and sit here in front of this unfamiliar laptop and be already logged in and type simply:
Hello? 
Anyone out there? 
I don't know my name but I'm here anyway.
instead of the story of my life.