Tuesday, 27 June 2017

See you in a few days.

He's got that smile on his face. The one that says he has a surprise and I see him coming a mile away. Kids are finished school. 

Yes. Finally! 

We should take a little trip now that the dust has settled.

If we did where would we go? 

Back to Montauk. Maybe. If you're game.


I might have booked our same little cottage for an early anniversary celebration. 

Who are we taking? 

Each other. 


You need to sort out the sunscreen thing first. 

Okay, a big floppy hat and a sweater. It worked last time. 

That it did. Better go pack. Plane leaves in four hours. 

What? Holy. Hold my plate. 

Take it with you and eat while you pack. We don't need to bring much. 


Bring a smile, Peanut. And that sweater. 

I can do that. 

You wanted a cold beach, I can give you a cold beach.

Monday, 26 June 2017

You'll know where to find me now.

(Yesterday was a big mistake, by the way. I did a metric ton of gardening early in the morning thinking I'd be safe and gave myself heatstroke and turned into a baby because of it. Things are much better after eight hours sleep. That's like a new record for me.)

Ben put up two extra six-by-sixes when no one was looking, down by the trees in the shade off the patio and strung up my beautiful hammock that I had nowhere to properly hang here. He knew I'd love it and I do. The pool area itself is now complete in phase two, with a wraparound outdoor kitchen with space for a bigger barbecue (that we don't have yet but measured for), a small fridge (whoops don't have that either), a wood burning firepit/cookout stove, and a shadier pool deck overall, with space above the pergola where I can drape my tapestries and make it look very neat. There is only one phase left to go and that's to augment the path to the pool from the house to string everything together, and landscape around the sauna and the back of the house a little better. I wanted to pave a path all the way to my house but that isn't a good idea if we want to keep the properties futureproof, to be sold separately when the time comes.

Unless we sell all three or even two houses as a package deal for searching communes. I mean, we could do that.

None of this is something we're planning either way, as we stay until Henry finishes university, so that's at least six years, maybe more. (Did I tell you I now have a university student and a student in grade eleven now? I didn't but I do and I'm so proud).

Then we'll see.

I love the hammock. And I love that today is cool enough to head out and enjoy it with my book and some lemonade and a whole pile of new sunscreen that sucks. Every single one I have tried is awful. They either give me rashes or sunburns. Christ. Any suggestions?

Sunday, 25 June 2017


Because I am a terrible human and furthermore very bad at life, Ben filled the soaker tub in our ensuite with ice water and put me in it early on. Lochlan brought me up a glass of champagne in the one beautiful blue glass flute I own (it was a set but they break so easily) and Ben winced slightly but cheers'd me and then sat on the floor beside the tub while I alternated between sipping my champagne quietly like a good princess and screaming because things were cold. Private things. Sensitive things.

I then got a warm shower for my promises of gold and riches to him, should he release me from this curse and we spent the day again inside, as he has paid his dues on the latest home improvement project and decided it was time for Jay and Keith to pay theirs.

Lochlan came back after supervising the completion of said task (I'll see it tomorrow) with a sunburn and a cold light beer which made him wince after every sip. I ran out of champagne but wasn't given any more and I fell asleep while they watched a movie. The ceiling fan went around and around and eventually I woke up and the sun had moved all the way around to the other side of the room and was almost over and the room was empty, save for me and I didn't mind a bit, I swear.

Tomorrow it's supposed to be a full ten degrees cooler and then I will feel like myself. I hope.

Saturday, 24 June 2017


It's thirty-seven degrees in the sun and they're working on building a second outdoor shower and a pergola that extends over part of the pool deck. I don't know if pouring concrete at that temperature is any different than wading in the lava of an active volcano but they seem happy enough to plant six-by-six posts so deep into the ground they're never ever going to move and fire up the table saw so many times I began to hate the noise and went downstairs to watch movies with Dalton.

I ran out of pool time anyway and lazing about in the shade trying to breathe in that liquid hot exhaust wasn't that pleasant. I'm a spring and fall girl. I like my water warm and my sand cold. I like jeans on the beach and sweaters on the boat and I hate being warm.

I couldn't even stand to keep on earrings. I'm down to a t-shirt and short thin cotton shorts. No bra, no underwear. No plans to be in mixed company as we're having ice cubes for dinner and at some point if the temperature drops down to reasonable I'll come back upstairs and go to bed.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Filthy souls.

The rules are plentiful. Jay will take back his old room, his old space in Batman's garage, his old life but working for Sam, working for the church. Batman will keep a closer eye on him, as will Asher, Lochlan, PJ and Ben. Ben's going to sponsor him if he still turns out to need it (FUUUUCK) and we're getting him some hardcore health counselling because he still plays fast and loose with his disease and he can't afford to. He's going to get his health under control so he doesn't die. I'm not sure if he's trying to or what here and it hurts.

He is stiff and reluctant and ashamed.

Why do you care? He had the nerve to ask Ben and Ben pointed out that he's family, we look after each other. Jay choked up and hugged him hard and Ben asked him why he didn't ask for help.

I thought it would be better if I just left. 

Ben nods. You'll need to talk to him. 

Schuyler. One of the few adamant about not having New-Jake come back, more as a nod towards being better safe than sorry, as always. Schuyler doesn't walk the talk, he's just very protective of me and I always appreciated that. His boundaries are ironclad, his values carved in the rock at our feet. He's big on love but he doubled down on Jay because after seven years, poor Jay is still the new guy and that's not going to change, ever.

There's always a new Jake. Always a guy coming in to my life in bare feet with an easy smile and a past a mile wide. Always an unexplainable draw that I drown in the sea on a daily basis because I'm trying to do right by Schuyler and own up to my boundaries.

I usually mess up and drown the boundaries and enforce the cravings, Batman tells me but it's not like he's objective, either.

Schuyler tried to put me first and while I appreciate the sentiment, I have a great support network. Jay didn't, where he went. He does again now though.

Welcome home, Jay. This time don't fuck it up.

Thursday, 22 June 2017


What's new, Bridge? 

Jay is a mess. He covered well and yet here he is, the perennial project boy, back for a complete teardown and redo. Except this time we're not going to flip him and send him back out into the world. No, this time we're keeping him. 

And his bike, because it's beautiful too. 

I changed my last name. 

To what? 

I frown at him. Weirdo. Loch's. 

Oh. Yeah, I suppose. Caleb like that? He laughs. 

He was against it. He's adjusting now. 

Don't let him be your drummer, baby. 

Let's talk about you. Because I didn't want to deal with this on the phone. 

How much free time do you have and how much are you willing to hear? 

I should make some tea? 

And maybe have Sam on standby. 

I can do that. 

Can I help? 

Of course. You're part of the family. 

Wednesday, 21 June 2017


The best laid plans never happen.

It was after the actual solstice, after darkness fell and the sun went to bed that we went out and had a simple swim in only our birthday suits. Just Lochlan and I as everyone else wound up thankfully preoccupied with their hurt feelings and tense disregard after a brutal family meeting in which nothing was resolved whatsoever. It happens and when it does the best course of action is to leave it before we make things worse, walk away and come back when a little time and cooler heads prevail.

New-Jake is coming back. Hereafter to be known as Jay, because I can't get that k sound to come out when I say it out loud, still.

Lochlan puts his arms around me, holding me up and in from the cold water.

I don't want him to come back but I was him once and I believe in fresh starts, second chances and all that mumbo-jumbo but so help me, Peanut, if you get too close I'm drowning him.

I nod. My boundaries are well established exploited. We'll be fine.

We go back to the side of the pool where our champagne awaits.

To summer, Lochlan says, raising his glass.

To summer. I nod and drink half of it. The bubbles go up my nose along with a good amount of chlorinated water and I cough briefly. It's enough for Lochlan to decide that we should go in now, that it's late even though I had a perfectly timed coffee earlier and I bit my tongue through the whole meeting and now I'm wound up tight like a spring and need to unwind. He wraps himself in a towel and goes around the pool blowing out the candles we lit. Then he stands waiting.

I don't want to go in yet, Locket.

Why, Baby? 

This is nice. 

What if we went in and had a hot bath? 

I stare at him while I push off repeatedly from the side without letting go. It feels nice on my very very sore elbow. I stare at him until I realize he's not the bad guy here, that he is the one who recalled New Jake even though he was the last one to become friends with him, and he was the one who defended him when everyone else said to leave well enough alone. It was those words that changed an entire army's direction.

The Collective saved my life once. The least I can do is pass it on. 

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Two lights and a super-heavy.

Summer solstice is tonight! I'm so excited! We have big plans but I won't share them today. Tomorrow I'll tell you all about it if I ever get up after being up very late. I complain when Lochlan infantilizes me but at the same time anything scheduled after nine at night has me aghast that people actually are gearing up just as I'm usually checking out.

Not like I don't check out at eleven in the morning or two-thirty in the afternoon if I stop moving, I know. But we have Large Plans and I'm very much looking forward to it.

In other news the lipstick wars continue. Ben said enough was enough and went and put some on, and proceeded to walk around the house hugging everyone, and then planting a huge surprise kiss on their cheeks and it took forever for them to notice. It was mostly hilarious though Henry didn't like it much and Ruth went running, screaming that she just washed her face and didn't want to get anything on it. Then she laughed and got kissed anyway. She doesn't mind Ben's antics. No one does. He's dodged another tour bullet and picked up another producing gig which if I'm correct in my hunches are being funnelled directly through Schuyler but that's okay. Our network is super-tight anyway. They all work for each other half the time anyway.

Case in point, Asher took a vacation this week. A last-minute week-long getaway, Batman said. Not far, he said.

How far? I asked suspiciously, eyes narrowed.

Ontario. Batman is vague.


Yes, I believe, he lies.

What's wrong with Jake? The panic is approaching me like a stormfront. I see it but I can't run.

He had a little setback. He'll be fine. 

He's not fine. He's a diabetic-

Bridget, Asher will let me know what's going on as soon as he gets to Jake. 

So it's enough of an emergency to send your assistant but not enough to tell his friends that he's in trouble. 

Wait until I have word. Batman's so done with my panic.

Fuck that, I tell him. I pick up my phone to call the Devil. He can get me a plane.

Batman takes the phone and hangs it up, putting it in his pocket. I turn to go and he grabs my arm and my elbow pops right out of location and I'm on my knees.

It hurt so bad I couldn't speak and so he tries to haul me back up to my feet because he had no idea what was wrong. Mercifully, my body knew what was up and blacked me out.

When I opened my eyes I screamed because the pain was still going. PJ leaned over my face. Lochlan too.

My elbow's out DON'T TOUCH IT. 

So PJ tells me to count to three and Lochlan holds on tight and before we even start one they nod and pop it back into place with a thud that almost kills me. I roll into a ball. So sore. Oh my God. I need to go to the airport, I tell Lochlan. He's already talking to Batman and I know he's going to compartmentalize his anger until he gets everything covered.

Bring him back here permanently. We'll sort him out. Then I'm going to sort YOU out.

Batman nods and goes to call Asher. Looks like the trip has doubled, as they'll have to pack up Jake's less than three months'-long life in the hot potato to return here permanently, a semi-pariah with a mad crush, a beautiful vintage Sunbeam motorcycle and a terrible knack for letting his blood sugar control him instead of the other way around.

We'll live with it. I don't care. Sometimes people belong here and they shouldn't leave, even if they have a magnificently rough start, like New-Jake has had.

Doesn't matter. He's meant to be here. He's one of us.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Not an ad but it they want to send me lipstick I'm all for it.

I bought a new lipstick over the weekend that I adore. It's by Bite Beauty and it's called Beetroot and while it looked terrible in Sephora and terrible on the swatch that I did on the back of my hand with the tester, I brought it home and it looks amazing on my face. It's a dark purpley-red and just makes my former black-lipstick-wearing self happy. I have a lot of reds, all blue-reds but this is dramatic and awesome. 

It also doesn't hurt that it comes off on everything I touch while somehow staying put on my lips. Sneeze? Left a print on the elbow of my sweater. Hair blew in my face? Now my blonde is purpley-red. Kissed a boy? Yup, ALL OVER EVERYONE. 

I won't even mention it's on almost every mug in the house. It's on my phone screen. On the fork in the sink and on Sam's shirt after he gave me a quick hug as he was leaving and I was too horrified to tell him but then he put on his blazer anyway so now I didn't have to. It's on the window beside the front door. It's on the Devil and it's on the dog. It's on Lochlan in more than half a dozen different places and he loves it (Shhhhh).

Jesus Christ, you can't take me anywhere, or better still, you can't leave me home.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Dip her in the water and she's good to go again.

Oof. Today was a whirlwind of church services, impromptu baptisms, Father's Day shenanigans, rain and charges met with hugs, because everyone's so busy trying to be the bigger man here sometimes they don't even realize how proud I am of all of them. Caleb made amends with everyone, somehow softened by my admission that he tried to send me home and somehow hastened by the glaring proof standing in front of them that oops, he gave me exactly what I wanted and they would have happily done the same.

Nice, isn't it?

I have thanked each and every one of them for being incredible surrogate-dads and sometimes-lovers and anyone I missed, hopeful or not, has been gracious enough to let me fall on my face. Sam tries to save my soul every chance he gets and Caleb holds it high in his hands, just out of reach. The ocean purified my body and my mind and Lochlan apologized profusely for sending me reeling out the door, unable to process how we can love each other and still fight like we mean it. He's the one who taught me to fight, taught me how to stand my ground, taught me if it's worth having, it's worth knowing when to stand up and when to let go, and he also taught me the power in forgiving those you love when they (and you) need it most.

Yes, in other words, he's still really fucking mad. But not as mad as he was when I left. So that's good.