Thursday, 31 May 2007

Holding faith in four hands.

For an end to all further pointless arguments on what's good for me and what is not, I would pay a king's ransom.

For an open-minded understanding of loving sad music and writing sad stories I would give my whole heart, except that it doesn't belong to me anymore.

I didn't last so long yesterday. His voice, raised in anger admittedly leaves me shaken and afraid and I turn inward and I don't talk and I don't want to sort it out and I just want to be away-away. The silence scares him.

The absence scared me more so I went and sought him out.

It was a first!

(I am a slow learner.)

I opened the door of the den, hesitantly. It's a quiet door, he did a beautiful job. I took one step out and looked toward the kitchen, I didn't hear anything and I looked toward the back door and he was there, at my feet. Sitting on the floor with his back up against the wall turning a key over and over again in his fingers.

What are you doing?

Trying to not hover.

What is that?

It's a key to the den.

You have a key?

I didn't want any repeats of the last time you locked me out.

So why didn't you come right in?

I'm trying to give you what you want, Bridge.

Do you even know what I want?

No. I don't. We never seem to get that far.

I want time.

Oh God. Time alone?

No, just time. Less help. No rushing. Just time.

I want you to be happy. That's all I want. I don't want you to wake up scared, or fall asleep scared, or ever be caught in this place you're in now. And I'm sorry for what I said. I didn't mean to point out the sacrifices I had made, I meant to point out that you take the first place in my life and everything else can wait because you are what matters to me. I didn't mean anything else by it.

I know. I didn't mean to tell you you could leave.

Yes you did.

Maybe I did. Sometimes I think you should. You'd be so much happier away from this, Jacob.

Then you have no idea how in love with you I am, princess.

Okay, now, hey! Look! Boundaries. I'm stopping right there, but know that much aw-ing and kissing ensued and I wound up back in the cage of arms that he keeps for me and I felt like less of a lunatic for much of the remainder of the day and possibly like butter by this morning because of his attentions and I know we're fixing fuck-all with sex but for the affection whore that I am it's exactly what I needed.

Tomorrow I have to go eat crow with Joel for breakfast but he will have a fight on his hands. What he's done is prepare, with my help, a positive-outlook plan full of lists and instructions and all kinds of wonderful things I am to do for distraction. Which is where the drive to eliminate miserable writing and painful songs came in. Constant daily reminders and exercises in being a Happy Bridget. Ways to get my hooks in to prevent my chemicals from drowning me with their ineptitudes, a way to circumvent history. Blowing up Pandora's box and changing my history as it happens. It's work and I keep trying to coast without actually doing any of it. I keep fighting it, we both get discouraged. Why do I fight it if I want to have a better life? Because that's what people like me do.

And I can do this.

What keeps me humble is looking into Jacob's pale blue eyes and knowing that he alone isn't enough to do it. Coming to terms with the fact that all the love in the world and all these huge romantic gestures and the effort he has put into living with me, which must be next to impossible and yet he does it anyway, isn't going to magically erase all the bad things about me.

Knowing that he still wants to be here, even as I test him and bend him and shut him out and try so hard to let him in and he never knows which end is up and yet he's gone hands off and he feels helpless and vulnerable and yet he's a stone soldier for me, he doesn't yield. Ever. His love is so strong for me.

It hurts like hell to know all this and try to love him as much as I possibly can and wondering if he'll ever understand how much that is and how much more I wish I could give him or how that love will surpass any description I could ever make for it, in this lifetime, with my useless, pointless words.

This morning as I hung in the crook of his elbow on the edge of the bed that he had taken up the entirety of with his tormented sleep I thought about everything we have shared in the past year and how that very first night we spent together we peeled back the layers you keep intact for friends and we stood naked, unprotected and exposed in front of each other and put our trust in being able to move from friends to lovers with no bullshit or we wouldn't move a muscle any further. I needed to know I wouldn't be hurt again and Jacob needed to have something real. We made a promise to each other and then we exchanged hearts for good measure, and we agreed to raise my children together.

We became the Unsinkable Reilly Family.

Only this time I figured out how to rescue myself.

Which, according to Claus, is really remarkable. That's as excited as Claus ever gets, so it's something, for sure.

Wednesday, 30 May 2007


    Sing it for me, I can't erase the stupid things I say.
    You're better than me.
    I struggle just to find a better way.

    So here we are, fighting and trying to hide the scars.
    I'll be home tonight, take a breath and softly say goodbye.
    The lonely road, the one that I should try to walk alone.
    I'll be home tonight, take a breath and softly say goodbye.

    You're running like me.
    Keep moving on until forever ends.
    Don't try to fight me.
    The beauty queen has lost her crown again.

    So here we are, fighting and trying to hide the scars.
    I'll be home tonight, take a breath and softly say goodbye.
    The lonely road, the one that I should try to walk alone.
    I'll be home tonight, take a breath and softly say goodbye.


    So why are you so eager to betray,
    pick the pieces up, pick the pieces up.
    So why are you the one that walks away,
    pick the pieces up, pick the pieces up.

    So here we are, fighting and trying to hide the scars.
    I'll be home tonight, take a breath and softly say goodbye.
    The lonely road, the one that I should try to walk alone.
    I'll be home tonight, take a breath and softly say goodbye.

    Just take a breath and softly say goodbye

Lately I've been buying skeleton keys as I find them on our antique-store explorations. This house came with precisely one key to fit eleven locks and I'm hoping as we go along to have a key in every keyhole and get this house restored to full Victorian glory, eventually.

No, make that nine locks, there are new doors from the kitchen to the back porch and to the den because Jacob broke the old ones and so he built new ones that were even more beautiful, just with new, conventional locks.

The keys I buy that don't fit wind up in the bowl painted with roses that sits on my dresser to collect my rings and stray bobby pins and quarters Jacob uses for his magical tricks.

These keys become vintage daydreams, unlocking doors in houses I've never been in and will probably never find. Worn smooth and cool from thousands of turns they're talismans of a historical sort, protectors of rooms that hold lifetimes of secrets, and someday the keys that do fit this house will be the same to someone else.

Because everyone has secrets.

So so many secrets.

None of them are secrets, though. Most of them are just things no one ever sees. All of my life everything has remained hidden. Steeped in denial I conduct myself with a pretty-on-the-outside attitude that has taken me to some amazing places. It's funny though, how no one would envy me my life, beginning with parents who demanded perfection and got enforced compliance, then a husband who demanded violence and got compliance and now it's...what is this?

Compliance and a whopping case of obsession. Addiction. The kind of thing you can't turn with a key to lock away. You can't unlock a solution and you can't just walk away and leave the door open or who knows what might happen?

Remember when I said we had learned how to argue? I think I may have jumped the gun on that one. I guess we learned how to bicker lightly without dragging in other issues.

But fighting...well, fighting isn't bickering. Fighting is all claws and teeth for us, frustrations that leave us saying things we know will hurt so bad but it feels so good to put it all on the table and get it out before it starts to eat away at our souls.

Everyone is always so surprised when Bridget has an opinion.

They prefer the doll.

And I don't get it. Jacob wants me to be strong, he pushes me so hard to get better, to fight for my own happiness and then he sabotages me and knowing him the way I do it's not an accident. He wants to be in charge. He wants to make the decisions and he wants to orchestrate all of it and then he turns around and cries out when comparisons are made to Cole.

I fired Joel this morning. No worries, no one listened to me anyway, I'm sure it will be one of many more times that I get fed up and stand up and pull on my red raincoat and collect my things and walk right out the fucking door and watch Jacob vault across the waiting room, Mr. Damage Control, who has taken to sitting right outside the door instead of going to the bookstore and having some fun because Bridget is very seriously damaged and needs help and he's the man who throws the boomerang back because it never lands where it's supposed to. And he wouldn't let go of my hand when I tried to pull away because I was going to the truck, I'll wait there, I have my own keys and I promise I won't try to drive home but I fucking hate Joel, Jacob.

And Claus comes out with his hushed-doctor voice and talks right over Bridget's godammned little messed up head and they decide I'm going back in and I say I will but only if Joel comes out and Claus frowns at me and I tell him not to say it.

Joel wants the music gone. He wants the journal gone, he wants everything gone that Bridget uses to drag herself down into the dark because it's counterproductive and oh, hey, is Jacob ever on board with that and Claus didn't say a word because he knows but he failed to back me up and I'm not going to be told what I can't do. Without certain things in my day odds are I'm one step away from opening up the window and throwing myself out of it. Music isn't going to be absent from my ears until they're useless and Joel thinks he knows me but he doesn't and arghhhhh.

He isn't worth this. And now Jacob has started back in with the softly-engineered, gentle guilt asking me if I want to get better and I asked him which side he was on and he yelled at me that he had rearranged his whole fucking life to be here and to help me and be here for me and I'm doing nothing.

Only he's wrong. And also, I thought he was here because he loved me so, so much. What the fuck is that about?

I'm spending time. Because time is what I have and when it's all gone I'll feel better. When time has run out I'll be okay and it won't be rushed and it can't be forced and Jacob can't love it away and he can't scream it away at me and he doesn't get it. I'm wasting time. I'm making entertainment because the hours go slow.

And we aren't speaking because while he was throwing verbal hand grenades to try and hurt me and force me to smarten up I was declaring nuclear warfare.

I told him I never asked him to shut down his life for me. That he doesn't have to be here, that I never wanted him to put his happiness and normalcy on hold to deal with the likes of me and if he didn't want to be here, well, then he could leave.

A long time ago when we had a similar argument and I levelled some very awful words at him he did leave. This time, though, he didn't.

I bet he considered it. I bet he turned it over in his head and thought about the possibility of going home to the rock, or of finding someone who was level and kind and an academic match for him and he'd have his happy cookie cutter life where they would say grace at the table and his wife would actually eat instead of pushing food around and maybe she'd even be plump and have no dark circles under her eyes and she'd never act less than perfect and she'd host garden parties and at night they would sit and rock in their chairs on the porch and we'd all die of boredom watching that take place but Jacob would be thrilled. Fucking thrilled.

Of course if he did that he's have to give up the emotion junkie, the sex maniac, and the most beautiful girl in the world, all names that have been thrown at me since breakfast.

And he can SIT IN THERE ON THE PHONE WITH LOCH OFFERING ME UP FOR GRABS IF LOCH THINKS HE CAN DO A BETTER JOB because hey, I can HEAR THAT, HONEY but in all honesty, I don't think he's going anywhere. I just think he's looking for reinforcement from people who know me well, and Cole is dead, so no one can ask Cole.

I don't think Jacob has a sweet clue what he should do.

That makes two of us.

I will however, give him about an hour before he gets scared and breaks this door. Because time is the key to unlock Bridget. Why can't he understand this?

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Ten apples up on top.

When I opened my eyes this morning I was on my back, sandwiched between Jacob's elbows that he was resting on, smiling at me lazily, cozily. His beautiful blue eyes cross when he's tired and I made a mental note to book an eye appointment for him. He's been having trouble with night-driving for a while now and reads a million and twenty-nine hundred words a day, so I am not surprised by this.

The thunderstorms. There is no rest for the wicked. There's something so delicious about being woken up in the dark hours of the morning when the sky is at war outside our window, his lips on my shoulder, his hands, well,

Oh the places you'll go!

It makes me laugh, and not in a Dr. Seuss, you're so clever type of way.

He can wrap one hand completely around my thigh and make his fingers touch. He's electric, energetic and ambitious and I'll never push him away in favor of sleep, I'll just catch up in some other desperate way. It's the year 2007, hasn't someone come up with instantly-rested pills yet? There's a pill for just about everything else.

I'm not supposed to have coffee anymore. Maybe my eyes cross too. I get them tested religiously every two years because I'd be terrified to lose my sight. I could live without my hearing. When it's gone I'll roll out the songs I have filled my head with and sing them to myself for the rest of time. I'll feel Jacob's voice through his skin when my ears are useless for anything other than captive bead rings.

Speaking of which. I noticed I was earringless on one side last night. Asymmetrical. Which means Jacob probably ate a bead and then the ring fell out. I'm sure it happened last Tuesday in our rush to consecrate those hard wooden steps. He's eaten more than a few pieces of jewelry in the past year. It's almost become a sport.

He says none of the jewelry tastes as good as the one tiny spot in the hollow of my throat that is perpetually warm and smells of his patchouli but tastes like roses.

I have a feeling Jacob has never actually eaten a rose, not that I would put it past him looking at him through my rose-colored glasses, knowing his romantic bent is a mile wide, I just think they taste gross. Because I checked. Because it's impossible to lick the hollow of your own throat and his tasted like soap and I said Oobleck and he laughed and laughed. I had a fleeting thought maybe we matched taste. I guess not.

Monday, 28 May 2007


(I'm having an awful time with words and with boundaries and I don't feel like talking about how I feel anymore for this day Figure out if it's a memory or one of those juicy short stories like from a magazine you take to the beach. Answer is at the bottom, no cheating.)

    It was....uncharacteristic to say the least. And I don't know what I will find.

    I shove the shifter knob hard into fourth and squint at the faded grey ribbon ahead of me. It stretches west and I know I have to crack the whip if I want to be on sand by nightfall.

    I roll my window down with my left hand and stick my elbow out, resting my arm on the uncomfortable edge of the window frame. My cigarette crackles quietly as I take a long drag and then I impatiently tear it out with my left hand, tapping it in midair as my old Volkswagen counts miles with it's worn tires and overhot engine. I look in the back and check to see that I do have my denim jacket and then I resume my bored stare through the windshield, a smirk playing around the corners of my mouth, too timid to reveal itself in full. I let my hand go slack and the end of my cigarette bounces off the pavement in a shower of sparks behind the van as I speed away. I haven't smoked in years but for this trip it seemed as necessary as packing my gas card. Priorities don't come easily for me.

    I wipe the back of my hand across my ear. Damn mosquitoes! Were they following me? I had expected to encounter only rude drivers and truckers on this last-night odyssey, not a legion of the bloodsuckers I had come to despise. Maybe if I lean a little harder on the gas I could make them a recent memory. I fumble on the seat next to me for another cigarette. If I have to chain smoke all the way to the coast to keep the mosquitoes at bay, then I have a full pack and a new zippo and a six-pack of diet 7-up to keep me from turning to dust along the way.

    Dammit. I spill ash on my blue t-shirt. It was my last clean shirt for the trip and I had hoped to stay somewhat presentable. My hair is windblown into knots and parted haphazardly. My jewelry, left behind. My favorite jeans are baggy and cinched in with a borrowed belt to keep them up and the jacket stolen from an old boyfriend back in high school. My bag in the back is stuffed with previously worn clothes and dogeared romance novels, I have hours to daydream but no time for laundry or second guesses. I have no home and I wonder if I will find a new one tonight or if this is a wild-goose chase that will never end.

    The smirk surfaces at last and I turn the radio up loud, singing along with Don Henley while I make an attempt to shake the ash off my lap. Done. Suddenly I spot the sign for the exit I need. Begun as a boring chore, the endless twilight drive becomes a real-time emergency as I sit straight up, smash the signal knob and glance over my shoulder before changing lanes. In seconds I am off the freeway, headed down a forgotten highway from which I can now get my first taste of salt air. A few choice words later I find the dirt road hidden behind the younger roadside trees, unmarked, the road to what will ultimately be my salvation or my demise.

    His phone call, haltingly made in the dark of the previous morning left me in knots as tangled as my hair. Asking me if I would come. Telling me he needed me, now, an urgent cadence in his voice, his breathing harsh in my ear as I softly console him. He just kept repeating that he wanted me.

    And yet I paced up and down in the driveway for over an hour tonight, kicking the dust, tearing out weeds, and staring at the van as if it were an eight ball that I could shake and turn over and etched into the undercoating would be my answer. Is this the right thing to do? Do I go to him after all this time?

    Fuck it.


    Yes, I will come to you. And you'd better fucking be there when I arrive, unlike the last time I tried to meet you and you never showed up, but somehow you snuck past me and broke my heart and now I'm giving you one last chance to fix it.

    I reach the end of the dirt road and the view stops me in my tracks. The fiery golden ball is slipping into the ocean in front of me. It never fails to take my breath away and at the same time I find the strength to give a heavy sigh as I cast my eyes around and realize I am still alone.

    He isn't here, he didn't come.

    I sink into the wet sand, no longer caring if my jeans stay clean or even dry and I slam both fists down together in front of me, a sob escaping with the force with which my hands strike the beach. Tears follow their path down my face, painting lines in the light coating of dust from the long drive and I smear them from their patterns until my face is filthy and now I am crying hard at his betrayal and at my naivety to trust him again after hurting so much for so long.

    An engine drowns out my sobs and suddenly he is there, screaming my name as he jumps out of his truck and runs the rest of the way to where I sit. He falls to his knees beside me in the surf and suddenly I am desperate to be next to him, to be pressed up against him. His hands are in my hair, holding my face, touching me all over in his attempts to gather me into his arms. He kisses the tears, my cheeks, lips, eyelashes and ears. He tells me over and over again that he's here now, that he missed the turn and was five miles down the highway before he realized he had gone too far.

    He whispers that he is sorry. For what happened when I left, for the time since, for everything. And I don't hear him over the crashing of the waves but it matters little, because in his arms I am finally home.

(If you guessed that this is a true story, you're right. Only it wasn't about Jacob. The man who fell to his knees in the sand? That was Cole.)

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

A most pathetic exchange.

My extra-long, extra-soft weekend is just about over. I think I'm all favored-out, I'm peopled-out and I'm not thinking very hard today, I'm trying to close the holes in my own armor before today's first visit with Joel at the helm. Dr. Important Joel, who is probably the kind of man who writes PhD. after his name when he signs the guestbook at a wedding, and I'm guessing he practices shooting his cuffs in mirrors as some men do because it appears to be a studied talent. No less devastating to Bridget, who likes that sort of thing, but far too practiced to be natural.

Sometime this morning while I talk with Joel and Jacob exhausts the nearby bookstore, Loch will make his exit. I told him it was time to go, that he didn't come out for me, he came out for him. I lost him yesterday and by nine o'clock I assumed he was visiting friends or checking out old haunts until I went out to get the lights and there he was, sitting in a chair with an empty case of beer at his feet.

Loch is hardcore, whereas a case of beer would have buried Jacob somewhere in the hundred acre wood, wiping every last trace of Flogging Molly lyrics from his brain forever, Loch simply gets sweeter and a little slower and usually a lot more open. He isn't an open kind of guy otherwise. I was about to be treated to his slurred confession, the likes of which he rarely ventures into.

He smiled at me in the dark.

Oh Loch, you're fuckered, aren't you?

Not anymore. I've just about come out the other side.

What in the hell is going on?

Come and sit with me, Bridgie. Just for a while.

Okay. Tell me what's going on.

Are things okay?

No, but they will be.

What about Jake?

What about him?

You love him.

So much.

Then what was the rush for?

We were tired of waiting. You know this story. Come on, it's time for bed.

You should have had more time to play around, more time to have fun.

Please don't, Loch.

Maybe we should have had another go-round, princess.

Loch. Enough.

Like we did just before you got engaged to Cole. My God, it was better than high school.

Stop it. That was sixteen years ago.

It should be a prerequisite when you get engaged.

No it shouldn't.

What's this?
There was Jacob, poking his head out the door.

Loch's had too much and he's nostalgic.

No, Jake, I've had too much and I'm wistful.


Sleeping with your lovely wife. I was hoping for a crack at every year or more.

Loch, you'll get a crack alright. Across the head. Maybe you need to get some sleep.

And maybe you should stay out of this, preacher man.

Yeah, I think I will.

Jacob actually went back inside. I was stunned. He trusts us both.

Bridgie, I wanted a life like this. With you. I was the first one to love you. I taught you things.

A million years ago. What the hell happened to everyone just being my friends?

I never fell out of love with you.

No, don't.

You make it impossible not to. The little blonde, so pretty and bubbly and fragile, who has worked her way into everyone's heart. Everyone cares about you.

Then why can't it stay caring?

I don't know. How do you steal everyone's hearts?

I don't. I wanted one and I took it.

Bridgie, he's rebound guy. You two are too intense, everyone's simply waiting and holding their breath.

They can stop. I love Jake. There's no rebound here.

If things don't work out, do you have a plan?

Yeah, I die alone. There won't ever be another man like Jacob for me. He's extraordinary.

He must be.

He is, Loch.

But if it doesn't work?

Hey, Loch, did you know I had this conversation with Ben already?

Ben's a fucking pervert. He just wants inside you.

And you?

I want the whole package. You and me, we have always belonged together.

And here I thought we had platonic down to a science now.

You did. I just kept quiet.

This is the last thing I need right now, Loch. I need your friendship, I'm running out of friends.

With all due respect, Bridge, you don't have any friends.

Stop it.

We all want the same thing. You wonder why Chris and PJ are well into their thirties and single? Oh and in the summer when you dress so sparingly spending time with you is like winning the lottery. You don't think they whack off to your face at night in their dreams? You have no friends. Just a line up.

Just then the screen door banged open again.

That's enough, Loch.

Jake, you see it.

We'll talk tomorrow. Jesus, Loch.

Jacob waited for Loch to go inside and stagger slightly down the hall to the guest room and then he locked up behind us. We went to bed in silence upstairs and I lay in Jacob's arms and cried.


An inevitable truth, because not once did Jacob deny it. He knows. Hell, I imagine I knew too and just refused to let the idea bloom in my head because my boys have been such huge helps to me and such comfort and fun over the years. I was hoping that hidden agendas weren't so rampant. I was convinced men and women can be friends. Loch was the last person I would have expected this from, the very last and I don't want to lose him but after an admission like that things are never going to be the same. Things have never been the same anyway. This is not my life anymore.

Now I just have to get everyone else shitfaced and throttle the truth out of them too.

Monday, 21 May 2007

A hole where my heart should be.

Things have quieted down. The sleep, comforts of my friends, time to talk and do little else, as chores and errands and babysitting was divided and conquered easily leaves me on sure footing. Which is good, I need my wits about me, Loch's presence puts a kink in Jacob's armor as they unwittingly try to pull rank on each other-Loch for time served as my friend, and Jacob for his role as my husband. They only thing they seemingly agree on is that they both want to help me get back. For now it's just the way things are but having Loch drop his plans and fly in for a week and hearing about his sudden change of heart and apathy towards any personal relationships outside of us is disheartening and weird. I just can't deal with it today and he won't say much so for now it's comfortably strained, if that makes sense.

Claus opened his office to Jacob and I on Saturday afternoon and we talked to death. I put the rest of it out there, the remaining horrors I had kept. Claus is here for Jacob to lean on as much as he's for me. He's well-paid and over-qualified and no bullshit. He's also on the verge of retirement which is where Joel comes in. Joel's too young. I don't trust him, but Claus is hoping for a long and slow, successful transition because he said this time I'm not going to orchestrate my progress.

I've been put on a meal plan. Which is interesting. My weight has dipped amazingly low. (The number I posted here has been removed, fuck you). My periods stopped. A lot of things stopped. I am still going, however. Such a fucking mess. I can go escape with headphones and being held and then I really don't want to face anything else. I feel ashamed and weak. I feel sad and fucking tired. I feel guilty.

And love, I feel love when there shouldn't be any. Jacob's here. I tried to break him on Saturday and he didn't budge an inch though I know his soul is screaming for anything but some of the things he had to hear. Continuing to let it out in bits and fragments isn't helping. Claus wants us empty, clean slates to work towards substance and strength. He is amazed and I'm so buoyed by his pride in my progress but at who's expense, Jacob's? Is that fair? Is it right? Is it time?

Attempt, if you will, to remain positive like I must.

Jacob has been nothing but loving and reassuring and so protective. He's sad that he didn't try to look past me and see for himself, instead he chose to trust me and I was so untrustworthy. He's sick over it and I already dealt with the shock, years ago. Alone. And that might make me stronger than I thought overall but it still leaves me mind-breakingly weak. His words, when pressed for a reaction, gently, Jacob looked up with his eyes so drained and he said we had just progressed from heart-breaking to mind-breaking and that he's just...stunned by the admissions and by the memories I keep, right under his nose. And the worst part is I shut it off, I shut it down to keep him safe. Again.

Claus is surprised I am not worse. Joel thinks I'm still holding out. He's right and that's why I have trouble with him. Jacob thinks I'm a wounded bird, and Loch, well, Loch thinks life should start over.

I will only worry about my Jacob, the rest of them can take care of themselves.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Best friends forever.

I've had a lot of time this weekend to study Jacob while he's awake and while he's asleep. Maybe it's because I'm spending a lot of time sitting and listening or just thinking or being caught-up on sleep and awake early in the mornings. I have more time to watch him, to enjoy how he does things, or listen to his words. A passive, undetected observer of a phenomenal man.

Part of what has always drawn me to Jacob is the conviction with which he talks, how he says what's on his mind, exactly what he feels, without any fear of reprisal or reproach. He just lets it out, he always has and it's beautiful. He has a way of putting things into a perspective that can gild ashes and turn sand into castles. It's rapturific.

Instead of keeping his mouth shut a million years ago he simply smiled at me in that pained way he gets and he said I love you. I think you should be with me. Even though I was already married. He didn't care, he was telling me how he felt.

This weekend I listened as he told Lisabeth a bit of our history, how he fell in love with me in one night and then we settled into being close friends with a remarkable tension that smothered us alive and it was a long, arduous test with spectacular results, because being able to marry his best friend has been his greatest joy. He regarded me with pride and I was digging my nails into my hands to prevent the unpreventable tears he moved me to.

Call it a love-in, call it cheesy, he's absolutely right. It is the most amazing feeling in the world to marry someone you know so well, having gotten to know them in a personal sense with a closeness free of the romantic attachments, free of the expectations of being in love. Oh, shoot, I know we were in love anyway, I know it wasn't fair to Cole and I know we teetered on the edge of right and wrong, taking turns waiting for each other to slip so we could make our very own oops-moments. I know he wanted me. I know I wanted him and I also know that we made incredibly good friends too, and that's what we fall back on when sometimes we suffocate each other with the love part.

We could steal each other's popcorn at the movies without asking, he's always given me his corduroy jacket before I told him I was cold, we'd feel like skating or going to the bookstore at the same times when no one else would. I knew all the foods he liked and all of his embarrassing teenage secrets. He knew of my still-raging unrequited teacher-crush from junior high, my fear of live lobsters and secret fear of heights and he was one of the few people I ever told that I was being hurt.

All of this gives us our foundation in a new marriage where we thought we were starting on the first block and had nothing to fall back on. We keep forgetting but not forgetting, if it makes any sense at all, how well we do know each other and how caring for each other as friends has made us slower to take offense and harder to rile as lovers.

We've learned to argue, at last. Just in the past two days, finally. Somehow. My God.

Jacob has just about caught up on his own sleep, finally letting go of his penchant for lying awake at night gazing at me with loving worry while I slumber carelessly in his arms. Aware of his concern every waking moment but right now my sleep is of the dead variety. Hard and long, drugged and stupefied. With vividly fucked-up dreams and nightmares I wouldn't wish on people who most definitely deserve them. When I wake up he's there, murmuring his shushes with his lips on my skin, arms keeping me safe and grounded on earth with no danger of bad thoughts carrying me away. Not complaining or deferring when I want more than a hush from his lips, when our needs take over us again and again.

By being my friend, Jacob knows without a doubt not to take it personally that I have issues about wanting to be on earth. Issues with knowing how to grieve, issues with change and issues with him having to coexist in the headspace I occupy. It's a tall order and of everyone I have ever known he would be the one I choose, because he is so strong. Because he tells me how he feels. He has never done that with anyone other than me and it means something incredible.

And watching him sleep, shower and make love to me gives me an appreciation for and a thorough thrill fed by a decade of coveting his magnificent body, since I had already captured his heart and his mind. His muscles were the icing on the cake, if icing came in packs of eight.

Being in love with Jacob is an endless gift. Not only because he can support my entire weight in the palm of one of his hands but that he can support my soul with the strength of his heart, a visible feat since he wears it on his sleeve for me and I carry it safely with me when I leave his arms.

Sitting beside him while he speaks of his love for me, occasionally raising my hand in his to kiss it or playing with my earring, I can hear it, I can see it and I feel it. It's captivating, having moved several of our friends into appreciative silence over the past few days.

I let him in, finally. I trust him. I told him everything I've been keeping from him, in some misguided fashion to make myself appear better to him in hopes that I would be worthy of him. Instead I had left him with questions that made me seem unworthy and now those questions are gone and he sees me. All of Bridget. Everything, good and bad and painful and difficult and wonderful and he's still here and still in love and confirmed as a permanent fixture. Cogs I left in our gears out of fear that were destructive have been removed, and he sees all of me now.

He told me that all of it would have helped if I had just gotten it out sooner, and he was concerned that I would willingly make myself out to be a monster when I clearly wasn't one, for his benefit. Touched that I wanted to be perfect in his eyes when he tells me I have been nothing but perfect, always and forever to him. He's relieved, again, that the rest of my past is on the table because it's one step closer to our future, our own history with our own memories, none of which are stolen or forbidden or the least bit disgraceful.

Okay, maybe some of them will be disgraceful but that's sanctioned disgrace. Because I married him, after all. And somehow I fell in love with him all over again, just now.

And the thing where he traces his thumb along my bottom lip? He still does it, possibly at least once every day or so, and it still knocks me fucking flat. Breathless.

Saturday, 19 May 2007

Afterglows and farkles.

    So sacrifice yourself
    And let me have what's left
    I know that I can find
    The fire in your eyes
    I'm going all the way
    Get away please

    You take the breath right out of me
    You left a hole where my heart should be
    You got to fight just to make it through
    Cause I will be the death of you

The steel horses have arrived. And on them the unlikeliest group of city-cowboys ever. They went to the grocery store as a group and I can only imagine the looks they got as they milled around picking up steaks and ice cream, Ruth and Henry passed from shoulder to shoulder and zoomed up and down the aisles.

That would be Jacob, Loch, Sam and Ben with the kids, while Lisabeth, Erin and I stayed home and pondered the lilacs and looked at photo albums.

It's not a sunny long weekend, oh no. It was a spare three degrees this morning when Jacob turned me from spooning with him onto my back, pulling me underneath him for some quiet and gentle love, holding my head so hard against his shoulder when I started quiet-screaming that I left a mark. Later on he got up and went downstairs to hurriedly build a fire in the woodstove and then came back upstairs and we had a long hot shower together. When we came downstairs again the whole house was warm and Erin was making pancakes and bacon.

So cozy. I wish I could keep her but she has a life, a very good and stable one.

I'm waiting now for Jacob to decide he needs a motorcycle. He's the last holdout, even Sam rides. I'm betting cash money that over dinner the topic will turn to bikes (again) and he'll give me that sly grin that confirms my suspicion. I thought the return of the old truck would keep stars in his eyes for a while but I may have been wrong.

In any event, it's really nice to have some happy times. Some quietly happy, no-dark-allowed times with my friends, who are my family. The whole wild bunch of them.

Friday, 18 May 2007

Long weekend at home.

Oh, busy weekend and Bridget's on drugs. Having a hard time with labels.

Erin stays until Monday, bless her heart for coming back on a hairpin turn. Loch flies in tomorrow. Squee! (sorry, it had to be done). Ben (!) asked if he could stop by tomorrow. Duncan and Mark will be by on Sunday. Monday has brought requests from Sam and Lisabeth and possibly even Christian and PJ as long as they don't have to work. Have Claus tomorrow and Dr. Important Joel first thing Tuesday. Jacob is not leaving my side and there is something to be said for sticking my face into the neck of his flannel shirt and not opening my eyes unless I absolutely must. I can feel the vibrations in his throat when he talks. His hair and the fledgling beard tickle my skin. His arms around me comfortably, tight, but every now and then he gestures and then his hands return and stroke my hair, my cheek, my ears. He's warm. He's strong. He's here.

We're going to listen to happy music (freeeeeeebiiiiiiiiiiird!) and plant sunflowers and be present.

And it's Queen Victoria's birthday. So there will be cake.

And possibly only good things to be thought, written, spoken and then some.

The gift of a Never poem.

My talented and introspective friend Christian wrote me a poem. Did I tell you I have a weakness for poetry? I've mentioned him previously here and his site is my first link down to the left here on the page. He really has a radiant soul and I cried, not only because the poetry is so graceful but because secretly I've always hoped that he would use me for inspiration. What I like most is how he took a low moment and turned it into something beautiful. Which is exactly what we're trying to do with our life here.

Enjoy. And thank you, Chris.

    Bridget and Jacob

    He is not the answer
    she thought

    But she
    was always the question
    an unfinished sentence
    lying on the tip of the tongue
    inches from articulation
    and a million miles
    beyond explanations

    In an embrace made by one for two
    they slid down the wall

    Dissolved to
    mercury liquid dissolution
    seen running
    a silver shining across the floor
    beneath the closed doors of misinterpretations
    shying away from disinclination

    they flowed into the predawn morning

    surged upon the lawn
    and waited for day

    Within me
    I will find you
    he whisper sang
    to her eyes
    avoiding the falling stars
    and runaway cars
    careening from her lips

    And I will run
    she cried

    as she was always running

    Away from
    and straight into
    a shifting desire
    for softer days
    when the pain
    was not so keen

    not so enticing

    all consuming

    Nothing is forever
    she told him
    and kissed his fear
    and lost boy smile

    But she was wrong

    As the sun struck them
    they melded together
    a silver disc in the shape of Gods eye


    no longer confused

    A script of passion running
    round the rim of their skin

    A history
    written in need

    A medallion to continuance
    beyond the raw nerve touch
    of the past

Thursday, 17 May 2007

I wrote this while we were away in anticipation of today.

    Dear Cole,

    Had we remained together, today would have been the twentieth anniversary of a love that took root early in high school and grew steadily through the next two decades before we caught on that it was rotting and diseased and doomed to die. Twenty years is a long time to spend with someone, when no one gives anything a fighting chance anymore but we did, you and I, we fought for each other and for us that we realized we were still fighting long after it became abundantly clear that what we were fighting for was long gone.

    I betrayed you. Magnificently. Perfectly. Exactly how it should have been done after so many years of being your doormat girl, your disposable spouse and your poisonous playtoy. I learned things I should never know at your hands, and did things I will never speak of, not even to my new husband, who would never dare tread in the dark places that you found comfort in. You threw me away and in the end I slapped you in the face and walked away first and I'm so proud of myself for that, and I know you were proud too.

    I know that you were relieved.

    I realize you were messed up. That you had problems no one could fix, not even me or you. I know life was hard for you and your genius laced with madness took you down long before your body had the final word. And I hope you're in a place now that brings little of that intense pain that you lived with and that your mind is at rest now because I don't think it ever once was when you were alive.

    And the little nuclear family you created out of us is thriving at last. Despite your last-minute attempts to dismantle it. On our former anniversary and out of the blue. Thank you for making May 17 a day to remember that I survived you trying to kill me, and the day that Jacob thwarted your final fucked-up plans to get me back for winning our stupid, juvenile hurtfest and not a day to remember that we still loved each other once upon a time even as we caressed our murderous dreams.

    I'm not going to mark this day next year or ever again after today. I'm letting it go like I let you go because I want life to be good. I want life to be fun and beautiful and predictable and sweet. I want it to be full of love and respect and caring and patience. I don't want any sick games or any twisted definitions, all of it is now laid out in plainspeak on a clean sheet of brightly-lit white paper for us to check off on our way to happily ever after.

    And you know what? That is something you'll never have. But besides Ruth and Henry and a healthy respect for your rage there is something else you left me with that's been swimming around in my psyche for a year now that I didn't know was there at first and then when I noticed it and tried to catch it it would slip through my hands over and over again, like a jellyfish. My hands got stung and pain laced through my fingers every time I touched it but I knew if I didn't grasp it soon it would fade away and disappear. You knew it was there and you forced me to find it.

    It was my strength. Strength built from learning how to withstand you, to live with and love you and to stay with you even when I should have left. I knew I stuck around for something, and I finally caught it.

    Thank you for giving me strength.

    I have strength. You have nothing.

    Happy anniversary, baby. And peace, I hope you've got some peace in death.

    Not yours anymore,


Bridget's army.

Jacob got his proverbial tranquilizer gun and I've been shot in the ass with a dart and I've slept. Oh have I slept. And he has too, thanks to a network that stretches far beyond my wildest dreams. I really had no idea how strong and how many people deep it was until Tuesday when Bridget exploded and a few hours passed with what appeared to be several key scenes from The Exorcist being reenacted.

I won't go into much detail, suffice it to say it began with sliding down that wall and ended two hours later with Claus (housecall Claus!) charging into the bathroom with a needle full of sleep and the last thing I remember is Jacob was still holding me, whispering something but I never heard him, I was still screaming when the lights went out for this princess.

I was up briefly last night. Snuggling with the kids, getting reassurance that Jacob does not want a raincheck on this life after all. I ate and went back to sleep while people came and went and now Erin is here to help and keep the kids busy for a few days because Jacob is so tired and because we need help but we're stubborn. All this help means I stay home, you know. Embrace it, fragile miss B.

I met Dr. Important Joel, who aside from rhyming with Cole, is going to work with Claus to get a better handle on medicated-girl. I'm singing Nirvana songs and hearing talk of polar bears, or polar girls, or maybe it was something similar but today I'm not fighting anything anymore. I'm just going to go back to sleep.

When I get up Jacob promised he would play Dust in the Wind, so I can practice the violin solo. It's a much better song than Lithium. I just deleted that one anyway.

And hey, a year ago today Cole tried to kill me. Fucking fitting, isn't it?

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

The freefall.

I walked up to the gate, showed them my lifer bracelet (unlimited rides, you know) and was summarily locked into my seat. The man took my green flip-flops and put them in a pile by the entrance and I let my bare toes relish the light summer breeze. I failed to notice the mechanism had begun to move and I was going up slowly. I ascended without caring, too busy finding shapes in the clouds, chasing the high that had long since deserted me in favor of luckier prospects or perhaps brightest shores. A jolt and a metallic clang disrupted that daydream and when it was gone... was gone forever.

And then all my hair stood on end as the switch was thrown and the platform I was strapped to took 3 seconds to drop three hundred feet. I threw up. I wished I could die. I pushed Jacob out of my way and recoiled in a massive attempt to disappear to prevent any more of that kind of hideous, destructive fear.

    Here it comes and there it goes
    Another day of getting up to fight
    In a world called catastrophe, my native tongue is blasphemy
    So it's the one I'll write
    And baby can you hear it?
    Don't it make you want to wake up and open your eyes?

I woke up this morning screaming and drenched in sweat, every nerve ending in my entire body on edge, every joint and muscle tense and we didn't get very far before it was clear that this wasn't even my normal. While Jacob was calling for help before he felt the gravity coming I was pulling things off shelves in the bathroom looking for razor blades that would never be found in my house anyway. Jacob uses an electric razor and I use wax because of this. I had an epiphany-knives-and went tearing down the stairs toward the kitchen just as Jacob realized that's where I was headed. He grabbed me just inside the kitchen door, pulling my shoulders to him so hard my head snapped back and banged on the door.

Leave it.

I can't do this.

I know you feel that way but you can. We made it, you just need to get better. Baby. please.

It's too hard. I'm so scared, Jake, I don't want to feel like this.

I know, baby, so am I. We can do this. The kids are depending on you, they need you. Bridget, I need you. I want you here, with me. I've never wanted anything different.

They'll be fine. Everyone will be fine. Better even.

None of us will be better without you. We'll die without you.

We won't bother with creative therapies anymore. This time they'll opt for the hospital. Told you I wasn't dumb.

The worst thing is he didn't trust his instincts, even when I warned him that I knew he wasn't listening to himself. His infallible intuition, his perfect logic that has a hand up from higher places that can be uncanny in its perfection. He failed to believe himself when too late he realized I lied.

I have no intentions of keeping any promises I made to be here forever. What's sick is how much comfort I got from knowing that and I know it's wrong and I want it to stop.

Jacob kissed the top of my head and took me into his arms and he backed into a corner and slid down the wall until he was sitting on the floor, holding both of us. Me and him, because he needs comfort too and he's terrified and was shaking like a leaf and I'm sorry honey. He left me there while he went and got the kids off to school and then he got them out the door with the neighbors and he started making those goddamed phonecalls because he knows people and now they're all going to work together to save my life once more.

I may be gone for a while. I really have no idea what they have planned but I don't care as long as it works this time. It has to work. I just have to go and get better and hope he will someday forgive me.

Not well at all.

I can feel my eyeballs move when I look up to see if he is looking at me while I write about him. Not like I care, if he wants to watch he can. He's fascinated by my words, by how it comes out here, how things I have said to him in person, replete with the tears and batty eyelashes and biting the lip that can tear his heart from his chest but then he reads it here and it's a cold, flat diatribe that holds none of the same depth. A scary cold.

He is confused by that. Hey, we all are, you aren't special.

Well, you are, but maybe not when it comes to having all the answers, just most of them. I need those last final ones. I needed to know how it all turns out because when I go to sleep at night my hope starts to slide away and when I wake up it's such a fight every day to clamber back over to it and drag it closer only to repeat my actions. I'm exhausted. It wasn't there today anyways.

Bridget isn't well and she can only account for why about half the time. It's an easy pill to swallow when things are at rock bottom and we are struggling just to hold on to each other and everything else suddenly is deemed unimportant. What's so fucking hard is when things start going good, routine settles in, daily life blooms around us and yet nothing is different. He still doesn't know who he'll wake up with. He doesn't like this one facet, this bland anger with no cause, this uncaring, unemotional void that leaves me but for nothing. And all day long I can not react or smile or cry even, there's just nothing but the anger, and a constant stream of chatter that runs through my skull telling me I shouldn't be here, I am not worth anything and no one would be the worse for wear if I vanished. That scares me too because it won't shut off.

Times like these I wish for medication. Really strong medication and a room with nothing sharp and nothing I can use for anything, a room with nothing to do and maybe even no one to talk to so that I don't make them feel bad because I don't feel like talking. I just feel like pouring myself into a corner right now and hanging on for dear life so that I might someday be allowed to enjoy it. I'm not dumb enough but I'm dumb enough and that's the promise I can give. Bridget's been suicidal for a long time but no one knows she still is. He doesn't really know. He doesn't get it.

If you ever wanted a realistic portrait of mental illness in this day and age maybe I would be it. A perfect study of debilitating chemical nonsense existing in a space where a Stepford wife would be expected. Just enough ability to get through the goddamned day, just enough conviction to push away those who tell me I can't do it while I prove that I can, and so they back off and take away their butterfly net they ran in with to catch me, and then I have to go looking for them with bloody hands and tears in my eyes asking for help because I might have really fucked up bad this time and I don't know why I keep fucking up but it just KEEPS HAPPENING.

He doesn't understand. And as much as he can be here just when I need him the most why do I feel he's always slightly out of reach? He isn't out of reach, he's taken care of me, he's taken care of everything, he's cleared off his timetable in one generous wide gesture to help me and he can't help me. Maybe that's the frustrating part, he can only do so much, and I can only do so much and it's going to ruin everything. I'm going to ruin everything. I didn't want to end up this way, playing a waiting game. And none of it feels like it used to. All of this used to be wrapped in fear. It was justified, ignored. I was on my own so much I didn't have a chance to notice that it would follow me even when things were good. Fear kept me going because I'm stubborn and somehow it always seemed like it was going to come down to Cole or me. And I 'm here but so is the fear again. And the pain and the hopeless nothingness.

We're not going to make it. And I wanted this so, so badly. I love Jacob like no one could have ever measured and I didn't want to ruin him. He's so sweet and kind and beautiful. He deserves so much better than this.

Monday, 14 May 2007

Frailty of a different sort.

Rainy Mondays are good days for the princess and her penchant for epic nonsensical ramblings in entries dipped in wax.

Rainy Mondays are good days for early-morning marriage therapy appointments and bright red raincoats and hot coffee.

And they are even good days for burying sparrows that fail to survive neighborhood cats and somehow make their way, gravely wounded, into the hearts of your family against hope of a happy ending.


I made it seem as though Jacob was so cool and collected when he returned on Friday. Back just when I was on the verge of a historic low with his impeccable timing and jaw-dropping gestures?


Giant black holes left on purpose to suck all the details inside where they would go undetected for a million lifetimes. Or something. Some things are too damn private. Should I emasculate him as I have a few times over by telling you he got down on his knees and begged me to let him be a part of whatever it is that I seem to need? To not shut him out and turn him down and tune him out?

Or maybe you'd like to hear how he took one hand and cradled my head and the other hand wrapped right around my throat when he kissed me because that's how I like it. Right up just like that until I am on ballerina-toes and breathless.

No one wants to hear that, that's fucked up, Bridget.

But it isn't. Because he is Jacob.

Friday night when I went to bed I left my hair up in the braid that had spent the day unbraiding itself. You do that when it's long, it saves a lot of tangles. Jacob tucked his face into the spot right under my hairline, pressing his nose and his lips against the nape of my neck and locked his arms around me in spoons and he fell asleep so fast and so hard it was almost an audible hammer drop. He didn't stir for close to ten hours and when he woke up Saturday morning we had an uneasy time sorting out how he could come back without talking to me first, knowing I needed him but knowing I was tired of being weak and that I would never ask. So he did it on a whim and it was the right thing but what if it hadn't been?

He's talking a mile a goddamned minute and untangling the ribbon from my hair and I have shivers going up and down my spine and am growing angrier by the minute.

I didn't care, I'm no longer dealing in what-ifs. Life from now on is going to be black and white and as clear as glass. It has to be, we've lived too long perched on indecision like sparrows on the clothesline. Waiting. Waiting forever. For what?

Jacob was so passionate in his arguments. I could tell he had spent days talking it out loud to himself. I'm his wife, I don't answer to anyone but myself any longer. He isn't heavy-handed like Cole was, I have freedoms I have never known. Things you fail to notice when you grow up from 15 to 35 with the same dominance leaves you...child-like. Prone to following orders and not even knowing you have a mind of your own. I discovered I had an opinion, I have a fucking opinion and I started throwing it out like confetti.

I leveled power just because I could.

That isn't right, like so much else.

I never wanted to be without Jacob, I simply wanted to see what it felt like with no one around-Cole OR Jacob, just to see. And now I never want to see it again. I was done with that plan the moment he turned around at the gate and watched us walk down the terminal and I had turned back to look at him and our eyes met. We smiled but it wasn't a comforting smile, it was a grimace of pain on his face. Pain and regret. Mine was a mask of fear and doubt. And once apart we swapped emotions and carried baggage of a different sort to the collective homes we've spent so much time in without each other.

I managed to swallow both and figured it out and just when I did, he came back.

With new wedding rings. Smaller rings because my God, I can't seem to keep any weight on.

And new pride in me. The price of which is less confidence in himself, which isn't right. Give your angel wings, permission to fly and when she soars you watch her fly away and you realize you're alone.

Jacob says sometimes he's afraid he is here to help me tie my wings on and when I am confident enough I'll fly away and not come back and he'll know his purpose then and he's going to evade it until the day he dies.

Therapy this morning was all about trading places with trust. That time gave me the backbone I was seeking and that time made my husband weep with sorrow.

I do better when he's not here and we both are aware of it. Coping mechanisms honed through years of abandonment. And I don't want it. I prefer to lean on him, to give up that strength and breathe instead of holding my breath and never relaxing and just getting through the days as if life is one monumental chore or insurmountable task I simply have to survive.

Now, you tell me, where in the fuck are the happy mediums? Where's the peace already?

Never content to just be, we need to be better. Life is one ironic fuckup.

Every day as I work my way around the house on various chores and errands I find pens and pencils that someone has left. The mug on the desk where they belong is empty and so I bring them back and they migrate away again. If I'm distracted I use them to pin up my hair and mostly by the end of the day I'm walking around with six of them sticking out all over the place from a bun that's messy but still better than loose and in the way. Jacob will be on the phone and he'll reach over and pull one out, pulling the cap off with his teeth to write something down. Then he grins at me as if it's the silliest thing in the world to have those stuck there.

Sometimes he says that they grow out of my brain, that writers grow pens like artists visualize finished works. I tell him it's the opposite, that artists make lists of drawings they want to make or write their plans out instead of making a quick sketch and that writers see their stories in their heads and simply have to translate those images into words and it's so easy to do it in reverse everyone should be a writer. He laughs some more.

His writing is never his spoken word. He writes out all these reserved, sometimes stunted notes and then when he delivers the sermon or speech or talk it just rolls so lyrically and enigmatically from within, he has developed a manner of going back to rewrite things after giving them in front of me. Whether I am listening or not. He'll just walk around the house gesturing madly and talking and after a while you realize he's in the backyard sermonizing the city wildlife.

And burying dead birds. And most certainly lying when he comes back in and you ask if he's been crying and he says no.

    Love liked me long ago
    It had a way of making everyone the same
    But now the angels must laugh and sigh
    To hear me pleading with you
    Needing this you this way
    Oh why don't you want to be happy with me?

    I'm afraid if you don't come around soon
    I'll turn sadder than you ever were
    And you'll learn loneliness is worse

    You've got to try to stay mine all the way

The trading of roles is unwelcome. What happened to sharing, instead of everything resting with either Jacob or myself? What happened to getting better? What happened to finding the poetry in life but not as our coup de grace?

I believe all of it has been buried with that poor little sparrow.

What didn't get buried was the determination of one fair princess and the hope and faith of one of God's angels.

We will not fail.

I said it on the front steps as Jacob put the key in the lock and he stopped and turned around and nodded while the rain poured down over us, still too shaken to give me one of his characteristic verbal comforts that used to roll like marbles off his tongue. Once inside we threw our coats off and our arms around each other. It was a kiss-bombing mission. Kisses raining everywhere like bombs over an enemy city. Staving off life's onslaught with love, the only thing that's going to get us through this -faith, hope, experience and logic be-fucking-damned. Only then did physical comfort permit his spoken confirmation.

We will not fail, princess.

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Mother's Day.

As my kids get older I'm constantly overwhelmed by their grasp of time, their mastery of new or unusual situations. They do self-checks, and let us know if they are too cold or too hot, hungry or full, too tired or still full of energy to keep going, and ready for a cuddle or full-up.

Once those basic needs are fulfilled they are off and running in the adventures, smiling from ear to ear and wearing themselves to smithereens while being kind to each other. They have been my littlest troopers in a long year that saw more unwritten tears cried over them than any other tears I have shed, more heartache suffered for anticipatory difficulties that sometimes never even came to pass, but I worried anyway.

In advance, just in case. As mothers do.

They watch the calendar now. They can tell time and mark days right alongside me and this morning when I came out of the bedroom in my robe, with plans to let Jacob sleep in for a few precious minutes before church because he is exhausted from worry and travel and Bridget, the kids came and put their arms around me even before they fought for the first turn to the bathroom for that all-urgent emergency first-morning pee, and they told me Happy Mother's Day!
And then while they were busy high-fiving each other for having remembered without a prompt for the first time ever, I stole the bathroom for myself.

Happy Mother's Day to all moms out there, reading or in spirit. Have a wonderful day.

Friday, 11 May 2007

He's home!

Prepare your smiling muscles.

Sam was a madman when I arrived at the church office this morning. He was still laboring over announcements, the sanctuary hadn't been cleaned yet and he said there was such a long list of preparations he doubted everything would be finished in time for services Sunday.

Thankfully crisis management in an office setting is something I used to be very good at. I had a look at the list and crossed off everything I could look after. I forwarded the church phone to the answering service to take the pressure off and then got busy booking the cleaning service Jacob used to use occasionally when he ran out of hours and I called the leader of the women's group to see if they could downsize lunch to a tea. I told Sam to go lock himself in his office and finish preparing his notes and he looked at me with such gratitude I'm hoping maybe someday he might approve of me, at least in theory. It could happen.

The fourth thing on my list this morning was to pick up his guest speaker at the airport at 10:30, Alex M. I popped in and clarified the name with Sam so I could make a sign. Sam said Milne distractedly and so I closed the door and went back to the desk. My sign said Alex Milne and when I went to the airport I stood in arrivals holding the sign and reading a book to multitask. Everyone who comes down the stairs would have to pass me so I didn't have to study faces. When fifteen minutes had passed and the passengers had thinned out considerably, all of the baggage was gone and still no Mr. Milne I decided to have him paged before calling Sam to confirm the flight number.

Paging Mr. Milne to arrival gate C, Alex Milne please, your party is waiting at gate C.

I was at such a good point in my reading that I opened the book again while I waited to see if Mr. Milne would make an appearance or if I was going to stress Sam further by having to tell him his guest hadn't arrived. I was three sentences in when I heard a familiar voice.

Hallo, piglet with her nose in a book.
And there he was.

Jacob, grinning from ear to ear.
Oh for the love of-

Because of course, Alan Alexander Milne is the author of the Winnie the Pooh books. And it never even crossed my mind that they might be playing a trick on me. I didn't connect the name at all.

I jumped into his arms. He felt for my hearing aids and then whisper-asked if I really thought he would not be here for Mother's Day? He frowned and told me he's going to have to step things up in the romance department because I should have come to expect his sweeping gestures and he's obviously not doing his job right. I just laughed and ignored all that because who cares?


In the truck on the way home I started to call Sam to tell him I was on the way back but Jacob had already called him while he waited out the passengers at the airport. Sam didn't need me anymore, since I had gotten everything under control and he would see us Sunday morning in church and he was happy to help.

Piglet, I'm afraid I've spent an awful lot of money lately.

The truck?

It's coming on the train midnextweek.

That's wonderful. Why are you back so soon? I thought I was going to have to get through five more days without you. I'm so happy you're here.

Look, everyone was calling me around the clock just to let me know how well you were doing, and how great you've been to them and it seemed easier to come back than to keep being woken up by the phone ringing. I wanted to be here with you. I love you.When you said we made a mistake, I knew I had to come, and so after we got off the phone I called the airport and booked the first flight I could get. It wasn't cheap on short notice.

That's okay. We can eat beans.

He laughed so loud my ears rang and his dimples spilled right out the truck window and all over the highway.

Hell, yes we can. We can eat beans, princess.
He smiled and wove his fingers into my hair.

My God, you look so beautiful. We're never doing that again.

No, we definitely aren't.
I nodded and then I fell apart.

So, so happy he is home.

Up with the chickadees and a coveted phone call.

PJ stayed in the guestroom downstairs last night. I couldn't rouse him and certainly can't carry him and so I just let him sleep and seeing as how he's in his thirties I didn't call his mother, I'm sure she realized he would just sleep and sleep. Right now he's drinking coffee in the kitchen like a real man and only wincing while he blows on it to cool it way down and I was grateful knowing he was here last night. Jacob was grateful PJ lived through his extraction because we've been hearing about it for months. They don't give each other an inch because they love each other like brothers.

Plus Padraig being here enables me to go for my run now, and then I can come home, then he'll head home and I can grab a quick shower and take the kids to school before heading to the church for nine. It's almost across from the school so the day will go fairly smoothly, I hope. Mother's Day holds a long Sunday for our church, with a brunch picnic. It's an all-day event.

I packed my tote with a new book in case there is downtime, and a pear in case I get hungry, plus my sweater because the basement is usually cold. I hope today will be busy and crazy and full because my ache for Jacob has become a pervasive pang of misery and anguish and Tuesday inches closer at the speed of a tectonic plate.

Optimists? I have no idea how you keep it up.

TGIF. And four more sleeps.

Thursday, 10 May 2007


In regards to the bee situation from earlier this week, and how spooky it was, would you like to hear something even spookier?

I picked up PJ and we manhandled him out to the truck and I brought him here so he could rest, since he lives with his mom and his mom runs a home daycare so it's not a great place to find quiet at this time of day. I left him snoozing in the guest room with icepacks and painkillers and came out to make dinner for the kids and I and instead of Green Day I decided to listen to the rest of Sam's Iron & Wine CD since it goes back to him in the morning.

I have played it two times when I clued in to a phrase, let alone the rest of the song, which gives me chills. It's called Passing Afternoon.

    There are times that walk from you like some passing afternoon
    Summer warmed the open window of her honeymoon
    And she chose a yard to burn but the ground remembers her
    Wooden spoons, her children stir her Bougainvillea blooms

    There are things that drift away like our endless, numbered days
    Autumn blew the quilt right off the perfect bed she made
    And she's chosen to believe in the hymns her mother sings
    Sunday pulls its children from their piles of fallen leaves

    There are sailing ships that pass all our bodies in the grass
    Springtime calls her children 'till she let's them go at last
    And she's chosen where to be, though she's lost her wedding ring
    Somewhere near her misplaced jar of Bougainvillea seeds

    There are things we can't recall, blind as night that finds us all
    Winter tucks her children in, her fragile china dolls
    But my hands remember hers, rolling 'round the shaded ferns
    Naked arms, her secrets still like songs I'd never learned

    There are names across the sea, only now I do believe
    Sometimes, with the windows closed, she'll sit and think of me
    But she'll mend his tattered clothes and they'll kiss as if they know
    A baby sleeps in all our bones, so scared to be alone

I do believe God is in, and he's taking notes.

Green days.

 If you go down in the streets today,
    baby, you better open your eyes.
    Folk down there really don't care,
    really don't care which way the pressure lies,
    so I've decided what I'm gonna do now.

    So I'm packing my bags for the Misty Mountains
    where the spirits go now,
    over the hills where the spirits fly.
    I really don't know.

I have some quiet time before this afternoon, which is going to be a delicate balance of timing, between taking Ruth back to school after lunch and then taking Henry with me to run errands while PJ undergoes removal of his wisdom teeth. He's done a lot for me, so I'm going to pick him up when he's finished and he can come back here and sack out and then I'll make him some homemade chicken soup with rice for dinner and to take home.

These boys are big babies. When I had my wisdom teeth out I was 23 and I left the dentist chair and headed straight to the mall for a Chinese food lunch and an afternoon of shopping. PJ will sleep for four hours and then whine for eleven.

It's okay though, he's my friend and this is one of his weaknesses. Lord knows, he is here through most of mine. I'm going to torture him with Jeff Buckley on 45 rpm and just about every other cover of Led Zeppelin I can dig up, including Coalesce. Haha.

We have to be back here by 3:30 for Ruth, and then tomorrow is even crazier. It's helping, but to some extent I got very good at going through the motions in pain so the ache from missing Jacob hasn't lessened or been taken away, it's just here in the background mimicking grief. And I'm freaked out by that.

And Led Zeppelin reminds me of Cole, and that's not helping. Maybe I'll pull out the Green Day CD because that reminds me of nothing, no one, zip. I think Green Day is the one band in the world that evokes nothing more in me than the occasional tap of my hand on some surface. Weird.

Simple words, soaking wet.

I've been writing here for just under three years now, and have a years worth of archives available. The rest was removed. Everything from before I left Cole was taken off, though several months are still available on the internet archives, but believe me it's not exciting, mostly a sham. A pretty picture painted over an eyesore. Hence it's immediate removal the day I took Jacob up on his offer and I made a promise to write for myself. Whatever I wanted to say, whatever I thought about, whatever I felt like I needed to get out.

Honesty is a hard road. Even with wax to make it shine. It was easier to write about shoveling snow or that fall that tore my rotator cuff shortly after we moved into this house that wasn't a fall at all. It was easier to lie and say life was perfect than to admit that it was so far from perfect I was living a nightmare of violent rages followed by the sweetest, gentlest charm and regret. Oh how I loved Cole.

But he's dead.

And there are still stories I keep from you and I can't figure out why. Sometimes to spare your hurt or your sympathy, sometimes to spare me your derision. Above all, I want to be liked just like everyone else does but at the same time I know people have come to expect the open book and then when they get it they lash out or hand out judgment and I'm left wondering again, if I write for myself or if maybe I write for you.

I guess time will tell. So if you find yourself responding strongly to a post or deciding the two minutes you spend here each day with me leaves you ashamed, then note that you've been warned.

And with that, I'll get to today's entry, in which my jealous lover steals my husband's wedding ring. Or rather, Jacob gave it willingly. What a fool.

My head is full this morning with the lilting, wonderfully quiet and melodic sounds of Iron & Wine. I asked Sam if he would leave me one of his CDs for today and I will bring it to the church tomorrow and he left me with Our Endless Numbered Days and a big smile. If we can find a common ground through music then that would be terrific. We've been a little slow to warm up to each other, one of the reasons I sprang a last-minute dinner invitation on them with the plea included that having a group over for a quick barbecue will help ease the difficult after-dinner hours for me. He and his wife Lisabeth came in and kissed my cheeks and hugged the kids and rolled up their sleeves to start pulling a meal together. Then the crotch-rocket gang arrived, because the warm weather means it's motorcycle season. More on that another day. Everyone was gone by 8:30 and my kitchen was spotless.

The most popular story of the night would have been the previously unspoken issue of where my wedding ring was. I lost my ring on the last Friday we were at the cottage. Which is one of the reasons no one believed me that everything was okay when I came back alone, and not wearing my ring.

I had said fuck it that day and went for a swim out to see the rickety boat and I think the water was twelve degrees. I swam out until I got the scary feelings of being out far enough to wonder what might be underneath me and then I turned to come back to shallower water instead of continuing and when my toes touched sand and rock again I took off, swimming parallel to the shore instead of coming out of the water. Jacob came down to the shore and waved. I waved back and kept going. I figured he wanted to argue just a little more, since we had argued that morning. Then he waved with both arms so I stopped to tread water and try to see what he wanted, expecting him to pantomime eating or something. I didn't bring my hearing aids so him yelling would be wasted effort.

Instead he came into the water. With his jeans and shirt and shoes still on. Fully dressed. He walked out until he reached me, up to his shoulders in the water and he locked his fingers into mine and smiled with his worried smile. He told me my lips were blue and we should go in. I brought our hands up together to touch my lips and...

My wedding ring was gone. I take the pearl off every night and when I do anything but stand still but I never take off the band. Ever. Not for surgery, not for gardening, and certainly not for swimming. But even with all the tape wrapped around it to keep it from slipping off, it was an accident waiting to happen, because I still refused to leave it with the jeweler to have it made smaller and so I guess this was a lesson for me.

I flipped the fuck out. Jacob watched me freak out without letting go and when I stopped babbling and blubbering and I quieted down to ragged breathing he winked at me and kissed my forehead and then he took off his ring and he threw it.

He threw it.

As far as he could.

Which was actually a lot further than I expected but we lost sight of it halfway out.

And then he turned and put his arms around me and by this time his lips were blue too and he was shaking ever so slightly and a wave broke over us and he sputtered and he yelled over the pounding surf.

Bridget, let it go! I don't need a ring to tell me we're married! You're my flesh and blood now! That's all that matters!

What followed was the sweetest, coldest kiss in our entire history.

He led me out of the water and we went back into the cottage to find some warmth and the kids looked at Jacob really funny because his clothes were stuck to him and he said that I looked like I was having such a nice swim he decided to have one too, and then our eyes met over the children's heads and he grinned until his dimples pulled his smile as wide as it could go and I was instantly warm.

So so warm.

When he gets back we'll have the rings replaced. They were insured, it will just take time, like everything else. Which I have all kinds of. I have nothing but time.

And I still don't know why he was originally trying to get my attention but I don't think it matters anymore.

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Stay high (not that kind).

    autophobia (psychology): Abnormal fear of one's self or of being alone.

I miss Jacob. I miss his arms. I miss his hands. I miss him singing so loudly. He sings loud. I miss his bottomless dimples and his almost-wavy blonde hair, I miss the beginnings of the fifth beard this year. I miss his confidence. I miss his dry no-nonsense deductions. I miss his eloquence in prayer. If he isn't around, I don't pray. Not because I'm being rebellious but because I want it to sound good and it never does. Jacob says I can empty out the verbal equivalent of my mental junk drawer into God's hands and He will sort through it and besides, He knows what I need before I think of turning to Him.

Again, kind of like someone else I know.

Who hopefully is on his way back as we speak. Hopefully to fill me back up again because I'm running on empty. Not happy or sad, only wistful, watchful and worn.

I invited everyone for dinner tonight because I needed noise. There's four motorcycles and three cars in my driveway and Lisabeth is making potato salad and I snuck upstairs to get a hairpin for Ruth to pin back her hair for dinner and I'm that good with multitasking (says she who cannot walk while breathing) that you get a post. Hurrah.

Hide and go sleep.

Come and get your sweet Bridgetine fix, so says Padraig the wonder hobbit.

    I don't mind where you come from
    As long as you come to me
    I don't like illusions I can't see
    them clearly

    I don't care no I wouldn't dare
    To fix the twist in you
    You've shown me eventually
    What you'll do

    I don't mind
    I don't care
    As long as you're here

    Go ahead tell me you'll leave again
    You'll just come back running
    Holding your scarred heart in hand
    It's all the same
    And I'll take you for who you are
    If you take me for everything
    Do it all over again
    It's all the same

The cottage is beautiful. It really is.

It was within sight of Cole's burial location. So that the kids can look out and know their father is there. And around the point is the most peaceful, beautiful sand beach. The cottage itself was warm and tight and cozy but airy too. Ripply-glass windows and new screens, the board floors were white and cool and clean, and he bought wrought-iron bedframes and vintage quilts for the beds, and over each bed was painted the owner's single initial. He stocked it with blue robin's egg pottery dishes and pure white towels. In the evenings we'd light some candles and he'd start a fire in the woodstove and the kids would fall asleep before they had time to close their eyes. And we would cuddle together and talk and look out at the blinking of the buoys that mark the entrance to the bay and the odd boat that would glide silently past.

It even came with a matching sailboat. a gorgeous little wooden number that I wouldn't trust past the end of my nose, but she's anchored there anyway, a good challenging swim out for me. Her name is Baby Blue Eyes and she looks as if she might have once been a barn.

I got a slight sunburn, pink around the edges again from the sun. Jacob was instantly pink. We never locked the door there, we never stopped a conversation in the middle in favor of sleep or love. We made love all night every night and tried to cram in our sleep in the early mornings. I woke up to the most beautiful sunrises I have ever seen. I lived in the screen porch. I traced the holes on the tin cupboard doors and I found all kinds of nooks and crannies where wonderful things were stored, like little pieces of seaglass and candles that smelled like lilacs. Sand dollars found on the beach outside the front door.

Our time there unforgettable and regrettable too. I'd like to go back, today even. Now.

Yes. This is a breather for me. I'll be doing everything myself, including self-comfort. I miss my Jacob.

He called this morning to wake me up, telling me about the farm and how beautiful it was and he wished we were there. He asked how Henry's sore throat is and how I was doing. He said he could tell by my voice that I wasn't breathing deeply and then he counted and asked me to take a very deep breath.

I cried.

His voice sounded choked. He was trying not to cry, still. We don't want this distance as much as we need it. There's no clarity in suffocation, no peace in turmoil. No end in sight to some of the difficulties we face and so we force a new start. It's something I was advised to do when I left Cole, everyone told me I went from a snail's pace to flat out run and I didn't stop and take time for Bridget. So busy making sure everyone was okay with everything. Too busy to look in the mirror, or I would have seen the scenery rushing vertically past me as I fell down the rabbit hole. I bet I would have screamed.

I'm doing everything wrong. I had no time alone just to think and to be with me. I don't even know who I am, I'm never alone, I've never made my own decisions, I've chased love and affection around since I was fourteen. I'm pretty sure maturity-wise, I stopped right there. It's no wonder men love me, I make them feel like they're a thousand feet tall and impervious to damage. They can feel strong and be in charge and I'll do anything they want, willingly. The price for this is my own identity. I wanted to be Jacob's girl so bad that I failed to notice that his girl wasn't whole anymore. And now I go looking for parts of myself and am terrified that they aren't there. Where the hell am I?

I asked him to hurry home and he said he would do his very best. He asked me what I slept in and I replied his shirt that he left hanging on the hook on the back of the door because it smelled like him and that when he came home I might give it back but not until then. He stopped talking and waited, and I could hear him struggling. He asked if Ruth had her book out to read and if I could wait and let him help her finish it. Then he stopped again.


I'm here baby.

What are we doing?

We're getting the truck, sweetheart. And maybe saving a few bucks by doing it the hard way.

Is that it?

That's it. I love you.

I love you too. So much.

I know. It gets me through the night.

You sound like a country singer.

I could have been, I bet.

No, I like you this way. You're my Jacob.

I am that, princess.

Once again we're not acknowledging what's going on. We're just doing what feels necessary. So that we remember what it feels like to want to be together after a year of breathing each other's airspace. After a year long touchfest and hundreds of nights of finally being together we somehow lost direction and got stuck making up for lost time. Everything else pales, oxygen, bloodflow and emotions take a backseat to one overwhelming desire.

He will be back in a week and we'll have tasted it and remembered why we're here in the first place.

Backwards into a wall of fire, as the song goes.

I have so far spent the majority of my time alone fighting to figure out how I felt. I didn't open the curtains, we didn't go outside Monday, I called the kids in sick for school and then I unplugged the house phone. I put my cellphone to voice mail pickup and then I could just call Jacob back when he called me. Yesterday was better. I opened up the whole house, the weird thing with the bee made me feel good, and the rest of the day got even better when Duncan and PJ arrived with steaks and corn and offered to make dinner if they could make it on the barbecue and then later on I lay in the hammock on the front porch after the kids were in bed and I doodled in my sketchbook and everything I did was a cartoon and it made me laugh. I may frame a series of them for the cottage kitchen. They would look great there.

I hope we can go back to the cottage in a few months. Maybe fly up in July. August will be wacky here, Jacob will be gearing up to teach and university starts September 7th but he begins several weeks before that. And Sam has asked him to be a guest speaker for several dates through the fall. Ruth turns eight, Henry will turn six and we'll have our first wedding anniversary and Jacob has hinted that the hot air balloon ride might become an annual celebration, which sort of made me shit my pants. I hate heights!

In any event, I love the cottage. I love the location that he picked. He could have found something bigger or newer or easier (the well is on the verge of some disaster, I know it) or in a less windy place but it had to be where it is. So we could have Cole too.

And I really wasn't planning to share that until it came out when my fingers hit the keyboard. Or this either.

One of the very best things about the cottage, and the porch in particular, was Bridget's chair. A beautiful old wooden rocking chair painted a soft sage green in the porch with apple blossoms painted on the arms and on the top of the backrest, framing a letter B.

Cole made that chair and painted it too. It used to be in my kitchen here at the house but it got broken the night that Cole hurt me, not in the actual attack but afterwards, when Jacob went after Cole and they fell into it. I asked Jacob just to take it away and I never asked about it after that, I just assumed it was taken to the landfill in one of his many loads as we've renovated. It was in pieces. He sent it to his dad, who made new crossbars and repaired it to perfection, and then his mom repainted it exactly as it was before. I rocked both the kids in that chair and I missed it. And now when I sit in it I can see the exact place where Cole rests. And Jacob didn't get mad or upset or feel strange, he encouraged me to sit when I need to, to take the time to remember good times and allow myself to miss Cole if I want.

Jacob isn't a saint. It's very easy to be generous when you know someone isn't coming back. And his impatience with me isn't about Cole's memories as much as it is his desperation at wanting me to feel happy and not feel afraid. He just wants to take away my pain. How can you fault him for that? I can't. He is human. I'm human. We're a mess but sometimes we're so well adjusted it's incredible.

I just know that I have a place now. A place that's all mine, that I can think about and go to and have, and even when I can't be there, just knowing it's waiting gives me such a measure of calm. Someday we'll go there and never come back and that is a promise I have wished for my entire life. We just have the next fifteen years or so to get through first and then we can go.

We can do that. That, well, that's child's play.

And rest assured, my dance card appears to be filled until at least Monday, as therapy, yoga, massages, my runs and then some favors cashed in as PJ needs a driver for his wisdom-teeth extractions tomorrow and Sam has asked if I can work at the church on Friday since Mother's Day services are Sunday and he needs some extra hands. No worries, I'm still going to the brunch on Sunday, if it is as sweet as it was last year it will be fun, the argument concerning Jacob missing Mother's Day was a short one. Jacob told me every day is Mother's day in our house and we will do something special on the third Sunday in May instead and avoid the crowds. Which is mostly how I wanted to approach the day as it was. I don't need a fuss just because the calendar says a fuss needs to be made. Which is how the unbirthday came about but that whole unbirthday concept has now been summarily unpacked, disassembled and reduced to a distant memory since Jacob decided that Bridget's birthday was about to become the Most Hardcore Romantic Birthday Celebration Ever Celebrated In The History Of Bridgetdom. Geez. Maybe I should have pouted just a little more, he would have arranged some sort of hat trick, if you want to count the epic Valentine's week I already had this year.

I know, shut up, Bridget.

Did I mention we argue a lot? Does that help? Would you hate me less?

You know you love me. Or maybe it's one of those unhealthy dirty wonderful addictions like caffeine, nicotine, or Benzedrine. Who knows, really? I'm just happy you're here. It makes me feel a little less like Bridget talks to herself so she must be crazy. And anything that makes me feel better gets two thumbs up. And no, that wasn't perverted.

But I could make it perverted. I can make anything perverted.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

When the quiet blankets the din.

So home definitely is where the heart is.

The kids are asleep, pets are sacked out around the house, even the fish have settled toward the bottom in a group as if they are waiting for Tunick to come and take their photograph. The house is quiet again.

I talked to Jacob and just about everyone else. I see how it is now, most of Bridget's army has deserted in favor of a newer, more majestic general: Jacob. Somehow he managed to coordinate a schedule full of favors cast and favors netted so that I would be busy enough without becoming exhausted, people will be around and I will be around people just enough over the next week to make the time go fast, to keep my head occupied while my heart keeps aching for him. It's the best thing they could have done. Now I have a lot to look forward to, I'll be out and about a bit, we'll have a little company and there's even some work involved, thanks to Sam.

Then I hang up and the calls slow to a trickle and they end with Jacob's deep, soft voice reassuring me of his love, and of faith in everything turning out okay. His soothing low baritone that makes all my senses wriggle with a little thrill, his volume that ratchets back to nothing when he's on the verge of tears.

Hell, we don't even need to discuss anything other than our progress back toward each other, a steady, perilous and determined journey in a straight line with blinders on.

Every time he calls he tells me the only thing he wants is us in his arms. Me and the kids, as if we are appendages that have been sewn on to him and then painfully ripped away. We feel the same way about him, even the kids were in tears when they said goodnight to him and asked how many sleeps were left. He told them and then stopped and I finally took the phone back and told him just to hurry. That it was a mistake and it's not right.

Even though it is and I've discovered a lot and I've got the time and space to figure out who the fuck Bridget is and what she wants. Dead dangerous angels and distractions aside, every other last drop of water under the Bridget notwithstanding, one thing is clear.

I really really love him.

This is so hard.