Saturday, 30 June 2007

I should be thrilled to see the return of my periods. But really, if you're a girl,  it's just ick.

Friday, 29 June 2007

Can't take me anywhere.

A word of advice: If you're going to take your wife to a patio/outdoor living boutique where they have windchimes, including windchimes taller than she is, so tall that they require their own stand, then please don't be embarrassed when she proceeds to vigorously trigger each and every single set of chimes for sale in her effort to find the one that sounds the prettiest to her nearly-hearing ears.

Don't pretend you don't know her when she claps her hands and decides she's buying the ones with the stand because they were the loudest.

Please don't spend twenty-six minutes pointing out how loud they will be in the yard and how the neighbors will come to despise her, sweet as she is.

And whatever you do, don't turn the windchimes into any bizarre metaphors or examples that will serve to kill time and frustrate her to pieces.

And lastly please buy them and bring them home and promptly set them up in the backyard and apologize to the neighbors in advance, because your wife likes the sound of the big chimes and if she's happy, you're happy because yes, that's exactly how life should be today.


Thursday, 28 June 2007

Bridget's good things.

I have a kitchen full of strawberries, peaches and peas to snap now and some salmon to grill tonight too that I'll make with a salad. August makes a killer oil & vinegar. I'm rather surprised by his backpacker-meets-upscale restaurant cooking skills but I don't want to puncture the ego of Mr. Grilled Cheese (Jake) so I've been appropriately understated but appreciative. Mr. Grilled Cheese is well aware that his bachelor cooking skills are solid but rarely risky. Which is fine because my cooking skills? Nonexistent.

Thankfully it's hard to mess up salads or anything grilled so between the three of us we'll make a dinner fit for royalty.

In other interesting food news, Joel called last night to invite me out to lunch next week. Just me, no one else. No Jacob, no Claus, no bullshit, just a lunch between friends. So either he's lying and he's really checking up on my wellbeing, so hired by Jacob or I was right when I said I thought he was attracted to me in the way a psychoanalyst should never be interested in their patient. Coincidentally, I am not his patient anymore. I agreed because a) I love food that is brought to me, and 2) Joel is very very cute.


No worries, Jacob knows I think Joel is cute but Jacob also has zero jealousy issues right now. As long as Caleb and Loch stay on their side of the border, that is, and not that I'd..okay, just nevermind.

Oh and I've been making lists of projects to do with the kids this summer since they're going to need playdates and field trips and activities up the wazoo because their days were suddenly so structured! The first thing we're going to do is find a old desk we can make into craft station central. Then we'll stock it with all sorts of paper and supplies and it will be our creative corner. I'm going to do three movies a week on the TV, a few playdates each week, walks every day, they're going to help with cooking and cleaning and chores. Hopefully I'll get them into swimming lessons shortly and also we're going to embark on a big project to paint new big-kid murals on their walls. And possibly a mural on the garage door if I can talk Jacob into it.

The first project is UV detector bracelets. Then cork picture frames. Then windchimes. Oh, trust me, the summer is mapped out because I didn't want to settle into an apathetic doldrum as we have tended to do in the past when summer rolled around, homeschooled or not. And Jacob still has the better part of eight weeks left to enjoy before he starts work in earnest so it will be a much different summer than years past. On all counts.

And lastly I have new yoga pants! Which is great because this summer is the summer of holes in the ass! Not those holes, the ones that come from clothes being worn to smithereens! So I have black yoga pants now with white piping down the legs that are so comfortable I wish it was colder outside I would wear them everywhere, even though my season of ballet flats and short dresses has arrived and I was never the type of girl to spend my days in sweats or 'comfy' clothes. I would change my rules for these pants. These pants are awesome.

And one more tiny thing. Sam offered me a job to begin this fall. Not a huge deal but a huge deal. Church secretary. Full-time. Basically I would answer the phone, do the paperwork, maintain the database and calendars, bulletins and help with cleaning and basically keep things running smoothly operations-wise.

The salary he offered was a heck of a lot more than Jacob ever paid me, interestingly enough. And Sam swears he's not been asked nor is he looking to head off or create trouble, he needs a secretary, and he does, so I'm less suspicious but still suspicious. Jacob even pointed out he wishes he had been smart enough to hire me permanently, which is sweet and I always helped in emergencies but it would have been a conflict of interest otherwise. So I'm thinking about it. It might be fun. It might be a good way to keep busy. It might bring some piece of mind to everyone else in my little corner of the world.

Because sometimes I think they worry.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Quiet times.

Today isn't going to be nearly as exciting as yesterday. No, this morning we're staying home, Jacob has some writing he wants to finish and I'm going to spin up the Wensleydale top fiber I have sitting here taking up space before it gets any warmer outside. I've got banana bread in the oven already. August is off to do his own thing, which is nice, since this is our last morning at home alone before the kids are finished school for the summer, and come fall I'm not going to have Jacob around in the mornings because he'll be at school too. And Henry will go to full days.

And I have no idea what I'm going to do with myself and I'm trying not to think about the alone-time which was something I briefly embraced and now it's with ambivalence that I stare it down, not sure if it's friend or foe.

I guess time, as always, will tell me which side it's on. It usually does.

Later today we're going to zip over to the farmer's market and beat the weekend crowds to get our fruit and vegetables and then tonight I want to barbecue some chicken and make some salad and plug in the tiny white lights and enjoy a much cooler evening listening to mellow acoustic love songs and drinking green tea. I'm not feeling the green tea love. Maybe I always was a coffee person but the tea seems weak and barely flavorful even after steeping it forever. Jacob said today he would hunt down some authentic chai for me to try, that I might enjoy it more since chai has a spicy kick to it.

I'm not picky really, as long as I have something warm to sip or hold.

Today's barometer was surprisingly calm. We slept last night. We talked quietly, long after everyone went to sleep and long after Loch reached through the phone and tore a strip off me, as he has always done every time I crossed any lines. We've been each other's consciences for many many years. Even as I tried to hurt him back by pointing out the state his life was in at present he lobbed it back easily and asked me if I had a plan yet to fix my head without an instruction manual. He swore gently when I cried and eventually Jacob pried the phone out of my hand and asked Loch just to back off a bit.

I can't even explain it and I won't because I share too much as it is and I know that. In any event, it's going to be a low-key day. All the high-keys are spent.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007


Loch called me with a comeuppance and a few cautions besides. He told me to slow down, for Jacob and I to take our time, the forever clause invoked with a bent toward being healthy instead of crazy, turning inward to each other instead of spreading so thin, being more protective of what we fought so hard for in the first place.

It was better advice than we have had in the past fifteen months, it was fatherly without being disapproving, a gentle nod from someone who's had a ringside seat for so long he created my circus as well as the participating audience.

He is absolutely right.

Maybe in our rush to be a part of each other we have failed to keep in check all the things that make us individuals. I've got my crazy and beautiful, Jacob has his logical and steadfast. He brings that handsome smile and I melt, visibly and without warning and it causes me to forget all sorts of wonderful things.

Like my common sense.

I never had any common sense with Jacob. I could never do anything right. I could never fail to make mistakes and topple balanced worlds and spin fixed objects. He could never see anything except for Bridget and biding his time until Bridget.

Yes, we probably will kill each other with the intensity that burns so hot everything around us turns to glass. Glass is so brittle, so transparent and so incredibly fragile.

We, however, are not.

Off with my head.

Holy TMI.

In all seriousness, I didn't get to spend a dime. Jacob heard me on the phone with Mark making some plans and he preempted them with an offer to take me out and get me a new swimsuit, since mine was worn to pieces on the camping trip. And even though we spent the last week or so bickering constantly and needling each other, I knew it might be a fun way to break the ice between us.

Jacob has always loved watching me try on swimsuits, I have taken him with me for years as an impartial judge and he makes jokes about the sticker inserts and asks me if I've always had those weirdly-shaped knees and perhaps I would have better luck in my size in the girls' department. I would put on the barest of string bikinis and watch him try to keep his composure. He rarely could. I know, I was a total attention whore back then.

Little has changed.

Yesterday was no exception. We pretty much had the store to ourselves, and he knows the owners, it's a large sporting goods store where he gets his climbing and running gear, so he came back and sat outside the dressing room and I would peek out and show him a shoulder or a leg. Then I got stuck in the cutest bikini, I tied the neck string in a knot and couldn't get out of it and I asked him to come in and untie it because I couldn't see to do it. He came in and closed the door and untied it and I turned around to say thanks and he kissed me, backing me into the corner and sliding me up the wall, because we can slide up as easily as we seem to slide down. He pulled off the rest of that bikini and flashed his dimples. The flash I know well that says he's done being difficult and wants forgiveness and forgives everything besides.


I put my arms around his neck and he had my head in one hand and my hips in the other and we defiled their dressing room. He put his thumb on my lips so I wouldn't make any noise and he smiled like he was up to no good, because he was, and we made short work of a stolen opportunity and came out of the room fully dressed (and completely forgiven) about eight minutes later.

Of course I bought the green bikini he peeled off me mid-ravage because he proclaimed it the hottest one.

When we walked back to the truck he wove his fingers into mine, kissing the top of my head and sighing a contented sigh. Make-up sex is the best in the world, even if it took place in possibly the very last place I would ever have imagined.

So don 't tell anybody. Geez.

We came home with our packages and had a snack with the kids and then they wanted to beat August at Guitar Hero so we took off again, Jacob wanting to be present because my plans with my friend Mark were fast approaching.

Mark is a tattoo artist at a shop here in the city, and I was making an appointment to have my nipples pierced (oh hush, you). Because mostly, that's the kind of thing that happens when you tell Bridget to go "do something for herself". I don't head for the spa or the hair salon first, I head for the tattoo parlour.

Mark's face plummeted when he saw Jacob enter the shop behind me but they both sucked it up and shook hands and Mark asked Jacob if he wanted anything done today too. Jacob laughed and said no thanks.

The actual piercing was nerve-wracking. Mark doesn't do it, there's a professional piercer there and so we went to a back room and I took off my shirt and we were off and running. I wasn't nervous but after the first one was through I tried to chicken out. Mark came in, which shocked Jacob, who was there sitting in a room with me with my shirt off carrying on a nervous-chattery conversation with two other men. But they were professional and kind, Mark has always been a very good friend, even if I don't have all my ink from him, and finally he left again after I agreed to do the second one with a bribe from Jacob. If I finished and had both done, he'd get a piercing too, today.

Oh, it's on.

It's so on.

I held up my end. It wasn't so bad after all, adrenaline kicked in and finished off the nerves for me and I barely felt the needle the second time. I left with two very snug and cute barbells, horizontally embedded in my nipples. I love being decorated. Especially subtly, as most of my mods can be easily covered with any outfit. That's half the fun for me.

Now it was Jacob's turn and the piercer left to get another round of supplies. Jacob looked at me with a barely nervous smile.

You know, I've often thought I should do this.
(Even though it took him 35 years to get his first tattoo.)

He has the courage of twenty men, the only time I have ever seen him truly nervous was just as he proposed to me because he had somehow convinced himself I would say no. Then I was told to leave the room. Huh? Grand central station as I'm there shirtless and now I have to leave while he gets his ears pierced? What the fuck?

I went out and talked with the receptionist for about ten minutes and then Mark called me back to see Jacob and told me our piercings today were on him. I thanked Mark and followed him into the room where Jacob was lying on the table. I looked at his ears and saw nothing and then I realized his pants were on the chair.

He got apadravya.

A freaking apadravya.

And this time the smile was all mine. We went back to the car and Jacob seemed to need reassurance. He asked me to confirm that the make-up sex was good, that I had enjoyed myself. I said I did. It was exactly what we needed, some hushed, desperate love exactly when we wanted it. He said good, because it might be a while before we have sex again.

He spent the rest of the day with an ice pack on his lap. I'm so proud of him. The boys now call him Reverend Hardcore.

Monday, 25 June 2007

No quarter.

This morning Jacob handed the cranky princess a fistful of cash and told her to go and do something fun for herself.

Translation: oh just take your unpredictable emotions and give me a break, already.

And for some reason I can't even fathom, she's still sitting here with absolutely no idea what to do.

If you had two hundred dollars and several hours to yourself, what would you do?

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Burning wings.

Thank you for the kind thoughts, but really, it's a small remembrance, one of many I've made so that the kids will always remember they've got two dads, and both love them unconditionally and forever, in spite of any circumstances that have ever been in place.

I'm going to make less than the usual sense today. I was up all night with the thunderstorms raging in my ears, sweat dripping off my chin, blowing off steam and heartache in Jacob's arms, Jacob who didn't drive to Mexico like I feared he might, instead returning after dinner to hear all about 'Daddy's bench' and see the pictures and hear about the slightly creepy black butterfly that wouldn't leave us alone the whole time we were there.

Christ. Cole is going to reincarnate himself as different giant scary insects. It figures. Oh my God I am so afraid of bugs.

Jacob's issue wasn't with a fixture-type memorial, it was more with the sad notion that this is the first Father's Day that Cole wasn't here, and now that Jacob is all officially a dad now he feels the pain of that. He's sad for Cole. Sometimes he realizes the gravity of what has happened so much more deeply than it is usually felt around here and he can step outside of his own feelings and..

And oh my God, be objective about something.

Otherwise, he made sure all the butterflies in the neighborhood, along with the bees and the spiders and any other creepy-crawlies were left outside in the rain on the other side of the locked doors of his house and that his children and his guest were long asleep and then he made love to his wife all night, an athletic, belligerent, half-angry rail because sometimes he's not objective when it comes to Bridget and he won and stuck it to Cole worse than any two friends could ever hurt each other and he did it on purpose because he wanted me and not because Cole was hurting me, oh no, and he took all of the dark hours to confirm that, in my eyes and in his own I am his so that there would be no mistake.

There is no mistake.

And I'm sure the rain poured down on that bench last night and somewhere Cole was screaming at Jacob to give him back his family. Jacob would have smiled in his dreams and said no, that I was safe now and I would be safe forever because he always liked to hide his selfishness, wrapping it in a disguise of rescue, so that he would always be my hero, saving me from bugs and from dead husbands. Saving me from everything dark and scary.

Everything except for Jacob and his intense need for me. For that, I am on my own.

Saturday, 23 June 2007

A functional graveyard.

Today the kids and I are on our own.

I got a call last night from the city, the park bench has been designated and there is a bronze plaque affixed at last, stemming from a request I put in and paid for last fall in anticipation of honoring father's day for Cole, who missed his first one since Ruth was born in 1999.

I'm going to take the kids to see it today. It's in the park we used to visit, where Cole started taking pictures and ended drawing, sitting on a bench with someone else's name inscribed on it, telling me someday he hoped I would do that for him.

I remembered, Sweetheart. I remember everything and not all of it is bad, I promise.
Jacob and August are driving to the border to explore on the bike so I get the truck. After I think I'll take the kids for ice cream sundaes if they're up for it.

I don't think I'm up for it, Jacob is definitely not up for it, but it isn't about us.

Friday, 22 June 2007

Caustic kiss.

    Sheets of empty canvas, untouched sheets of clay
    Were laid spread out before me as her body once did.
    All five horizons revolved around her soul
    As the earth to the sun
    Now the air I tasted and breathed has taken a turn

    And all I taught her was everything
    I know she gave me all that she wore
    And now my bitter hands chafe beneath the clouds
    Of what was everything.
    the pictures have all been washed in black, tattooed everything

This morning I rolled over sleepily to snuggle into Jacob's chest and received my usual good morning kiss: a soft muzzle just under my ear. He kissed me and then I sensed that he was making a face in the dark.

Bug spray, honey.

Yes. And lots of it, Bridget.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

"Jay" is sort of better than 'JT' but not by a whole lot.

Crow has become a standard menu item for me.

This morning August found me down at my secret patch of lavender and mullein that lies a short walk through a field at the end of my neighborhood. I often stop there on the way back from taking the kids to school and wander a bit and bring home handfuls of the wild herbs that grow there that no one seems to notice.

I was gathering up a bouquet when he was suddenly there, sheepish. Probably following me. I'd never notice anyway.

Need any help, Bridget?

No, I'm good. You can return to supervising.

Why do you need to bust my balls so much?

Because I don't think your presence is required. By not going to therapy I didn't mean it was going to become an in-house thing instead.

For the record, I came to visit Jay.

What are you talking about?

I invited Jay to go two trips in the past year, both ones he would have jumped at in the past and he turned me down. So I had to come to him.

So you're saying I've ruined his adventurous spirit?

No, I'm saying I had to come and meet the one person who stopped him in his tracks, the one person he can't and won't live without.

Did you say that or did he?

I did. He told me he has everything he needs, all the adventure he'll ever want with you, and with the kids.

So you came to visit him and not to help with me?

I honestly had no idea what happened here until you told me the other day.

Not a clue?

Jay doesn't kiss and tell, Bridget.

Jacob asks for help when he's in over his head, August.

Less than you might think. He's doing well, he's a strong guy with a good head on his shoulders. Frankly I think you're doing well too and as long as you have better resources in place to deal with the harder parts, I don't expect you to run off and do anything drastic.

I don't plan to.

Why can't you tell Jay that?

I did and then sometimes I think I did ruin his life and maybe if he has a way out he won't get down.

He's follow you anywhere. I've never seen him this way. And I knew about you, years ago, I just dismissed it as one of those things. Like how when I see pictures of Christy Turlington I get wood.

Do I need to know this?

You need to understand the difference between Jay loving you and wishing for you for so long and him being only out for himself. He wants you to get better for you, for the kids, for your future, with him as a part of that. Otherwise he'd keep you crazy, in a box and let you out for sex. That's what most guys would do if they were all about themselves.


It's the truth, Bridge. He may be obsessed with you but it's a good kind.

He's worried it might turn into something bad. I've had something bad.

I know. We talked a lot yesterday. It's a fear brought on by being exposed to that. Which doesn't mean he'll turn into that, but it's fresh. You both just lived through it, you moreso but it's in the forefront. It doesn't mean anything though.

So you're not going to analyze me and report back?

I'll only report back that you're as beautiful as he said you were and that you're not vulnerable to my charm.

Oh but I would have been without the suspicion. You're a lot like Jacob.

I'm going to tell you that's the highest compliment I have ever received in my life, Bridget.

You can't be serious.

Guys like us never get the girl.

Jacob did, eventually.

Right on, then maybe there's hope that someday I might find a princess of my own.

I hope she's not as much trouble for you as I was for Jacob.

Me neither.

Nice, August.

Please, the one thing he did tell me was that you were impossible.

Yeah, he says that a lot.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Deeper, still.

I can't find the solidity today either. I think after all this time maybe Cole took it with him. I put in a request for spoilers which I bet will go unanswered. It always does.

This morning's sky brings the blue after an epic thunderstorm last night. This morning I expected to leave the house and find dents in the pavement. The rain beat down and the wind roared and howled last night to the point that I felt completely cut off from earth, as if I had woken up in an alien landscape. Nothing was familiar, little brought comfort. Today it's as if it never happened. Which only makes me feel more insane.

And so I stared at the train this morning and I read the graffiti on it while I briefly wondered if it would hurt if I tossed myself under it's wheels. Or maybe if it would just hurt less.

I gave up therapy because I didn't want to spend any more of my meager nonexistent fortune on running laps around people who don't know me. I had promised I would give it a year and that's what I gave it and I fought it the whole way and gave it back a year to the day later. I gave the reins back to Jacob in an effort to prove I trust him, knowing full well he performs poorly and unobjectively when given control but he craves that out of control control. Are you with me? He says it's really unsettling to him how I can trust him with my life and my heart but my head is slow to follow. He has his own best interests at heart and I know that now. We keep coming back to that.

I don't think he likes me. Well, I think sometimes he does and the other times he wishes he could run the fuck away from me. Which is fine, if I could run away from me I wouldn't be here.

And August? Is a plant. Which figures. A professional. I am sick of professionals. How many people does Jacob know who just happen to be good friends who all went into the same field and are now people who can help? God, did you set us up or what? How long have you known this is the way things would turn out and can I please please just see how it ends?

It's attempt #455623354 to fix Bridget.

Who remains unfixable. And unconcerned

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Chasing August.

I think Jacob made a big mistake.

He left me here while he went to return the borrowed airstream (I know! For all the OMG you've got an airstream emails, we don't but now I wish we did), a two hour drive, and he took PJ with him, and I have to ferry the kids back and forth to school so I couldn't tag along, but being the Forward Thinker that he is, rather than leave me alone he gave me the coveted job of picking up August at the airport, his friend who lives in America (I was CORRECTED by August when I said the U.S. but he won't tell me why). Which is hilarious, because August is from Newfoundland.

August is a very slightly insane, freewheeling, psychotic sometime-rockstar vegan psychopath.

He is what Jacob would be, unchecked. He told me he and Jacob met in jail. Which is true, except he'll never be the one to admit he was on the inside and Jacob was passing through when he was offered a job there a dozen years ago.

August is safe, the arrest was for refusing to move during a protest and he's sworn to me that he grew up in the time he's been absent from Jacob's life.

So far together we've had nine cups of green tea and spent an hour walking the dog and shopped the organic grocery store not once, but twice. The kids have been and gone again and Jacob called twice to ask me how I was. PJ called once to ask August how I was and he lied and said I turned rabid so he tied me to a post in the backyard. So far we're getting along like gangbusters.

August's plan is to spend two weeks here helping Jacob finish some of the bigger house projects and get caught up on their friendship and then he's headed North for the summer. He's fun and cute and incredibly kind. He's already written a list of things we can do to improve our quality of life, he's convinced we'll all be on a raw diet by the time he leaves. He figures it will help me especially. When I told him what kind of year we've had I got a fifteen minute hug. I'm keeping him, I swear.

The only down side I can see is that he says Right On every seventeen and a half seconds, which I'm sure is going to get annoying by the end of today but for now it's cool.

Monday, 18 June 2007

The Dreamcatchers.

Or, how I spent my weekend.

    What the hell have I meant
    If this is how the day ends, I regret
    Close your eyes and dream now
    The world so far your heart sounds alone
    and I connect
    In all the ways I've dreamed you
    I choose a song to reach you
    But why it's sad again, only now I see it.

    And when you're acting so proud like
    Like you never had your doubts
    You never said once like you were throwing it away
    And then you're hanging round
    Shining like the sun
    Shocked everyone how it's making my day
    And you, you can try so hard
    With everything that's going wrong
    I know you're strong and you're here for the change
    You're never far away
    You're making my day
    Or you're throwing it away

This weekend's surprise group getaway featured four vintage airstreams, nine adults, five children and one single soundtrack and I didn't even pick it. Jacob can sing and play all of All My Real Friends by High Holy Days, an awesome Canadian band hardly anyone seems to know about. He brought his guitar and sang for everyone just about constantly, when he wasn't throwing people into the lake or sitting and reflecting on the end of the dock with a beer in his hand and a smile on his face. I brought my violin but I hardly touched it, preferring instead to sit with my feet dangling in the water while I taught all the children how to weave crowns of wildflowers.

Every time I looked at him he'd smile and keep playing. Whenever I started to get up to do something, someone would give me a hug and tell me they'd get it. I didn't have a single nightmare for two nights. I didn't have a shower either and wow, did that ever feel good to come home to this morning.

I lived in a blue bikini that is ready for the garbage. I never wore a watch. My freckles came out and I shed my anxiety like an old pair of jeans. I stood on the bare feet of my husband while he hung out over the water precariously, my hands around his neck holding on for dear life and then he grinned and shook me off and I fell in. Repeatedly, because it was fun.

I passed my belay test. I didn't shake like a leaf once I realized I was higher than I am tall. I found a new level of trust in hanging off a rope attached to Jacob and one little bolt somewhere higher up. I tried not to think about it, instead focusing on the knowledge that he would never let me die. The kids scaled their mini-mountains like little blonde spiders, enthusiastic to a fault.

It was awesome. Best way to spend Father's Day I ever could have planned but didn't. The kids had made presents for Jacob at school and we gave him roses for the backyard, because the trees didn't make it but we will so we're being more ambitious.

Yesterday morning Jacob and Sam led an impromptu Sunday service in the woods that brought over a nearby group of university kids happy to share in the love and a round of spirituality acknowledged in the woods. They jumped in with their own prayers and talked so openly. It only makes Jake more excited for the fall.

And this morning I had booked an abbreviated session with Claus that I burst into, breathless, with wet hair because my God, it's Monday and life is trying to start the week without me and I threw the kids in the shower and then jumped in after and then drove them to school and booked straight downtown and the first thing out of my mouth was,

I'm done, Claus. I'm leaving you.

I knew the time would come.

Am I fixed?

Not in the least, Mrs. Reilly. But you know where I'll be if you change your mind.

I do. And thank you, Claus, for everything.

I expect to see you again, Bridget.

Not if I can help it.

Just keep my number and go and be well, young lady.

I will. And I love you, man.

Yes, well, you would have loved me more if you had done your homework.

I know. Sometimes people are unconventional.

Yes, and you're a shining example.

Bye Claus.

Goodbye, Bridget, and good luck.

I kissed his cheek and flew back out, where Jacob was waiting with his hand out to take mine and head for breakfast. Now we're home and I have to get the laundry going and then I'm headed outside to help Jacob clean out the truck and the motorhome, which look as if someone turned them inside out and dragged them through a muddy river bed. It's going to take the rest of the day. It was worth it.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Hell and high water.

There is an Allman Brothers revival going on in my dining room this morning, as Jacob plays and shows Henry a few tricks over the remnants of bacon and toast, juice and coffee.

Last night he asked if I would climb with him again if I'm going to live without the constant rollercoaster of antidepressants and mood stabilizers and sleeping pills. I had great plans at one point to conquer my new, ridiculous fear of heights and had started a climbing course for beginners but had to drop out when my reaction times slowed as the medications took over and I kept making pathetic jokes about the gingerbread at the very peak of this house. He didn't want me halfway up any walls then.

Now there is a need. Distractions via living life. Getting back on the horse since we'll soon be out from under a crushing schedule of therapies and talk. And I don't care who disapproves and I don't care who is disappointed and I don't care who might know better. What matters is Ruth and Henry and Jacob and Bridget. Let's not forget Bridget.

I'm going climbing now. A family climb. Our first 'real' family climb ever. I'm scared to death.

Friday, 15 June 2007

Life. lessons.

Open your mind, princess.

Sometime in the last forty-eight hours I learned to use the sky for solace, for reflection, and for comfort. My ocean is going to be jealous, raging lover that she is. But she isn't here, and the sky is and when the clouds come rolling across the endless expanse of blue somehow I feel very small, one of billions and my problems are blips on a radar that doesn't recognize me because it is too busy wrapping the planet in weather and beauty. The inky blue darkness that nestles the moon in a quiet embrace agrees.

And there you have it.

It's a soft grief in writing that. I'm supposed to be the saltwater princess. The girl who could bathe her wounds away, implied or actual, healing her scars in the icy grey water and being swallowed alive, deafened and rendered blind under the waves.

The clouds, the air, none of it affords the same surround.

But it is better than nothing.

I've gone from nothing to everything.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Easy rider.

Jacob is home, with sunburned muscles from riding with a t-shirt on and no jacket. His cords are worn, frayed at the bottom and almost-holes in the back corner pockets. His hair is tousled, his eyes are wild and he stopped on the way and brought home some salad nicoise for dinner.

He came into the house with his riding boots still on, helmet tucked under one arm, put down the take-out and folded me into his arms tightly. He smelled like sweat and fresh air and dust. He grinned and his dimples came easily, a relaxed and relieved smile, just for me.

This is one time there is no question in my mind, no doubts that we're doing the right thing by leaving it all behind. Fixing it was killing us and so instead we need to let it go.

Not sure what the hell I'm going to write about now.

Hmm. Oh yeah, cake.

Sea change.

    Oil streaked daisies covered the living room wall
    He put water-colored roses in her hair
    He said, "Love, I love you, I want to give you mountains, the sunshine,
    the sunset too.
    I just want to give you everything as beautiful as you are to me."
    'Cause they were painters and they were painting themselves
    A lovely world.
    So they sat down and made a drawing of their love, an art to live by
    They painted every passion, every home, created every beautiful child.
    in the winter they were weavers of warmth,
    in summer they were carpenters of love.
    They thought blue prints were too sad so they made them yellow

So I sat down to write and for several minutes nothing came and I got up and walked away. I keep coming back. There's your metaphor. Tough post today.

Jacob and Sam are off on a day trip, a motorcycle ride to the lakes. A guy thing, probably so that Jacob can seek some guidance from a close confidant and maybe so that Sam can throttle some sense into Jacob at the same time. It was Sam's suggestion that I get a day off from Jacob without weight, without being provinces and days apart, just barely out of arms reach, but enough. For a day. I gave Sam my promise I would just hang out and work on hobbies and write a bit and eat some more of the pears he brought over. Some time alone because Sam trusts me.

Time alone I've barely had.

Time to think about why I'm completely helpless and dependent when Jacob is around and just about perfectly fine when he's not. To reflect on issues Claus runs in circles with. Pills, no pills, low, pills, no pills, low, pills and what the fuck are you doing, Bridget?

I feel like I'm on the power trip of the century and yet I'm not steering the boat. Every time I try to take control I can't seem to manage it and have to step down and let everyone else take over. I've proven I can't be trusted with my own wellness plan. I'm fed supplements and directed to eat like a child. I'm given easy directions to swallow pills and I don't just so I can have control over something. I'm driven to appointments and parked in chairs and asked to spill my guts to strangers and told when to go to bed and when to run and mostly I want to cry.

And why am I not trusted? Because I act like a child. Shhh, don't upset the princess. She'll break into pieces and then what will you have? Jacob lets me get away with it, for it simply reinforces his image of strength and power. Something he clings to when he feels helpless and lost. In the very same way I cling to my fragility as a way to maintain innocence from any real sort of responsibility.

There I said it. I can own it. I can eat those words and admit it because I want him to still be here when I wake up tomorrow for the rest of my life.

Every time we make huge progress in our selves and in our relationship we go through an adjustment period where things seem to fall apart briefly while we incorporate the new and good and find places for those things in amongst the dark and the baggage that's piled up to our ears and we usually wind up throwing out something we no longer need, some type of issue that just up and dies. It's good, but it's so hard. A brief suffocation. This time we were ready for it and that's the best progress ever in the history of the world.

It's very hard to gloss and here I am trying to peel my skin off while standing behind a curtain for modesty. I don't have other words to somehow keep counseling private and yet deal with it.

Jacob again threw a surprise iron on the fire that I thought was long gone and then he had the nerve to yell at me in that office that I should be the last one to be surprised and that was when I walked out yesterday.

His obsession with me.

It's worse, not better. I still can't wrap my brain around it, but I've always known about it, if that makes sense. He always was obsessed with me, and I used that, and I wrapped him around my finger so tightly and yet he still went off and did his own thing and he seemed to have such a good handle on it and then when we got together and got married I figured it was impossible to be obsessed with your own wife.

And I was wrong.

So very wrong.

He is positively weakened by it, by me. He has changed his life in extreme measures to be with me and even then he changed careers to look after me and to help me get better while he got worse, quietly. He's worried about the slippery slope all the way downhill tumbley-fall he's going to take when the day comes that he acts on the urges he has to control me.

Control me like Cole did.

Maybe there is something in the water here.

No, there's something in the Bridget and it ruins people.

I can't think about it, it's too overwhelming. He can't not think about it, it's all-consuming. I asked him if I was his God of the moment because I was angry and he swore at me. Sometimes I think he hates me for what I have done to him. He'll tell me out loud that he doesn't, without even hearing my question first and it's frustrating. I have power over him I've never known exactly how to work, and he has a weakness for me that somehow gives him strength.

And we've got an army of professionals, well-meaning friends and oblivious family who all think they know what will work for us and we're about to ditch all of them. Because we did better when we had less help. No one can agree and this is impossible.

Oddly, the less help I have always had, the fewer places to hide, the better I fared. Because I feed off the attention, and because life is easier without the reminder that I brought down the giant with a smile and he'll never be the same.

I'm eating crow today, for breakfast, lunch, dinner and possibly a bedtime snack. It's an all-day buffet and I'm stuffed but I'll keep eating it until he sees that I love him for him and I don't want all this other bullshit. I just want us to be left alone. He wants us to be left alone too but at the same time he's afraid of himself.

I don't think he has anything to worry about. He's proven himself a million times over and I trust him with my life, understandably because he's caught it in his hands already, like a reflex, like a precious gift that he's been given and I can't picture him ever doing different and so we talked at length over the past few days about deeper things, if you can believe we can get deeper than anyone has previously dug. We needed lights and miner's helmets. But we agreed on one thing.

A leap of faith, taken together.

By the end of the month everything will be gone, my precious Claus, the marriage counselling we've quit three times already, the perpetual prescriptions I ignore, the directions and exercises and advice and afterthoughts, the meddling, the experiments and the constant beat-down we've put ourselves through in the name of happily ever after, when happily ever after went and started without us. We've given it almost a year and so it's time to get moving.

All of it. Gone.

So we can just be.

Just be us. Jacob and Bridget. Pure and simple. Iron & Wine.

Dumb and Dumber. (Okay, I couldn't resist).

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Hood ornament.

Ha, I just realized that title could give you the idea that I'm going to start talking about body mods again, I'm not. Believe it or don't, some things are sort of private. Last night Loch made a crack on the phone about wondering if I was merely Jacob's very own hood ornament because I always seem to be stuck to the front of him and he asked if nothing was sacred anymore.

You would think that would be a question Jacob would have regarding me writing about our sex life but in all honesty everything is sacred and some things are private while some are not and when I share things it's because I'm still marveling that sex can be like this in the first place. That it can be good, and hardcore and crazy and awesome and have everything I do want and I no longer have to withstand the parts I don't want. I apologize if I made anyone (Loch) uncomfortable but my entire adult life up until last year was spent not understanding that not everyone conducts their grown-up sex lives like Cole and I did, so forgive me if I'm like a kid in a candy store when it comes to getting used to this.

If you wanted today's barometer, I think you might be surprised to find we're all home today with a fridge full of juice and fruit and we're saddled with tornado colds and heat headaches and the kids are draped all over the living room in varying degrees of shorts and undershirts with juice and ice and a stack of DVDs to keep their brains from melting while I stick my whole face into a homemade English muffin that my new neighbor sent over upon hearing through our neighborhood grapevine that she lives next door to the minister and his wife, who isn't nearly as pulled together as she seems.

She came over and sheepishly offered to take the wine back (awkward), which was still sitting by the back door and in exchange she gave me a huge basket of fresh crumpety muffins and I'm just about in heaven here because last night she popped back over with real butter, because you know, sometimes there's a butter emergency.

We're going to be great friends.

Pair the muffins and butter with this homemade apple jelly and I've been reduced this morning to licking my lips, my fingers, the plate and even the keyboard here where a dollop may or may not have landed. Jacob looked at me a little while ago and told me he thinks his crushing out on me is over now and he laughed so hard. You would think he wouldn't tease but he loves to see me enjoy food like this.

I would say this muffin is better than cake, but then I'd be such a whore and a cheat, since I love cake beyond words.

Instead I'll say it's better than sex.

Serves him right.

No worries, nothing is better than sex with Jacob.

Monday, 11 June 2007

Mondays are special, it seems.

Unapologetically and probably unwelcome, a round of underwater porn.

Because I feel like sharing. Ha.

It was a different kind of hunger that woke Jacob after midnight last night. I was asleep in the guest room because our bed was full of dirt from his clothes and even though he was there I just couldn't. You wouldn't have believed how long I wrestled with not sleeping there but ultimately decided he had made too much of a mess for me to be comfortable.

He shook me awake gently, crouching on the floor by the bed. His hair was wet, his body stark magnificently naked. I remember mumbling something about being sorry for not sleeping with him but there's dirt everywhere and he laughed softly and said he was sorry for making such a wreck of the room but that he had changed the bed and had a shower and now there's a hot bath ready if I wanted to join him for a midnight soak.

God, it was so hard to wake up. He made it easier by kissing me full on the lips and then I can't resist anything. He slid his arms around me and pulled me to sitting and I rested my head on his shoulder while he whispered how good it would feel to slide into the hot water.

I nodded, so sleepily. It would mmmkay.

He took my hand and led me into the bathroom. There was a single candle lit on the table and a mountain of bubbles in the tub. I stepped in and sat down and he sat down across from me and laughed out loud when I put my head on the edge of the tub and closed my eyes again. He pulled me into his arms again and lifted me right into his lap, so my legs were on either side of his thighs. I put my arms around his neck and my head down on his shoulder and he stirred so powerfully I was instantly awake. I traced droplets down his arms and he smiled and leaned me so far back into the water I closed my eyes, expecting to go under, into the warmth and instead he pushed me out and then pulled me back until he was inside me, under the water, the warmth now accompanied by a heat of a different kind.

He began a slow and steady rhythm against me, holding me just at the surface of the water, his hands supporting my neck and shoulders and his other hand gripping my thigh so hard. He bent his head over and kissed my belly and then got on his knees and pushed me under, until only my head was clear of the surface and he kissed me until I went under with him and suddenly it was a drowning embrace and we were sharing one precious breath as I came so hard my ears popped and his hands tightened around me as he followed.

Because, my God, underwater sex is the very best kind.

He lifted me back out until I was sitting up once again and he held me until the water was cold, pressed to his chest so hard I felt his heart slow until his breathing was quiet. I felt the tension leaving him so slowly it was visceral. I clung to that, I always will.

I climbed off his legs and had to convince him to let me go. He followed me out of the water and he pulled the plug and then I shared my towel with him so that he would wrap us together for a moment. He dried my hair with one corner and then hung the towel up and led me, by the hand, into our bedroom which now looked clean and fresh and so inviting.

We climbed under the crisp sheet together and whatever hunger he had for me that woke him up came back with a vengeance. He wasn't ready for sleep, he hadn't wanted to let go, not yet, not ever. He tried the same position on land, and it was amazingly successful, with me hung out in his hand over the bed, levitating and vibrating all over the place as he tasted every inch of me and made me his so many times I'm sure if you watch carefully I'm walking a little funny today.

I bit him without meaning to, hung over his shoulder with his arm squeezing me so hard I was trying to breathe and I bit him and it was way harder than usual so maybe to retaliate and maybe to protect himself he took my head in his hand and pressed it into his chest hard, because it's too firm to bite into. He's glorious. All I could do was hold on to his neck while he went at me with every ounce of energy he had found in sleep and more. At one point I braced my feet against his arms and he yanked me right down underneath him and smiled at me and I smiled back and it was as if we could read each other's minds. Only instead of lifting me back up he turned me facedown and opted for his whispers while I tried not to make so much noise. He likes the noise, I just don't want the kids to wake up. He pressed his forehead into the dip between my shoulders and made noise anyway. He has no self-control anymore. He doesn't need it anymore.

It was hours before we were finally sated. Even though I don't think we'll ever have enough. Not of each other. It could never happen.

I fell asleep with my head on his Bridget tattoo, our fingers laced together, his breathing calm after a long while, his fingertips tracing my arm, my face. And then within that hour the alarm went off and we were forced to return to reality with an audible crash. Back to earth, back to routine.


I need sleep tonight to prevent the inevitable crash of wits and happiness. I need a break from this day because I never wanted to crawl out of that night. I need his arms to keep me safe and his flesh to make me feel alive. I need to keep breathing his air that I had underwater that was dangerously profound for us.

Well, fuck it. I think what I need is a cup of coffee.

And a nap.

And possibly an ice pack.

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Sleeping giant.

The fragility seems to be waning in his eyes as this afternoon Jacob taught me how to use most of the power tools in the house on our way to making a new fence, gates and steps. We spent all afternoon in the sun quietly going over the best ways to do certain things, while Ruth and Henry blew bubbles for the dog to eat and visited with friends in the neighborhood as they would come by to see what was happening. The truck and the bike stayed parked, the phone went unanswered and it was fun. So much fun. Especially after a typically busy Sunday morning.

I think this afternoon Jacob worked too hard. He came in and said he was headed for a short nap and I heard his boots hit the floor upstairs and never heard another sound. I cleaned up the tools, got the kids their baths, made a light supper for the three of us and then put the kids to bed, figuring he needed the sleep so they tiptoed in and kissed his cheek.

When I checked him a little while ago, he was still sleeping hard. Flat on his back with his hands flung hither and yon like Henry when he's sacked out. Filthy flannel shirt over filthy white t-shirt. Jeans covered with dirt and grease. Sawdust all over the place.

And the sweetest, most contented sleep-expression I have ever seen.

I doubt he'll be back up tonight. He's going to be one hungry giant tomorrow morning.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Maverick angels.

(It's Saturday and I'm somehow needing cheat notes for conversations that should have been harder but weren't. Idn't dat fullish, b'y as Jake would say, untranslated by me. Yes, isn't that foolish.)

Jacob's look when he came inside and found me holding Gabe as he slept blissfully spoke volumes I've never read before. He came over and looked down at Gabe and then back at me and asked if I was okay.

I nodded.

I've pretty much managed to avoid so much contact with Gabe (and other babies) up until now. I've stayed home on dedication days through the winter and politely declined to attend baptisms and birthdays. I've sent dozens of presents out with other people. Mostly the dedications, because seeing Jacob holding a baby might tear my heart into pieces.

It did. It totally did.

Gabe woke up shortly after Jake returned and when he did I passed him to Jacob to hold while I sorted through the bag for a new diaper and when I turned back to get Gabe the sight of Jacob holding him hurt a hell of a lot more than I thought it would. He knew it did and he quickly put Gabe on the blanket on the floor that I had spread out to change him on.

It was yet another lesson in learning to pretend things don't hurt for the presence of future adults who have nothing to do with your own bullshit. Such is life, maybe I have more tools than I realize. I swallowed that pain like it was just a bitter lemon and it was gone.

Happy dysfunction, as we pretended everything was just ducky for the remainder of our afternoon with Gabe and when his mom picked him up we gave him back with a weird mixture of complete relief and a fleeting hint of agonizing regret. Jacob closed the door and I fell into a chair, worn out.

When suddenly I realized I hadn't been pretending to have fun, I did have fun.

I'm proud of you.

For what? Not trying to slip in my agenda of converting the world to cloth diapers?

Well, maybe that, but mostly for not making Gabe aware that it was hard for you to spend time with him.

It always worked for you.

Oh, Bridge.

I'm sure he knew. Babies sense things.

So do grown men.

Oh, that smarts.

You're beautiful.

So are you, Jacob
. (losing it now, of course)

I must be. I got the call this morning. I'm booked in for early September. (Vasectomy! Oog.)

Oh God. Are we ready for this?

Are you kidding? As miraculous as Gabriel was, as any child would be, it's nice when they go home, and it's nice in the evenings when the kids go to bed and I have you all to myself, selfish bastard that I am. I've spent the winter dedicating new lives to God and watching families grow and we're growing in a different way, we're growing roots. We're building our foundation and making our permanence and we don't need a third child to do that. We've got everything we need. I have the most amazing wife and my children, my girl and my boy and we're complete. I got past the want, princess. It was one of those idealistic romanticized fool's errands and it's passed now. It's been gone for a long time.

Not a regret?

I have no regrets. You?

So, so many, Jake.

Let 'em go, baby girl. It's a weight you weren't meant to carry. Let's close that chapter and start a new one.

Now you sound like me.

Yeah, except I don't have your ridiculous Nova Scotia accent.

Hey now, calm your jealousy.

I'm pretending you didn't just say that.

Friday, 8 June 2007

No volunteers.

I took the picture down, thank you for the kind words, but it's easier to keep going if I don't have to look myself in the eye.

It's raining again, welcome this time after a round of tornado warnings and forty-degree nights had us escaping last evening to the suburbs to the McNally-Robinson store with the treehouse inside, for iced coffees and fresh reading materials. Summer reading for a summer that will hopefully allow for that kind of rest.

I'm convinced it won't, though so perhaps we'll just do our reading here on the porch while we pretend everything is fine when it isn't.

Go ahead and roll your eyes, you never got an engraved invitation to be here. Hell, I didn't get one either. It's a party I threw without a lick of planning or forethought.

I'm an enigma. Consistently looking for a way out of this world without affecting anyone and yet I go out of my way to live my life as excruciatingly as I can so I can feel it to pieces. All of it, good and bad. I don't want to be medicated. After the first two weeks I began to chew up the pills in my mouth and when no one was paying attention I'd pick the bits out of the backs of my teeth and rinse them down the sink. I'm not medicated any more than you are and I was caught.

Masochist. Yes. Yes I am.

And so I'm sipping my petulant bitter coffee this morning, flying on caffeine and savoring the tiniest of failure-victories. That seems to be the only kind I can produce right now.

Until we hit on something that works, well, none of it is going to work. My work suffers when I take pills and if I can't work then I don't want to bother with the rest of it. And yes I know if I hit a low and go running off looking for trains to fling myself into or blowtorches to set myself alight there won't be any work left to produce anyway.

I had to give new examples so Jacob doesn't nail the upstairs windows shut. Christ, he's already taken all the knives away and I've been reduced to asking for him to slice cucumbers for me when we're making dinner which demoralizes me to no end.

I never said I had it all figured out.

The idea that I could leave without affecting anyone is completely ridiculous.

Besides. what would everyone do all day?

He follows me when I run.

Which makes the medication issues pale significantly. Because I'm allowed to betray everyone but no one is allowed to betray me. It's been done and it's my turn to fall apart and no one else gets my spotlight.

I left the office, with Claus and Jacob sitting there with smug Rob (marriage guy) after Jacob unloaded all the stuff he keeps inside that I knew but I really didn't know after all and I turned and told him not to move and I left and walked for about six blocks before I realized I was going to ruin my shoes and I didn't need to be soaking wet when I was just getting over a cold and I hailed my very first taxi and took myself home.

Because I may not be able to trust myself but I'll take my chances, the other options aren't looking very solid right now. Jacob isn't looking very solid right now. Life isn't looking very solid right now. But I am holding on.

For once.


Jacob's going to get a big surprise when he gets home, because we have a visitor.

One of my neighbors asked me if I could watch her eight-month-old son, Gabe. Gabe is a handsome little guy with blonde hair and blue eyes and a very easy-going disposition and he was handed to me about fifteen minutes after Jacob left for downtown, this time to get the papers he didn't actually get when he ambushed me with the accompanied serenade on Monday. So I'm not entirely sure who's babysitting who right now and I'm not entirely sure what look will play across Jacob's face when he gets home that I maybe might not want to see but for now it's awfully nice to sit here and watch Gabe sleep through lunch, one fist curled around his ear.

He smells like heaven.

I will never have another baby.

Perhaps I can arrange to borrow him more often. I haven't been this relaxed in years.

The well.

I have it.

It isn't a movie. It's a music video. Set to some loud, desperate power ballad, most likely in the pouring rain, an epic life or death struggle that ends well, if we're lucky.

That's my life. Fuck Christian's snowglobe or PJ's optimism and dogged reminders. Fuck Loch's midlife crisis. Fuck Jacob's faith and rejection of yestermorrow in favor of today. Fuck me already.

It's a four minute music video on a loop. Played over and over only the tape never wears out and no one ever gets tired because my god, listen to the emotion in the singer's voice, look at the fear and the love in his gorgeous eyes, watch the perfect girl that has his heart as she fleshes the song out visually so you know exactly how much he wants her and how she will always be his.

There is no reality here. I'm looking for the lights, the set, the script. I'd pay millions I don't even have to get a crack at that script to spoil my own ending.

And the stupid rain never stops.

The tears never stopped. I had another lovely multi-hour session with Claus and sometimes I really wonder when I'm going to stop crying. There's no end to the tears. They. just. keep. coming. and the music keeps playing in my head and we never have dry hair anymore or dry eyes, it's a metaphor. Maybe we should change the channel. I heard there's a comedy on the other one.

I hear we might see the sun this weekend. That would be nice because after a while, it isn't just snow that drives people mad. It's life. Life without tools to help you live it. Tools I can't seem to hold in my little hands long enough to learn how to use them.

But they gave me a film canister and I opened it up and words spilled out and this is what it said.

Exactly. Absolutely nothing.

    September sun glowing golden hair
    Now keep in mind son she was never there
    Octoberís rust bisecting black storm clouds
    Only the deaf hear my silent shouts

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Please just collect them.

The abject comparisons. I can't take them anymore. Take with it the reciprocal altruism, if you would. I know what it means. I know that it's real and it's waiting for me and that's why I can't move.

Once upon a time in a rare and fleeting show of confidence I could bring Cole to a standstill with my contempt for his cataclysmic lack of demonstrative emotional skills.

He would cave, he would fall apart trying to make me talk to him when he crossed a verbal line. He was never sorry for his physical missteps but he watched his words. He hated my disparagement of myself. He hated when I shut him out, he would joke and chide and try to draw me out, almost as if he wanted me to forgive him on the spot or he'd die miserably.

Ironic. Both the emotional eruptions and his death even. It still reels me right out over a ledge.

I never gave him the silent treatment. I would just process whatever he said and just think about it. I go quiet. I learned a lifetime ago not to beat things to death verbally and now it's something I do every day. More comparisons in living with night and day, moon and sun, dark and now light. Jacob likes to put words on everything. He draws me back out agonizingly to talk even though sometimes we leave it. Cole would go insane leaving it. Jacob has more patience and more confidence in his relationship with me. Something he never had until Cole was gone. Cole was his shadow in love and his rival in life. It's as freeing for him as it is for me to be out from under that intense scrutiny.

Emerging as the winner in a close race is my one private, final question for Cole. One question I asked him constantly and never got an answer to, one bit of closure and peace of mind he took with him to the grave in a rare show of secrecy that leaves me devastated forever. Simply devastated.

He never once gave me an answer. Jacob, with his heart in my hands will run out of breath giving me answers, epic ones, silly ones. The moon will rise and our eyes will grow so heavy and he'll be slurring reasons as he falls into sleep but I know when he wakes up he'll have thought of more ways.

Life is day from night. Light years and lifetimes different from before. Beautiful. Loving, so loving and passionate and overwhelming compared to before and so why would I keep this particular question in my heart? Why did it become more important than maybe asking why he had to be so quietly cruel?

Maybe because he answered that one, with laughter and spite. Otherwise, whatever answers he knew, he kept to himself. Maybe because he didn't know why. Because I was there. Because I loved him enough for both of us, maybe he didn't understand how that worked. He always came back to me even when he hated me, when there were better girls, when he had more fun without me.

Somehow my love was enough to spread across many hearts. So one would remain in the dark and the other would grow toward the light, eventually becoming too tired to hang on anymore and dropping the other heart down down into the black spiral that wouldn't let go of him long enough to give him to me, or long enough to give me that answer. It was the only thing I ever wanted from him and it would have made all the difference in the world.

Breaking Jake.

Jacob believes in evil. Which isn't a stretch of his imagination, he's a minister. He has seen things and he knows things that humble him, that break life down into basics, and importants and the rest is just gravy, fluff and distractions. He believes in the devil, not as Satan but as evil inside all of us, or more simply, the absence of good.

Oh, and he's a lightweight. This morning he picked Breaking Benjamin for his breakfast-making karaoke in the kitchen and what floors me is how he knows all the words, he can't get through the song. I've been listening to him try and he can't, his voice keeps breaking and so he stops and puts it on again. He's not going to let a few words best him, not when they're lodged firmly in his head. I love that he can't do it, I can't explain it. I love that his faith brings him to his very knees.

    Here I stand, helpless and left for dead
    Close your eyes, so many days go by
    Easy to find what's wrong
    Harder to find what's right

    I believe in you
    I can show you that I can see right through
    All your empty lies, I won't stay long
    In this world so wrong

    Say goodbye,
    As we dance with the devil tonight
    Don't you dare look at him in the eye
    As we dance with the devil tonight

    Trembling, crawling across my skin
    Feeling your cold, dead eyes
    Stealing the life of mine

    I believe in you
    I can show you that I can see right through
    All your empty lies, I won't last long
    In this world so wrong

    Say goodbye,
    As we dance with the devil tonight
    Don't you dare look at him in the eye
    As we dance with the devil tonight

    Hold on
    Hold on

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Joel's been fired! YES! The last thing I ever want in my life is any more decaf with that guy. I'd rather gouge my eyes out with a dull spoon and eat them for lunch. It's been a miserable three weeks.

Seeing Claus is enough. Claus is terrific. Maybe moreso now that he stopped tiptoeing around and brought out the heavy meds. Apparently you have to be two steps away from the edge of the roof before people take you seriously. I don't fault him. I have a gift for deception and he mostly sees through it. It's taken almost a year but I have liked him from the get-go. I wish he wasn't retiring.

I wish I didn't need help.

You'll thank me later.

I found my brain, it had been poked full of holes and kicked into the corner. Weee. A lobotomy. Just what I've always wished for. And Jacob found his little wife and pulled her hands off the doorframe where her nails had dug in and forced her to drive downtown with him to attend her stupid session.

Today Joel wanted blood and instead I gave him tears. I went nowhere with anything. I sat in the chair and just held on to my stupid coffee cup for dear life and tried to tune him out. Jacob wasn't there, Claus wasn't there and I didn't want to be there. Every time he asked me to look at him it was as if I was seeing him through a window sheeted in rain and it was miserable and it didn't matter which direction he tried to take me in, I couldn't seem to go and so he stopped it early. He talked about his divorce. He's trying to make me trust him and I don't.

I don't trust anyone, for the record. Absolutely no one.

I came home and there was a message on the machine from Caleb to say hello to the kids and politely pretend that all is still well between everyone. The new neighbors left a bottle of wine on our back step, they make their own and they don't know us well yet and so I brought it inside and Jacob said it looked like it was shaping up to be a long day.

I hope not. But I have such a headache. It must be from the lobotomy.
    And if there's something wrong
    Who would have guessed it
    And I have left alone
    Everything that I own
    To make you feel like
    It's not too late
    It's never too late

    Even if I say
    It'll be alright

If I type really quietly maybe he won't find me in time to go to to counseling. I'd really rather not go.



Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Ruthless thirst.

    You let me violate you.
    You let me desecrate you.
    You let me penetrate you.
    You let me complicate you.

Payback for Jacob's serenade waltz wasn't nearly so highbrow, because I'm not like that. I gave him what I have, I gave him what he wants. I put Closer on the stereo and he knew I was coming from three rooms away, late last night, circa eleven or so. I should have been in bed but I wanted him so bad everything hurt. Not a safe place for me to be.

He was so excited he met me at the door.

The fleeting realization that my nemesis, the chair with wheels was eventually repaired and is still being used because we haven't bothered to shop for a new one fluttered through my head. It would have to do.

It didn't do.

I didn't wear the cowboy hat either. I stuck to tried and true sweet lingerie because that's what Jacob likes best, things he buys for me.

He smiled at me.

I bit my lip.

And I got no chance to remember my lap dance, no chance to grind out on him, no chance to tease, as he simply took me by the wrists and pushed me down to the floor. And the song turned to mush in my head and my bracelet was broken and my hair pulled and oh God my head banged so hard on the floor at one point I had stars to keep me company while I tried to pick his apologies and kisses out of thin air. Because I don't like gentle sometimes, and the stars went well with the loud music and his relentless assault, his fingers in my ears and his thumbs in my mouth and his voice in my ear as he said things that made me smile, as he cried out more than once.

It sent me so far over the edge I was still falling when I woke up this morning. Everything is on fire. He is the perfect match, he just likes to pretend I'm not going to get away with anything, because he takes it first.

Which pretty much means payback was less something I could control. I have no concept of control. And he has more than just a romantic bent to him, a twist I won't even name but it's just dark enough to make Bridget so happy.

And we like it that way.

Today I have to add the errand of dropping my bracelet off to be fixed and Jacob has been struggling all morning to remember his name and wipe the smile off his face. So far he's been successful with neither.

It's okay, though. I can't find my brain.

Monday, 4 June 2007

Best Monday.

Sorry for the lateness of today's entry, I'm having a hard time putting this sort of morning into words because I'm speechless again and it's all Jacob's fault. But oh, do I feel it, the love that he holds for me.

Remember how I told you he is good at planning things right under my nose?

Remember how I said he told me he wanted our life together to be unforgettable?

Remember how much I said I dreaded Mondays (and Wednesdays and Fridays and most days that end in Y) because I find therapy difficult, Joel difficult and the neverending quest for mediocrity completely unreachable?

I didn't tell you how deeply offended Jacob gets when I seek out 'boring' and 'average'. That's the last thing he wants and he's taken those wishes of mine and worn them personally as insults.

And while he wore them he planned the next phase in his quest to keep his King of Romance crown. Because the last thing we're going to have is a boring, average marriage. I think he missed the point of my wish but that's okay.

It's more than okay.

You're SO not ready for this. I wasn't ready. Hell, I'm still not ready.

This morning I endured therapy, after a promise offered from Jacob that if I wore my prettiest summer dress he would take me out for breakfast afterward. I endured Joel and his false cheer and his professional overt familiarity and his stupid imported decaf and his awful habit of addressing Jacob when I'm sitting right there and so I attempted repeatedly to just ignore Joel and talked to Claus instead, as if Joel wasn't even in the room. I was quickly found out and suitably chided for my usual obstructions of justice. Same old same old. Let's just fast forward to when I could leave, stripped raw for yet another morning. Stick a fork in her, she's done.

While we were on our way to our late breakfast Jacob said he had a quick errand at one of the hotels, someone had left a package for him from one of the university conferences held there on the weekend. He said it might take a few minutes to track it down and I should come in and I can wander a bit in the shops in the lobby so I don't have to sit outside and breathe exhaust fumes (translation: I don't leave you alone anymore, ever. Which is okay, I was happy to keep him company).


He poked around a bit, I suggested twice that he just go to the reception desk and ask, but he winked at me and went and poked his head in the piano bar that this hotel is famous for.

Oh, yeah, here it is. Just a minute, Bridge.

I turned to study some pretty blown glass in a window and then I heard him again,

Hey, princess, can you come in here for a second? I want you to see something.


I followed him into the bar. It was empty, save for four people in the corner with instruments, I registered a drum kit, piano, saxophone, guitar. They nodded and smiled politely and I smiled in return.

Jake! There's a band practicing. Maybe we shouldn't be in here.

They're here for us, princess.

They started playing and Jacob asked for my hand and then I noticed the song was familiar. I was just about to tell him I knew it was Billy Joel when he started to sing.

Because this extraordinary man doesn't have a lick of self-consciousness in him, I didn't miss a word. He sings beautifully, nice and loud. He should have been a rock star.

    Don't go changing, to try and please me,
    You never let me down before,
    Don't imagine you're too familiar,
    And I don't see you anymore.

    I would not leave you in times of trouble,
    We never could have come this far,
    I took the good times, I'll take the bad times,
    I'll take you just the way you are.

    Don't go trying some new fashion,
    Don't change the colour of your hair,
    You always have my unspoken passion,
    Although I might not seem to care.

    I don't want clever conversation,
    I never want to work that hard,
    I just want someone that I can talk to,
    I want you just the way you are.

    I need to know that you will always be
    The same old someone that I knew,
    What will it take till you believe in me,
    The way that I believe in you?

    I said I love you, and that's forever,
    And this I promise from the heart,
    I couldn't love you any better,
    I love you just the way you are.

    I don't want clever conversation,
    I never want to work that hard,
    I just want someone that I can talk to,
    I want you just the way you are.

The absence of any self-consciousness failed to prevent his voice breaking on the very last two lines and so he whisper-sang them again, which I have come to love more than anything in the world and we stopped and shared a long, very sweet kiss before turning to applaud the band who bowed and then politely clapped for us.

We wound up doing bagels on the run, as we ran out of time and had to head back to pick up the children for lunch. I, of course, had the crow-flavored bagel, bested once again by Jacob, who puts my petulance in perspective against the Big Picture with his gentle demonstrations of how much he loves me and how much faith he has in us.

I think any doubts I had remaining got carried away this morning on the lilting notes of the saxophone. That or they simply vanished into thin air when I slid my hands down until they rested on Jacob's marble biceps and I rested my head against his chest so that I could feel his voice, being oh so careful not to disrupt his heart, which beats on his sleeve for me and is the strongest, most delicate work of art ever made by God. Completely unprotected and yet completely safe, like his iron wings. We're a study in contrasts and he's asking for so little and I make it so complicated. That stops here.

    I just want someone that I can talk to,
    I want you just the way you are.

Now please don't pinch me, I'm keeping this feeling.

Keeping it.


Saturday, 2 June 2007

Evenings on the front steps.

Firstly, JT (I don't call him this but I've heard it so much as of late it's starting to seep in) here has glasses for reading. Which is sexy but I cringe thinking that because I recall saying something similar a few years back when Cole got his glasses. These boys, their eyes are all shot by the time they're 36 or 37 years old, it's a rite of passage. In any event, Jacob picked out the neatest coppery-gold perfectly round frames. He looks scholarly already.

He looks good and I feel naked today. I miss the eight inches of hair I had cut off a few hours ago. My hair is better long but sometimes you just need to start over.

And for people who asked recently about our old tradition of Jacob reading aloud to me in the evenings, he still does, two nights a week or so, especially now that we have the time again. It's a calming ritual and quaint too, old-fashioned and peaceful. You have to be incredibly comfortable with someone to be able to listen to them read aloud for hours on end, you have to have confidence to read in the first place and every now and then we'll find a conversation or share a laugh or a nice moment and talk a little before he resumes reading from the page.

We've slogged through most of Hemingway now and a couple of Stevensons, some random poetry collections and now we're reading Right Away Monday by Joel Thomas Hynes. It's funny and sad and touching and just about puts me on the floor with the antics of Clayton Reid, a character if I ever heard of one. He's a Newfie and the book is written in the first person, complete with the accent, and that accent is written so thickly that you can just about hear it out loud.

And I thought Ballads was rollicking.

Especially when Jacob reads it. Jacob speaking his native tongue without hesitation gives me warm fuzzies, as he's been off the rock so long he's begun to pick up his h's again, and he's even started to use my instead of me in the possessive sense. One of his most endearing qualities is the fact that sometimes he'll get very excited talking and no one can understand a word. It's awesome.

Exactly like the book.

I hope that never changes.

And Clayton? Could be any one of Jacob's friends from back home. He's sweet and awful and impossible and you feel for him and you'll fall for him too.

I can't wait to see what happens next, I'm headed out to the porch now with a pitcher of iced tea and the book as we speak. I hope Jacob has his glasses all polished up and is ready to begin.

She's mine.
I wants her.
She's the One.

-Clayton Reid.

Friday, 1 June 2007

Onlyness and alwrong aren't words, you know.

    Save my love through loneliness
    Save my love through sorrow
    I give you my onlyness
    Give me your tomorrow

This morning I'm mourning things like Jacob choosing teaching over carpentry because carpentry isn't a steady job but watching him build new stairs into the yard yesterday and him covered with sawdust and dirt has proven to be how I like to see him best. It's uncomplicated, hands-on and instantly productive. It's peaceful, without politics, without overcomplicating what should should come so easy but doesn't. He is happy, though and looking forward to the fall, to the routine and to all the new ideas he'll be able to exchange, to the ways he'll be able to steer his deep philosophical, spiritual discussions with a fresh set of faces each semester.

He says when he retires he'll pick up more carpentry but for now he's only going to be shaking the sawdust out of his hair when time permits, and he's got a lot of work planned for the next two months on the yard, the house and on helping things back to as normal as we ever knew, or something akin to level.

If you place a level across my soul it tilts crazily to the left and the bubble all but disappears. Which used to be funny but it isn't anymore.

I want my bubble in the middle.

This morning went well. Therapy is therapy, though I think watching other people drink real coffee while I had decaf, still with caffeine but less put me in my chair with a tiny chip on my shoulder and I had to be dragged out of my head several times. They're all so proud though that instead of the instant progress I would fake in the past after a bad time today I just spoke of slowly getting back to a good place because...well, eh. the apathy. I hate this apathy but I'm possibly almost conditioned to accept it now as part of the process.

Mostly because trying to get around it, well, we all know how well that worked.

Yesterday I wrote you a goodbye letter, internet, but I didn't post it. I didn't delete it either, I just left it saved with a million other half-hearted entries never written. Some contain too much info, some contain nothing at all, all of them abandoned as I change my mind like the weather here, where a new set of circumstances roll in from the west across the sky in huge roiling waves and suddenly you're forced to rethink your plans and your wardrobe.

This post isn't a keeper, it's going nowhere and I'm just going to keep typing until whatever wants to come out will come out. Or not.

I had a cigarette this morning.

We made it all the way to Freebird on Guitar Hero. Jacob used to sing that to me before he would leave on a long trip. Well, he'd play it at the table, we'd always have everyone over for a big dinner before he'd take off for remote corners of the world and he'd sing it to me, directed at me, about us. Such an awesome song. This is why over thirty years after that song coming out, people still yell for it to be played at shows. No matter who the band is.

We got a dog at Christmas but I didn't bother telling you.

I'm feeling good about the house changes but a little stressed because all of our money goes to therapy which I keep sabotaging anyway so what little is left over should go to house things but we keep doing other things. And also, major renovations while we're living in the house mean a mess. I get stressed out over messes, even as I have mellowed in recent months as to what is important and a spotless house isn't nearly as high on the list as it was when I was trapped and had little else to worry my days away with.

I haven't run in like, forever.

Jacob looks good driving the suburban. I missed the truck but not as much as he did. His dad was thrilled to take over the big red beast of a Ram that Jacob sent out and feels so much less conspicuous now and also, parking, so much easier. He wasn't meant to be part of the consumptive class.

There is one month of school left now. Hard to believe soon we'll be sleeping in a bit and running around in the sun instead of waking to alarms and hurrying to get a warm breakfast and clothes on and walking the beaten path to the school three blocks over. It means I won't see the church every day but that's alright. Jacob is home so I get what I wanted. I always get what I want, eventually. Kind of like Jacob. Thankfully we want the same thing, the happily ever after. Even if we have to kill each other in the process.

I'm not sure what else I can pull out of my recent stream of consciousness today, so maybe I'll just end it pointing out that the rain, thunderstorms and tornado warnings continue and we have been working to keep warm and dry and up. Because Bridget needs to be up. I'd feel up right now if I cared, but I don't. Today is a just a very quiet, very stable morning and just riddled with soft places to fall should I have any negative thoughts but really there's nothing in my little head today except Tim Hardin lyrics and some foggy memories I can't quite reach without trying and I'm not going to try, because this is better than whatever they would try to bring.

And now if you'll excuse me I had an offer of a quick nap in Jacob's arms and I think I'll take it.