Friday, 29 February 2008

Fit for a princess.

Ben called and made his usual offer to fly us out to join him for a couple of days.

I always say no. I was never interested in spending hours on little gilded planes and in strange airports with the kids in tow only to be subjected to the hazards of his 'other' job. Hazard is not the right word, it's not dangerous or anything, mostly I just don't want to know. I don't find it offers any privacy or is any sort of good environment to expose the kids to but he never fails to ask, if a weekend comes up and he can't make it home. It's become a bit of a sad tradition between us.

Only the past two weeks have been very hard here. Hard for me for reasons which I haven't touched on. For all the readers who have emailed me, pointing out that I'm not myself and things seem wrong, I spent a lot of time reassuring everyone that everything was fine, that I was dealing with illness and such and no worries.

Well, everything is fine and I am dealing with illness and there are no worries, I promise. Only this will be a good opportunity for me and the kids to get a very brief change of scenery and a good chance for Ben to play the hero and when he called this morning, I knew the offer was coming and the kids and I were already packed.



Okay, we'll come to you.

Oh my God. I'll have someone call the plane and the hotel.

Is that cool?

More than cool. We can hole up here all weekend.


I'd like nothing more, princess.

Is there a pool?

There is everything for you guys. It's like four thousand bucks a night, I should hope we'll want for nothing. I'll make sure of it.

You really know how to impress a girl, don't you?

This isn't for just any girl. This girl is special. She's my dream girl.

That's really sweet, big Ben.

No, you're sweet, little bee. You made my day.

No, but I'll be there in time to make your night.

I don't doubt it.

So, I won't be posting for the next couple of days but when I return after the weekend I'll fill you in on what made things so hard and other things I've been ignoring, like the ever-growing stack of requests in my inbox. You all seem to want to know more about Ben, namely, what he looks like.

Why doesn't that surprise me?

See you early next week.

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Bleak and directionless.

I didn't say much about the movie the other day. Duncan and I had ducked into a discount dingy (dodgy!) moviehouse afternoon show and we left feeling sober and worldly and wishing we could reverse the two hours, wishing we had never gone.

Okay, the music was good. The music was terrific.

I identified with Christopher McCandless. I would do that. I'd run off and live alone and probably wind up hurting myself and becoming stuck in a situation both frightening and just. I would have drowned in the river on the way out, or been murdered hitchhiking first, I suppose.

I may be an introvert but I like knowing there are people nearby. I'm a giant fraidy-cat, then, fine.

There were some stark moments of beauty in the film, mostly from the words he threw out just at the right moment. This was a man who clearly absorbed the most beautiful phrases and let them weave him a platform on which to rest within himself.

Duncan, a half-assed poet himself, found the movie bleak and exhaustive and relatively pointless overall, and that's okay too, I daresay that would have been the average response. Since our viewing I have been left wishing that instead of a biography written by a stranger, that Chris had gone off and written his life story or every thought he had ever had, instead of a stunted, choppy diary and then someone found and published THAT, instead and then the movie would have had a more poetic, less befuddled-mainstream placement. Sean Penn should have known better.

Or in Duncan's less-dignified approach, What the fuck?
He wants to make it up to me this weekend and take us to the IMAX to see U2 in 3D. I'm not sure I want any more dry movie-theater air this week. Oh, I can't believe I just said that. I live for movie theaters and sticking to the floor and broken armrests and people kicking my chair. It's one of my all-is-right-with-the-universe places. Right up there with having amazing sex and eating in overpriced restaurants.

Neither of which I've done in a while, come to think of it. I did mention I wasn't feeling well, didn't I?

The good news is I am up making lunch for the brood and hovering around 101 now.

Psycho Somatic.

There is a grace that keeps this world, I'll tell you that for nothing.

This morning my phonecalls were croaks and then a whole bunch of cobbled morse code, giving up early in favor of emails and text messaging. Duncan is coming over to look after me, what a sweetheart, he's already had this cold so he isn't worried about catching it.

Joel is such a hardass. No Nyquil, no more Dayquil, I can't even get a good brandy, I'm left with cough drops and hot tea which just makes me sweat more. I'm holding my head today. Ben is better, seems like even though he really pushed his luck by trying a quick trip home, he bounces back quickly and is relatively independent when he's under the weather. It feels like he's a billion miles a way right now, a vague lump in my throat of a different kind altogether, really. And this is dumb. I'm well-versed in Ben being gone all the time. Should be it this hard?

Maybe it's just harder when you don't feel well. I tried to convey that I would get through the day just fine, if not scaled back significantly but Duncan insisted that forcing the issue would see me lose, now just call the school to confirm pickup by him and then go the hell to bed.

Did I ever tell you how much I love my friends? I'm in tears thinking about how awesome they can be. And tears plus snot equal something like the equivalent of wallpaper paste on my face. Must be pretty. I'll chip myself out of it tomorrow.

Goodnight. Going to bed, I've got a fever of 104. Hot stuff.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Apple kisses.

Duncan spent the afternoon with me eating candy apples, watching Into the Wild and passing the phone back and forth, Ben on the other end. Probably so I wouldn't fall asleep watching, though I don't see how I could have with my face glued to a big chocolate-peanut-marshmallow dipped apple on a stick. I saved the red candy-coated ones for the children and the dark chocolate/pecan one for tomorrow, I can split it with PJ.

When Duncan left, unable to stay for dinner with us later tonight, he gave me a sweet, sticky kiss that made me smile. We had bailed on the afternoon and it was incredibly restorative. I like to plan mini-escapes throughout the week, scheduling downtime as per my instructions for therapeutic quiet-time. On a bad day I can be accused of filling up every last minute in order to avoid being alone with my thoughts and then I wind up crashing out of fear or sometimes exhaustion. This way I strike an effort at a balance.

It works. I'm still having a good week overall (so far). And to all of you who emailed me last night, accusing me of making you cry? Thank you. Misery loves company.

But not right now. This is my quiet time. And I'm not actually miserable. Take note of that, would you?

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

    Nothing's wrong as far as I can see
    We make it harder than it has to be
    and I can't tell you why
    no, baby, I can't tell you why

The two biggest memories of my childhood I keep are the endless sunburnt hours at the ocean, and the music on the stereo.

Today I've got the Eagles on twelve and I know every word, every backing vocal, every drum beat.

My folks live far away from here. I don't require or seek out their input in my life, I've been living apart from them for longer than I ever lived with them at this point in my life and it's no secret I am the littlest black sheep by far. I am so different from the rest of my family I will always secretly wonder if perhaps I was adopted, or some grand psychological experiment that they agreed to. They let me run off and join the Midway with Lochlan when I was in grade school. They might have their own issues.

And they no longer have the stereo on all day, driving that used to be an excuse to be held hostage by the glorious radio station chock-full of seventies guitar riffs now requires full-concentration and should be carried out in silence and I don't believe they've bought a CD in their entire lives, but the music is something I give them full credit for, and when I left home I took it with me.

Monday, 25 February 2008

One hundred and ten.

    She gets high
    She gets lost
    She gets drowned by the cost
    Twice a day, every week, not a lie

    Oh, Life is waiting for you
    So messed up, but we're alive
    Oh, Life is waiting for you
    So messed up, but we'll survive
    All messed up, but we'll survive

It's a beautiful day. A day for red coats and clear red lipgloss and newly darkened blonde hair and long dog walks and constant phone calls and words that leave me holding on to things that are bolted down lest I float up into the blue sky.

It is day 110, Jacob. Almost a third of a year has passed and I am mostly getting by.

I talked to Sam last night. He doesn't mention it but I know he misses your guidance and your friendship. He doesn't have anyone that is on his wavelength to sound off on and is running into mostly the same obstacles you faced when you tried to improve the administration side of things in the church. I told him to keep fighting and he would eventually wear them down. He told me he was so happy to hear the smile in my voice.

I found your belt yesterday, it had been knocked off the hook on the back of the closet door and fell into my big market bag. I hung it back on the hook, so you could find it easily and then I threw it away because you don't need it anymore.

If we count this week as starting Sunday then I have only cried once for you so far. It gets better. I don't think about you being gone and never coming back, I just pretend you're on a trip and so I finished the blue scarf I was making for you last night. Again, I know you don't need it. I'm just looking for loose ends that I can tie. Everything stays nice and organized and as normal as I can get it.

I wish you were here, Pooh. 110 days is an eternity.

Ben and I had a long talk the other night. We are both sick with Henry's cold now but the weather is warming up so hopefully soon everyone will be feeling better. He looks after me best he can, but he's also a wonderful distraction. He isn't offended or jealous of my feelings, he is happy to finally have a larger role in my life, maybe the one you stole when I met you. He's been terrific and I know you'd want to know that my heart grows back, slowly, steadily.

I will never be the same. I find I'm quieter, more reserved. I keep my sweater drawn around me a little tighter. I've become incredibly selfish with my feelings, you would say it's cold but I know behind it is warmth and I'll get there.

They have told me at some point very soon I'm going to have to deal with everything or risk sliding into a bigger hole and I don't really want to. I don't even know how to begin to face this. Maybe you can help? I don't know if you can help with anything. I don't even know where you went. When Cole died remember how I said I could always feel him around, as if he were watching me? I can't feel that with you, I can't find you, pooh.

And I want to.

I have to go now. You always made me promise to embrace the really good days, and I think this is one of them.

I love you, oh God, how I love you.

Sunday, 24 February 2008


For the record, flying with a bad cold is not only a poor idea, it's an agonizing experience people should forgo entirely if they can.

Ben? Staggered down the stairs at arrivals holding his head in both hands and trying to smile for me. He let go of his head long enough to give me a quick hug and then when we got to the truck he let his head roll back on the headrest and swore in a whisper, a string of epithets that I don't think I've ever heard put together in a more creative way.

I got him home, made him a bowl of soup and he gave up halfway through and went to bed. At nine thirty or so last night he came lumbering back out into the kitchen and started making more soup and said he felt better and did I want some food? No, I said but he made enough for two anyway and we each had a bowl and then he asked how I was doing and I said fine and coughed and he laughed and I pointed out I wasn't jet-setting around the continent. He said he had to come back because he owed rent and wanted to make sure he paid in advance. I frowned and he poked me and grinned.

I rubbed the sore spot and he laughed and asked if I thought he was serious. I nodded and stuck out my tongue and he said dead-seriously that he had assumed he was free to pay his rent with sexual favors and if anything, I owed him.

I almost threw the bowl at his head but there was that killer smile once more.

He asked if I was planning to hit the illegal Nyquil (it's only illegal because it doesn't go so well with my medications but when you feel as bad as that sometimes you really don't care) and I said no and he said good because he really needed to take some and if I took advantage of him in his drugged state he'd be really glad.

It never happened. I think we were both asleep before we could make a move. Me crushed into his arms and him on his side, breathing heavily into my hair, still as stone. He doesn't move when he sleeps, not an inch.

He's gone already, loaded up on decongestants and soup for breakfast and the kind of sleep you can only have when you're completely wrapped around someone you love.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Pretty like a rosary pea.

For the record the only medication I stopped was the newest one, which has done nothing but make me so dizzy I wanted to vomit every time I looked down and after three weeks and being told to keep taking it I said fuck that and I stopped a few days ago and I felt a million times better (physically) almost at once.

Emotionally it's been a long, rough week and I said things that are not fair but most certainly true and I warned them, they knew and now everyone panics, freaking out because I shouldn't still be in this place and why didn't anyone notice all this three months ago?

I sent Ben away. Far away from my heart and my troubles and he didn't want to go but I reminded him I'm not fair. I reminded him it wouldn't be easy and maybe we had our brief moment and it was so sweet but in the long run, I'm not the girl for you.

And no, I didn't see Caleb, we've been warring on the phone. The odd part being he's been the most objective, rational person to ever weigh in on a question asked that I have spoken to yet. Very much like Cole with using a dry, straightforward approach. Am I projecting? No, in spite of what you think. I've had a lot of correspondence from Caleb in the past month, he doesn't care as much about what I have on him as he does not putting a permanent rift between himself and his brother's family. That he is considering retiring early as it is (he'll be forty-five next year) and his career doesn't mean as much to him as it once did. That he has had time and therapy to come to terms with how he behaves around me and he wants to make amends, at whatever pace I set for him.

I took it with a grain of salt and a heaping dose of envy, for it must be nice to sort yourself out so quickly. If only it were that easy for the rest of us.

Personally I think he fell under my curse. Or maybe I fell under his. It's pretty difficult to be objective at this point, either way. He just seems so good at it. He always has been.

Especially since I've gone from being locked in my glass turret, knight standing at the ready to standing in a field surrounded by the enemy and down to my hapless wits and wiles to save myself, probably a position I should have taken up long before I even met Jacob. And didn't.

Dammit, I didn't.

What would I like now? I'd like Caleb to be normal, a warm but slightly professional uncle who sends presents and calls the kids regularly, keeps in touch without any of our history in the way. I'd like Ben to not be gone half the time so that we could have a chance because if there is one person who ever resisted a curse and lived to tell about it, that would be Ben. The only guy to ever figure out how to be around me without his own feelings coming between us. We managed to exist as friends for a damn long time before we complicated things. I would have killed for another shot but that's up to him. If I were him, I'd take off at a dead run in the other direction. I wouldn't blame him a bit.

I would like Jacob to burn his trump card and let me grieve for him but in my head I am sorry to admit, yeah, I'm waiting. I am at that awful, horribly painful part where I let my imagination protect my heart and I pretend he's coming back. As if all those awful things never took place. As if nothing else ever mattered but him wanting me. I haven't grieved for him and I don't know how to and I won't and that is what's messing me up.

I'd like for my other friends to keep on going forward. Christian has found some happiness and I daresay it doesn't appear to be a distraction or gapfiller. PJ works so hard and is the best friend and uncle in the universe. Joel has been great, a never-ending asshole to my face and a sweetheart behind my back making sure I have appointments and connections required to stay on top of all this mess. He's going to be making some changes in his life though. He failed one of the most important tests in his career with me and he may switch gears himself. The other guys are doing well, always calling to check in or stopping by, bringing hugs, little funny gifts for the kids or spending an hour with us doing nothing at all. When they leave I get a list of reminders to call me if you need me or just want company, let's make some plans, keep going, you're doing great and then they hold me too long and I let them because I want that.

In other words, hi, my name is poison.

They will tell you different. This is just me rambling at nine in the morning with half a cup of coffee lubricating my brain and a message on my phone that warmed me up much more efficiently than the bad coffee I make for myself:

    I'll see you at 3. Stop it.

Which means Ben isn't going to put much weight in my doubts or my setbacks or my dumb moves and self-sabotage. He's coming home for a night and he's not going to play fair either and for some reason this makes me strangely glad.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Off with her meds.

I did it again.

I didn't go to him, he called and I answered, only because when it hurts I'll do anything for a way out. Sometimes it hurts so much the only answers lie in certain death, deliberate cautiousless actions that take me far from where I'm supposed to be.

I don't have any answers and currently my status is not caring. Unmedicated not caring, that is. Oh shit.

I don't. I don't care. I feel nothing and as long as it stays this way I'm fine. Fine because Caleb says he has answers for me.

Truth and consequences.

If I had a choice, I would take the little copper box with the bluebird and I would carefully pour out the contents, away from the wind and with glue and hope and tears I would make a paste and put him back together and have Jacob back, fucked up or not. Maybe now I see that he loved me whether I was fucked up or fine and if I could pick any one of the men I have loved and get any kind of second or third chance or whatever number we were on, I would pick Jacob in a heartbeat.

I would resurrect him and ignore the ashes in his hair and the powdered bones within his skin and the hollows where his beautiful pale blue eyes once smiled at me and I would love him for the rest of my days.

And this, THIS is why Bridget lying through her teeth to get through things is so much better than just facing them head-on. She is a trainwreck.

Thursday, 21 February 2008


An extra-long walk with Butterfield in the bleak snow-swept ravines that run between the train tracks brought some much needed perspective today.

I wish I was the girl in that episode of The Twilight Zone. You know, the one with no mouth. Then I would never have to worry about sending all my misdirected and projected and unprotected words out into the wild blue where they immediately stab those around me with indelible marks of pain, leaving everyone for dead.

That's what I wish for today. An un-do.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Blowing smoke.

Well, shit. Apparently all I had to do was step backwards into the snow to my previous bootprints and whore that I am, receive in trade one single begrudged and forbidden cigarette from Joel in exchange for a hastily scheduled appointment because missing them means you're flung right off the face of the earth, Bridget.

There is a mountain in front of me. I need to either climb it, get around it or erode it little by little until it changes the landscape. Every morning when I wake up I face the mountain and I know there will be a long day of climbing ahead. Some days I wake up and I don't want to climb, but the walk around it is even longer.

Some days I turn my back on it and pretend it isn't there, and some days I go running at it headlong, shovel raised over my head and I dig until I can no longer hold the shovel and I look, and there's a big hole dug out of it and I nod and think, progress. I'll beat you yet.

Some days I just sit at the bottom of it and resign myself to staying right here, with no way over, around or through my mountain, forced to spend the rest of my days in a claustrophobic landlocked valley of shadows I can't keep count of.

And through the nights I dream that on the other side of this mountain, the sea waits for me.

She is so very patient. And I am nothing of the kind.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

February stars.

    Hanging on here until I'm gone
    right where I belong
    just hanging on

    Even though I pass this time alone
    somewhere so unknown
    it heals the soul

There are only three writing days in this week. I've cleared them and will be spending them alone, ensconced high in my house in the glass room at the end of the hall. The terrarium. The observatory. Everyone has a different name for it, the creepy glass Victorian half-greenhouse that sticks out the back of the house that I love so. In that room are some plants and a table and a chair. One chair, just for me. From what I understand it was an open balcony at one point and someone glassed it in in the most gothic and wonderful way. This little cold cracked room is why I wanted this house.

Yesterday was a holiday in it's infancy, Friday is a half-day of school for Ruth and Henry and so I have today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow to get some work done.

This morning I put on a long black and white sweater and a pair of incredibly baggy army-green cords, tied a messy bun with a pencil at the nape of my neck, found my mocs and brought up my laptop with me, a huge steaming mug of coffee, a piece of carrot cake and a silent mental lament, why on earth would anyone put cake together with vegetables and I know I'm awful but I actually canceled every last therapy appointment I had this week, mostly because last week there were a few doubles anyway and Joel is always a phone call away, I could bend his ears. He'd prefer it, actually.

Wait until he doesn't see me walk past his office today.

Ben woke me up this morning with a call, his voice sounding rawer by the minute. He asked me how my cold was and I said it was ravaging me beautifully, that I was vaguely foggy-headed and a little drippy and raspy and then I sneezed all over my phone and he laughed softly and suggested I drink tea instead of the coffee today. I asked him how he was feeling and he lied and said fine even though twice he held the phone away and coughed into his sleeve.

He asked if I was wearing the ring and I pointed out that since it was six in the morning that I was wearing absolutely nothing and it was so warm under the blankets I hated to leave them, but I did leave them shortly after we hung up, anxious to catch a shower and get the laundry started before I got the kids up for school so I can have less time running up and down three flights of stairs to the dryer in the basement.

He asked if I would wear the ring when I got dressed. I asked him if that would make him happy. He said only if it was done as an answer to his question. I said I didn't have an answer yet because the man who gave me the ring said he didn't care how long I took and I need a long time. He said he wished he could see into the future and I told him he didn't want to do that.

Reminders. Memories everywhere, covering everything with an inch of heartache and a layer of fresh pain. He stirred all of it up where it was settling. I had backed into a corner and slid down so I was hidden from view, obscured under the leaf of an old, peeling-paint table, sitting on the floor with my knees drawn up, my arms around them, hugging myself so I wouldn't be cold but I would be alone but Ben thinks the curtains should be open and the window up and the lights on and the leaf down so that there are no shadows, nowhere to hide, nothing to keep secret, nowhere to go to get away from life with it's relentless march forward. Not as a way to fix a thing, but just to keep going because if you don't keep going then you are dead.

It's a logic that is simple and flawless and slays every attempt to excuse my behavior. It's a plea. This time for Bridget, taken with a grain of salt as big as the chip on her bony shoulder is a promise that a man will have patience and a generous encouragement to take time that is needed all the while he walks behind me telling me to hurry up, can't he just have everything and he promises it will be awesome just hurry. But Bridget feels the sting of the salt and the grind of the weight of that chip and she knows better. She's touched by the efforts and the passion and the sweetness and even sometimes the haste and she recognizes the pattern and she knows that he won't wait, that he'll sometimes be frustrated and sometimes be angry but she's going to take whatever she needs and do this not to make him happy but to make her better.

Sometimes she is so close and sometimes so far. Sometimes things seem so normal and it's like falling into a trap. But always, always know that now, she knows what to look for and to stand her ground.

I asked Ben if he would not ask about the ring each morning, that soon I was going to resent it and then he would resent me, and that when I was ready I would just put it on and it was so beautiful he wouldn't miss it when I did, but that for now it was going to stay in the box and I might not look at it for five days or five years and if that wasn't okay with him he needed to speak up now before I finished falling, or hiding, or making a mistake because I have to be careful now, I'm operating without a complete heart, so any more heartache would finish me off.

He said fifty years was just fine, as long as I am his.

And I said I was.

And when he sniffed I asked him if he was crying.

And he said only a little. And somehow it's more than enough to warm me as I sit in this little glass room in the sky. A turret for the princess, but oh, such a fragile one. Made of glass and iron. Just like me.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Tall, dark and absent-minded.

    The heart is a small thing, but desireth great matters. It is not sufficient for a kite's dinner, yet the whole world is not sufficient for it.
    ~Francis Quarles

The phone calls ended Friday afternoon via PJ who acted as the supreme go-between, sandwiching me into a chair and sitting on me while I was forced to hear what I thought was going to be a massive campaign of retribution by Ben but turned out to be two-separate conference calls from a whole bunch of higher-ups that I didn't know but they sure as hell know who I am now and they were incredibly and deeply embarrassed for the behavior of several people who were present at an impromptu party.

Ben's phone was there because he had left it on the table and gone up to his own room and someone's girlfriend got a hold of it and had a little fun. He leaves his phone everywhere.

The apologies were formal and profuse.

Like I said, it's happened before but usually it was one of Ben's girlfriends trying to get her hooks in or increase the odds in her favor. In this case he didn't even know who had his phone until he woke up and went to call me and had to go get it.

Then the shit hit the fan. He quit. They sorted it out. He was equally impressed with the phone call I had received earlier telling me not to expect him back alot, and the whole thing smacked of underhanded trouble-stirring so I took the apologies with a grain of salt, mostly because I really don't feeling like dealing with people I don't even know and also because we've been keeping things private and I'd like them to stay that way. No one save for the guys knew he went out there with a girlfriend at home this time.

When PJ finally got off me and let me breathe, he suggested we find some major distractions for the weekend, as in leave the house, get away, keep the kids busy because honestly, while I believed that what happened was the truth, him being out there is still hard. I don't like it. Fine, I said it.

I woke up Sunday morning and Ben was standing in the door of my room. He was ashen, positively exhausted and looking as if he were about to cry. He didn't say a word, he was waiting for me to go first.

So I did.

My skin isn't thick enough for this, Ben.

He closed his eyes and made a face. He leaned back against the side of the doorway in a physical interpretation of the wind going out of someone's sails.

Keep them away from me.

He nodded, eyes still closed, as if he were afraid that he might see something he didn't want to see. And I don't know if I was just handed the party-line of placating the wives back home 101 or if they meant it when they said that Ben would garner more respect this time out and that they would work harder to keep the riffraff away and keep his personal property secured, which basically means if Mark finds Ben's phone he's to pocket it, but I chose to believe that he didn't know it was happening, corroborated by virtually everyone present and so I chose to forgive him and only him. Because he threatened to abandon what he lived for and breathed for rather than lose me, something he also now seems to live and breathe for. Huh.

I love you.

He cocked one eye open at me and winced.


I never say it lightly anymore, Benny.

Oh, dear God, I love you. How badly did you eviscerate me to everyone?



I'm sorry too, Ben.

Don't be, I wouldn't want to be sitting at home. Well, I would now. I want to be, here, that is.

You will be soon enough.

Not soon enough for me, Bee.

Ben asked me to know that he's working as hard as he can to have a future with the one girl who never turned her heart on him and that he wasn't about to watch me turn it now. That he's never wanted to marry anyone before in his entire life and when the thought of only being with one girl would have given him hives before, now it makes him happy, it gives him something to look forward to while he's out there pretending to be someone he'll never be.

That all he wants is what's in front of him and that now he has to leave again and for fuck's sakes we're going to get this right.

He asked me to keep the ring and the chip and that when he returns things are going to be a lot different. No, before he comes back. Starting now. Starting with trust, getting it, keeping it, invoking it and not needing to worry about it at all. And then he said Happy Valentine's Day and I burst into tears.

He flew out this morning. Here's hoping for that quiet spring I wished for.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Isolated flurries.

This morning outside my window here at Nolan's the woods were deep, quiet, buffered with a layer of white cold, muted in their sunrise song. Few birds, a wild bunny or two and three big guys clomping around outside, headed for an early ride to check the creek and see if it was running yet in the warmer winter day.

I opted to stay snuggled in flannel and that old grey sweater and keep my memories close and my children closer, ignoring their oatmeal and fruit while they do mazes in the activity books we brought.

John and Duncan are here, they spend most weekends and Nolan loves the company, missing his own sons, who are up North making their fortunes.

And Ben, Ben is here too. He quit.

Then he went back.

Long story. I'll tell it in a day or two. Right now I just want to enjoy this, it...him.

Friday, 15 February 2008

I have plans now anyway.

I'm going to spend the weekend at Nolan's with the kids. If you need me you know how to reach me.

If you know how to reach me but don't need me then that's fine too. As soon as this call is done and I can pick up the kids from school I'm out of this city.

The drowning pool.

Yesterday was a softly-cushioned fall from an artificial high. I wasn't really up, so I didn't really fall down. It was just...well, one of those times where I expected the stars to align and life to go exactly as I expected it now should and it didn't. I get snobbish and insular and the whole world revolves around me, weren't you aware?

The coldness creeps back in and now the ever-present abandonment gets to join the party for one, because he isn't coming back and I played all my cards and I'm out. He said before he left, don't cry, I'll be back soon enough and then soon we'll be at our circled date and everything is going to be fine because you're doing great and you don't need me for that.

Oh, God. Please don't suffocate me with logic. I'm still standing here with the phone jammed against my ear, huge tears threatening to drown me in a self-made puddle and finding incredible outrage and unfairness all around me, in words meant to be delivered gently, but instead all I hear is a message telling me the person I'm trying to call is unavailable.

Ben had ticked through the litany of reasons I shouldn't care about the time he will be away and don't need to take it personally but I should maybe see if PJ wants to take you and the kids to see Spiderwick, anything, please just don't fall into the pool and for heaven's sake just don't drown because there, you see?

I won't let you.

In this position, so close to the edge, without a gate or a fence or hell, even a warning sign it's so very hard not to fall in. It's almost as if I'm pushed. I don't understand the difference between obligation and rejection, I can't differentiate love from addiction, I don't have thick skin or a thick line drawn between passion and loathing and I'm not even going to pretend that I'm clear-headed enough to weather the kinds of storms borne out of hope.

I'm not.


Call it a tantrum, call it immaturity, call it unfair. Or just call it mental illness and moods most completely unstabilized and we'll hide behind a fucking label for once. Because everyone else gets away with it, I may as well just sit down and join the growing crowd.

I've been asked by Ben's highest-up boss to join several people in a conference call at 2 pm local time today. I can't wait to hear what he has to say. I don't even know why he would be involved. It should be interesting, then.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

It can just be Thursday for me.

Valentine's Day is for children.

The kids went off excited, balancing envelopes stuffed with paper valentines for their classmates and wrapped plates of brownies for their afternoon parties. They both wore red and said the day was about love.

Ironically it should be, shouldn't it? While every day should be a vested interest in celebrating your love for someone, it is nice to have a day dedicated to it entirely.

It would be so much nicer if people embraced that instead of choosing this day to make a huge mistake. But it's okay, I spent the first part of this day blocking all kinds of numbers, including very familiar ones known by heart because I'm not interested in half-assed efforts, I need to make my own efforts with everything I've got.

I'm not interested in trophies and markers and being used.

I'm not interested in being used, I said. I'm not your curiosity or your conquest. Maybe that's why today's Valentine will be one that is completely different. Maybe because I had no sleep after five fucked up phone calls in the middle of the night and then however many I didn't get because I started blocking numbers, if any were even made at all after that. I doubt it.

Inside the tiny box sitting on my kitchen table was a red medallion with "5 Months" written on it.

Ben's anniversary milestone from Alcoholics Anonymous, small but significant because he repeatedly fell off and was run over by the wagon.

He gave it to me. I'll give it back to him but just the simple fact that he was acknowledging it in my presence is very important to me. It isn't something we've really talked about much. He was messed up. He drank a lot, he took a lot of drugs. He was losing it.

The biggest motivator for him getting help was the night he attacked me (I'm not linking, it's there) and finally understood what sort of dangerous drunk he was. It took him the rest of the summer to figure out for himself that even one drink put him back on that path to destruction and he was incredibly proactive with his sobriety, a difficult road to hold in his field, with these friends.

He takes a mild antidepressant even. He was scared to death of the hit being sober would land on his lucid liquid creativity. He has few outlets other than talk and distractions to deal with his fears but he was doing it anyway.

Five months was huge. This is a guy that couldn't skip a day at one point and I was scared for him, as much as I was scared of him at one point. Both of those feelings are gone, thankfully, as he was doing really well and I had hoped he would continue to do so.

Except thanks to last night I don't think it's even valid any more. You see, Ben is different from everyone and so much like Cole in one regard. If you put something in front of his face he picks it up. He has no ability to walk away. He has no self-restraint. One of his people called early last night to give me a hard time, telling me his head wasn't where it needed to be, that he wasn't going to be popping in and out of town this time, that he needed to stay focused and be present. That I wasn't good for him.

Four hours later some completely wasted girl called me to tell me she was going through his phone and calling every girl's name to let them know he was now off the market, because they were hooking up and she was going to do whatever she had to do to keep him so back off bitch.

Yes. Happy Valentine's Day to you too, motherfucker.

And now you know why I won't marry the guy. He couldn't be serious if he tried. But no worries. I'm okay. I expected that. It's actually happened before but it was funnier the last time because I didn't love him like this that. This time it just stung so badly my only recourse is to block the damned number and distract myself. Thankfully I am able to do both and my dance card is full. I asked Joel if he still wanted to have dinner after all (crow, maybe) and I made a lunch date with Nolan and PJ will be here tonight to hang out and do babysitting duty so we'll have a little time together and I'll just push everything else out of my head.

I replaced the medal in the box along with his beautiful ring. And to those who called earlier who didn't hear about this it was because I was embarrassed so just do me a favor and just don't try to fix it. Don't call him, don't put a price on his head and don't mention it to me. I'm begging you.

I'll be fine, really, I will. I walked into this with my eyes wide open, knowing who I was falling for and the risk involved and so that helps. A little, anyway.

The fucking vultures will love this, I'm sure. Don't email me with your glee. Not today. Today I'm going to go have fun with my brownies and paper valentines strung on a line to remind me that we're children too.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

We choose our destiny.

Not only did PJ opt to let me keep my SD card in my phone for music but he helpfully pointed out he missed the shelf right above the stereo, on which rests my entire collections of Deep Purple, Molly Hatchet and the Allman Brothers.

I will rock the seventies for a bit, then. Who's coming with?

Henry, that's who. He is home today fighting off a cough and fever once again and it may be that the penicillin was no match for this strep or it might be a whole new germ, in any case unless there's a huge improvement we go back to the doctor this weekend.

We're making brownies and he's learning the lyrics to Flirtin' with Disaster so when he feels better he can take over singing duties from Mommy when we play Rock Band. He's air-strumming along with his lucky guitar pick from Ben, flush from being sick, happy to be home and the center of attention.

I think the feeling is mutual.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008


    So why does it always seem
    That every time I turn around
    Somebody falls in love with me

Therapy already today, like aloe on a stinging burn, a relief for me today with lots to work through and bountiful, gloriously expensive minutes in which to do it. Then a very early lunch with Joel, a block from his office at the diner that makes designs in your coffee with cream and a spoon. I eat little and listen as he waxes intellect over living by beauty.

I took my beauty and turned it inside out, swearing him down softly and he ignored me. I cancelled Thursday night cruelly in favor of the hope of Ben making it home, and if not, another night alone. Ben doesn't like Joel, finding him far too much like Jake, too professional, too invested in my recovery to have even a hint of understanding when it comes to living all the while. As if living just stops while people get better. I learned, it doesn't.

In Joel's universe, existing in that space between moving forward and dealing with trauma, there's a quiet stasis that would lead one to believe that no, you can't go forward and sideways at the same time.

Only you can and I'm proving it every day. I might not get anywhere sometimes, and then at other times you'll spin around and focus and I'm already gone.

I love Joel, I do. In spite of Ben. In the days right after Jacob walked away from us but while he was still alive Joel was here for me, keeping me busy, using friend-tools instead of psychoanalyst tools, hanging out, playing hockey games on the TV, making sure I didn't slide too far away, playing the now-infamous game of finding Bridget sitting in the pantry and joining her, other things, the ever present arm tucked around my shoulders while he sat hunched down into his perfect white collar with his tie hanging untied but still around his neck. The running partner that put up with long jaunts along the river in dead silence.

And a lot of people would say if Joel is your friend and you made plans with him you can't break those plans just because you got a better offer. I didn't.

Joel and I had agreed to just stop. Stop hanging out, stop speaking, stop getting together for a while because his concern with certain aspects of my issues overstepped our friendship boundaries. We had agreed to be friends and not patient/doctor a long time ago and he's had trouble living like that. I don't have enough patience to stick him out and yes, Ben gets to pull rank because I have known and loved him longer.

And so when Joel called to make amends and pick up wherever we were when we left off I suggested we move our Thursday plans to lunch today and go from there and he agreed.


So there is no problem.

While I sipped from the cream-heart in my coffee, he reached out and I shrank back and he made a face and then pulled a bobby pin from a curl, one that had tried to escape and he held it up for me to take and when I reacted it was to take it and my eyes swam out of focus and he was Jacob for just a moment.

Just for that one moment and it was a gentle reminder that I have so much further to go, and so much help to get me there. I just need to keep living, keeping fighting, keeping sipping coffee while my world plays the same actions over and over again in a neverending loop.

Until I can get it right.

Monday, 11 February 2008

The part where Ben and PJ pull off what Joel's been trying to do for months.

(Repeat after me, Bridget. I love my friends. I love my friends...)

This morning after playing driver, PJ came inside with me and stood there watching while I took off my mittens, hat, scarf, coat and boots. Then he grabbed me and ran back outside, where he held me out eight inches above the snowbank and he asked if I wanted to be really cold. I shrieked and squealed and swore at him, begging him to take me back in. He made me promise not to listen to anymore sad songs or any more Jake-songs for a while.

Okay! Fine! Jesus, Peej! This isn't funny anymore! Okay! I PROMISE!

His mission accomplished, I was deposited back inside. I was shivering and went to get a blanket as he asked me for a box. I reminded him where they were and he was back in thirty seconds and went straight to the living room, taking my hard drive from Cole's computer, taking roughly eighty percent of my CDs off their shelves and putting them in the box, which he then took out to his truck, amid great protest. He came back and deleted iTunes off my machines and wiped Media Player, for good measure. He said I could listen to the radio but only the fast songs, and he did leave a few CDs.


Let's see. Rush, AC/DC, The Police and Iron Maiden. Oh, and his entire collection of Scandinavian death metal.


He promised me I could have everything back later and we would do what was done with Phish when Cole died-send it away until I could deal with it a little better. Then he gave me a good hard hug and asked if I would feed him dinner tonight.

I said he could have dinner here every night for the rest of the month if he liked. He smiled and then said he had to make a few calls and then if I wanted he'd walk Butters and I could come too. I said sure and he went off down the hall, pulling out his phone.

One of the joys of being this tiny is being able to hide in the guys' footsteps and shadows. I walked right behind PJ as he dialed and waited for the pick up.

Yeah, Ben? I've got everything, brother. Good plan....yeah....okay, talk to you later...bye.

(PS. Dear Padraig. You're so busted! Also-you missed all the songs on my phone. Love, Bridget XOX.)

Damn you, Jacob.

     I've watched the stars fall silent from your eyes
    All the sights that I have seen
    I can't believe that I believed I wished
    That you could see
    There's a new planet in the solar system
    There is nothing up my sleeve

    I'm pushing an elephant up the stairs
    I'm tossing up punch lines that were never there
    Over my shoulder a piano falls
    Crashing to the ground

    In all this talk of time
    Talk is fine
    But I don't want to stay around
    Why can't we pantomime, just close our eyes
    And sleep sweet dreams
    Me and you with wings on our feet

    I'm pushing an elephant up the stairs
    I'm tossing up punch lines that were never there
    Over my shoulder a piano falls
    Crashing to the ground

    I'm breaking through
    I'm bending spoons
    I'm keeping flowers in full bloom
    I'm looking for answers from the great beyond

    I want the hummingbirds, the dancing bears
    Sweetest dreams of you
    I look into the stars
    I look into the moon

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Not never but now.

Oh! Daniel and Schuyler are coming over tonight to watch the Grammy Awards and snarf at the fashions and the weirdness of celebrity with me. If you'll recall, a few of my friends once expressed concern at being blogged so I would simply leave them out. Now years later they act offended that I never mention them. So here you go.

I think some of you already know that Daniel is Ben's little brother, Schuyler is Daniel's partner of the past four years. They're very happy, thanks for asking.

Schuyler told me he is bringing a big chocolate cake and we will put it in the oven and then eat the whole thing.


I love these boys, truly I do. They seem to know just what I need. And Daniel, he's just like a pocket-sized Ben that I could carry around if I wanted to. Or eat. Yes, he's that sweet, I would totally eat him up with a spoon.

Or I could just set my outfit on fire.

It's fucking FREEZING outside today. It's actually less cold than yesterday but yesterday I was preoccupied and didn't really notice. This morning when I threw on a robe and slippers over my birthday suit and ran downstairs to let Butterfield out I got a good heaping serving of cold on my bare legs. I haven't sworn that much in a very long time.

I wish the rim of the coffeepot were just a little wider, just enough so I could dip my knees or my shoulders in and warm them just a little. The furnace might be set higher than it's ever been before. I keep yelling at the kids to go put on slippers and sweaters and possibly hats because I feel cold. They look at me like I have six heads.

The dog looks inviting. Too bad he sleeps in Ben's bed and not mine. I could use the body heat.

The only things that are warm today are my ears, filled with the crystal clear reception of Ben's voice this morning on the phone, wishing me a good day, telling me he spent a miserable night trying to sleep without unconscious-Bridget-sighs and t-shirt sheets. I smiled and I couldn't say anything at all, and the gap was so long between words he thought we got cut off and he hung up and called back. When he did his voice was softer. He said he didn't want me to cry, he didn't want me to miss him, he just wanted me to look forward to when he comes home. I nodded and he said I had to answer out loud and we laughed. He loves me. I responded in kind and then he understood where the silence came from.

A bit of a shaky laugh at the end of our call, this seems so much harder than it should be. And this time I have planned for a relatively quiet month ahead. I'll be here by myself getting us through the days and nights until spring break, until Ben's homecoming. It won't be difficult, it will just be quiet. The boys are mostly entrenched in work and life and I have pulled away a tiny bit to take the pressure off of all of them, they have gone so far above and beyond the call in our friendships.

I'm standing on my own two feet and they work, I can take steps and it isn't an agony of effort on my part. Very mild and optimistic progress.

I sound like I have spring fever, don't I? Maybe I do. Maybe I know that on the other side of the next month, Ben comes home. I know that on the other side of being lonely is being loved. I know that on the other side of this goddamned cold there will be warmth. And if I distract myself and stay busy and keep working as hard as I can, eventually we'll be there. With Ben, in love and warm.

It isn't much to ask for. Perhaps it's just the right amount.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Test for echo.

The weather managed to overshadow the doubts that weighed us down, and Ben's plane finally got out before lunch.

I only had to buy an extra fifteen minutes of parking time after sitting in the lot alone in his truck sobbing after he left. Then I wiped the mascara off my chin and gave a mighty sniff and drove myself home in the blizzard we're having to a house that now most certainly does seem less full, less warm and less content than it did only a few short hours ago when the howling wind woke us up and Ben pulled me under him for one final chance to make it count before we had to kiss each other's skin goodbye for a while.

The kids and I circled his return date on the calendar and will mark off days as they end until we reach that magic one in March when he comes home tired and happy and worn out and ready for a vacation. Hopefully when he comes back it will be with the same desires he took with him, rolled tightly and packed in amongst his notebooks and his clothes.

This is a good break. A perfect opportunity to see what happens now, when we're apart. To see if everything means as much, to see if we still have the same feelings after a few weeks of distractions and life alone. To see if parting on good terms, on the best terms leaves our hearts as fond and barren as they did when we'd fight to the death. We're cautiously optimistic and optimistically cautious for once.

And for once, I hope the time flies.

Friday, 8 February 2008


See this box?


Don't open it. You can guess what it is but you're not allowed to open it.



Well, what?

Aren't you going to guess at what it is?

Okay. Is it a Sigur Ros CD?

Little small for that, don't you think?

Well, then is it a grizzly bear?

Brid-get. Be serious, now.

Is it a marshmallow?

Wrong, all wrong. Guess you'll have to wait until the fourteenth to find out.

You're not going to leave it on the table all week like that, are you?

Yes, I am, actually.

Oh, well, that's just mean.

So was guessing that I was going to give you a bear or a marshmallow for Valentine's Day. Or a Sigur Ros CD, of all things.

Thursday, 7 February 2008


I keep getting picture messages of Snoopy valentines. I think he is proud indeed. That or he's trapped in the Hallmark store and the pictures are actually cries for help.

Bridget and the little green monster.

    This won't break your heart
    But I just think it could
    Cause I haven't tried as hard as I should
    To separate you from everything I do
    But I would never want to come between us two

    I'll keep your memory vague
    So you won't feel bad about me
    I'll say the things that you said
    Sometimes so it reminds me

Here's a post that's going to make a lot of people happy.

For it'

The white horse is a white truck, an F-150 that rarely sees dirt and carries the noblest of heroes. A guy in a black cowboy hat and an old army coat who never holds much of a grudge, thankfully.

A guy who smells like shaving cream and toothpaste and Marlboros.

The truck and the hero were waiting when I came out of the church, planning to head past the school, collect the kids and then come home and start dinner. I was hoping that my phone was found ( it was, in said army coat) and that I could give back the stupid blackberry, having grown weary of fielding the sheer number of female callers. Did he get that many calls a day? Did he still keep in touch with so many girls?

He wasn't surprised at the calls, he reminded me they come out of the woodwork just before he goes. He wanted to go to the school with me and then he said he'd take us out for dinner.

He asked me not to go see Joel next week, to just keep that night free and he would try his best to get back for it.

We went for dinner and the kids chatted about their days, still coughing a little but worlds better than the weekend. When we left the restaurant, close to six, he took my elbow and stopped me and pointed out the sky. It was still light out and I stopped dead in my tracks to watch the sunset and marvel that we are indeed almost halfway through February and into spring and this may have been the shortest winter of my life. I thought it would be the longest.

We came home, got the day cleaned up and stowed away as yet another entry logged in our history books and Ben asked me out of the blue not to mess with things. Not to mess with my getting better, not to experiment. That everything would be okay and that he would take his pills if I would continue to take mine. Taking a common and quiet bond and just asking me to think about not changing a thing right now despite the fact that everything is always changing.

It never stops changing.

I'm not looking forward to the weekend. I'm not looking forward to the next month of being alone again, he no longer wants to go at all and we're both a little hesitant to thrust him back into a situation of being on the road with it's own hazards and pitfalls.

And so he left the light on once again. Wanting to take in every moment, every second of us and whatever fledgling love is there. He found a deeper intensity and we rode it through until morning and when the sun rose, his hand slipped on my skin and my pearls ripped away from my neck. Several spilled on the floor, the necklace was old and it had broken in four places and he said he would buy a new one, forgetting who gave it to me and I didn't say a thing but I made a note that he now owes me a memory.

This morning the I love you exchanged in a hurry as he walks out the door wasn't the usual one we have said for years as we part. This one held the same letters but a completely different meaning and we both stared at each other for a long moment, wondering if the other meant what we meant, realizing that we both did, after all.

It felt a little weird. Sort of like falling in love with your brother. I can say that and be the little bitch because it keeps me from his hurt.

We're ignoring this elephant, him leaving. When I said I could never have a life with Ben, I wasn't being dramatic. He leaves, I feel abandoned. He used to go a lot more, perhaps it was a way to get back at me for casting him aside in favor of Jacob's attentions so long ago. Letting Jake slide into second place and Ben got pushed to the back burner to burn to the bottom of the pot.

He always said I was out of his league and I never understood that. I thought it was the other way around. And now I don't want him to go and it's less about the abandonment. The rest of the guys are here, Ben's gone before.

I'm jealous.

I don't want to know that girls are constantly calling him and following him and offering themselves to him. I am spoiled rotten. I like being the only one in his radar, the only one within reach. I like being the only one on his mind. And all the guys can tell me until they're blue that these girls aren't on their minds, and that they don't have names or personalities or memories for them but in the end it doesn't help.

I want to be the only one in his arms. I want him to know that I'm not out of his league, I think he might be out of mine.

I think my heart must be growing back. I've never been jealous like this. Vindictive, sure, just never jealous. What an awful, stupid, immature feeling.

Ben will be so proud.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Short and sweet.

I'm working at the church today so I'll be brief. Because Sam. Unorganized. Everything. I. did. last. time. and geez.

I don't own a Veyron. I picked a fast car to use as an example.

I said no, for the record. I always say no. The reasons are not what you think. Just because I tell you stuff doesn't mean I tell you everything.

Christian goes on his fifth date with Chloe tonight. No, I haven't met her but he never shuts up about her and I am so happy for him.

Valentine's Day is coming. As far as I know Joel and I are staging a mutiny against romance and will be at his place having an unromantic dinner and watching UFC highlights. It began as a joke and was put in place long before Ben and I got together and of course long before Joel and I stopped speaking to each other but he hasn't cancelled. In the event that he does cancel I am accepting offers so give it your best shot. I have a sitter.

The kids are doing much better. Still with colds but sleeping and attending school even. Hurrah.

PJ doesn't have a girlfriend but again, taking offers.

I'm thinking of going off my pills. Why? I don't know. Just because I wonder what it will be like with no Jake around to make me half insane. Will I do it? Doubt it. Ben cannot pick up the pieces. He is too busy holding his own innards together. Besides, he won't be here. He's on the road again effective the 9th. He offered not to go as if it were an option for him. I don't know why he did that but it didn't help, it just painted his desperation with a rosy glow. Gave it purpose.

Butterfield may have eaten my phone. I couldn't find it, didn't even have time to call it to see if I could hear it hiding somewhere. I'm guessing if the dog didn't eat it it's in someone's pocket. Ben tossed me his on the way out this morning and I've been the proud recipient of seven surprised girls calling him and leaving messages when I said I was his assistant. don't even WANT to know what they said but they know he's headed out and in case he wanted company he presumably has their numbers.

I'm never ever taking his phone ever again.

Not a great day. Just a day. When I'm done filing and boring myself stupid I'm going to walk around singing at the top of my lungs. The acoustics in here are phenomenal. I can hear myself singing. That never happens.

    I'm the voice inside of you, that says there's nothing you can't do.
    If you could open up your eyes and lay your heart out on the line.
    I'm the voice inside your head, that brings your mind back from the dead.
    I hope that I have served you right, even if only for one night.

    I'm not religious or fanatical, but I'm a motherfucking miracle
    You knock me down and I get up again.
    So hit the lights out and let the show begin.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Wizard of Awe.

I keep tripping over the same hole in my brittle, dumbstruck, beautifully vacuous way. Or so I am reminded.

Barely-there, Bridget. Now pay attention, please.

I get tired, the doubts crowd back in and everything goes straight to hell. So nevermind me while I trip and stumble my way through life for a bit. I'll get wherever I'm supposed to be, eventually.

Possibly sooner than later, if you can believe it.

I'm sitting in a Veyron at a stoplight. The car can do it, I'd be at the ocean by lunchtime.

(Go, Bridget, go.)

I just need some gas and a little courage. Not that stupid thimbleful I usually hold, but a trunkful of the stuff. Perhaps I can buy some, beg, borrow or steal a little strength just for the hard parts and I promise I will return it with interest when I get there. I would roar off into the sepia horizon while a ticker-tape parade heralds my departure. Don't think for a moment that I won't.

(There she goes.)

Last night Ben brought me home a present. I seriously think that instead of paying attention when he's driving he's surfing my journal from his blackberry. He needs to not do that. But still he did and he knew he was walking into a bee's nest and he knew it was late so he stopped into a store and he brought me a candy necklace.

He didn't say a thing. He put it on me and I sat with him while he ate dinner and then he peeked in on the kids and turned out most of the lights and took my hand and led me all the way down to his end of the house, pulling the blanket over our heads and leaving the light on his night table on and he ate the necklace right off my neck and I didn't get any at all. He never touched the light to turn it off, he never said a word, he never let me get more than an inch or two away from him at any time which was amazing to me somehow.

When I was sticky and exhausted and near tears because he can be so sweet without saying a thing he burst the bubble once again.

I'm not in the Veyron suddenly, he pushed me out and took the wheel and left me standing by the road again. Do I get back in the damn car or do I turn away and go home?

(Wait. Which way is home? No one will tell me.)

He asked me to marry him. Again.

(Bridget, where are you headed?)

He didn't say why but I think sometimes the patience isn't as easy to hold on to as he says it is.

And I know why, I don't need him to tell me.

Monday, 4 February 2008

No, there is more. I'm also very tired.

There is no relief today from the dark self-doubting, fumbling, bumbling, scared, freaked out uncomfortable miserable girl who lives in my head. None at all. I am supposed to swallow pills and talk this stuff out and then it's not supposed to be so bad but some moments I can't get out of the way fast enough and it steamrolls me flat. Some moments I'm just so afraid.

Of what?

I don't know.

I don't even know who won the games. Someone will tell me.

Instead of a weekend filled with hockey and football and friends, we had a weekend filled with frightening fevers and a trip to Emergency Saturday afternoon and I was so scared I was relieved when PJ took Ruth out and they went shopping for musical instruments while I sat and tried to keep Henry awake for the long wait.

Ben was on the ice, I had asked PJ to leave a message for him only there weren't enough details and signals got crossed and it was close to seven Saturday night when Ben came charging through the waiting room at last after trying four different clinics and saw us coming out. He and Loch promptly went at each other and were kicked off hospital grounds, thanks to Loch using his 'I have it under control' attitude instead of realizing at that point that Ben didn't even know who was sick or injured or what the fuck was going on and he panicked.

Yes, lovely.

Henry will be fine. His 103.5 was quickly relieved with tylenol and he has a whopping aggressive case of strep. Henry is the sort of child who will tell you he's fine when he's miserable and Saturday around lunchtime I couldn't get him to sit up or wake up long enough to get him to answer a question. It was an incredibly oddly scary moment for me and I'm the sort of mother who only panics if you pass me your severed limb.

In any event, much understanding and patience was shown on Ben's part, who wound up left out of the loop so completely I expected him to withdraw, to be bitter and resentful and instead all he did was ask PJ to take his truck so that he could drive us home instead. He and Loch are presently seven years old and not speaking to each other. Never a good thing.

I went up four times the last two nights to check Henry and I didn't do it alone, to give him more water and more Tylenol while the penicillin began to work. He is fine today, he keeps pointing out how great it is that he's less floppy.

This morning we slept in until nine again, Ben's arms curled firmly around me to show that no matter what happens, good or bad, he's here for the long haul, as he has always been. He took a couple days off, mostly so I can catch up on sleep. I'm completely exhausted and treading in dangerous water, but frankly I don't care. Henry doesn't have meningitis or anything scary but by 6 pm Saturday I had resorted to asking God for favors.

He listened.

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Pecking orders.

Family meetings with my boys don't seem to work very well after no sleep, trips to Emergency and shoving matches outside in the snow. They also won't work if everyone is going to pull rank, refuse to listen and be jerks in a general sense.

It's par for the course. It's Supertestosteronebowl Sunday. And no, I'm not blaming them because they're men, I'm blaming them because they need to have a little more patience right now. This isn't about them and we really don't need this shit right now.

Saturday, 2 February 2008

10 a.m. snapshot.

I'm watching Tool live and loving the raw voice.

I'm still eating red pistachios.

I'm in my favorite cardigan from Anthropologie along with woolen tights, because it's cold.

My new razor cellphone never stops ringing, though mine is a pretty silver instead of blue.

I'm looking forward to seeing Switchfoot live, later this spring.

I've become highly addicted to Reddit,  so much so that I had to join. I've never laughed so hard as I do at comments there.

I'm stocking up on over the knee socks, because they are the best ever. Should I get the pink or just stick with black?

I'm planning a Snowbeque tonight to coincide with the best day of the week.

I've had the words completely fucked out of me, I think. So nevermind posting today.

Have a great day.

Friday, 1 February 2008

Beauty and the beast.

    And all the roads we have to walk are winding
    And all the lights that lead us there are blinding
    There are many things that I would
    Like to say to you
    But I don't know how

I woke up this morning right where I wanted to be, under Ben's Maple Leafs blanket, stark raving naked, sated from a night of pushing our friendship past our own limits and finding we like it here. He never stops smiling anymore, it totally interferes with his angry anti-establishment rockstar vampire persona.

Wait, everything does that for Ben, so nevermind.

He got up around six, threw on a pair of jeans and wandered out to the kitchen and he came back and tossed my bag on the bed and I could hear my phone ringing as he passed me a glass of orange juice. As I sat up to clear my head, he opened the bag and started going through my things. If you knew Ben, he's a riot. He loves to play with everyone's stuff. He'll rifle through the pockets on the clothes you're wearing, pull out your wallet, flick your zippo, read your library card, organize your keys, call people from your cellphone contact list, try on your gloves. It isn't annoying, it's hilarious, but he saves the funniest explorations for my bag. It's always full of things that intrigue him.

First he took out my phone and passed it to me. I answered it and it was Chris. Ben frowned and took out my sketchbook, putting on one of my hearing aids. He drew a cartoon of Chris and I started to laugh. Then he put two baby-blue bobby pins in his hair, one on either side of the front to make his hair lie flat. Then he took out my black nail polish and put some on, just two fingers and then threw up the devil horns at me, so that only the polished nails were visible. I kept laughing while Chris asked what was so funny.

Then Ben found a Disney princess chapstick that was Ruth's and he read the ingredients and frowned at Belle and then took the top off with his teeth, spitting it onto the bed and then he smelled it (cherries) and put some on his lips. He smacked his lips together and then rolled the tube all the way out and bit the end off and ate it.

I know. You really have no idea. I can't ever leave him alone. He might eat the cutting board or one of the kids. Or wear one of my dresses out of the house.

He made another face and tossed what was left of the chapstick over his shoulder and went looking for more stuff. A spare tampon went into one ear. My headphones in the other ear and the hearing aid was handed to me. A second sharpie was uncapped and he wrote Property of B. E. N. on my arm.

All I could do was just laugh and laugh.

Eventually Christian let me go and Ben ran out of things to explore in my bag and so I hung up and he suggested he run out and bring home some breakfast. I agreed and off he went.

With the bobby pins still in his hair.

God love him, what a fucking freak.