Tuesday, 22 April 2008

On not looking back: entry #1000.

Dear Internet, readers, friends and strangers who have graced my words with your presence,

This entry won't come so easy.

Over the past four years this journal has become a comfortable home. A place for me to let it all out, even when I probably should have kept it in. A safe place. A very dark and quiet place for me to bleed without making such a mess. A thousand entries written, a thousand read.

A hell of a lot of words, don't you think?

A hell of a lot of time spent, even though it always took less time then you think. I could always rattle off a post while eating toast standing up, or on my way to bed, or on my way to a swim in the coffee pot. Thirty-two months of winter and sixteen warmer good months brought to you to savor over your own quiet moments.

Almost one hundred thousand people have forged a path through my words now. Mind the flowers, would you? Watch for the moat so you don't drown, for you have been as close as one can get to a real-life fairytale princess. Remember that.

I survived these words and I emerged scarred but tougher. Scar tissue is always less resilient, a grim reminder, a legacy. I came out of things okay and I'm not going to overstay my welcome. Somewhere there's a quote about leaving while the going is good. If I could find it I would share it with you but you already know it, I'm sure.

I'm leaving on a high note, too. Somehow I expected the final entry here to be something Loch would write so that this place would be finished, something I had asked him to do, should the need ever arise. But you know what? Thankfully it doesn't end sadly.

It ends happily.

Everything is good. I'm happy, Internet. I'm so very happy. I'm beginning a new chapter, a life with a guy who was always more laughter than tears, with nothing but a heart of gold and a song to give me, interested in nothing but what we can make of life together. And whatever life throws at me in the second half will be okay. I'll figure it out, putting one foot in front of the other. I'll deal with it and I'll be such a fighter. You'll be so proud, or maybe you won't even care, having moved on to new journals and new places to visit. Find those, and go and read them as voraciously as you did mine, okay? Promise me that.

Just know how much I loved coming here and how much I will miss it and how gratifying and educational and heartwarming this has been. And that I never meant to upset you or make you sad.

I only meant to touch you.

I also promised I would let go of you when it was time to do so.

That time has come and I was meant for a more private life than what this has become. A circus, and I was the lone juggler standing in center-ring. We've packed up the tent and are retiring from life under the Big Top. I hope you enjoyed the show. Wish me luck, okay? I'm really going to need it. Email me whenever you want. I'll answer.

I love you. All of you. Fare thee well, and thank you for reading.

(Edit: I lasted until September and then I came back in full force.)

Monday, 21 April 2008

Mrs. Ben, day two.

    Could you stay long enough for me to say goodbye
    You can be free as long as you're with me
    If you could see the real me you'd bleed
    If you could see the real me I'd breathe
    Could you still breathe long enough for me?
    Could you still be long enough for me?

Thank you for the kind wishes. It really warms me how many of you have taken a moment or two to sit down and send along a letter of encouragement. We have our detractors for sure but we're content. We're relaxed. I keep bursting into tears at odd moments. I keep forgetting we got married. Then I remember in a sudden burst of emotion. Like Oh! We did it.
He has not forgotten.

Today isn't all that remarkable. Ben has gone back to work. He's going to tell them and life takes an even stranger turn with that. He takes Cole's place in life permanently but he will not become Cole. Ben may be rash and without consequence but he doesn't have violence toward me in his heart save for his strength under the quilts. Save for his emotions, forceful in their escape from his head and his heart.

I'm headed over to the shopping center shortly. I need new runners, going to try on some of the newer Saucony shoes. Then I need to get my watch strap fixed (again) and check on the mail and see if the bank calls me back on one thing and then make a really good dinner. I want to greet Ben at the door when he comes home tonight with the apron/stilettos/pearls and a nametag on my dress that says "Hi, my name is Mrs. Ben" and a pot roast if the Gods of cooking are kind to me later on.

If not, it will be pizza delivered to the front door, which, honestly? Would make him just as happy.

Things are really good. Very good. The rain is pouring down in sheets today, it's so dark inside the house I have lights on and it feels cozy. It feels good.

We did get rings yesterday too. Ben switched the rings that he usually wears on that finger and slid his wedding band on and smiled, saying he'd get used to it quickly, that he liked it. That we picked cool rings. We did, they're very plain polished platinum bands that are really comfortable. He likes comfortable rings, he never ever takes his off. I take mine off for painting and heavy construction because otherwise I would probably crush them when I hurt myself, which happens more often than not. I may not from now on.

Lochlan went back to Toronto this morning, hesitating briefly before telling me he wasn't going to give me the 'if I need him' lecture, that he knows I know how to reach him if I need him, that he's that sure that I probably won't need him, that this is possibly the shortest distance I have ever jumped. That this makes so much sense no one's worried or watching or hoping for the best. They know it's right. They know it's good, that we'll be fine. That we're happy.

So damned happy. And getting better every single day, both of us.

And it's a red raincoat day, a day for walking slowly to catch each and every drop, a day for wearing warm layers under that bright coat, with headphones and hair tucked firmly under a hood tied tight against the elements. A day for smiles half-hidden under an umbrella, a day for changes of the good kind. A Monday like I've never seen before.

Late afternoon update: I stayed home and good thing, that. Ben came home with a week of matrimony leave which he said is like maternity leave without the sleepless nights unless that's how Bridget wants to roll, and he preempted my disaster-in-the-making roast with McDonalds. He did ask me if I'd wear the stilettos and the apron, just later on, when the kids are asleep.

This is what life with Ben is going to be like. Weird.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

To hold.

If there's one thing about me that you know for sure, it's that I only skip a day of posting when I am away. So, sorry, but I was away yesterday.

Getting married.

I got married, Internet. I married Ben. Sigh. Do you want to know what he said that changed my mind? He told me this:

Maybe you would feel less like his if you were mine.

He told me that the night he came home to find me sitting on the floor in the front hall covered in ashes and sobbing my heart out, and it's a sentence that I couldn't argue with if I tried. I don't want to try.

I haven't slept since forever. I haven't stopped smiling. I...I don't even know where to begin or how to explain or why I feel as if I need to continually justify this rather Elizabeth-Tayloresque turn my life seems to have taken.

A third husband, and all before I am even forty years old? Ben will be forty this December and for the record I am soon going to be a blisteringly ancient thirty-seven. Thirty-seven. Told I don't look a day over twenty-six. Do I believe them? Not on your life.

We started with prenuptial agreements and promises, through most of last week. Priorities. Me finding out that Ben started a trust fund in the children's names and they're wealthy because he didn't know what else to do with his money. And he can't touch my future earnings and I cannot touch his. We're just keeping things the way they are. His lawyers are paranoid, mine are not hopeful but we laughed anyway, after I found out he is way wealthier than I thought he was, and I have far more money than I did the last time we traded financial secrets, which would have been sometime long before I paid off his motorcycle and then to retaliate he put the money back in my account.

The ceremony took place last evening out by the creek on Nolan's farm, near picnic rock where Ben proposed. The children were there. The guys were all there. The woods were full of love and support and we recited our simple vows to Sam and cried a whole bunch and maintained a sort of incredulous joy that leaves me tearful even now.

We ate and drank and danced and cried and laughed and it was the most wonderful night ever. He...he's amazing. Giving and generous and caring and vulnerable to a fault. But instead of bringing out the worst in each other somehow we've managed to harvest the best. None of it is difficult or painful or unreal. All of it is beautiful. He's real. He's alive, he is healthy, he's forthright and passionate about the little things. He doesn't want to fix me, doesn't care if I am weak, he just wants to be with me.

He slipped his giant silver ring on my finger because he didn't have rings and told me I had to give it back, that we'd get real ones. I had to clench my fist all night to keep from losing it and when he noticed, he said we would go out and get them today. After lunch.

He asked if there was anything special he was supposed to know about being a husband. I told him I require a large glass of orange juice every night around eleven and he reminded me he said husband, not butler. I reminded him he said he would be the butler.

We've said a lot of words recently, we've dug deep and dug in hard, and a lot of that is so private I'm not writing about it, just know that we are very serious and this is very important and it wasn't a whim, in spite of our pretenses to make it appear to be one.

Ben is surprised at how this feels, far more wonderful than he ever thought it would, coming from someone who always viewed marriage as 'just a piece of paper'. It's never just a piece of paper. It's supposed to be a lifetime commitment to another person, through thick and thin, something we already have. Now we have the paper to prove it, that's all, a formal promise of commitment. A plan for a future together. No matter what.

He said he finally did the right thing. I said me, too. I'm not taking his last name and he's not adopting the kids until they are ready to have a say in the decision, though he is more than willing right now. We aren't moving very fast at all, despite what it seems.

He seems brave enough to be the man of this house, though sometimes he is as fragile as I am and I wonder how he ever wanted to be with me. He says he always wanted to be with me, that he was always vaguely sad that I didn't feel the same way before. I let him in on a little secret. I did, and quite often. I just never let it find the light of day, I never said anything. There's a ease to being with him that has never existed with anyone else. He's Ben and no one else is.

When I told Ben that he walked out of the room. Too cool to cry in front of Loch, I think. He came back and brought me with him to hold.

Everything's going to be okay.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Brothers by choice.

    A momentary lapse of reason
    That binds a life for life
    A small regret, you won't forget,
    There'll be no sleep in here tonight
    Was it love, or was it the idea of being in love?
    Or was it the hand of fate, that seemed to fit just like a glove?
    The moment slipped by and soon the seeds were sown
    The year grew late and neither one wanted to remain alone
    One slip, and down the hole we fall
    It seems to take no time at all

Loch is here. Pink Floyd seems to follow him wherever he goes. And since Ben is off work today he and Loch are participating in some sort of unspoken contest to see who is cooler, who knows Bridget better and who's just all round more know-it-all.

They're being obnoxious. It's ridiculous.

I'm not sure what Loch's problem is, he was one of the few unquestionable supporters of Ben and I getting together and then he shows up and tries to pull rank and get under Ben's skin. Ben isn't having it. God bless him, he's keeping Loch in his place and proving that he knows me better, the only trump card Loch has being the length of time we've known each other and that ubiquitous first time milestone. And...all that other stuff in there. Wait. Who has the upper hand?

They're doing that unconscious muscle-flexing thing. Okay, honestly Ben looks so stupid doing that. He doesn't need it, being as tall and dark-haired as he is. All he has to do is stop smiling and everyone tiptoes around him. Loch couldn't look scary if he tried. Besides, he's 5'9". Which is super-tall in my universe but relatively short by the guys' standards.

The patio lights this year are the little white and green paper lanterns. The chairs are all green and the table and bench are painted black. I like my yard but the dog really needs a gravel dog run. We've been walking him four times a day so he doesn't ruin the new grass. It almost happened last fall.

Loch just walked past me and kissed the top of my head. Ben watches him carefully. He says I'm back on my path now. That he's happy I'm away from Cole and happier still that Jacob is history. I swore at him. I cried into his collar and then he handed me off to Ben because he doesn't want to cause problems, he's here for happy reasons.

He says he gets to see Hope three times a week or so but otherwise she's nursing still so many times a day that he doesn't get whole days or weekends and it's rough on him. He said he now understands things about parenting being hard that he never truly understood before.

I nodded. I feel so bad for him, but he'll be okay. He and PJ are going to hit the town this weekend. They should take Mark too. And maybe Duncan. August has no interest right now in looking for a girlfriend, a fact that proves to be a tragedy for women everywhere. He's adorable. They all are. I'm happy at least some of them are making an effort.

And no, my pills aren't working yet. Therapy isn't really getting off the ground yet. I haven't freaked out on Sam and asked him for the box yet. Ben and I are getting along possibly better than we ever have in our lives, which only goes to show contentment can go a very long way, and things are pretty good for the moment.

My guys are all here. I'm making them dinner and they'll watch me as I move around the kitchen and they'll all take their turns kissing my head or my cheek or having a hug or taking a moment to corner me and see how I'm really doing (awesome) or just to tell me that they're happy I'm doing well, and then Ben will get more time and more attention than anyone else for the first time ever at one of these dinners, rarer than they used to be. I can stop and he'll pull me onto his knee and kiss my neck and then grin because he has everything he ever wanted, and so do I so I'll match the grin and everyone else will make fun of the two happy fools in the corner.

I'm thankful for this. Times like these. Moments like these. This is what living is all about.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Dayplanner on fire.

    I want to know if you will beg me
    and then tell me how to love you
    like anybody else would
    I know you're risking failure, (risking failure)
    but I'd hope you set your levels (for how long)
    so you can run for cover

I'm home from nottherapy. Fun. Actually it is fun. I just go and talk to this very kind man who seems to know everything and he sounds like a minister but I haven't asked. I just go and talk. It's very quiet, very low-key and very low pressure and it seems to be nice so far.

Today he had donuts. I didn't have one but he offered four times. I made a promise right there to never bug anyone again with multiple offers of food when they've said no already.

We're home now for lunch and then we're going to an appointment with the lawyers, all of 'em to iron out some things, first me privately for cutting ties with my publishing company and then together to map the future so everyone is safe financially. Long story I will share early next week.

And then Loch arrives! Late this afternoon by commercial flight, hopefully armed with a drive full of baby pictures and a goal to do nothing but enjoy the weekend. He's not staying here, he'll be taken care of nicely at John's house instead. I'm so happy Loch is coming out. It's important that he's here for a break and to catch up with the guys. I suppose this weekend is going to turn into a testosterone-fest but I don't care. Having all my friends in one place is important and it's few and far between anymore.

And I still need groceries. Ack. I'm off, then, have yourselves a good day.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Swinging from a star.

There is no post today. I'm too busy trying to learn how to be a normal human bean. Maybe there's a post in here after all, between the epic battles and last-minute jitters, and why in the hell someone would pick right this month to quit smoking. Probably the same reason another person picked right this month to go back on her meds, and oh, aren't we two peas in a pod, two licks with one stick. Sometimes I fear for everyone's sanity on days like today.

Loch arrives tomorrow, slightly ahead of schedule. Escaping. Escaping is an art form in this case, he is fed up, took a super five day long weekend and will spend it with us. Ben is being difficult, I am being worse than difficult, and thank heavens we have Ruth and Henry around to teach us all how to behave like adults.

Because sometimes we are children. And not the good kind.

In other news, the ice cream parlour is open for the summer, the very last pile of snow from where I was making a sled-mountain at the bottom of the driveway is gone and Butterfield knocked me right into the mud. I raked all the dirt and sand and trash right into the road this morning because the street cleaners will be around soon and for the past two years I would bag it all. I felt daring and scofflawish. I felt weird doing that but try bagging sand, guys. PJ came by and said things looked great, that I was doing a good job putting winter away and ushering in the warmer times.

I nodded. I surely fucking am. I have help though. Gothboy does a good job putting up patio lights.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Without representation.

Waking up this morning was fun.

Ben was already awake. Lying there breathing softly, tracing my hair down across the pillow. I turned over and he pushed me away again, tucking me down against him, one hand on top of my head, holding me still, the other hand pressed flat against my lower back, forcing my pelvis out. It felt so good I didn't want to ever stop this morning but eventually he turned me back into his embrace and I do believe I screamed right into his mouth.

He's awesome. He knows things to do that I swear I don't think other men are even remotely aware of. Don't ask me to elaborate though, ask him. He'll probably tell you in excruciating Bridget-detail because he can now.

You probably won't even have to ask.

In other news that's not fit to print, everyone has contacted the Evil One to let him know that they aren't the least bit worried about their Bridget and he can't touch her. Literally or figuratively anymore. It's funny, I didn't have to use anything I had. His attempts at blackmail fell flat because I beat him to it and offered up the DVD from that awful week in November because I needed them to safely know what it was all about. They knew and they sat for just long enough of it to take Caleb's leverage away. And instead of punishing me for my jacked-up, destructive risks they just hold me tighter now.

God bless them all.

And Lochlan is flying in for the weekend! I've been cleaning today and wondering who in the hell I'm going to get to represent me now after squeaking out of my contract at the last minute. Any ideas? It wasn't so much about not wanting to write anymore, I just don't want to write as him anymore. My pseudonym/alterego. He isn't me. It became an epic struggle. So Loch was invited up to celebrate my independence from that guy who shadowed my every word and to maybe try and celebrate a little independence of his own. It's going to be a terrific weekend. We have a very small and important party planned. I've already raked up the grass and swept the patio and put the lights up. It's supposed to be warm and sunny, everyone is very excited and that, my friends, is contagious. I hope it's terminal.

I have a million things to do, so I'm going now but tell you what: why don't you write in your blogs so that when I'm tired later I have something to read. That would be great. Or go have very good sex and tell us all about it.

No? Chickens.

Monday, 14 April 2008


Another post courtesy of the secretive esoterrorist. Esoteric terrorist? Terroteric. Whatever.

I've always been so incredibly resistant to change. There are changes coming. Nevermind, they're already here.

Clocks are ticking, whistle-bells are clanging and if given a choice, I would choose to run the other way, slipping on my headphones as I go and living in that moment, only that moment when I am deep inside my head and cut off from the world.

Changes like standing up to Caleb, who in the what the fuck were you thinking category today sent me a text message, written this morning probably somewhere between a hundred-dollar shave and a breakfast meeting. Because he isn't stupid and somehow he always manages to find things out long before the rest of the world. Someday someone will tell me how he does this, though I expect a lot of people told him just to rub it in. His reaction was to send me a threatening message, which, when I stopped laughing, made me sad for him.

Not a feeling I am used to, I'll tell you that for nothing.

I'm sure my reaction will simply trigger a wave of disastrous emails or confrontations with him, so I'm just going to KEEP GOING FORWARD because hell, nothing in the world could fail me now. The good news is I preempted him months ago. The best news?

He underestimates my friendships.

Other changes like cutting ties with virtually all of my network in the publishing world in order to start over, my agent disagreeing with my choices, with backing out of contracts at the eleventh hour and refusing to support me now, though he stood for everything else and it's like losing a family but I'm going to start over.

Changes like going back on meds I really need but different ones that might work or might not, and changes like ones I won't tell you about today (to save for another) but they involve everyone I know to some extent and I'm leaning heavily on their good graces for the duration.

Again, starting over.

Every single day of my life I've fought to stay out of the inside of my head because it's sad and panicky and destructive and so unhappy. It's the part of me that has no answers for itself. It can't tell you why it's unhappy any more than I can tell you why I am. It just is what it is. I have learned (almost) how to live with it, in spite of it and within it.

It is who I am.

There are moments of joy, moments when I am relaxed. Moments when I'm having fun. Escaped into a movie, forced into my seat on a tilt-a-whirl, the moments before I fall asleep when things are good right then and there, not awful. Moments when I know for sure that I am loved.

The rest of the moments I will never wish to be here. I can't do what I want. I can't go where I want, I can't be who I want to be. Sure, I'm making a stab at all of it but at the end of the day this is a race I can't even place in, let alone win. I have so much on the inside and no one is ever going to see much of any of it. I have qualities that reach so fast past what you'll get from other people it isn't even funny.

But you know what? People will always go for the shallow because they can't deal with what's inside of them. They can't touch it, they don't know themselves, they don't want to know.

It's dumb. It's sad. It's ironic and pointless too. And I wasn't even going to post today. I'm busy being shallow-but-deep too, seeking out those tiny moments of joy just to stay alive because it's what's expected. And I'm going to live the rest of my life being told what to do because it's for the best and it doesn't sound like it but I chose all of this and I'm happy I did, and I will be happy with the outcomes because I'm doing the best that I can.

Even though I hate change. I hate being forced to do things I would otherwise put off and I have learned to thrive on pain because it's all there is and maybe if you keep forcing change, something will change. For the better.

For the best.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

On taking dares.

    I'll shove your head under water
    but I won't ever let you drown

The day I met Ben it was sunny and warm. He was sitting in front of an unlit campfire, guitar in arms, singing at the top of his lungs. A cool song, an original song. It sounded good. It was grungy and harsh and soft all at the same time. It was deep.

He was adorable. Dark. Pale. Gothic metal guy. Cute (shhhhh, Christ.). When he got to the end I clapped, having plunked myself down across from him to listen to the rest while Cole went off in search of deadwood with Christian. He smiled and introduced himself and I told him my name and said he had a beautiful voice. He said thank you as if it were something he heard many times a day, a confidence evident in his abilities that he keeps so far removed from his personality it's as if he has two men trapped in one body. He told me he knew who I was, that Cole spoke of me often and that they worked together, though Ben was leaving for a new job soon. He said he hoped he'd be a good camping friend, proving his thoughtfulness right off the bat, as if you've ever been on a group camping trip with people who just don't mesh, it can turn a fun long weekend into a never-ending agony in which the minutes tick by.

It's funny how that part turned out actually. When it comes to travel, Ben is incredibly forgetful, especially with big ticket items like, oh, passports. He never ever forgets his guitar. Always has the guitar.

It was hot that day, oppressively so and we had all retreated to the shade to try and stay cool, drinking beer, being silly, while Cole and Ben and Mark entertained with songs and trading leads and telling stories. Finally the sun went down and everyone had grouped off, some talking by the fire, some exploring the shoreline, some in tents talking or reading.

I wanted to swim, wanted to remove the stickiness of the day, the bug spray, the sunscreen, the sweat. I told Cole I was going and asked if he wanted to join me. He didn't but Ben did and so we agreed to meet at the water in ten minutes. I was back in five in my bikini and he came along a couple beats later, in board shorts and a t-shirt. I asked him what the t-shirt was for and he said modesty. We laughed and he took it off. He had a perfectly smooth chest with nicely defined, thick muscles without being obvious. Natural strength.

He went in first and held his hand out for me to follow on the rocky bottom. We got out up to my neck and he stopped, the water barely mid-chest on him. We swam around each other in circles, talking and floating and diving and then all of the sudden it was dark. Super-dark. We could see the campfire lit from shore and Ben asked if I wanted to take a dare.

I pointed out foolishly that I have never failed to make good on a dare, a comment he never forgot again in his life.

He dared me to skinny dip, his eyes flashing.

I said I would if he did. He laughed and said he probably wasn't nearly as impressive.

I asked him what he meant, and he said he never saw a girl less self-conscious in a bikini. I pointed out everyone had the same parts to cover. He asked if I minded when people stared. I said no.

He held up his shorts.

Okay, fine. I untied the strings and held up my two piece.

He let out a surprised laugh. We weren't self-conscious with each other in the least.

He, well, he was impressive. Do I need to elaborate? I guess there are things I never forget too. (He has since read this and pointed out he must be twice as awesome, since cold lake water tends to have the wrong effect on things such as that. I would have to agree there.)

We continued to swim around each other and talk. Cole came down to the water and grinned and told me it was time to come in. Ben swam over to me and grabbed my bikini and threw it to Cole. I tried to retaliate but only served to get dunked and Ben went in to shore. About waist-height he pulled his shorts back on and then joined Cole and they exchanged a few words and had a laugh at my expense and then I asked Cole to throw back my suit so I could come in. He refused and they laughed again. I said fine and I came in anyway, Ben watching every step I took, Cole watching Ben. When I passed Cole I told him thanks a lot and I grabbed my suit. I struggled back into the wet suit and we returned to the campfire and he brought out a towel and tried to make it up to me.

I didn't realize his brain was already in motion.

An hour later Ben announced that his tent was at home because it wasn't here. Cole wasted no time, inviting him to sleep with us, even though I pointed out Chris brought a two-man and they could bunk together, couldn't they? Cole told me not to be so fucking uptight and Ben waited until we were settled and then Cole abruptly put me in the middle, saying that he would have more room and it would be less weird if I was in between them.

And that night I slept. I didn't think I would but I slept between them all night and when I woke up I had four arms around me and Ben was wedged in behind me so tight I think I might have known his middle name before I had to ask. Cole woke up and grinned and asked me if I slept well. I'm almost sure now that Cole was definitely grooming Ben for something more when I left him and long before that, and that's why Ben felt so slighted, jilted when I left Cole for Jacob and subsequently vetoed the great polygamist plan of 2007 or whatever the hell he was up to.

And I failed to notice my friendship with Ben was strangled by his feelings because I was too busy chasing angels.

The goofiest part about the whole thing was every single camping trip since that one, Ben has forgotten his tent on purpose. And I still have never missed a dare. I'm taking one tomorrow, actually, so there might not be an entry. I'll be back Tuesday to tell you all about it.

The energetic nature of volume.

    will it change your life if I change my mind?
    when she's lit the whole wide world
    I want to know if you will beg me and then tell me how to love you
    like anybody else would
    I know you're risking failure, (risking failure)
    but I'd hope you set your levels (for how long)
    so you can run for cover
    you better start to love her
    now are we this pathetic?
    you made me finally see it
    (will it change your life when I change my mind,
    will it change your mind when I change my life)

You know how life just ticks along and then you get thrown all kinds of curveballs? Things you don't expect?

Yes, like that. You know exactly what I'm talking about. Good. Don't get comfortable, then.

Is it Saturday? It seems to be. PJ called me Muffin today. He hasn't done that in years. Ruth went on her first sleepover at a friend's house for a birthday, leaving me feeling panicky and overprotective and Henry got to stay up late and watch movies and eat chocolaty things and be spoiled.

I mailed off some unsolicited short stories today that will probably be rejected in due course. I learned I buy jeans too big and that my ego is so fragile I'm amazed I can get out of bed in the morning.

But I do anyway.

Because I'm Bridget. The former Saltwater Princess and that nickname is nothing more than a painful reminder now of a romantic dream-like state that had all the stamina of a bubble blown by a child on a rainy day. I'll just be Bridget, and you can be Internet, and we can pretend we get along.

It's a good night.

I feel happy.

I have Beg by Evans Blue firmly lodged in my head. How in the hell did that happen?

Saturday, 12 April 2008

My spartans fight a different sort of enemy.

Bridget, don't move.


A baby spider, baby, relax.


Shhh, it's okay. I've got it.

Oh hurry hurry hurry, please, Ben.

Man, you need to relax.

I hate bugs.

Yeah, I know, but this is over the top.

Sorry. I really really really hate bugs.

See, if you were bigger they wouldn't look quite so scary.

Nice, thanks.


Friday, 11 April 2008

Saltwater Youtube.

Oh and ignoring the post around the link, remember this? The youtube part, linked in the third paragraph in that post. The Foo Fighters. At least thirty female emailers thanked me for pointing out the goodness that is Taylor Hawkins.

Who everyone said looks like Jacob, but he doesn't IN REAL LIFE.

Because what I never told you was that I got to experience it live a little while ago and I put up my own taped experience. The video isn't great (I was jumping up and down, now I understand how all the bad concert vids wind up on youtube and I'll never speak ill of them again), but the sound was awesome and seeing it live, seeing them live, was really fucking cool.

At 2:22 into the video you can hear Ruthie squeal.


(Link has now been removed, thank you).

Dented kettle.

More surprises today.

The beard? Gone again, mostly. He's rocking a goatee of stubble today. He still looks like a serial killer. A hot one, but serial nonetheless. It's just too scary. Or maybe I'm too used to his clean-cut cuteness. Hotness. Whatever. I almost forgot my post.

Ben has quit smoking (again, shhhh.). His doctor has advised that he really really needs to stop this time. I'm so glad, I pointed out kissing the Marlboro man isn't nearly as nice as kissing a guy who doesn't smoke and he was vaguely offended. He points out it's the only thing that makes him look like a cool kid anymore, being thisclose to forty and all that. I pointed to the wall of guitars and asked him why he didn't get his cool from that.

Well...he thought that was pretty cool after all. For now.

Oh and the Fridays off thing? Still a feature of his life and part of his new contract with his old shop. When he worked every Friday night delivering pizza as a teenage boy he made himself a promise that when he grew up he would never work another Friday again as long as he lived. It took until he was almost thirty-nine to pull it off with any ceremony at all considering how little he actually works when he's home but it's certainly nice to see him home today.

This morning also saw a third (fourth?) surprise. Bikes. Not the motorcycle, but actual bicycles. The last time I was on a bicycle was when I was a preteen (or 'tween, as they seem to be called these days) and I went ass over teakettle over the bars and broke several teeth. I did the same thing on a skateboard a few years earlier. Me in control of things with wheels (or rudders!) are just not a great plan overall, okay? He thinks it would be a great idea for all of us to go on bike rides.

I'm trying to get into it. Slowly. I did survive the four-block ride this morning and pointed out I run faster than I bike. He was not impressed with me at all. He said we were riding slowly for me to get used to the gears. And I am not graceful. I kept trying to get on and off the bike by hurdling my leg over the front bar instead of swinging up from the back, like how I get on (I know, mount. Gah.) Nolan's horses.

Okay, the horse might have been less scary but at least when I got going on the bike I didn't have the high-pitched squeal that went on for a good ten minutes like I did with the horse.


I'll take the horse back, in any case. Horses don't need to be pedaled and don't have to contend with cars crowding us off the trail.

Ben asked me if I would do this for him, and he would quit smoking just for me. I told him in order to be a success he needed to do that for himself, not for me. He called me something awful and said I sounded like a therapist and how ironic of you, the formerly so fragile miss b.

He said he would quit for me anyway, that he'd do just about anything for me, he wants me that much. I told him he could make lunch for me then. I'm starving.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Notes from left field.

    Make me a better place
    it's filled with a little love, yeah
    make me a better place
    it's filled with a little love, yea

Oh, look. It's a better day, a stronger morning, a chance to get some things out that I won't say out loud for fear that I go up in smoke or catch fire or maybe just blow off the face of the earth like dandelion fluff on a warm summer breeze into the endless blue sky.

It's raining. A glorious dark sky, closed in, warm. Cozy.

The box thing. Really, it's better that it's not here. If I need it I know where to go. And it's a tiny little satellite Jacob that fits in two hands. The mothership was taken back to Newfoundland by Jacob's parents. All ten pounds of it. They wanted to do it the other way around but I was otherwise engaged and not here to argue and it was decided for me that the smaller one would be more Bridget. I could carry it around. Oh how I carried it around at first.

There is no obituary. Stop looking. There was a lovely tribute in the church Jacob grew up in and the one that he left here which amounted to something he had written and a picture of the four of us above it and otherwise his parents were too horrified to announce his death publicly. Suicide isn't something you speak of, you see. They are old-fashioned like that, as they well should be at their ages. They, like me, almost six months later are just beginning to try on their new shoes of bereavement and finding out that they are still too tight, painfully so, and you can't walk in them yet so they'll go back in the dark closet and let's just close the door now, shall we? We'll try them on again another day.

Yes his things are still in that closet and yes every day I'd like to go in there and shut the door and never come out again. Instead I go in the pantry and sit by the Keebler boxes and wish I lived in the cookie factory inside the little cartoon tree because I bet that no one ever cries in that house. I make a very good elf.

Ben has come in the pantry three times to sit with me. He's been very good about this. The first time he sat down and brought two shelves and fourteen cans of soup and fruit down on our heads. It hurt like hell but we laughed because Ben doesn't quite fit in the pantry. He didn't adopt Joel's trick of turning around, getting as close to the door as possible and then sitting down slowly beside where I tuck in beside the baskets on the floor. He's getting the hang of it now.

He brings home a new CD just about every week for me to try out and listen to. He's trying desperately to avoid the old favorites and the crashing pain of me listening to songs that tear my heart apart. I can't afford any more injuries to my poor little heart and for the work I try to do to strengthen it every day those new seams that I sew are tested and sometimes they hold but sometimes they're weakened and I know this patch job won't hold forever but for now it's still better than nothing.

Loch calls me every single day to talk, only he tells me about Hope and all the wonderful things she can do and he tells me things I shouldn't be told about himself and his struggles to be a dad from far off because instead of getting married they broke up again and we trade miseries and confessions and call it support. It's his only way of keeping tabs from far away and Ben has begun to resent it just enough to bring a difficulty to things and I don't blame him in the least but for now no one is going to go out of their way to point it out.

Ben and I are terrific, thanks for asking. I love him to bits but there's still a huge part of us falling back on friendship to get us through the very hard parts. It's sometimes very awkward. Well, Ben is very awkward sometimes, tripping over his own feet and his own words as much, and then other times he's the smartest person I've ever met, cool and smooth and sure of everything. I like him best when he's warm and funny and making sick jokes and being so perverted I don't think I'll ever let him have lunch with my mother. My kids are used to him, he tones it down or complicates it enough to keep them from being corrupted. They think he's awesome. And he likes them for them. He isn't trying to step in and be a father to them. Ben has never wanted to be a father in his life to anyone, but he's told a few people now (not me) that if he had to chose children to be responsible for and to love (he already loves them) it would be my two. No small feat for a man who is a giant child sometimes.

That isn't an insult. Hell, look at me. I am so immature I let people lead me wherever they want to go and then I realize I'm lost and I need to find my way back but I wind up hitchhiking on a back road and along comes a truck with a guy inside and he looked familiar and he told me not to expect him to carry my baggage because he had his own and it was heavy enough. And then he asked for my help in carrying his stuff too and I agreed and it was maybe the best thing ever. It gave me purpose and it gave me power, to be the strong one.

Even though sometimes? I think he's pretending just to see how far I will get. I hope I can surprise him because I'd like to make him happy. I'd like to make me happy too and I have to come first.

Don't I?

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Bites of wind.

Holy smokes, it's freezing outside.

It isn't actually, it's sunny and almost ten degrees. But it's cold if you're on the back of Andrew's motorcycle for a good forty minutes. My thighs hurt. It's very difficult to unclench my fingers from the shape they're in from the deathgrip I had around Andrew's chest. He's not nearly as big as Ben is and every corner felt like a bitter end. I thought I would die and would have rethought the whole trip had he not taken me to the coolest little place for lunch.

It only took me all of three minutes to figure out that he was Ben's snitch, buttering me up only to find out if I have any doubts at all now, over events of late and conversations conducted with fragile hearts packed tight and clinking in the back of a truck on a long and bumpy road. I told him what he could take back to Ben, and that everything is better, that somehow Ben found one sentence to say to me that managed to express both how he felt and eradicate any doubts I might ever have about his motives or his mortality or his loyalty to me, if I had any doubts left at all.

I'm not going to share what Ben said because for once I'm not going to jinx it by telling everyone who isn't awfully close. But I made PJ cry when I told him. And I will tell you, dear Internet. But not just yet.

The blind leading the deaf.

    I'll follow you if you follow me
    I don't know why you lie so clean
    I'll break right through the irony

    Enlighten me
    Reveal my fate
    Just cut these strings
    That hold me safe

    you know my head
    You know my gaze
    You'd know my heart
    If you knew your place
    I'll walk straight down
    As far as I can go

My shoes are wet and soaked with creosote and my hands are ice-cold this morning. Butterfield and I ran the tracks until I couldn't see my neighborhood anymore and didn't really know where we were but I knew I could turn at any time and just follow the line back the way I came.

There are giant standing pools of filthy winter water where the snow used to be, within which rests litter of eight months of indoor weather and outdoor helplessness. Somewhere is even the wrapper from a granola bar I ate in a hurry one day as I tried to multi-task on a walk and then I realized when I was halfway back that I must have dropped the wrapper when I pulled my mittens out of my pockets. It was simply too cold to go back. My penance will always be picking up water bottles and coffee cups from in front of my house. People park up and down my street on football game days and they're a messy beerish lot. I pick up after them quite a bit.

I've brought the windchimes and the angel statue out of winter storage. They're by the back door along with all the lawn chairs and patio lights, ready to go out the minute the snow goes. Then I'd like to sweep the little pebbles off the big flat rocks and rake the grass up well so it grows, lush and green and then maybe I'll excavate a little in the front since we have worn a path cutting through the front yard from the side for as long as we've lived here to go to school. May as well give up on grass in front and do a path and some bark and maybe a few low flowering shrubs, hardy ones to get through the winter. I failed to protect the junipers this winter, having been left by Jacob mere days before I was to head out with burlap and stakes and it just never got done but the bushes look okay so far.

The steps need to be fixed, I want to paint the front door, maybe later this week, and I need to paint one of the kitchen doors too because I forgot and just noticed it today.

While all that goes on I'll begin washing and putting away winter things, we're now in lighter cold weather gear. The hats and big heavy mitts can go. Ruth's boots that hurt her legs because they are stiff and new, my hikers, barely broken in.

I'm going to put winter away. A time a year for me that speaks of promise and warmer nights and days I can think without it hurting so much.

And last night Ben came home and kissed me hard and lingered so long, when I finally pulled away and stared at him, he grinned. I asked him what was so funny and he said it wasn't funny but it was amazing. The whole way home, he said he held his breath, to give to me. It wasn't literal but I knew what he meant and I love it all the same.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Private Benjamin.

(By request, an esoteric explanation.)

We're alright. Really. Sometimes downhill is an abrupt direction, don't you think?

Ben did indeed come home about a half an hour after I talked with Daniel. He brought me flowers (!) and painfully-found apologies, proving to not do so well after all when faced with the spectacular freakouts and ultimatums I put forth as hallmarks of whatever personality I have left.

The lesson we learned? We can't walk away from each other if we're going to do this properly.

It's a hard one at that. He's as vulnerable as I am, he's lost more than I have over the past two years and we both know by far that we're bringing far less than we both have to give to the table, showing each other our worst sides, almost daring the other to give up first but no one's giving up. I waited and got my act together and he went off and took some deep breaths and came back ready to work through it or at least figure out how to weather it. Facing his fears even though they're the scariest thing in the world to Ben.

Last night he rode the darkest hours holding me tight in his arms, his chin painfully pushed down onto my head, his fingers digging into my skin for purchase from his nightmares and this morning I had some more surprises.

He went running with me. He didn't hate it! We came home out of breath and covered with mud but it felt so good you have no idea.

And then he delivered his ultimatum.

This time I was ready for it. I could meet his eyes and I didn't flinch or anything.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Little brothers as go-betweens.

Bridget, he wants me to tell you that this isn't a dealbreaker. You have to understand-he was upset. He comes home to find you hysterical and there's ashes all over the kitchen and he didn't know what was going on. He flipped out. He does that, you know this. But he wants you to know that he'll be home at dinner time.

That's in fifteen minutes, Dan.


Oh my God, he wants you to soften me up or see how receptive I am?

Oh, probably.

Where's the box?

Sam has it.

Why didn't Sam let me know?

He left it up to Ben.

And Ben dumped it on you.

Look, Bee, I'm just helping out. He loves you.

Right. Everyone loves me, no one can take it.

It's not like that.

It's exactly like that, Danny.

Do you love him, Bridge?

Yes. But there has to be room for those setbacks he was so 'healthy' about.

And ashes-all-over-the-room doubts?


I'll let him know, then. And I want to hear all about the make-up sex.

No, he's your brother. That's disgusting.

I imagine sex with Ben is disgusting.

Not a chance.

Love you.

Me too, Dan. Tell him to come home. The kitchen's in much better shape and so is the girl.

K, will do.

And thank you.


On leaving well enough alone

Here, please, learn from my mistakes. You probably would do better anyway. Give me a choice and I'll make the wrong decision every time.

Fight #34573623845358359348734 was probably the dealbreaker.

For the record, as of this morning I don't have the ring, hell, I don't even have the box. I don't have Ben and I don't have a plan. You can blame him, maybe. As Sam stood there last night trying to tell Ben it was normal and Ben screamed at him that Bridget wasn't fucking normal and never would be and he couldn't take it anymore. He couldn't stand by and watch me get hurt anymore by Jacob.

Ironic, that. This from the guy who saw almost everything Cole did to me and never said a goddamned word.

And whether he took the box with him to prevent any further accidents or just to make sure I couldn't get my ring back, I don't know.

I only left him one message and that was to remind him that he pinky-swore that he would never leave and that he promised to have the patience of a thousand men, that he would do whatever it took, even though I warned him.

Everyone warned him and then encouraged him when he said he could handle it. That he somehow thought he could handle Bridget, with death under her belt and a tenuous grasp of reality as it was.

I warned him, I told him not to fall for me, not to get mixed up with me, that I was fucked up and nothing would ever be better than the occasional short stretch of happiness and otherwise life would suck.

He didn't believe me. Said he didn't care.

I bet he does now.

How am I, you ask? I'm marginally pissed off. I couldn't get this right if I tried. I goofed. I wanted to do the right thing and put the ring away permanently and failed epically, to the point that I'm sure Jacob is still on the kitchen floor to some extent though Sam said he looked after everything. Sam told me just to have patience with Ben and that he wanted to talk to him a little more but we always seem to come out swinging anyway.

But I don't blame Ben. How could I?

It's fine, everything's fine. It appears to have been an emergency only to me.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Oh, I've fucking done it now.

The guys are at Nolan's, all of them, playing with their motorcycles, barbecuing dinner. The kids are in bed and I decided I wanted my ring back.

There's two little screws holding the box together and my hands are too jittery and the whole thing dumped out on the kitchen table. Jacob is dumped out on the kitchen table, which is too much for my head and I may implode here any minute. I had to come out and shut the doors and leave him there. On the table. He's on the table and I can't touch my ring, I can't even go into the room.

On. the. table. Oh god. I've messed up.

I called Sam but he's at church, not answering his phone at the end of the evening service and I'm just about too embarrassed and panicked to call anyone else so yes, googling the best way to ah, Christ, get the ashes back into the box is not the way you want to spend your night especially when you know you can't even touch them. I can't bring myself to and I don't know what to do. Jacob would know what to do. But I didn't ask the table because the table won't talk to me. The table gave me up. I briefly thought I would get the vacuum but oh my God, no.

Freaking out. My God, why didn't I just not wake up today?

I can't call Ben. That would be dumb. I don't know how he would understand. I think he was relieved when I left this morning because he knew I wouldn't be wearing my ring anymore, how am I supposed to tell him I wasn't up for it after all? Better yet, how am I supposed to ask him for help in getting Jacob's ashes from the table back into the box?

I'd laugh but this is not funny. It should be but it isn't. And I thought I was strong but I'm not.
This morning, I went to Sam, the bluebird box clutched in my hands.

With his help we broke the seal and I slipped my wedding ring off my finger and put it inside. Sam resealed the box for me and then gave me a hug and said a few words that would have been comfort had I been able to feel anything with my ring removed.

I wasn't ready for this. I should have left it on.

He asked me to stay for morning services but I took the box from him and fled.

Saturday, 5 April 2008

A life in words (Bridget is rambling, please ignore).

Ben is not forthcoming with his writing. He's encouraging but he won't share. He never shares until the public gets to devour it first. I let everyone I know have first dibs. Even though it's two different things altogether, the process is still the same. Be inspired, fulfill the steps, be happy with finished, working product.

Like two mechanics side by side, each working on the same set of identical brake shoes, he'll offer up help or advice or stimulation but never once tell me how his is going, or show me his already-long-finished wheel. He's moved on to the exhaust and I am still struggling to get the shoes bolted on properly.

Yes, that's my complete and succinct knowledge of car repair from years of sitting in cold garages polishing chrome with the Never-dull can beside me while the guys put cars back together. Wait, I can refill oil and washer fluid and I know how to jump start a car. I can't be the pusher but I can drop a clutch.

I'm so happy the days of cars that we couldn't afford to fix are behind us, for the moment.

Though that doesn't stop the tinkerers and I was left to my own devices today because bike season is just around the corner so I will not see many of the guys on the nicest days, they'll be out on the Open Road which is where you go on bikes, and Sam will be back entrenched in the fray and Ben will be the daredevil but maybe that will be interesting, for he says he feels less inclined to break his neck trying fruitlessly to impress me now.

Ah. Isn't this where you begin the rapid descent into being comfortable not brushing your teeth before bed? I hope not. I like holding out on him and doing my very best to have brushed hair and a cute outfit on and be conversational.

It beats the wrapped-in-a-sweater, hostile, brittle writer-girl who only comes out of her turret for food and sex.

Or maybe it doesn't. I'll have to ask Ben.

I'm having a very hard time with said third novel and I only took the gig because it meant a payday down the road and I'm not one to burn career bridges because I find life as a writer tenuous at best. My style is hard to swallow, but easy to read. I take people to uncomfortable places and sometimes, on weeks like this, my heart isn't in it.

When Jacob and I got together I had just come off finishing up the second book. I was down to easy editing and a few changes and then I wrote a bunch of short stories and sold a few things and dabbled in some other stuff and put forth a lot of effort into Bridget. This. Saltwater Princess, the journal, giving it attention I hadn't before and it surprised me, never having written as myself or for myself, never having given any sort of voice or importance to a female character of any regard.

I have voiced many audible doubts over the past week that there is even a third book inside me at all, or maybe I'm just tilting at windmills. I began with a female protagonist. Only she's me, Bridget. But she isn't. But she is. Try telling her she's not and she clams up and marches off. I'm getting nowhere fast. I tried to let go a little and give her some growing space and she held up a mirror.

I feared this would happen, I really did. Writing is an incredibly personal experience, your characters wear your blood on the outside, it's almost painful. We'll tell you they are inventions and we lie when we do it.

Ben suggested I just keep plugging away doggedly. Keep working at it, eventually it'll fall into a rhythm and I'll return to the cold-turret girl that I am, when I can't even pry my head out of the story long enough to make dinner and we order in for weeks on end. When it's on my mind night and day and I'm preoccupied and miserable with glee over how I can make these people do whatever I want instead of waiting for fate. I am God in my novels.

What I'd like to do instead, is turn Saltwater Princess into a book. Maybe the general entries, weed out the useless ones, maybe add in some essays from my handwritten unpublished journal that lives under my bed. Maybe spruce it up a little so it makes more sense, replacing every place I called Cole by his nickname, Trey Anastasio, maybe replacing some of the harder parts or the drunken parts with better explanations and clearer intent.

Maybe take this down and make you buy the books. How evil.

In a perfect world, that's how this would end, a perfect set of volumes maybe categorized by year, because there is far too much for one lousy paperback here. This is a life you're talking about here, not a year in Provence. I would have to start with pre-2006 and then lump in 2006 and most of 2007 and then hold out for a while and see how 2008 and beyond pans out. Maybe there would be a comeback bestseller years from now to bring everyone up to speed on how the princess (hopefully) gets her happily ever after. I don't even know because it's autobiographical and I'm only thirty-six years old. No one is that egotistical as to publish their entire life story before middle-age, are they?

I'm not. Be grateful. All of you would get angry and boycott having to purchase a book after reading the daily segments for free, at your convenience. I know. I would, too.

I'd hate to see it end. I've grown fond of public-me. I didn't hate her as I feared I might several times. Nothing is a mirror like black words on a white screen. Nothing says accountability like real names and real events and real violence and really bad decisions. I got comfortable writing under some guy's name that doesn't stand out but you think he's a creep because only such horrors would come from the mind of a monster when in reality it's a somewhat fragile young blonde mother who has known a few monsters but otherwise has a weird tactile addiction to affection, bobby pins, Mexican food and being scared to death.

Only maybe not to death, because death is final. And I know I have more words in me, and more stories and more to show to you, but those words are about me, and maybe there's a reason for that, just like there's a reason for everything, even death.

I know you're disappointed, you expected this post to be about a lapdance and an epic one at that. No worries, it's still in the queue, I just needed to unload a whole jumble of professional self-doubt first. Sorry about that.

Wait, no I'm not. I'm not sorry. It is what it is-just me again, breezing through with another litany of fears and hesitation while Ben ignores my pleas to let me in just a little, to see his madness so it would make my own that much less glaring.

Friday, 4 April 2008

Outrunning the cortisol.

I'm typing today from the outer edge of wakefulness, where I hang by my fingertips, thanks to a heaping dose of Nyquil last night and the sleep of a thousand princess-comas. I daresay a freight train named Ben could have barreled through the bedroom and I wouldn't have opened one very heavy eyelid.

It's almost three in the afternoon and I really have no recollection of buying groceries this morning or of waking up at all. I don't recall picking out this outfit, and I swear someone else is keeping this house clean, though I do remember watering the plants because I did that like, twenty minutes ago.

I'm making banana bread now because it makes me feel productive. I'm doing little else, at this point but waiting out the hour until the kids are finished school for the week. It's snowing out and that's making me cry, and I should be cleaning a little more but really, the dust can wait a bit. I'll get it next week. I really don't even care right now.

I asked Ben what he wanted to do this weekend and he said he'd really like to have a lapdance because he's heard about them and read about them but he's never actually had one.

From me, he meant.

I was all for it up until he said that. Now I just wonder how I'll rate. I mean, some of the ones he had before were from professionals (at a strip club). As in, they get paid to do that. And the customer isn't allowed to touch them, either.

Sounds dull.

And if that's the case, I will totally come out ahead.

Pun intended? Maybe. I'll let you know tomorrow, when I'm actually awake instead of just pretending.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures.

This morning I went somewhere new.

Ben took me to see someone he knew of, he cashed in a favor the likes of which he'll never see again, it was worth that much and he offered me a simple sort of help that feels promising. Not a therapist, but someone who takes all the standard therapeutic platitudes and boils them down into a simpler stew from which you can find your nourishment. An approach that is about as natural as it gets and the one used to get Ben to stop drinking, after a year of him trying virtually everything else.

And as private as Ben has been about his recovery, this was a very generous thing he did in taking me to maybe see if it might work for me. I left feeling drained and I have a headache now but inside I have those quietly excitedly-jumpy feelings you only get when you're afraid something might be too good to be true. If it works I'll eat my own leg.

So for now, I'm not going to say any more about it. I go back in a week and then the week after that. Ben made me pinky-swear promise that I would give it two whole months before I started complaining, and that I would try really hard to get to the spot where I am happy in my own skin but otherwise he won't be going again with me and he won't talk about it with me any more than he talks about his own sessions with me (he doesn't) and so we can run parallel, intertwined races that have no finish line but, as he said earlier, the view gets nicer the longer you run.

I'm also not going to say much more about the parallels of life with Ben from life with Cole and how things are always what they seem. Ben going back to being an artist is simply a way for him to not dread going to work, to have more money and more fun and less responsibility and as he says, the grass was definitely greener on the other side. And then he laughed maniacally like the freak that he is. He isn't stupid, and he readily points out that he's always been jealous of Cole and what the fuck is the difference if he was, because he's not any more. But he stops short of saying he has everything because that's when the curse begins.

Oh, and I asked PJ what he wanted in return for showing up to babysit at six in the morning because he is the best friend ever, he told me just to post a picture of the damned tattoo already because it makes no sense to talk about something (here, here, and drunkenly here)when no one knows what it looks like.

(*poof* since I never leave certain photos up for long, sorry.)

He already got his payment besides, he ate all of the eggs I had in the fridge. I believe there were eleven. He'll be sick the rest of the day. He's a curse unto himself, that one.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Change is good but consistency is better.

Things are better today. I woke up smiling.

Oh, please, you're all as perverted as Benjamin, aren't you? Okay, fine, I woke up smiling for two reasons then. Somehow it was relief to hear from more objective sources that a few rung drops on life's ladder aren't the end of the world.

If you've emailed with an I told you so, I'm not venturing into emails today. Bawk, bawk and all that. Don't tell me you told me so, I know. But overall I'm still standing firm that I do better when I ignore it all rather than focus on it. Short term gain, long term pain. Why is it easier? I don't know. Someday I will know and I'll tell you.

What I haven't told you is a long list at this point. There is so much on my mind today. I never ever told you about Cole much, really. I've never told you about the Movie Star. I've never told you about my all-time favorite blog. I've never told you that in the past few years my friends have gone through things in their own lives and I didn't share it only to give them the privacy they needed and they feel as if they are given too much credit here without me ever telling you what I did for them. I never told you my plans for this journal or for life after death. Life from here on out.

I've never told you things that would probably make a difference in how you see me. I barged in here one day in 2006 and just decided to stop writing bullshit like I did for the first two years and start to tell you how I feel and it works and it resonates and by gosh, it HELPS me and yet you don't even know me and if you did you would love me and since you don't you hate me sort of and you sort of care and maybe you just read to kill the time and maybe you read because you need help, I don't really know and I could have had a private blog but if two people out of thousands feel better about their own lives than who's to say it isn't worth it? So maybe I do write for you as much as I write for the princess.

Kind of like the time someone stole Ruth's umbrella stroller and I was eight months pregnant with Henry and I wound up carrying her seven blocks back to the car in the pouring rain after a doctor's appointment. I wasn't angry or disappointed, I was glad. I felt as if someone needed a stroller that badly that they would steal it then I was happy it was there for them to take.

Yes, I'm strange like that.

But maybe I'm also just like you.

In news closer to reality Ben is home today. Ben is actually taking a leap of faith today. He's going back to work for the little company that could, he'll be going back to making art. Said company has been asking him back ever since they lost Cole, and then when Loch jumped ship the offer doubled and Ben has decided that before he turns forty (this December. He is sadly not allowed to forget it, and will be the first of our friends to make it to forty which is so incredibly poignant) he wants to do all kinds of things and one of those was to be happier in his day job. It's funny too, he left the company originally because Cole and Loch got all the best gigs. He'll be coming back into Cole's position. Life makes me laugh.

And so he has a few days to breathe before going back to a familiar haunt and in the meantime he took me to the new bookstore and he's such a calming, happy influence to be around. He would prefer to be all hardcore and coolly standoffish about it but really he's happy I didn't leave him out once again and he's secretly happy he makes me so happy and he's really happy to have gotten almost all of his own shit together at last in the meantime so we can be here for each other instead of me always being here for him and him always being shielded from me when I need something.

So, yeah, it's a good day. Just quietly good. The best.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Co-morbid princess chainsaw massacre.

I keep trying to edit this down. I'm having no luck.

Emotional setback. Compounded by personality disorders a through c. Coupled with denial in heaping spoonfuls and a failure to exist as a zombie in the world of the living. I'm one hundred percent convinced that that's what they put on my chart this morning. Oh, and runs with chainsaw, because scissors just aren't destructive enough.

They don't know what to do, no one does, because there's no one else like me. Humans with spirits this broken usually don't survive long enough to get help or keep going.

I am still here (whispered quietly and with determination).

But really, other than the massive denial and running around unmedicated and untherapied they all think I'm doing 'well' to still function like a human being at all. Naturally I could do a whole lot better if I went back to life where I was a walking fog who went to therapy five times a week so that I could spend one hundred percent of my days focused on pain and not even be able to look after my own children. Instead I face this...unpredictability. Never knowing when the other shoe will drop. Never ever getting back to one hundred percent of anything, because there was never a hundred percent to begin with.

So what's the point?

The point, in this case, is sharp and it draws blood and I am most definitely not allowed to make jokes about it anymore.