Saturday, 31 January 2009

Plus three.

The kids and I are on our own today, since it's a work day and since tomorrow is Boy-Sunday, in which boys who never put down their hockey sticks or guitars or tools actually stop and watch the Superbowl, you know, in case other boys bring it up later in the year. It screams masculine. It screams something about stereotypes too, I dunno, I don't hear very well, PJ.

There, there. It's only one day and then you can go back to sweet, precious hockey. I love hockey. I do not love football.

We've already grocery-shopped, done the house chores, eaten breakfast and lunch and gotten the laundry started. Everyone is clean, the beds are made and the cats are lazing in the sun coming through the living room window, enjoying the view of the melting snow in the backyard.

It's a heat wave. My favorite kind of wave.

I've even oiled my countertops and butcher blocks. Something I swear I'll do once a month but seem to do every three. I talked to my mother on the phone and I stocked up on rockets and skittles because if the groundhog doesn't see his shadow on Monday I think I might throw a party.

And now, if you'll excuse me, in between the marathon of running up and down the stairs doing laundry, since the bedrooms are on the third floor but the washer and dryer are in the basement, I'm going to curl up in the window seat with my new copy of Rolling Stone with a haggard-looking Bruce Springsteen on the cover and eat some of these skittles before they melt in this heat.

Friday, 30 January 2009

Not like me.

To you
I'm all I've left undone
I'm all I haven't won
Lift me up my soul's so hollow
Lift me up

You take
The breath you didn't make
What's left you did forsake
Lift me up my soul's so hollow
Lift me up my soul's so hollow
Here's the point where we grab the wheel and spin it back, undoing the past year and going back to the days where the kids and I are protected (on paper) from Caleb because life is safer that way. Where most people would give one strike, I always seem to give three before I declare someone out. His game is officially over now.

For the past three months Caleb has been threatening me and I didn't tell anyone because I wouldn't and he knew that, thanks to Cole. Years of violence can leave people without the tools they need to scream out loud and because if anyone has ever made good on a threat, it is Caleb. I have seen and experienced firsthand what he is capable of and I don't want to be on the receiving end of it ever again. I went to work for him, I continued to put up with his charming malevolence and his depravities because I thought he was capable of taking Ben away from me and I don't ever want to be faced with that. My physical safety was irrelevant compared to that. My safety is always irrelevant. Play with her until she stops moving, that's Caleb's tried and true business model. It's his way.

I'll admit as well that in a sick and twisted fashion (because that is how we roll) I was also attracted to Caleb. He's handsome, rich, powerful and dangerous. He reminds me of Cole and no one will ever understand how hard it is to let go of that.

No one, except maybe Ben. But Ben isn't given to fixing things, he isn't given to picking up where Jacob left off, he isn't given to dictating my actions because he doesn't feel that has any place in the relationship we have forged.

Until yesterday, that is.

I didn't want to go on the trip with Caleb. I think Caleb knew his game was falling apart and he wanted whatever chance he could get to be alone with me. He's a very lonely person and I think he thought I was going to fill the space within, but he doesn't know how to make that happen because you can't buy that. He tried. He saw something pretty and sparkly in the window and he had to have it. Even Cole knew, for Cole spent a lot of our life together keeping his brother away from me.

I'm ashamed to say how much alike we are.

Ben didn't want me to go either and yet the others pushed on, because we don't make good decisions, because we're both so messed up. They think routine is terrific. Bridget being busy is such practical therapy. Caleb was behaving, right? All seemed well. They let their own logic override plain good sense (did I say Caleb charmed only me?), but we found it and dusted it off and to our surprise, good sense can still prevail.

When I was zipping up my travel case and it wouldn't zip and I started to cry because I was so afraid, Ben said enough.

Enough of this goddamn game, Bridget. What in the hell are you doing?

Keeping you safe from him.


He said he would hurt you if I didn't stay close to him.

He can't hurt me, princess. He's got nothing.

He told me he knew things.

I've been around long enough to know not to tell people like him anything I wouldn't want everyone to know. You think I wanted you to be with him? I thought I was making things as easy as I could for you. It killed me when you were with him.

I just stared at him. What in the fuck have I been torturing myself for? Oh, right. My memories.

(This is why making her own decisions is bad, bad, bad news for Bridget. Now do you see? Now do you understand why she shouldn't be in charge of any damn thing past choosing breakfast? Good. Just so we're clear. Bad, bad news, baby.)

Yesterday Ben took me by the hand and we went to court and we reinstated the order of protection and we notified the school and we sat down with our friends and told them and we did all the things we needed to do to ensure that Caleb can't get back into my head or my heart. I am safe. I don't work for Satan any more and I don't need him to enhance the memories of Cole that I keep in my heart.

No more secrets, Bridget. I'm not as fragile as you are.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

It will do for now.

Improper use (or threat of improper use) of authority, economic power, physical force, or other such advantage, by a party to compel another to submit to the wishes of its wielder. Agreements entered into, or testaments signed, under coercion are considered illegal and invalid. See also duress and undue influence.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Olives and outrage, both absent.

And you're right to love him
And you're right to want to
Close the door and lock me in
Break the key and chase the blood out of my veins

Streaming down the side streets,
Where the city ends
And the dead ends meet
Bite your lip and smile
I have many holes to fill
And I'll find them all

She holds them in her hand
But when she lets go she knows
It's the last time that she ever will again
In an effort to prove he is not the bad guy, and as part of his stipulations in my job description, Caleb has decided I absolutely must accompany him on his trip this weekend. It isn't far, just Toronto for two nights, but he's on a mission to unpaint himself as Satan, and in light of last weekend, I wish him luck with that.

We leave tomorrow evening, and will return Saturday afternoon or evening, and I will get a chance to shop in stores that we don't have here, and he'll get a chance to show off his charm when he takes me to the fundraising ball. He said I'll get a chance to play princess and it's been a while, and I pointed out I'll have no one to turn to when he turns into a monster out of fighting range from my boys, who pretty conveniently forgot this aspect of Caleb's ability to play dirty and what's wrapped up in a pretty bow as 'Bridget gets a shopping trip away and might have to coordinate a dinner or take notes at a meeting on the side' is really just another insidious opportunity for Caleb to have his favorite completely unrestricted access to me.

For those who worry about my children being home alone with Ben (and Daniel, bless him) for two nights, don't. They will be fine. They love their stepdad and their uncle very incredibly much and it means Ben stays home because he is unequivocably needed. I wish I had the same power over him that my children do.

For those who worry about me, stop pulling my leg. You don't exist. No one worries about me. Not anymore.

Someone really needs to take these garlic-stuffed olives away from Bridget.

That is all.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Imaginary vacations.

I suck at emailing. Text message me or ICQ and I'm there, perpetually available. So if you left me a recommendation for something to try related to this post, you're in luck, I have an update.

Because I know I leave things dangling too and you're never really sure what's going on and then I drop it altogether. I'm an annoying blogger, I think. I could probably help it but then I'd have to round it out by telling you things I don't think I should be telling you. But then you know what's going on and then I'll get shut down and let's just..well, let's play nicely and see where we get. I will try to be better at email.

Oh, look, there go the pigs again. They look so pretty against the blue.

The update is, it isn't just dry. It's eczema. Something I have fought with since I was a little kid and something that only surfaces in times of stress. So the solution? Try to keep the stress to a minimum.

I'll wait while you laugh.

So I'm covered with a lovely case of eczema, which is fine if I just let myself itch to death and I don't touch it. And my fingertips, especially my thumbs cracked open so the physical pain returns with a vengeance and if I ever had an inkling that my entire body was going to revolt against the issues faced by my mind I think I would....

Be right where I am right now, obviously. Battling stress, both real and nonexistent, which is my very favorite kind of stress. You know, spill some milk, fall apart. Be oddly removed and distant from actual stress but find the perceived and potential small stresses completely overwhelming.

Oh, what's that? You didn't want that kind of update and were looking for better news about what's going on with everything else?

Me too.

Here, I saved you a place in line. Let's listen to some vintage Motorhead while we wait.
Stricken dumb, cut and run, someone is screaming and the sky is dark

Monday, 26 January 2009

All dressed up and no place to go.

Hypnotize the desperate
Slow motion light
Wash away into the rain
Blood, milk and sky
Hollow moons illuminate
And beauty never dies
The best thing about the internet today. (<--x games goodness on youtube)

The music today is White Zombie, a pace set in the car when Mike turned before pulling away from the curb in front of my house and asked me if I had any preference today. He called me Ms. C____ and I corrected him, again, still pissed at Caleb's insistence on using my maiden name or his last name instead of the other two. I know it's confusing for you but it isn't confusing for him, he just likes to claim me as his or revert me back to pre-Cole.

I'm at work now, at my beautiful little desk pretending to work on revised trip plans since Caleb didn't go away over the Christmas holidays and has decided he still wants a break. It gets cold up here for hell, you know. In reality I am writing and messaging a blue streak with Lochlan, who is really thrilled that I'm not quitting which is interesting because I was PRETTY SURE I DID but the collective powers that be have decided that not only is it very healthy for me to have a routine but it's also incredibly unhealthy and against all of the rules for Ben and I to be home alone all day together isolating ourselves from the world.

So Lochlan cashed in his chips and aligned with Satan finally, who was able to exact undue influence and just to show how serious this is, they made sure to squeeze Ben just hard enough to bump him off the wagon and he promptly climbed back on and raised his finger at them in a glorious Fuck You gesture but for the sake of all that is good and holy, I'm totally trapped in this nightmare of big insolent brothers who would much prefer to leave me dangling out in harm's way lest anyone pull anything over their eyes ever again. I have to stay or they hurt Ben.

Thanks, Cole. This is all your fault.

That said, do you think Caleb would be pissed if I booked him tickets to Novosibirsk instead of the BVIs? I'm considering it.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Twenty-four hour reprieve.

Around lunchtime at the farm today, a knock on the door interrupted Grace, and Nolan went to see who was outside. It was a courier with a small box tied with a pink ribbon. For Miss Bridget Lund.

There's only one person in the world who uses my maiden name anymore. I'm on my fourth last name, I doubt anyone else remembers it. My mom, maybe.

In the box was the Blackberry Bold I had reluctantly returned to Caleb. And a notecard that said simply,

See you tomorrow, princess.

Friday, 23 January 2009

On not getting out in time.

False start.

We're actually leaving in a few hours for the farm. We'll do a bedtime run so that the kids can sleep in the truck the whole way. Now that Caleb has left, now that Ben is okay again. You know, the usual. I wasn't going to drive in the blizzard, by myself with the kids last night. I much prefer to sit and not pass unspoken judgement and listen as Ben drives and tries all kinds of different angles, first for indignation, then justification, then for forgiveness. As if saying a certain number of words changes a thing.

Does it?

Would it, I mean?

It's not up to me to justify or forgive. It's not up to me to be angry with him just like it's not up to him to be angry with me for trying to sidle out of a decision that was reached on my behalf so that all interested parties would retain their unrestricted access to me and the rest would be absolved as long as that access was maintained. I wasn't aware of such an agreement and thought I might have a say in whether or not I keep my job. The 'job' description so loosely defined at this point I'm just about ashamed of myself, and I haven't done anything that wasn't (isn't) fully sanctioned.

The only thing I was aware of was that everything was beginning to fall apart and I was trying to head that off.

So I don't know what I've done but it's gotten very complicated and so I'm glad we're going away. We can sort it all out with the horses and the snowmobiles and some pond hockey and be all Kinkade-Christmas-card about it and if we can make it pretty enough maybe it will taste better.

Or maybe it will poison us for good.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Leaving well enough alone.

I'm taking a half-dozen of my slednecks and the two wee ones and we're going to the farm for the weekend. Daniel is going to stay in the house and oversee the menagerie and on Monday I will be back. It's been a long week. Too long, maybe, and it's the danger time of year. You thought that would be November? Fuck you, February came pre-programmed. I HATE February with the passion of a thousand vestal virgins confronting a ship full of recently released gladiators. Yes, THAT much.

Wait, I'm not even sure that makes any sense. I don't care, my head hurts.

Here's to rested adults and children and calming influences. Here's to a quiet few days with nothing but fire and snow. Here's to learning something new.

Here's to quitting my job, effective at noon today. I'm such a chicken. I waited until I knew Caleb would be gone for a lunch meeting and I put my letter of resignation on his desk. Along with that pretty brand-new Blackberry Bold.

It's okay, this is a good thing.

(Except for giving back that phone...I really liked the phone.)

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Mother****ing GPS.

When push comes to shove, and shove isn't happy, she goes to her new hideout. An out of the way theater high above street level where they show subtitled foreign films twenty-four hours a day. It smells like spilled martinis and burned coffee but it's warm and the old Italian couple who run it are friendly and the seats are so comfortable you can fall asleep sitting up. Which is what I did. This morning. Because when you can't run then you must hide.

Next time you hide you might want to leave the Blackberry Bold at home so that your boss won't find you so easily and show up beside your seat. And then join you for the remainder of the film that you didn't care for in the first place or you wouldn't have fallen asleep, now, would you?

For the record, I was not watching Tokyo Gore Police. I did not get fired, either.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Why I never listen to the radio.

This is my life
Its not what it was before
All these feelings I've shared
And these are my dreams
That I'd never lived before
Somebody shake me
Cause I must be sleeping

Now that we're here,
It's so far away
All the struggle we thought was in vain
All the mistakes one life contained
They all finally start to go away
If you could understand how incredibly exposed I feel most of the time, wide-open to the thoughtless comments, unintended love songs and unpredictable memories that most people would not give a second thought to, you might see me differently.

In other words, look left. I got a whole playlist up, which will change as often as the weather. This should get about two hundred of you off my back. Finally. I only wish I was kidding.

Now, congratulations to all you American readers. It looks like you finally have the change you've waited so patiently for. Could you please stop hosing my internet now? Thank you. See you tomorrow.

Monday, 19 January 2009

This is actually less about the computer than I am about to lead you to believe.

You see
The things I cannot change
The things that make me plain
Lift me up my soul's so hollow
Lift me up
In site news, if you are rightside up and navigate toward the left side of your screen, there's a new widget there that will feature whatever song is embedded in my skull presently. When said song leaves my head I will update with whatever replaces it. If and when I figure out how to present an entire Bridget-playlist (you know you want the lap dance list) I'll let you know.

Might be a while. For a prime example of how technologically impaired I can be, please feast your eyes on these words of mine typed on a a brand new Aspire notebook, because it only took me sixteen months to murder the Presario I had previously. I used it too much and burned it right out by leaving it on twenty-four hours a day.


Luckily there was a knight nearby and he rode in on his horse and swept me right off my feet, to Futureshop, where he presented a gift to me, a new box full of beautiful new squee-rrific (Hmmmmm, that word contains both queer and queef. FASCINATING.) laptop. And said princess swooned and kissed the knight and dammit if they didn't go back to the castle post-haste and set up the new technology and the tears of the princess dried and all was well in the kingdom once again.

I am not all that high maintenance most of the time, and while Ben is not prone to indulging in princess-complexes and much prefers that I just deal with it and oh my God please don't cry and anything else he can do to pretend there is no crisis, he's awfully good at being the knight in shining armor, don't you agree?

I thought you might. Because I can be shallow and he can be sweet, even though neither one of us would ordinarily cop to such pedestrian labels.

And so this morning I ran down past the river in the newly melting snow and warmer temperatures to clean the snow off the benches and visit with the ghosts of laptops past. I sat down for a minute to say hello, because sometimes that's what I do, and then to my surprise hello didn't come out of my mouth. Instead it was something else entirely, something I didn't really understand until much later this morning. I said two words to them, and two words only, and then I turned around and ran home.

He's perfect.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Embedded footnotes and a whole bunch of proof that I do listen to PJ's suggestions.

Today's favorite quote: Creepy: Weird with romantic intent.

Today's music includes but is not limited to Chevelle, Trapt, Rev Theory, Deepfield, Crossfade and Allele. More Submersed. Feel better now, PJ?

Today's menu includes hot applesauce and crumpets for breakfast, grilled cheese and fruit salad for lunch and homemade vegetarian pizza and salad for dinner with generous handfuls of pistachios in between.

Today's activities include but will not be limited to sleigh ride sermons, long honest talks, playing in the snow in the backyard, baking brownies, watching movies on Ben (the movies will not be played on Ben because I don't do human projection. I will lie on him and watch them because he is comfortable) and surfing new skate prices because Henry is growing by the day, possibly by the hour and any tattoo budget I had allotted for the spring will now be re-allocated for a entire new wardrobe for this gigantic kid. The huncles* have proclaimed that Henry will be as big as they are soon enough. I find that funny, seeing as how Cole was under 5'11". My children belong to all of them too.

*Today's new word is HUNCLES. Since I get tired of writing honorary uncles, and if I just use uncles, everyone assumes I have over a dozen brothers and I actually don't have any. The boys, my friends, all serve as uncles for the kids because they've always gone above and beyond, filling in as babysitter, friend, dad, uncle, brother, whatever we've ever needed, so huncles it is. (Maybe hunkles would be even better.)


Today's mindset is silly, as you can plainly see. A hell of a far cry from yesterday. Thank goodness. I may change my mind after I meet with Sam, so that's why I'm posting before lunch!

Byes for now.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Aptly Named.

I can love you I can love you, I can love you a lot,
I can love you, I can love you, I can love you a lot,

I'm here and I wonder if I'm lost
because I can't seem to understand the way I feel.
I'm not here to be a creep.
I'm just feeling incomplete.
Take me home.
There are worse things than having the Crush (or Submersed, for that matter) lodged in one's head.

The purpose of the bridge is to build the tension leading up to the climax of the song or to lead a song to its conclusion.

There are worse things than that girl with the cake fetish at the market holding the strawberry profiteroles, that one who held on to them too long with no intentions of ever eating them again and finally was persuaded to put them down even though she was thinking because in the real world it doesn't take three hours to pick up some things for the coming week.

It doesn't overwhelm others to have a few things go wrong. Drop a glass, break a key, forget some paperwork, drive in snow. It doesn't occur to them that 'personal assistant' means nothing of the kind and maybe personal doll would be a better job description. It doesn't occur to any of them that when life goes on after they break their key and get a new one that hopefully it will be the last bad thing that happens for a while because they have no concept of what it means to take years to find your way back to a place where the little things don't cause you to have a total breakdown at six in the morning on a snowy Saturday.

It was the perfect, sheltered chance for some self-rescue. I grabbed the H CD (long story but I made a whole pile of mixtapes for the car, with songs from each letter of the alphab-nevermind, that would only appeal to the music geeks, and according to PJ I am not hardcore enough for any of them to read here) and we set off, listening to Hollow and by the time we got to Home, I had checked off a whole bunch of things on a list that didn't even exist three days ago and I was secretly planning a reward or two in my head and soon enough I was pulling up in front of my house and Hell had just started playing.

I think my stereo is trying to tell me something.

Somewhere out there is a wicked thrashing song about broken glass, keys and decapitated dolls that has a simple chorus about learning to calm the fuck down, with an epic bridge. They always have a good bridge. And it's always my favorite part.

Surprise surprise.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Eleven minutes of princess bowling.

And if you could make up
For every single time you lied
I'd probably whisper this
Hello, Goodbye
And so it begins again
Harder each and every time
I start to reminisce
I never seem to ever find

Someone I can trust
Someone I believe
Someone who will never try
To bring me to my knees
Someday I will find again
Someone just like me
Someone who will take the time
In understanding me
That was all there was time for, consensus being that it was too damned cold for any fun outside today. If I sit down on the ice and hug my knees to my chest, Ben will give me a mighty shove and drill me right into the guys on the other side of the river. If he knocks someone over with me he gets 500 points. If I bounce off he loses 500 points. It's an ongoing, multi-year thing and we have lost track of the scores.

You think that's strange, you should see how fast Ben can whip Daniel across the ice, since he's not afraid to actually use his strength with Dan. The children have even gotten good runs by sitting down and holding on to the end of Ben's goalie stick while he skates in a wide arc and then they let go and glide for hundreds of feet if the ice has been swept. It's like curling with children instead of stones.

We didn't knock anyone down today (if you call that 'standing', Schuyler) and the kids didn't miss any fun by being in school because like I said, it's too cold. It should be warmer this weekend. Perhaps we will try again.

There will always be second chances. And sometimes, if we're lucky, thirds.

(PS The only actual rule in place for Ice People Bowling is that it must be followed by a leisurely hot lunch somewhere nice. No one would dare break that one. No one ever has, anyway.)

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Calm down, now shut up.

Not much to say
No alibi
For my selfish fear
And my foolish pride
The past few days have been an interesting ride of almost-drama, certain-drama and nearly-missed drama. There is no dearly-missed drama, thank heavens. Lochlan is home, far far away from here, reunited with his daughter after a month apart and now happily ensconced in a city that's just about as cold as this one. Caleb consented to a third day off based on the weather, the difficult week and because he couldn't answer when I asked him what he might possibly need me to do that I didn't take care of already or couldn't take care of on Monday. And Seth left a couple of hours ago, relieved to get on a plane that will take him back home to California where he will live in his bland seasonless sunshi-okay, fine, I'm jealous of that right this moment.

Ben and I are on our own once again and it's nice but a little scary too. The lack of sleep this week coupled with our spectacular, consistent track record means that inevitably, we will find some drama to make.


But for now, it's cold and I have a sunny window seat to lounge on, a fully-charged laptop, a boatload of editing to get done so I can catch up to where I need to be and a huge bowl of red pistachios to eat for lunch.

Bliss, for the moment.

There will be no drama today, because it's one of those days where we are oh so aware that it lurks in the shadows waiting to pounce, and we went around and turned on all the lights today. There are no shadows.

Not today.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Countess von Backwards and her howling wolves.

I'm going to run some numbers for you this morning.

Yesterday was 2 minutes and 9 seconds longer than the day before.

I have had 4 hours of sleep, bringing me to a total of 10 for the week.

The windchill right now is -50 and once again I'm keeping myself and the children home. The school buses are not running, it would be an academic throwaway day for them anyway so we may as well be home and indoors. Even though by 2 pm they will be insane. By 4pm I will be.

Oh, wait. Nevermind.

Lochlan's flight leaves in 35 minutes. Last night he stayed here, since I live closest to the runway and he wanted extra time. I wanted extra time. We won't see each other again until April and so it had to end on good terms at least but it isn't anymore because we can't seem to agree on anything save for the fact that we want to remain close, probably for different reasons, so yeah, I won't attempt to explain it to the world at large.

Seth leaves tomorrow at 12. Hopefully second time is the charm for Ben. Cross your fingers.

My house will hold 4 people once again instead of 6.

I'm up to 17 on my apocalypse list for 2009. I need to get to 100 and then I'll post it. Notice you've never heard about it before, since I've never gotten to 100. It's the list of all the things you want to accomplish before the apocalypse and each year that the apocalypse fails to occur, you must make a new list. Some people call them '100 things to do before I die' lists. Everything has an apocalypse-spin here instead (even the cupcakes). But with regard to the list, PJ was at 100 in less than 15 minutes flat. I believe it's a list of 99 celebrities he wants to sleep with, and me.

Finally, I am 1 cup of coffee short of a full attention span and working on changing that as we speak.

Tomorrow I'll be writing from work because unfortunately the world does not stop for cold snaps. Not like in my universe, anyway. The one with yearly almost-apocalypses, sleepless nights, frozen intentions and revolving doors.

And Sesame Street. Because if you're home and it's early, you may as well catch up on vintage muppet goodness.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Like a yeti. You know they exist but you've probably never seen one.

I've now been banned from writing about Ben's semi-mentalities here.


He would much prefer the world fear him for the monster that he thinks he is. Feel free to roll your eyes with me, okay, here we go, one....two....and roll. He doesn't care if you like him. He would prefer if I didn't talk about him much at all, and frankly the artist formerly known as Tucker Max is as anti-social as one can get these days, with his head down, grinding away at his obligations both professionally and personally, hoping no one notices the effort and just continues to appreciate the man without making things so complicated.

That's my Ben, the big romantic wall of total mush.

In other news, it appears that today is our annual stay-home-because-it's-too-fucking-cold-to-go-outside day, the day in which we let the cabin fever warm our brows and broil our brains, the day where we catch up on lots of housework and odd, long-ignored chores and watch the temperature sit at the bottom of the glass, mercury long drained away, muttering about godforsaken lands and tropical holidays. I talked to Nolan and he said even the horses didn't want to stay outside today, that's how cold it is, I think minus forty-five with the wind and the sun has already come up.

When is spring again?

I'm not complaining though. A surprise day home, some chores I can tick off the list, a nice dinner to cook for tonight (Tandoori chicken and basmati) before heading to the pool for swimming, the entire day riding on the sweet, sweet memories of the early hours of this morning, woken up by the (not) romantic so he could (not) do sweet things to me that I'm (not) supposed to share with the world.

So shhhhhh already.

Stay warm.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Today never happened before.

I wish you'd come and see me
I'd like to hold you
I want to set my mind all free
You understand me woman,
You give me time
But I don't need no sympathy
Still I wonder what it's like to be loved
Instead of hiding in myself
Nobody will change me anyway
I could tell you about the neighborhood river hockey finals, the banquet and then being out at clubs until two in the morning pretending I'm still twenty years old.

I could tell you that Ben and Henry had a pact to win one for their girls, and they did and there is a trophy sitting in my son's bedroom that is taller than he is.

I could write about Ruth's disappointment that her egg yolk "melted" before she had a chance to eat it on Saturday. She expected hard boiled and mom had delivered soft ones, because mother + cooking = mostly fail with the occasional total winner.

Or I could tell you that a year ago today I gave Ben back the engagement ring he gave me, because I didn't want him to feel obligated, I didn't want to rush and while I had feelings for him, I wasn't clear enough on anything to be making any sort of heart-led decisions at the time.

A week later I changed my mind. The fog lifted and I took the biggest risk of my life. I said yes the second time he asked and as difficult as it is being married to the biggest pain in the ass that ever lived, well, Ben says he doesn't regret it for a moment.

Haha. Gotcha.

That day he made a bet with each one of our friends that a year from then, he and I would be together and happily so, and that it would all turn out okay. I'm not sure I shouldn't banish them all for that kind of support, gee, thanks. Are you ever lucky that I didn't hear about this before today.

Because Ben took his winnings to the jewelry store this morning and bought me a ring.

A gigantic diamond ring. A beautiful Canadian diamond because the guys told him that he would never land a real princess with a pretty purple amethyst like the one that served as my engagement ring.

He proved them wrong but I still got a diamond out of the deal. A gorgeous icy-blue sharp and very incredibly heavy diamond ring that makes my head spin.

I would show you a picture or even just link it but then you would come and kill me in my sleep and saw off my finger. Plus I have been expressly forbidden to share a photo because Ben has no intentions of letting the world know that yes, he is indeed the biggest. most sentimental sap that ever lived.

(He would say semi-mental? right about now and make me laugh.)

He would much rather have you think that he rips the heads off of Ruth's barbie dolls with his teeth, draws porn when he isn't smashing guitars, and intentionally played the net yesterday without his helmet on, in front of a rink full of impressionable seven-to-twelve year olds and causing a small altercation with some of the parents, who pointed out the poor impression, all of them completely forgetting that this is the same man who showed up to Henry's kindergarten graduation a few years ago in mascara and a kilt, and habitually lights up cigarettes in the vestibule at the church.

Yes, that's the man who buys his wife pretty, sparkly things. That's my Ben, who knows that negative conditioning is totally the way to go, proving that he knows me best.

I might be wrong of course, I'm just too distracted by the sweetness right now to make any kind of sense whatsoever. Everyone is threatening to take my new ring away tomorrow if I can't get my head on straight by then. And now if you'll excuse, I need to find out what other bets are in play right now, at my expense, and make some money off these jerks.

Or maybe I should just go and get some sleep.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Faded black.

I'm hungry.

When Ben says that he doesn't mean what most people mean.
As if I never said the words
I want, I want you first
Only thing that can quench my thirst
I want you first, I want you first
Friday evening I was standing by the bureau, making notes when the lights went out. He came up behind me, kissed the back of my neck and put my headphones over my ears. With music blasting through my skull I went into instant sensory irony as he muscled me onto the bed, face down. Overloaded and deprived all at once as he pulled my hands up over my head and held them there while he stripped me bare. I was not permitted to help. Not at all.
Striptease for me, baby
Striptease for me, baby
Striptease for me, baby
It was hours later when he reluctantly let me go, ripping the headphones from my ears and standing the empty bottles on the floor. We turned on the light and laughed at each other, for I was now a ghostly, glittery shade of white, sticky and sweet from all the whipped cream and he was smeared with chocolate and streaks of white fingertip prints from where I tried to talk him into letting me make a whipped cream bikini for him.

It was fun. It was cathartic. It was epic make-up dessert sex in high definition.

It was repeated in full last night with the music but without the condiments and without the laughter, because sometimes we are very serious, all-business. That's when Ben slows to a crawl, making me agonize over every breath, every push, every touch. Turning seconds into hours and delighting in seeing precisely how long the goosebumps will remain raised on my flesh and how many times I stop breathing, pinned underneath him, waiting in anticipation of his next move, the night fading into one of those mornings when I wake up upside-down with wild bird's nest hair and aching limbs and he wakes up with a smile, appetite sated for a very short while.

At least the next time he asks me if I want a banana split I'll know up front what I'm really in for.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Itchy and Scratchy.

It's your turn to give me advice. Haven't you been dying to? Just admit it.

Every year I write a post about how poorly my skin stands up to winter and every year I get hundreds of welcomed tips and tricks and hints and products that I should try that work well for my readers. Every year I spend a lot of time and effort researching and then trying most of your suggestions. I do pay attention and there have been some really standout ideas, most notably those folks who recommended urea creams, those who said my hot bath fetish was doing more harm than good, and the lovely kind soul from Colorado who reminded me of paraffin dips for my hands.

Oddly, or maybe because of that, my hands are just about the best part of my body, currently.

I am aware that you came here this morning looking for tales of chocolate syrup and whipped cream and bedsheets that are now going to have to be burned, but that will have to wait, because I am... giant dried-up itch. To the point where Ben said I felt like 400-grit sandpaper last evening as he ran his hands up my ribcage, and to the point where I actually reached down and scratched my ankle right in the middle of intimate things that did not include THAT kind of scratching. I'm crawling and just about about of my mind from the ever-present, all-over itch. Clothes are the Antichrist.

That bad.

One medically-sought suggestion was Benadryl. Have you seen Bridget on Benadryl? It shoots my nerves completely and makes me sickly-drowsy. Several other supposed 'experts' have suggested various brand-new lotions on the market that 'might' work, most of which don't have trial sizes and before I knew it I had a whole collection of bottles of stuff that didn't help, and sometimes hurt. I'm looking at you Oil of Olay Body Quench.

So yes. I am scratching until I bleed these days. All over. But my fingertips are holding. If you'll recall last time this year I could hardly even type. Having to get my hands wet made me cry. Oh, the good old days, indeed.

I need a full-body paraffin bath.

I need help. I need more whipped cream, too. We're all out and I woke up with a stomach ache.

Friday, 9 January 2009

The Revisionaries.

Updates today include the semi-annual knight-shuffle in the kingdom of Bridget, an assistant job well-done as I am just about to wrap up the accounting for 2008 proper for Caleb and so I'm home early, the discoveries of both my black umbrella and my unlucky rabbit's foot, and Sam's miraculously long reach, something I was not aware of until yesterday, when I watched from the front row as he saved two individuals with his bare hands. Four good things to cancel out everything else.

Updates today will not include details, unless it is of great importance for me to share that both the umbrella and the rabbit keychain were in the pocket of Jacob's yellow rain slicker which was in a closet, in the basement and does not actually fit anyone else so I was packing it up to be sent out when the pockets seemed a little full. Also in a pocket was a MacIntosh toffee bar that had petrified and my camping compass from the early nineties, a kind of casual talisman Jake carried at one time.

I had been looking for the compass for Henry and was about to put it on the list for the next visit to the outfitters when Jacob told me where I could find it. He also told me a myriad of other things yesterday and I probably could have used the umbrella to facilitate my step off the roof of Caleb's building but instead I was caught by Sam before I left solid footing and caught by Sam again before I could leave reason behind and it appears that I will spend the spring among familiar visions instead of locked away somewhere despairing and incontrovertible.

And Ben is fine. He had an almost-wobble and then a horrific set of meetings during his trip and came back shaky but okay and he only has two weeks left of Seth so he's cautious right now. Everyone is tending to him beautifully, leaving me alone in the bitter cold to stamp my feet and shake my fists and toss my spoiled blonde curls and throw all the stuff I'm holding down to the ground in a silent tantrum that will go ignored but not unnoticed.

Ben walked over to me last night, reached down and picked up everything and handed it back to me, studying the rabbit's foot for just a moment, to the point where I thought he might take a bite out of it but he did not. He just looked at me and put the keychain in my hand and then wrapped his fingers around my wrist and reminded me that I'm not as alone as I feel sometimes. He said I make him smile with my superstitions and my lucky charms and my wishes to burn and bury the memories that make the ache come back.

Everyone says we're both doing so much better but sometimes I wonder.

And now I think I would really like a cookie. Ben just said he would like a striptease. Seriously, life is very strange and we're just trying to live it the best way we know how.

Naked and covered with chocolate.

Okay, shhhh.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Mmmm, a pick-me-up.

New videos are lovely. Especially wonderful, happy ones like this one.

Album on January 20. Go buy it.

He would have isolated the damaged part with an alpine butterfly.

cold, but I'm still here,
blind, cause I'm so blind,
say never
we're far from comfortable this time
Destroyed by your own design. Didn't you see that it wasn't going to work? You said it yourself, you couldn't let go of me for even a moment. I could see the fire in your eyes when you would test them, daring them to reveal that their desires were greater than their fears. They saw it too, and would retreat from you to remain in the shadow of your good graces while you were seeking to find an outlet for your own darkness, through me.

I was never allowed more than an arm's reach from you, and when I could construct an alibi I would jump for it with both hands, the brass ring of freedom and stringless adoration right in front of me. The potential for any of them to be him, to be the one, the one to make everything better.

I do know that I failed as well.

They can't do this and I could if I didn't feel pulled in ten different directions, knowing that it hurts every last one of us and maybe then that was your end goal, for all of us to destruct. It wouldn't surprise me in the least. Is it fair? Is it fair to tell you now that it does work to some extent until someone wants more and then the fractures begin to spread over the surface in a web of deceit and agony. We see we're standing on the cracks, one foot on each side, a tenuous position but oh don't you move or you'll lose your place in line.

You wanted to raise us up without futures or pasts. Without morals or regrets. Without attitude instruments so that we could check for the horizon, to see which way is up. You've given us a plane that is destined to crash, and there are no life vests and no controls and I don't think you ever intended for there to be a way out. To complete the equation is the nightmare that ensures that in the event that we do find a way out, it can be quickly closed off, shut down and removed as a choice. A gatekeeper disguised in your image.

Is this what you really wanted for me? I thought so.

But there is one thing you didn't count on.

Their loyalty to me. Above all else. It wasn't you who was in charge. I may lead with my heart but I've collected followers since day one and they listen to every last word that it speaks, in the language that you never seemed to understand.

And therein lies the problem. I have the control but I don't know how it works because I don't speak in those tongues either. So you must be so amused by now, save for the fact that you expected a slightly different outcome and I aligned with the fringe and I know you would have bet the farm that I would have gone a different way but neither of those directions had your rules to play by, they had their own.

That leaves me here.

Alone but not alone.

Coveted but whether or not I am wanted is anyone's guess. There is a difference.

I'm playing the game but they're changing the rules all the time and I couldn't win if I tried. I could lie, cheat or steal and I wouldn't be any closer to understanding any more clearly that without you here to provide the control, there simply isn't any. What's left is confusion and pain and an inability to move forward in case no one else does.

You wouldn't set out across the open prairie in a blizzard and you don't move on with your life without a safety line in case you don't make it back.

I know that when Jacob stepped onto that ledge you built a brick wall behind him and he had no choice but to step forward. And I blame you.

And now if you'll excuse me, I have work to do. I didn't show up yesterday because I couldn't look anyone in the eye, but I was talked out of that and forgiven by the only one of us who gets by simply because he believes that pedestrian morals have no place in reality and because he knows if the knot is loose it will hold and so I was bundled in my coat and sent to the car and then when I arrived here I was whisked up to the top floor, greeted with a kiss and a smile and then my gloves were removed gently and my hands inspected for a trace of warmth or injury. Finding neither, they were enveloped into other hands, large and capable, until the warmth spread from his to mine. So I can type. So I can work.

So I can function as close to human as I can get. So I can fulfill your plan for me, and I still don't even fully understand what it is. Who in their right mind would let go when there is this much to lose?

Bridget would, that's who.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Reverse consecration.

Ben and Seth's flight arrives at noon. And no, Ben hasn't called. He reads (maybe), he does not call. I left near-constant messages, voicemails. He doesn't even understand that he left in the middle of a meltdown because he was too busy having his own. Travesties abound. And I believe sometimes words are wasted. No one sees or hears them any better than I do.

Well, one person does, as our routine was observed carefully last evening.

I was watched, always. I threw in a load of laundry so the children would have clean pajamas, and then began to cook, making a chicken casserole, throwing in pasta and asparagus and then baking some rolls alongside it. Enough for four, because even the devil needs to eat. I don't like to cook, but I can and I do because I've been hungry. I put a premium on a warm belly.

After the meal the children were doing a puzzle by the window. I sat on the couch and watched them while he watched me, cognac in hand, tie loosened, jacket off. Arm stretched out across the back of the couch almost touching me but not quite. A hint of a smile as he finally took his eyes off me long enough to see the progress his niece and nephew had made. He shifted closer to me, making contact with my ear. Stroking it, for lack of a better description.

This is close to the best evening, days even, I've ever spent, Bridget.

My brain lurched in two different directions (ohmyGoddon'ttouchmyheadpleasedon'tdothat) and I picked one. I leaned forward, the hair on my neck standing on end.

Hey, kids? Get your things. It's time for us to go.

I can't play these games anymore and I am supposed to be there in fifteen minutes to begin work but I haven't even made a move to get ready yet. I feel paralyzed but by what I don't even know.

Monday night I knew exactly what I wanted (still searching for regrets and absolution from myself as the monster that I am) and today I don't seem to have the first clue.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Actually not the good part.

You woke up screaming aloud
A prayer from your secret god
You feed off our fears
And hold back your tears
Give us a tantrum
And a know-it-all grin
Just when we need one
When the evening's thin
Last evening while August and Lochlan were arguing over my head, I went upstairs, got the kids to dress in their backup winter gear and pack their backpacks while I packed an overnight bag and then we tiptoed down the back staircase and out the den door to the waiting car. I don't think waking up at work is the worst thing in the whole world, considering it's my brother-in-law's loft and has more amenities than your average five-star hotel, nor do I think that the children being chauffeured to school in an SUV limousine is going to do anything but excite their friends and save them the cold walk from the house.

I woke up yesterday with Jacob's voice in my head and it won't leave. You want to know what finally made it leave?

No, actually you don't.

What will help my case here is that Ben took one look at me and then oddly, coldly told me he was heading to the airport because he had meetings, night job requirements and he didn't tell me so I wouldn't have any extra stress. But as he could plainly see, it was too late for that. He took Seth and off they went. Not a hug, not a word, and then not a call. The usual modus operandi for Ben traveling because Ben does not travel well. I don't even think Ben registered that I wasn't doing so hot because HE was too nervous.

We're a perfectly matched pair.

That stress climbed onto the voice and then soon they were reaching for the crumb of sanity I had tucked far away on the highest shelf in my brain. Easily reached, the crumb was taken, consumed and then the freefall began, with Lochlan shouting over me that I would be quitting my job and my focus had to be the kids and myself and nothing more and why didn't I understand that I was spreading myself too thin, exposing myself to danger, and I was never going to be any different if I didn't follow his instructions. Fuck his instructions, and since Joel and I are not permitted to even speak these days, I called August, who kindly stopped by to continue to be the most larger-than-life, visceral unacknowledged (until now) representation of Jacob that I think my ruined head has ever seen. Everything he said was Jacob and within minutes he had just changed completely and he was Jacob and I no longer wanted to be there because...

Well, because the only power I seemed to be left with was the one that brings people back from the dead.

And so I called Cole. I mean, Caleb.

Are you keeping up with me?


I woke up fine, by the way. Bridget-fine, not you-fine.

Well, except for the whole Ben-part. But he'll be home tomorrow, and that's when we will return to the house and God only knows what will happen from there. Because I can't have Lochlan in charge of my welfare EVER and I know damn well none of them will cross the line that I drew that leads into hell. A place I am could be very comfortable. So the voice is gone but the fallout remains to be seen.

You think I've lost it, you should talk to my friends.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Just nothing.

Don't close your eyes
You need to see it all
It's no surprise
That they break you down
At least they won't give you up
Not a day for this, not a day to be out trying to be human in a life constructed out of total insanity, not a moment to waste in trying to track down what started the chaos today. I just know that there are two directions I can go in right now. The one that I'm being accused of ignoring, of no longer loving the Cole with the fervor that I once did and the other way will lead me back to Jake. He's calling to me, always, and I just can't go there anymore.

Both ways are wrong, you know. You knew that, I still really don't get it.

I think I need to go home now and just try again maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Touch and go.

I was more afraid the day would start as yesterday's had, with bitterness toward the end of the time together without routines and schedules and appointments. With frustration that we failed to achieve all the imaginary tasks we had dreamed up as the holidays stretched out before us, a blank canvas upon which we would draw our masterpiece of a break.

It didn't.

Instead it started when I was ambushed as I walked into the bedroom to wake Ben up this morning, since I had been up for hours already. He came around from behind the door, already dressed in his plaid flannel pajama bottoms and his glasses and he pressed me against the wall and closed the door so that we would not be interrupted.

He slid me up the wall and held me there while he pushed down his pants and then we were melted into one person again, with one of his hands around my hips, and the other on my head, around my throat, his lips against my temple and my arms locked around his back. We didn't make a sound. Not a word. I almost bit through my tongue as my chin jutted sharply against his shoulder and then he came away from me, the cold replacing his heat and I was lowered gently back to the floor. He smiled, grabbed a t-shirt to throw on and asked if there was still coffee.

I nodded.

He walked back across the room and kissed my hair and put his arms around me again. We both hate the end of holidays and the long stretch of winter ahead without a break until Easter dawns over our lives and the snow funnels into rivers of gritty water that will pool into the storm drains and spring will be here at last. We just have to get there first. Get through this first.

With a morning like we've had, it shouldn't be difficult.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Backpedal for just a moment.

Eek. The rare lyrical romantic overlap. I dread those but sometimes they just can't be helped.
I would fly to the moon and back if you'll be
If you'll be my baby
I've got a ticket for a world where we belong
So would you be my baby?
I didn't really plan to write about the flight on Wednesday night but I somehow got bullied into sharing it by the guys, who are keen to not have me censoring myself now over the good things, in favor of those things that are not good. I don't often allow them to dictate what I permit myself to share in my journal but at the same time, there have been many times that I have been swept out of harm's way by taking their advice.

So I'll leave it up in spite of the fact that I'll get hate mail because people don't believe Ben could be that romantic and despite the fact that Ben was always incredibly ashamed of the fact that he had to stop flying before he was ever off the ground. It's one of the few things that ever bothered him so deeply that he forbade me to talk about it, let alone write about it.

That has changed. I'm very proud of him, and at no time did anyone ever take him for a failure because he's crawled back from some pretty insurmountable odds to wind up here. We could all take a lesson from that. Me especially.

He's not going to be the great romance of your life, Bridget.

No, he isn't, Benjamin. You are.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Day 2.

Here on the ground
I cannot hear a sound
Just a strong and steady rain
Getting louder as you sing
The coffee gods have aligned. Beans, Grind and Maker all coordinated to give me the perfect cup of liquid black today and I'm savoring it to the point where I'm ignoring the basket of clean laundry on the kitchen floor and the kids languishing with their own breakfasts in front of retro cartoons. I can hear Tweety Bird lisping and the music building to a crescendo. Ben is sitting in the den, door open, responding to emails or looking at signed reissue guitars on Ebay and this is the perfect lazy Friday morning.


Suddenly I'm very unsure of that word to describe my life. Today it does. Right this moment it does. We're plotting a trip to the hardware store and the post office. We're going to drive around and listen to music. We'll stop for some dinner somewhere and then come home and sack out for some movies.

I got a t-shirt for Christmas (Thank you Christian) that says It's okay, Pluto. I'm not a planet either. Ben got one that says The awesome meter never lies. They make me laugh and it's interfering with the random and persistent thoughts that less than four months from now, the spring showers will begin and the pavement will have that glorious hot tar-smell that only comes from a true, cleansing rain and I will be back to my little camisoles and embroidered skirts, feet bare and hair longer again, tangled down my back, instead of this ridiculous get up of tights/woolies/jeans/thermal top/t-shirt/sweater/socks times two.


Not such a hard winter after all. At least not today.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Night Rating.

One of the things I didn't know was involved in the reissue of Ben 3.0, new and improved, was finishing the magnificent achievement of becoming a...




What was that song? Oh yes. She's waiting for the right kind of pilot to come and he...well, he's here.

I got a lovely New Year's celebration last night. From thousands of feet in the air. Reverse fireworks, looking DOWN. Ben finally recertified and flying the plane. At night, which is IN THE DARK, which is a whole other ballgame than Ben being in control any other time.

It was terrifying.

I will never live it down.

But secretly it was so fun I would like to do it again.

I need to buy some Depends first. Since this princess is a little 'fraidy cat and can't handle Piper planes that bump and dip and shudder and freak her out. And as much as everyone is embarking on this magnificent, multi-year effort to make her love the sky as much as she loves the sea? She's incredibly slow to warm up.

But you knew that already.

Makes for a very good start to 2009, though.