Tuesday, 30 June 2009

See what I did there? I circled back in error. Have to try breadcrumbs next.

The battle you picked was so one-sided.
Now dependent on me, the one you invited.
Beg, plead, scream.
For redemption, for forgiveness.
Beg, plead, scream.
Sorry, I'm not listening.
I have a sharpie headache from drawing in the truck, PJ looks like he's ten years old without a beard and I have this uncontrollable urge to keep offering him freezies and it turns out only Caleb was wearing Tom Ford, which clung to me like shame today.

The best line of the morning?

If I wanted to kill her, she wouldn't be here right now.

Nice. Thanks, boys. Luckily they all managed to keep the focus where it belonged this morning and I got to soak up the excitement of being less than ten years old and knowing you have the entire summer stretched out ahead of you like a blank slate. Even though when I wasn't in the ocean or lying on the picnic table watching fireworks and fireflies I would be hidden somewhere with a book. Surprise. Little has changed. It seems like I have a set list of activities that I do now and I'm going to have to work hard this summer at managing play dates and being available for the kids in ways I don't have to do when they're in class.

And I had a treat last evening. A grown-up treat. Caleb came over to spend some time with us and he made mac and cheese with the kids and read some Harry Potter to them (we are still slogging through the Goblet of Fire) and then put them to bed with the flourish only a blood uncle can provide (which doesn't say he's better than anyone else, he simply brings more of Cole to them. If you think that doesn't mean a lot then go away, please.) and they were asleep in minutes, content with Caleb's handling of parenthood and as a reminder of their father as only children can be. They know what they want, they're at the age where they make their voices heard.

Once they were tucked in, one light left on upstairs and windows and curtains closed against the cool night, Caleb got to work impressing me. Spoiling me by pouring wine and pulling a barstool up to the counter so I could sit and talk with him while he cooked ME dinner. Ahi tuna steaks and asparagus and garlic bread and freshly-baked chocolate cake special-ordered from my favorite bakery. Caleb doesn't cook as a rule, he's content to order in and keep the bare minimum on hand but he keeps this talent up his sleeve because his mother always taught her boys that they should have these skills. Amazingly Cole cooked some of my favorite foods and he could do it blindfolded so I knew Caleb would be able to pull it off.

He did. Since the kids were asleep we could eat at a leisurely pace with no interruptions. After the cake I placed my napkin on the table and savored the last mouthful of wine and when I opened my eyes he was smiling at me. That's when the night was ruined.

Do you understand the kind of life I could give you and the children, Bridget?

I nodded. I did his bookkeeping. I know what he has.

I don't think you do.

It doesn't matter. Once again, I married someone else. Better luck next time.

Your flippancy barely masks your misery, princess. Speaking of which, has Ben called?


Oh, that's interesting.

No it isn't. He's working.


And? And I make things difficult.

Is that what he tells you.

That's what I tell me.

What does Ben say?

That it's hard and he's tired and he doesn't want to wear himself out and start making poor choices.

So if he comes home he'll drink and this will be your fault.

No. Not like that. Well, I don't know.

Tell me, does anything with Ben ever change?

Let's talk about something else.

No, let's talk about how the man now claiming my brother's family for himself doesn't have his act together any better than he did before rehab.

You don't know Ben the way I do.

I've seen you two fight.

I'm not asking for your input.

Do you want me to set him straight, Bridget?

You leave him alone.

He'd never fuck up again.

Oh, like you did with your brother? See how well that worked, didn't we?

That was different. Cole had issues.

Oh, we all have issues, Cale. Jesus Christ. Ever look in a mirror?

Touche. My offer stands. When you're done with your 'character building', call me and we'll make arrangements.

See, that's why you're lonely. People deciding to spend their lives together don't 'make arrangements'. Love is not a business decision.

It is when there are financial interests that need to be protected.

I don't want your money, Caleb.

And that's why I'm lonely, princess. You're the only one not in it for the money.

I can't help you with your problems.

Then just take what you need.

Oh, here we go.

Discretion is an art-form, Bridget.

Not in my world.

Your world is a strange place. We keep more secrets than anyone I know.

And it's killing me.

Then you'll be a beautiful corpse.

I already am and now it's time for you to go.

I got up and stood waiting. Caleb took his time, piling dishes to carry into the kitchen. Then I followed him to the front hall where he collected his suit jacket. He put it on, shot his cuffs (which slays me every single time) and then he stepped toward me. I was expecting a cheek or forehead kiss and instead he wrapped his hand around my throat and pushed me into the wall.

I can take the pain away forever. Just pick up the phone when you get tired of marrying immature romantics who can't look after you because they can't look after themselves and I'll fix everything.

And then he kissed me. A great, crushing razor-burned kiss that left my cheeks and my sensibilities burning and I put my hands up and shoved at him and he didn't budge.

I thought you were going to be kind.

Oh, I am being kind, princess. This night could have gone rather badly for you.

Jesus, Caleb, you were here to see the kids.

No, Bridget, I was here to see all three of you. Don't think I'm not keeping an eye on everyone involved this time. Jacob may have kept me out of the loop but Ben isn't nearly that bright. Too many pucks to the head, perhaps. But overall he's doing okay. Surprised me most of all. I thought he would crumble ages ago. So maybe things are to be left alone for now. For now.

You speak like you have a say in the matter.

Pay attention, princess. I've had the final word for a while now.

He walked out the door then, and I saw the headlights come on as Mike started the car and slowly edged up in front of the house before putting the car in neutral and coming around to open the door for his boss.

Caleb stopped at the car and turned.

If Ben doesn't call by tomorrow evening when the children go to bed I want to know.

I nodded, even though I doubt I would have to tell him. He'll know anyway. Maybe before I do. That's the funny thing about blackmail. If I could do something about this I would but I can't.

Did I mention I hate beard-shaving season?

It's the last day of school. By lunchtime my kids will officially be in grades 5 and 3. Holy Hannah. I'm headed to the school shortly with the hunkles to see the kids graduate from their grades. Not a big ceremony but parents were invited to watch them get their extra-curricular certificates so I am taking as many guys as are free today which isn't a whole bunch but more than enough, actually.

Shortly the gym is going to reek of testosterone and Tom Ford aftershave.

Should be fun.

More later.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Elvis on the radio.

Maybe I didn't hold you
All those lonely, lonely times
And I guess I never told you
I'm so happy that you're mine
Last night was one of those curtains-open, lights blazing, dirty dishes all over the kitchen kind of nights. I made dinner for ten and the kids were in bed early, tired from all the craziness, worn out from fresh air. We sat and talked around the living room until late into the night, Elvis Presley crooning from the radio, Johnny Cash filling in on set breaks. It was cool and breezy and I left all the tiny white lights on inside and out when I went to sleep because I like them best when pitch black night comes and the universe parries down into just the black, the lights and the near-constant ringing of the big wind chimes I can hear through my bedroom window.

In my head I turned out the lights with the giant movie shut-down click-ratchets. One by one by one. There are six strings of twenty-four and each one takes 4 seconds to turn off. It takes turning them off in my brain seven rounds before I can't remember what I'm counting and I fall asleep.

That's not so bad. It used to take longer.

I have Ben's ring again. Keeps my hands busy with the heavy smoothness of it. Brings him back to me in my head. I was showing it to Jacob this morning. I held it out from my perch on the door ledge so he could remember it, held it up in one tiny quavering hand and he told me it was nice. He told me I should put it on a cord and wear it as a necklace since it's far too large for my fingers and I might lose it. That was a good idea, I never would have thought of that.

Sunday, 28 June 2009


Oh but I could be so bitter.

Trying. hard. not. to. be.

Worse than the twilight homesickness that takes over every night after dinner for pretty much every single night of my life, a weird twinge, gone as fast as it arrives is that empty feeling when Ben goes away.

The first trip was over and done before I could register, the promise of regular commuting being the free pass that was supposed to make this painless and uneventful. Only with the first short return and subsequent six hours of driving, (WHICH WAS HIS IDEA) Ben is too tired to do this and he said as much as he was walking to the gate tonight.

I can't get back until next week, he said.

He knew and he didn't tell me because I'm a belligerent, spoiled little girl. I would have given him a hard time, I would have asked him to come anyway because this is about me. Only it's not and he goes off and shuts down this part of his life to make it easier for himself to work and focus and not worry about Bridget because Bridget is worrying about Bridget and there's no redundancy in ignorance.

So fuck it.

Just fuck it.


When it rains we catch up on movies.

I don't know you
But I want you
All the more for that
Words fall through me
And always fool me
And I can't react
And games that never amount
To more than they're meant
Will play themselves out

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you have a choice
You'll make it now
I firmly believe that hearts speak through music, because they don't have a voice of their own. Sort of like how Bumblebee plays the car stereo to talk to Sam in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and how Glen Hansard sorted out his life in Once. Or maybe my weekend simply had a theme. Music as heart. It's always been something that makes perfect sense to me but I can openly appreciate the...uh...cheesier aspects of life as easily as you'll make your disdain for them known.

In other news, wet wooden painted steps and Bridget in a hurry always equal bad things and I took one hell of a fall yesterday. So Ben was reduced to very incredibly gentle missives last night so as not to make anything hurt and that is so not fun in the way I like my fun to be had. Gentle? Fuck that. Tenderly? No, thank you. Softly? Move along now. Ignore it and go for broke? Yes, please!

But he doesn't listen to my head. Just my heart. It sings so much louder. For that I'm always appreciative.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

The notion of a heart to wrap around.

Waking up at the farm this morning was the salve on the open wound that is my life. Ben flew in yesterday afternoon, trading a case full of dirty clothes for the case full of clean ones I had already packed and we were off, latching the kids into the backseat of the truck and headed off down the rainy highway to Nolan's farm.

We got here around seven-thirty last evening and Nolan ladled up some of his beef stew with buttered rolls that warms me better than the fires he builds and my eyes were so heavy I think I barely registered Ben pulling me to my feet and walking me to our room at the end of the hall. I'm sure I registered the part when he undressed me and pulled the quilt up to my neck and then he went and took a shower because for some reason when he flies now all we smell is airplane fuel afterward. Like he's a sponge soaking up the smell of travel and it's not pretty. I think I smelled soap in my dreams though, that's good.

This morning it's still raining heavily, too wet for a comfortable trail ride or even an umbrella walk but we were up fairly early to relieve Nolan of his morning chores in exchange for the safe refuge and hopefully the weather will clear before we have to leave here. I don't want to leave here, I think I could happily draw a line in a lazy oval shape around this property from the tree up by the Kentucky rail fence where the driveway begins to the picnic rock by the stream on the other side of the pasture and burn the line right through until we separate from the rest of the planet and drift away into outer space.

But only once the boys are here. I couldn't be without them. They were sweet this week too. Lochlan watches over us at home and August tried and failed magnificently at being less like Jake and won the mother of all meltdowns when he came over for dinner on Thursday and tucked into his food like he hadn't eaten in days and it was a flashback to something wonderful that's gone. Gone but not forgotten. Gone but missed every second of the day, gone and not coming back so stop finding him in everything. August has had to pick up a lot of the emotional slack that Joel used to manage and Ben still can't manage, and for gosh sakes, Bridget doesn't manage but Joel is still forbidden fruit and August is still too much like Jake and really, all I could do was count the seconds in the minutes and the minutes in the hours and after 25,000 seconds and then some Ben was home and August wasn't Jake anymore and no one blamed me for what has become a trend of late. Miss Jake? Find August.

It can be worse. Miss Cole? Find Caleb.

I never said I was healthy in those areas. I'm probably a lot less healthy and a lot more twisted than I would lead you to believe. And I refuse to hide behind missing Ben or being afraid he will never come back (bad things, they happen in threes!) to have my bad behavior excused so easily. No, I seek them out and I take what I want and it makes me feel better for a few thousand of those precious waiting-seconds and then it makes me feel a whole hell of a lot worse on the other side because it magnifies the truth and the truth burns like hot iron.

But for now, nothing burns. The fire is out and I'm watching Ben wash dishes and when he's done I'll go over and stand on his feet and he'll put his arms around my head and I'll put my cheek against his chest to get the reassurance of the pulsing heart inside and then we'll have to find something to do because card games are getting old and it doesn't look like the sun will shine today.

It's okay. I don't need it to.

Friday, 26 June 2009

The halo is for radar. Bridget-radar.

The door is like any door you would see in a place like this.

Wooden with iron supports and a throw bolt the size of my arm, underneath which rests a pull ring I can fit both hands around, which is good because I need all my strength to pull this door open. It swings out, into the hall where water drips like the slow burn of rage and the bare light bulb illuminates exactly nothing.

He sits inside, in the center of a windowless room. The walls, floor and ceiling are concrete, of the kind built by hand. Layers that appear straight but probably aren't, and more standing water in puddles all around him. His beautiful white wings are folded close to his back, almost glowing in the oppressive dim. His head is down, hands clasped around his knees, naked and dirty save for the wings which serve to provide dignity as well as glory.

I speak and he doesn't answer. He only briefly raises his head in acknowledgement before returning to his private hell within this hell. Save for the fact that his knuckles have gone white I would believe that he doesn't really know I'm there.

That's as far as I ever get into the room because always and without fail the music cues up, the screaming distorted guitars, beautiful folk melodies barely audible, tangled with power chords that throw my progress off. The other one descends so quickly I only have time to raise my hands up in front of my face and I feel the darkness complete as his wings brush my hair and knock me back.

One black feather hovers in the air in front of me before dipping back towards the floor.

He screams in my face, an inch from me and I feel the heat of a thousand suns on his breath but I don't recognize his voice because it comes out in seven octaves of sound that washes over me in a drone. It doesn't appear to have come from his mouth but instead from his mind perhaps. I scream back and he stops and turns, because the angel with the white wings stands up now, casting light into all corners of the room, burning the flesh off the black angel who reacts by unleashing another thundering, unholy bellow before returning to the safety of his high perch.

Go back, the white angel says and he smiles gently. This is an order, not a suggestion.

I don't want to, I tell him. Jacob, I'll take you back with me!

I reach forward to take his hand, maybe I can pull him out of here, maybe I can somehow sneak him away from this place. And then in the light I see that all around his face is blood and there is just empty blackness where the back of his head used to be. His arms are bent at funny angles and his back isn't really doing anything at all. He's a bag of bones held up with his magnificent love for God and locked in this hideous purgatory with Cole because I won't let them go anywhere else.

He shakes his head and doesn't say anything but I hear him so clearly inside my head.

Go back, Bridget. I'll see you tomorrow.

I'm blown back to the other side of the door, falling over the threshold and landing on my ass. The door creaks with a huge heavy sigh and slams shut. I run back down the hall in the sketchy light, splashing through the puddles until I reach the sunlight at the end of the tunnel and...

I'm awake.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Old habits die hard.

So hold your breath and make a wish for me
It's Thursday and today will be Godsmack day. And did you hear I'm quitting coffee?

Yes, finally, Jacob.

Well, I'm down to twelve ounces a day now from probably forty and dropping like a rock at ten each night, worn out. I'm not anxious anymore either. I can't wait to see how my moods shift when I'm down to four ounces, or nothing even. Amazing the sort of damage seven hundred milligrams of caffeine can do on top of everything else. And sleep does seem to be a little better quality-wise but let's give it a month or so, it's only been two days. So far so good. I need to do this gradually so I don't get headaches.

I don't like to need things. That's all. Coffee is a crutch, and it's doing me more harm than good. I have a whole list of things I need to quit, unfortunately most of them are human and will be harder to give up. Let's start with the small things then, and work our way up.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Second watch.

The world has caught on fire from what I've been told.
These city lights are killing ever slowly the sanity within me.
Maybe I lost in my creation.
This isn't how I thought I'd turn out.

In your eyes I'm picture perfect.
In your eyes the grass is greener.
Have you seen it though my eyes.

Cause through my eyes.
Stars are burning brighter.
So bright we can't ignore.
Lochlan appeared on my back steps right around the end of dinner last evening, seven beers into his evening and looking for comfort and a fight. Lochlan's been on the wrong side of a lot of beer and anger and need lately and I promised I wouldn't write about him and I guess I lied about that too, because he's my friend and overtly he hasn't done anything wrong other than show up in his tux at the alter just a little too late because the bride married your new best friend and they rode off into the sunset an hour ago, buddy.

Lochlan always tried to be above the drama and lately he is ALL of the drama all by himself. He's now concerned that he'll be made out to be the bad guy in my life, with a drinking problem and an obsession to boot. He's afraid Ben is somehow using the quietest moments we spend together to whisper into my broken ears that Lochlan is bad for me and I should stay away from him. Lochlan dares to have that much ego that in our darkest hours of deep conversation, he is that important that we're talking about him. Last night he was told the world doesn't revolve around him.

It can't, because it revolves around me.

He was fine with that.

Because in my darkest hours I have bigger ghosts to fight off, and for Lochlan's handwringing over having lost at love and lost his way and lost everything, in sober daylight he hasn't lost anything, really. He let go and things didn't come back and that's how you know something isn't yours.

He hasn't lost anything, not when we're comparing scars. I can lift up my shirt and you see the living autopsy I have become with the hole in the front where Cole died holding my heart and then the big tear in the back where you see where Jacob grabbed for it when he fell, and closed on air because it wasn't there. I guess he forgot he was already holding it and he didn't pull it out of his pocket in time and that's why sometimes I lose track of the pieces now. They were given back to me and I gave one to everyone because I wasn't ready to have any of it back, truthfully. Honestly.

Lochlan hasn't done the hard jobs, he's danced along the top of the wall while we dug under it. He stood back and leaned against it, supervising, while we rebuilt whole sections, and he hid behind it while we stood with our backs to it to fight so many times I've lost count.

Ben and Lochlan have created a forever-argument in the moment that Ben had to tell me Jacob was gone, because Lochlan couldn't do it, even though Lochlan should have done it. He was supposed to do it and he should have stood up and spared Ben from that. Instead he hoped that I would transfer the mask of pain onto Ben's face and begin right there to put up a wall between Ben and myself.

So everyone is well aware of how magnificently that plan backfired and Lochlan is out in the cold.

Only he's not, because he's one piece of my puzzle, holding one piece of my heart, so tightly it keeps squirting right out of his fist and he has to go chasing after it. He's the glue that holds the memories to the wall so I can go look at them when I want to, he's my link to happier Bridget before the boys fell in love with me, before death, and before life turned out so strange, he's my voice of reason. I'm so selfish I can't ask for that piece of my heart back from him. (KeepitandIcankeepyou.)

And he has lost things too. Love, above all else. Friends. Time. Ground. Me.

If there is one thing we have learned about having the upper hand is that it isn't about making sure the people you love suffer as much as you have, go through what you've been through or be forced to experience the same pain you have so they really get you, it's about making life easier for them, as much as you can, easing their suffering in the best ways you know how, and making sure they're protected for the rest of your days. Making sure they are safe. Happy. Loved.

He tries to do that for me now and Ben lets him. Because Ben knows the sort of desperation you can find at the bottom of a bottle or when you're fresh out of hearts or when the need for Bridget overtakes plain old good common sense. And for that, everyone wins, and we get pulled back up to walk along the top of the wall for a little while again.

The view from up here is so nice, I like it, and so much easier when the ghosts aren't reaching for my ankles. And as long as I stay here sandwiched snugly between Ben and Lochlan, the ghosts can't get close at all, let alone reach out and grab me.

I brought Lochlan coffee this morning out on the patio where he sat with the mother of all headaches. He thanked me profusely.

Being an asshole to him doesn't help you.

He's generous with both of us.

He's not going to do to you what you've tried to do to him, Lochlan. Be grateful.

You don't think I am?

No, sometimes it doesn't seem like you are.

How did you get so far away from me that you don't see these things anymore, princess?

The wall. It's in front of you.



Tuesday, 23 June 2009

I have figured out my television but this isn't about that.

It's like Christmas only with meat.

I think I make Ben laugh sometimes. Unwrapping the paper packages from the butcher in order to barbecue some dinner, I said that without thinking and he just roared. This after already having a mini-Christmas (!) when he bought me a pretty pink phone case and a copy of Heavier Than Heaven (!!) to read, a book I was having trouble finding. Later on he roared again with laughter when we collapsed on the couch, watching Dirty Jobs. Mike Rowe was directing some mules to carry fallen trees out of the woods with a set of words that would send them in various directions and I said it was cool that mules speak English, it makes the logging job easier.

(Thank you, I'll be here all week.)

No, I think it's a combination of the heat, some recent flu-bug issues and trying make plans and keep up with life that have left us failing to match our brains to our mouths lately.

Yesterday most of the day was spent separately with Lisabeth and then with Sam. Their separation is full steam ahead, the brief spring reconciliation not being successful and I'm sad for my friends. I'm sad that the church has tested another heart that I love and I'm sad that subconsciously I'm taking sides because that's what people do. Lisabeth understands. She knows damn well that Sam will be here more and I'll talk to him first and so she let me off the hook for that. She's moving so it won't be a dance of avoidance for them, just a chapter in Sam's life that he will keep fondly because he chose the church before his marriage. Few professions would call for that, but God beckons long and loud, I think.

I told Sam he was being foolish. That God doesn't expect him to be a saint, denying himself things people need to survive in this world. He told me I didn't have to worry about him so much, and for the first time ever I wished I could make Sam laugh, give him a little levity at a time when things are more sober than ever. I know he'll be okay. He has GOD on his side.

I have meat on mine, apparently. Meat and English-speaking mules.

Monday, 22 June 2009

The ten-second interview.

What three things do you look at first in a man?

Um, what? Oh Lord. Smile, hair and the width of the shoulders. I can't believe you asked that.

Moving on. Last album download.

Rev Theory's Light it Up.

Latest time consuming activity?

Learning to use Ben's old iPhone 3G. He got the 3G S yesterday.

How many freckles do you have now?

This interview is over, Duncan.

What did I say?

I liked your beat poetry better than your Larry King.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Lights off.

Yesterday Ben won me a giant stuffed Hello Kitty at the fair. My freckles were activated, though the power of our sunblock held strong, and I didn't refuse to go on a single ride that was presented to me, which meant I found myself swinging far out over the midwestern sky in the broilerplated heat two stories in the air with only slick metal chains keeping me from certain death more than a dozen times.

I ate pizza on a stick, which is one of those magical foods where the first bite is the best one and it's all downhill from there, I climbed up the Euroslide, had a change of heart, and then Henry talked me back into it, because Henry's 52 inches tall and you have to be 54 inches.

Mommy's 60 inches tall so she HAS to take me because Ben is 76 inches and might make for some drag on our speed and we want to have a race.

Pffft. That ride right there? Death trap.

Besides, Ruth in all her 54 inches of height and newly-big-kid glory won hands down. Because she jumped the gun and that's fine, you do that when you're nine.

And there were carnies everywhere, under the darker shade of the tents, charming us out of our cash and enticing us to stay longer and throw harder and take our time and come over to the next booth and ride the coaster again later after we've stayed here for a while and not leave through the big white gates at the magic hour, you don't want to go just yet, the fun is just beginning and you might miss out on the greatest summer of your lives if you go now. I can stamp your hands and you can come back for more.

It was then and only then that the tears began to sting behind my eyes. He's missing out. He didn't want to go JUST yet, the fun IS just beginning and dammit, there is no stamp for reentry. The sun has gone down and the fair has packed up and left town for him and you know what was dumb? That I have that one stupid memory of him here, walking along the dusty road between the games with their barkers, hands in his pockets, smiling politely because he always felt like they wanted him to sell his soul for the price of picking a duck with a letter on the bottom. The games made him uncharacteristic, superstitious, uncomfortable. He would spend a couple of dollars only, and then we'd leave that whole area, returning to the rides and the barns and the light, the open sunny skies because he was never comfortable with trying his luck, even though he had a knack for that kind of magic and so many illusions of his own making.

I watched Jacob walk down the road yesterday in my head until I couldn't watch him anymore and then I turned back to the living, where no one blinked as the boys pulled out bill after bill, hoping for one of those tiny Henry-sized motorcycles and the biggest teddy bears I have ever seen. I let the memory burn in the sun and I didn't get my hand stamped, because I'm not coming back to this.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Fair warning.

His name was William, and he was just another unrequited crush.
Got a taste, can't be saved, I'm a junkie for life
She fuels my fire and adrenaline high
My need for speed's got me gunning
One touch, she screams to keep it coming
Are you ready for the best damn ride of your life?

Gimme a "hell"
Gimme a "yeah"
Stand up right now
I had my arms raised over my head just like the teenagers, freckles mixed with dirt, sprinkled across the bridge of my nose and my cheeks, braids loosened and tied in knots to keep them out of my way, too long bangs swept impatiently behind one ear, green eyes open wide as evening approached, the colored lights of the midway forming a glow around this huge field on the edge of nowhere, the small town where I was born and where still nothing happens, and still they greet me by name when I enter the small diner down on the road beside the river that empties into the sea. I never know which direction to take to get to Green Bay or to get out of town and go to the city. I never know which end is up when I'm there. I was never required to.

My job was to get sunburned and grow freckles and white streaks of sun in my hair and brown legs with pink shoulders and nose.

My job was to eat blue cotton candy (my favorite, always) and hold up one tiny wrist at the carnies as I made my way onto the Scrambler to wedge in beside Bailey and her friends.

My job was to stay with the group and not spend too long in the barn petting goats and oxen.

My job was keep quiet so I watched the Ferris wheel operator do his job. He looked like Gregg Allman. He had a beard and kind, world-weary eyes. He was tanned and blonde and he never cared if we had bracelets or not. He counted extra turns when we were on the wheel and he never made us get off until someone stopped smiling. He wore dirty jeans and a ripped white shirt and he had tattoos from some other life before the one in which you live in a broken-down camper, towed from one small town to the next.

One late night he asked me what I was staring at. I told him the lights were the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. He walked over to the canopy where the rainbow lights were and he reached up and unscrewed a round red bulb and he brought it over to me and told me I could keep it so I would always remember the fun I had that night. He became a fixture after that, and every year he gave me a different colored bulb that I would collect near the end of my evening. I brought them home and kept them in a cardboard box pushed far underneath the big iron bed with the mattress that sagged in the middle. The cocoon bed, I called it, home away from home at my grandparent's house.

When I was twelve I decided when I was eighteen that I was going to marry him if things with Lochlan didn't pan out (because they weren't anyway because I was twelve), and I'd wear a pretty yellow embroidered apron and fix him nice dinners at the three-legged table that was bolted into one corner of the camper and at night we would sleep in the tiny bed in the other corner with a threadbare blanket and he would sing me to sleep while the carnival traveled to the next town.

Pay cheques were dispensed in cash and time off was where ever and whenever you could find it. There were no shopping malls, no school and no long car trips, there was only the gleeful screams of the people on the rides, the food that hasn't changed in sixty years, since his grandpa operated the wheel and the lights that always, always make me dizzy. Those lights are better than the northern lights and better than fireworks to me, because those are the lights of true adventure around every bend. Familiarity in rusty bolts and discarded paper cones, ripped paper bracelets and discarded, dusty prizes.

I never had big dreams. Mine are so very small and simple. And I still have one of the lights that he gave me. It's rusted now, and even if I had a socket that it fit I doubt it still works. He would be probably late fifties, early sixties by now, maybe he still travels with the shows and maybe he closed up his trailer and stopped somewhere nice when the carnival passed through a town that looked appealing. Hell, I'll never know. But it makes me feel happy to think about sometimes.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

In this breath just now there was no worry, oddly enough.

Train of thought today, sorry.

I'm consumed with gratefulness for the tiny rituals, like Ben playing guitar every night, schooling the children in Hendrix and Sabbath while they finish their dinners, and rituals like late at night when we collapse on the couch in front of a movie and split a green apple, always green because they're crunchy and sweet and an apple a day keeps the demons away. Or something like that.

I'm watching the skies for the coming thunderstorms and glad to have the afternoon in front of me to write and work for once, free from the worry that has consumed me recently. I have come to think that I worry too much about things that don't bother others. Like, way WAY too much. Anxiety unleashed and out of control and I have settled for it as an uncomfortable status quo, too lazy to move from where I rest on my bed of nails because it's a bed and beds are where we lie, correct?

I'm relieved that there are still good people in this world, good people like the plumber who didn't charge me because the pipe is fine, that's what it does, it isn't ominous nor is it in need of replacing, and the previous plumber may have been a little green behind the ears and so that isn't a reason for me to pay their fee for the visit and the city had my water turned back on in under an hour.

Now, in order to relax I've brought some water and my laptop and my blackberry out here to the sunny backyard and I'm sitting under the umbrella, feet up on another chair pulled close, a light breeze stirring the leaves on the trees and I wish I could hear them but the hearing aids will bring the barking dogs and lawnmowers and the squeal of the train and all the city traffic and instead I'll just try to find an hour or two of contentment inside my muted little garden oasis.

Soon Ben will be home and I can share this latest offering to the writing gods with him and he will share some of his news with me and we'll lock the doors and retire once again to the tiny rituals that bring so much unexpected peace so suddenly. Kind of like finding a feather on a bed of nails and imagining where that feather is as a softer part of impossible situation. It will do for now, anyway.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Closing gaps.

You're the one
You are the hurt inside of me
And you are the one that makes me weak
Shadows that crawl all over me
Swallow the light that lets me see
One of my weirdest throwbacks to being little is saying grace. We do it when there's a significant spiritual presence and at large gatherings as a verbal amulet to hasten a good year, some good luck, a better season and to publically acknowledge our blessings.

I get right in there and put my elbows together on the very edge of the table and I place my forehead against my fists and I close my eyes. I've always whispered the words that had to be said en masse, because I couldn't hear them well enough to keep up and I wind up in my own little world quite easily as a result.

Caleb brings this up yesterday in the car on the way to his breakfast, french cuffs and whiskey in fine form at eight a.m.

What's your point?

Are you going to be difficult?


Good. My point is I watched you then and I watch you now and you haven't changed all that much. God, so beautiful. I don't know what my brother was thinking.

We both know precisely what your brother was thinking.

Cole was more talented than he was smart, princess, just like you.

He was the smartest person I will ever know, Caleb.

You know, hearing that makes me as glad as I used to feel when mom would put me beside you at Christmas dinner. I could watch you up close with your funny little facial expressions and exclamations. That amazing gap when you'd fail to realize someone had addressed you and the resulting command of everyone's attention. And you respected my brother.

I did nothing of the kind or I wouldn't have what I have now.

What do you have now?

Secrets I don't want anymore.

Everyone keeps secrets, princess. Yours are just more exciting than most.

There's no point anymore, Caleb. Everyone's dead.

We're not. And we should be embracing this life, because we know firsthand how short it is.

I am. I'm trying to but you won't let me.

That's because I have your best interests at heart, beautiful.

No, you have yours and yours only.

We both know how you lie, princess.

I don't lie.

Your whole life is a lie, Bridget. You may tell the truth with your feelings but you'll leave out everything else, and you'll keep this up because you don't get a choice anymore.

Suddenly the door was opening and I saw Mike's face. Caleb got out and reached back in for my hand, which I gave him and I exited the car as gracefully as possible. I stood up, far too close to Caleb because he hadn't moved and I stumbled back and he caught me with his arm, pulling me so close to him I smelled whiskey and I could count his eyelashes.

It doesn't have to be like this, Cale.

Smile pretty and fake the next hour, alright, princess? It's what you do best.

He turned away, heading into the hotel, pulling me behind him while I fought back tears and won, because my anger always outweighs my fear of my brother-in-law. I got into something awful once and I don't think I'll ever get out of it. This is hopeless and now I'm stuck and it's dark and I don't like it here.

I played my part, applauding and smiling when he was introduced, laughing lightly at all the right points during his speech, and accepting the admiring glances as they washed over me when he had the nerve to out me as one of the great loves of his life from the stage.

Wish he hadn't done that.

It really made me mad.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Breakfast in hell, take two.

Exit light
Enter night
Take my hand
Off to Never Never Land
Nine months ago I agreed to attend a very important breakfast function with Satan and today is that day. Only instead of merely attending, he somehow waded into his field here in this city with a flourish and wound up winning some sort of award (again), which will be presented to him this morning. Now, I've never been to a black tie breakfast of this magnitude before and so true to form, I've already eaten breakfast and had my coffee and the boys are grudgingly allowing this whoring out of their princess because Caleb will only be able to flaunt his power in public. I'm somewhat safe.

Somewhat, I said. We've mostly avoided each other this spring save for a handful of decent altercations and I've come to understand who he is and why he does the things he does. However I can only do the figuring-part away from him, because the moment I am within twenty-feet the Cole-similarities take over and I'm quickly under his spell. Too quickly, too under.

I think if Ben could send me with a rope tied around my waist that he could pull on really hard to bring me back he would. Other than that I think he's got a new appreciation for the visual glory of Bridget in a little black dress and six-inch heels at seven in the morning, because unlike just about everyone else, he's never seen this before.

Sorry, I find that amusing. I must be grasping at straws.

Nervous, trembly straws.

Monday, 15 June 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife.

Beautiful Bridget torture.

I wonder if I'll make it through this movie. Hell, I wonder if I'll be allowed to go see it.

(I didn't do so well with Up so I doubt I'll get to go.)


Let's just say I overslept. Please ignore the pajamas.

Because I put them back on when I came home.
I'm turning the page for something new
I'm finding my way through life in bloom
This morning the Veer Union and Revolution Mother took turns pounding through my head, replacing the pain of last week as I ran through the pollen and the new leaves on the elm trees that line the streets of my city neighborhood. The air is clear and warm, the conditions PERFECT for running and still I had to turn back long before my knee-cracking endorphin marathon, so far out of reach I couldn't even say I got close to it, because the guillotine has come down and cut off the need to overachieve in my daily routine.

Every single plan I had for the weekend was dashed in a welcome bid for some easy times. Concerts were ignored and rescheduled, we didn't go to the fair, we didn't have a picnic or fly remote control things in the park, we didn't get many errands run or get to the butcher or baker. We didn't run or work really hard, though Ben installed the rain barrel and even set up the planter in the top part so I have flowers there now and we rearranged the stone patio and then yesterday we went outside with everyone right after lunch and we sat out there and talked and hung out right through until bedtime.

This morning? No anxiety. None. Not a trace. I slept through the night again. I came to some sort of unspoken perspective. Or maybe it's just that I rested enough to feel better. I laughed. Especially Saturday when I was leaning over to grab the watering can from behind the chair and Ben stuck the hose up my skirt and sprayed it. Half an hour later, still in the wet skirt, I was cornered by him in the garage and we felt like two teenagers taking advantage of five minutes of privacy. I'm always struck by what an incredible kisser he is with me. He used to say he hated kissing girls because they read too much into it but sometimes now I get a forever kiss which is more like exchanging precious breaths until every last one has been traded but it sends a ripple up my spine, activates my goosebumps and makes my head spin.

He likes kissing ME, that's all.

Which is why I kept walking around slowly watering plants and helping with cleaning out the truck in that wet skirt for half the afternoon, only venturing inside out of the sun to change when Henry came home from down the street and asked me if I had an accident. He thought Ben doing that was funny and wanted to see it again. Had I hung around outside I'm sure I would have been soaked, my only saving grace being the plea to not spray me because I'm holding my phone and if you ruin my BlackBerry you're going to be in SO much trouble, Benjamin.

He stopped then, not because of the phone, which he is hellbent on replacing anyway, but because he didn't want to push his luck since I hadn't been feeling well and the goal was to relax Bridget, not wear her out entirely.

Even the children were content to stick around the neighborhood and do next to nothing. The groove of the first truly hot and summery weekend has spilled over into Monday too, bringing a relaxed and vaguely still unfocused attitude that helps deflect the routine and the stresses of every-day life.

I hope it sticks around. It's pretty nice. And I did get worn out eventually. This morning. We were ungodly late getting out of bed this morning, and I loved every second of it.

And it almost makes up for not being at Bonnaroo.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

They should change the name of the MuchMore music channel.

Today things are much better. Things were actually much better by last night. And I learn hard lessons once again about the difference between slowing down when I don't feel well or I'm overwhelmed and actually slowing down. I don't, I tend to just keep muddling through until I drop and then I figure after sleeping a little overnight that I should be back to rights and I can pick up the slack.

Not so.

Slowing down is actually stopping moving. Yesterday I wound up lying down with ice and pills and tears and I didn't do a damn thing all day. Okay, a little bit of laundry and I made an easy lunch for the kids and otherwise I lay down with the ice pack and the TV on low and I tried to just rest. I tried to slow down. I watched music videos from artists I don't enjoy and I drifted in and out of a pain-fueled hysteria and it was one of those times when I just gave up.

I'm not sure if it was the tail end of this flu that's been shadowing me since early May or if I just burned the candle at both ends until it ran out of wax but I needed that time and I got it. By five o'clock I could crack a smile and by the time Lochlan walked through the door to check on me all of the tension had evaporated. Ben felt better too. I really think now that a lot of it stemmed from his trip and maybe that's how stress comes out-days later. I think for me stress now exists under a magnifying glass and I can't put it in perspective anymore and I'd like to get back to where I could do that, on my own, without one of my knights stepping in and doing it for me.

In any case I felt well enough to go and run some errands last evening after canceling our larger plans and then I forced myself to go to sleep long before I wanted to and I didn't wake up until eight this morning and there is no pain today in my head for the first time in a week and I feel alert and calm. Which is good because we have a really busy weekend ahead.

Busy meaning fun.

Oh and mainstream popular music? Never again. Ever. Seriously. DO NOT LIKE. Even August wandered through the living room at one point, stopped to watch a few minutes of Lady Gaga, and said What the hell is that? A disco stick, is that what she said? I reminded him that music tastes are subjective and he doubted me. I'm buying him all of her CDs for his birthday now. I won't be listening to them though. And this goes down in history as one of those moments in which they gauge how sick I was by the music I was listening to. It must have been pretty bad.

My prescription is to listen to Tool all day today and call the doctor in the morning. And to learn what I never seem to learn: that it's okay for Bridget to stop moving every once in a while.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

I'm not Mary and he's not Scott.

(Tattoos and now-defunct-but-once-much-lauded cover bands aside.)
• Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland's estranged wife, Mary, will publish a memoir called Fall To Pieces on October 27th. A press release describes the book as "a visceral rollercoaster ride inside bipolar disorder, rock 'n' roll, celebrity culture, and the competitive world of modeling from a rock star wife and recovering drug addict," adding, "On the surface, Mary Weiland had a fairy-tale life. She was a highly paid fashion model married to successful rock star Scott Weiland, the notorious frontman for Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver. Then came the rampage in a Burbank hotel room and the resulting media frenzy that revealed to the world her bipolar disorder and drug abuse."
• Although Scott’s previously reported memoir has yet to materialize, he told us that the recent disintegration of his marriage was the subject of most of his latest solo album, Happy In Galoshes. "Every time I'd be out of the house and I'd be living in a hotel or renting a house or at a friend's house, that's when I would just basically be living in the studio, and writing a song a day. Sometimes two. There were some periods of time when the pain created most of the prolific stuff that I've ever done, I think."
• Scott Weiland will hit the road for a short run of dates with Stone Temple Pilots this summer, with the band also preparing to make its first studio album in eight years. Weiland also continues to tour behind Happy In Galoshes.
My love of all things Scott Weiland is well documented but those of you emailing me their Gotcha! lists for this month can rest easy. I'm so obviously not bipolar (snort, if only), and Ben is not small enough to be Scott anyway. I mean, have you seen Scott? He's the only person in the world shorter than I am. (And Jake was not Scott either, because as you can plainly see, Scott is still touring. Still breathing even.)

Packs a lot of talent into that head of his though, everyone can happily agree on that one.
Find you in the dark
Read you like a cheap surprise
Without shame
Sell me out, and frame your name

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Deftones, headphones, six oh three.

I took you home
Set you on the glass
I pulled off your wings
Then I laughed
I watched a change in you
It's like you never had wings
Now you feel so alive
She came to the door selling invitations to a safe place from which to witness the end of the world, and Ben stood there in the screen porch in nothing but a pair of jeans and his tattoos, glasses on, half-eaten slice of toast in hand and he told her he wasn't interested because he already caught that show, more than once. I watched from behind the door and tried to remain expressionless. She was obviously afraid of his cynicism and so he watched to make sure she made it safely back down the front steps and then he shook his head and came back inside and I'm sure she moved on to our neighbors where odds are she'll get much the same reaction, probably with more clothes and less misanthropy.

Ben said (as if he even cared) that he hoped he was polite enough and then locked the door and took his shirt that I had on and pulled it toward him, bringing me with it into his arms. I got a final bruising airplane-fuel kiss and a long exhausted hug and then we had to retreat to the shower to wash the sweet and dangerous homecoming of the previous night from our flesh.

He's home now and we can resume our collective derangement, like those really creepy couples that terrorize the good people in horror movies? The ones who can finish each other's sentences and he seems to be in charge, since she follows every command he gives her but then all of the sudden she's alone with you and you realize she's the one you should really be afraid of, because she doesn't have any sense at all?

Yeah, that's us. And it makes me laugh.
I look at the cross
Then I look away
Give you the gun
Blow me away
I've watched a change in you

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Because the hunkles said, "Enough with the whining, princess".

I might repeat to myself, slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound; if I can remember any of the damn things.
~Dorothy Parker

Both of the children passed their swimming levels tonight and got to walk on water (Jacob would have been so proud. Cole too, without the righteous angle though. Perhaps for the physics involved). No, really. It's a weird thing like a Slip n' Slide tied to each end of the pool and the kids run down the length of it, one at a time. They love it. I might post the video but it's Blackberry quality and probably only the sort of thing a mother and a dozen hunkles would love, so maybe let's just say yay for swimming badges!

That and Ben is at the airport, boarding a plane as we speak! Do I hear a yay for husbands in transit?



That's music to my broken little ears. Music indeed.



Okay, goodnight.

It's raining men again.

It's not Monday anymore, I don't have a headache anymore, and save for a foggyish Himalayan hairball incident at three o'clock this morning, I have slept a little bit. I didn't think I would but I did, and this just reiterates for me how incredibly damaging it is that I don't get more sleep and I will. After tonight, that is, because Ben comes home in around twelve hours and so there's no way in hell I'm going to manage more than four or five hours of sleep tonight tops (shhhh) but it's okay, I'll try to get some at the end of the week and we'll see where we are then.

I had chocolate cake for breakfast which always seems to make me feel better about all kinds of things. I had a run this morning. All the way down the street and then home because yeah...I'm not feeling well enough to pull it off today. Not by a longshot.

In other longshots, last night I watched The Bachelorette on television (which is that big glossy black slab in the living room that the boys play the Xbox on, I think). A long time ago I watched two shows from the first season. There was a man looking for love and at the end he proposed to a woman and they broke up three weeks later. The women on the show all looked the same. Tall and tanned with straightened hair and overly-whitened teeth and false eyelashes and far too much makeup and few, if any of them, exhibited any class whatsoever. They all gushed about their search for their very own fairytale ending and then proceeded to answer questions posed by the Bachelor that they thought perhaps might be the right answer, instead of their own answer.

He seemed to pick the one who appealed to him most and when her composure slipped a little at the end when the contest was over, she seemed human, almost. Two weeks later she resumed her facade and they were over because they didn't have any depth as a couple, they hadn't developed a relationship, you can't do that on television and you won't find your fairytale by giving what you think are the right answers to someone who wants to get to know you.

But the Bachelorette seems different. Maybe it's because it's the first one I have seen with the role-reversals. Maybe it's because the Bachelorette, Jillian, I believe her name is, is scared and cries a lot. Maybe it's because some of the men are adorable and actually are willing to be viewed in an honest light. I remember seeing the promo on TV and thinking, oh look, perfectly coiffed men with their fauxhawks and attitudes hoping to get publicity/laid or whatever and why would someone go through that?

They didn't turn out that way last night, but mostly because ninety-nine percent of the guys that I have ever met don't give answers they think you want, they just say whatever comes to mind and then later on they beat themselves to a pulp internally for possibly fucking up something good.

Maybe I just identified with Jillian because I'm usually the only woman in a room full of men and I'm the center of attention and they compete for my attention while I give out roses disguised as affection and in recognition of points scored. Sometimes someone goes home or maybe it's the group dates. I really don't know for sure. I just know that Monday nights are now going to be a whole lot different, because I'll be watching to see how this one turns out (I do realize that she'll pick the wrong guy, they'll proclaim it to be happily ever after and a month afterward she'll be back on the talk-show circuit telling the world how it just didn't work out.)

Because fairytales aren't real.

Don't you people know that by now? Especially the ones on 'reality' television and in all the stupid bride movies we've all watched. It's not reality any more than I'm a REAL princess. We just believe in what we want to and hope for the best. Jillian's doing it in front of the cameras and I'm doing it in front of my keyboard. Everyone tunes in for a glimpse of a fairytale, because you know that's all there will ever be, that glimpse.

It's an interesting blend of faith, hope and perseverance, isn't it? It's worth tuning in to, just in case I'm wrong. That's why I keep going.

Because I might be wrong.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Charades, while we wait.

And all her friends tell her she's so pretty
But she'd be a whole lot prettier
If she smiled once in a while
Because even her smile looks like a frown
She's seen her share of devils in this angel town
Today's tally so far is three phone calls, two emails including two pictures, one of the wing of the plane and the other an upnose shot from Benjamin, and sixty-eight text messages.

So far. Snort.

He's being really sweet and massively accommodating to my incredible, debilitating fears of abandonment, let me tell you.
I told her I ain't so sure
about this place
It's hard to play a gig in this town
And keep a straight face
In return, I am projecting my bravery onto the meek little girl who would rather scowl from the corner and throw dishes and bricks at all who approach. I'm wearing my courage like a superhero suit, hiding behind it with the sure knowledge that if anyone asked me in just the wrong way I might rip your face right off and eat it. Luckily so far everyone has asked in just the right way and been greeted with Bridget's half-bitten pout and big green quavery eyes obviously attempting to make it sound like everything is just fine. Going through the motions, as Sam instructs and Lochlan insists on. Ben travels. A lot. This is what he does, princess. Fuckfuckfuck.

Everything will be fine, just give me thirty-six more hours, okay?
Everything's gonna be all right

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Tough as a wet noodle, I am.

In trying to remain positive about tomorrow evening and beyond I'm noticing I get more and more tense as we get closer to Ben leaving. There's something about him, I don't know but the second he takes one step out of the front door I'm already waiting for him to come home. Even when he goes for the day or for an hour or for a minute I begin to anticipate his return. Trading hearts was never such an obvious choice as it has been with him and I don't regret it, it's just difficult. Difficult to never be independent of my thoughts of him and difficult to deal with short or long term separations, regardless of how necessary they may be.

We locked the weekend down, mindful of the busy week to come. We've spent every waking and sleeping moment together like we can't get enough, as if it couldn't possibly make up for time apart and all it seems to do is make things harder.

He holds my hand as we walk, kisses my forehead every time he turns to me, squeezes me up tight into his arms as I stand in front of him and it's not enough. I want to grab him and pull him down the hill and into the shed and push him inside, barring the door with a heavy board and then I'll run around the shed until I am out of breath, chains in hand, wrapping the tin walls in links of iron that I'll then affix a huge and heavy rusted padlock to and then I'll sink to the grass with a laugh because no one can take him from me then.

I somehow don't think he would mind, sometimes. But maybe sometimes he would and maybe sometimes I have wished that I didn't love him so goddamned much because then I could go about my life selfishly and independent but I can't because I do and he knows and it's alright because sometimes life hands you your other half and says here, try this one on, I think this is it and it is and then you can't see the seams or the beginning or end and you just feel like you're a single entity instead of a million fragments anymore and that's what the hard pill to swallow is. It's supposed to make life easier but it just means the sweet parts give you cavities and the hard parts, well, they give you bruises.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Kung Fu Kisses.

There was nothing in sight, the memories left abandoned
There was nowhere to hide, the ashes fell like snow
And the ground gave in between where we were standing
And your voice was all I heard, and I get what I deserve
The thunder rumbled and the wind blew through the trees last night, lashing rain against the windows with a fury once again, rattling the glass looking for a way in. Inside I was locked in Ben's arms, my arms pinned against his chest, our skin slick in the flickering light. I felt feverish, exhausted and he held me out and then pulled me back when he saw that I had no strength left so he became the strength for both of us. I remember kissing his earlobe and underneath his chin and he sighed harshly against the top of my head and held me that much harder, increasing pressure until I flinched away from him and then he smiled and eased back into the rhythm that I adore, pressed there against his beating heart, not being able to get any closer than I was right at that moment. The next time I didn't flinch at all. The last thing I remember is my heavy eyelids closing as Ben pulled me in against his chest one again, spoons this time. He was so warm. So warm.

We woke up to a freezing cold, cloudy morning, raindrops still making their way down the panes of glass, clearing quickly to sun but remaining cold. He wrapped me in yesterday's flannel shirt, felt my forehead and then headed downstairs to make a fire. He was back up in a flash and went to the shower while I found some pajama pants and buttoned his shirt, rolling the sleeves up over my hands as I headed down to start the coffee and feed the cats and to evaluate if I was actually feeling better. I am, I had sleep last night and yesterday I took so slowly I think I managed to evade the worst of this.

When Ben came out of the shower he laughed to find me still in his shirt with my pants with Pucca all over them, coffee cup in hand. We have extensive plans for more nights of the same, right through the weekend, because after the weekend he heads off for a couple of days of meetings far away from here and we're just going to duck our heads and distract, predict, comply until at least Wednesday. Under the radar we'll fly, you won't even know we're here.

Like the cartoon ninjas on my tv screen.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Silver chairs and spruce tops.

Open fire on the needs designed on my knees for you
Open fire on my knees desires what I need from you
Nevermind me, I threw up all morning and now that I feel better and am on my feet officially, the plan is to continue to listen to Silverchair at top volume while simultaneously practicing Vivaldi's Winter. I'm not sure if I can pull any of it off but I feel like making some noise.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Too much coffee and I can't get the tangle out of this sentence anyway.

Not even fifteen minutes later
I'm still walking down the street,
When I saw a shadow of a man creep out of sight.
Then he walks up from behind
And puts a gun up to my head,
He made it clear he wasn't looking for a fight.
He said "Give me all you've got
I want your money not your life,
But if you try to make a move I won't think twice."
Here's your morning music video. Now, what in the heck was the plan again? Oh yes, eat well, sleep well, run well and STAY BUSY, Bridget.

Pfft. Fine, Henry wants me to make him an explorer/treehouse bag out of his old camouflage shorts that are too small. I also have to mend Ruthie's quilt. And a billion other things I'm about to put off while I wait out some bigger anxiety-causing issues. I'm learning very slowly I can do this and it's not a bad thing. Mostly. Or is it? I don't know for sure.

It's days like this I think I really should be medicated to remove the edge, calm me down, bliss me out just a little bit.

But I can't do that, so onward and upward we go.

There is no fake cheese either so my whole day is screwed. I like fake cheese in my grilled sandwiches, not slices of actual, real cheese. It's just too Heidi. If I do that I may as well add a big glass of goat's milk and then braid my hair to keep it out of my face while I'm sewing.

Well, crap. I just described my actual morning. Now you know how thrilling life can be here at the formerly-Reilly household now ruled by the dark emo one. Which is...me. Hahahaha.

P.S. I'll share this morning's email round robin if you're as morbid as I am. Don't email me if you're not. Describe three ways the person in the list below you will die. Here are mine as imagined by Christian:

#1 Scientists discover lip gloss causes cancer.

#2 Drowning via excessive pomegranate ice tea ingestion, aka teaboarding.

#3 Like that girl in Goldfinger, except instead of paint she'll be covered with tattoos.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Bridget McFly, time traveler.

Something did get in the way.
Something finally did break.
When I tried to find my place in the diary of Jane.
And I've burned every single page,
And I still look the other way.
And I still try to find my place in the diary of Jane.
I think I'll spend the rest of my life bouncing back and forth between present, past and future like a confused astronaut, a person with no permanent place in any dimension, simply a visitor from another time, sent to teach something briefly or to learn something to fold into the next incarnation of Bridget as she wings here way through time and space, never daring to stop long in any one place lest she explode in a shower of tiny white lights and utter elation at being able to light up the universe for the first time ever, visible for miles.

I think I'd rather be a fly on the wall because it drives me crazy when three doors get closed between me and the boys, who have taken their argument down to the den because it means they can shut the den door, shut the hall door and shut the foyer door and I won't hear a thing while they holler at each other all morning. Because Lochlan was supposed to come yesterday and keep me company but he ran into some work delays and never made it and I finally gave up and made dinner and then called him for the ninth time, when he picked up and admitted he didn't want me replacing him with someone else so he tried to wait me out, even though being alone and not being all that impressed with all the storm warnings had set me seriously on point.

He was selfish and I paid the price for it. And that isn't allowed, or so they always like to tell Ben when HE fucks up. Except he doesn't fuck up anymore and he's going to kick Lochlan's ass because Lochlan is supposed to be the perfect one and oh hell I can't wrap my brain him not being that way. It's almost like finding out the stars are artificial or hearts don't beat, they flex. Just shut up, because I don't want to know. I liked it better before.

Just for this there will be no room for him on Bridget's Groovy Space Adventure Bus, departing in t-minus fifteen minutes. No room at all. Lochlan, you can walk. Or you can apologize and follow the caravan. Your choice.

Monday, 1 June 2009

I didn't mean to kill anybody.

Relax, it's just a quote from The Wizard of Oz.

Honestly, you people...

So it's Monday night, a typical Monday in which you've spent the day waiting patiently for it to end, because Mondays just...suck.

And then the evening's entertainment begins scrolling across my blackberry screen:
I am still getting over the nagging psychological effects of fretting over the flood just three short weeks ago. God, could you knock it off just for a little while? Please?


Summer has sent her regrets.

I'm sitting on the floor in the sun porch eating noodles out of a bowl with chopsticks, reading a book and plotting to use the rest of the beads in the bead jar to make some more mandalas for my windows. They're very pretty and they double as Christmas ornaments. There's your Household tips from Bridget for the day.

Now, unrelated:

We went to see Up last night. What I thought was going to be a $50 so-so movie because what if my children have finally outgrown Pixar? became Bridget sobbing quietly in the dark every single time they picked up Ellie's adventure book. Because it was profound and it was sad and it was so incredibly beautiful that you couldn't help but cry through all the hard parts. And fuck, here I am trying to describe it and I'm all teary-eyed agan.

Pft. I'm going back to my book. It was hard to come here and write today knowing yesterday's timeline is just sitting there on top of the pile of wasted words. And so I may write a whole lot of nothing for just a little bit. Just so we're cool. Me and my journal, I mean.