Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Alternative egos.

Last night was our newly-minted Thai Tuesday, which was demoted quickly from a weekly plan to the first Tuesday of every month instead. And will probably end more quickly then that because..well, we'll be spending all of our Tuesday nights at the rec centre from now until Christmas. Thai Wednesday doesn't have the same ring to it, but the children must continue their swimming lessons while Bridget does her best to stay out of the deep end.

Bridget's not a great swimmer, and Lochlan has stories up the wazoo about how he would have to swim beside me as I struggled out to the diving platform at the lake. Or how he would always just instruct me to stay in the shoulder-deep water at the beach and not go over my head, while he proceeded to swim to the Bay of Biscay, or so it seemed.

My deep end in this case is proverbial so no one has to worry so much about the actual water part.

Over pad thai and chopsticks last evening we all discussed the ominous silence from hell (in code because the kids kept up a running commentary on seventy other topics of note at the same time. We're a talented bunch, what can I say?) Satan's failure at swift and devastating punishment for being stood up Saturday night has been noticed. I'm sure he's just plotting something wonderful for me to be exacted at a later date. But more likely he's gone after Ben.

How do I know if I haven't spoken with him?

Exactly for that reason. I haven't spoken with him. Or Ben, for that matter. Dead silence from both sides means it's probably too late. Maybe all of it's too late. Maybe Ben's spies reported too much, as I haven't let go of Lochlan's hand in forever because I'm afraid if I do I'll get forgotten or thrown off the face of the earth when it spins. The collective argument is that Ben has to look after himself and I have to look after myself, instead of waiting, worrying and watching over everyone else. I thought I had been selfish long enough but they've been quick to point out I'm not selfish enough.


I'm quietly panicking over here in my corner of the world, with these innuendos and mixed messages and boy-buffets and hurt feelings and killer wagons and silent phones. Ruth's birthday is tomorrow, for heaven's sake. Why hasn't he called? Will he ever call? Does holding Lochlan's hand endlessly or sleeping in the oppressive heat that he creates spell the end of something Ben already asked me to end when he left because he thinks these separations are far too much for me to manage? I said not a chance and he asked me to use what I had available to feel better then, while he's gone, because that's the deal I got when the ghosts came to stay, and we can fight about it later if he ever comes home. So I use Lochlan. Just like he uses me. I don't feel better. I'm sure he does but he's also all I have right now, isn't he?

I don't understand any of this.

I looked at Lochlan and asked him what I should do. He kissed my forehead and squeezed my hand.

Stay here, Bridgie. And don't go where the water will be over your head.