Friday, 30 October 2009

On becoming the Baroness.

Got a lot of things straightened out today, most noteable a recent underlying threat to the new permanent peace that threatened to shelve the entire deal. Caleb has lawyers. Caleb is fixing. And true to form the price is that I suck it up and attend his yearly Halloween costume party.

Which I will now that I have crawled out of my shell long enough to eat some lunch, hug my husband and PJ too and be sociable enough so that my beloved friends were able to talk me into it, though, really they will leave before I do and have no real idea what it's like after that.

Attending the party is not the price. Nevermind what is. We've been over this before.

One year later, the party is not for me but instead is a toast to the new business collective. I am unmedicated and not planning on doing any drinking whatsoever. I need my wits, we'll be on Satan's territory as a group, one of those rare and special circumstances he calls "fun'. Perhaps it will be.


No, I'll leave it there. I'll try to remember to bring my shoes home, and call that enough, okay?

Snap out of it.

I don't feel like going to a party tonight. I don't feel like smiling. I don't feel like getting dressed. I don't feel like taking a shower. I don't feel like talking. I just feel like staying in bed with the covers up over my head and listening to the rain only because I think I can hear it on the tin roof at the back of the house but it's probably a placebo-sound because I can look out the window and see it falling.

See it...falling.

August, I'm keeping this flannel shirt. It reminds me of your friend. As do you. Thank you for keeping watch.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Time to change has come and gone
Watched your fears become your god
It's your decision
It's your decision

Overwhelmed, you chose to run
Apathetic to the stunned
It's your decision
It's your decision

You feed the fire that burned us all
When you lied
To feel the pain that spurs you on
Black inside

No one plans to take the path that brings you nowhere
Here you stand before us all and say it's over
Headphones and white and black striped tights today. No one will bother the freak on the bench. This is the space in which I exist, between the four elm trees that frame my house and here in the park between life and death. Between sadness and euphoria, between normal and so not normal it hurts.

That's me.

So not normal.

This is all wrong. Everyone being here for me, it's wrong and it's what he did in an effort to oh, gee, finally make me better. Make her happy because you won't like her miserable. It wasn't right then and it's not right now. And I don't know which one of you canceled my efforts to have these removed. Maybe I should thank you, I expected to show up and have to sit on the ground but there they were, the benches that represent arms that won't hold me anymore because I killed their hearts dead dead dead. I killed my own and then in some sort of murderous, euphoric glee I killed a few more.

Then I woke the fuck up and as usual I'm playing freak girl in the park while everyone else goes about their lives, totally fucking oblivious to me save to say, wow, she's pretty. It's too bad she dresses like a clown. It's too bad she has all those words tattooed all over her body.

It's too bad you're so fucking narrow-minded, too, but beggars can't be choosers and my mind is wide, baby. Wide enough that the little short-term memories fall out easily and the long-term ones dig deep. So deep they leave huge bloody gouges down the side of my head and my hair is all matted and black and maybe it's not the tights that make them stare. No, it's probably my brain falling out of my head because it's so big now and it would explain why my ears and my mouth don't work now doesn't it?

I did nothing to help them further the cause of tightening to support net around me because the only person who will be saved by that is already dead. Pretty but totally fucking dead inside and that can't change because dead is permanent.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Three, four, better lock the door.

Good morning. It's 8:45 and I have already had breakfast with the devil and a ride in the gorgeous little silver 350z. All that and I still have coffee here to finish from the gigantic stainless steel glass I like to nurse until lunchtime.

I'm at the loft at my beautiful desk doing absolutely nothing because no one is in until at least nine for most of the places I have to call in confirming final details for the party Friday night. I need to look after this mostly because Caleb likes the organizational part of my brain and because a woman's touch is always appreciated and yet I am the only woman he trusts.

Not sure if that's a comfort or a curse, come to think of it. But I will rock the doll dress and the high heels and smile sweetly and speak only when spoken to and allow him to parade me around like the final rose of the season while all the while plotting to stick this sharp and lovely letter opener in his back.

Hey, a girl can dream. Besides, if it came down to a fight to the death, I would most certainly lose, as he would shed his mortal trappings and rise to his full height, which is whatever the hell he wants it to be. Satan has that gift. So instead I will permit his objectification with a little of my own, and keep it incredibly clear that he only gets away with this shit because I let him and he is just as vulnerable to my charms and my whims, should I ever invoke them in his presence.

Even though I probably never will again.

I save them for Ben. Ben is headed to his own meeting today and then will meet us for lunch after he gets the children fed and back safely to school. We have reservations at 'the' restaurant. Caleb's favorite one, that one we were asked to leave after a food fight broke out quite purposefully last time.

I am ready this time, Benjamin. Waterproof mascara and everything.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

It happens every time. They all become blueberries.

We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams.
Joel has come to rescue the day.

Probably a bad idea.

Joel is truly the adult equivalent of the friend you call when you want to skip school and venture to an uncharted territory in which you will bravely face teenage danger and possibly break stuff.

What I mean is, in that regard, he's worse than Ben.

Hard to believe he was ever in charge of my head. Or maybe it all makes sense now. In any event, if we ever conquer the tension between us, he could totally be a close friend. But sadly and because we are adults who act like teenagers, I hardly ever get to see him anymore.

But here he is with Vietnamese takeout for four (because I'm not stupid, Ben and Daniel are home too) and a full rehash of all of the action last night from the Leafs winning their first game of the season. Because like a comforted idiot, I was busy watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. And it was glorious. When I was a kid the Oompa-Loopas scared me something awful. But I've been since scared by worse so instead I found it hilarious. It was on late and so it was eleven again before Ben and I made it to bed, where I turned the electric blanket up all the way and forgot to mention it. I sort of roasted my husband and he didn't sleep and so today has been reduced to puttering around a bit, making a few calls, filing some papers that have been up on the fridge too long and basically waiting for something to happen.

Joel's here to see that something happens. Most likely we will finish lunch, go outside and stare at the trucks for a little while and talk about the weather and then soon enough Ruth and Henry will be home from school with their fall pictures and chaos will resume and we'll invite Joel to stay for an early easy dinner and then Ben and I will take the children to the rec centre for their swim lessons and then home in bed by eight.

Unless there is something wonderful on television again.

Most likely there will be.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Damn, I wish I was your singer.

Oh dear lord. Apparently talent is not available through transmission of bodily fluids because I absolutely cannot sing anywhere nearly as well as I did on Rock Band. No way. Uh-oh. I will stick to playing the violin and the ever-obsequious groupiedom, thank you muchly for coming out and wasting time on me. You're all very good sports for putting the deaf girl in the booth.

Ben got what he wanted for the song anyway. I can't say I'll ever listen to the finished product unless they work some inane amount of magic on it, I sound like a hardcore chipmunk doing her best impression of Sophie B. Hawkins. With a head cold.

On the upside, the studio? My brother in law bought it. For my husband and his friends. Which is interesting to say the least.

Night nights.

Black cherry and Butterscotch.

I have candy sticks from the sugar village in those two flavours today. I'm saving them for work tomorrow. Nothing major, just have a few final preparations to attend to for Caleb's big costume party this weekend and I want to make sure that everything is in place so I don't spend the entire first week getting organized. Trying to work while unorganized just erodes what's left of my brain.

PJ's trip to the candy store and subsequent peace offering was warmly welcomed. I invited him to stay for lunch and we pulled out all the stops, eating Mr. Noodles and sharing a half a box of cheese nips. Which are really gross. Like goldfish but with a greasy aftertaste. So of course I couldn't stop eating them and now I'm vaguely unsettled. Maybe tea later will help. I'll try to fit that in around the coffee, of course because I had a cup yesterday afternoon and at ten last night I could still answer questions coherently and that NEVER happens. So the coffee stays so that I can have a life because Ben is a night owl and really sometimes that's when he appears out of nowhere and wants to spend time with me. By that time of night I am mostly toast. If he could just fly out of bed at six every morning without swearing he would be the awesomemest husband ever but beggars can't be choosers and choosers can't be choosey, sometimes.

I'll take Ben snarly and sleepy in the morning. He's freaking adorable. Especially on the days when the first order of business is washing the dog's butt. Oh yes. We're all glamour all the time here. Which is why PJ was mad at me in the first place. I refused to indulge him and drop a name. I don't do that. Probably never will. He wanted back up in a conversation and I feigned total deafness instead. Which sent my message loud and clear, ironically enough and he eats crows made of candy today as a result. Again, glamorous to a fault.

The good news is there actually is a little glamour in the day, planned for later. We're going to the studio and Bridget is going to sing. Truth. It will be recorded I mean, and you might even hear it eventually. See if it winds up anywhere special. And no, it's not a Christmas album, though there has been talk of that as well (Fuck, guys, I'm kidding. Holy.). Just something that was slated to be done once a certain level of private loyalty was achieved. I think we're there now, and I'm ready.

Wish me luck and tape the glass, boys. I'm going in.

Ben has promised to hold my hand.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Decisions carved into granite and flesh.

And I won't live your weak wicked lie
You pull me in
I'm one step behind

Show me where it hurts
And I will make it worse
Are you holding on?
Keep holding on
Dilated eyes
Shine for one last time
Are you holding on?
Keep holding on
Every year when it grows cold I lament the amount of hours I didn't spend reading in the front porch. There's now three chairs and a table there, and with eight ripply-glass windows with their crisp white curtains it's a cozy, sunny spot to curl up in for a few hours to process some stories. Only I didn't really do it much this summer and now summer is over. The tiny white lights will be on perpetually through the winter now, if only to lend a little magic to the distended winter regret that settles over the neighborhood once the last of the leaves fall.

The leaves are making things treacherous. Yesterday I slipped and slid down the wet pavement until I made it to the stairs and the railing was wet so I hung on for dear life and by the time I made it to the concrete room I was breathless, filthy and sure I would never make my way back without a cracked ankle or broken skull. I can't wait until the ice returns.

I ducked into the room and turned and for the first time, I closed the door behind me, giving the rusted mechanism a spin with pointless flair, for it hardly budged. I turned around and wiped my dirty, dripping fingers on the front of my coat. Then I tried to smooth my hair, pulling a lock from the corner of my mouth. And then I met his eyes.

He was sitting, leaning forward, elbows on his knees, equally filthy hands and feet but pristine blonde hair and wings as always. He watched me with love, with curiosity.

Why are you here, princess?

Where else would I be? It's an anniversary.

You didn't come on our wedding anniversary.

I don't acknowledge that one.

I see.

What's wrong with me, Jacob?

What do you mean?

Why did you leave?

Bridget, they'll be looking for you, especially today.

I'll go back in a while.

You should go back now.

You should have stayed.

I was not strong enough there. Here, I am.

Then come back now.

It doesn't work that way.

Change it. I need you.

What's wrong?

It's time to come back. I'm done with this game. I don't like this game.

What's happened?

You aren't there for me.

What else?

That should be ENOUGH FOR YOU! Don't you love me?

I do. So, so much.

What a sight we must have been. I'm standing again, screaming at him and he has tears spilling out, down his cheeks, helpless against my rage. Like all of them. It takes me finally getting mad and fighting back for them to see, for them to really see what they do to me.

I can't do this anymore, Jacob.

So let me go and you don't have to come back here anymore.

You're coming with me.

Bridget, I ca-


I reached out and grabbed the front of his shirt.

And I connected.

I connected.

He was warm.

He was real.

He was alive.

His hands came up and he froze and then he put his hands on my arms and he pulled me into his embrace and I rested my head against his chest, throwing my arms around him. His arms locked around my shoulders and I let out the breath I held. I let it out so slowly my lungs were aching with the effort. And then I began to sob, because I wasted so much time and he was here all along and he wasn't dead and they didn't listen and I was right and now I have to admit to him that I really screwed up, like so badly, like he didn't already know and somehow he has to understand that now Ben will have a bigger part of the equation because I really love Ben and I wouldn't let him go even if Jacob comes back and he's going to have to understand and it's all just pouring out and I doubt it made any sense at all and then suddenly there were other hands on me, hands pulling me away and back into the warmth and shaking me just a little and I opened my eyes and there was Ben, and I was so relieved that he found us and he knew too and everything was going to be good again and Bridget wouldn't be sad and I threw my arms around his neck and hung on for dear life as my heart popped and stretched and grew out of the black stitches that were holding it together and it hurt so badly and he held me in surprise and then he burst the balloon and I was plunged into black once again.

You were crying in your dream. It's okay now, everything's going to be okay.

It's so easy to make promises that someone else will have to keep. I just stared at him for a moment and then I got up and went to run a shower, hot as Hades, knowing he would not be far behind. I stepped into the claw foot tub, standing under the spray, and I watched the dirt run off my fingertips in black sandy rivulets, circling down into the drain along with any shred of hope that I can ever bring Jacob back to this place, back into my life that has changed so drastically since he left I hardly recognize myself, let alone anyone else.

Seconds later, Ben stepped into the shower, naked, gloriously beautiful with his tattoos in contrast to his pale skin, and put his arms out, stepping under the spray, shielding me from the needle-sharp barbs of hot water.

Ben, what if I told you Jacob was still alive?

Then bring it on, Princess, because you talk in your sleep and I already know how this will go down.

Rambling through my nightmares, unconscious and fearful, it never occurred to me even once that they are still conducted out loud.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Promise me you'll always remember you're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.
~Christopher Robin to Pooh

Friday, 23 October 2009

Benposta and the curse of touching Cole's girl.



Hit like a ton of goddamn bricks because I have things to do. Five loads of laundry. The house is a mess. The children are battered, fried and done and Ben is back on track after yet another magnificent stab at falling apart and failing. Because that's what he does when things go wrong and Bridget was doing terrific, all things considered and then some fucking idiot asked me what the date was and I looked at my blackberry and the world stripped away, the sky peeling back from it's neat edges, trees sucking back into the ground, a layer of dust settling over what remained, with black crowding in where the blue once was.

October 24th is tomorrow.

And I've already got a run-date and a lunch-date and a gallery-date and a movie-date. And that's just tomorrow! The week has been filled up, appointments and plans made and cross-checked and coordinated because last year we cleared the week and I didn't manage so well, but that was the first one. This is the second and so that makes me a veteran of enduring the Hard Days of anniversaries where bad things happen out of the blue. Like Jacob leaving, the week before he jumped from a high building because he was a magnificent fucking hypocrite and a coward.

Nothing brought more clarity to me than going into that house and seeing the shrine of a bedroom and sitting down to hot soup for lunch and knowing that I was still here, living, breathing, laughing, crying and where is Jacob? Locked in a concrete room in my insane little head because I don't know what to do with him and whatever is left of his ashes in the box which didn't wind up in the ductwork of my house isn't him so that doesn't even count and there's a marker by the ocean at the house but that doesn't count either so he's just trapped where I can hold his memories and none of them will leak out and they are safe but dammit, I'm the one enjoying his mother's soup and homemade bread and asking her about her garden and taking her to have a girlie day with Ruth at the hairdresser.

He shouldn't have left but he did and I can't help that. I can only help the big firecracking idiot Benjamin who threatened to take a drink every second we were there until Jacob's father got a hold of him. I don't know what was said but Ben came out of that day white as a sheet and on his best, and he renewed his position with a fortification that he must have checked out of the library because you certainly can't buy the sudden resolve that he was drenched in any more than Lochlan thinks he can charm the universe into presuming that he is the one running this circus.

You aren't paying attention. I run it. It's my show and I finance it with money from my brother in law that I get in exchange for things you don't want to know about. I know no one is thrilled I'm going back to work for someone I repeatedly have to unleash my lawyers on, but that's all part of the game and the game is maybe something I play because self-preservation is all or nothing, same as it is for Benny. There are no more secrets. There is nothing left to do with my love except to swing it around overhand and see who I can clock with it. I knocked Ben right out, apparently and he's been seeing stars ever since. But he hung on, down to the minute-by-minute and managed to white-knuckle Lochlan's bullshit and Caleb's smug ruggedness and he came home straight and narrow and incredibly upright, where he sagged into Nolan's arms at the airport and then I found out how afraid Ben is that every time the circus passes a Hard Day mark he waits for me to upend the tent and run off with some other clown. Because I've done it. Because I've ruined everything before. His solution is to make everyone hate him while he dies of fear.

As you can imagine, it's not very productive and almost assuredly counterproductive but Ben is Ben and he is slow to change.


There never seems to be anything BUT change anymore and we're attempting to force routine and permanence and we get burned repeatedly. Ever seen a circus tent go up in flames? I have. It goes up fast and it burns so hot. Permanence has come whether we rushed it or not. Routine will follow. Ben is planning to get a vacation loan to hang on to this library-borrowed strength until he can find some more ways to keep it going and me, well, I'm back in town so the circus is once again on.

All day, every day, half-price on weekends.
Hi, honey, we're home!

but true to form, the boys ate all of the food, so I must drag my sorry butt to the market. I'll be back this afternoon.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

We're heading home. I'm going to see if I can find a thicker skin to wear, Ben is going to get better and we're going to find some kind of routine. The rules are changing slightly, in that I will only be going to the loft two days a week, the other two I will work from home, with Fridays off as always.

Should be okay.

I have other things on my mind today.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Never more than this, princess. Never more than this.

Poetry by the Sea (chills courtesy of Lord Byron).

Here wilt thou read, recorded on my heart,
A grief too deep to trust the sculptor's art.
No marble marks thy couch of lowly sleep,
But living statues there are seen to weep;
Affliction's semblance bends not o'er thy tomb,
Affliction's self deplores thy youthful doom.

Quiet observations, but only the very good ones.

Good coffee.
Honey on the table.
Clean green paint on my chair.
Twelve pairs of gloves and three pairs of mittens by the door.
Fish are not pets, says Grampa, and he laughs again, pointing to the boats in the harbour.
Boys are speaking to one another.
Children seem to be over their colds.
We will conquer sleeping on feathers, just as we leave.
Movie and dinner plans for tonight, both acquired, for there is nothing here to go to.
The phone charger has come back to life, Dalton.
729 text messages and fifteen calls in three days.
All is well at home.
The sun is shining. It's not cold, and twenty-five years later I can still quote Highlander from beginning to end.
Ben is still sober.
God lives here.
And Jacob does not.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Theatre of idiots.

Jacob's dad walks into the kitchen early this morning.

Doing a little writing, Bridget?

No, just checking the news.

I don't know why I lie about the writing. They know I write (hello), they know I write daily if not hourly and that I chronicled every single day that I spent with Jacob. In some ways my writing is far too personal to even acknowledge which is ironic, knowing the mediums I use. I guess it's the journal that was/is private, began in secret. Cole was so surprised to learn of it, I've never been the one to bring it up since.

Jacob's parents are incredibly glad to see all of us, most especially the children. They are almost thrilled that nothing ever changes and the first order of business today will be to replace the window in the garage and take Lochlan in town to the dentist, since Ben and Lochlan already managed to conduct a fist fight in the side yard, complete with broken glass and teeth. God Bless Lochlan but he really needs to think before he opens his mouth because he is the smaller of the two and it's always his teeth in the grass. Ben couldn't quash an impulse under threat of death and frankly I think the whole throw down in Bridget's honor is not nearly as honorable as it once was, you know, back when we were in high school. Nevermind the fact that I didn't go to high school with Ben.

No worries, they made up five seconds later, and Ben gets to be the one to take Lochlan in town and then Lochlan gets to be the one to explain to the children why it's wrong to punch people.

Jacob's father laughed, while his mother ran to get ice in a towel, marveling exactly how little has truly changed in all these years.

I could say the same.

Jacob's parents are love. They both look well and as good as they ever will be, missing Jacob so dearly. Life remains black and white for them, and their daily routine changes little. It's nice to poke around a little and make the calls that will bring someone to fix the things that they put up with and chip away at making their lives as easy as we can. They are so proud, it isn't an easy job.

I have not gone into Jacob's room yet. The door is open, I got halfway down the hall. The kids went in and I had to send August in after them because I was afraid they might disturb things. They didn't, and Ruth and Henry were more touched then I expected them to be, to be here again. They have been back with Caleb so their last visit was without me here and maybe everyone is just backing off a little and seeing how I am doing and not pushing and it's all very gentle and quiet but the wind still blows. The relentless wind.

I'm trying not to be difficult, trying to find the good in all the little things and I've been eating the feelings as they come up, dry-swallowing the hard parts before my eyes get too stingy and my hands start to flutter. But no one is dumb. The only thing is I probably would have cracked but the fact that the boys followed me here to continue to be my knights means I now have an obligation to pull the fuck together and make it a successful visit that doesn't end with those grim looks over my head as they wonder exactly how long the road back will be this time.

I would say I'm faring a lot better than Ben and Lochlan, who will be heading up the immature end of thing this time but that's only because I waffled yesterday and basically hammered Ben into the ground and I'll atone for that when he atones for the equally unfair things he does.

Trust me when I say we are even, and forgive me when I fail to tell you why.

Sometimes I hold all the power which makes life difficult when one would prefer to fall apart. I've done that so much it hardly seems worth the fallout anymore, especially this far from home.

And so instead I sit in this kitchen which boasts so many coats of paint over the years it has lost its corners and is growing smaller, and look out over the ocean that still makes me cry and try to understand how I would have ever been enough to make Jacob change his plans of coming back home after graduate school to live in the town he grew up in and instead come chasing after me.

Bridget versus the ocean? It seems like such an easy choice.

At least to me.

I'm sure there's going to be many emotional rollercoasters to ride before we leave here on Thursday. I'm thinking that for some of them I may just wait at the bottom this time.

And now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go walk on the beach before lunch. Out here, that's where he is.

Monday, 19 October 2009

I am slow. the distraction of a day and a bit in Montreal gave Lochlan, PJ, John, August, Andrew, Duncan and Sam time to get to Newfoundland ahead of me.

So they would be here when I needed them.
Good morning, Jacob.

I am still in Montreal. We crashed Sophie's party last evening and she seemed touched that we are continuing on to Newfoundland this morning. She looked well and whatever jealousy issues I have with her didn't seem to come up even once. She wrote a hasty note to bring along. I sealed it in a hotel envelope because I didn't want curiosity to get the better of me and it would have. Her relationship with your folks is far different than mine. I don't know which of us got the best of you. I am always hoping it was me.

I'm leaving soon to fly out. We've had a few delays and I'm reduced to emptying out my head because I've done everything else. They are off looking at the plane. The kids have fallen asleep here beside me as I sit in this stupid molded chair. I have all our coats bundled around them to make it comfortable. It isn't.

Once I get where I'm going you will be different. Fondly remembered, anguish in the time that has elapsed since your death. Everything you ever did, said or thought was good to them and I won't have it any other way. The flight was a desperate action. Uncharacteristic but understood because they have no choice. Horrible feelings to have to have but overall they are so proud of you. You are still Jacob with your beautiful white-blue eyes and white-blonde hair and your size fourteen feet. Oversized in every way.

In my concrete room, you are twelve feet tall. I walk in and look up and up until it hurts. I could hide in your wings if I could bear to touch you.

I don't actually know why I'm here.

I guess I do, in a way. Ben is trying to tick off whatever list I can come up with of things I need to get done before the week that I would like to take back. If only I could do anything in this entire lifetime of mine it would be to take that week back. October 24 right through November 7, 2007 because right up until that moment I thought I had my forever.

I fought too much, Jacob.

I fought to make you everything and it wasn't fair.

Bear with me, I've got to get this out now, because I'm really sure that I'm going to step out of the truck and step into Jacob's father's arms and he'll smell like Jacob and talk like Jacob and I'll waver ever so slightly like the old Bridget and the world is going to end. I wager I have about five hours left to my life if that's the case and why anyone would want to allow my children to witness that I will never know.

I'm sorry.

He was everything and now he's missing and I filled the space in with Ben because Ben seems to be able to take a lot and keep on going and he's not smart enough to understand that he made a big mistake with me and maybe that's okay because better me than some vacuous tramp who wants to ride his coattails. I'm not good for him, Jacob. But I know why you did this and I know you're there standing in the middle of the room right smackdab between us when we argue. I know you watch when he touches me just as much as he ever did and I know that unlike everyone else Ben isn't going to just get up and walk away from me and never come back.

Sad that the flightiest, flakiest, most immature one of the lot is the one who turns out to be the pillar of strength, isn't it?

I'm talking about Bridget.

I don't think I should go anymore. I know I'll disappoint them. I don't think anyone has a sweet clue how hard this is going to be on me and how much it will serve to reverse time and take me back to when things were different. I've been numb for so long. The dead lurches in my chest from when Ben says or does something so unlike him serve as my emotions now.

You have all ruined me, but you, Jacob, most of all. I am not your game. I was not some prize to be passed around and you guys all seem to think that my feelings aren't as important as your egos and your places among the others in this twisted brotherhood. I am tired of being the target.

I can see Ben from here now. He is walking toward me from the other end of the concourse. He's got a blind focus that means we're leaving now. Caleb is walking beside him. Sorry, gliding on hellfire that he carries around with him as a party trick. I'm supposed to keep my shit together and start working for him next Monday, a week from today. Right now I think I'd rather impale myself on one of the barbed wire fence-posts that barely keeps people from venturing over the edge of the cliff where the pretty white house sits where you grew up. These two dark overlords are running this show and I'm not all that sure that it's right.

I have made so many mistakes and I have let myself be taken in by charming words and smothering attention and Ben's peculiar, incredible generosity and loyalty and a private history with Caleb that has now driven Lochlan away. I'm not sure I've done the right thing, truth be told. I'm confused. They're exploiting that.

And now I have to figure out how to put it all together while everyone who matters watches from the sidelines. It's far too late for changes.

You could have prevented all of it and you didn't. And for that, I won't forgive you, even though I will love you to the end of my days.

Yours forever,


Sunday, 18 October 2009

Waking up in Montreal.

We lock our souls in cages
We hide inside our shells
It's hard to free to the ones you love
Oh when you can't forgive yourself
forgive yourself
Last night I panicked. I didn't want to go from the frying pan into the fire and for as much as I love the thought of seeing Jacob's parents and getting another immersion into him proper as much as I can without venturing into the place where I keep him in my heart, it's not an easy thing to do. Add in Caleb traveling with us and I may as well just implode.

I tried to but it didn't work all that well and so Ben pulled out the music and started playing it and he was focusing on upcoming bands like Switchfoot because hell, if you don't know the story of the words wrapped around my ankle from one of their songs and how I think sometimes music is sent to save people who don't want to acknowledge God just quite yet then there is a way for you, my friend.

Ben is more aware of this than anyone in the entire world and he grabbed the headphones and twisted up the dial and rocked me until I stopped shaking and then he rocked me just a little more.

And then he finished packing for all of us which is why I have two unmatched black stiletto boots in my bag and not a single bra. Which will be interesting and at some point I'll have to rectify that but for now he is my life raft in a sea of trepidation because I suddenly don't want to go on to Newfoundland and it's only because I want to be selfish. I want to sit back and take in as much Jacob as I can take in at my own pace because otherwise he just steamrolls over me and I'm reduced to the tiny Bridget who is rescued without any input at all and do you know what means? That means that you're always holding the bike up and steering that bike and then you proclaim that the rider is riding! Only you can never let go again or the rider will fall. I am the rider and he is always holding the bike. Ben doesn't hold the bike. He points it out. He might even stand it up and dust the seat off. Then he stands back, admiring me on it and suggests I bike down the street. Slowly. He says he will wait right here. With bandaids for my knees.

And then he'll close his eyes.

But that's okay. Maybe that's better than always holding me up. He can't and shouldn't always hold me up. He can't save every day and step in and take over as the replacement hero because there is no hero in my story unless it's me. Only I won't get on the bike because honestly I don't like bicycles. They're too high up and they make me nervous and I had a lot of steep hills in my universe growing up and too many boys egging me on to go faster and I could never pull it off quite like they could and it's so easy for them to forget I'm not as capable as they are.

So the trip is a bicycle, the arrangements are Ben's encouragement and the bandaids are Ben and Caleb for when I fall off and shred my skin like ice on the pavement. The music was Ben's way of reminding me that I might not fall off. That I should just keep listening because oh, in a little over two weeks Hello Hurricane comes out and it must be meant for me to keep because that is a post title from June of 2007 that I made (!) that now rests in the archives of Jacob, long off the internet and maybe they will come and play here another time and into the future stretches song after song that I can sing the words to until I know them by heart which leaves no room for errant short-term memory like phone numbers, times and people's names (sorry, H.) and I have that weird inner peace of mind that I can conjure up from that.

I keep getting waylaid by forever and forget to live in the present. Forever is overwhelming and expectant and pressure. Forever demands results and plans and intentions and forethought. Then now is a rush, a clumsy trip over a discarded idea because what if it's not good enough? What if the results are different from the plan? What if none of it works? How do you balance going and getting a coffee and watching a movie when it doesn't further the future? How do you continue to believe in promises and breathing deeply when every time you slip and get comfortable everything gets ripped away from you?

Constantly living on edge. Neverending fear. I've yet to find a professional or a drug that can take those two things away from me, and yet both disappear in two instances: when I get a hug and when I listen to music.

Now you know.

I'm off to get coffee and go explore Montreal. One of those weird living in the moment moments, I guess.

If you see us, come and say hello. Be prepared to give a hug.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

New money.

One of the joys of sometimes being able to charm Caleb into the use of his private jet means that he will weigh in on the traveling plans altogether. While I was off collecting Ruth from her class he was deciding that our week should involve a little more fun just in case.

So we are leaving tonight, making a day and a half stop for a little adventure before continuing on to St. John's. Ben thought it was a wonderful idea, a brief chance to spoil Bridget before she starts working again. A little fun for the children before Bridget surrounds herself with the History of Jacob and cracks up again.

Caleb is determined to bestow whatever brotherly advice, assistance and attention he would have spent on Cole on Benjamin instead, and I just get attention period because he is like that with me. And so on that note, I will have to review the concert when I come back. In tandem with our trip. I'm really going to miss the guys but I'm taking the big one with me. He is enough trouble all by himself, but boy, am I glad he's coming too.

See you Friday!

Ridiculously talented cro-magnon men.

What a desolate day. I got up at seven to walk the puppy, having learned I clench my teeth in my sleep and maybe that explains waking up with headaches all the time. It was still dark outside. Winter is knocking on the door. I have it barricaded. Hopefully it will hold for a while.

I'm about to drive downtown to pick up Ruth, who has an early art class each Saturday at a lovely gallery downtown. She will come home with paint on her clothes, clay under her nails and fresh inspiration, for she loves art as much as her father did. As much as the boys do. It keeps them civilized when otherwise I think they would grunt, accept a plate full of meat, beat their clubs for entertainment, go slay another wild animal with their bare hands and then invite me to be wrapped in the animal skin blankets they make and keep me safe through the night. I get all that now plus music and visual arts to keep us refined!

Maybe it's a silly day. Maybe it's just going to be a quiet day.

Maybe something great will happen.

Or maybe I will try for a nap. I do that every five years or so, just out of the blue.

PS I realize I never reviewed the Metallica concert. I will, perhaps tomorrow! It still feels like it was all a dream.

Friday, 16 October 2009


(The crunching noises are the broken records underfoot.)

The quieter drone this morning surprised me. Muffled by cold air, muted with soaking fallen leaves, it was more peaceful and yet far more frightening this morning as I walked quickly down the concrete path, using muscle memory to stay upright over the places where I remember that there are large cracks and the plates have lifted just enough to make you crack an elbow or twist an ankle rather badly. I'm glad I had so much time to learn this route by heart, because it's dark now and it's so much harder to get here. I squeeze Ben's hand, pulling a little. He stumbles slightly and my heart lurches because if he trips or falls I can't catch him, there's no way I could hold him up or rescue him from a falter the way he has done for me countless times. It makes me feel helpless. It makes me feel responsible.

He isn't feeling well this morning, running a fever, strung out on exhaustion and the weight of the world that presses down, leaving us blind with headaches and clenched teeth. Change has come, and we are testing how it feels, dipping our feet into it, bravely venturing in for a quick dip and then hurrying back to the edge where we sit and regard how it feels without truly surrendering to the newness. Not quite yet. Soon.

He is trusting me this morning. There is fear but also curiosity and concern. There is the protective nature that once made the decision that led me to latch onto Ben like a barnacle on the side of an old sailboat because his focus is singular but loving. He doesn't want to control, or change, or fix, he simply wants to be here. In his own way with the fireworks of emotions he sets off randomly and without warning, he is a simple creature at heart. He rules by his heart and nothing more. Only his heart is missing because I have it. He has mine in return.

We haven't quite figured out how that works but it will come. It is still new. It seems like forever but it's not.

He looks at me and I point to the door. He opens it and then stands back as I enter without hesitating.

Jacob is standing right in front of me. Wings outstretched. I think we woke him. He is so beautiful I want to cry. He looks right past me to Ben and cocks his head, smiling slightly, thoroughly confused as to why I would bring Ben here. To see this.

Cole makes a soft noise from somewhere up above in recognition. It's been years since they have seen Ben and I didn't warn them. I didn't warn him. I didn't know what to do.

Every time I walk through this door I feel bitterness mixed with relief. It's a safe place. Getting here is so dangerous but the room in itself is inviolable, sheltered. I turn and look for Ben and bump into him. I can feel the tension roiling in him and also that same relief.

What are you thinking, princess?

Jake's focus on me is intense and singular once more, recovered from the surprise of seeing Benjamin in this place because Benjamin knows death and does not like it and thinks I am completely insane sometimes for having made this room. But I didn't make it. I found it! I just surrender to their arguments because there is no point in doing anything else.

He wants to know where I go. I am showing him.

Do you think that's wise?

It really doesn't matter if it's smart. He's not ashamed of me. I can be myself.

Because he has worse problems.

Because he doesn't have an agenda.

A noise from somewhere near the ceiling registers Cole's protest. Jacob frowns, but it's the fake frown he used when he was disappointed and wanted to appear to be troubled. I've had time to study all of his expressions since I kept him.

There is no pretending here, guys.

I see that.

Cole lands behind Jacob and I gasp. Rarely do they stand together and I turn slightly to put Ben in my peripheral vision and it's really amazing to see the three of them at one time and oddly I want to know what color Ben's wings will be someday but then I eat that awful thought, chewing without swallowing because that is precisely why I'm here.

I need something.

A real smile from Jacob, and curiosity from Cole, who always had so much trouble showing any emotion, other than anger and regret. I mistook regret for love. I will never do that again.

I need you to hide him.


Everything bad.


Please, Jake.

He frowns, for real this time.

Fear incapacitates you, Bridget.

No. It doesn't. It creates resolve.



Only briefly.

Wow, Jacob. As much as I would love to stand here and shake and freeze to death I didn't come to trade big words with you. Will you help me or not?

Help you. Keep him alive?


What makes you think I can do that?

The same gift that lets you lie to my face about why you taught yourself to fly. The same gift that enabled to you fool Cole into thinking you were friends so that you could watch over me. The same one that made me think you were human. You never were. You were a dream. I'm asking you to take that focus now and watch over Ben. I can't lose him.

What will kill him is the-

Just don't say it. Keep him fixable. I can't do more than that. I have to keep this at the beginning of the fear or I will stop moving and it will win and I can't allow that.

He needs to do this himself.

He can't! That's why I'm here. I can do this. I'm stronger.

And you'll pay the price.

I should have paid it a long time ago. I didn't ask for this. I asked to take the place of anyone, everyone, I wanted to be the one.

Bridget, don't you talk like that.

This is not a life, Jake. This is breathing through a whole different kind of fear.

Cole stepped forward and stared at me. Hard. An intense, uncomfortable scrutiny that I never appreciated but understood. He nodded at me and smiled and my heart broke with relief.

Thank you. I mouthed it because I knew I would never be heard.

Cole shook his head and spoke, finally.

We're not doing this, baby girl. You are.

Everything went dark and I knew my time was up. We felt our way to the wall and back the way we had come when I heard something. Or I thought I heard something, anyway.

I turned around because we had just stepped through the doorway and I was too late. The door slammed shut in my face. Ben looked alarmed, pulling me toward him, for a split-second wondering if I had left some fingers or toes behind. The noise from the abruptness echoed down the hallway, deafening both of us.

I stared at Ben in the dark. He stared back, maybe finally understanding a little bit of my faith and what my God can do and why I need to keep that room but why he's never allowed to ever come here alone and how I can rectify loving and hating both of the men I keep in that room without going outwardly insane in the process. Why I will protect him until the day I die, and why I was able to extend that day that much further away from me, when before I would have welcomed it with open arms.

Instead, I will use my arms to hold onto him. And I will keep him safe. I have all kinds of resources at my disposal to ensure that this time, there will be no broken promises.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Pour that sugar.

There are no coincidences and Ben has a greater pool from which to fish for reinforcements than I ever realized, an extended network of friends that will give you the teeth out of their mouths if yours are not strong enough to chew. Okay, that sounds disgusting but I like nice teeth and I've seen a lot of amazing smiles lately. It seems that one of the first things someone does when they get a big fat royalty cheque is to run off to the dentist and do things up right.

That's awesome.

Then they drop everything and go stay with friends. Rolling in like vagabonds from the road with a list of meals they want me to make a mile long because I have a "real kitchen" and I think I'm in for a whole lot of running and then I notice that oh my god. They aren't just coming through and stopping in. This was a special trip. Because things needed to get done and hearts always can use a few extra-strong stitches to hold them together and hugs are something everyone needs and no one can buy.

Ben took longer to figure that out then I ever have.

I'm imagining the boys get a weird cross-section of life here in a short time span but there's nothing I can do about that....

Except go make breakfast.

I hate goodbyes.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

I will return all the emails in a day or two. I promise!

Mmmmmm, making two big dinners for tonight. Beef stew in the crock pot and a shepherd's pie. Did a little grocery shopping this morning, dog walking and such. It's the last full day of most of our company and then tomorrow will be rather hectic. But above all, I'm going to see my doctor and I'm going to point to my sore throat and swollen glands and say help, jesus, please. Lose a few hours of sleep and the germs rush in and overtake Bridget. Feasting on her vulnerabilities.

Ah well.

Back to the mayhem.

Monday, 12 October 2009


And if hope could grow from dirt like me.
It can be done.
Won't let the light escape from me.
Won't let the darkness swallow me.
There is always a singalong when someone plays Down.

There will always be so much attention paid to the Bridget, children and animals that we all implode under the watchful scrutiny of those who hold us within their love.

We will always run out of milk, cookies and bread first, though the turkey, gravy and cornbread stuffing wasn't far behind. The coffee continues to flow, a river of alert cutting a violent path through the sleepy forest, the fog low and thick in the trees.

Snow persists here and there, mostly in the odd, misshapen attempts made by all the children to have snowmen witness the welcome Canadian Thanksgiving, and hearing that the place we head next will be sixty degrees warmer in the winter and yet for some reason they find it cold and still make pilgrimages to buy remote car starters and electric blankets. We marvel at our ability to continue to build such character and to smile through our wasteland of a winter and we know these days are coming to a close, and there are brighter, warmer days on the horizon.

The sun is finally up here, two hours after me.

The puppy has gone back to sleep at my feet. If Henry hadn't made it all the way to ten last night he would be here now scavenging for bagels and honey, juice and a warm blanket and some weekday morning television shows. He really thinks that next Saturday night he'll be able to make it til eleven and watch The Addams Family. I have my doubts.

He is like his mother, who persists in being an active participant long past her expiry time, hiding yawns behind hands and happy to get up and fetch things if only to stay awake, determined not to miss a moment of these times and then forced to pretend she doesn't notice when they all collectively call it a night on her behalf. So she pretends not to see when hours later, she wakes up and gets up for a few minutes and sees lights under the ill-fitting, tiny bedroom doors because no one was truly tired (my time zone seems to be lighthours ahead), and everyone is quietly reading as they wait for the sleep that ambushed Bridget, an unwilling victim, hours before the rest. It's the gift of her own particular brand of endearing exhaustion.

But it is Monday morning, and there is much to do and places to go and music to hear and more good food to eat and a lot of must-dos this morning, like laundry and preparing homework for tomorrow, and life resumes the pace it has set even though we would like it to stay slow and warm and at the perfect volume.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Hello darlin', nice to see you.

It's been a long time.
I thought today had gone to hell.

Henry woke up throwing up (almost a typical Thanksgiving response the past four years running) and the dog seems determined to be difficult. Delayed flights are being watched closely and everyone is praying for the snow to melt, so we can go back to the blustery fall we had only just begun to enjoy. The leaves are still on the trees, I should not be digging pumpkins out of the drifts on the back steps.

Then Ben did an impression of Conway Twitty, complete with awkward steady gaze and strangely-small mouth™.

I laughed so hard I had to beg him to stop singing. I hurt all over.

Best thing ever, or so I thought...

Because you should have seen Conway covering Duran Duran. Instant classic, I tell you.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Hallo from the front lines.

Tearing it back, unveiling me.
Taking a step back so I can breathe.
Hear the silence about to break.
Fear resistance when I'm awake.
I'm sure last night it was a collective agreement. Put the tranquilizer in her food, toss a pillow under her head and lights out, pigalet.

I slept from ten until six. Without waking up. Those nights are gold to me. Caleb pulled big brother and we took the kids over last night for an early thanksgiving movie party and sleepover. Maybe there is something in the air at his loft. In any case, both Ben and I slept, and getting up at six to pull on clothes and go home to get ready for the day proper wasn't nearly as painful as it usually is. And we had fun. We watched Gremlins. Seriously. Gizmo reminds me of Bonham.

And now I'm home from yet another grocery run and have plans to spoil myself for the rest of the day. It probably won't happen, but I've got the turkey, stuffing, gravy, potatoes, carrots, rolls, broccoli, fresh strawberries and apples and I'm ready to enjoy the long weekend the way it was meant to be enjoyed.

In the kitchen, doing dishes.

For those I love.

Happy Thanksgiving.

And look. I'm not planning on murdering Ben. Yesterday was overwhelming and I cracked a little and then it got better. He acknowledges the time I spend in the concrete room inside my head and I will tell you more about it as we go along here. Also be warned, the next two weeks will be sporadic. We have company and then we're taking a little trip so if you don't see all that much activity between now and the 22nd, don't panic.

I will try not to, as well. This is good stuff. Be happy for us. Things are going as well as they ever do, barring ghosts, illness and electromagnetic impulses.

Yes, I managed to fry both the Xbox 360 and my car keys (again). What the fuck. Hide your macbooks and iPhones, my big apple dumplings.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

I am not afraid.

I've decided I'm going to take Ben to visit Jake and Cole when I go back. Don't even ask me how I'm going to do this, it's not your concern. Just like Caleb's bid for immortality and the fact the boys have built a truly magnificent life for me here in which reality doesn't even have a speaking role isn't either.

Just know that there are some things you just need to take on faith. Not these things. Other things. Nevermind, please.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Houseguests when you have a double ear infection.

In my defense, I already did three loads of laundry and cleaned up after all of the slobs currently occupying every last space, hard or soft, left in the house and I've even thrown together a whole collection of freshly prepped things to eat, fruits, veggies, hard boiled eggs, cold meats, etc. No one's going to die of hunger on my watch, Duncan.

And now I'm going to demonstrate the true princess nature within by spending the bulk of the afternoon lying on the kitchen floor listening to Apocalyptica on full blast and yelling for my minions to bring me orange juice. Note: The stereo speakers are on the fridge. If I reach out with my left foot I can whack the fridge door.

I just don't want to drink out of the carton, even though that's not a deterrent for all of you.

Chop chop, people. Bring cake. Bring Thai. Bring Vicodin. Princess down.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Battened hatches.

It's an odd day. This morning there were not one but two days in the coming week's forecast that had snowflakes and flurries included. Enough for me to pick the cold, cloudy day to go out and rake up the leaves and mulch in all of the beautiful perennials Ben talked me into last spring when I pointed out I just didn't feel much like doing a huge vegetable garden again. Lucky thing that, because it was the coldest summer in a long time. I put away the patio umbrella and the watering cans and upended the wheelbarrow. I traded my gardening implements for the snow shovels and contemplated emptying the rain barrel. The hose is away and the patio lights too, and it already looks barren and abandoned in my once lush and overgrown Victorian patio. Ben already put the storm windows up on the weekend. We're ready.

It put me in the mood and so I continued inside the house, putting fresh candles in the candlesticks and the candelabra. I went to the store to get some things, and bought a door decoration that says simply "Happy Halloween". I came home and hung it up straight away, that and the gruesome skeletons from last year, the ones tied with jute, each one with a tiny, painstakingly-tied noose. It's quite disturbing, actually. I put out the small collection of skeleton snowglobes and we already have the pumpkins outside so aside from picking up some candy I do believe I am ready for Halloween.

You'll be pleased to know the store had some other door signs as well, including one that read "Insane Asylum". I didn't buy that one.

I probably should have.

Monday, 5 October 2009

The shepherdess of the damned, apparently.

What colors would you like, Jacob?

Whatever you think will be best, princess.

Hmm. I think dark brown, navy blue and cream will look good on you.

Okay, good. For a few seconds there I was afraid you were going to deck me out in purples.

This morning I dug way down to the bottom of the knitting basket I have not touched in two years and found the sweater I had started making for Jacob. I took the entire thing, hours of work and threw it into the pile to be taken to the garbage, needles and all.

Ben watched me thoughtfully.

Zero was going to get a sweater for Christmas?

Could you not call him that, please?


But are you?

No, Bridget, I'm still pissed at him. That's not going to change.

How can you hold a grudge against someone who is dead?

I don't know, Bridge. You tell me.

It's weird that you do it on my behalf. That's all. You know what's so dumb? I may not be the most domestically inclined person in the world but I try so hard, Ben. I wanted him to be warm.

So finish it.


Finish knitting the sweater and we'll take it out to the bench. Jake will see it and then maybe someone will pick it up and be able to use it.

That's generous for someone still hung up on calling him Zero the Hero.

Yeah, well, I have my moments.

I don't think I'm going to finish it.

Okay. It's your call.

Good, then can I do something else with it?

Sure, whatever you want.

I want to give it to Jake's mom. She can finish it for his father.

He smiled and left the room. I kept up with my chore of reorganizing the sewing corner, sweeping out the corner, jamming the brace back into the leg of the chair I used to use for spinning. It always pops out when anyone heavier than Ruth sits on it. Before I really got anywhere, Ben reappeared in the doorway.

We're flying out to Newfoundland the morning of the nineteenth. Back on the twenty-second.


The four of us.



Oh, wow.

Wow what?

I thought I would have to go alone.

You don't have to do anything alone, Bridget. That's what I'm here for.

He went out again and I was left sitting on the floor surrounded by spools of thread and possibly, maybe, just a few lucky stars.
God help me I've come undone
Out of the light of the sun

I can feel you falling away
No longer the lost
No longer the same
And I can see you starting to break
I'll keep you alive
If you show me the way

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Try this one on for size, boys.

This year Halloween is easy.

If you remember, every year Caleb throws a significant costume party. And every year we go all out on dressing up and coming up with good costumes, sometimes as a group and sometimes as sets or duets. This is one of those wonderful years where everyone is involved in one specific theme, and this marks the first year that Ruth and Henry can participate.

Because they picked the theme.

The children decided back in early August, upon release of the movie, that they would be going as Storm Shadow (Ruth) and Snake Eyes (Henry) from G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra.

It was a natural progression after that.

I'm going to be the Baroness. Benjamin is going as Duke. Caleb will be the Baron (stop laughing). PJ is General Hawk, and Christian is Heavy Duty. Sam is Destro. Lochlan is going to be Dr. Mindbender and oddly enough it seemed far too easy to convince Schuyler to be Scarlett. The rest are rounding out the team as Zartan, Ripcord and all the other characters I have forgotten the names of already but find equally awesome.

It's going to be a blast.

The party is the Friday night before Halloween, and since the children won't be attending, we'll have a costumed sit-down dinner party at the house with everyone coming here first for food, and then we can travel downtown as a group to Caleb's loft after I take them to PJ's mom's for the night. The kids are incredibly excited.

Not sure if I am yet, the idea of spending ten or twelve hours in a full latex body suit that is that curve-hugging kind of has me wishing I had picked Hard Master, or someone in a far more comfortable looking outfit. When I expressed my doubt to the boys, however, they assured me that my suit will look amazing.

I bet.

I don't think they share my concern. Do you?

Friday, 2 October 2009

Hello goodbye Ducati. I'm not sure I'll miss you.

And I always paid attention to all the lines you crossed
Forgive this imperfection it shows and know
I am the child that lives and cries in a corner
Dies in a corner, alone inside your mind
Based on recent weather patterns, we've decided to take the sunny day today and use it to get the bikes down to Nolan's and winterized for the year. Which means I get to spend three hours alone in Ben's truck, following the boys while they take their final ride of the season. And I get to be warm and drink coffee and listen to loud music.

When they're finished we'll take Nolan out to the little diner for lunch in the town nearest to his farm and we'll have soup and club sandwiches and a little more coffee and then we'll plan to be home before dinner to collect the kids from after-school time with Sam and maybe we'll go see a movie.

Or maybe we'll just hang out in front of the fire and thaw the boys out. It's going to be a very cold trip. Tinged with relief that Ben is putting the new beast to bed for the winter. First bike I ever met that I am afraid of. Every time he rolls on the throttle I hold my breath and pray.

He says there is nothing to worry about. But he says that about everything.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

9 pm and Bridget is on the run.

We're crazy. Yes.

PJ and I are trying our hands (or maybe that's our feet) at night running. We're heading out with one tiny keychain canister of bear spray left over from a camping trip in 1994 and the blessings of absolutely nobody in the house, but because it's cold and rainy and dark, no one wants to go with us. We're going to head over to the benches and then turn and come back. As it stands today, I am thirty-seven days out from the second anniversary of Jacob's death.

And I can't do this. I see it coming a mile away like a freight train. And I can't move off the tracks.

Macbook Amateur.

Damn Benjamin and his weirdly compelling overpriced laptop. I can't type on this thing. I don't think I can live with the doorbell noises and the fact that everything is on the left as opposed to the oh, doorbell again. How distracting. Otherwise it's like the iPhone. Overly easy without much effort at all. But I think I'll keep the Acer. Like I tell him every day he tries to get me to learn this thing, if I manage to kill my laptop with my electromagnetic princess pulses, I've only flushed four hundred bucks down the drain.

So there. Princess out.

I gave it a whirl. Now give me my machine with it's blink and you miss it battery life. Yes fine, there are perks. I am just not quite there yet. :)

Dark Horses.

Circles, people. Here we go. Watch for the boomerang around that last curve. It's a doozy.
Holding the hand that holds me down
I forgive you, forget you, the end
I didn't mean to actually publish that momentary rant last evening. I meant to type it out, delete it and shut down for the night. I was distracted, as you well know now and so this morning waking up to a shitload of emails telling me to DTMF (go to Urban Dictionary if you don't know what that means) surprised me and I wondered how all of the sudden everyone had insight again into my heart, other than what I give you. It wouldn't be the first time one of the boys started a journal in response to some atrocity I wrote about them. Ben's went on for months, after all.

I don't just feel things, I type them. I won't apologize for that any more than I will apologize for holding on to those who drag me down. You've met Lochlan, you know what he's like. He chooses to live idealistically until told otherwise and then when the going gets rough he walks away, only to return post-haste and demand that things go his way.

I'm learning this as I go, bear with me. Maybe the things you see so easily don't fly here because we are not that analytical. Put those emotions in there and we can't see a damned thing. It's so thick. A pea soup of emotions. Visibility will be limited.

Lochlan has had a huge hand in my upbringing, having been the object of my affections since I was a child. Then as a teenager, his aloof and loyal affection for me changed, and I learned so incredibly early exactly what to do to bring a man to his knees. Ever since then, with very few interruptions, we've been dropping and picking up our love affair, almost unconsciously. He's a polyamoric nightmare. He broke up with me when I was fourteen because I was difficult and he wanted to teach me a lesson. I was 'difficult' because his friends were making his life a living hell. They stared. They openly drooled. They were always very happy when I came along and he was jealous that I took attention away from him and afraid I would find a better boyfriend. I did. I found Cole. As a result, Lochlan has sought absolution from me periodically for the past twenty years. He tries to move on, I try to stay out of his way.

Try. I'm never all that good at undertakings without merit. When the going gets tough we have a tendency to fall back into teenage patterns that should have been undrawn decades ago. He's still affectionate, loving, logical Loch to a fault. He's also a judgemental, controlling asshole when he wants to be. Like all my boys, only Lochlan is always right up there because he spins it as the voice of reason and I could never win an argument with him. He's the Alpha and I, apparently am the goddamned Omega girl.

Things are changing, maybe.

He found the good in Satan's deal initially. Our souls and in exchange Bridget gets her boys home. Lochlan failed to remember her soul is tied to other needs of Satan and when made aware of such plans, instead of being concerned for my welfare, reputation or safety, predictably he only saw his share of Bridget shrinking.

See, we tricked him, or so he says. The deal was equal time. Bridget's a handful, between the two of us we can make her happy, Benny. And I betrayed him and fell in love with Ben. I married Ben. We made space for Lochlan in our lives but it's never enough.

I did not make a mistake and I'm also not continuing to make them and he should know better than to create a monster and then yell at her when she proceeds as instructed. And God FORBID anyone else should have any of her time at all.

Last I heard, she was a grown woman and not a teenager anymore but he can't or won't see that. And last night I was given the chance once again to escape. Walk away. No one will place blame, no one will be surprised. No one will find fault if you just want to come away and be done with the difficulty.

I am so predictable. You all know what I'm going to do before I do it and I'm fickle and impulsive and immature and insane.

So I dug my heels in instead.

There's room there, behind Ben, in the dirt where I can dig in hard and then I can hook my fingers in the belt loops of his jeans and hide from all of them. I'm always hoping that if I do the opposite of what he has taught me to do then maybe Lochlan will stop pressuring me. Maybe he'll stop trying to secure a larger share of my heart and stop adding even more drama to an overly dramatic life. Maybe he'll fall out of love with me.

See, this is where we both fail. Because pigs will never fly and because Bridget doesn't run on logic.

And it isn't the same as Jake. These are not the same old roles with different players. I wanted to get away from Cole and be with Jake. I took whatever I could get from Jake until I felt like I couldn't stand another minute of life with him in second place. Which is exactly the same way I feel about Ben. I want to be with Ben. Ben is oxygen.

NOT Lochlan. Lochlan's had eleven million dozen chances in this life and he blew all of them. He takes me for granted when no one else does. That is the difference.

I owe you nothing.

I made my choice. Jesus, why won't you listen?