Saturday, 30 January 2010

Adagio, cold metal and Dana Fuchs on the radio.

Well do you or don't you want me to make you?
I'm coming down fast but don't let me break you
If you find her in the sunlight, the tiny dust motes floating in the air while she bites her sterling bobby pins open and twists her hair up into a ballerina bun, she won't see you. The sleeves of her sweater are long, getting in the way, constantly pushed up over bony elbows. She pushes them up again and adds one more pin to keep the bun from falling out while she paints. And you watch her.

While she sings.

While she thinks.
Well do you or don't you want me to love you?
I'm coming down fast but I'm miles above you

Friday, 29 January 2010

God's down at the Safeway and she said I was fine.

I'm cooking corn, cod and potatoes for dinner. Hot comfort food if there ever was any. I'm dying to go to the Raincity Grill in Vancouver. I'm picking places out for Ben and I to try out once we're there. If you have any suggestions, let me know, I love to eat.

Yesterday again they had no cake when I went for groceries. I braved the icy roads, bought the requisite vegetables, fruits, fibers, legumes and school snacks and then I went to see if they had any chocolate cake for Bridget because even though Bridget prefers the very fancy cakes one can find at Salty's or Dio, the cakes from Safeway are perfectly wonderful in their own right. And only $12. For a WHOLE one!

No cake. None. Zip. Wait, some strange German chocolate affair that always looks so unappetizing so I opted to just buy extra pears to snack on and as I'm coming up the bakery aisle an elderly lady asked me if I could reach the cherries for her. I found that funny, she was maybe two inches shorter than me. I gave them to her and she remarked that they didn't seem to have any graham crackers, whole ones, not the crumbs. She needed the wafers.

They're in the cookie aisle, I said. At the bottom.

Thank you, she said. You're a good person. You'll do fine.

Late last night it hit me. She was God. I asked for something, anything and I got it in the form of a little old lady at the grocery store.

Interesting. I'm not sure I'm up for scavenger hunts though, I would much prefer it if God would just email me so we could have a conversation I could go back over later, if need be.

After shopping I still had some time left before the kids would be home for lunch so I drove to the shopping center and bought a lottery ticket and went to the big drugstore to see if there was anything new in the first-aid aisle. My fingertips cracked earlier this week and it's been especially painful since I'm always up to my elbows in (very drying) plaster and paint. I was in luck.

This stuff.

So far so good, though it's been barely a day. I'll keep you posted. Maybe I can just glue all of the broken parts of Bridget on and survive the rest of the winter intact. Place your wagers now, as bidding soon will close.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.

~J. D. Salinger (1919-2010)

Wednesday, 27 January 2010


Good morning
Don't cop out
You crawled from the cancer to land on your feet
Are you crazy to want this
Even for a while?
Yes, I know it's midnight. Sometimes life works out just like this.

Satan breezed in mid-morning, just as I was sitting in the garage in the car listening to Matthew Good and feeling as if there could be no more of a desolate and lonely moment in my life than this one right now.

He wanted to drop all of the paperwork in my lap, which were essentially his relocation allowances for the boys and for me, spelled out in dollars and sense, contracts with words like 'arbitration' and 'moral property'.

Fine, just leave it on the kitchen table. I returned to my incredible sadness. I don't know what is is, just this deep unrelenting ache that, when addressed, blooms into breathtaking panic, and when ignored, retreats to the background, multitasking along with me, hurting enough to make its presence known and make it hard to breathe but still allowing me to do what needs to be done.

Had Caleb arrived in flames I probably wouldn't have noticed. I feel like finally the details are slipping away and the nitty-gritty things I always try to nail down don't even matter anymore. What matters is Ben, eight days already tacked on to the first absence, bringing the total to twenty but Bridget isn't counting because Bridget always focuses on the wrong things.

There is no allowance for my drama and things are very difficult at best.

Sure, I continue to chip away at the house. Some touch up paint here, a plant there, a picture moved, decluttering. Plasterwork and sanding and big ticket painting too but still I cough and cough and my eyes water (half cold virus, half drama) and I have the winter blues and cabin fever and fear of everything and the I-miss-Bens. I feel like the house will never be good enough because it's a hundred years old and there's not enough time or energy to make it perfect and really I don't think I want it perfect because it looks so lovely and I won't get to have this ever again and before I turn this into another ode to the castle of my dreams, I'll remind myself right here that the castle sits in a kingdom that is entombed in ice.

Oh, quite literal, I am. No drama there. It is so cold I can't trust Henry not to dawdle on the way home and far too icy on the roads to run the snow-rally car so I walk with them, four times a day. I swear to God winters here are an endless ballet of boots on, coat on. Boots off, coat off.

And so Caleb frowns.

What's wrong, Bridget.

What's right, Cale?

Stop being dramatic.

Yeah. Fine.

He frowns deeper. He looks very scary when he does that but I'm not sure I can find the generosity to reassure him. I am far too busy feeling sorry for myself. Endless winter, horror-Prairie, what in the fuck am I doing here, we shouldn't be here.

I scare myself with the voices. On days like this one I was really beginning to believe everything everyone says. Not about how incredibly beautiful I am (ha), but about my issues and whether or not I can manage them appropriately anymore, under these circumstances.

My doubts have begun.

Caleb is too busy adjusting bottom lines and coordinating people from all four corners of the globe and he doesn't have time to assuage petty concerns, worries I have invented and then magnified so that they are big green hairy monsters that chase me, screaming, down the hall. Worry is a nightmare hole I fell into and can't fall out of and I've pulled Matthew Good over the hole to obscure me and maybe the fear won't find me again but the apathy can stay because it's less agonizing.

Caleb remained at the house just long enough to make sure I had everything I needed to distribute to the boys and to spend a few moments with the children, who are also minding the cold and the isolation now but are elastic enough to find distractions without effort (hereafter to be referred to as DWE because I'm sure it will be a recurring theme) and were happy to see him and then as I walked him to the door, I guess my newfound detachment struck a chord, or perhaps a nerve, because he reached down and held the back of my head as if he was going to embrace me and instead his unshaven jaw razed a burn down my cheek and his lips were so warm, just under my temple that I flinched but was held fast in his arms.

You're doing just fine, princess. You're capable. Everything is going to be better.

I couldn't even tell him where to put his reassurance. Ben is gone. Doesn't anyone get that? Ben is my air and he isn't here and I'm lightheaded and soon I'll be dead from the lack of oxygen.

He kissed me hard and then he was gone. My pupils constricted and Strange Days came flooding back into my brain.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Bridget's bonspiel.

This morning was a carnival ride of a different kind. Wheeeeeeeeee as I turned my little car into a curling stone, giving it a twist and watching it curve around the neighborhood slower than death, coming around to rest precisely where I shot for, at the away end. The garage again.

In other words, I made it around the block and then I was smart and packed it in. I am not going on a cake run until the city cleans up Mother Nature's mess. They have promised that overnight tonight and tomorrow we should see improvements so I will test things again on Thursday, I think.

Besides, my car has a good three inches of clearance which makes it the PERFECT vehicle for snow navigation. I bought it for an ice rally I plan to enter someday. Why are you laughing? Stop laughing. It has snow tires. You could tell by the way it was glued to the garage floor when I went to pull it out. Eek.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Industrial-strength lullabies.

This lonely isolation follows me through my dreams
I wander around with doubt
so cold and incomplete
There is nothing here for comfort
No spark of hope I see
I breathe deep and fill my lungs to silently release
This is more than a dream to me
I breathe deep and drown my lungs and release silently
I gasp for breath to only hear what's inside me
An echo
More than a dream to me
An echo of my scream
Metal makes everything strong. Steadfast, more comfortable. Ben is made of metal. I wish he could be home right now.

The blizzard has ended and we didn't even run out of milk. The mercury is free-falling now and instead of perishing in isolation as the city became obscured by drifts, instead we're going to freeze to death.

Cole, why did we move here again? Oh yes. That was in another life, a life that's over now. Lucky you. You can't feel cold.

Jesus, Bridget, what has he done? Jacob's first comment on the weather here as he watched the thermometer surrender the day we hit new cold records.

There is always a mad dash to prove life in spite of the obstacles. Sure, go out and carry on as usual. But first be sure the rope is tied securely around your waist, your will is up to date and you've got at least five layers of thinsulate, wool and gortex on, even though you will still feel every degree of the current conditions.

Thanks for the wild send-off, you stupid godforsaken hell-hole, I am done now.

Last night I thought I would die of fear again. Not sure what it is, save for these moments that feel like shallow panic attacks. I can wade right in, cool off, splash around a bit and then come out eventually. It takes forever to get dry. I should probably just wait on the side. I know it's just the weather and the lack of sleep and this bad cold and the upheaval and it's all in my head. I don't believe my head understands the rules of engagement and so it reacts like a feral child with no access to civilization. I believe I would make a great thesis for somebody. Maybe more than one person, since every armchair therapist who has ever discovered me online has felt the need to weigh in. Screw you, show me your qualifications and your pay scale and then we'll talk. Only then.

At the height of my stupidity I tried to talk August into coming home. He is the most free with engagements at present. I begged and I promised and I charmed and then Satan came out of nowhere and shut me down. I was no longer mindful of the rules. I tried to circumvent the status quo and once again I was held screaming into the flames before being pulled back, strong arms using logic as muscle against a mind that likes to see the suffering.

August was similarly burned. I have apologized to him until I run out of words and he will not accept it, he says it isn't my fault and for some reason that makes more sense today, in the sun, with the blizzard warnings now behind us than it did last night in the dark with the winds howling all around me.

Safety won't be there with him, princess.

I don't care, Caleb. I need people here.

To waste time?

To keep me grounded.

Maybe you need a reminder in why this is best.

What I need is a timeline. Dates. Plans. Throw me a bone here, Jesus. Right now it just seems like endless winter.

What are you learning?

How much I hate you, Caleb.


How hard Ben works. How when he feels pain now he just puts his head down and works harder. How he refuses to dwell on the hard parts because he has to survive.

Admirable. Can you apply that to yourself, perhaps?

No. I'm a masochist. I want to feel it and then I want to flick a switch and make it go away.

All you have to do is say one word, princess.

No. Goodbye, Caleb. And leave the boys alone. They're doing well, they don't need you doing this.

I didn't get where I am by leaving loose ends, Bridget.

Who said anything about loose ends?

That's what August is. Your Jacob-clone. The outsider. The one we all watched in real time as he became helpless against your attentions.

I thought that was Ben's role.

So did I but you are quite the little collector, aren't you?

I haven't collected anyone.

Bridget, your...'army' as you call it is quite strong now. Cole would have been incredibly surprised at this turn of events.

I should have told him.

Told him what?

That he was not the monster.

Oh, really?

You are. It was you. He was a puppet too.

No, Bridget, I loved my brother. But my brother had issues too and he failed to appreciate the life he had.

Not true. You did that to him.

Before you make a mistake and deify any more losers I'm going to suggest tonight be a little less noisy on your end of life. You're being protected, there is nothing that can happen to you so you may as well be content to get to know yourself a little better instead of hiding in the arms of the first man who slows down near you.


Yes, princess?

Fuck you.

I always appreciate it when you end a call with spirit. It's just another little reassurance that you're doing just fine.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

The city in the sea.

A pause for clarity, since the emails are still rolling in. You people seem to demand literal postings. Every song lyric, person and moment I mention seems to be matched and compared and speculated upon. It's weird. Find a new hobby, please. Thank you.

Caleb Followill is not Caleb. Jesus. Come on. The age difference must be twenty years. (but doesn't he resemble a young David Gilmour? Wow.) I've stopped entertaining the Ben-guesses completely because the point of this journal is BRIDGET, pure and simple (or contaminated and complicated, as expected).

And this post is in direct reference to this non-event. My theory extends to the visitor being a great grandchild to my most beloved of all poets.

See, I read the news.

Every once in a blue moon.

Sunday morning decaf.

Determination comes in tiny-blonde too, you know.
Apologies, to my creation for these wasted days
My transcendence has a bitter face
Dreams are built and spent with might
And I'm sorry cause I never fight

And in the aftermath, dreams just altruistic sayings
My just emotion throws, apart, unique, I didn't even care
So look away your life is past and you let the chances cave
And all our cares of the moment have given us our names
Uneasy peace settles like a pall over the darkened house. I draw my finely-knit wrap around my shoulders a little tighter and take the clip out of my hair so that my neck and shoulders are protected from imaginary chill. I'm looking for things that bring warmth today and finding that everything is temporary and even the incredibly familiar things I love so feel somewhat useless this morning.

There is no church. Sam is still away and I could go and listen for the community service but it isn't the same. I look after the household chores automatically, distractedly. Check the children, spool up the stereo downstairs, because the big black iron grates in every room that deliver the heat also deliver the sound if it's tuned just right. Marc Arcand's voice, my absolute favorite voice in the whole world, living or dead and oh, didn't that annoy Jacob so badly but it became a wasted argument because I would not budge, and we put it under the rug and tripped over the lump it made so very rarely as he learned the songs in spite of his displeasure over being usurped but I like voices and I never want to listen to my own because it surprises me. It always will do that when you can't hear yourself talk. So to hear Marc's voice so crystal clear, breathing included has always been a huge joy for me that perplexes everyone else.

Perfect example here.

Sigh. They are totally fledglingly adorable. Bridget has the sads that they have become a Quiet Band now. Ben has no issues, he knows his voice to me is a warm bath and the cruelest of familiar away-noise all at once. His voice is mine. It is my favorite too but only because I get to hear it relay the most depraved thoughts of me and I love that more than I can tell you right now because my mom (Hi mom) reads and it's Sunday, people.

Our storm seems to be dwindling but we won't know for sure until thirty hours from now. It's going to get cold and windy and then the sun will break through for the rest of the week, leaving the cold to linger because I hoped the unseasonable warm would remain but I never expected it to. Every step closer gets to happy though, right? Ben tells me that every night on the phone and I'm trying to believe in it despite the endless hours I spend alone.

Every step. Fuck this, I'm soon to break into a run. And when I do the chain on my necklace will lift, pulling the heart away from my skin, cooling it in the still night air and my hair will fly out behind me, tangling in knots and separating into waves like the streaks of green versus blue in the ocean at the cottage and the warmth of Ben's eyes will bring me in because I won't stumble until I see him smile and then and only then do I plan to fall apart again.

I have to be tougher than this. I will spend today sitting in the light by the window mending the holes in my armor, stitch by stitch, most likely with the stereo still on. You'll see. I'll sew until I can't feel my fingers anymore. I'll make you proud, baby.

Saturday, 23 January 2010


Because I'm knowing what you're fearing
An unsentimental jury
And for miles I guide you
I watch over everything
Yeah, that kind of princess. The high-maintenance, never-lift-a-finger, lets-someone-else-do-all-the-work kind of girl. But sweet and in a low-cut dress.

That's the kind of princess I'm going to be because otherwise I'm soon going to look like Popeye with giant arms on a skinny little body and that won't do at all.

Seriously, the day has been spent plaster skim-coating walls and shoveling the white concrete that fell from the sky overnight and then the rain and oh my Gods.

It sucks so bad.

Wait, let me rephrase that, if you are ten years old or under it's the Best Thing Ever. If you're over thirty and you drive a sportscar it is fresh white tears on the face of your driveway, who is all emo and impassable.

On the upside, the shoveling is done for the moment, cross your fingers for the rain and warm temperatures to continue and maybe it can eat away at some of the snow before the next round of climatic stupidity tomorrow.

The prairies and I are gearing up to make sure we won't miss each other, that's for sure. Not for even one single teeny tiny moment. It's now a war.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Lunatic city.

Bridget was never a Prairie girl to begin with.

I'm listening to Mudvayne and Domenica today. It's an odd kind of day like that.

The best news is despite feeling all kinds of miserable this morning when I woke up, a hot bath and some Advil took the bite out of the cold I am fighting. I had a fever but right now it's the high point of the day and I feel almost human. I did manage to clean the floors and catch up on the laundry and I even sanded a little bit and removed the ancient door jam (which was a mess) from my bedroom door. It was once an exterior door, since my room is part of the addition that was put on in the thirties/forties.

Great fun, that. Not sure how much lead paint I need to inhale in my lifetime but I've probably had enough.

I sat in the car again while it warmed up. I didn't need to go out but I have this weird thing about making sure it starts which is all me and not the car. I have issues. Seriously.

I spoke to the boys, who are running around in the sunshine in Vancouver without jackets on (ARGHHHH) and I cried at all of them. I used blubbery words like scared and Colorado low and blizzard and power outages and they all have assured me that we'll be fine. So to further the 'fine' I walked to the store and got some treats for the kids and for Bridget because I am still slightly bent that there was no cake at the bakery and so fuck you cake, it's salsa and chips this weekend.

We'll watch movies and hang out in our pajamas. We'll eat and sleep and get better. We'll get through this blizzard just like Ma Ingalls and the girls did that time that Pa went hunting and the blizzard came up and they didn't see him for over a week and almost starved to death, except we'll do it hopefully with more snack food and the internet.

We don't have a choice so what the hell.

If it gets bad though, you'll find us at the Fairmont. I'm not stupid. I put my Mastercard by the door. Because that's what true princesses do in an emergency and someday I plan to be one.

(A true princess, not an emergency. Haven't you noticed? I'm already an emergency.)

Needless to say, my arch-nemesis, The Weather Network, is calling for some ridiculous amount of snow and wind, complete with red warnings and dire predictions. True to form, Environment Canada is all wtf, weather network, fear-mongering much?

I'm splitting the difference. Nachos it is.

The Tell-Tale Heart.

Sometimes talented men die young, whether it be because they've expended too much energy in kind or because there is only so much room for the brightest stars to shine all at once and when your time is up, it's simply up.

She didn't plan on notoriety. It was one of the few wrinkles in her memories, the fact that in recent years it grew more and more difficult to slip in and out undetected. Unsteadily so, as she would drink half the bottle before she even put on her coat, lamenting the loss of a life so incredibly wicked and writ. Then she would choose his roses from the vase on the table and tuck the bottle, now tightly capped, under her coat and head off to remember. In the dark, like he must be now.

Upon arrival she waited behind the wall, listening. Hearing nothing she walked forward. Tiptoes. Minimizing her clicking heels, the sound overtaken by her thumping heart. She knelt down and placed the roses at the base of the memorial and then gently balanced the bourbon beside the flowers. She touched her fingers to her lips and then to the cold stone and she smiled, warm with a tinge of bitterness because he has been gone now for such a long time. She has not known him in her own lifetime. She wished she did.

She stood, taking one more swift glance around the courtyard and broke into a run, leaving her treasures behind with her heart, her blood entombed under this massive stone reliquary.

Happy birthday. Someday we'll be together again.

She died this year. At home, alone in her bed, and this year will be the first year that they will be together, and he can meet his flesh and blood.

There is no mystery here, only resonance.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Princess courageous and the mittens of doom.

Ben sent me this to watch since I couldn't stay awake to see it last night.

Nom nom. Awesome. They should be back in Canada by now. True North, strong and free, baby.

In other news, we're supposed to have a whole lovely bunch of wind and freezing ice pellets and snow for the next four days and so I went and filled my car up to the brim with gas and did not find winter washer fluid anywhere but I have regular so better than nothing and I bought groceries which oddly while I was shopping seemed to consist of mostly vitamin water and frozen burritos but by the time I got home all of the usual suspects were stacked in the pantry. It's very difficult to shop for three people, I believe at this point we have enough food to last until summer.

I could spend the day sitting on the pantry floor hoping nothing goes wrong, missing Ben and being awful and unmanageable. I'd LIKE to do that, God knows, everyone keeps minimizing this as if my reactionary life is completely unreasonable. Well, it isn't and I'm not, but I have things about me that don't lend well to stupid concepts like 'independence' and 'strength'. So there. Sue me. I don't do alone well. I hardly manage it at all, frankly and damned if I'm not amazingly proud of myself for going out today. Small steps.

Every last one with a tiny squeak of pain because Ben isn't within reach.

Also, I'm convinced life will be easier when it isn't mostly conducted in ice at ridiculous temperatures below zero. I plan to buy a red umbrella to stand out and maybe some cute red rain boots.

Look, distractions, princess. See them? They're right there.

I plan all kinds of things for when I get out of here, when I get to be with Ben. When things settle and we survive this most recent round of obstacles. Henry seems to be on the mend at last. Ruth has a lesser version of his cold. I have a terribly sore throat and swollen glands, hence the vitamin water. I don't drink enough unless there is coffee left. Coincidentally since I still seem to make coffee for six people every morning, there is always some left.

And I'm not going to talk about yesterday. I was cheeky and I got my hand slapped as a result. Caleb politely asked me to remove my post so I did because I don't bite the hand that feeds me. It bites me. Sometimes it hurts and so for now I'm just going to let that go for a little bit and maybe he will slither back into the shadows, under a rock somewhere like a good little snake and I can continue my walk through the shade in the forest hoping that I come across the clearing soon.

(Where the sun shines and the flowers bloom toward the sky. Where snakes wither helplessly and then they die.)

Whoops. That was out loud again, wasn't it?

I'm going to go make lunch for the children. They should be home from school any moment now.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Putting the 'Mental' in fundamental.

Why does time move so incredibly SLOW while Ben is away? Can someone tell me? I'd love the answer to that one. And really, if you're prone to being able to proficiently answer philoso-psychological questions like that, you might want to stick around because I have more.

I'm sure I'll get a phone call from Sam when he sees that.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Extra-beautiful, the bitter/sweet edition.

Maybe redemption has stories to tell
Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell
Where can you run to escape from yourself?
Where you gonna go?
Where you gonna go?
Salvation is here.
You would think with all the boys I know, famous and infamous, I would have done a little better yesterday.

Chris and I were in our usual spot, outside the venue two hours before the show when the photographer (Andy, who RULES ALL) came out and invited us to come in and watch Switchfoot do their soundcheck. Ben would have loved this but alas, Chris takes us to the Switchfoot shows because ironically my husband is usually away playing death metal when they roll into town.

We sat on the floor while they played Dirty Second Hands, and then they came down and met us, chatting for a few minutes.

And I'm an idiot, because I'm standing there holding the hand of the guy who wrote the words on my ankle and I didn't show him my Nothing in the world could fail me now tattoo.


(Jon, I'm so sorry. I wanted to show you. My brain wiped itself clean somewhere in between walking down to the stage and when you smiled at me.)

I managed to talk to him a little though. I had a great talk with Chad, and Drew and Tim. Jerome remembered the children from three years ago when we last met up at the same place.

When they were finished we were sent back outside, no longer cold, VIP wristbands displayed proudly because I'm the biggest Switchfoot fan that ever lived and seriously, after coming away from the last show with set lists and guitar picks and a front-row view I figured that was the amazing show and hopefully this one would be cool too but at no point did I expect to meet the band. I've known some other bands. Mostly big scary gruff guys with almost as many tattoos as I have. Not down to earth, friendly and engaging bands that I can sing every word of every song with.

But at door time we filed in and wound up in the front row again! This time firmly rooted between where Tim and Jon stand onstage. Only Jon never stands still. He grabbed hands, he jumped into the audience right next to me, to the positively screams of delight from my kids and the glowstick-teens next to us. He sang to Ruth. He sang to me. Tim checked Henry to make sure he seemed to be having fun. (For the record, Henry bailed at ten songs in, bless his heart. Christian took him to a cooler vantage point from which to enjoy the rest of the show). We sang and swayed and rocked out and took video (PS My blackberry takes amazing video, sound is distorted but I might try a Youtube upload later today) and waved goodbye when they were finished, wrapping up with Dare you to Move after twenty other songs, including playing the new Hello Hurricane album start to finish. Start to finish, I said. Oh my God, the songs.

It was beyond ridiculously good. I didn't want to cut off my access bracelet when we got home. I didn't want to go to sleep.

Four hours later we were up again and on our way to the airport, this time for duty instead of celebration. I had to drop Ben off for his flight and we were almost late because we could not let go of each other and didn't want to face this morning but knew we don't really have much of a choice. Onward and upward big B and little b. Face your fears. Face the day. Dare you to move, stupids.

After a night like that, it seems like anything and everything is possible. Strangers are friends. Fear is adventure in disguise. Time is relative. Wounds heal.

And live music is worth living for, a gift like nothing else to me.

Thank you, boys.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Recycling, the hard way.

Let go for just a moment, Princess.

I think somehow I felt like Ben leaving his favorite guitar here at home was collateral so that he would have to come back. I spent a lot of his time away wondering if I would see him again, feeling like I had been left behind and generally just wholly unprepared for how rocked I would be in his absence.

He has gone away before. Dozens of times over the years. In previous lives we would pick a fight, he would go on tour and I would point out repeatedly in messages and calls that I hardly noticed he wasn't present and I would see him when I saw him. In turn he would point out how peaceful and fun the chaos, noise and misery of the road was compared to my house. We both knew better, it was just fun to throw barbs and pretend they didn't hit their targets.

Of course, now everything is at stake and trips have taken on an albatross-shaped shadow that sometimes blocks the sun and sometimes it just forces shade. I can still see, but it's softened light and it isn't quite right.

The guitar goes back with him early this week and we have no return date this time, both points that leave me completely cold and freaked out and wanting to do the velcro-monkey all over Ben. I want him to brush his hand down my hair and hold my head against his chest so I can quiet to his heartbeat. So I can feel safe. Once he leaves that goes out the window like a mended bird, never to be seen again.

I want to be a raving lunatic. I've shed enough tears in the past two weeks to commission the building of an ark. I've pointed out a hundred times that this is too hard and I can't do it and I've talked and breathed my way out of five good panic attacks because that was the only choice I had. Sink or swim. Get a grip or slide right off the edge. Buck up and deal with it or risk the permanent label of catastrophizing everything, every time. Never getting better. Backsliding over what will be small potatoes someday.

Yeah, well, sometimes those small potatoes aren't so small. They block the view. They block progress.

So for one solid minute, this afternoon in the midst of the final major renovation project in the house I took my lunatic moment. I lost my mind. I stomped and screamed and yelled and took all my frustrations out on a cardboard box in the basement. I tore it to pieces and kicked it and freaked the fuck out.

Completely. You would have been surprised. I'm a quiet worrier, I cry, I get frustrated. I become silent. Paralyzed. I very rarely explode and when I do I might yell for a minute or talk back. I'm buttoned-up.

Ben just stood there. I don't think he knew what to do. He didn't know what to say so he just turned around and went back upstairs to keep working while I finished tearing up the box three floors below. Then I came upstairs, passed him the tools he needed and we carried along as before.

Later tonight after dinner, Ben said he thought I really needed that and he was glad for it. I'm still humiliated and embarrassed that I flipped like that but he assures me I've been bottling things up and should yell more and cry less, that it would be easier for everyone. Healthier too.

Maybe he was just relieved I didn't go after the guitar.

(For the record, I would never destroy his belongings. I wasn't mad at Ben. I was mad at the circumstances, and they're not his fault.)

Not sure what I'm going to do for my next trick. It will probably involve more quiet plastering though. That seems to be January's theme, and how I've kept all this rampant frustration in check for so long thus far.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

A sight for sore eyes.

Today was amazing. The sun was shining, it was mild out, and we took off after a lazy morning to have some lunch out, run a few errands and take a long drive.

I've been very good today. I've worked hard not to be the little velcro-monkey I expected to be. Ben came home in full beard and flannel just before midnight and opened his arms and I was a fucking goner, baby.

He smelled like airplane fuel, and once again I did not care. I stayed in his arms and I slept fitfully, waking up every six minutes to make sure he was really here and I wasn't dreaming.

I'm not dreaming, am I?

Friday, 15 January 2010

Best intentions.

After lunch this afternoon I got in the car and pulled out of the garage into the sunshine and sat for a few moments waiting for the car to warm up. The boys have told me I can't just let my car sit for long periods without at least warming it up every now and then so I've been dutiful (before you email me, we're talking -30 or worse temperatures most of the time) though they probably say it just as much to get me out of the house.

I figured I would put it in gear and go to the hardware store and maybe stop for a coffee on the way home. A little treat since I haven't spent a dime or left the house for any reason other than school and one trip grocery shopping for two weeks straight.


I pulled back into the garage, turned the car off, plugged it in and came inside.

I made coffee in the coffee maker. Odds are Ben will want to visit a few places tomorrow anyway so we'll go out then and maybe we can tack on a nice lunch out somewhere and a coffee on the way back.

I think it's self-preservation. I have a headache. I'm way beyond overtired and everything is melty and the roads are very slippery. It's not that I am in bed with the covers pulled up over my head wishing away the world, it's more that I don't feel like wasting the energy and stressing myself out more when I know I'm overtaxed.

This morning I painted and caught up on the laundry and cleaned and I got everything ready for Ben's return tonight. His towels are out. His favorite foods are stocked in the kitchen. The house is clean. I even brushed the dog. He's so excited to be coming home, even if it's just for a long weekend and I am still plotting to bar the doors and ground all the planes so that he can't go back next week. I hope I'm successful but I think instead I'll be expected to be an adult.

Hmph. Fat chance of that ever happening in this lifetime.

He's coming home, though! That's all that matters.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Lachrymose and twee.

One more sleep to go and then I can fill this massive hole where Ben is supposed to be but isn't. I've been edging around this hole for almost two weeks now and no amount of contingency plans, rickety fences or reassurance keeps the fear of falling in away from me.

One more sleep.

I'm so excited my heart is already pounding and I have that weird sickish feeling in my throat. I'm looking so forward to being able to sleep with both eyes closed, getting the giant princess-crushing hugs and general feeling of safety that Ben provides and a million other reasons. I miss seeing his eyes in person. I miss the grin and the beard he said he is keeping until we're with him for good and I miss being able to feel my heart beating because he has it with him and hell, even at Build-A-Bear they have a beating heart you can buy to stuff into your animal as it's made. It's important. It's basic comfort like nothing else.

Like Ben.

In other boy-news, I heard from my fair-weather lover too after mentioning how well I do when he is away. Lochlan called me and swore at me. Nice. I swore back because I am such a lady, and a petulant, immature one at that. Then I cried because he doesn't miss me the way Ben does.

He said I had no way of knowing that, simply because he doesn't moon over me the way the others do presently. I pointed out they don't, haven't and aren't so what does he know, anyway? He said he isn't given the privilege of showing any vulnerability when it comes to Bridget any more because everyone gets their guard up and I fall apart and it's just a bad scene all around. Fair enough. We'll finish that conversation when I see him next. But see? I can just leave Lochlan there and not be sad.

I can, I swear.

Okay, not really.

I'm just trying to focus. I got a lot accomplished in the past two weeks. A lot I didn't expect to accomplish and I even picked up my bravery cape and tried it on a few times. Maybe it fits. I'm just not sure about the color or the weight. But it's there on the hook and when the sun is shining I might drape it over my arm or twirl once or twice in front of the mirror wearing it.

Maybe I'll sleep in it tonight.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Fifty hours left until Ben comes home! Yay! or boo, that's way too long.

And there's a hippo loose in Montenegro.

  • The saved voice notes on my BlackBerry are hilarious. I forgot they were there, and so I'm amusing myself right now playing them all back. Conway Twitty and The Night Bacon one is my favorite. Ben cracks up and has to start over. Twice.
  • I've never seen an episode of the Simpsons, Mad Men, Desperate Housewives, American Idol or whatever else everyone seems to live-Twitter. I don't really like TV. Okay, I loved NCIS before it disappeared, and I liked Ice Road Truckers and Ice Pilots NWT. I love watching the Dakar Rally when it's on, the winter Olympics (but not really the summer ones except for men's swimming..hmm...fancy that) and my all-time favorite thing to watch was Eco-Challenge. LONG gone. I don't watch the news. I love movies but lately I haven't had enough peace of mind to sit down long enough to watch one. Maybe this weekend. We still have a bunch of new Blu-Rays just sitting here that haven't been opened yet.
  • When I'm painting/drywalling/making a mess, I twist my wet hair up in two knots behind each ear and secure with hair elastics. Not only does it make the mailman laugh when I forget it's like that and take the dog for a walk as Princess Leia, but when I take them out later when my hair is dry, it is all ringletty and pretty, which is just a nice bonus after spending the day feeling yuck.
  • I have no idea where Montenegro is. I looked it up and I still have no idea. Bad maps or inept Geography teacher. I'll let you decide.
  • the first thing I plan to buy in Vancouver is a fake Louis Vuitton bag. Why? Because I always wanted one. Ben wanted to buy me a real one in Paris but then we had the fight and came home and really, let's just not go there.
  • My new plan for world domination includes taking out The Weather Network first. They were off by fifteen degrees today. They got my hopes up for the last time. I'm a fan of Weather Underground now. As always, last to the party.
  • I'm addicted to themes for my BlackBerry. (You may know this if you follow me on Twitter. Are you following me? You should follow me. I warn you, I post alot and then delete half of it later, but I'm impulsive like that.) I follow all the theme making girls. They make such nice themes and my new Bold can hold dozens of them. I change my theme or at least my wallpaper every single day.
  • I realize I've been reading my Christmas book for three weeks already. I'm hoping to finish it tonight this month.
  • I would vote for this as the most useful thing on the internet. No, I'm not kidding. (Also, cute's a thing. Go away.)
  • Ben has been very patient. I would tell you how patient, but then I just look like a drama queen. What's that? Oh, shut up.
  • There are 55 hours left until he gets home. FIFTY-FIVE! Karma, if you're going to be a bitch, do it now.
  • Lochlan has dropped off the face of the earth. I hate it when he does that but really, he doesn't have much patience for me. He never has. He'll resurface when he's good and ready. I am fine with him being gone when he goes and stays away. Ironic.
  • Point form posts are sometimes what Bridget gives you when she's had three hours of sleep because Henry has been coughing again. With any luck tonight (aka a hot bath and some children's Nyquil) he'll sleep a lot better and then maybe I will also. Cross your fingers.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Not like the other: A chip. Or two.

Yes, I saw it. I looked out over the snowswept plain and I considered the gusts and the barren stillness and remoteness of it all and I gave it an appropriate length of deliberation. I took a pass.

Jacob warmed his hands by rubbing them together.

Where are your gloves?

I don't know. Is this alright, then?

No, it isn't.

I wouldn't have picked this for you either.

You don't get to make decisions anymore, you're dead.

Exactly. And you haven't been left behind.

* * * * * * * * * * *

In other news, I stopped using CFL bulbs today. As in, I went around the house replacing perfectly good spendy dim CFLs with good old-fashioned incandescent bulbs. And wow. What a difference. The light is bright and warm again. I can toss spent bulbs in recycling again. I can put them in outdoor fixtures without them failing, know that I can flip a light on and off without shortening its lifespan (which, for the record is NO longer) and I don't have to wait three seconds for the light to come on. By then, I am already across the room and have tripped over the dog. I can happily use my pretty lamps with clip on shades. And incandescents are two for a dollar.

So stuff it.

You want to talk to me about the environment? About saving energy and helping the planet? Trust me, you don't want to get into it with me. I could almost guarantee you I'll win the war on who is more ubercrunchay with my eyes closed and both hands tied behind my back.

And I'll do it brightly and warmly lit.


Monday, 11 January 2010

Bedtime Stories (Four sleeps left).

Run, rabbit, run. Down the rabbit hole. It goes faster if you tuck your skirt around your legs tightly and close your eyes.

Go, Bridget, go!

I was up off my backside and running, never daring to look behind me, since the shadow stretching out in front of me was enough incentive. In my head the constant soundtracker took over and put Vivaldi to my movements, which made my brain compete with my legs for speed and made me dizzy. I fought to replace it with Bach. Angry, brooding German. Sonata No. 1 in G minor. Hell, pick something, princess, just get moving!

Down further and further, the cavern looped around and around, a spiral deep underground, leading God knows where. A door. It's a door. Open it. Run inside and SLAM! Turn and survey the room. Lightbulb in the ceiling and a tiny bottle on the floor in the center, almost directly underneath the bulb.


Who am I to question the weirdness of the moment or the relative recklessness of drinking something that I can't identify?


I'm tiny. The size of a firefly. My voice is a helium buzz and I laugh, a chipmunk bubble not even loud enough to echo off the stone walls. I can hide anywhere now, the problem is running. It will take weeks to cover the same distance I just ran when I was big.

The door flies open and I hide behind the tiny bottle, crouched down because it's empty. Hoping it's enough.

Fee Fi Fo fum.

What the fuck? I don't remember a giant in this story. But where there are giants, there are beanstalks. And golden eggs. Maybe if I can find both I can buy my way out of this mess. The goose was probably eaten already by the Queen of Hearts and her ludicrous children and I am fresh out of luck and storybooks. Why oh why can't this be The Princess and the Pea? That one is easy.

I step out.


Yes, princess?

It doesn't go like that.

It doesn't matter. I have money, I'll just change it.

But you can't. It's a classic.

Write another.

I don't write fairytales.

Sure you do.

Not until after they happen.

Why is that?

It's just the way I am.

He grinned, and the giant was replaced by the beast.

Stop that.

Stop what?

Stop changing. I can't keep you straight.

That's my point. If you didn't write it, I can do whatever I please. Free reign on the page.

Then it won't be a very good story and no one will read it. A sad ending to your hopes of becoming a classic.

Suddenly he was Caleb again and I blinked and he passed me a cookie. One bite and I was back to Bridget-size, all five feet of anxiety, words and humor that becomes unrecognizable emo swill with one good shake. Nice yellow dress. I don't wear yellow. Christ. He held up the rose. It was already dead. My favorite kind.

So what would make it a classic?


Hard to have time when you won't stop running, Bridget.

Fairytales have happy endings, and I am nowhere near one right now.

How do you know that?

Because you're here.

Aren't you supposed to give me the gold? Then I'll go away. Unless...



Sunday, 10 January 2010

Morning star.

Caleb (most likely with everyone's blessing) is having me watched.

I wasn't sure at first, and at one point I thought maybe he was back in town and content to remain on the fringes, watching me from behind snowbanks or across the street even. I just felt like I was putting on a show of sorts, like we had some sort of (though benevolent) keeper.

It's Mike.

Caleb's driver has a soft spot for me. Not in the way men usually do, but in a Samwise-way, in that he cares very much for my welfare without getting sucked in to my princess force field or whatever it is that casts the spell that ruins all of my friendships in favor of the weirdly thrilling tension-filled relationships that brought me this collective, for lack of a better term.

And I have a soft spot for him, negotiating heavily for a triple Christmas bonus over what Caleb had already generously planned for Mike, because Mike earns it. Who else could navigate for the devil so efficiently and then some? And he brings me pocky sticks. Gold.

And so Mike continues to earn his renumeration by being more than Satan's GPS. It's easier to say driver than second. I'm not blind. Mike only pretends to be subservient. I'm sure he can be just as cold-blooded as Satan himself, I'm sure his role is even larger than we assume but for now I am oddly grateful that we have someone looking out for us, even if I only catch the odd glimpse or feeling of him there. Mike will eventually make his way out west too, to continue his employment under/beside Caleb, and until then I will enjoy his invisible company.

(Oh, come on. Did you really think I wasn't going to call this out?)

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Under control.

I had a moment of extreme and uncharacteristic selfishness and said everything I wanted to say out loud. Then I felt the warning waves of regret and that was that. I made my apologies and maybe was forgiven, but probably not. I was told I was and so I tried to just be gracious after that, but really, right now I want my husband and I want us to have our lucky penny day for a while because everyone else has had turn after turn while we build character with cinderblocks of suffering and determination and I'm fucking done. I'm going to sit up here on top of our character castle which is taller than that new tower in Dubai, and I'll swing my bare feet in the wind until someone drops their penny.

Then I will dive for it.

I think that's what Jacob must have done. He missed, or someone with better reflexes grabbed it up quickly, I guess.

After my (un)likely outburst I threw myself into making it up, turning and making it a nice day for my kids, who did not witness my ability to act younger than they do sometimes. We took the dog for a long walk, went to the store for some interim groceries and chocolate bars too, came home and played a game, made our own pizzas (because Ruth is picky and Henry likes pineapple and I like everything) and then watched Night At the Museum on cable. Now they are tucked in and I'm soon to take the dog outside to the backyard for a final survey of the property before it gets much later.

I wish I had some capacity to risk everything on a penny but I don't. I'll wait for one to find me. Otherwise it's just a harder task to finish building this damn tower so I can give it away and hope for a better position in phase three as I like to call it. Maybe Pacifica will stick. Maybe it will be awesome. Maybe I'll get stuck in a million-dollar mortgage and starve. Maybe pigs will fly and pennies will rain down from heaven and I will be blinded and have copper bruises.

It can't be any worse. It will most definitely be better. I will go crazy in the meantime, however and that's what freaks me out most. I still count the minutes between the furnace blowing. I wait for lights to go out. I watch the temperatures fluctuating between OhmyChristalmighty and bearable. I pass every single hour in silent witness and I try not to cry because I miss Ben so much at some moments that I find it hard to breathe and impossible to collect myself.

Maybe no one gets that the waiting is the hardest part. Maybe they think I am spoiled and petulant and I should be excited. I will be, as soon as I am done waiting and done missing and done going insane. I will just try to do it via the old Bridget-method. If they aren't here to witness it, we can all pretend it doesn't exist.

Self-control is an art form and not one of my particular talents. I am too buys looking for pennies, dropped on the road.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Goals. (I hate you people).

I'm drinking sweet champagne
Got the headphones up high
Can't numb you out
Can't drum you out of my mind
Seriously. I'm busy drowning you out with Nazareth. Go away.

My talents are plasterwork and pole dancing. I can cook for lots of people and I'm neat and organized. But apparently that's not enough and I'm supposed to work towards growing, improving and...where are you going? Come back.

I'll share a few of my goals for the year with you. Not all of them, just the things I want you to see, as always. There is always more. That seems to be my motto the past few years when it comes to writing here. I won't write for money, or for parenting columns or adult websites. I won't write for the masses as much as I write for the individual. The same could be said for goals. They're unique to each person.

I want to bring the grocery budget back into this stratosphere. I can cook from scratch but I tend to half and half it most of the time. More carefully meal planning versus 'stock everything and see what everyone wants' would go far to make it easier.

I want to save more before spending more. Pay myself first instead of treat myself first. It's easy to live in the Now or Never when you've won and lost a few times. Trust me on that one.

I want to be braver with things I'm not brave with. Trip planning, heights. The dark. My car. Making a mess. Living on the edge instead of trying to nail down every last contingency until I have a perfect row and a shitload of wasted energy.

I want to sleep more. Like my mirror says, I'm a light sleeper and a heavy dreamer. I'm sure it's related to the sleep apnea/narcolepsy/brain tumor thing but a few unbroken nights would be a godsend.

I want to shop for a house like a princess, by making a list of everything I want, and then putting a star by everything that is non-negotiable. I have never done that. I take what I am given or what I find on the first go because of fear that if I pass and it was good enough God will smite somewhere further down along the line.

I want to stop building character and give some away.

I want to make lists and be excited and inspired again instead of simply pushing uphill against the wind.

I want to wear more black. (that's a joke. I wear black and little else).

I want dreadlocks but I wouldn't actually do that.

I want to spend an entire day in my pajamas with a Snoopy book and a plate of peanut brittle.

Okay, now it's just getting silly. But you get my drift. I don't know how lofty my goals as a whole or whether or not I'll get to accomplish any of them in reality but the grind of working to live versus living to work is a fine balance for anyone and I defy you to say you've got life all figured out. No one does. Okay, a few people do, but they aren't really useful in that this is something that we have to figure out for myself (har).

And I will, probably three days before I die of a brain tumor at the age of 98.

Back to plastering and pole dancing. Which really is every bit as spectacular and entertaining as you can imagine. Just ask the dog. He's getting quite a show.

Thursday, 7 January 2010


Because behind its door there's nothing to keep my fingers warm
And all I find are souvenirs from better times
Before the gleam of your tail lights fading east
To find yourself a better life.
So cold. I trudge along, hands in my pockets, marching to the invisible music, for the radio plays on an endless loop inside my head and it's easy to make my feet match the beat, the words tripping down a softened, trampled path. The ties for my hat hang straight and the dog speeds along ahead of me on the end of his leash. Everything is grey and I am alone. They've taken my words. He took my heart and dropped it into a cloud at thirty-seven thousand feet, as best he can do for heaven, hoping he can still find it and bring it back in the future.

The future. It makes my eyes sting and the song begins again.

Fear and anticipation are the instruments, tears are the notes, big fat magnifying drops that blur the page of my book as I read later, the dog sleeping at my feet, the grate blowing warm air over my knees. I pick up the emote control and turn the song down a little so that it becomes the thread that holds my conscience together, a pocket where I will stuff the doubts that spill over the airwaves and melt the microwaves that keep me connected. Only a few threads left to ravel and I will break free to twist in this wind.

My nose is red, my eyes washed in bottle greens, sea glass faded, smashed upon the rocks. I pull my socks up over my knees and put my boots on over them. I button my coat in time with the transitions and hum to myself as I get ready to go out again.

Interesting way to spend an evening.

Tonight when I was carrying the stepladder downstairs, I managed to snag the curtain in the front stairwell. In untangling it, the rod and everything came crashing down on me. Of course, this window is a good twelve or fifteen feet high and even Ben needs to prop the stepladder on the stairs to put it up. I won't (can't?) do that so for now it's an unadorned window that allows people at street level to see into my upstairs hallway.

Not a big deal until the dog went to the top of the stairs, looked out the window at his 'reflection' and started barking. Twenty-five minutes later he is still standing there, hackles raised, barking and growling at the strange little white dog on the roof of my neighbor's house.


8 more sleeps til Ben comes home. Then hopefully he can put the curtain back up. Among other things.

I'll sing for free.

Switchfoot is on the stereo and I'm sitting on the floor painting.

Well, you wanted an update. More later. I mean business. I even have the ROLLER out.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Today was a sleeves-rolled-up, no-holds-barred round of Bridget versus The House. With the house ahead by the slimmest of margins and Bridget quickly gaining ground, we gave up and called it a draw. The fight will resume tomorrow, right after I visit the hardware store for more ammunition.

The good news is the laundry and cleaning is completely up to date and I'm physically and emotionally exhausted which hopefully will result in a quiet night tonight. Last night at around eleven thirty my nose hit the keyboard not once but twice while I waited for Ben to appear on Skype. Bless his heart, he hid notes in all the places in the house that I frequent. My coffee cup, the bookshelf in the dining room, under the lamp in the kitchen. I'm not sure if I have found them all, but I'm enjoying the surprise.

And being fond of complaining loudly and bitterly about the state of my to-do list has nothing to do with Ben. I could claim helplessness but really I honestly and truly believe that earnestness and a good heart will eventually reward me. So if I slave away at the house, maybe someone will see that and buy the damn thing. And really, I'm not the type of girl who sits around eating bon-bons and watching daytime television so what else would I do? I LIKE knowing what kind of mud works with drywall joints. I bought the other kind, so it made it a super challenge and I am learning lots.

Oh, mom, please stop laughing.

In other news, I found some new blogs to read via twitter (did you know I twitter? I don't get twitter but I like it). Some very decent and engaging writers but I'm not going to call them out per se. I'm just going to lovingly point out that if you wind up with financial albatrosses because you didn't feel like paying your bills, then firstly don't be surprised when your dream of a white picket fence and your own vehicle goes up in smoke because of your credit rating, and secondly? Please for the love of God, don't talk about saving money in the new year and then in the very next post talk about running errands that contain the words "tanning salon", "manicure", "drinks", and "trip".

I really had no idea how beautifully poignant and hilarious those idealistic mid-twenties years can be but they maybe read me and think something equally awful about me. Who knows? I'm at least self-aware enough to recognize I might have issues too.

Right. Issues? What issues.

(Life is what you make it, princess.)

You, in the corner? Shut the hell up.

I figure if I work my fingers to the bone and keep on with the mother of all time killers (distraction) then I will be too worn out to cry, too tired to freak the fuck out and too satisfied with my efforts to notice how miserable I truly am without Ben here.

Thank goodness there are only this many more sleeps:

Monday, 4 January 2010

You would love me when I'm angry.

I'm not so much sad, just determined. Get us the fuck out of here. Ben is safely in new location. I am mad. I think I'll put on Henry's Hulk Smash Hands and complete the look.

I'm not really mad, just slightly lost. Fortunately. I have a map. The directions are very clear, the landmarks precise. Visit the following places and at the end of the fucking rainbow will be your husband. And the warmer (albeit rainy) weather.

Rain? Who complains about rain? Talk to me after you've spent a winter here. I'll talk rain over the incredible cold any damn day. I have no designs on good hair days (that's what uptwists are for) and Maybelline makes a wickedly wonderful waterproof mascara.

But anyway, back to the map.

Today I had to visit the temple of wood filler and the tomb of gyproc breakdown and disposal. Also the market (for cake, naturally) and my much beloved shopping center, which is a temple of a different and consumerist sort. I got all that accomplished and even sucked the dirt off the floor with the thingie (are we going there? I don't think we're going there) and walked the kids to school and back.

All that AND we took Ben to the airport at five o'clock this morning.

Fiiiiiiiive. Jesus. And God, because God made Bridget coffee. In her own image.

Let me tell you, at this rate I'm going to blow through the checkpoints and win this multi-provincial endurance race before you can say...uh....March break and then I will unpack my drawing books and my violin bow and my tiny perfect wardrobe of pretty black things and I'll put my hands on my hips and regard my new vistas and I will give it my best Scarlet O'Hara:

As God as my witness, I will never be cold again!

(In any event, this is day one, so eleven more sleeps and Ben is home to add air to the tires on the car and save me from myself, if only briefly.)

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Are we there yet?

I have run out of distractions, preparations and courage.

My eyes are burning and I feel like I'm going to vomit. In less than ten hours, none of which will be spent asleep, Ben will be gone, and for me it's the physical equivalent of ripping off my arms and legs, removing my heart and telling me to just deal with it.

Right. I can't fathom how I'm going to pull this off either. The only thing that comes to mind is taking the kids and going and sitting on the floor inside the closet and rocking all three of us until someone (ideally, Ben) comes back and breaks down the door. My head wants escape through any means possible, my heart wants to throw the house to the wolves and just go with him and my very small logical voice, heard in a whisper says to smarten up, grab the paintbrush and get busy. See how much you can get done before he returns.

He is home in eleven days but it's only for three. Then we do the long haul. A month, maybe more. No one has provided me with flight numbers and so I'm going on wary promises and disbelief.

Better things on the other side? I'll believe it when we get there. Until then, please excuse the river of tears and whatever else childish behavior you think is stupid. I'm not good at this and I will be making no apologies.

None of this is good.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Next person who calls them the 'aught years' gets a wedgie.

Oh my. I'm coming here late in the day. It's dark out and I'm incapable of telling you about this day or even tomorrow right this second so we'll go with a grateful list and call it a night.

  1. I slept in. Only the sleeping part was only from about five until eight. (It was worth it. So, so worth it.)
  2. Soundgarden is reuniting. YES!
  3. The middle of January forecast appears to be warmer than it is now. Thank heavens.
  4. I have movies to watch all month long. Most of them seem to involve Gerard Butler. Why? He makes me happy. Just like PJ and chocolate cake.
  5. The drywall is finished. It was a huge project and it's done. Done!
  6. There will be more cake. I'm going to go get one. Maybe on Tuesday.
  7. Did I mention the two extra minutes of daylight a day?
  8. When I grasp at straws, I am usually successful (see #7)
We're going to go now and make some bagels and fruit for dinner (lunch was so late, like 2:30!) and walk the puppy and watch some movies. Tomorrow is my last day of Normal Life with Ben. I have to keep reminding myself that it's not forever, but it sure feels like it is. And I know I'll be (almost) okay when he goes. I just wish he could stay.

PJ, Lochlan, Dalt, Sky, Danny, Christian and Rob all went today. So yeah. New plan. Pour cement into Ben's shoes. Turn off cellphones. Hunker down and disappear.

If only.


Friday, 1 January 2010

Three sleeps left and I don't know how I'm going to do this.
~via BlackBerry.
Wow. Thanks for the emails.

If ANYONE on the face of this earth has earned the right to medicate in any way, shape or form, it would be me. If you don't agree then it's simple. DON'T READ. You don't want to think I have ways to get to Jacob? I make you uncomfortable? Right.

I never said it would be pretty. I said *I* was pretty. There's a difference.

Well, here we go.

So this is the new year
and I have no resolutions
for self assigned penance
for problems with easy solutions

so everybody put your best suit or dress on
let's make believe that we are wealthy for just this once
lighting firecrackers off on the front lawn
as thirty dialogues bleed into one
In 2010, things are going to be different. We're preparing to move somewhere warmer than the -45 I walked out into this morning, the cold sunshine burning my skin and my eyes, no amount of coat or arms or heat able to block the shivering.

In 2010, Ben and I will celebrate our second anniversary married.

In 2010, the children will turn 11 and 9 and I don't know where all this time actually went but perhaps in 2010 I will find and restore it so things move at a more natural pace that isn't way too fast or agonizing slow.

In 2010 we will be rich but not in material wealth and not because I sold out for sugar because it seemed like a great way at the time to ensure the future and stick it to Satan all at once. The richness will be in adventure and in living near water and mountains and forests and warmth, because we are ocean people and ocean people need oceans nearby.

2010 for Bridget is dedicated to making every day fun and peaceful of mind and learning how to embrace the present and just be. Deal with things as they arise instead of distressing myself to pieces over what may or may not go wrong. Maybe on paper that seems to be a circumvention of traditional resolutions, but if you know me, then you understand that it will be a full-time job.

Enjoying every single day to the fullest will be difficult considering that between now and Monday, most of the boys are leaving for work in our new city, and on Monday proper Ben flies out too. Which leaves just me and the children behind here in the city that is colder than Siberia to navigate the remainder of winter, the sale of this big wonderful house and the mountain of painting and packing that needs to be done.

Enmeshed in daily living will be efforts to maintain or improve my mental health. With things like sleep and good food and biofeedback and distractions because it's been so easy to lean on the boys, letting them fix things while I fret and flutter around their margins. Maybe I'll become stronger. This is the collective hope. Failure is not an option. Failure means the end of everything and so we can't entertain that scenario. It just can't happen and so it won't.

Last evening I spent the final night of 2010 bubbled in expensive champagne, dancing, sparkling. Talking about profound things and accepting admiration I haven't earned yet.

I cried when August started a midnight singalong of Auld Lang Syne and I went to the beach house when Caleb came looking for us after the last guest drifted from my hazy vision, opening the door just in time.

Jacob turned around from where he was drying dishes at the kitchen sink.

There you are. Happy new year, princess.

Happy new year, Jake.

What should we do today?

Let's take a walk on the beach.

Are you sure? It's pretty cold today.

I'm sure.