Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Off purpose.

And I see them in the streets
And I see them in the field
And I hear them shouting under my feet
And I know it's got to be real
Oh, Lord, deliver me
All the wrong I've done
You can deliver me, Lord
I only wanted to have some fun.
I'm tired now. Busy day. Busy week. What can you do? That is life in the middle of a big move, one that is going rather smoothly with only a handful of hiccups along the way. I still have faith that everything will get ironed out and fall into place one way or another because that is life.

No more champagne. I think I'll switch back to white wine and whiskey for obvious reasons, some that I pour myself for even more obvious reasons because seriously, who trusts Satan? This morning I found my shoes in PJ's jacket pockets and my diamond ring in Ben's shirt pocket and I am still looking for my dignity somewhere but apparently it's on a train, coming to meet me along with my car, which is taking forever and every now and then someone walks into my head and powers up a klieg light which exposes all the worn spots and all the holes and then they shut it down and walk out again and I'm left in the dark with just enough memory to mark and repair all the damned holes and then we do it all over again.

Which is ridiculous but also a necessity, unlike stupid high heels or champagne.

Though if you ask my brother-in-law, champagne is definitely a necessity, as are princesses who run on nerves and little sleep and try to conduct their evenings as if they have oodles of both.

And Ben thinks I am funny.


I would be but I am too busy trying to be responsible and so I jumped the gun and it went off and I've been slapped back, mindful of the pace at which this plays out.

Slow. Find me the button and I will crank the fast forward. Show me the door and I may laugh and tell you I wasn't having much fun anyway, pass me another glass and be prepared because I'm going to hand you my shoes, and then four hours later I will wake up and piece it all back together and then head out for meetings and write down every single word because otherwise if I just load them in they fall out of those holes that the light shines through, don't you see? So I write them down. All of them, and it works very well. I am messily organized and mayhemish beauty and uncharted territory and seriously flawed.

Thank God you love me anyway, because sometimes it seems like there is oh so very little to love.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Ben made all the introductions anyway.

Ben is sleeping.

I am not surprised. I think I wore him out today. We started the day with a sleepy early-morning still-dark epic lovemaking session and ended it at the Coach store downtown, where I bought the Maggie bag I've been coveting for months and was promised earlier this year.

(And a matching wallet, because you have to have a matching wallet.)

I won't even tell you how great it felt to breeze into the store and set up an account and know that none of the pretty things I buy here will ever need to be waterproofed or covered for the snow. Or left to someone else because there was no point, it would become ruined by the cold and the dust anyway. The bag came with a dust cover. I don't think I'll need it. There is no dust.

Oh, I will shop this week, and I will enjoy it.

In other news, I properly introduced myself to the Pacific this morning. We've met in passing several times before, but she had no need to truly remember my face until now. There are palm trees on the beach here. And that's just the beach downtown. We haven't even made it out to the proper ones yet.

We will.

Ben found the first piece of Pacific sea glass as well. I have a huge jar of beach glass in a box somewhere, taped and wrapped in many layers of paper. It's all from the Atlantic, so I suppose I will need another jar for this ocean. I took a deep breath and it didn't hurt to do so and I didn't clench right back up. I stuck my hands in the cold filthy water and I said hello right out loud and I didn't really care who heard.

I said Hello, nice to meet you, and you'll be seeing a lot of me, I hope your sister told you.

I couldn't hear what she said back. The wind, my ears...well, you know how it goes.

We did some poking around and exploring and a lot more walking today just to see things. You don't see things when you drive, and my little car hasn't made it out yet. Against Caleb's perfect suggestions of selling it and buying a new one I shipped it on the train like everyone else does and I've had nothing but regret ever since because it takes forever but again, I don't see things when we drive, I just listen to music and zone out someone far away.

This way I must focus.

Tomorrow I really need to take the children shopping. We're going to try again, because critical mass is being reached on a daily basis and the clothing I packed for each of us is so woefully inadequate all I can do is laugh. Especially for me. It took the bright light of the coast to see the condition my clothing was in because I wasn't paying attention before and now suddenly again I have time to focus on all kinds of things.

It isn't all marble foyers and butlers though, don't be deceived. Caleb pushes things on me and I will pick and choose instead. I can carry my own garbage bag down to the parkade (but gross so Ben has done it so far) and I can figure out the bus routes and walk the puppy in the pouring rain and I can stay up all night watching the city lights and trying to guess where we should live. It's a leap like any other and I wish I had more time to decide. I could take it but it will be difficult either way and I'm pretty sure I won't be exchanging those holey long-sleeved t-shirts for the tiara and the ballgown in any permanent sense. Not yet.

Probably not ever.

Because come on. You know me better than that by now. Give me a champagne flute and odds are I will fill it with chocolate milk.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Rolling with it.

You turn me on
you lift me up
And like the sweetest cup
I'd share with you
You lift me up,
don't you ever stop
I'm here with you

Now it's all or nothing
Because you say you'll follow through
You follow me and I follow you
When I leaned way out over the railing to peek at the starfish, Jacob's head came into the picture and he kissed my cheek and my reflection bumped into a ripple and disappeared.

You like it, princess. It was a statement, not a question. I nodded and watched his words dissolve against the wooden pilings. I let go of the railing and stood on the dock facing him and there was empty space but it was space I knew as filled because he is this big invisible shadow that walks behind me always, keeping my hair out of my lipgloss and keeping Ben focused on this heart of mine that he carries in the little sterling cage, still shattered into bits and pieces. Jacob watches that, you know. He is my guard.

Ben asked me what I was thinking and I just gave him that half-bitter smile that means I don't actually have an answer. He asks me to make decisions and plans and I still can't seem to here because it's nice to be led again. It's nice to not think. It's nice to load the dishwasher and then walk for a while and breathe in salt and rain and trees and relief, sweet epic relief that I remain surprised by.

I need to sleep tonight. The strange part about this place is that it's never dark and the rain drips a steady beat against the windows and it's loud. So loud I can hear it and it wakes me up and so in two nights in my new city I haven't actually slept yet. It will come. When it comes it will be so sweet. Maybe tonight. Maybe eventually I will come down. Easter means new. Maybe then.

I am plotting a long walk by the ocean for the puppy and a dinner of dumplings and authentic Chinese instead of Prairie-Chinese and maybe some fun this weekend. Maybe planning a date. Maybe planning a little more shopping, but for all of us, not just me because one of the downsides of efficiency is instant boredom with the outfit choices and the inadequacy of all of our things for this beautiful place. Patches and almost-holes have no place in this life.

I can fix it in time. Like everything else.

Henry had his meltdown today. I decided to take the children shopping. We all need things and I figured I could polish off a good list after lunch but instead he just unglued himself in the middle of not one but three different stores and eventually it reached the point where I just put the things down that I had collected to purchase and we left the store to walk outside in the sun and listen to road musicians hawk their tunes for spare change. We made our way back to our sky-house and we sacked out with cookies and juice and video games because it is so incredibly rare that Henry voices any complaints at all that I wasn't about to choose that particular moment to instruct. No way no how. Ruth is slightly older and knows a little better and she lit into Henry for making my day tougher but really there isn't anything we need that cannot wait another day, week or month and some moments I really wish someone would just tell me that it's okay, flake out and we'll deal with the hard parts another time.

The difference is then they loom over you, they shadow you and you don't forget they are present, just like I don't forget about the big Jacob-space that stands behind me with his beautiful white blonde hair and gigantic teeth smiling all the time. Light in person-form. The remainder of my sanity locked into a man that isn't here but he isn't dead because I will not allow it so everyone tiptoes around the harder, rougher patches of Bridget until they reach the smooth, soft parts they much prefer.

Ben is happy. More content than I have seen him in a long time. Maybe almost even at a point where he also yearns to do a little more and can't. Build something, play something. Tinker and change and improve and enjoy. It's inevitable that we would quickly outgrow these walls even though they are glass. Even though Coach and Louis Vuitton are down the street, and even though with the kind of luck I carry and the mindset I end up in every damn time, this dishwasher will be the first and last one I ever see because I seem to be hellbent on making life harder for myself in spite of incredibly obnoxious verbal efforts to ensure that everyone around me is aware that I Intend To Be Spoiled.


My hand doesn't contain those cards and neither does the deck. I hold no illusions and I have no faith. What I do know is that we will work doggedly to make a good life here because it's a good place. Because it's mild and I am warm and my fingertips are healing nicely now and my hair, oh Jesus you should see it, it's so curly from the damp air and I can live without shoes or socks just like you know who likes to and I can give up my non-faith to him and maybe he can look after it and maybe Sam can file and lock away those memories from that place and just maybe I will be surprised once again, like I always am.

The older I get the more I come to realize that I can't control a damned thing. And I'm no longer sure I want to anyways.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Never. gets. old.

Yes, I made the dishwasher go again! Because firstly we were out of dishes after dinner and secondly because the magic box that it is makes things CLEAN while I get to go shopping and drink coffee.

Uh huh.


(P.S. I am having a hell of a fun time milking the whole My Fair Lady angle, mostly because it pisses off Caleb to no end.)

Doolittle redux.

Seriously? The dishwasher took over an hour and it even dried the dishes but I can't touch them because they're weirdly hot.


Next up? Graceful navigation with two small kids, two umbrellas, one tiny wet white puppy and the pouring rain. I won't even bother sharing, just know that we were entertainment for the masses.

No wonder Caleb is so embarrassed by me sometimes. Really I can sit up and look pretty but I'm thinking that about now that seems to be the scope of my talents.

Sitting up, I said.


Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Let me tell you about this day.

I'm sitting here tonight with bare feet dangling in front of a wide open window, enjoying the lights. Watching people work and make dinner and watch tv. No one seems to close their blinds here. It's entertainment for urban dwellers maybe. It is akin to apartment living for me, since in a strange way you are never alone and suddenly I find myself seeking crowds and strangers to talk to and I'm stopping for conversations with people because it's nice to have the company. The children are much the same way, shouldering a new kind of mature confidence, making their way without a hint of shyness or uncertainty. I wish they could be the sort of naive barefoot hooligan that I was as a child, without the sophistication that they seem to possess now to the point where I find myself chasing after them, reaching out to grab Henry's hood so that he doesn't get so far ahead of me that he'll end up on the wrong side of the skytrain/seabus/elevator doors.

Phew. That's an all-day job.

And...who am I kidding? These are our children. It stands to reason they will not miss a moment, and are introspective and alert and clever to the point of astonishment from those around them who stand seven times as worldly. What am I supposed to do? I can't turn back time. I can't change the life they have led thus far. We just keep going.

Today was the mother of all days off, that's for sure.

When I opened my eyes the city was already coming to life. We left the blinds open the night before. All white bed. So luxurious. A slow morning. No alarms, no concrete plans, just some ideas bantered around in the weeks before. This was the first no work day with no horrendous pressure since possibly last fall. We managed to see and do so much my legs ache like the dickens and I'm just now making us our late afternoon coffee (it's after nine) because once we did get going it was tough to stop.

I found the sky train interesting, as well as the sea bus. Louis Vuitton and the yacht club were quite amazing too. Boats. Incredibly luxurious boats. I could live there quite easily. I sometimes feel like I was two different mixes poured into one princess mold and shaken up so hard every now and then when I find a hard little ball of unblended mix I like to savour the sheer purity of it.

Sometimes those little bits taste like French designers and American yachts. (I'm sorry, I can't help it. The other bits all taste like dust bunnies and bent bobby pins and homemade chicken soup.)

They argue something awful these days too, those two princess-mixes and I can't seem to make peace for everyone. I can't seem to figure out who to side with. I can continue on this path, and the kids grow up city-friendly and capable and worldly and somewhat spoiled but without abandon, or I can choose the other path and raise two perfect humans with wonderful childhood memories and happy animals and a life that defines washing a car as turning on your hose and working for the next hour and getting wet instead of passing someone your keys and a crisp handful of bills and reading the newspaper while they do it instead of you.

Yeah. It is a choose-your-own-adventure novel, princess edition and I'm too tired to read the last part so I'm purposefully going in circles, trying out different actions and alternate endings. It's going to be a big surprise and frankly, Bridget only likes the good surprises and I'm rambling, am I rambling? I have no idea.

I just know that when I was walking along the path this afternoon, a voice very close to my ear (but on the inside of my head, not the outside) said, breathe deeply, princess. You know that smell. That's seaweed and you are home.

I know that voice.

He came with me.

And Ben noticed before I did.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Sea level.

We're here.

At last.

Way up high in the sky in a place that is floor to ceiling windows. All windows everywhere and if I walk in a circle I can look at the ocean and the mountains at the same time and then I can peek out the other way, towards the Coach store, L'Occitane and Tiffany's. I plan to visit all of them tomorrow.

It wasn't as smooth a trip as I had hoped, with more than a few heartbreak-generating bumps in the road and some very close near misses and a whole lot of Oh-my-fuck-what-are-we-doings but we're here and we brought the sun and you can buy milk in glass bottles and I walked through a bamboo forest and Ben already took me to the gigantic Tom Lee music store. Figures.

It's pretty amazing. Here I can dress how I want, as long as I have a sweater for the ocean breeze and an umbrella for the freaking two-minute giant raindrop-carrying rainstorms. Here I can laugh at the weather where we used to live, because it's twenty degrees warmer today.

I've been here before, and still as we were walking this afternoon, I said to Ben, why the heck did we live where we lived when there are places like this out there?

He just smiled.

I think he's happy now that we're here and I know we're happy that we're here and right now my list of things to do just tomorrow is as long as my arm plus my leg plus my other leg and then continued in the memo app on my Blackberry and I'm sure tonight will bring some sort of epic sleep that will revisit the dead and then everything will be complete.

I'm totally wired.

And Ben is a prince, an honest to goodness, card-carrying prince.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Everything is gone.

Wtf. This house is huge. Don't know how I feel right now.
~via BlackBerry.


Three-fifths done. Everyone has tattoos and they're singing musicals. It's a bit surreal.
~via BlackBerry.

Moving day!

It's Monday. Truck is here. Busy bees!! One whole hour sleep. Place your bets to see when I crash. :) xox b
~via BlackBerry.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Still packing!

Odds are I'm updating via Twitter. Be nice and follow me please. In 12hrs this is all a memory.
~via BlackBerry.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Saturday update, the boxed chaos edition.

Garage and workshop are all cleaned out. The last of three loads of laundry are in the dryer and then I can fold all of it. I am on my second giant cup of coffee and I have a pounding headache. On the upside? NINE HOURS OF SOLID SLEEP last night, something I haven't seen since around last Halloween.

I packed more dishes, more clothes and more guitars today. Ben did the outdoor, freezing cold and heavy things. The children walked the dog and went to the store for me for bread. For chocolate bars too.

Do you think the headache is from too much sleep? If so, I will embrace the pain. I wish every night was that effective.

No music today. There hasn't been time. Up until now I've been alone and I packed the stereo and I couldn't reach the network (and the music from my computer) because it just wouldn't work properly (Lochlan has since fixed it) so I figured out how to drag the tiny(forty songs) music folder on my laptop into VLC and it would play a loop and then I would have some soothing company for a bit but it's okay now because I have Ben home and he has open arms for me and very long hugs and even longer kisses and he's taking over the hard parts and keeping everyone super calm and instead of rushing around he is pacing us and reminding me to sit down and finish my coffee. To go to sleep already. Not to worry. You don't have to do everything, Bridget. Not anymore.

He's like a giant, bearded Xanax.

It's awesome.

But I am out of coffee now. I ate a granola bar. Now I have to go and fold laundry, put it all away and then start pulling it out again. We're almost through here.

Also awesome.

More than you realize.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Hallo, Ben.

Show your face
Living in the shadows like you got no name
Enough to make a little girl go insane
Be my guest to let it out tonight
It's okay
I know all about the little games you play
He's here.

Thank fucking God. I swear I was ready to just curl up and die. Three months was three lifetimes, I'm a cat. I believe I have around two lives left.

That isn't quite right.

I'm actually a book on a shelf and some days I'm a biography and other days horror and sometimes a Harlequin romance. Sometimes I'm an instruction manual in a language you don't understand and other times I'm a page ripped out of the back of a minigolf score book.

Ben says I should say I'm a porkchop sandwich. Boys are weird. That's okay though. This princess is pretty weird too.

Today we ran around like headless chickens. Well, first I woke up and smacked the snooze alarm and then turned over and saw Ben sleeping there. It wasn't a dream. He is real. He's home, even though home is temporary because we move in mere days and home seems to be all boxes and bare walls.

We went and looked all of the important things that required both our presences and we went to McDonald's too. We walked the dog and stopped for coffee and Ben drove and so I didn't have to and I talked and he signed for things and then he lifted things and I told him where to put them down. I made a schedule for the rest of the week and he only added a couple of things.

He is very sad to be leaving this house and I'm being protective of his feelings because he didn't have the past three months here like I did to make his peace with leaving it. If I had any faith that it would hold together I would have had it picked up and moved with us, or rather, we would have still flown out and the house could have traveled slowly down the highway, bookended by signs proclaiming 'caution: wide load'.

But it wouldn't. I could see it shift slightly and crumple onto itself, windows blowing out and porches collapsing.

That cannot happen. Instead we sold someone a lot of colored glass and wood and character and we're going to go look for a new castle and hell, yes, I will write about it because Ben listened and since he is my number one fan I will tell it as it happens because he listened, I said. Are you listening? I asked to leave here. I said I was done. Done with the memories in fingerprints long faded against paint I could never change. Done with walking into rooms and seeing Jacob sitting in chairs we don't even have anymore. Done with very high tiny windows that can't be sufficiently cleaned and done with the endless sparrows that sit on the branches outside my bedroom windows and make so much damn wonderful noise.

Done. Bridget's done. Time to run, plan escape and have some fun.

I can't do it anymore. I'm not a Prairie girl but I gave it eight years and frankly though I love the big open sky and endless flat fields of sunflowers and canola I need that ocean bookend to help me find my way.

Whatever that is.

No, I know what is is. It's having the water to navigate by. It's smelling the salt air constantly to keep alert and awake. It's healing. It's fucking Bridget, baby. All the way.

Things may get sporadic posting-wise, though we have wi-fi the whole way to the west coast, we probably won't have time or energy left to think, let alone post. I said we, didn't I?

I have a helper now. He's home. He's big and he's silly and he's funny and he's hot as a five-alarm fire and he's going to throw in some suggestions and maybe I'll follow them and maybe I'll rebel but maybe we'll share the page every now and then. Maybe we'll start having fun now.

You get to come too. As usual, just don't ask so many questions.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Awake on my airplane.

This is seriously not a day to have Filter songs stuck in my head but as usual I have no choice in the matter. It can always be worse.

The neighborhood looks like hell. This city is second to none in clawing back to a decent summer from a spring that is all mud and garbage. I want to wash my face because my skin feels awful. I want to powerwash the entire property top to bottom but instead I'm going to walk away from it in less than a week, with the rotten leaves still protecting the gardens and mud all over everything.

I still remember the week we moved in and heading outside to dig up the begonias to keep indoors in pots over the winter because I didn't know they were a hardy variety that would survive this zone. I had a ball. Playing in my own garden was cathartic. I could rip out all the plants if I wanted, because it was mine now. While I did that Cole was exploring and he found a stack of glass inserts that go in the screen doors in cold weather. We put them all up and suddenly we were warm.

We learned this house the hard way and I'm leaving one single skeleton key and no instructions whatsoever, because it's fun.

Oh pish tosh. I left the alarm manual. We didn't even get that much. Oh and new appliances, since I'm still a little bitter that the stove stopped working Thanksgiving weekend. It's a chance you take and I'm still glad we took it.

And I had high hopes of coming in here and regaling you with more Jacob-stories because the emails from yesterday show me you're still in love with him too and you like the stories I share about him and frankly, there are millions I never told, but might someday soon. Only not today because today I am hit and miss with tears and over sixty boxes in and today we crossed the threshold of packing around living to living around packing, because I am no longer comfortable with the lack of space and everything being taped shut. It's just not great but in thirty hours the biggest longest nightmare is over, because Ben will be home. And he won't be going back alone this time.

And boy oh boy does Bridget need a hug.

Monday, 15 March 2010

All that you can't leave behind.

When the doorbell rang I remember feeling that little undercurrent thrill that jolted through me every time Jacob was within reach.

Cole threw open the front door and Jacob was standing there in the porch, smiling. He looked around and then ducked through the doorway and smiled at me.

This your castle, princess?

All teeth, he was. All big smiles and hands and unruly blonde waves and the beard that only served to picture-frame his whole presence in blonde.

Cole laughed in a forced way and offered to show him around. He nodded and they disappeared down the hall to the basement steps first, because all proper men in this house have to verify the existence of the workshop before they'll spend a moment here otherwise. This one had shelves and places drilled to stand rows of screwdrivers and a huge worktable built right in.

I waited outside in the backyard, watching the kids run on their grass, enjoying the fenced-in safety of the yard.

Soon a hand touched my back, completing the circuit of electricity, making me jump. I turned and smiled in the cold sun, for it was October and it seemed warm until you realized you were slowly freezing solid.

Teeth again and those pale blue eyes. Jacob approved.

You going to be happy here?

He said it in a low voice and frowned suddenly.

Yes, like you said, it's my castle. I love this house.

What if nothing changes?

Then it will become my prison.

Cole came outside then, and I watched Jacob's face transform into forced joviality, his expression hard. I'm sure Cole never missed a thing. He would tell me about it later and he did.

Jacob's hand went away but he covered it by rubbing my shoulder. Cole smiled with his wicked cold eyes.

I think she'll be happier here, don't you think, preacherman?

If we all make an effort, yes.

(Oh, tension. Bring me a knife and I'll slice enough for each of us.)

Nothing changed and Cole didn't have much time here after all. He died less than a year after we moved in. And then Jacob moved in and eighteen months later Bridget's unhappy drove him to disappear too and finally Bridget's unhappy led the universe to alter course in order to protect everybody and that's why we are moving west again.

Surprisingly Ben, the dark horse finisher and outside longshot (or longshit, as PJ so lovingly calls him) has lived here the longest.

That's good, don't you think? I think it's good. I think it says a lot for us. I think maybe we'll be okay. Instead of being imprisoned by memories and held captive by long hard winters, extreme weather and total darkness we'll be made lighter. We'll have a chance to live instead of living around and through the memories when given tiny, brief chances to do so.

I remember also the day that I told Ben that Jacob was moving in. That I was moving on with my life because I deserved to be happy, didn't he think?

You're not going to be happier, Bridge. Somehow I just see things getting worse before they get better.

Instead of seeing that as prophetic I instead chose to chalk it up to Ben's jealousy and I dismissed the comment, letting it hang between us, a privacy curtain that would serve to drive a wedge we left in place until years had passed.

I won't make that mistake again.

Ben comes home in two more sleeps and he is nervous about the move, while I become more and more excited. He's a funny guy in that he's moved enough in his life that it triggers a sadness that he works hard to cover with being brusque and difficult but I'm sure it's bringing up everything he's ever felt that makes Ben who he is.

He's mine, that's who he is. And soon we'll be living life on our own terms with the mountains and the sea as a backdrop and the warmth to insulate us from the past. We have all the character we'll ever need to build, we're going to live.

Chapter three. It begins now.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Careful, Scarlett.

Off in the night, while you live it up, I'm off to sleep
Waging wars to shape the poet and the beat
I hope it's gonna make you notice
I hope it's gonna make you notice
Someone like me
Duncan (non-resident beat poet) sent me his Kings Of Leon CD late last week and told me to give it a chance. I was hooked from the get-go and have had it on the stereo on heavy rotation all weekend as I pack. Now I have stopped for the day, since I'm up to forty boxes done and really have progressed to the large scary wardrobe boxes which is funny, we don't have nearly the amount of clothes needed to fill five of them but I plan to throw in skis, scooters and possibly bicycles and see what happens.

I'm still concerned that some of these boxes are incredibly heavy thanks to all of the hardcover books but really I think maybe that is an issue more to do with tired princesses and hazardous curved wooden staircases than anything else. I now carry stacks of books down to the main level, rather than trying to fill the boxes upstairs and bring them down.

Tonight I'll put the hot water bottle on that spot inside my back where the pain just tears me a new scream if I lie funny and then tomorrow I'll do it all again. I think I'm good at this. I also think when we buy a house in Vancouver I'll just buy paper plates and all new clothes and call it a life and unpack nothing.

Right now I've got turkey and potatoes in the oven because I need some comfort food and this was from some plan to cook a big dinner and not doing it. I have no idea but it smells good.

I just wish someone else would have made it so I can sleep.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

So I walk upon high
And I step to the edge to see my world below.
And I laugh at myself while the tears roll down.
'Cause it's the world I know.
It's the world I know.
Today it's taken me the better part of the day to pack Cole's paintings and photographs, and Jacob's letters and journals. It's a beautiful day to be wrapping memories in clean packing paper and tucking them securely into cartons so I can bring them with me.

Friday, 12 March 2010

I just noticed this.

Holy COW.

We're moving.

(Yes, I realize we're almost three months into this knowledge, but we made it. *I* made it.)



Ben, hopefully is somewhere in the Pacific Northwest forging my medal as we speak. I hope it matches my crown, because coordination is paramount.)

I will make his here before we leave.

He earned one too.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

The food replicator must be in there somewhere.

Looking at houses in Vancouver tonight online. The first few things I can see are that it's raining in almost every photo, every house has more bathrooms than bedrooms, and they all come with dishwashers.

What is this machine...a dishwasher?

I'm guessing it's a portal to another dimension. When you close the door and hit the switch you are transported into the future, where your dishes are already clean.


(I'm sad to report the people who bought my house can take over wondering what those two switches do in the front hall. I have no idea either, perhaps they also trigger access to other dimensions. Good luck!)
She looked right into my
eyes and said to me
The hurt that you try to hide is killing me
You drink a thousand lies,
to freeze the past in time

I've tried to fill this silence up
But now it's back again

See the pain in my eyes
see the scars deep inside
My God, I'm down in this hole again
With the laughter I smile
with the tears that I cry
Keep going down this road called life
Look out.

You don't want to be here right now. She'll turn around slowly, curls resting gently against her shoulder blades, eyes bleeding black all over her alabaster skin. The fear that turns your blood to ice will be no match for your curiosity and you stand your ground in front of her. After all, you are looking down at her and she must lift her lashes to meet your eyes.

She won't. She looks straight ahead now. Wooden doll, charred and blackened and thrown under the shed out back because you didn't mean to.

Oh, but you did.

There are few secrets that can't be told and fewer dreams that can't be destroyed with a whim. She bides her time, you see. Standing still in order for you to witness the horror but smiling gently and with a sinister intent because she knows things you will find out later. She knows her own whims can destroy you in a completely different way. She doesn't mean to be bad, it isn't her fault that everything is black. Somewhere along the way it got darker and darker until her pupils expanded and she could see again. She has that gift, you don't so don't even try.

Just stay there, let it wash over you. Know what it's like. Feel what she feels. Cry like she cried. She isn't crying today and that's why today will be worse for everyone else but not so bad for her.
It's deafening
it's deafening
this silence inside me

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Ten-second eclipse.

Eclipse teaser trailer.

Stephanie, stop borrowing from my archives.

PS Team Edward all the way. Team Jacob seems like sacrilege. Besides, in this house we love vampires.


Give me a BREAK.

I found the drum keys. I know where everything is in this house and soon I won't be able to find a thing. Today is breaking down the drum kit and hopefully getting the hotel arranged and more boxes to pack. Toys and books, toys and books. It's endless.

And Power 97 keeps playing Just Breathe by Pearl Jam. It's a sign. I love this song. I am trying to listen closely.

OH! And speaking of signs and songs, HELLO new music video!!!!

You're welcome. Warning, it's sad and beautiful.


Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Need a miracle.

No luck today. I try to arrange the words just so but they all pour out in a scream. Maybe tomorrow.

Tomorrow will probably be worse.

Ha, I am having a real hard time with your optimism. Maybe you should WALK A MILE IN MY SHOES and then tell me to calm down. I need drugs. Drugs and someone else to do this because I really don't think I can pull it off without casualties. Watch as she explodes before your very eyes just out of sheer stress.

It could happen. Stay tuned.









Monday, 8 March 2010

Benjamin, I can't lift these boxes.

I'll be waving my hands
Watching you drown, watching you scream, quiet or loud
And maybe you should sleep
And maybe you just need a friend
As clumsy as you've been there's no one laughing
You will be safe in here
you will be safe in here
The thrill this week in grade three is to pull your mouth open wide with two fingers and say things like "puck" and "apple".


In grade six the trend is to decorate your jeans with memories written in sharpie, a la Sisterhood of the traveling pants. I may join that one. I already lead the threes in swearing so I think I have elementary school covered tenfold.

We are surrounded by cardboard boxes, markers, packing tape and lists. Contracts to print and sign, calls to make, addresses to change, hotels to book, flights to organize, pets to calm, children to reassure and... princess sitting at a scrubbed table with a borrowed glass full of cheap white wine, near tears and near smiles at the effort in place to relocate many lives all at once, and memories too.

It rained all day today and I can see the tops of my lilac bushes again. I scraped away the ice in front of the garage door so that I don't have another session of stars and sparrows, flat on my back on the cement floor of the garage, wondering how I got there.

I'm favoring myself physically because if I hurt myself or pull anything I won't be able to pack. Time is at a premium right now, I am writing tonight from the dinner table, on precious batter power while Henry finishes his homemade pizza in the dining room and Ruth is long gone, off to watch television while she waits for us to be ready to head outside to walk the dog. Once I get the children organized and in pajamas playing Warcraft with Ben across the miles I will finish the calculations for my taxes and call them in tomorrow. Then I can put all of that away and concentrate on coordinating this move. Which sometimes seems so very easy and straightforward and other times becomes unbearably complicated and impossible.

But I have done so much. And I'm going to list the things because I could use a little pep talk with my contraband wine:

  1. I refinished a hardwood floor.
  2. I painted several rooms, top to bottom.
  3. I mudded and finished a newly gyproc-sheeted room.
  4. I hired a realtor and sold a house (almost forty showings in four days).
  5. I hired a mover.
  6. I had my car repaired and negotiated a free rental car for the duration.
  7. I kept the three of us safe.
  8. I lived without Ben for almost three months, no small feat for someone who is afraid of everything and who only breathes or sleeps in his arms.
  9. I kept my computer alive. There's no resuscitation order on this thing. It clearly wants to die. I need to give it permission and I don't plan to do that for a bit yet.
  10. We made brownies. They ruled the universe. Then we tossed the rest of the baking supplies.
I can't wait to call the airline and find out there's some screwy thing with bringing the pets. I can't wait for the car to be damaged on the rail to British Columbia and I can't wait for a host of new street names to pronounce and the mile-long list of donair and ramen joints Ben is going to to take me to so I can sample food in a foodie city for the first time ever. Does Pacific spiney lobster taste as good as Atlantic? What about the scallops? What about the Thai? The Thai has to be good and I'm never sure if what I learned to love here was authentic or just bastardized quasi prairie-Thai.

I will soon find out. Two weeks from tomorrow.

Oh, Jesus Christ. Bring more wine then, I have work to do.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Eight is enough.

There's a little white porch
And you wanted it so
Can you let me go down
To the end of the road
In the black and the white
A Technicolorful life
Can I stand by your side?
We can make it alright
Ben took that picture in the post below. I am still landlocked quite tightly but the countdown is on. Give or take a little we're down to less than twenty days remaining. Ben will be home in just under two weeks and we'll wrap up life on the Prairie and get the hell out, but I'll save the malevolence of goodbye for the final few days, if my laptop is still functioning then. The house is sold. The truck is booked. The lawyer is booked. The neighbors have been told. I've been saving out keys and taking things down. The suitcases are all over the dining room floor and the table pushed out of the way.

Here we go, Bridget.

Here we go, boys. Take our hands and never look back at this place, or I swear to God, I'll claw your eyes out.

Ben sang to me the other night. He played Tangerine and when I finally went to sleep I wasn't crying. Almost into the single digits now and finally I figured out how to destroy whole blocks of time Godzilla-princess style with movies and books and throwing myself into whatever else I am doing with one hundred percent attention and effort, instead of the usual fifty-fifty. Half a shot, merely a chance, and not a sure thing. Like the game of Capture her Heart. You won't get how it works but three of them figured it out in my life and that's enough for me.

There was no Hyde this time. The stress is starting to shift to semantics and plans that don't hinge so heavily on outside influences and finally it feels like reality instead of incarceration. Pair that with the clocks going ahead this coming weekend and a less-frigid round of weather as of late and I have officially clocked out of here with eight full winters under my belt.



When the fuck did that happen? Nevermind, it won't happen ever again. He promised.

Just nevermind. This chapter will be dealt with later as I see fit. Not today. It's a nice day today and I don't want to ruin it. Though I could ruin it if I think too hard about Ben's eyes, or Ben's arms, or Ben's beard, or Ben when he breathes and I hear it sometimes. It's one of my favorite things in my entire life and I'm counting the days now until we're a force to be reckoned with instead of two completely lost individuals foundering around in far-apart locations trying to do the best we can. Of course it's been good enough, but it isn't GOOD enough. Got it?

Sometimes you can just tell when a new chapter is going to be better than the previous one. I don't know how that happens, but it does. Sometimes it even happens to me.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

One, two

She's coming for you..

Three, four, on the twenty-eighth floor...

Wait. What the fuck?

Two bits (losing my credibility completely).

Could someone please tell me where I put the box full of cellphone chargers, headphones and assorted cases? I've looked and I can't find it. I NEEEEEEEEED it. My headphones! I neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed my headphones. Argh.

In other notes, I really need to get a bigger microSD card for my phone. There is never enough space for the songs.

And just because this is calm before the next storm, I'm going to do something totally awesome here and post the list of songs in my OHW folder on my Blackberry. That's One Hit Wonders. Even though they aren't, they're just random songs I love and want to have handy but I don't want the whole albums on my phone. Get it? (If you are the author of one of them, don't be offended. The whole albums are on my computer, but the SD card is very tight, packed full, okay? And I love you.)

Don't laugh if you see something weird. All of them are a good offset for Tool and for Ben's stuff. Trust me. These are the songs that you find when you open up the glove compartment in Bridget's head and reach far back into the dusty corners.
  1. Toto-Africa
  2. Trust Company-Downfall
  3. Thirteen Senses-Into the Fire
  4. Matthew Good-Strange Days
  5. Train-Drops of Jupiter
  6. Iron and Wine-Night Descending
  7. Matthew Good-In a world called catastrophe
  8. Black Crowes-She talks to Angels
  9. Wide Mouth Mason-The River song
  10. Black Crowes-Remedy
  11. Garbage-A stroke of luck
  12. Hudson River School-The Great mistake
  13. Spin Doctors-Two princes
  14. Incubus-Drive
  15. Iron and Wine-Each coming night
  16. Collective Soul-The world I know
  17. Sting-Fortress around your heart
  18. Foo Fighters-Come alive
  19. Neverending White Lights/Dallas Green-The grace
  20. Foo Fighters-Times like these
  21. Hawksley Workman-Striptease
  22. White Zombie-More Human than Human
  23. Slipknot-Vermillion Part 2
  24. Bee Gees-How Deep is your love
  25. Death Cab-Transatlanticism (the whole album, so it's probably in the wrong place)
It could be worse. In PJ's OHW folder we found Kelly Clarkson, Wilson Philips and MC Hammer.
And I won't tell you about what was in August's because he would come home and tickle me to death.

On second thought..

Friday, 5 March 2010


Oh ominous place spellbound and unchildproofed
My least favorite chill to bare alone
Compatriots in place they'd cringe if I told you
Our best back-pocket secret our bond full-blown
Tonight I was swinging gently on the swing that is tied to the tree with two heavy ropes. A weathered grey board beneath me, my toes only graze the ground if I stretch my legs out far. I was watching the stars as they lit in the sky and then I noticed how frayed the ropes were. Once knotted securely to the strong branch, I could see that they were unraveling to the point of it being dangerous to continue to swing at all.

But I didn't move.

A little of the euphoria is beginning to cloud again and the fear makes a campaign to return. What if someone steals our mail? New bank cards and tax receipts are at stake. I suppose our identity gets stolen or some funds from our bank account. All of it will be replaced. What if there is nowhere to stay when we arrive and someone drops the ball and the condo isn't ready for us? We find a hotel.

Jesus, Bridget, you really need to get your mind off things.

What if the plane crashes? Then nothing else can go wrong, now, can it? What if the movers lose my car/our furniture/everything we own? Then I guess you get a wad of cash to spend on new things. New things you have always wanted like a custom-painted fiddle, nicer clothing and a couch you can sleep on that still fits through a doorway. Maybe a stacking washer/dryer because they take up less room.

Simple things for a simple girl, because she over-complicates things so very badly.

Snap! And Bridge drops an inch on the swing as more stars come to light in the ever darkening backyard. You can hear her if you listen closely. She is singing songs she heard on the radio today, and today she is wearing a useless evil eye bracelet, or maybe it isn't useless but she would like a detailed report of that too if you have information for her.

What if it's awful?

How can it be awful, princess? We've got the ocean, the mountains, the forest and the mild easy living you have craved through eight arctic winters.

What if it's too expensive?

Then you write more and crawl back up to your post as the author who has these big dreams but puts them at the back of the shelf behind the mental obstacles for safekeeping. Words that are destroyed are merely letters after all.

What if I get homesick?

For what, exactly? Eight years, princess. Eight years and we still can't believe you did it.

Where does Jake go?

Where I always go, pigalet. With you.

What if Ben is difficult?

I promise, beautiful, no more Mr. Hyde.

They (everyone) feel the same way. Maybe everyone hides it better. I never had a poker face. I would see a handsome man or tell a lie and the action would be evident in my expression, colored in as a blush to a admission that I was all heart. Completely heart and nothing else. No mind, no guts, no brains. Just heart. A girl-organ, all red and pulsing with valves meandering off into different directions and blood squishing through your fingers as you hold me and feel me beating.

Too fast. And it won't slow down until I conquer all of the current fears and invent the next round to swing from, some of which will bring my swing crashing to the ground. But only if I let them. I may, but I may not. After all, it's dark out. No one will see.
I am a magnet for all kinds of deeper wonderment
I am a wunderkind
I am a Joan of Arc and smart enough to believe this
I am a princess on the way to my throne

Destined to reign, destined to roam

Composers in absentia.

Just a little reminder when things get so very hectic I tend to take to Twitter. Button to your left and in this post below. Don't be a lurker though, it's nice to have followers and I will follow you in return if you say hello.

Why I like Twitter so much I'll never know. But I do. It's painless and quasinonymous and....

...there's a picture of me on my Twitter profile and for once I'm not hiding behind a BlackBerry/sunglasses/boy. Ben took the snap last night during our webcam chat. So that is me from my bed at two o'clock in the morning. If you look closely you can see my striped over-the-knee socks. I was cold.

More later. I thought you needed a treat because you've been very good readers putting up with my non-existent, positively undigestable word arrangements during this chaos. Thanks for that.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Henry asked tonight if Ben missed his glue stick guitars.

It only took me a minute to figure out what he meant. He went on to tell me he likes it best when Ben plays glue stick songs after dinner at the table...instead of plugging in the electric ones. The electric guitars are so much louder. The acoustic guitars are better for dining rooms.

Sometimes I agree. :)

But only sometimes.


It was a beautiful letdown
When you found me here
For once in a rare blue moon
I see everything clear

I'll be a beautiful letdown
That's what I'll forever be
And though it may cost my soul
I'll sing for free
The house.

It sold.

Time moved so slowly and suddenly it's moving so fast and the grass is greener already, because it must have been so simple to mindlessly sing along to the radio while I painted and scraped and plastered and cooked and cleaned and now suddenly I'm trying to coordinate a cross county move with children and pets and Ben flying in and flying out and moving trucks and utilities and I don't have an address and I need an address don't I? and things are going to move so fast I can already hear the wind rushing in my ears so it makes it very hard to catch the actual words and I still need to do our taxes and my laptop is failing because fourteen months is the charm curse and did I tell you about when my barely a year old car broke down earlier this week and had to be towed away and and it was the straw that broke everything? but I didn't write about it, I just tried to go through the steps to make it better and I put layer after layer of tape and glue and then more tape and then paper with more glue and then some tape and prayers too and I held it together and I forced myself to eat a little and sleep a little and hug the children and I made a bravery-mask to wear when I talk to Ben and to my parents and it only failed a little when I spoke with the car dealership and the poor tow truck driver who wow, got an earful and I'm sorry but he didn't seem to mind all that much and now I have my car back and someone is so very excited to have their own castle now and I have put aside a stack of papers that go with each of the new appliances I chose for this house and a ring full of skeleton keys and deadbolt keys and maybe I will have some flowers in the kitchen on their closing day so they will have a house that starts them off in the most positive light I can manage.

And we will be gone and it's a good thing because even though I weathered that storm there are still miles to go, yes, Mr. Frost.

And right now I still have a backpack with family pictures on DVDs and our very-valuable stuff that can't be packed and Jacob's letters. It's sitting by the door and I have the children's coats ready and the kennels for the animals and I've got my mask ready to put back if I need it but really it's so nice out today and I'm really really hoping that with my split and bleeding fingers crossed, dried from the cold and scraped raw from the effort, that Bridget is through the hard part and onto the glory now.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010


Hi internet, bye internet. I needed my bravery song today. See you tomorrow.
Welcome to the planet
Welcome to existence
Everyone's here
Everyone's here
Everybody's watching you now
Everybody waits for you now
What happens next
What happens next

Welcome to the fallout
Welcome to resistance
The tension is here
Tension is here
Between who you are and who you could be
Between how it is and how it should be

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

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened
Today never happened
Today never happened before

Monday, 1 March 2010

Here, just take your schadenfreude. Maybe tomorrow something will go right. I've got nothing left here at all.

The other poet waits at stage left.

Hi, go away. I fell out of the wrong side of the bed and you're going to pay for it. My pockets are empty.

Monday morning brings balled-up fists, bottom lips wedged between teeth and bitten raw, and love letters from Lochlan. Ben's beautiful face is still in my mind from video calls and subsequent brief dreams last night, a day hellbent on taking place in spite of four hours sleep. I have coffee and cinnamon-sugared hot cereal in front of me and I have already crossed off most of today's list, which means with any luck I can do taxes later.

See what I did there? Mentioned luck again. I've been fresh out for years but old habits die hard.

Think positive, princess.

About what, Jake? The house? That course of action will jinx me a little more. I'm superstitious. Assume, and you're be made an ass of. Predict and you will ensure failure. By not preparing for the worst you will embark on a Pandora's box of alternate endings and curse yourself for the rest of your breathing days.

I don't want to get my hopes up if there are no hopes to be had. Better to steel myself for the possibility that I may be here right through my birthday in May than to assume I won't and shoot karma in the head. Fucking bitch that she is to me, no matter how hard I try.

I'll walk the tracks in my proper black shoes, black tights and a black dress and I will sing sad songs under my breath as the dog walks along oblivious, sniffing at the thistles, head up into the wind. I'll let my hair blow around my face in a halo of tangles and I'll stop talking again.

I'm rather sure it's inevitable. This is the kind of luck I have.

Lochlan thinks life would be less difficult if I would simply step further from the musician and closer to the artist again. If I would pick a permanent Dr. Jekyll over the inevitable Mr. Hyde even though cold shoulders come in all heights in this universe and selfishness rules the day. He would be here. He would be here.

Sure he would.

Lochlan is the fair-weather boyfriend and I'm not as young and naive as I once was the day he told me I was so impossible it would never work.

He was right, but not for those reasons. He is the impossible one. The hot and cold, knows-better, doesn't have time for bullshit logical Lochical pretty boy, the man who carries around Pink Floyd lyrics on the tip of his tongue and playing on his mental radio because the second you turn it off he becomes someone who just won't listen to reason and I don't know exactly what kind of defect that is but I suspect it's not a whole lot different from my rather insane set of useless self-soothing attempts.

Everyone has their problems. I'm not going to become one of his.

I'm happy with Ben. Yeah, that guy. The one so underground these days it's as if he's vanished altogether. Home for five days and gone for five days again and it feels like a thousand years and I still cry myself to sleep with his last-worn t-shirt clutched in my hands.

Two of you guessed properly this morning and that freaks me out. The other twenty-three guesses were so far off base I found it highly amusing to consider those possibilities while I laced my boots for the near-dawn walk I take with the dog. As long as the odds still favor me I'll keep writing about him, about us. If they tip I am done.

I don't run anymore.

I don't write anymore.

I don't eat or sleep.

I don't relax and I stopped taking deep breaths after I did something weird to my back and suddenly all through January I couldn't breathe properly. It hurt. I walked a very fine line and thankfully it has gone away a little but I would keep the pain if it meant I could just calm down for five whole minutes instead of a white-knuckle trip through everyday pedestrian things that everyone else blindly conducts as though they were entitled to it and more.

You're not, I'm so sorry. And as usual I deleted the dozens of emails that arrived while I slept because I don't entertain guesses for Ben and I don't care what you think of my words, my life or my boys. Nor do I care to read your reviews of my skills as a mother, wife, homeowner or journalist. I just don't. Save your breath and do what you do best: keep reading.

Just shut the fuck up. I really can't take anymore. Lochlan, that goes for you too.

The party line for the afternoon will be Bridget's just angry that I can't make it back today.

Indeed. Whatever helps you sleep at night, baby. I'll be on the tracks if you need me. In this fucking endless wind.