Sunday, 31 July 2011

Deliver me from evil. On second thought, let's get this over with.

I ran in and slammed the door as I went, almost losing ground and winding up on my ass. The door swung, picking up speed until it smashed into place and the latch clicked automatically. You would click too, at that speed. I turned around and felt along the wall for the light switch, obscured in the dark, under spiderwebs and months without touch.

I didn't even have to turn back around to realize he was there. He spoke first.

What in the hell are we doing back in this room, princess?

And I did not know what to say so I smiled and then I covered my mouth. I watched as he carefully made his I don't approve but gosh, you're adorable when you're bad face and then my smile fell off my face. Too dark anyway. He is faded around the edges but still himself. The accent as thick as ever to the point where I still need to count a beat to make sure he said what I think he said, based on the thickness of his words and the ridiculous amount of words just to say something like wow or how bout that.

His smile followed mine into the dark. We are so serious sometimes it would make you cry.

It's summer, princess, don't you have a beach to visit?

You never liked the beach.

I liked the ones I found you on.

That wasn't me, just an ideal.

That was you. You need to get back to that.

It's a busy time. Batman is taking over the guys.

I know and I don't understand. Caleb has really stepped back.

Batman does that to people.

What about the rest?

They're waiting and watching.

And what about you, princess?

I smile again, just enough. It's not a question, it's a statement. What about me? I will take the affection of anyone who gives it freely. I will throw it in the face of the next one to question it and I will die on my feet, jumping up and down wanting to be everything to everyone, in place of oxygen and light and blood. Make me more powerful than Satan and God put together. Die for me, always. Live to breathe me as air, and whatever you do, don't question the inside of my head because it hasn't been mapped yet.

Or even deciphered, for that matter.

And boy, am I ever drunk right now and I opt to sit on the charcoaled floor, drawing cute cartoons in the dust and Jacob sits down too, even though he'll probably ruin his khakis and his white shirt. He had eight plain white dress shirts and all of them were so threadbare I couldn't even pass them along to the boys, I wound up throwing them out. I kept the blue shirts. I slept wearing it for the better part of three months until it stopped smelling of sandalwood and patchouli and started to smell like roses and lilacs and then I knew I should have sealed it into a ziploc bag but now I know for number three, don't I?

Caleb is here tonight.

I know.

He does not approve of all this.

I know.

He's being freakishly hands-off.

It won't keep, Bridget.

I know.

My hands are fluttering and he frowns again.

You should go inside. Go find Ben or Duncan. Lochlan even. Stay close to them. I don't trust Batman or Caleb right now.

It's nothing I can't handle.

He shakes his head and starts to get up but then he turns to me, while still on his knees. He gathers my hands together in his and kisses the tips of my fingers and when his face breaks into a smile I see the lines around his pale blue eyes and the depth that is a gift, like the deep blue sea and for the first time he starts to say something and can't finish and he's getting up and it's over.

It sounded like I'm sorry.

Only I couldn't hear him all that well.

Before I could ask him what he said I was led back through the door into the hallway, back toward the patio lights, back toward hot coffee and maybe an early, discreet excusal from the boys until the dark singular hours when evil comes calling and I go out to head it off, saving the rest, sacrificing the present and the future for some sort of fractured, manufactured truth of a past that never should have happened in the first place.

But first, another drink, for the kitchen is empty and their hands will be rough. Like their words and their hearts, after all. Jake isn't going to go very far away until Caleb does. I gotcha. Figured it out, probably the slowest, since I'm the smallest, after all. Which is why they shouldn't let me have more than three glasses of wine.

But I know why they do. The words flow freely, and the veneration too. Everybody loves a princess, unsteady on her feet. There will be no saving grace tonight, I do believe I spent everything I had.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Where the baptized drown.

Pale in the flare light
The scared light cracks & disappears
And leads the scorched ones here
And everywhere no one cares
The fire is spreading
And no one wants to speak about it
Down in the hole
Jesus tries to crack a smile
Beneath another shovel load

And I heard it in the wind
And I saw it in the sky
And I thought it was the end
And I thought it was the 4th of July
We were on our way mid-afternoon, Ben and I, searching out a romantic restaurant for our dinner date. We found it and had another stellar dinner, with amazing food (steak, halibut and Bombay Sapphire for me on Satan's recommendation) and even better company (each other). By nine-thirty we were watching Soundgarden chug through their catalogue, the boys smiling from ear to ear (complete with obligatory patented bad Bridget pictures. Oh, no, not those Bad Bridget pictures. Hush, you).

I tried to enjoy it. Still tired. Still a little wobbly on legs from overdoing it but I will catch up later, when the boys go back to work and the hedonism ends.

Overall the concert wasn't the worst one I've ever been to. Not by a long shot, but we arrived late, missed the Meat Puppets, failed to be charmed by Queens of the Stone Age, and someone in our far vicinity began to throw beer very early on.

It's inevitable.

Only this turkey was throwing large amounts of it and he kept nailing Ben. NAILING him in the shoulder to the point that Ben's shirt was soaked and he finally lost his cool on the third deliberate shower. He has a lot of cool for kids at concerts but this was just dumb. He went and dealt with it (don't ask) and came back and that was the end of the beer showers.

So now, finally we could enjoy the show.

Or rather, the boys could enjoy the show. I had to run on memory for the night, since every tenth or so show we go to has a sound mix that doesn't work with my hearing impairment at all. This turned out to be one of them and it's incredibly frustrating to be at a concert and only be able to hear the drums and a lot of feedback. That's what it's like for me. I could pick out the songs I knew best and I was thrilled to finally see a band I have listened to seemingly forever and then some and for me that was good enough.

And later on, in the wee hours of this morning we made a few new ardent memories to the strains of 4th of July that leave me clinging to the day with no strength left even though it's barely underway. Ben is like that. And by like that I mean dedicated, seductive, perverted and completely depraved.

Just like the music.
Now I'm in control
Now I'm in the fall out
Once asleep but now I stand
And I still remember
Your sweet everything
Light a Roman candle
And hold it in your hand

Cause I heard it in the wind
And I saw it in the sky
And I thought it was the end
And I thought it was the 4th of July

Friday, 29 July 2011

I will be there on his behalf.

Follow me into the desert
As thirsty as you are
Crack a smile and cut your mouth
And drown in alcohol

Because down below the truth is lying
Beneath the riverbed
So quench yourself and drink the water
That flows below her head
Jacob used to play Soundgarden at full volume. He adored the lyrics of the songs and sang loudly. He used their music as an aphrodisiac (anyone remember the post about the broken office chair?) and as a panacea too, the band only taking second place to his beloved Stone Temple Pilots, in any case. The Pilots were in his blood, the Garden was in his head and now I get to go to their shows and relive every last song with his baritone overlaying the vocals in my mind. He was not a self-conscious singer, my Jacob, and to this day I appreciate that in a way most people don't understand. Jake, this show is for you. I will enjoy it, I promise.
I left her in the sand
Just a burden in my hand
I lost my head again
Would you cry for me

Just a burden in my hand
Just an anchor on my heart
It's just a tumor in my head
And I'm in the dark

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Songs for the deaf.

A little more reassurance, and a little less all at once. A little peace of mind and a little different kind of worry. A little step back and a tinier hop forward. A little sun behind the cloud. A little noise beyond the quiet and a little girl, hands clasped, fingers crossed, heart set.

Sharper image.

You're so clever and yes, you're exactly right. Posting my Princess Tourist photos from yesterday doesn't help you get to know me any better, now does it?

In all honesty, I think I've told you a lot. Seven years of uncensored emotional magnetic resonance images from my brain and you don't think you know enough? You're like Ruth if she's given five squares of chocolate. If there is a sixth square still in the package, she wants it and she won't stop complaining and begging until she gets it.

For the record, she never gets it. Once I say no, I keep to no. That's what good parents do. Follow through. So readers, whatever you are looking for, if I haven't already shared it then please stop holding your breath and fill your lungs now.

There. That's better, isn't it?

Some times you just have to take what you are given.

In other news, we gave the children Swiss army knives. Not because we are foolish but because all talk over here is always Lord of the Flies, Peter Pan and The Hunger Games, and so since I was gifted my first jack knife (Oh, such a veritable tomboy child I was, since I wanted to be a boy, briefly) around this age it seemed fitting to pass that sort of incredible adventure and power on to the children. After a long and detailed briefing on proper storage, use and what not to do, I sent them out to the backyard to look for fallen wood. They are now, as we speak, out there whittling magic wands for themselves, completely unsupervised.

(I'm sure by the end of this week they'll have lost their new treasures when they try to pull a knife to sort out a playground dispute but so far so good, you know?)

All the boys are geeking out on this. It's awesome.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

You want to know more about me, then know that yes, I still take awful photographs.

Now, for my day, since doesn't everyone spend Tuesdays in the woods?

The very first thing about today is that we set out to explore, and explore we did. We turned down roads and followed signs to places I normally wouldn't venture without some spare bravery and we did it with enthusiasm! Say hi to the chief. The second thing about today is bears! Bears everywhere! In the neighborhood overnight, and in Callaghan Lake today. Three bears eating blueberries along the road. More if we had looked. Apparently there are grizzlies and cougars and mountain goats and moose there too! I was happy we were only surprised by the black and brown bears. We stuck to the highway and they stuck to the treeline, and everyone was happy. That park is just CRAZY nature. And yes, I brought my handbag. And Ben took this picture, since he was closer. I was busy screaming and shit.

The third thing about today was that Whistler was incredibly lackluster this afternoon. Arrive early in the day if you want to do alot, otherwise you will be shopping, drinking coffee and people-watching. Which isn't as fun in Whistler as it is on Robson Street.

The fourth thing about today is that Brandywine Falls is a whole hell of a lot more cohesive than it was twenty years ago as well. Back then it was a path off the highway. A sketchy one! Now it has walking trails and lookoff opportunities and ample parking. And a sign-story. And washrooms. What the fuck, progress, can't you leave anything alone? On the upside, it was easy to find and not sketchy. Big huge plusses when you are exploring British Columbia.

The fifth thing is Trolls Chowder. They brought me a bowl as big as my head and I ate all of it before Ben was even halfway through his. So delicious. It's becoming a thing, me and Trolls.

The view from my favorite booth. Almost home, princess.

The final interesting thing about today is that when we arrived home, a good ten, eleven hours after venturing out, I was grateful to be home. Happy to be safe in our warm, softly-lit, inviting home. I haven't had that feeling in this house before. Such an amazingly good feeling at that. It's about time.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Dance card full.


A tiny crown for a tiny princess, he said, as he put the ring on my finger. I haven't taken it off since.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Best. Weekend. Ever.

I'm going to just go ahead and concede defeat now. The weekend has kicked my ass and I keep turning and walking straight into Ben's shirt for a brief dark snooze in the black jersey and then I'm turned back out in short order because he is doing things and he will meet me later for sleep.

(If he stops singing the songs from Rango. JESUS. DUCT TAPE IS IMMINENT.)

I spent half the day in the vineyard and the other half at the lake. You know what's cool about the lake now? I can stay on shore and watch the kids swim for hours without having to be right there because they can swim very well now. You know what's not cool about the lake? The kids are still only 12 and 10 and I need to watch them every single second. It's about as relaxing as playing singles tennis. AKA It isn't. I came home fried and overheated and all jacked out on nerves.

I came home to my kickass vineyard which is finally under control and the buds are starting to plump up nicely. I need to put the nets up still but otherwise we are go for fruit. And wine!! Yay! This is all I need, more wine. Dear God, please, no more wine. I think this is quite enough.

I am also worn out from the carnival yesterday, from standing up too long, from too much sugar and too much sun, not enough sleep, endless cooking and apparently I didn't get the memo. Ben did and he read it out loud. It said:

Dear Bridget,

You are not twenty anymore. You can't run on three hours sleep and a ton of work and too much sun and all this bad food and alcohol and nonstop action.

Love, your former self, who totally could and still does run on air.

OMG. She is such a bitch and I hate her.

Goodnight. I am tiny toast, burnt and done and done and eaten. Snort.

Friday, 22 July 2011

This I can manage.

Late in the evening on a weekday the trucks roll in, slowly down the highway, a caravan of freaks with the best manners you have ever seen, a quiet spectacle in the growing darkness. Everyone is busy with midweek jobs, errands and chores and quietly a field becomes a parking lot and a parking lot becomes a carnival, rides are assembled and rode until tested to be safe. Checklists are checked, recited and signed off on. Permits are obtained and with seventy percent complete, the signs go up.

Through the waning warmth of the week's end, the trailers are set up and lights are strung across the top edge of each roof or on poles, depending on the site. Locals are hired to cover traffic, first aid and dining clean up. Now the real work begins. Pull in the people, the midway is here! Make their dollars count, make 'em spend, make them keep riding long after they've said they should stop. Keep the fun flowing until the sun goes down and the music cues on the mainstage. Pass in your report to the safety coordinator when the rides shut down at ten and then fall into bed, dirty and exhausted, content.

The carnies have arrived.

No, I am not letting them stay in the house (because I only know a few of them, two of the older ones are the ones who gave Lochlan his start once upon a time) but here in the house we have double-bunked PJ and New-Jake in with Dalton and Duncan respectively and our guests have full use of the boathouse for the next three days until pack out Monday morning which gives them a break from the trailers which are smaller than we'd ever admit out loud. The guys are loving this. Sam has a few of them as well. The shower will run endlessly and the kitchen here will be pressed into hard service until they leave. I sent the boys grocery shopping for the crew. If they are anything like we were, fresh bakery items, fruit, veggies and seafood will be what pleases them most for those were the hardest items to find on the road.

Everything else is gravy. Yes, there's gravy too. I think there is, anyway. I have reminded them repeatedly that they can let me know if they need or want for anything, and they were grateful to the point of thanking me repeatedly, calling me Miss Bridget, which is sort of funny and kind of insulting and reminiscent of the scary men Jake employed at the church on the Prairie. These ones did not believe that I used to do this for a living until Lochlan confirmed, and then they were impressed because I am so delicate and sweet we functioned within both with the full-on circus and with the midway too. Lochlan is now teaching several how to throw fire and I've been cooking since dawn, it seems. Ben is highly entertained and I do believe the children are prepared to pack their bags and join the tour when it leaves town. I'll be watching to be sure that doesn't happen.

Yet.

When they're a little older they can decide for themselves. Pot, kettle, black, yes, don't I know it. But it's still a nice reprieve from the war between Satan and Batman so we will live vicariously through these wild boys for the weekend and then send them on their merry way. Great fun! If you go, get a wrist bracelet for unlimited rides. Tickets are like water out there. They flow right through your fingers and suddenly you thirst for more.

Speaking of thirst, I am making tea for twenty five. It's taking a long time, I am doing it in shifts. Never in a billion years would I want to cook daily for a crowd of hungry, unruly boys-oh wait, nevermind. Kind of shot myself in the foot right there, didn't I?

Posting may be sporadic this weekend. Not only are we on the guest list so I plan to spend my entire weekend on the Octopus, but breakfast is in like eight hours so I should probably start cooking.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

The indoctrination of Bridget Reilly.

My apologies for writing such weirdly dramatic and accusatory blog entries late at night. Clearly I can build a mountain out of a molehill faster than most of you can sneeze.

Batman is trying to help and he's doing what everyone does when they want me to move on something, they give me a time limit. You know, since it worked for Jake and all.

Only Jake was such a pushover, he gave me a decade and with three days left and time running out I fulfilled his request. I haven't quite managed to meet a deadline since, however and that's sort of weird and really not surprising at all if you knew me and Caleb insists he isn't afraid of Batman in the least and perhaps they hold equal power through history, the only difference being Caleb is completely open and accessible to me and Batman is, well, he's Batman. 'Open' and 'accessible' are not options on his table at this time, or ever in the time I have known him, which is almost two decades now.

Both men requested a removal of yesterday's entry here, but I have opted to write an apology with clarification instead. I'll let it be known that I haven't changed my outlook from last night to this morning. Though instead of confirming that I've been, that we've been sold out to a greater evil maybe, it's been softened to remind me that the boys are free agents who work for whomever they please, this is simply an effort to distill their talents once again into a few new projects under a different umbrella that won't be closed so tightly around them perhaps, but outwardly nothing much will be different.

Even though it will. It already is.

***

If I'm done with the public flogging I'd like to move on to a new topic this afternoon. The one about the girl who went deep into the woods halfway up a mountain and came out alive.

No drama, just a wrong turn on a long trail and we were knee-deep in mud and panic. Well, I was. Ben was FINE because he could hear the lake and the traffic and whatever stupid navigational angels whispering in his ear that I didn't come with. My navigational skills are legendary, beginning with parking my car at a shopping center in Halifax and walking away from it and instantly forgetting where I parked, therefore spending an extra forty-five minutes walking the lots hitting the emergency button on my car keys until my car beeped at me at last, to that time I blithely jumped into the car to drive downtown to meet Ben for the first time after moving here and after two hours of driving around...um...lower Delta I finally made a teary call to Ben to ask where I was because I had set off without a map or a GPS. My bravery is not of the intelligent sort, in any case.

(I have a GPS now. I call her Moneypenny and she's a bit of a snippy bitch.)

Ben can be like Cole in these situations. He just knows certain things and he knows when he's not in over his head. He's a fixer of a different sort. His cockiness is less dark and perfect and more comical. We lived because you can't die on a two-kilometer trail that runs around a lake. Because even if you get lost, the lake is right there and you can sort out a path and eventually just barge out of the thrushes or you could turn around and take the trail back or hell, Bridget, you could just jump into the water and swim to the dock. Just like you used to when they didn't hear you but you needed to be close to them anyway. Even though you're a terrible swimmer and a worse navigator and maybe a bad judge of character too.

There, there. These are their jobs anyway. You have other functions in life, things you excel at, things you were born to do. Things that cannot be bought or sold but can only be given freely. Your redemption comes at different cost, in a currency that no one else would ever recognize save for the fact that they robbed the bank and now you're trading on good graces and serendipity alike.

Like a path through the woods. It should seem obvious, except when it isn't.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

I've lost sight of who is safe and who isn't.

Neither Caleb nor Batman ever sleep. I truly think that while the rest of us are naked and drooling, facedown in the sheets, these two are on the phone setting up deals overseas, with those for whom the times zones vary wildly. I daresay I can count on two hands the times I have encountered one or the other actually released from a wakeful state and yes, it was as disconcerting as you would imagine. I would tell you a horrifying story about the first thought that entered my mind upon finding Caleb with his guard down. I believe it may have involved a weapon of some kind but no, I'm not going to put it on the Internet and besides, thought crimes are not crimes per se so just nevermind. You can't indict me for wishing.

But real events are real, sadly and this morning I am overseeing the replacement of an entire wall of glass in Caleb's office because in case you missed the earthquake this morning, there wasn't one, it was Satan THROWING a table at Batman, who ducked and the table went crashing into the windows which aren't actually windows but walls made of glass that aren't supposed to be breakable. The table was sticking out of the glass when I arrived, a web of cracks stretching twenty feet on either side. No worries, I am not alone and the momentary lack of control has been replaced with Satan's usual droning hum of malevolence in an undercurrent just below the surface.

He shot his cuffs and morphed back into James Bond. It's a practiced talent. Under the dress shirt is his other form. A psychopathic nightmare. As long as he's wearing a suit we're safe. This morning? Armani, I think. When Batman arrived I am guessing Caleb was still in a black t-shirt and his shorts from a cloudy early run. The operative reminder here today would be to note that you wait until he's in the suit to be confrontational. That much I have learned anew over the past five years.

Batman isn't going to wait for Caleb to be less dangerous, for Batman trumps everything, including the devil. This hierarchy, clearly it comes from comic books and my curses come in waves at high tide, the dangerous time of day when I can't read the letters under the sea and I don't take care or exercise caution, leaving caution to morph into risk on my behalf. No work for Bridget, no, Bridget's going to be difficult.

And so the allegiance shifts once more and the power moves with it and Batman becomes the one we answer to because I was sold out. SOLD OUT.

They stopped working for Caleb in order to work for Batman.

Why didn't you tell me?

I could ask you the same thing. Do you remember our conversation from December?

Sure. You told me to fish or cut bait.

Batman smiled tightly but didn't flinch. He isn't unsophisticated enough to be rattled by my bluntness. Or by my beauty, sadly. I have no aces up my sleeves. I don't even have sleeves in this dress, for crying out loud. I have nothing, not my flesh, not my soul, not my heart, I am a doll. My eyes are sewn on and my dress is stitched to my plastic frame. I will sit in the corner and stare until played with, you can call me any name you want and I will never look back at you with accusatory eyes, just my customary I-didn't-hear-you blank expressionless pretty face.

I said I would give you weeks and I gave you months and you haven't made a move to put him in his place.

Why didn't you tell me you talked the boys into working for you?

They're not working for me. What are you talking about?

You own everything they're starting in.

I catch him off guard but then his face breaks into a huge grin.

You're not easily fooled.

I must look so incredibly stupid to all of you, you don't give me credit for a damned thing.

We give you credit for your strength.

It isn't strength, you idiot, it's endurance. It's patience. It's a pain threshold beyond anything you have ever even imagined.

The grin is gone. Away to be burned off by the sun. I hit the mark. Batman's been a safe haven of a different sort. His offers of help were so final and frightening, his power a little too great. I've never really believed that he was a man, he seemed to be more of a superhero, someone who held great power, someone who would only help you when you had nowhere else left to turn and as bad as things were, I still lined the boys up in order and Batman was always last. I put space between us on purpose and so he was last.

Last. This race is a joke, I'd rather come up slow through the populated portions of this race to watch the people in the park play chess on those giant human-sized boards, schlepping their rooks about the squares on a bright sunny day, not caring for the outcome of the game, just for the sake of play.

Running without watching where I'm going never ends well, now, does it? When I don't look where I'm going I have a tendency to trip and fall and hurt myself and this time, it goes as well as expected.

You've changed the subject. The point is, I gave you a time limit, and your time is up, Bridget.

Like hell it is, I say, and I step back into the elevator, letting the doors close in his face. Caleb didn't throw the table because he was angry, he threw it because he was scared. That's when you lose control the most. When you are unequivocally afraid.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Brass tacks and rings too.

I can't hear you breathing
I can't hear you leading
More than just a feeling
More than just a feeling
I can't feel you reaching
Pushing through the ceiling
Till the final healing
I'm looking for you

Until the sea of glass we meet
At last completed and complete
Where tide and tear and pain subside
And laughter drinks them dry
I'll be waiting
Anticipating
All that I aim for
What I was made for
With every heartbeat
All of my blood bleeds
Running inside me
Looking for you
I am watching his hands as he sits forward, elbows on knees on the step, fingers loosely wrapped around the wine glass, curls low over his eyes, not watching the ocean but instead focused out on nothing in particular, unchecked expression staring bitterly into what remains in the bottom. In the grass. Into thin air. In the back of his own mind. Into nothing at all or maybe so deep he wouldn't be able to describe it adequately if asked, as a fault and fatal flaw in all of us, not having the words when they are needed most.

Not even remotely a flaw in one's ability to describe a moment or a feeling but a nod to how big that moment is and how inadequate the words become overall.

His hand is healing at last. Third cast is off as of yesterday and he is favoring it slightly today but you wouldn't notice if you watched him. I notice because I've known him forever, and I also was the one to drag him back each time to have a new cast put on when he would cut himself out of the previous one, sit through the lecture and promise to keep an eye on him and help him enough to not mind it so much, but if you knew Lochlan he is single-minded and low on patience as a rule. At least he looks like himself again. His lip healed, his eyebrow grew back, and he doesn't resemble a prizefighter so much as the busker that is hard to forget, quick with the charm, as always.

He has also shaved off the beard, and I am left cold against his cheek, hands up under the curls that spill across his shoulders. Summer hair. Lochlan can only be convinced once or twice a year to cut his hair and the rest of the time he lets it grow into unbelievable round bouncy curls and it's sort of funny and amazing and beautiful too. If I had hair like that I would never ever cut it. And I wouldn't listen to anyone either. I would sit on the step and drink my wine and watch the sun fall into the sea and I would swear if you came too close but wish for change and I would go to bed silent and sullen and warm.

He puts his hand out long enough to take mine and then he tucks it back up under his arm, against his chest, pulling me in tight beside him. I am shivering slightly. It's grown cold outdoors but he does not feel it yet.

Watch the skies, peanut, he instructs and dutifully I look up, following the angle of his chin so that I can see what I'm supposed to. The stars are beginning to light up, one at a time. The hues play from purple to gold to orange. He's no longer looking at the skies now, he is staring at me. I keep looking up and he presses his forehead against my hair, pushing against my head. I push back slightly. Reassurance. Stability. I am the one who makes them feel safe when it's supposed to be the other way around. My breath catches in my throat, a lump that chokes me up and I can't breathe so I sit, still as a mouse and just as quiet.

Finally I realize I am holding my breath long after I win back control of the sudden sadness and I let it all out in a shaky exhale. This is not lost on Lochlan, who releases my hand slowly and moves away with a final kiss on my hair. He stands up and pulls me up with him, into his good arm, the place one will always find a Bridget, for a final wordless squeeze and I am shoved toward the house gently, almost imperceptibly, back toward the warmth and the light inside. Back toward my own reality, tripping out of nostalgia reluctantly and with purpose. I am not his and yet he remains mine forever. Or maybe it's the other way around. I don't know. It's dark and my brain is tired and the tears still threaten and the nights are so long. In the darkness the years dissolve. In the darkness memories spread in a film over the water, diluted, dissipating easily to return perched atop the sunrise, so we won't miss them, as if we ever could.

Coffee is always bitter and must be sweetened each morning. This is why. When we meet across the island at dawn he will take my hand and tuck it back into his and Ben will do the same and at some point I have to squirm away from both or I don't get any coffee at all.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Waxing and waning.

There's a tiny hole in the wall shop I like to stop into that happens to sell these little kits, pencil boxes stuffed with Japanese character stationery things. The last one I picked up was a pink box with fifteen different Sanrio pens/mechanical pencils, a Popsicle-shaped box filled with soap flakes for hand washing on the go, a teddy bear notebook, two Miffy key chains, a stapler, Snoopy tape, Pucca stickers, Hello Kitty stickers, a Rilakkuma case with rainbow pencil leads, sparkly little gift tags for attaching to things and a huge package of origami strips.

Which we have almost finished using up in an effort to make paper lucky/wishing stars.

They're neat too but I am ridiculously bad with instructions and very impatient. I am also short on words tonight so I'll say goodnight now. I have a late walk date with a guy, a big guy who shaved off the mutton chops this morning, in a huff because hair on his face drives him nuts. He grows the beard for me and then steels himself against the inevitable flood of brief silly disappointment when he appears clean-shaven more often than I would like. I don't really mind. I mean, I love beards but I imagine all that hair on your face must get stupidly hot and itchy after a while.

Sort of like my legs. Sometimes I forget and then the boys make cheep-chirpy noises and I make a mental note to wax them. My legs, not the boys. Silly Internets. I would wax all the boys but only from the necks down. It goes without saying and so I will say no more.

Except goodnight.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Curiosity killed the Bridget. Over and over and over again.

Resurrected only to be stabbed again, through the heart, off with her head, hold her under until she stops struggling at last only to have her resurface in a desperate gasp for air once more. Surprise. It's become a game, a comedy of errors. A black one where the humor makes you cringe and the jokes fall flat but hit home, a train wreck with front row seats, reserved for you.

You can hold her out by the neck, twisting in the wind, clawing at your hand, fighting for purchase and you laugh as she implodes out of sheer frustration. She'll keep fighting though. She will. And she's well aware it's going to kill her in the end and as scary as that seems, she sees no other way around this.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Special days like today.

This morning I was on my knees, head down, hands clasped. This is not difficult. Not this part, anyway.

Please let me be a good mother to him. Let me raise him to be a good person, let him be kind and helpful and open and true. Help him be strong. Help him be happy. Help me to make the right decisions and above all let him know he is loved, always. No matter what.

Amen.

Today is the day! The day Henry turns ten, and the day I've had in the back of my mind since he was born, a day where I would exhale and realize that the younger years are over with and I no longer have to worry about cups with lids or cutting food or choosing clothing or holding hands because if I don't he will disappear.

He knows to wash his hands without having to be reminded and that it's pretty damned cool to get up early on Saturday morning and head downstairs to make toast and watch cartoons before the rest of the house awakens. He cries easily and laughs so loud. He is a full two inches taller than Ruth was when she turned ten and he likes anything with robots, pirates, chocolate or magic. He clears the table, cuts the grass, walks the dog, takes the garbage out and if we would only let him, start the car.

Pretty amazing, if you ask me.

I hope the next ten years are as wonderful, and I know they will be tough, since he's now in double-digit birthdays those teenage years are not far off. I can't picture him driving, or working somewhere, or starting his band, or having a girlfriend, though I have been an unintended first-hand witness to his efforts to wish a classmate a good summer while she signed his yearbook. She lives two streets away and Henry turns an absolute wicked shade of pink when I mention her name, but only on the tips of his ears. I can't imagine how it's going to feel when she breaks his heart.

I have a house full of people and his favorite foods on the birthday menu, which has not changed since he was old enough to answer when asked what he would like, somewhere around his third birthday. Spaghetti, chocolate cake with chocolate icing and chocolate sprinkles, and milk, please. Easy enough.

Happy Birthday, Henry Jacob. You are the greatest little boy in the whole entire world.

Friday, 15 July 2011

1827 days is so long, I daresay he wouldn't recognize me now.

(I would be wrong.)

I have my nose pressed against the glass, watching the evening traffic far below me on the streets of Cole Harbor as people scurry about, crossing against the lights, turning on a yellow signal or ducking into doorways. Further down I see men working on boats, couples strolling the dock, tourists pausing to take pictures and seagulls circling for crumbs.

The smell hits my nose and it wrinkles involuntarily. I pull my face away from the people-ants at street level and ask what brand of cigar it is, even though I already might know the answer.

Cohiba?

Opus X.

Ah. I return to the tilt-shift scenery as he bows smoke rings toward me, pausing every now and then to take a sip of his scotch before resuming his favorite hobby,which is sitting in a chair watching me. For the night I choose to remain expressionless. I am tired, jaded and unable to feign surprise or even cordiality with Caleb some days now. Some days I just appear and wait him out and go home again, woodenly. The doll he always wanted to play with that he can now that he has the money to stand on that places him above reproach or maybe that's below eye-level so he isn't forced to find reasons or make excuses.

(You play with dolls?)

(Just one, and if you saw her you would understand.)


This doll doesn't play back and he has already offered a drink, a dinner, a trip, a night, a cruise, a flight, a drive and a memory. Really I just wanted a drag off of his cigar so I could blow it in a curse into his face as I walked out the door but instead I am still waiting for him to sign one more thing for Ben's release and confirm what time he will be coming to the house for cake, presents and a trip to the theatre to see Harry Potter with the entire collective tomorrow, at Henry's request. Only then can I go but of course he wants to watch me for a while first. What me nervously flutter my hands against the glass. A moth trapped in the porch light. Nothing you can do.

I watch a lady with a dog. She is watching the water and I wonder if she can feel me watching her. She walks slowly and I keep my eye on her until she disappears up the concourse. I look for someone new to focus my attention on and he begins to talk. Good. Let's get this over with so I can go home. I have a cake to ice, and I still need to organize the house. We moved some furniture to do the carpets in the main areas and it has to be put back. Maybe Ben already did that. Unless of course he is waiting for me in the lobby. More often than not that is where I find him when I leave the condo, for he can be more possessive than the rest combined, alive or dead.

Save for one.

Caleb, having completed his cigar and his drink, stands and crosses to where I have managed to land finger- and nose- prints all over the glass of his patio doors. Because he won't allow me outside unless he has a good grip on my hand and even then it's frowned upon. I think the boys think he might become so angry he throws me over the railing but I know him best and I don't believe he would. He's never surprised me in my entire life with his actions, perverse as they may be, he's not about to begin now. He is missing my full reactions already. The disappointment will flood in before the luxury of being alone with me ebbs for this day.

It's incredible to think our son is ten years old. Jesus, Bridget. Where has it gone? I feel like I'm standing still but time is racing past. You're an equal now, Henry's ten. Already. I have a chance to make up the time I have lost with him and with you. Thank you for giving me that.

He puts his arms out and I automatically walk into them. They close around me and I rest my head against his chest, listening for his heartbeat, reassuring myself I won't lose anyone else in this lifetime. Even the devil, because the devil makes promises and he keeps them. He keeps them clenched in his fist, white hot vows used as weapons of history. Dismantling memories, filling in the holes, making for damn sure that no one drops the ball (or the fire), knowing what we came from, knowing that our business is no one else's and time does indeed race past at a dizzying clip.

I count the number of his heartbeats that it takes for mine to slow back down and then I pull out of his embrace and he frowns. The devil is only truly alive when he touches an innocent, an angel, a dream. I'm not any of those things but I give him those precious minutes to pretend and I can take an equal measure of minutes to consider Cole, long gone exactly five years and two days now and the only way either one of us can make it go away is with each other.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Goodnight, Vancouver.

This morning at a toy store I found the battle of Mons Badonicus well underway. King Arthur paused long enough for me to take just one photograph.


When we finally made it home after a wonderful day out poking around at a whole bunch of different places, I was greeted by this:

Hi Mommy! What did you bring me?

Cool! Can we keep it?

I'm a lucky, lucky girl.

Ben is outside early this morning, finishing part of the new fence. He has decided that hand tools are the way to go, and also that his utilikilt is the best uniform for fence-building now. Just the kilt, for the shirt is usually torn off fifteen minutes in.

It's a thing of beauty to watch this brawny, fledgling renaissance man fortifying his kingdom against the beasts of the wild.

It's even better watching him do it in this endless pouring rain.

Sigh.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Back to the future, blue smock edition.

A productive day. We found all the gifts we wanted to get for Henry for his upcoming birthday, we found a new shopping center that is closer and nicer than the one we've been trekking to since we moved here, and I took apart the entire time machine (dishwasher) and managed to put it back together with only one hint. Tomorrow when I run it it could still leak all over the floor but for now I'll call it a job well done. I can always turn it back to the past, where I don't run it and my kitchen is saved, right?

And sadly, after a nineteen month hiatus, Bridget walked the fuck back into Wal-Mart today.

God, I hate Wal-Mart but this was the first one I ever visited that wasn't a nosedive straight into purgatory. It was well-lit, neat, clean, the staff were helpful and the other customers weren't straight out of a bad dream. I might go back. We'll see.

Trust me when I tell you Wal-Mart gives me the heebie-jeebies. Sadly it was the best place for housewares and kids clothing and maybe it will have to be again as we weather the challenge of both children being in half adult/half children sizing still.

(It's rough. I keep a list and I keep their wardrobes pretty spare for now. I never know when I'm going to wake up and hear that wail that means they outgrew all their outfits overnight. It happens. It happens often.)

So thank you Wal-mart for always going to bat for me, even though I am superungrateful and snobbish and shit. And do you sell dishwashers? Twenty dollars says my kitchen is going to become a lake in the morning when I fire up the time machine tomorrow and dial it back to 1999, the year before Wal-Mart even existed for this two-bit, small-town girl.

Don't forget to greet me at the door. I really love that part. It's like you already know me. Maybe you have time machines after all, and you've been using them all along, seeing into my future, knowing I would be called back to the fold.

You're really creepy, Wal-Mart. But that's okay. Bridget LOVES creepy.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Benjamin battened.

Fuck retro anything.
Fuck your tattoos.
Fuck all you junkies and
Fuck your short memory.

Learn to swim.
Fuck smiley glad-hands with hidden agendas.
Fuck these dysfunctional, insecure actresses.
Learn to swim.

Because I'm praying for rain
And I'm praying for tidal waves
I want to see the ground give way.
I want to watch it all go down.
Mom, please flush it all away.
I want to watch it go right in and down.
I want to watch it go right in.
Watch you flush it all away.

Time to bring it down again.
Don't just call me a pessimist.
Try and read between the lines.
I can't imagine why you wouldn't
Welcome any change, my friend.
Just listening to music and watching the skies tonight. A storm is coming, better close all the windows and curl up next to someone safe.

Monday, 11 July 2011

The swindle.

I don't have the discipline to breathe the open air
No one has to listen when all they do is stare
People can't be counterfeited. Not like cosmetics and Louis Vuitton handbags and questionable watches. People are real and unique and stamped with invisible serial numbers that lie behind their eyes and in their voices. The patterns of their fingerprints and the beat of their hearts. Their style, whether it be designer or thrift store, conservative or flamboyant. Stereotypical but still unique.

People I know are not fake or shallow or knocked off. People are not manufactured on the sly to be as close as possible to the real thing. They are the real thing from the first moment, without a doubt, without a question, without wondering if the deal will be too good to pass up or better left unsold just in case, obtained from a more reputable source as money well spent without the forced gamble.

At the bottom of the whiskey glass we talked about fake versus genuine. At the bottom of the bottle we talked about promises to always be real. At the bottom of my eyelids I was sure I was real but I haven't checked yet and maybe when I wasn't looking they made a cheap replica somewhere and shoved it out into the limelight when everyone turned their backs and she's not going to last as long as her paint is already scraped off and her voice won't hold and she seems sort of brittle when you pick her up and she can't hold her liquor or her heart at all.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Forty-five degree angels.

It was a small job, finishing a curiously uncapped half wall in the master bathroom but it's done. Ben and a miter box and a sharp new saw and me, passing the pencil to him and holding out nails and finally holding the new crisp white trim in place as he hammered it into place.

He said to move my hand a little and then he said Hold still.

I closed my eyes, feeling the hammer falling millimeters from my fingertips. One wrong move and I would be the one with the broken hand instead of Lochlan, one distraction and my fingers would be smashed by Benjamin, large and strong, wielding steel with determination, with effort.

And I was not afraid.

It was liberating.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

This is how most of our conversations go.

If you want to go on an African safari just say the word, princess. You know the world is your oyster, after all.

No, it isn't. In fact, I think it's yours.

Give me your bucket list and I'll see to it that everything is checked off by Saturday.

Fuck off.

This is why you don't get anywhere, princess. You're so combative.

Ha. I thought you liked that.

I am trying to be nice. I'm trying to show you I can do these things.

So can any of the others.

But have they?

I'm not asking them to. I'm not asking you to either.

It's a fucking giraffe and you acted as though someone had given you a hearing transplant.

Okay, that, if you can make it happen, would be lovely.

I can see that you get devices that actually work so you don't get frustrated.

They don't exist.

Sure they do. Good technology costs money.

That why you bought the car?

Partly, yes. I have always loved the design of the 911s though.

My car could still take yours.

Not off the line.

No, overall. That's how you win a race.

By stopping to look at the giraffes and wishing you had the time/money/means to indulge yourself just a little more for once?

Yeah, that's how. And I won. Kiss my dirt.

Fine, Miss Doolittle. See you tomorrow.

Ta-ta, Mister Higgins. Better get a head start in that slow car of yours.

Jesus, Bridget, so nasty today. I hope tomorrow sees you a little more cheerful.

There's an easy way to ensure that, Caleb.

And how is that? Tell me. I'll do anything.

Don't come over.

Nice.

I warned you.

Yes. Yes, you did.

Friday, 8 July 2011

So much better than I expected.

I met a giraffe today.

This is probably not a big deal to those of you who are well-traveled or grew up in major centres with amazing zoos but I figured I would have to venture on an African safari to see a giraffe up close and in person.

I did not. One of the first things I read about Vancouver was that the zoo had a giraffe.

Yes, yes it did. It had a bunch of them, actually.


We just haven't had time to go until now. And I am so happy we went. We saw hippopotami and zebras and rhinoceroses (um, no idea on plural there) and the giraffes who were so lovely and accommodating as I hogged their attention for most of the afternoon.

Maybe your bucket list does not including meeting a giraffe. That makes me sad, and we can't be friends anymore, because mine does. And he was aloof and pompous as shit.

Chasing wonderment.

Going to check off a bucket list item today.

I will return with pictures.

(However, since I'm one of the few people on the planet not claiming to be a pro/am photographer, the pictures will probably be awful. It's okay. This isn't for you, it's for me.)

Thursday, 7 July 2011

He is coming down. Unraveling slowly, counterclockwise still, the hypnotic vortex of nervous, excessive, giant energy dissolving into a maddening lack of routine. Pointing out I don't need to do laundry or chores or anything. It can wait. It can all wait while Ben pulls me into his arms, against his chest and keeps me there, tucked in amongst need and admiration, flush against satisfaction and comfort, fused to lust and raw desire.

I throw my arms around his neck and leave them there. I'm not budging as day becomes night and the sun dims in favor of stars, too many to count as the breeze ruffles my hair so slightly but fails to keep me awake. My eyelids are so heavy. Cement. My chin drops and I let go of consciousness, not caring as it slides down the cliff into the sea. At the last second Lochlan grabs it and pulls it back to the grass, running his hand across my hair, a familiar touch that rouses me briefly, gently.

I look up and a kiss glances off my forehead. Ben pulls my head back down and holds tighter, just for one breath and then I am released. I stand up and Lochlan takes my hand. It's dim. The outdoor lights are off. I follow him back to the door. Ben is behind me. The house is quiet, asleep. We reach our room and the door is closed, locked behind me. I am trapped within the four walls, within four arms, within two hearts. Or maybe that's five hearts, give or take two ghosts and the Devil too. Tonight there are four arms, tanned and familiar, too hard and too desperate, one historical reach and one future love paradise, a conflict lies within the muscles that keep me glued to that space in between their souls.

Ben's arms come back around me, pulling me down, forcing me out into the night. He is risk, adventure and innocent longing, a very basic want, here and now, no questions, no second-guesses, no hesitation, no regrets. His eyes hold nothing but love and want for me and an acceptance of the way things will be, ways he has engineered in absentia, in absoluteness. I am passed back, against gravity into Lochlan's arms, stability, logic and safety, history, complicated and ruined and nuanced, all regrets on deck, innocence lost, accusations hurled, scarring deep gouges into memories left unprotected to the elements, a regret that burns, manifesting itself in an almost comical inability to step away, so instead we move closer together.

Dawn breaks across the horizon line but I miss it.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Super (Charged)

Yes, I've had a few rides in the new Porsche. It's incredibly delicious. A 911. It sounds just like my car and has elicited a Pavlovian response in that every time he pulls up to the house I go and see who is taking my car, since they sound the same. Hence, he is greeted personally each time, which pleases the Devil to no end, let me tell you. I should be less proprietary over my car, but it isn't ownership, it's curiosity that moves me.

Too bad I can't say that for anyone else.

Monday, 4 July 2011

New car smell.

And baby you hurt oh I know
Things we did they just won't die
But life it goes on
Gotta live
We gotta live with how it feels
Down there inside
The feelings that you fight
The demons that you hide
Know you're not alone in how you feel
I am busy. I'm folding laundry and bouncing back and forth between the piles of clothing (stacked in piles according to wearers) and the kitchen, cleaning up and preparing for the next meal. I run the household much like the army does, if I knew anything about the army at all. I have no time for this and yet he's tearing moments apart looking for space anyway.

The ribbon is black with tiny embroidered daisies. It seemed summery so I tied it around my ponytail in a neat bow. By the end of the day it will be jammed into Ben's back pocket when he finds it unraveled on the patio or in the front hall. By then my ponytail will be low and loose, escaped waves everywhere. Disaster and nothing less than the usual.

The Devil puts his hand out to touch the ribbon but I am already on the other side of the kitchen, drying the big pots and pans to be put away.

Bridget.

Yes?


Nothing. I just wanted to be sure of you.

I stop moving and my blood begins a slow simmer, bubbling up into my veins until everything is covered in a red film.

You don't get to use those.

Use what?


Don't think I don't know those quotes better than you think I do. I only forget new things. Insignificant things like 'pick up milk', or 'show me that song'.


So not a decade of trading Pooh quotes with Preacher?


Never.
My limbs have become mired in quicksand. Everything is heavy. I can forget about the weight too but once reminded I can't lift it anymore, let alone carry it through the days and nights, unwelcome.

If you want to continue them I'm game. He looks uncomfortable, as if he is deigning to stoop to some level he doesn't want to be on but finds himself on anyway in an effort to jockey for Alpha designation.

I'd rather die than give you any of the honor and familiarity of Jacob's love for me.

I don't need it, princess. I have my own memories with you. I was simply offering an outlet.

Yeah, you're good at that, aren't you?

I just want you to be happy. That's all any of us want, Bridget. We want to be the one to make you happy.


Then stop making me miserable!

Achievement unlocked. Hot tears have spilled over. My nose stings, my skin turns pink, my eyes turn turquoise-blue. He is fascinated, pulling me in against his chest, his fingers locked around my arms, lifting me up to my toes, staring down into my eyes with a wonder that never changes even though he has borne witness to this strange phenomenon for most of my life. I have tried to change how it happens but I guess I should give up after all these years. It's just the way I cry.

It's the last thing I want.

Could have fooled me.


Look, I understand the disappointment. I've been there. You have to remember this way you can continue to honor Cole's memory and Ruth does not have to switch allegiance which would be difficult at her age and unfair after all this time. She took Cole's death particularly hard, you know.


You're really going to be all self-righteous about this, aren't you?


No. Look, I feel for the guy. I know he was hoping for a positive outcome.


He would have made a good father.


He does make a good father, Bridget. We all do our part. This way he doesn't get to claim ownership and then drop it later when it suits him.


Just leave.


Like he did with you.

Just GO. Please. Get out. I don't need this.

You should come with me. I'm consistent. I haven't changed, I've never made you second-guess me. I've never changed my mind.
I've never denied you anything, princess.

He wouldn't do that with Ruth.

No one thought he would do that with you, Bridget.

He made a mistake. He came back.


And look what it did to you. I wouldn't give my allegiance to someone who hurt me like that. How do you trust someone who does that? How do you continue to throw yourself at them only to be continually pushed back down? What in the hell does he have that the rest of us don't, Bridget? Why can't you just let him go? Everyone blames me for brainwashing you and it wasn't me. It was never me. I tried to save you from him.


His eyes are red now. I am dumbstruck by how vulnerable he looks and now I understand. Wide open, unchecked, miserable and desperate. Naked. It is a gift to be permitted to see someone this exposed. We all wear so many layers to protect from prying eyes. Little Bridget will forever be twelve years old and completely defenseless in the eyes of the Devil.

She doesn't need to be saved from me.

Lochlan is in the doorway and Caleb lets go of my arms gently, releasing me back to the floor, resuming control of his expression, this one weary hatred tempered with a superiority that masks the relief. The smug decorum, the shot-cuffs, pressed-collar, time-is-money glance at his watch.

And with that he is off, striding out the door, stopping on the verandah to say goodbye to the children, collecting the long hugs they give him with assurances of return in a days' time, crossing the driveway to duck into his new black Porsche, roaring out onto the street, away-away. Fly away home.

What was that all about? What did he say to you?

I turned back to face Lochlan, my bloodshot eyes and overwhelmed mind refusing to censor anything. Fuck it.

He says you make a good father to Ruth, even without the paperwork to prove it.

That means he's up to new tricks.

Maybe he just envies you. Did you ever consider that?

No, he sees me as the only obstacle standing in his way.

I think he's given up.

God, that dreamworld you live in, peanut? It's positively epic. I get why you sleep at night, you fill your own head with lies.

It's better than the alternative.

What alternative?


Remembering the truth.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Super. Ficial.

(Some nights there is no heavy talk at all.)

It was sort of a spur of the moment challenge tossed across a dinner table stacked tall with Chinese takeout, spare chopsticks and puddles of soy sauce, glassware and assorted cookies still wrapped, their fortunes kept secret in sealed packages.

Hey, Benny, if you grow a set of mutton chops between now and Christmas I'll let my bangs grow out.

I wanted to eat the dare as soon as it came out of my mouth. Not only does Ben look lupine and positively wild with facial hair of any kind, but I never liked my face without the long wispy bangs in my eyes, in my mouth, wherever they end up. I never keep them trimmed (or brushed) but I never actually let them grow out either.

You're on, little bee.

He has wanted me to grow them out forever. And me, well, I kind of like the seventies look on men. Aviators, bell-bottom jeans, plaid shirts and long hair with As Much Facial Hair As Possible and I'm gold. Ben does not subscribe fully to that look and that's okay too. I never asked him to change. He still asks me to grow my bangs out. We're just impossibly surfacey and shallow like that, what can I say? How dare feelings or promises get in the way?

I know. Ridiculous.

But between the new gold pirate tooth (Ben had to have a crown and they planned to make the cap white and I was all OMG pirate life for me when they mentioned gold and what do you know? He went gold) and the baseball hat that mashed his hair down all long and flat and made him look well, wow, now all of the sudden we're having a turtle race that will take months and be fun and someone is going to win eventually even though I will probably forget about it unless they remove every last pair of scissors from the house.

It's been done before.

I ate two entire plates full of Chinese food and PJ kept my glass refilled with vodka and something something strawberry and really at this point I would have pointed out I could grow back my fairy wings and pointy ears if only they would just stay still for a little while and everything would have been okay.

Instead I sat at the empty table after dinner with the takeout shrapnel strewn everywhere and I drew until I could move again.

I have everything figured out. No worries.

Bring on the Lizard King.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Staying out late (aka Moving Pictures).

(I'm going to start filing these posts under a FANGIRL or WACKY ESOTERIC CONCERT REVIEWS THAT AREN'T tag or something.)
Riding through the range of light to the wounded city
Filling my spirit with the wildest wish to fly
Taking the high road to the wounded city
Memory strumming at the heart of a moving picture

All this time I've been workin' them angels overtime
Riding and diving and flying
Just over the edge
Workin' them angels overtime
It's Canada Day, possibly the first one we've all been off for and can celebrate fully in the past decade. Every community across the country throws a party and we celebrate being uniquely different, a complete smorgasbord, undefinable as Canadians except in knowing that everyone loves us because we are helpful, fun and unfailingly polite. We're loyal. We talk funny, maple syrup is a food group, our rock music is incredibly distinctive and our country is so large some of us have missed whole provinces and territories and road trips take weeks instead of hours because each major center is isolated hours away from the next. Currently I live 6000 kilometers from where I was born and I feel right at home because I am still home.

We began our celebrations last night with a trip into town to see these guys. Everyone knows Rush is a Canadian band. Everyone.


They're our Pink Floyd, pretty much. Lochlan bought Moving Pictures with some of his money from working overtime, and I was not permitted to touch the vinyl record because my hands were always sticky from cotton candy. Or I was dirty. Or really pick something and he would turn it into a reason.

(For the record, I am still not allowed to touch the vinyl. Because I still have sticky, dirty fingers and am still a child in his eyes, but whatever. Someone hands me a record now and my mouth opens in a little awe-filled oo-sound, because they are still so forbidden to me.)

I saw Rush for the first time three years ago in Winnipeg, of all places (they have only played Halifax twice after all and both times I was too young to go) and was blown away. Blown away. So when they spooled up the Moving Pictures tour it was without question, we would be going.


(Obligatory awful concert snap. Loooooook! It's Aaaaaaaaaalex!)

And we did, last night in Vancouver and it was absolutely mind-numbingly awesome, again. Something like fourteen thousand people air-drumming in unison. Losing our shit to the opening strains of Tom Sawyer, the inevitable tears from me when Faithless was played, because that is my all-time favorite Rush song, and the ever-recognizable YYZ which we might know every single note to by heart, thanks to history, Canadian content laws for radio and television, good taste and Rock Band on the Xbox.

Three hours of music. Ben caught ONE missed note. One. We were exhausted, the band was not. Huh.

It was the perfect kick-off to Canada Day, I believe. I am sated until Clockwork Angels is released. When that happens I'm going to get a copy on vinyl just so I can smooth my fingers along the grooves, feeling the melodies underneath my skin and Lochlan won't be able to tell me I can't.