Friday, 30 September 2011

Penalty killing.

No hockey this year.

Last year's experiment of buying private ice time so that they could safely beat the shit out of each other holds little appeal this year for Ben and Lochlan. They are listed on a local league as alternates but otherwise I do believe they will stick to beating the shit out of each other in the yard/kitchen/library/theatre sans blades. Possibly still with sticks and gloves, however.


Even though I have leveled a self-imposed embargo on posting here about wedding details, I will tell you this. Caleb's condo is officially listing this week. Daniel and Schuyler move into their new home November 2nd. They actually have four days to paint prior to that. Busy busy. PJ will be moved in a few hours, or as fast as they can carry his things up the hill so Caleb is aiming for November 4th. Then he'll be freshly installed in time for anniversaries and landslides.

I know.

And Lochlan is holding a grudge. I bet it's heavy. I bet it burns. He's warming back up slowly. I find myself following him, throwing myself at his mercy verbally while he shoots warning fireballs out of his eyes to drop it or he'll change his mind. While he is pleased to have a closer eye on me overall or maybe what will amount to permanent, ironclad supervision, he's mortified and angry and completely betrayed that Caleb is going to be living here.

And I understand but sometimes things are the way they are for a reason and we're all already irrevocably tied together forever so what the fuck is the point of schlepping back and forth downtown anymore? It's ridiculous and so I made a decision this time. Me. Bridget. The one who doesn't even get to pick out her own lingerie for the day.

I did something on my own and I'm fine with it. They will warm up, just as we all adapt and evolve and get used to things. Everyone in one place. Everyone within reach.

I don't know if this is the best thing. It's safer. It's more transparent. It's easier. It's better for Henry's development. It's reassuring, somehow and it's done anyway so they may as well stop trying to talk me out of it and start rolling up their sleeves to help Caleb move all that stuff into his new digs.

I'm kidding. He already has a service booked. I should know, I booked it. Right, not a moving truck, a whole planned operation. Thousands of dollars for white-glove service. For twenty whole kilometers. He's going to find it very interesting living in the land of real people again. Of course, maybe he'll hire a butler and blow my hopes for reality to smithereens.

Maybe he should hire a Fortune Teller instead and then he would see that his future has not become some sort of obstacle-free path back into my good graces, in fact, I'm hoping that instead he will now have a front-row seat to the only love triangle I care to validate. And maybe he'll see that you get more flies with honey than you do with hellfire. Maybe he'll come to all sorts of realizations and life will be better now.

Or maybe they'll all go back to playing hockey. Because the extra padding helps when you're in the mood to cause damage. And we have health insurance again so we can pay to have their teeth replaced.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Resuscitated soul.

I want to tell you that I tried
To live it like a song
I keep poking my tongue out of the corner of my mouth to unstick the lock of hair that has become glued to my lipgloss. I am trying to smile seriously at the same time. I fail and start to laugh. Jacob sticks his head out from one side of the camera and frowns at me.

You aren't making this very easy.

Jake, it's too windy for this.

It's fine. Stick your goddamned tongue back in your face and smile like you mean it, princess.

Like I mean what, exactly?

Like you love me. Smile like you love me. He grins and I lose my nerve and my stomach starts to twist into cold knots and the smile falls off and drops into the water. High tide. Now with abandoned smiles to bring it even further up the rocks tonight.

Maybe we shouldn't do this.

What, I'm not allowed to own a photograph of you now?

What if he sees it?

Not sure if you've noticed but the odds of me sharing a photo album tour with your husband seem really small right now.

I nod and stick my toe out, swirling the foamy water. I'm standing in the surf up to my ankles. The saltwater is stinging the bug bites on my legs. It's freezing. I'm just about numb from the knees down and the neck up but he is determined. One good picture. Just one with no goofy expression or extra faces in the frame. Just me. Just for Jake.


Five months later Jake threw a New Year's Day Levee for all. A drop-in afternoon wine and cheese by the sea. He spent two days painstakingly cutting cheese, with the phone jammed under his ear, head pressed to one shoulder while he cursed and swore and asked me for tips on how to make it go faster.

Run the cheese knife under hot water, Jake.

There's a knife just for cheese? Are you fucking serious, princess?

Maybe you can stop at the deli and get some pre-sliced?

Maybe I'll stick with fruit. Would fruit be good?

We arrived late, with maybe an hour to spare. Cole had to be physically pulled away from his work, he was framing paintings and had lost all track of time. I waited by the door in my good dress and the only pair of heels I owned, rocking Ruthie on my hip. She was teething and fussy. Cole was oblivious until I offered to go alone and suddenly he was pulling off his shirt, heading for a dress shirt draped over the chair, asking me while he buttoned it if we needed to bring anything.

No, just us. I'm sure he's got it figured out. How many people throw something like this and need guests to bring things?

Yeah, true. Okay, but I'm not staying long. I'm so behind.

The others will be there.

Half an hour. That's it, Bridget.

Half an hour.

We arrived with ten minutes to spare. Everyone had been and gone. Construction traffic had us sitting on the 103 for almost an hour. By the time we arrived I was frazzled and Ruth was needing another change so after greeting Jacob with a quick hello and a peck on his cheek, I left the two men together and slipped into the bedroom to get a clean diaper on Ruth. When I came out with a now comfortable and content baby the two men were standing by the fireplace talking quietly. It wasn't until I walked closer and Cole turned around that I could process the expression on his face.

Jacob was suddenly loud. Too loud. Jovial and falsely attentive to us as a unit. Too late I realized why.

My picture, framed, on the mantel.

His prized possession and he had forgotten all about it. I ate my umbrage. I swallowed it dry, sick at the thought of what Jacob had done. I would pay for his blatant negligence. He was so unsophisticated. So simple. Black and white, no shades of grey. All or nothing. Honest to a fault. This is not a stance you want to take with Cole but Jacob wasn't about to conform to our sick games.

He stood up in the boat, and he started to rock it. I screamed. We're all going to fall out and drown but he doesn't care. He reaches over and grabs the side and it's every man for himself now, he's going to dump us all in the sea.

And I am the weakest swimmer of all.


I stand in the living room this morning looking at the mantle. It is littered with candles, a string of LED lights, a handful of uncategorized sea glass I pulled out of my handbag and haven't come back for yet and several picture frames, containing photographs of the faces I have loved the most.

And me.

Smiling in front of the sunset, the light bouncing off my face after Jacob waded into the sea after me to get a shot with the water, wind and light cooperating for those precious few moments. A moment captured that marks the dividing line between secrets and revelations.

When my head went under I took on water. I gasped in surprise at the shock of cold and involuntarily I cried out. Instantly my mouth and nose filled with stinging, filthy saltwater and I had two choices.

Sink or swim.

I swam. I put my arms up and began to push the water out of my way, pressure crushing my breast bone against my spine, light teasing me with thoughts of release. God's hand appeared to help me but I pushed it away. I knew it wasn't real. I knew I was dying and yet I also knew I couldn't let that happen. I had to see how the story ends. I fought harder to get on top of the water and finally when I thought I couldn't lift my arms again my head broke the surface. I choked on air mixing with water and I coughed and coughed and finally I could fill my lungs.

Strong arms had appeared, hauling me up over the side of the boat to safety. I was lowered into the bottom and my eyes filled with tears when I saw the sunset again. It's so beautiful. How dare Jacob take the chance with my life like that? He had to have known I wasn't a good swimmer, I mean, any number of summers at the lake had made it obvious that in spite of the boys efforts to teach me and train me and force me to get better I was still only marginally capable in the water.

Only he wasn't there to see that. He was new. There were so many things he didn't know about me. Things he railed against and didn't understand, things he forbade and watched carefully, the scrutiny squeezing my head together painfully. A history set in stone, unmovable, words screwed down onto a rock visible only at low tide, the only time I am allowed down to the water. When it only comes up to my ankles and I can't drown for a second time, ghosts pulling me down, their names weighted in bronze.

Every morning I walk into this room and put that photograph face-down on the mantle so I don't have to look at myself anymore.

Every evening I return and it is back in place among the other photos.

I like to think Ben is saving me by doing that, just like he did when he pulled me back into the boat. He continues to deny both but I am smarter than that now.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

C is for cookie.

Andrew is reading my journal. This one. The one you're reading right now.

What an apt description of your childhood. You slay me sometimes. Everything is so pretty and ethereal and storybook and then you bust the mental picture wide open by throwing something in like the broken cigarettes.


No, it just floors me how easy it is for me to remember things when you put them there because of the way you describe things.

Heh. I should describe the time you put the fistful of sand on my tongue and gave me that look.

What look?

You know, the one toddlers give when they can't understand why you wouldn't want their pretend cookie? All that pent-up nursery school angst and post toilet-training rage.

Yeah, that rage. Wow. Hard to keep a lid on it. I think I made it up to you though with the proposal. I will always be number one.

You asked me to come live with you in your treehouse.

And to bring your blanket. I was planning ahead. It was going to be forever, Bridge. Until you said no.

Dinner was ready. I could hear my mom calling me.

Oh, yeah. I forgot.

It was a good dinner, Andrew. Like spaghetti or something.

There's always a better offer on the table. Literally, in this case.

I'm sorry. In my defense I was four years old.

Don't be sorry. I get warm flashes of memory when I read what you write about our childhood.

That's gross.

Not those kind of warm flashes, Bridge.

Right. I wondered why that treehouse stayed up until you were eighteen. Now I know.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Aphorisms and epitaphs.

Sophie called this morning. In her own magical way she expressed her displeasure at the fact that Caleb is giving up his autonomy for proximity. And then true to a fault she asked me if I needed anything.

This was not about giving me anything I might need, it was an effort to assert herself and whatever place she feels that she has in Caleb's life. I'm not sure she has a place right now.

He is focused on three things: his son, his health and atonement.

Everything else has ceased to be of any importance. Wealth, status, reputation, his day job testing the faith of mankind, and pretty much everything that used to consume his days has fallen by the wayside. He hasn't even had the Porsche detailed this week. Usually by now he would have already been in twice.

Maybe she should be asking what he needs.

I know what he needs.


Humility. Supervision by the others. Real life in a real house instead of existing in his mogul-star life of glass condominiums, lines cut on the glass, signatures scrawled on lines, handshakes, shaking hands holding loaded weapons, and suitcases full of cash. Maybe I exaggerate (but maybe not) and maybe it's all a cruel ruse but I can't help but think Jake brought something out in Caleb that is finally going away. Maybe his incredulity and outrage at my betrayal of his brother is finally softening and he will be less devil and more human. Maybe he's getting old. Maybe time is slipping past us and he sees me as an equal, not as a child, a conquest and a curse.

Maybe pigs are fl-oh, look, there they go now. Oink, oink, like big fat pink geese.

Maybe he isn't as healthy as he told me he was. He's doing everything right: diet, exercise, as little stress as possible, he's given up drugs, alcohol and weapons. He's wishing immortality had a price tag, he would spend whatever it takes.

I know that feeling.

He has said there will be surprises along the way. That he isn't a monster, he just finds self-control the hardest lesson of all in the face of getting everything he wants. Were the devil to practice self-restraint, it would spell the end of sin as we know it.

In the beginning Caleb was oldest. Always automatically in charge, the one with the most privileges, the one the others looked up to. He set the bar high for self-expectations and never once did he express a doubt about a single damned thing ever. He was confident and laid-back, quietly narcissistic and vaguely sinister. It was the perfect combination to lead the group, and stay on top.

We would grow up and become The Outsiders and maybe someone would write about us someday, detailing just how long Lochlan's hair would get over the course of every summer when he wouldn't cut it between May and November or Cole's intensity when his painting didn't go well. Pointing out how hard it was for me to keep up, stumbling along through the woods behind the boys, tripping, sniffling along in the dark until Christian or Caleb or Cole would turn around and notice and then come back and get me, pulling me up into a piggyback-carry and I would fall asleep with my cheek pressed against the warmth of a sweaty t-shirt, listening to the loons call across the lake.

And then everything changed.

Lochlan didn't want to stay in town, he wanted to escape. I wanted to go with him. Cole was busy trying to keep his car running, hating his job, disappearing into himself. Caleb was putting himself through university, trying to get into law school, the first in his family to have white-collar aspirations.

The day came where I was less of a charge, less of a burden and more of a target, the object of their affections. The apple of too many pairs of eyes to keep anything fair. It tore them into so many different directions that allegiances were broken and friendships exploded. Naked desire became an expression I ignored for as long as I could because I knew everything about them. I had witnessed their tears, their punishments when they got yelled at by their parents, their D grades in math and their hopes and dreams, shared drunkenly on the hood of a car, wrapped in a blanket, watching the stars. Caleb's dreams were the most cohesive and detailed of all. We continued on a course into the future, into the certain disaster and uncertainty of adulthood, a place where you must be held accountable for your mistakes and your monstrosities alike.

And now, abruptly, after thirty years he has a new dream.

He wants us to be friends again. All of us. He doesn't want to be the bad guy, the devil or The Outsider anymore. He doesn't want to be the boogeyman, or the one I turn to when I feel self-destructive or vindictive or smug. He wants to be back on top where he was before he made a choice that changed everything.

I can't imagine how close we all would have been had he not torn everything apart the way he did but I also am old enough now to understand that even if I did forgive him nothing will ever be like it was back then ever again. We're not children anymore. It's too late for that.

The path back to that closely-knit brotherhood anchored by the beautiful little fair-haired princess who dances along the path behind them until it gets dark, and then runs ahead and tucks herself under an arm, falling asleep with her hands full of wilted daises and broken cigarettes is so overgrown and fraught with thorns and hazards we're just better off trying to find another way.

If there even is one. It might all be gone. It might be too late. It depends on who you ask.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Blessings in demise.

Sheets of empty canvas, untouched sheets of clay
Were laid spread out before me as her body once did.
All five horizons revolved around her soul
As the earth to the sun
Now the air I tasted and breathed has taken a turn

And all I taught her was everything
I know she gave me all that she wore
And now my bitter hands chafe beneath the clouds
Of what was everything.
Oh, the pictures have all been washed in black
tattooed everything

I take a walk outside
I'm surrounded by some kids at play
I can feel their laughter, so why do I sear?
Oh, and twisted thoughts that spin round my head
I'm spinning
I'm spinning
How quick the sun can drop away

And now my bitter hands cradle broken glass
Of what was everything
All the pictures have all been washed in black
tattooed everything

All the love gone bad turned my world to black
Tattooed all I see, all that I am, all I'll be

I know someday you'll have a beautiful life
I know you'll be a sun in somebody else's sky
why can't it be mine
Black was a song for Cole. The painter, photographer. The temper. The presence. The passion of a hundred men and the patience of none. Black was loud and angry, melodic and deep. Black was the hallmark of a band that didn't try so hard, since he didn't like contrived acts. He liked mellow. He liked heartfelt lyrics and painful words. He had a lot of tattoos and he let me go with a fight, and boy, was it a good one, one stacked so unfairly it leaned up against the bars of a jail cell on the other side of town, an incredulous, miserable turn of events that brought his life to a screeching halt and made him a posthumous superstar in our circles, in spite of everything to the contrary.

But Cole loved Black.

Almost as much as he loved Bridget.

I love Black because it is prophetic and biographical and touching, in a sick self-gratifying way. It's a gut-wrenching song of loss. It's so beautiful I have yet to ever make it through the bridge without my eyes stinging.

But Pearl Jam did not play it last night at the show and I'm okay with that too.

Here's your obligatory bad concert photo from the rafters where we snuck in between acts and climbed to the top of the coliseum, and sang until we could no longer speak.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Girl in a Riker frame.

He looks down at me as I count the buttons on his shirt. His hand comes up under my chin, fingers wrapped around my head, tangled in my hair, firm grip against my mild protest. He pulls me up to his face for a kiss. My toes almost leave the ground. The kiss is harsh and bruising, it trails off my lips and across my cheek, landing against my ear. His breath is so warm, rapid draws against my skin.

He lets go of my head, taking my hand instead, pushing me down onto the sheets gently, climbing over me, holding himself up with one hand while he pulls off my dress with the other, fumbling for the hook, catching on the zipper, sitting up briefly to upwrap his find, every last muscle tense, senses heightened in the darkness. My skin is on fire, the hair on my arms standing up, shivers running down my spine, the scales on my wings tenuous and fragile. I don't know how he manages to evoke such an obvious visceral response from me but it's there and he sees it and he is overwhelmed, humbled by my reaction to his touch.

He is kissing me again, pushing me down underneath him, holding himself up, one hand ripping off the last of the satin and lace and I am naked and exposed. He pushes his boxers down and pulls me up into his arm, turning me onto my stomach, pushing my head down into the sheets so that I am blind, deaf and pinned. Like a moth to a spreading board, I am his specimen and he is careful and thorough, delicate and deliberate.

I am lifted once more and held against him, as pain mixed with something better winds through me in a rush. I fight for comfort and pacing but he won't relent. I am reduced to clutching at the sheets for security and relief against the torment but I won't surrender to him. Not yet. He is driving against me, breath on my neck, arms slick with sweat now, dropping down across my ribs to seize my hips and I begin to see flashes of light in the dark. This is the dangerous part and I start to fight him, twisting away, turning, using him as leverage to crawl out and turn over so that I can face him.

He smiles and kisses me again and pushes me flat onto my back, pinned this time with the brutal clamp of his forearm across my shoulders, his other hand near my head, holding himself up, slower now, harder until we are working so slowly I am crying out for more. He moves his arm and covers my mouth instead. He puts his head down against mine, whispering things, awful things, filthy, beautiful things in my ear. I can't breathe or move. He gathers me into his arms and pulls me up to sit in his lap, facing him, my lips aimed near his philtrum, his breath warming the lids of my eyes, still closed, still awake in a dream that turned out to be so real.

Within hours he winds down, having wound me out and explored every last inch of my form, pulled my hair, bruised my wrists and thighs, loosened my teeth, dulled my fingernails and turned my throat and my joints raw. I think we will sleep when abruptly he renews his efforts. I am screaming into his shoulder, teeth gnashed against hot skin, my hair so tangled in his fingers we're going to need help to remove it intact. He kisses my final scream away and tightens his arms around me as I tremble into the sunrise, pressed into a circadian groove, screwed right into the frame of Ben's life, enduringly, preserved as his possession.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Great pumpkins.


It's a Halloween wedding, folks.

I was born for this. Well, I don't know how the hell I managed to get married in a field/church/clearing in the woods but never once got married by the sea, like you would think I would automatically plan. And now the boys are doing the next best thing to a seaside wedding that I also didn't ever think of and jealousy is going to turn me green before you know it here.

A masquerade ball wedding.

By the sea no less. (Bitches.)

Luckily this also hoses the whole Thirteen Ghosts costume plans.

I am not sorry about that even one bit. Come on, boys! We gettin' fancy now!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

I am jammed in beside him on the couch, wedged tight on the inside, against the back of the couch, his arm around me so that I am almost on top of him but I have slid back against the cushions. We are quiet until abruptly he begins to laugh. My entire body shakes against his.

Crossly, I open one eye. It takes effort. I was almost asleep. His shirt is so soft, he is warm. If I could stand it, flannel sheets would be amazing but it's a short-term love affair for the warmth alone.

You were almost asleep. It's amazing. Your eyes drop and then fight open and then drop again, but not at the same time. How do you do that?.




Bridget, I can't understand a word.

I lick my lips and let my eyes close again. That's because I am sleeping, Jake.

Oh, okay, sorry.

Then he starts laughing again.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

I saw you try.

Oh, life
It's bigger
It's bigger than you
And you are not me
The lengths that I will go to
I was in a rush so I'm wearing flats and he frowns when he sees he'll have to carry on conversations this morning with the sun reflecting off the top of my flaxen head. He much prefers the less-innocent shoes that I need a ladder to climb into. But I'm not putting on costumes today. I'm not going to be anyone else. I am taking control now, and they can be who I tell them to be. At least for today.

What do you think?

I walk in ahead of him. He appreciates the vaulted ceiling, briefly and then proclaims it rather decadent for a glorified boathouse. The moniker is a farce. There are two bathrooms and a rustic designer kitchen. I think it was a bachelor hangout for the grown son of the wealthy couple who used to live here, when he was home from university in America. Caleb thought it suited PJ quite well when we bought the property, but now that PJ is moving into Daniel and Schuyler's floor (which will soon be vacant) what he isn't so sure of is whether or not it will suit him. Can the Devil exist in such an environment?

Sure. Why the hell not? Caleb can be close to his children, since he's virtually adopted Ruth as his anyway and since Henry won't go anywhere without Ruth as it is.

Why the hell not? With that thought, I drop back in to the present. He is talking about whether or not his things will fit.

It's larger than your condo. I remind him.


He is feeling me out, creeping me out and turning me inside out. What he wants to know is not if the space is good enough or big enough but if I actually want him to be in it. So close I could walk out on the balcony off my bedroom in the main house and throw a rock through his bedroom window. The boathouse is just on the other side of the driveway and down on the edge of the cliff where the water meets the earth just before you go all the way around to the other side of the grounds in the back, where the beach is at the bottom of a very steep cliff.

I wouldn't have offered it to you if I didn't think you should take it.

He is humbled, lost for words. Brought down dozens of pegs all at once, until they are popping out cartoonishly all over the place and he has slid back down to the floor.

Why, Bridge? I know sometimes you regret bringing me back into your life at all.

I meant to say Life is short but it strangled itself halfway out and I couldn't say anything so I crossed to the living room window and motioned to the view.

He came over and stood right behind me, his breath on the top of my head. I felt him put his hands up but at the last second he opted not to touch me.

You don't have to do this.

Just take it before I lose my nerve.

What are you afraid of?

I waited. I swallowed the lump. I found the bravery buried underneath my fractured heart and I turned around and smiled and completely ignored his question. It's going to be good for the children to have you close by.

And then I walked out the door and left him standing there.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Fool's gold.

So this is what it feels like, running through my lines
I never need to ad lib, I find it’s just a waste of time
This is what it feels like when the hero dies
On to the next one, funny how time flies

I've got this film in my head
They've scripted all that I've said
Let's make it real before we're dead
He sat on the blanket, arms straight behind his back, hands propped, legs crossed, leaning back watching the sunset over the water. On a tray between us two half-full wine glasses were balanced and an empty plate that had held cheese, grapes, cherry tomatoes and crackers. Dinner for two. Our own private sandy cocktail party.

Who are you, princess?

I narrowed my eyes and then rolled them back into shape.

Is this an existentialist query, preacher?

I'm not on the clock, Bridget.

Then what sort of answer should I give?

The first thing that comes to mind, of course. It should be easy for a person to talk about themselves.

I don't find it easy.

Just say whatever you think of first.

I stood up abruptly, blocking his view of the sun. I threw my arms out wide, facing the Atlantic. The sand flew everywhere. Into our drinks, onto the plate. Onto his pants and maybe in his eyes. I don't know, I wasn't looking at him.

This is who I am.

You are the sunset?

No! I'm the ocean. I hurt and I'm cold and I sting and I'm endless.

I thought you loved the ocean.

I do.


Okay fine. I heal and I cradle and I lap softly and I have warm spots and beautiful color and I'm endless.

He smiled.

Is that a good answer, Jake?

He shook his hair out of his eyes. Do you think that's a good answer, Bridget?

I don't think I see me the way everyone sees me, Jake.

Why are you crying, Bridget?

Because it's a HARD question and I'm afraid of getting it wrong.

I threw myself back down on the blanket and covered my face with my hands.

Don't do that. He pulled my hands away. This is what I love about you.

What? My doubts about who I'm supposed to be?

No, the fact that you know exactly who you are. No disguises. No act. Just you. People like you are rare, princess.

Rare means we're worth more, Jacob. I whispered it.

He nodded. Exactly.

Monday, 19 September 2011

All the choices in the world.

I remember when we were gambling to win
Everybody else said better luck next time
I don't wanna bend, Let the bad girls bend
I just wanna be your friend
Why you giving me a hard time
I remember when we were gambling to win

Is it ever gonna be enough?
The smell of decaying leaves and woodsmoke and the sudden switch from shades of green to shades of flames does crazy things to people in this house. Like Halloween. We've done the cast of X-men, G.I. Joe and Bonnie and Clyde plus associates so this year? Thirteen Ghosts. Yeah. I'm not so sure about this one, though I think I know who will play the Angry Princess and who will be the Juggernaut. Those roles seem so...obvious. Haha. I guess the dog will have to be the torso. And I'm still not going near whoever plays the Jackal. Let's just not talk about him, since every nightmare I had through 2002 featured him prominently. So prominently I slept with a chair wedged under the doorknob for weeks.

Great idea, guys. Next year? My Little Pony. Lochlan can be Rainbow Dash. PJ can be Minty. It'll be great.

But this post isn't about Halloween.

This is about fall fever, or whatever hits this house around the same time every year, making us settle into a cozy routine of keeping warm and enjoying actual SEASONS again (Thank you British Columbia for those). It's a cause for surprises, clearly.

Like the one Schuyler hit us with on the weekend.

He proposed to Daniel and Daniel said yes.

And to show he was very serious indeed he bought a sweet little house for just the two of them. Everyone was more than a little floored and very excited. Sometimes it seems they argue a lot and sometimes it seems that Schuyler is a little impatient and a little too sophisticated for Daniel, who is such a tender heart, but they love each other so much it's amazing and Schuyler wants to look after Daniel for the rest of their lives.

So it will be official soon and I am so excited I might burst.

But that's not all that's about to change.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Iron and wine.

I was doing fine on my own, with small batches of grapes and the potato masher. I could even hear the juice pouring in a fine stream into the bowl from the strainer. I was pleased with my progress. I figured I have enough for maybe a bottle of wine, tops. Which is why we supplemented the grapes we picked with a commercial kit from the wine-making supply shop in town. Ben decided thirty bottles would make it worth our while and from what we have started now, we'll wind up with thirty-three.

Because Ben walked up behind me and smiled. He has such an evil smile.

How about I take over?

I'm doing fine. Look at my progress!

He frowned, all serious at once and lifted me out of the way. He washed his hands and then threw the masher into the sink and dug in, squeezing huge handfuls of green grape skins through his fingers.

And the juice began to run. Down his fingers and into the bowl in a river of sickly-sweet liquid and I started to laugh. I laughed because of course he would be a human grape-press. Why the hell not? This is a man who doesn't need a wrench to loosen a rusted bolt and sees no problem in biting live wires or swallowing lightning.

Nope. Not Ben. Ben is indestructible. Physically anyway. Well mostly. His arm is healed so he's back to his old tricks at last.

And we have one tiny container and one giant container...ah...fermenting. In two weeks we do the next step and I'm almost positive at this point that our grapes from the backyard are going to provide us with nothing less than a sordid pale green wine with a lethal alcohol by volume and I'm going to christen it Bridget's Evil Goblins wine. I think the rest is going to be Raging Monkey or something that the children and Ben came up with last year before all of the squirrels, birds, bears and neighborhood kids stole all of the grapes before we could enjoy them because the fencing around the back perimeter wasn't quite finished and there were wide open spaces where you could walk into the vineyard from the street.

We fixed all of that in July.

Now we are down to fighting just the squirrels and the surprise hornets that appeared two weeks ago and moved right in. Live and learn.

The most ironic thing is that no one in this house is a wine drinker except me and I gave it up mostly a while ago only because the older I get, the less it takes to put me on the floor. On the floor because I can't navigate in my shoes and because I laugh a lot and sway to the ground. Damn wine.

At least this time, I'll finally get to meet those goblins. I know they're out there. They just don't show themselves because Ben scares them away. If you saw what he did to the grapes today you would be scared too.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

'Every man has a right to a Saturday night bath.' ~Lyndon Johnson

Today I woke up at two this morning, Ben's arms sliding around me, forcing me out of my own dreams and into his. At three I fell back asleep in his arms, sheets thrown to the side, windows open, the sound of the rain lulling back to the place in the story where my brain kept a marker in case exactly this happens. I love my brain sometimes but I don't remember the dream at all anymore.

At eight I rose and dressed, putting a raincoat on myself and one on Bonham, and we walked slowly down the street as the rain continued. He hates his raincoat and loves to be wet. I don't love the smell of wet dog inside the house so we compromise. He can get his face wet and otherwise his body stays dry.

At ten I woke Ben up. He pulled me back under the covers. He was so warm I wanted to stay there.

At twelve we left the house. Haircuts, errands, lunch at the Thai place we like and books. Three bags full from Chapters. A tiny side-trip to Sephora for me where I finally got my Beauty Insider card (very long story), some L'Occitane hand cream and a candy apple lip gloss from Philosophy that Ben has already tasted and proclaimed a winner. Which means when I'm not looking he's just going to eat it, container and all.

Somehow I don't mind. Maybe because he makes sure I get there at least twice a month.

I should make him taste Second beach, I bet he would love the city-gritty taste of the sand and make sure I get there twice a month. It has the best beach glass and treasures in the whole of the lower mainland, granted I haven't met a lot of the beaches here yet. We stick to the one at home, mostly. You can't miss it for the bronze markers that appear at low tide. But we did not go in to Second beach today because traffic into the city was a nightmare.

We came home and picked grapes instead.

We picked ten pounds worth. It was that or surrender the fruit to the local wildlife, who are beginning to have a heyday with our tiny vineyard. We'll start with ten pounds. Ben is making wine for me. He doesn't plan to drink any at all but he wants to see at least three bottles of good white wine for the efforts I have made keeping the vines cut back and protected this year.

Now we're going to make some chips and sandwiches and curl up in the movie theatre with the rest of the household and watch X-men First Class or Thor or some actiony-boy movie. Maybe finish off the chips. I'll probably fall asleep, head on Ben's chest. For some reason a good day is almost always permission to let go a little and fall asleep ridiculously first instead of dead last. Maybe later we'll have a hot bath, again to the sound of the rain competing with the faucet. And then I will sleep again.

Maybe this time I'll remember my dream. Hey, maybe I'll find a new one.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Beasts and beatles.

I think Ben is coming around. I was playing Revolver at top volume while I did the chores and a little while ago I crept down to the cave crypt studio and he was singing again.
To lead a better life I need my love to be here
Here, making each day of the year
Changing my life with a wave of her hand
Nobody can deny that there's something there

There, running my hands through her hair
Both of us thinking how good it can be
Someone is speaking but she doesn't know he's there

I want her everywhere and if she's beside me
I know I need never care
But to love her is to need her everywhere
Knowing that love is to share

Each one believing that love never dies
Watching her eyes and hoping I'm always there

I want her everywhere and if she's beside me
I know I need never care
But to love her is to need her everywhere
Knowing that love is to share

Each one believing that love never dies
Watching her eyes and hoping I'm always there
I will be there and everywhere
Here, there and everywhere

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Firebrands and covenants.

(I get the joy of rediscovering you.)
The freshly-dug grave in the woods that I found a few weeks ago? Clearly it is meant for me. May as well lie down in it and see if it fits. I'm sure it will. I can fit in small places quite nicely.

Lochlan has his coffee cup in one hand and his phone in the other. He's staring at the screen intently with a cross look on his face. Then he abruptly puts his hand down and smiles at me, taking a sip. I brought him out coffee this morning and my reward is his curly wild bedhead and pajama pants, a boy who is rumpled, tangled and sleepy. He thanks me for the coffee and stands in the doorway, watching Caleb hold the car door for Ruth. He is taking the children to school today. Caleb hasn't taken his eyes off Lochlan. Lochlan sees this and raises his cup, winking at Caleb. He calls out to him.

Bet you wish you had someone to make your coffee for you every morning.

Caleb shoots back that he could if he wanted.

Lochlan laughs. How much would that cost? You pay for them by the hour or the day now?

I wave and blow kisses to the children as I tell Lochlan to cool it. The last thing I need is Caleb to be in a bad mood as he takes them to school. We were doing well. He was pleased when he arrived and they were ready, brushed, dressed neatly with new backpacks and smiles. The first week is a rough one, this is the start of week two and we finally have our shit together. Henry has learned how to pull his shirt down without being told and Ruth is remembering her homework, finally, instead of freaking out halfway home. They've had haircuts. New shoes. Breakfast!

Yeah, we're there. Everything's good so why shouldn't Lochlan and Caleb go back to politely digging each other's graves, taking turns with the shovel while I hold a jug of water in both hands, pouring it over their heads? Cold water to put out Caleb's flames and hot water to light up Lochlan so he can throw his own fire, bouncing it off the sky. It's grown ridiculous. And I can push and pull against Ben, digging in with my heels, back up against him, feet sliding in the dirt and frustrated tears making tracks down the dust on my face and he won't notice.

He just keeps writing, keeps playing, keeps singing.

Caleb's car races up the driveway. I'm sure the kids are squealing. He'll tell them that everything is okay. He's been saying that for the past thirty years but I'm old enough not to believe him. The children might still be young enough to take his words at face value, something I hope never changes.

Lochlan calls him a name, tossing it up at the back of the retreating car haphazardly, making no effort to catch it on the way down, letting it light everything up, burning it black, hissing, cinders ground into the damp earth, scorched in the shape of my footprints, obvious against the larger ones nearby.

(It was then that I carried you.)

I laughed. Jacob's voice shoots through my head on a regular basis now, with little reminders, bits of scripture, the cheesiest platitudes I've ever seen that I would have rolled my eyes at if he had said them to my face and he would grab my whole head in his hands and tell me not to be such a brat and then he would kiss me so hard that when he let go I would fling my arms out to steady myself on anything or anyone within reach.

Maybe in my dreams he doesn't let go.

What's so funny? Lochlan asks, taking another hesitant sip. The coffee is still blisteringly hot, like my heart as it bounces around, the hot potato in this game.

Nothing, I tell him. No point in ruining a tenuous day as it is. He catches my heart and balances it on the bottom step of the camper and he sits down with his cup, putting his phone on the floor just inside the door. He asks me what I want to do today.

I frown.

You have to work.

I know. I'm just asking what you want to do today.

I want to get some french fries and eat them by the water.

Make PJ do that for you then.

Reality says I have four loads of laundry, baking and I need to do the floors.

Then go to the beach, get the fries.

There won't be enough time.

Ironic, isn't it? You survive life and the rewards are never quite what you wanted them to be, are they?

Sure they are.

I still love your delusions after all these years, you know that?

You should. You taught them to me.

He thinks for a moment, I was sure he was going to turn sullen and deny it, insisting that any pretense that I would live a charmed gypsy life on the road with him was a figment of my own vivid imagination but he doesn't. Instead he nods.

I'm sorry for that, Bridget.

I know. I still love you.

He nods and exhales hard, until his whole face drops, the bottom falling out of his smile, no hope in hell of catching it now.


I reach out and touch his face, trying to trace the smile back on but it's hopeless.

Laundry, I whisper. Things to do. He has to go to work, we're running late as it is.

Yeah. See you tonight, I hope.

I don't meet his eyes. I turn and head back to the house, so he continues to talk to my back as if it might answer on my behalf. Lochlan keeps talking when he should just shut up now.

Not like he'll be available.

He's talking about Ben. I put my hand out to the side and shake it. Stop talking, Lochlan, please God. I don't say it out loud. What's the point? He hears my brain anyway.

I'll stop. But don't you dare pretend you feel differently, Bridget.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Smoke scream.

(I've gotten out of order again.)

Here, this is new. I can juggle too, you see and God, we're such fucking freaks. But I drop things sometimes. My apologies. No, not to you. To someone who keeps winding up with a target on his back. I can't help it.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

The piercing radiant moon
The storming of poor June
All the life running through her hair

Approaching guiding light
Our shallow years in fright
Dreams are made winding through my head
Through my head
Before you know

Your lives are open wide
The V-chip gives them sight
All the life running through her hair
Ben is singing Spiders. He does an incredibly haunting version of it and it makes me very sad, even though it's one of my all-time favorite songs.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Leaves are falling all around, It's time I was on my way.
Thanks to you, I'm much obliged for such a pleasant stay.
But now it's time for me to go. The autumn moon lights my way.
For now I smell the rain, and with it pain, and it's headed my way.
Our company is gone, and with them, Gage, who's taking his vampire cowboy act south for winter. Briefly I was jealous, until I saw the longing in his eyes. Settle down. Find a woman. Stop moving, stop searching. Stop falling asleep alone. Stop having to find your own way with no one to sound off with or confirm your tentative plans, bringing confidence to all endeavors. It's sort of sad, in a way and in another way it's neat to see him arbitrarily choose a day to move on. He wanted to take the camper with him. Lochlan said no, maybe a little more forcefully than he expected, as he's been itching to live in it when he feels like a sullen, belligerent child or a jilted boyfriend.

Four months was a long time. Now the only people left to visit in the year are my parents, and they have just cemented plans to come out for Thanksgiving in October. They haven't been here for a very long time so it will be fun. After that I might not speak until Christmas because I get tired easily. I'm not good at being tour guide/chef/hostess/maid unless it's for my boys but maybe that's because there's an endless bank of affection that never runs out in lieu of payment or bill.

You know, things I don't like to talk about. Things like the time bank. Trading off nights in different places, trading off embraces from different arms, trading memories for little pieces of myself hacked off with a dull pen knife. With a sharp sword. With words that cut so deeply I might never stop bleeding.

I'm just toast tonight. First night no company. First night no obligations. First night no Caleb. Maybe tomorrow I'll talk a little more about what makes the devil tick. If he doesn't kill me first.

I keep trying to stack my army but it just falls apart.


Saturday, 10 September 2011

Second beach.

My bag, shoes and toes are full of sand. It's in the car, in my pockets and in my hair.

That's okay.

That's life just the way I like it.

Inside of three minutes I found five large, perfectly frosted pieces of sea glass and then I walked into the water to greet my new ocean and got my shorts wet, my sweater wet and my hands wet too. I breathed in my oxygen loaded with salt and wind and I squinted into the sun, same as always, watching the light play over the foam on the waves breaking on the sand.

I found a stick leaning up against a rock. Nearby, being eaten by the tide, someone had etched "I love u!". I bet someone was pretty happy to read it.

Friday, 9 September 2011


They were browner than toast, their haircuts long grown into shaggy, wild representations of their fall and winter selves. No shirts, no shoes, straight out of the car, doors flung wide, car parked at an angle to the curb up by the road above the grass beach at the lake. Cole in black shorts, Caleb in blue, they would run down the grass, out onto the dock and cannonball into the water before I could get my seatbelt unfastened (the latch stuck).

Once in the water I can't tell them apart as I watch them swim to the raft. First one there gets to drive their father's car home. They fought over it all the time. I see Caleb catch up with Cole (younger and faster, at seventeen) and he hauls himself up on Cole's shoulders and pushes him under with all his strength (a lot, at age twenty). He laughs and lets go, pushing off enough to easily win the race. Cole bursts to the surface with a laughed curse and grabs Caleb's ankle, wrenching him back just as he touches the weathered wood. He bellows and turns, his arms raised in victory, meeting my eyes just as I manage to exit the car at last. He grins and my eyes drift toward Cole. He is younger and smaller. I guess I identify with him. He's the underdog, the unpredictable wild brother of the two.

He's fine, he is halfway back, breaststroke, just under the surface. I smile. He's really cute and he doesn't give me nearly as hard a time as Lochlan does. But what do I know?

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Endless blue.

Looking for an orphanage
I'm looking for a bridge I can't burn down
I don't believe the emptiness
I'm looking for the kingdom coming down
Everything is meaningless
I want more than simple cash can buy
Happy is a yuppie word
Nothing is sound

Happy is a yuppie word
Nothing in the world could fail me now
The tiny brown grasshopper stays one hop ahead of me as I wander down the sidewalk in the oppressive, magnified sun. For those who said I would have a difficult time keeping my grip on the wet, sharp edge of life here, they haven't seen the new snowglobe in which I reside, in which all streets are dead ends and the borders are the mountains and the sea. And the sun shines all the time.

The grasshopper doesn't care if it's a quiet neighborhood or if it's dry or if he's walking in front of a fuzzy little white giant with a black nose and four paws on the ground, watching him with great interest. Bonham is too hot to chase grasshoppers today. There hasn't been a cloud in the sky for weeks.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

I can read your mind.

Don't think sorry's easily said
Don't try turning tables instead
You've taken lots of chances before
But I ain't gonna give any more
Don't ask me
That's how it goes
Cause part of me knows what you're thinking

Don't say words you're gonna regret
Don't let the fire rush to your head
I've heard the accusation before
And I ain't gonna take any more
Believe me
The sun in your eyes
Made some of the lies worth believing
Possibly one of the only songs Lochlan actually knows all the words to. And he's been singing it all week and I'd like to slice open his throat with a jewel case from one of my Mastodon CDs at this point in time, only because he beats me over the head with easy listening songs from my past to trigger memories and feelings. I'm not dumb.

Well, I am, but for the sake of this argument I know what I'm taking about. Trust me.
I am the eye in the sky
Looking at you, I can read your mind
I am the maker of rules
Dealing with fools, I can cheat you blind
And I don't need to see any more to know that
I can read your mind

Don't leave false illusions behind
Don't cry, I ain't changing my mind
So find another fool like before
Cause I ain't gonna live anymore believing
Some of the lies while
all of the signs are deceiving

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Newfie in a haystack.

Irrespective of the drama over the past week, the birthdays, anniversaries and the guests from out of town I just had to take a few minutes to pop in and tell you that yes, the children had a good first day of school (all two hours of it), I had good news arrive in the mail, I have not died of heatstroke yet and the dog is really enjoying waking up later. No accidents. No barfing. Because little barfing dogs are the best thing ever, right?

No. That's not why I came in here to type while dinner gets cold. Nope. August is home. From Burning Man. Where they have no garbage cans and have to pack everything out. He did and tossed his trash on the way into the airport but he forgot about the main compartment of his pack. Inside, lots of empty packages of red licorice, and lots of empty...condom wrappers.


So I asked.

And I didn't expect him to talk about it but apparently Erin was at Burning Man this year (kids these days). Remember Erin? Jacob's little sister.

And August. A couple. At least for the week, from what August has said.

I am planning their wedding now. You think it's too soon? (On that note, the accents of their future children will be completely unintelligible since they are both from Newfoundland. We're going to have to turn on subtitles.)

Monday, 5 September 2011

Righteous brothers.

Candles. Check.

Moonlight. Check.

Unchained Melody. Check.

Dancing in his arms in the darkened kitchen. Check.

Forty-six and 2.

Lochlan is forty-six now.

(Finally, an age that lends a little weight to his quasi-parental method of relating to me over the years. I'm mostly kidding. He's not that bad all the time. Well, okay, sometimes he is but I'll let it go. His impish smile and ageless good looks make it easy. If you saw him walking down the street you would think a high guess might be early thirties. He doesn't age. It's rather disgusting considering he turns so golden in the sun even his hair fades from his customary bright auburn into a strawberry blonde-gold that takes my breath away. But not a line on his face because he's led a somewhat charmed gypsy life. Or has he?

He is reading aloud from his phone.

'...Pure-hearted, barely educated red-headed unpredictably-temperamental Scotsman and ask him to compromise. I remember the fights...' Jesus, Bridget, is that what you remember? Maybe the frustration was borne out of trying to protect you and provide for you. Christ almighty. How many nights, peanut? How many nights did you ask me not to take extra shifts and then tell me you were hungry? I was twenty years old. I tried my best. When we couldn't make it work I did what I had to do and took you home and I know you hated me for it but I had to put you first. I put your needs before everything and all you cared about was that I had abandoned you when you needed me most. We were fucking starving and you weren't safe there anymore and I didn't want you to hate me for the wrong reasons, doll. It wasn't in my hands anymore.

I couldn't hate you.

Oh, but you do, you just won't admit it.

There's the lump and I swallow but it doesn't go away. It's so hard to breathe. It's impossible to think. I know this. I get it. He was forced into a hard place and he made an adult decision because he was an adult and I was still a willful child and the willful little girl inside still holds all sorts of bitterness over her perfect princess world where they lived on love and the adult understands that when you are responsible for a whole human being you make sure they are warm, fed and safe and if you can't manage to pull off all three, something changes before you blink again or you fail and everything falls apart. It won't get better, it will only get worse.

Lochlan took the fall and he took it again when the relief of me leaving Cole proved to be short lived in that I went straight into the arms of someone who was not Lochlan. He's held on and stood by and he fell back again when Caleb came back into the picture full-time because this time he wasn't in charge of the decisions and he couldn't watch anymore so he went away, twisting screws as he walked out the door. A false life created and then abandoned when he discovered he wasn't the only one looking for second-best.

He holds it all in, this one, and all it does is make his voice a little more clipped in his fair, still-perceptible accent. It make his arms hold me tighter whenever he gets the chance. It makes everything a little more important.

I swallow again but the lump in my throat is survivable. The truth serum is hops and barley and at forty-six, Lochlan can no longer handle his liquor. He is on a roll, along with the tears spilling from my eyes and I want to be angry but he hasn't been wrong about a damned thing.

The hardest part here is Benjamin, still relatively new to our universe, who sits on the steps that lead down to the walkway, drinking tea, absorbing Lochlan's words like poison, the whole story perfectly understood in terms of space and time but not in depth. Depth is where we make up ground and supersede fate and the future and the present but never ever the past.

Oh, fuck, we are so stupid sometimes. Every major holiday and event he makes his case. Every time he drinks, he pleads for my heart.

You know I would compromise for you. You know damned well I would do anything for you.

Ben's head turns and he's gazing at Lochlan now. I can't read the expression on his face, I'm not sure if it's mild pity, total acceptance or concern.

We would do anything for you too, brother.

I think it was meant as reassurance but it wasn't taken that way.

Then get a divorce and let me have her.

Lochlan kicked over his now-empty beer bottle when he stood up abruptly. He did not wait for a reply as he went inside. Ben looked at me but I was busy fighting for control of my emotions. Lochlan came outside again and pointed his finger at me and said This time don't fucking post everything I say. Bridget, you've made me out to be the enemy and I'm the only one who really loves you.

He went back inside and closed the patio door for good measure this time. Several minutes later the light came on in the window upstairs. I counted to seventy-five and it went out again. He will wait in the dark for me. I'll be a no-show.

Gage comes out and surveys our body language and the dead silence cast around us like a pall.

Is it always this intense around here?

Ben shakes his head. No, usually it's worse.

And then he starts to laugh.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

The Lotus Sutra versus Nietzsche.

(I'll tell you the how, and we'll save the whys for tomorrow.)

We're accustomed to losing everything, from direction to face.

So this is nothing new.

I was going to write a brief clarification, for I realize sometimes I leave everyone so in the dark they trip over everything, almost break their necks and resolve to stay put, sitting with their knees up, waiting for someone to come in and turn up the lights lest they die trying to escape.

I throw shadows though. Sometimes I throw a single weak beam but I know it's not enough.

And I have changed my mind. Stay in the dark.
Genuine honesty, assuming that this is our virtue and we cannot get rid of it, we free spirits – well then, we will want to work on it with all the love and malice at our disposal and not get tired of ‘perfecting’ ourselves in our virtue, the only one we have left: may its glory come to rest like a gilded, blue evening glow of mockery over this aging culture and its dull and dismal seriousness.

Friday, 2 September 2011

He jumped into the pool, cutting the choppy water, stretching his arms far over his head, tucked down, shoulders rigid, legs extended straight. The water took him in like a long lost lover, embracing his descent into the deep blue silence. He did not surface for days.

We waited and waited for the crown of his head to appear and finally we couldn't wait any more and they jumped in after him, and pulled him out. Only he struggled. He fought and he struck and he struggled, lashing out at the very same people who chose to help him.

He remains just out of reach for the duration. Treading water to spite them, when they thought he was drowning. Strong strokes, gaining speed, swimming laps around those who threw life rings in earnest. Thumbing his wet nose at the very same faces who sought to save his life.

Because he was fine on his own.

Because he did not need the hand offered to him. He took it anyway even though he had to learn how to navigate falling disoriented, from nothing. Black to the light overhead. Deepest quiet to the noise above, carried far along the surface. Swim to the air and then take it in.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Leave it all to chance.

In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of God or spiritual-type thing to worship--be it J.C. or Allah, be it Yahweh or the Wiccan mother-goddess or the Four Noble Truths or some infrangible set of ethical principles--is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.
We're home a bit early. Quietly planning Ruth's birthday and Lochlan's too. Making amends. Trying to straighten out a giant tangle of feelings and people, expectations and plans. I guess sometimes I let my brain skip ahead, through the daisies and over the rocks, making plans, expecting things to happen, envisioning my future without taking into account the fact that that's what everybody else is doing too.

It makes things hard and I'll be the first one to confess, admitting guilt that I can paint a romantic picture in my brain, a storybook life with all the lovely wonderful declarations of affection firmly pushed into their places and ideas for how to spend the day or when to make plans to escape to make a memory or two and which paint colors I would like best only to discover that not only am I not on the same page and everyone else, I am reading a different book. Maybe in a different genre, even.

What the FUCK, Bridget.

A counselor once called it my Princess Complex.

Clearly it doesn't go away, it just goes into dormancy every once in a while. Everyone seems to be okay with that for the time being. I was shown a place on a page and I've turned down the corner and stuck a feather in between and I will try to keep my place as my finger follows the words vertically and my mouth sets in a curved line of concentration.

I'm trying to learn from this, really working to stay in that moment instead of existing as far into the future as my arms can reach, fingers fully extended, shoulder dislocated, holding on to that big heavy book they gave me, keeping it squeezed tightly closed, to keep the feather in place in order to pick up where I left off.

This is a full-time job for me and I am trying to remain accountable and transparent and respectful, mindful of my friends and lovers and my readers too. I will expect nothing less in return.