Come on, come onMy anchor appears to be six-foot-four with brown hair that's almost black and a history so austere he might have been in the witness protection program, at some point. The only baggage he brings to the table is an epic drive for sex and a gay little brother, who has been entirely absent and honeymooning for the past five months and if I daresay I'm happy for Daniel but I'm getting bored trying to drag PJ and Andrew shopping because they. hate. shopping.
Put your hands into the fire
Except for food, naturally.
And I'm not trying to digress. Hey, it's been another week of misery here while we fight through time and space looking for the upper hand only to find it means you reach the sun first and get burned beyond recognition, pushed against the surface until your screams are absorbed into the broiling plasma seven times over.
Because we have baggage. And for all the armchair and local psychiatrists pointing out that Ben is not different (because he did indeed provide swift rescue and there was no time in between and I barely waited three months and if I had any brains at all wouldn't I have not done that and I always answer something resembling Fuck off because I can't explain it) please step up now and kiss my little tiny ass.
He is not anyone else and something clicks here that makes me happy. He played his cards with great personal risk. So maybe you should admire him for his restraint with me. After all, he's the unpredictable one. A drinking problem and a temper and a life out of a suitcase brought him to me in ruins and now he is happy. Happier, anyway. By far.
He is my project boy and my savior rolled into one. He has let out so much line to watch me stray that I don't know how I find the way back but then I do: muscle memory, because the heart is a muscle and he is the way home.
But this isn't about Ben. Again, it's a digression.
You see, this house is our solar system and Lochlan is the sun. And everything revolves around him. He exudes heat and flame and serves as the anchor point around which the boys revolve. They are the planets. I am the dwarf planet, Pluto, running to catch up and keep up, catching a ride on Neptune, coasting through the milky way, slow to count orbits in terms of years because I keep falling off. I'm only eight. I can't keep up with them, they're all thirteen, fourteen or older. Come to think of it, I have no business being here at all, but here I am.
Saving them all.
Ben is Jupiter. Sometimes I can leapfrog over the other planets to spin in beside him and then I am dropped out once again. He can't help it, Jupiter is locked in place and too big to move quickly. Pluto has no business here. This is grownup space.
And the sun is so fickle, but without it we would die. The hierarchy in this house is such that we are bound to revolve around each other and the dynamics are such that sometimes we travel smoothly for ever and then there will be upheaval and change. And the boys are somewhat like me in that they will be easygoing and take so much and then suddenly the tipping points are everywhere and we are getting stabbed, arrows through the crust of my not-quite-a-planet-after-all, spinning me away on a different axis. Personalities are different and our situation is unique after all.
I don't know of any other commune that revolves around a singular female. I don't know of any other plural relationships that have a lifelong history behind them. And I don't know if we're doing it right, frankly. If you ask the experts they will wonder aloud why we haven't simply disintegrated years ago, ending in a brutal double-murder-suicide that would make a brief horrific read in the paper only to be followed by a scramble for the ticket to check the lottery numbers underneath.
What can I say? I suppose it works because it's not a gimmick or an experiment, it's our lives, and we take those very seriously.
Lochlan has made a couple of really good and terrible attempts to seek exclusivity and I hesitated to even confess that I heard him properly. Sometimes he relaxes enough to allow things to be as they are and sometimes he develops a sharp angle, gunning for his own leapfrog, all the way down the line of planets until he drops out of the system to where Pluto floats in the Kuiper belt just outside the range of normal consciousness.
He wanted me to come and live with him. Again. In an airstream by the sea. We would fish and busk and watch the stars and pick up from 1985, where we last left off (if you don't count those summers on the freakshow in my twenties but we're not going to go there tonight). This plan was further cemented this week as he revealed the remainder of the manifesto explaining why he is the way he is. If you knew him you would understand the reasoning he can dispense in his sleep. The stupid bulletproof prudence that has always left me with his hand on top of my head while I made such mad efforts to jump up and down and see the world. By Tuesday he was cocksure my misery was simply based on the fact that I would have to let Ben down. Boomerang, back to the show for the little freak planet and her tightrope, wound on a spool, too heavy to carry a planet on by far.
Instead my tears were for Lochlan's preemptive disappointment, and hell, even Caleb felt safe enough to return because perhaps nothing will change except that even more of my dreamlike, fantastical childhood can be explained in better detail now. Mostly to me, for I was the youngest and the things children remember are not always what transpires. Sometimes it is better than what we recall and sometimes it is worse.
Lochlan looked at me this morning and I grimaced and finally returned his gaze and he gave me a small tight smile, telling me See, peanut? I told you it would change nothing. Only his voice cracked on the you part and then he had to catch his breath and he tried to cover it with a cough but that didn't really work and I pretended I missed it anyway. I threw my arms around him and pressed my head underneath his chin, where you have been able to find me pretty much anytime since 1979, and I nodded because I didn't know what else to do.
Juggling is hard. Saving is too.