Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Se7en (head in a box).

I must obey the rules
I must be tame and cool
No staring at the clouds
I must stay on the ground
In clusters of the mice
The smoke is in our eyes
Like babies on display
Like angels in a cage
I must be pure and true
I must contain my views
There must be something else
There must be something good
Far away
Seven days left and Ben has lost his phone already, supposedly putting it down on a table at a cafe and forgetting he didn't put it back in his pocket. We've wiped it from here, we think. Who knows, this is the area of the experts, not me. I just get even less time to speak with him now, publicly and on someone else's phone and so Ben reduces his discussions to nonsense like what he had for dinner and questions about who is at the house today. I lie, he lies and we just keep on counting down the minutes together and separately while the elephant in the room gets bigger and bigger. I swear to God it's inflatable and at some point it's going to burst, leaving bits of grey all over the walls, stuck to my hair, fluttering down like feathers from the sky.

Only it would be red, not grey. Elephant guts. My insides. Lochlan's hair. Pick a shade of red. Red is the color of shame and the color of my blood, the color of my heart and the color of my face when I blush or get very cold.

Or very warm.

Loch is so quiet and gentle right now, you would hardly believe it's the same person. Careful with Peanut-Brittle, they told him when they left. She's not sleeping so well. As if he doesn't know this. Ben's face was full concern when he left, masked with artificial jovial anticipation. Fake. Fakefakefake.

But the last-second hug from him at the airport buckled my damn knees.

You can come with me. He whispered, out of range of the showman.

The road is no place for your family, I reminded him, a direct quote the last time I wanted to go and he refused. I stepped back, bitter and composed, all of it a show of my own.

Our send-off on the weekend ended with a massive Fuck You to each other because when things get tough we both withdraw completely. He refused to stay and I refuse to be loyal. Everyone save for us will reap the benefits of the latest war (they call them Bores. B-wars. Ben versus Bridget. The Bores. Get it? I know. It's not funny at all.)

Lochlan went out of his way to remind Ben that I would be fine, and so he also incurred the wrath of all that is unholy and metal. And oversized. Depending on how ostracized Ben feels when he comes home, we'll just pay for this later and play house for now.

Depending on the day Ben either feels generous or selfish and I never know which, I can't set my watch by it, it just flies up out of nowhere and envelopes everything in darkness to the point where no one knows which end is up. This is one of those times. One of those awful, miserable times where I wonder if he'll even come back and he'll wonder why he stays.

And to add insult Caleb keeps sending me messages and leaving voicemails. He wouldn't dare show his face right this second, I might eat it off in my sudden sparks of tiny, ineffective rage.

Have you thought about our conversation? He wants to know. Fuck you I reply. And sometimes No and I don't plan to. When I'm so moved I just write Later.

In a burning building I would save Ben. All three of them are there and I would focus on the biggest. Save him, save myself. The rest are capable. The rest of them started the fire. The rest of them can burn.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Love how they police each other.

Oh well, then.

Caleb came over and admonished pretty much EVERYONE for dropping the ball. Since I have soothed their broken hearts, hungry bellies and bruised egos, Where is the reciprocation here?, he wondered.

They are suitably chagrined and we're ALL doing a lot better this afternoon.

Especially yours truly.

Also, he remains evil. Just in case you were wondering.

Little monster indeed.

Just stay away from the white light
I'd say your worst side's your best side
I never hurt anyone
I never listen at all
Eight days left and I've reverted back to many of my old behaviors of the late days of 2007. Living in my pajamas. Not getting out of bed at a 'reasonable hour'. Clutching the phone all night while I lie in the dark with my eyes wide open. Loch on a cycle, waking up to gently admonish me to Get some sleep, peanut before drifting off again sitting up only to wake up in alarm and yell at me again, under his breath.

Ben calls first thing in the morning in the time zone he is in. It's very late there, the time zone he is in is so far away. I listen to his voice, holding on to every word, squeezing the life out of the sound of him breathing, panicking when the connection is lost more than once. He reminds me to get a new phone before he goes. He says he loves me. Then I get fifteen seconds to catch up with Duncan and the phone is silent again. He'll call me late afternoon again to say goodnight. He'll sleep just when I miss him most and once again I'll realize I forgot to do a whole host of things because I am busy, watching the minutes tick by on the clock until he is home again.

Eat something, Lochlan orders again as I arrive at the table still in these fucking pajamas. I dutifully pick up a piece of toast and bite a crumb off the corner. It tastes like sand and I drop the toast back on the plate.

It's only a week, someone points out helpfully.

Ten days, I correct automatically without realizing who I'm talking to.

Nothing more is said and I sit in the chair until Lochlan takes the plate away eventually, toast still on it. His hand is on my shoulder, rubbing my back. He reminds me to get dressed. To brush my teeth and smile for the kids. He reminds me repeatedly that Ben isn't dead. That Ben has a job and whole lot of talent that he needs to cultivate that on a regularly basis and I look up at him and nod. I hear that Ben isn't dead but I worry that maybe he is and this is what's it's like without him. The moment anyone leaves the house they die, resurrecting upon their return, coming back to life when I see them.

My brain is operating just fine, thank you, it's my heart that's in full flight-or-er...flight response (RUN!). It's running the show and I can't seem to stage a mutiny to retake control. Maybe that will change? Seven more days after today so there's the week someone mentioned. Then six five four three two airport and I will stand in the private lounge near arrivals and realize I have aged another thousand years, therefore I must be immortal and I'll live forever, which is not something I am interested in in the least.

I'm only interested in next Tuesday, thank you. And until then, yes, I'm going to be impossible, Lochlan.

Deal with it.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Epithets and airports.

Ten days, he said.

I'm fine, I said.

Ten days to go out and wreak havoc, albeit more slowly than he used to, tearing up the stage in a place where they all know enough English to sing along but not enough to understand the meanings of the songs they're singing. Ten days to get a taste of a life he used to have, albeit sober this time around with no women, no drugs, no booze and no all-nighters. Prescription medicine and aftershow Skype calls home each night replace a few forties of poison and a line up of girls.

Shopping for souvenirs for his stepchildren and his friends replaces writing cheques for trashed clubs, hotel rooms and equipment.

Counting days of mayhem is replaced by counting the days until home.

We shouldn't be doing this replaces we should have done this a long time ago.

Payments begin to trickle in again where before the funds sat stagnant and uninspired, earned long ago and still undecided on. What to spend. What to keep. What to invest. What to plan. What to do now that life is so suburbanized beyond what he ever thought he would have. He used to have nightmares about overdosing on the road, dying alone with nothing. Nowhere to call home, no one to call his own and nothing save for the liner notes, some fancy framed records and a Wikipedia entry to tell you who he really was.

That doesn't happen anymore. The nightmares have been replaced with ones involving who is Alpha and who is Omega. And how long before someone snaps and tries to push the Devil off the cliff, bringing a curse down upon our heads that lasts a thousand lifetimes over, dooming us to the purgatory of hell on earth. How long before the Princess explodes, her head a magnificent cocktail of incendiary thoughts and explosive moods that threaten to blow it right off her fucking neck at any given moment and that is why he keeps his hand wrapped around it when he sleeps and who's going to look after that while he's gone and what if the job is easier for someone else and what if the plane goes into the Atlantic and what if the stars don't align and what if he likes it too much to come back and what if, what if, what if?

And none of the above is relevant to you specifically unless you, like Lochlan, ask me why I'm being so awful today and maybe it's because Ben promised he wouldn't go anywhere ever again but then you know, it's only ten days, Bridget and it will be over before you know it and all sorts of half-lies and...placations and crap spewed out and the very last thing I will be to Ben is Yoko Ono and so I nodded and told him he should totally go! And he pointed out that my eyes were far removed from the rest of my enthusiasm and then with equal alarm he assured me that Lochlan would be here. That only Dalton, Duncan and Corey are going with him so I have everyone else but I'd better miss him (Ben, that is) or he would be really sad.

I said I was already sad and I cried as I helped him pack. Best wife ever. He had to switch out to a larger suitcase just for all the misery I lovingly squished in around his things because I ran out of arms to hold it and I've always been told it loves company.

Nine days left.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Furies and spitfires.

I was sleeping and my head was lifted up, cradled in his hand as he leaned over me for a kiss. One small protest was made followed by surrender as I put my arms up around his shoulders in an attempt to pull him down with me and instead I rise up higher. I am the Fleaweight. He wraps his other arm around my waist and kisses me again. A long one. A Goodbye, I'm going kiss that is met by more protest. He can go later. He can not go at all.

A final kiss lands on my forehead and I am passed back into waiting arms. I have not opened my eyes but I feel the rough stubble of a familiar jaw and the loose curls against my ear. I say Ben's name and I hear him as he stops and asks me what I need. I ask him to stay. He crosses the room back to me, taking my face in his hands again as I am turned out for another kiss. I could kiss him all day. I may have before but he had other plans for right now so he turns me back to the warm waiting arms where I will stay until he comes back.


When I come outside I am met by Caleb, standing in the driveway beside a car I don't recognize. He is wearing all white and the trunk is open. I hear Sophie call out something about a few more minutes and he winces visibly. I frown. She is clearly putting up with me in a grand and desperate attempt to extract some of the riches from Caleb's wallet safe will heart.

I thought you said there wouldn't be a next time?

That holds. I slept on the couch again. But you don't play tennis, which I love, and she was in town and invited me so rather than wait around for you to roll out of bed or give me an answer to my proposal I'm going to keep living.

Should you be playing tennis? I mean, don't you need to take it easy?

No, I need to have fun. And I found a willing participant.

Then make her a proposal, why don't you?

No, Bridget.

Sophie comes out just then. Also dressed in white. So pulled together I unconsciously try and tuck my bangs (too long AGAIN) behind my ears and just fail and look pulled apart. Which is fitting, really, after two days in bed drinking gin and eating pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I had a micro-vacation and it shows. I'm a mess. The house is a mess. God only knows what the other house looks like.


I smile. I don't even want to greet her. Also I have not brushed my teeth.

We ready? She flashes a different smile at Caleb and he gives her a withering glance. Yes, just a moment. I'll set the alarm.

She hurries off to the car and gets in the drivers seat (mystery solved) and turns her politeness into a scowl I see clearly despite the window tint. Caleb comes bounding down the steps and walks straight over to me, grabbing my elbows and landing a kiss on my temple, which is beginning to erode. My head is going to be lopsided soon unless they start trading off sides instead of always on the right. He ducks his face down against my ear and says It's a good thing I like tennis so much.

I whisper back that he can always go and pug for singles at the club and he laughs. You don't show up at a place like that without someone significant on your arm.


Some faceless attractive lawyer from out of province.

The lipreader in the car takes note of this and blares the horn a couple of times, waking up my entire household.

She will have no fans left here now. My work is done. :)

Friday, 27 July 2012

A little bit little and covered with stars!

Now, see, I would post but Daniel and Schuy took the kids camping and so I am sort of drunk and in my underwear (Wonderwoman Underoos) watching the opening ceremonies and eating pizza! With Ben and Loch, neither of whom (which?) are drunk but both of which (whom?) are also in their underwear, except that Ben hardly ever wears underwear so he's just um..Ben.

Goodnight. Ha.

I love my room. Party all the time!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

The lion's share (apologies to Mr. Baum).

(Sorry for this, but this isn't about what you like, okay?)

One of the things only those close to me know (and now everyone) is how much I despise The Wizard of Oz.

Not the book, the movie. I saw the movie when I was a child and it turned me off ever seeking out the book to see what I missed. It was that bad for me. I didn't like the characters, I didn't enjoy the story, I found it frightening and uncomfortable and weird. The design, the actors, the costumes, the sets, the dialogue, the whole picture just rubbed me wrong.

And it hit home, too. The Cowardly lion wished madly for courage, kind of like me.

I wish I had been braver. I think it's too late.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Northumberland burn.

Through every forest, above the trees
Within my stomach, scraped off my knees
I drink the honey inside your hive
You are the reason I stay alive
I am in my customary indoor thinking-place. It's four-ish in the morning or so, best time for conversation uninterrupted. Best time for truths otherwise obscured by manners and tact. I sit beside the bed on the floor, my head against the mattress, a goblet of red wine sipped so slowly I've been at it for an hour and the glass is still over-full.

He is flat on his back on his bed staring at the ceiling, an icepack wedged against his jaw from where one of those carnival rat punches hit home. He mostly doesn't care about it and was toughing it out when I noticed the swelling and the bruise coming out. He has meetings he can't go into looking like a fucking prizefighter and so I went and made a makeshift coldpack for him, wrapping it in a towel.

He held his arm out as if I would then cuddle with him, having let my guard down already in demonstrating tenderness. I sat on the floor instead and his arm dropped down to rest on my shoulder. I shrug it off and we wait in silence for common ground.

He speaks first, clearing his throat gently after an unsuccessful first try. We have grown so close that this is difficult and it shouldn't be. We owe each other nothing at the end of the day. He bought his proximity to me and I decide the rest.

I- I need a few days, Bridget. Then I'll share everything with you. I just want to unwind right now. No worries, doll. It isn't that bad.

Are you dying?

Most definitely not.

Then just tell me.

It will be shared in conjunction with some other business we need to discuss but I don't feel like talking business right now.

Do I need to do anything?

No. It's on auto-pilot (In-joke. The board runs everything.) You just need to be here.

I can't be 'here'.

I mean stick around.

Where else would I go?

Half the time I think Lochlan's going to smuggle you out in the middle of the night and I'll track you across the country and find you in a camper in Shediac and you'll be welded to something so you'd never have to leave.

He would totally do that. Heh.

And Ben would never know where to look.

But Ben is Now. Loch is Then.

What am I?

I don't know yet.

That makes me profoundly sad. You don't have a place for me. Or maybe it means I'm the Future.

You're not the Future.

You don't know that.

Hell, yes, I do.
I gulp down the entire glass of red and brace for the instant headache. He rolls onto his side and frowns at me.

Now why did you do that?

To anesthetize because you cause me pain.

Pain I can also fix. Does this mean you're going to stay for a while?

No, I'm going home. You can call me when you want to talk about your test results.

Bridget, don't be nervous. I just want to have everything together to make the best use of your time.

That's the only thing I have now. Time. I just wait for things. Things happen. I wait for the fallout and then the resolution and then I wait some more. I wait to stop worrying. I wait to be happy. Time is definitely the enemy.

Then what am I? If I'm not past, present or future. What am I?

You? You're the devil. We established this in 1983, remember?

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

333 (Half evil).

Who claims that no man is an island
While I land up in jeopardy
More distant from you by degrees
I walk this shore in isolation
And at my feet eternity
Tries ever sweeter plans for me
PJ wound me into a tizzy by spending more than a little time trying to convince me to join the Witness Protection Program before Caleb's return. I adopted his low-grade panic until the dreaded message on my phone sent me scrambling downstairs and out the door.


Dutifully I presented myself in the driveway to Caleb, who was standing beside his car, sleeves rolled up, hands in his pockets, suitjacket threaded through one arm, carry-on laptop bag at his feet. Mike was standing at ease beside him, hands behind his back, staring at the car. The look on his face was somewhere between disappointment and amusement.

Caleb looked at me and then abruptly (alarmingly even) dismissed Mike. We both watched silently as Mike got back into the Bentley and drove carefully in a loop before leaving the driveway, pausing at the top to wait for the gate. I stopped watching but Caleb continued until the gate slid closed behind the car.

Then he smiled tightly.

What have you done, doll?

My composure fought to stay above ground as I tried to speak clearly and failed. Nothing came out. I hid my face behind my hands. He walked over, dropping his jacket, tearing my hands away.

Why are you afraid!

I hear the Scottish click. Just once and we both turn and there is..well, there's everyone. All of them. On the porch and the steps except for Lochlan, standing three feet behind us, and Ben, three feet behind Loch.

Caleb turns back to me and repeats himself. Why are you afraid? Softened into a question now for the benefit of us all.

I ruined something you care about.

I can fix it, Bridget. Anything can be fixed.

The second click came out almost like clockwork and Caleb must have lost his mind because he charged Lochlan. Charged him. The nerve. He's yelling What the fuck is your problem and Lochlan's shouting outrage over things that simply can't be fixed and they're not talking about cars anymore. Ben pretends to be supremely interested in the direction of the wind when he sees that while Caleb is still much larger and a lot stronger than Loch, he still fights like a girl lawyer. Loch isn't at risk.

After a few moments of them trying to choke each other out we realize that we need to do..something so Ben reaches down and grabs Lochlan by the back of the neck and I surprisingly don't burst out laughing when he comes up still swinging. I would but none of this is funny.

Caleb straightens out his clothes. He is not hurt, don't worry, and he at least has the guts not to storm off.

The car. The fucking car can be fixed, you fucking hot-headed carnival rat.

It was just such a glorious euphemism though! Being able to fix something ruined that someone cares about! Lochlan spits out again, in case anyone needs clarification at this point. Ben still has him held because his arms are still moving, because he will take any excuse at this point and just fight to the death already but there's been too much of that already.

Besides, this is my fault.

I won't drive your car anymore. I'm sorry, Diabhal. I hold out the key and he takes it, keeping my hand in his. I see Lochlan's limbs flinch and twitch but Ben has him good. For as much as Lochlan can charm the universe by virtue of his passion, sometimes he just needs to know when to let things go.

You can drive the car, Babydoll. Just be careful.

I nod and he gives me my hand back. He walks over to Lochlan and strokes his face. Lochlan threatens to ruin him and Ben threatens to let Lochlan go if Caleb torments him. Where was this passion when she needed it, Loch? Caleb asks him and it's as if the wind has gone out of Lochlan's sails. Ben says Caleb's name again as a warning but Caleb regards him wearily.

I'm actually not up to any more arguments, if you don't mind. It's been a long few days and I just need some rest. Maybe later in the week. And he salutes Ben casually, then blows me a kiss and turns away, picking up his bag as he goes. Everyone watches him until he gets to the bottom of the steps and then I realize his medicals. I don't know what his results were and I take off running after him.

He turns and looks over my head, still keeping an eye on Lochlan. He never does look me in the eye. He just says Not now, Dollface and continues up the steps.

Monday, 23 July 2012


Caleb waited until he was away to send Daniel the same proposal concerning Daniel running the newest company he has acquired, the one he offered to Lochlan first. Apparently it's a small graphic design outfit with a stellar clientele and a fabulous reputation. Something solid and yet not overwhelming, because Caleb is very interested in making sure everyone is employed and busy and therefore less prone to get in trouble on such an...hourly basis.

Case in point, he has re-offered me the usual position of playing Pepper Potts to his Tony Stark. This will be the seventh time in fifteen years. Daniel thanked him profusely and turned Caleb down. He prefers to be a kept woman. Me too. I turned Caleb down and promptly found myself in trouble.

I wish I knew how he DOES this.

I..er...um..dented the Porsche.

And it couldn't be a bumper or anything, no, it had to be the passenger door. All along the bottom. I feel sick to my stomach. I'm scrambling to find a body shop that won't rip me off so I can get it fixed after finding out the hard way that none of the boys were willing to take on fixing anything involving German engineering only because it's too...expensive. Which argh.

Add it to the list of things I would change if I had some ten-second rewind chances.

(Jacob would be the first thing. I would have stopped him. I would have never let him go up there. I would have tried harder.)

Apparently now the only things left are to try harder at parallel parking next to tree stumps and learning to be gracious when offered things I actually have no good reason to turn down, because the devil works in mysterious ways, you know.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Three can keep a secret.

Thinking about our younger years
There was only you and me
We were young and wild and free
Now nothing can take you away from me
We've been down that road before
But that's over now
You keep me coming back for more

Baby you're all that I want
When you're lying here in my arms
I'm finding it hard to believe
We're in heaven
And love is all that I need
And I found it there in your heart
It isn't too hard to see
We're in heaven
His voice is low, his eyes veiled. He is vaguely angry at me. Angry at me for spending one entire night telling Caleb things no one else knows and angry at me for calling Batman and giving him false hope for the sake of seeing a movie. Even though Caleb deserved to know certain things first and Batman and I have always seen the Batman movies together by virtue of our own in-jokes. The pyromaniac took offense and he took possession. He leans right in against my ear and claims his time, asking if we can have a quiet weekend dreaming. I pull back and look into his eyes. Suddenly they aren't angry. Suddenly they are darkened pink and lavender skies, bright lights and excited screams, farmer auction callers and carny promises. Burnt popcorn and french fries. Cotton candy still stuck to my lips, my hair, his neck where I kissed the dirt and sweat he wears like a uniform after a full day on site.

Pop radio hits play on a speaker and I am still too small to ride most of the rides without him and so he takes too many breaks to take me on everything I want to experience, my staff bracelet almost falling off by the next morning, stuck to his chest as we sleep in the hundred degree heat of the camper with the smallest stuck-window you ever saw, my mood ring leaving a mark against his face where I held it all night to keep him so close we breathed through each other.

What kind of quiet-dreaming, Locket?

Sleeping in, eating pizza and lazing around on this chair together. He laughs quietly. Lochlan likes to sleep but he also works long hours. He's a huge, impossible study in contradictions, the strictest but most permissive guardian, the most affectionate, hottest, ice-cold lover, the most logical, irrational mind you will ever meet and a thoroughly practical, whimsical soul to back the whole thing up.


So from that you clearly will beget one fucked-up, completely uptight and proper, impulsive, lackadaisical princess who thrives on sugar, love and bright lights and still can't handle any sort of criticism whatsoever without copious amounts of tears, drama and ridiculousness. I am also supremely punctual and fully insured.

The plan was to never grow up, as long as we could help it. We're mired in the eighties forever, listening to Bryan Adams through a shitty sound system over the general boisterous noise of a hot summer night and a capacity crowd.

It's a deal. But only if we get a Hawaiian pizza too.

One pepperoni is enough, Bridget.

Can we have ice cream after?

Sure. Whatever you want.
(see? SEE?)

You worry too much, Locket.

No such thing as too much, peanut.
He gives my forehead another bruiser of a kiss and pulls himself out of my embrace to go and see about dinner. I pull the hoodie that he has left behind close around my shoulders. He turns back and smiles. Wish I had a picture.

So take one already.


I head inside to change. It's gotten cold out, and Lochlan is taking a while with the pizza. I change into jeans and a thin white lacy sweater with a dark blue cami underneath. I brush my hair, apply a little bit of lip gloss and slip into flat sandals. I frown and kick them off, trading them for my All-stars instead. They match the ones Loch wears almost daily, if he must wear shoes at all. I decide my outfit is complete and go bounding down the stairs, right into Ben's arms. He laughs and squeezes me.

Just the person I was looking for. God, you look so pretty. Let's go for dinner.

I don't blink. Loch's getting a pizza for a picnic on the patio.

Ah, okay.

So grab a hoodie and come out.

Naw, I won't be a third wheel tonight.
His voice is light but his eyes are heavy.

Ben, please.

I'll catch you later. Going to go and get a little work done and I'll see you both later. Love you.

If there's a third wheel it isn't you-

Bridget, it's ok. No big deal. I can pull rank whenever I want anyway. I could tell you you can't go. I could tell him to take a break.

I know.

And I really want to do that right now but I won't.

He can handle it.

I wouldn't be able to.

You're not making sense.

Right so let's meet at eleven instead. Go have your picnic and watch the stars and then come down and get me, okay? Eleven. Does that work?
He needs you, bee.

I need you though.

He smiles. You have me. At eleven. And he gives me a gentle shove past him to encourage me to go.

I hesitate again, two steps down from him, looking up. Ben acts annoyed, telling me not to be late and I nod and he turns and disappears into our room. The door closes behind him. I turn around to go back downstairs and run smack into Lochlan, who is looking for me. This is becoming a habit, since I can't hear them coming.

Ben won't come down and eat with us.

Ben is Ben. He'll just eat the bed if he gets hungry.

Would you come if he offered you the same thing?

That's exactly what I did, Bridget. I volunteered to be the third wheel he feels like right now because it was the difference between being able to see you in the way that I want to and never seeing you again.

I don't like theses moments where their plans overlap and feelings inevitably get hurt.

Ben is back at the top of the stairs. I wouldn't have kept her from you, Loch.

That's because you're a sick fuck, Benny.

Yeah well, beggars can't be choosers. Let's eat.
Ben smiles slightly. He's such a pain.

You two make things very difficult for me. We're supposed to work together. I pout.

We work together just fine. You're the problem, princess.
Ben laughs.

I'm going to go see what Andrew's doing for supper.

No, you're not
. (This is Lochlan, ordering me around.)

I was kidding!

No, you weren't
. (Ben says this, calling me on my bullshit.)

Can we eat now?

Good idea
. (this, they say at the same time. They're fucking FREAKS, I tell you. Sharing one woman, and clearly one brain.)

Eleven didn't see any change in my guard. Eleven saw me being led back into the darkness trailing hand to hand to hand. Well-choreographed moonlight, or some semblance thereof.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Clarified (like butter).

In case it wasn't clear (is it ever?), no, Batman isn't going to come back to the fold. I'll take my New Year's Eve check-in calls and keep the emergency number and otherwise be smart enough not to bite off more than I can chew.

Who isn't guilty of doing that from time to time?

Things have also not changed with Caleb. He doesn't gain any ground in knowing the full spectrum of his brother's colors. He doesn't have the upper hand suddenly again, and no, he hasn't said much since our endless conversation. I think I've rattled him good and frankly it was very good for me to get some things out. Secrets are like splinters, they fester, working their way to the surface eventually anyway.

He's traveling to New England this weekend to one of his big spendy private clinics for his usual annual physical and check-up. I keep my fingers crossed and I don't miss him but I do worry. It's a strange feeling to wonder how he is and still attempt to keep him at a safe distance from my thoughts. I'm not sure I'll ever find a way that works that makes everyone happy, so I just work at making sure no one feels left out.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Forty days and forty nights.

I caved first.


The Dark Knight Rises. Penciled in on my boygenda, which is a small dayplanner on the kitchen counter where I keep track of plans with the boys and the boys' plans and their trips and tours and whatnot and there it was: July 20 TDKR/Batman (only it didn't say Batman, it said his actual given first name which is none of your business) and so I called his cloak and dagger number and I left a brief message asking him if our date was off and I should find a willing replacement to take me to the movies or if we were still on, to go as friends and nothing more?

I never received an answer, he just drove to the house to collect me in the Batmobile (Ha, kidding, he drove his car) and off we went to the theater. He bought me Skittles. We sat way down front and a few people gaped at him but otherwise we were mercifully left alone and I didn't know it was three hours long but gosh, am I ever glad I went because I loved everything except for one little part.

Bane's voice.

I couldn't make out what he said except when he shouted and even then it was a massive struggle so mumble-Bane was sort of ignored in favor of the...epicness of everything else.

I will definitely side with the Justice League because as fun as the Avengers are, Batman and Superman have a tendency to make me cry. I worry about them. I fear for them. They are vulnerable in a way that the slapstick-Ironman and Toonish-Thor are not. I like them more.

I won't give anything away, I will just tell you I cried three times, covered my eyes more than once, and was completely aghast twice at new developments. It was that good.

It was so good, I'd like to go see it again. Right away. As soon as I can. But not with Batman. He brought me back to the house and walked me up to the front door where I automatically invited him to come in for some tea. He refused, standing with his hands in his pockets watching the fountain, shaking his head.

Bridget, if I hadn't pushed-

But you have and you will. And I need to just minimize all of the pushing and shoving right now.

It would be better if I could remain a permanent part of your life.

Better for whom?



Because Caleb behaves when I'm around.

He's behaving right now.

Only because he's in the doghouse. I know what he did to you. They told me-

Who told you?

Your husband.

Which one?

He laughs out loud. Pyro. Pyro told me. He keeps me looped in.

Godfuckingdamnit. And since when do you call him that?

Stop swearing and be a lady, for chrissake.

Fuck you too. And fuck Lochlan for tattling-

He's smart not to trust Caleb. Caleb is..I don't even know what Caleb is. He's a small fish in a big pond. He is out of his league, and not objective enough to be rational when it comes to you.

And you are? You have it all figured out?

Hey, I didn't bother you. I
was gone. I was living. I listened to you and I didn't contact you until you used the number to reach ME.

What have you been doing?

Working, Bridget. Thinking. Living. Reading. I won't perish from a denial of access, don't flatter yourself.

I wouldn't.

Sure you would. You like to know we're all miserable, dying on the inside from a lack of your attention.

Fine. Yes. I like to feel wanted.

You are.

By you?



Yes. And you can call me whatever you like, just don't call me Batman anymore.


There were those who could destroy him, so clearly the shoe no longer fits.

No one can destroy you? Wow. Maybe you are a superhero.

Yes, and you, Bridget, as it turns out, are my kryptonite.

Fine. You're now Superman. That's what I'm going to call you from now on. Congratulations.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

By the way, Part II of the Watershed post is up. Right here, in chronological order, the day after Part I, if you are so inclined and not using a feed reader to read my journal.

I'm sorry it doesn't say what you think it might. Cole and Caleb's folks are still alive and savvy enough to visit the internet, I don't intend to make things any harder for them than I already do.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

NO VACANCY (full for the summer).

Actually we're not adding one. We're replacing one.

Since Corey's head explodes every time we spend more than four hours in the same location (yeah, love you too, buddy), his time was short-lived and he's uh..I don't know. Gone again. He doesn't say much and so Gage! Came back! (Remember him?) and is going to stay on until about Halloween and possibly beyond so AKA forever and here we go, now. There is no more room at the inn.

The only Gage-specific rule we had to make up was 1. Please, for the love of God, no more alcohol because Gage equals party sometimes and we seem to have run dry on purpose. Well, except for the occasional toast or nightcap. This is a really good thing. Especially for the princess, for if she can't hold her liquor she'll damn well make someone else do it. Or so said Loch, who just..well, he's cranky today. What else is new?

Lochlan has also turned blonde finally. I think it happens overnight each summer. His burn darkens to coffee with cream and his hair takes forever and then suddenly he's all strawberries and rays of sunshine and brown and gold and different and familiar and beautiful.

At least in theory. As long as you don't look directly at him or ask him anything he deems foolish. (Bridget, what the fuck? Go inside. We'll talk about it later.)

Jesus Christ. I can't win.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Fragment (running by the lee). (Part II of II.)

Tell me the bad things first. Don't spare me.

I look up at him sharply. It makes sense. Maybe we need to do this. When I begin to talk I feel Caleb tense around me. As if he is bracing himself for the very worst. As if he is some sort of saint or angel.

And I am succinct and truthful. I speak clearly, not mincing words or softening things. I talk about Cole's flaws. His debilitating flaws. I try not to psychoanalyze him as I talk, I just enumerate everything as if I am dictating a grocery list. I feel really detached suddenly, and I press further back into the crook of Caleb's arm, which has dropped down around my shoulders possessively. His grip hurts slightly. I know he is holding on for dear life, and I keep going.

I find places to stop and hide. Places I shouldn't describe and still I press on. Some of these things I have never said out loud before. Some of these things I will never say again. Even when Jacob asked me, I could not answer. Because I did not want to be seen like that in Jacob's eyes. I didn't want to change the way he looked at me. I didn't want to ruin things because he would have self-destructed sooner, of that I am sure.

When I have gotten all of it out I stop, a worn silence remaining. I am exhausted. I'm surprised that I held it together. Caleb kisses the top of my head too firmly, telling me he's going to make some tea for us. He pushes the blanket back around me tightly and disappears into the kitchen. Six minutes later he returns with a second, smaller tray and I realize I am famished. He slices some bread and cheese and we take a break, saying little, daring each other to stack up the jalapenos and eat them without making a face. He fails. I do not.

When we're done eating he takes both trays back to the kitchen and refills our tea mugs, bringing them back for us to hold while we talk. It's close to four in the morning but the sentry remains outside in the garden unless my eyes are playing tricks on me but I know they're not. He asks a few very blunt, difficult questions that I answer to the best of my ability. He's struggling with this.

This was not what he expected.

This is not what he knew.

This changes things, reversing the Pandora mechanism clicking into place one section over from where we thought we once were.

When we settle back in to our respective positions, he asks for the good. The reward for a hard night. Sing the praises of the one that has just been thoroughly vilified, change tack now, and sail towards a new light, blahblahblah. Find the good, Bridget, and get back to your happy place, hurry-quick, the sun is coming up and the wind is dying down again.

And I give him that reward just as the sun begins to rise. I tell him all the good things and I watch as he panics inwardly, hunting for a place to put everything in a tiny vessel that stows nothing, instead scattering it all over the globe, always leaving the wrong things behind and using precious weight for things of zero consequence. It's a delicate balance and we're always swamped and in peril. We're always sinking. We're always far from shore with no rescue in sight.

Oh and you know what else I loved about him? Even when everything was awful, if he was there, I felt safe. Even when things were bad, he was home and I felt safe. I always felt safe with him, even when I didn't.

I watch as Caleb visibly relaxes, for he knows that power well. It runs in the family.

We stabilize abruptly, stop taking on water, and head toward the shore. I have ceased to make sense when I blurt that out and I realize I can't say anymore, he can't process anymore and we're done for the moment. Maybe we'll pick the conversation up another time. Maybe we'll never talk about this again. It was unceremonious, outwardly unemotional. Yet I can hardly believe the weight that has lifted.

It's time to go home.

In my bare feet I walk carefully across the driveway, slipping into the cool, dank garage just for a moment.

Jake is there, standing in the center of the open room, hands clasped in front of him, eyes closed. I whisper his name and his eyes open. In them is a far greater sorrow than I have ever seen before.

Oh, Bridget, he says.

I close my eyes to protect myself. When I open them again Jake is gone and the garage is empty.

Another time, Preacher. I can't do this right now. I just did something really big and I need to think about Cole for a little bit.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Watershed (Part I of II).

I'm at a payphone trying to call home
All of my change I spent on you
Where have the times gone, baby it's all wrong
Where are the plans we made for two?

If Happy Ever After did exist,
I would still be holding you like this
All those fairy tales are full of shit
One more fucking love song, I'll be sick
He made Eggs Benedict and juice for us and sent me home without my shoes at eight this morning. My voice is hoarse from talking. And it's fine because this time I'm not going home in the condition I went home in last month when he summoned me and I went in blind. This time I went in with my own rules and I promised to bring the wrath of God behind me if he broke a single one but he has no intentions of doing that again and so last night I locked the door behind me and turned to face him bravely in the dark.

You're afraid. His blue eyes glint black in the dim light. The hemlocks surrounding the boathouse obscure all starlight from entering through the skylights tonight. I know these rooms by touch. Sort of how I know all the boys by the way their skin feels, their body temperatures. Caleb tends toward the cool side, in spite of the fires of hell he burns within. They don't affect him the way they do me, I guess.

I'm not, I lie.

Again, if you won't be honest this will be difficult for you.

There's that phrase again and it jives perfectly with his evil but not at all with his honesty. I wait without responding. He puts his hands up to my face and I flinch and give myself away. He stares at me in the dark and then abruptly he reaches out and turns on a lamp. Come with me, he says, and takes my hand.

He leads me over to the couch in the center of the room. It faces the television and a wall of windows behind that. It faces the sea. He pushes me down and grabs a blanket off the lower shelf and tucks it around me and then disappears to the pantry, returning with two whiskeys on a tray plus the bottle, a block of cheese and a baguette with a knife sticking out of it, some olives and a tiny bowl of jalapenos, because I love them.

He queued up some music and settled in beside me, his arm up over the back of the couch behind my head as if we were romantic interests. As if we had settled in for a date at home.

He asked me to tell him what I remember about Cole. Not as a form of torture or punishment for my shortcomings, but out of the curiosity of an older brother, now an only child.

And so I did.

And this is not something we have done before.

I am usually moving to fast for them to ask. I don't slow down. I don't sit down. I make my mistakes, I make my corrections and I just keep moving all the time and then the ghosts and the emotions can't catch up to me and most of the time I think that's a pretty good thing. I'm not in therapy. I don't take pills, I just never sit down unless I'm writing so in essence the boys still need to shoot me in the ass with a tranquilizer dart to get me to sleep.

Whiskey works but I cut myself off so maybe low lights and jazz and some snacks help fill everything in and BOOM, I'm down and he opens the Pandora's Box.

If I name the things I remember will I change the future?

No, I don't believe so. Not in this case. Ask me about Jake and I'll still run screaming but for Cole I think I can manage.

He leads. Caleb makes a good counselor. He's a little bit tender, gracious and patient. Attentive. I am pretty sure I'm the only one who sees this side of him. No, I'm completely sure I am.

I begin by answering his simple prodding. He gets up and walks around the room, turning on a few more lamps, making everything cozy. I note that we can now be observed if one were to venture to the lower end of the driveway where the rock wall begins. I am sure that someone is there but I don't want to look, I am too cozy and almost weirdly thankful for a chance to indulge in this.

I am honest. It isn't long before he stops having to prompt me and I just began to talk. Soon he sits back, settling in to listen as I tell him about a man he hardly knew.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Life preservers.

I take the champagne when he brings two glasses out to the railing. Our new tradition, forged in the trenches where someone told the Princess and the Devil to co-parent peacefully.

Here's to the beautiful mother of my son. He holds his glass up. I blush reluctantly and take a sip. This is supposed to be reciprocal but I change the subject.

Cheers. He's an amazing little man.

Caleb takes the compliment anyway, even though he gets little credit for it, since nature is something that scares me to pieces in this case and nurture has had clear sailing for over a decade now.

So, why didn't you write something different on Friday?

What do you m-

I thought you would have talked about Cole, and the six years of him raising Henry as his own, and instead of paying your respect on that day you give life to Lochlan's fantasies instead?

My face turns the color of the envelope peeking out of his shirt pocket. Ashen grey. My first instinct is to throw the champagne in his face and the glass over the railing before storming off. My second instinct is to turn cold and demand that he be ashamed of himself for trying to control my writing. My third instinct is to admit that...

..that I forgot.

I forgot that Friday the thirteenth marked six years since Cole died from the complications of his heart exploding. It was wrapped around me and I broke free and because of that he died.
Six years. Henry turns eleven tomorrow and it seems like so long ago when I was trying to have a birthday for him because he was turning five and that's such a big deal and I couldn't do it because I couldn't feel anything but death. Not a thing.

Ever since we've made a huge effort to separate the two days and now I see why they were all so patient on Friday and I wasn't aware of the date past being so fucking happy it was a hot sunny Friday and that meant two days of no work and everyone being around and I worked steadily toward today's celebrations with only my son (and the living) in mind.

Because it's private and I've decided I will keep him that way. I lie and swallow the rest of my champagne in one huge gulp. It burns my nose and my throat as I watch Caleb's face turn angelic, a sweet smile filling in his cheeks with just the right amount of tears in his eyes and I know I played my part the way it was written for me.

Just like I always do.

He pulls out the envelope and I'm caught so off-guard I take it and open it on the spot. With dismay I see that this invitation is more complicated than most, and that I won't be permitted to be forgetful in the future, because just as I think I might be one step ahead of Caleb, I look up to find he is in front of me, reaching out to push me back a little, just so I constantly have to make up ground. So I never get ahead.

I've decided I am livid with myself when I look up and see the look on his face. We have competing emotions of surprise and disappointment written all over our faces. He takes the envelope out of my hands, replacing it in his pocket without breaking his gaze.

You don't have to accept the invitation, Bridget, but please don't ever lie to me again.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Bear sighting #18 occured late this afternoon when we ventured halfway up the hill to a field where we like to fly kites and walk. He was on the opposite hill having some raspberries and he didn't seem all that perturbed to have company until we laughed a little too loudly and he went booking straight across the field and into the trees below us. For a moment I thought we were going to have to make a break for the road but I wasn't all that worried, he was quite small and mom was nowhere near our side of the meadow. I'm guessing she would have been watching from the line of trees as we infringed on dinner time.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Four star daydream (the replacements).

(This worry is completely unrelated to oh..everything else. But it's here nonetheless and someone who turned out to be completely unqualified told me once that I should write down my worries so that I might let them go. Instead it highlighted them and now they fester and burn.)

Lochlan is in a much better mood today.

He has allowed his brain to melt all over the inside of his skull and he isn't expending much energy on anything other than softly teasing me. He came to find me when he got home from his meeting. It seems weird to see Lochlan going to meetings but that's how he gets paid. He goes off in the one suit he owns (a medium-brown linen that goes well with his red hair) and then comes back and finds me to show me his cheques, direct from Batman, who would rather expend the energy to do absolutely everything in person instead of doing everything the easy way with the technology at hand. Though it seems to me the wealthiest among us share that trait of being so old-fashioned in business. Huh.

Today we sat out front weeding the gardens just because I wanted fifteen minutes of sun to help even out my Neapolitan tan. Loch unbuttoned his shirt three buttons down because he is choking in the heat. The jacket he has already abandoned, tossed overhand to land on the porch railing up above us.

You think you'll have any parts that match any time soon? His eyes are twinkling. He's looking rested, in spite of the unease he carries about living in such close proximity to Caleb. He hasn't touched a drop of alcohol for a little while now as he attempts to find better ways to manage the tension aside from drowning it. He's made some amazing changes. I'm not sure all of them are good so I give him my worried, silent eyes instead of what he is seeking, a gentle comeback.

I pass him back the two cheques he held out to me only after registering a practiced blank expression to conceal my stunned surprise. He is working for far more than I realized and the stakes have just become that much greater with the addition of the extra digits. It's all coming back now.

Don't, Bridgie. It's not the same thing.

I was there, remember? I don't know if you're aligning with the right stars, here, Locket.

The only people I align with are you and Ben and the kids.

Then give up the curse of doing commissions for Batman's contacts.

The money is too good. I'll work the run and when it's over it's over.

He said the exact same thing to me in 1985 and so I wait. He presses his forehead against mine and keeps his eyes locked on me. I try to look anywhere but directly at him but fail. I start to laugh but sob at the same time. Just quietly, just once and he reaches out and pulls me in close.

I'm not doing anything but trying to make a little money while I can, peanut. I'm getting old. It's about time I had a proper savings account. I have a daughter going to college like...tomorrow, it seems. Jesus Christ.

I can give you money.

I don't want the Devil's money.

Then I'll get some from Ben.

No, everything is okay. This will be for us. I'm using Batman, that's all. He's got the connections and maybe Cole knew exactly what he was doing.

Cole got eaten alive by their attention and it went to his head. His ego exploded. He became someone els-

I'm not going to ever be anyone but me. I promise you that. I'm just a loser with a paintbrush.

He said the same thing once.

I'm not Cole, peanut.

He stiffens and I can't breathe, his arms are so tight. I tuck my head under his jaw, wiping my nose on his shirt. You will be.

Never. He whispers it and brings up his hand to hold my head pressed hard against his chest. Not in a million years. Not for anything.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Finding my bearings, he calls it. I love that.

Oh, and since I got rid of Twitter, I suppose you want to know that I am up to bear sighting #17.

She comes to the yard just outside my bedroom window every night around midnight now. The blackberries aren't quite ready yet. She's eaten all the cherries. She ate the garbage that PJ left outside the garage in error, bringing her two cubs out to the driveway with her that night. We were enthralled.

I don't want her to touch the grapes in the vineyard and the orchard doesn't make any apples anymore and so we stare at each other in the dark now, our stomachs growling in unison, our fear of each other keeping us rooted in our respective places.

She is so huge and quiet. I would not stand a chance.

She needs a name.

Tin Roof Triad.

From both sides wherever you come from
Re-arranging all the time
From both sides whoever is listening
This kills light, dissolves our minds

When you wake is everyone dreaming?
When you wake you waste away
Heaven says that you are a sinner
So go back down you can't come in
Today I have been recruited to help Lochlan with some of the bigger man-chores around the house. Which will mostly consist of me holding hammers or his phone while he takes care of some things that need to be done.

But first I must stand in one place while he bastes me with sunscreen. Because, you know, I'm a child. I offer to do the same for his but he is clipped and brusque. Already done, he says as he turns away and I roll my eyes so high that when they land on the ground again I see that he is staring at me. His expression says he wants to laugh but his mood keeps a lid on it.

So I stand in the blazing sun holding a handful of nails. And then the hose. And then a damp cloth for his hands when he's done with the paint. And then his phone when he finally heads to the garage to put it all away.

Caleb is standing in front of the garage door. He greets Lochlan in a civilized fashion and Lochlan just stops and stares at him. I watch Lochlan's hands. He has shipworker hands, carny hands, hands that are strong and judgmental and quick.

I watch Caleb's face and his medium blue eyes, freshly-shaven jawline, recent haircut and overpriced t-shirt with his white-collar, executive, manicured hands that he hardly ever gets dirty. The difference between the two men is day and night.

And none of this matters because of Ben. He is the meat and they can be the bread only they all seem to want me in the middle. So I'm the meat. But I like open-faced sandwiches. Or something. I've lost my train of thought now.

I ask Lochlan to hurry so we can make ice cream. Again. Because I still feel some sort of need to embrace the heat wave while we have it. I am pink and brown and red and beige now from the sun. I tan in little bits and pieces and I look a little silly in a dress with my ten-yr-old girl brand of farmer's tan and my sunburned cheeks but I'm making a wonderful effort to blend all these different shades because I hardly ever tan and I'm making an effort to not wear shoes unless absolutely necessary and to drink lemonade and admire the flowers that are blooming and watch the children jump into the water and I'm still driving with the windows down and barbecuing everything BUT the ice cream and it is fleeting somehow, temporary, with the relief of a damp dark fall pushing in close behind. It will be too soon. It's always too soon.

Do you have enough for three? Caleb's question breaks into my reverie and Lochlan says We don't but you can go to the store to get some just as I say Of course we do and I glare at Lochlan as he glares at me and I don't have to remind him I'm going to ignore Caleb's threats just like I'm going to ignore everything else Caleb says that isn't related to Henry because I made a promise to both Ben and Lochlan that I would watch myself and I made myself a promise that I would watch Caleb.

So there.

Ice cream for everyone.

But no meat.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Interstellar medium

I know what I want. I've had a whole lot of scotch and I'm looking for a fight.

Come in, Bridget. We can talk. You want to make some coffee?

No. I'm good. Well, actually I'm not but no, no coffee.

What can I do to help? Caleb says it so generously, as if he's doing me a favor. His anticipation is ridiculous.

Take yourself out of my equation. I broke up with you, I want you to honor that.

Honor it how?

No pressure. No terms, no offers, no play, no competition, no weirdness. No more fucking envelopes. No weapons. No guilt, no threats. No sweetness. No charm. Nothing. We co-parent. That's it. You get no say in my life, my decisions, my behavior or my plans. You get no access to me.

Anything else? He is frowning at me. I think I caught him off guard, actually, and now my liquid courage is fading faster than a sunset over the horizon and I suddenly find myself at a loss for words.

If I think of anything, I'll let you know. Do we have an agreement? You promised me anything I wanted.

Do we have an agreement? No, Bridget, we don't have an agreement. I can give you anything but that.

More caveats.

Damned right. Did you think you would pull that off?


Would you have been happy?

I don't know.

Exactly. Go get some sleep. We'll talk tomorrow.

I won't be allowed.

You let me worry about that.

No, see? That's precisely my point! You're not supposed to be able to do that.

Goodnight, princess.

Fuck you, asshole.

Hey. Watch your sweet mouth or I'll watch it for you.

Wow. You sounded just like Cole there for a minute.

Just enough to keep you.

Too bad he's dead.

You'd better go, Bridget. Quickly.

I'd rather fight.

I'm not fighting with you. Go the fuck back to the house and sleep off whatever you've had and don't pull stunts like this any more.

Or what?

Or I'll stop being honest and go back to being evil.

You know something? I can't tell the difference anyway.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Wishful thinkers and the long way around.

You seem to be in better spirits today.

I'm catching up. I find the change in routines tough.

You've always been so adaptable, I don't know anyone who weathers changes better than you.

I roll my eyes since my head is turned away from him. I'm watering the roses while he stands two feet behind me, mostly likely with his hands in his pockets, still in pressed business casual because he had a meeting this morning. I stayed in bed, listening to Caleb's car purr out of the shared driveway, and then listening to the one on my right exhale all of his tension out in one breath. My eyes were heavy and I closed them against the sun but not before a ten-thousand-degree kiss glanced off my temple. If ever there were a boy to match with a season, Lochlan wins summer hands down. He doesn't mind the heat, he hardly notices it. I am reduced to ice and a sheet and a complaint that drops off my lower lip only after I have succumbed to sweet miserable slumber.

But I couldn't stay asleep. I want to wander around soaking up the sun and sorting out my brain. I want to think soft and daydream up new stories to write and learn how to live in the moment instead of in the hope for the future, riddled with holes and treacherous sections and the ever-present Fear of the Unknown. The sunshine helps push that back, always. The light makes everything better, food, lazy early morning sleep, and time.

I turn finally, since Caleb seems to be waiting for something. He is standing with his hands in his pockets, in one of his summerweight bespoke suits, and he is smiling at me.

Don't roll your eyes, princess. I only know what I see. Where is everyone?


He rolls his eyes, catching himself and laughs. You're such a morning person.

I nod. I'm still waiting, holding the hose, wondering what he wants.

What's wrong, Bridget?

Oh, honesty, right. You said things would be difficult for me, if you came back early. You're back early. What should I expect?

His eyes flash. Composure may come easily but control is fought for, to the death. I see this and remind him of his pledge toward honesty as well. He flushes ever so slightly and to my surprise, he gives in.

Difficult for you in that I will apply pressure.

Do you really have to be so formal all the time?

You seem far more comfortable this way.

Ah. I see. So...pressure.

Pressure. Blunt and to the point.

Okay then. I wait for more but he stops talking. This is crystal-clear. Um. Have a nice morning. I give him one of my fakest fake smiles and gather up the hose to return to the reel around the side of the house.

When I come back he's gone.

Monday, 9 July 2012


Mondays are strange.

Today the children and I tried to find the extraordinary in the mundane. A simple drive down the same road we always travel found us slowing to a stop in order for a baby bear to get from one side of the road to the other and down into the cool woods to outrun the heat of the morning. A snap decision after the bear disappeared into the trees to turn off the air conditioning in the car and open all the windows instead. Summer rushed in and filled our souls.

At the pool we lingered forever after swim lessons, for just one more run and jump off the diving board, towels and flip-flops soaked with chlorine, clothes damp for the ride home, again with the windows down all the way, a hearty fuck-you to the extreme sudden heat that we wished for and when it arrived we found ourselves unprepared for company and scrambling to be good hosts.

And I did that thing again where I smiled out of the blue and for no reason at all as I ate a spoonful of ice cream straight from the box and I realized my feet were filthy and my hair wasn't much better and I forgot things like bedtimes and regular all-food-groups dinners in favor of barbecued everything and a handful of potato chips on the side, and the smile was thoroughly contagious, spreading like wildfire through the remainder of the day.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

The naked Saturday.

Ben holds a bit of a knack for knowing when to swoop in and take back control. Very late Friday night he came in with a few extra grocery items and a very crabby and unhelpful Daniel (our sometimes third child) and he said we were going out for dinner, just me and him.

And that we would come back on Sunday.

And then he smiled in that very Ben-like way he has and my knees melted all over the floor and I had to hold on to his hand or I might have fallen down because he's ridiculously scary-handsome and sweet and I'm a sucker for his particular brand of attention.

But I'm a stickler for surprise trips that I have no time to mentally prepare for and always leery of what he packs for me to wear but after minimal protest I hugged my children fiercely as they slept and whispered to them to be good and off we went.

I thought Ben was heading to the airport but he drove straight downtown and we went up up up into the sky in an elevator that did not make me so happy but he smiled and kissed the back of my hand and told me he could break out of the elavator if necessary and that I should exhale, maybe, if I felt like it. When we got to our room and I saw the view I was more than a little thrilled to breathe out because it was literally breathtaking.

Ben then admitted that he packed no clothes for me at all and that I was to spend the weekend naked, and that what I had on would be cleaned and returned in time for the drive home.

He ordered a pizza and a stack of horror movies and we ate in bed in front of a giant retractable screen and we made up our own plot twists and filled in dialogue we thought might be more fun as we watched the movies and then when I couldn't keep my eyes open any more he turned off all the lights and my breath disappeared again for the magical view of the lights on the water in the darkness. I could lie there all night in his arms and watch that view like a movie and there was nothing stopping me but true to form I was asleep in just shy of fifteen seconds.

Yesterday we did not get out of bed. At all. He arranged for room service and I was not permitted to put my feet on the floor. Fine by me. I pointed vaguely at menu items and he laughed and ordered everything and we watched two more movies but slept most of the day in the twelve-thousand thread count Egyptian sheets, ignoring the outstandingly gorgeous sunny view.

I woke up this morning rested but with a little bit of a headache ( from the lack of my usual early coffee). Ben was still sleeping. Check out was at eleven. I didn't think we'd make it but that was okay too. I called the front desk and they told me whenever we were ready it would be fine and not to worry. So I went back to sleep, right after I ate all of the french toast and hot chocolate they delivered. Including Ben's.

We wound up checking out shortly after twelve and had to stop for breakfast for him on the way back because he was starving. But he's rested. And he's silly. And boy do we ever travel lightly these days. Instead of coming home to a mountain of travel laundry we had virtually nothing to unpack.

I could get used to that.

Friday, 6 July 2012

The good fascist.

Here goes.

Firstly, a squee-moment. Stephen King's next book, Doctor Sleep, picks up with Danny Torrance as an adult and comes out this winter. I could just burst from waiting. I'm also so incredibly slow with wading through websites and emails trying to keep up with the things I like and I read a very select few authors anymore so maybe you already knew and I did not.

And speaking of books, have you read the Fifty Shades trilogy?

I've really hesitated to bring this up but for those asking me if I wrote it? No, I did not. Yes, I said Jacob was so many shades of grey. For fuck's sakes I said it here four or five times (okay so that's enough examples) over the past few years, for it isn't an uncommon phrase. Also, hey! Christian Grey? Caleb? Hmmm!

Let's not start in, shall we?

Best of luck to E.L. James, however. Her depiction of the character of Christian Grey was positively RIVETING, repetition and awkward phrasing aside and yes, it was incredibly familiar and therefore a tiny bit painful. I sat in one place for two nights and read all three books and I count them among my favorites now, in spite of the parallels to persons living and dead. Gold. Absolute trashy-beach-reading GOLD. Happily ever after is always a good read, isn't it?

Secondly, a boo-moment. One of the caveats of Caleb's latest acquisition (the house next door) was that I give up Twitter and Instagram. Privacy is paramount in our extended family here and I was sort of off-leash online and running for the fence, getting my digs in about him on Twitter and sometimes posting pictures on Instagram that were not pre-approved.

I know, God Forbid.

In any case, I acquiesced and both of my accounts are gone. My apologies if you were enjoying either. If you need to connect with me you'll have to do it through this site because it's the one thing I do that is non-negotiable and while I make every effort to spare the public humiliation of those I love, I don't believe in mincing words. It took me a long time to stop sugar-coating my relationships for public consumption, I don't plan to start again. But I did break the rules and I had to pay the price. I deleted everything this weekend. No, they won't be rebooted later on. I simply should have known better and I learned my lesson.

Any more questions can be directed as always to my email. You can find it by clicking on the Profile section on the left-hand side of the page. Don't come yelling about feminism or masochism, okay? I love to meet new readers, but I don't like to be yelled at. I guess that part is pretty obvious.

Onward and upward.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

With the staggers and jags.

This is not for you, it's for me.
Farewell to Nova Scotia, the sea-bound coast
Let your mountains dark and dreary be
For when I am far away on your briny ocean tossed
Will you ever heave a sigh or a wish for me?

(But mostly because I'm tired and August has just arrived home (finally!!) after many delays, detours and distractions from the East Coast and I'm jealous and so sometimes I need to hear it to remember that home is what I surround myself with when I can't surround myself with the Atlantic, literally or figuratively.)

A bonus song for you, you'll know and love it if you're from the Maritimes:


Wednesday, 4 July 2012



Oh shit. I could hide but this one can see through fabric, fire, and concrete, I imagine. He owns my soul, he'd just seek it out and use his evil to draw it in. Like a magnet. Like a puppy.

Yes? I put on my big girl panties, answering him like an adult would. Then I frown and rip them off in favor of my stripper ones. If I'm going to do something, I'll have to go big or go home.

He walks into the room with his suitjacket over one arm, tie loosened and hair tousled and I attempt to steel my knees against weakening. The look on his face makes that easy.

I'm trying so hard to make you happy and you keep busting my balls. He says it softly. I don't exactly know what he means but when PJ says it he's being funny so I just play along.

What, specifically?

Everything. Being worried you don't have the upper hand or that I might turn you all out on the street? Calling me names? Dredging up the past? He throws up his hands in frustration, on the verge of tears but composure is something Caleb strives for in every facet of his life, even in his sleep so the rest of us are clearly deficient in the face of his surplus.

You scare me when I don't know what you're up to! I blurt and he laughs.

You sound like a teenager.

That's the past, remember?

Oh, sorry. Now what do you need to know? I'm trying to be transparent. I'm trying to work with you. Everything is on the level here. What did I miss? I can't fix it if you don't tell me.

You engineered...this. My hands flutter around. Clearly I'm indicating both houses and the fulfillment of my dreams. Except for the ones involving reanimating dead people. I am still working on that, don't think I don't know he can do it, just like he does everything else.

Yes. For you. Because it's what you wanted.

It isn't your place to give me everything I want.

He just stares and then he sits down and laughs. What do you want me to do? If I take it all away, I'm horrible. If I leave it all the way it is, I'm horrible!

I don't know!

Then it remains. Until you make up your mind. He smiles and leans in to kiss my cheek, lingering far too long for comfort, to the point where I wish madly for my big-girl panties again so I can be a lady, because the stripper ones are busy thinking up a private routine for him. He says goodbye and walks out of the room. The spell breaks when he leaves and I pick up the colander and hurl it at the kitchen door in frustration.

Argh! He did it AGAIN!

Who, Bridget? PJ enters the kitchen from the front hall.


Oh, good. I thought you were going to bust my balls again.

For fucks sakes! What does that even MEAN?

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

It's cold. It's so cold today and the sun is hiding behind the curtains, toes peeking out, mouth set in a line, and hell, no, she won't come out no matter what I offer and instead maybe I should just join her, for all the assumptions yesterday's post brought.

Raise your hand if you were in denial about what you've read and stand up if you really thought I was kidding about having my whole army here in one place and now sit the fuck down if you still think we have the upper hand. You may as well relax, because we do.

Caleb spends fully half his time collecting rent and being a landlord and the other half checking to see if I'm paying attention as he tries to teach me the nuances of being a high roller, a mogul, or any of the other nicknames I call him. A sugar daddy. Because all of this is mine. Why? He owes me so nevermind that part, just know that he can't pull any fast ones and leave us homeless and he can't go and spend the farm and leave Henry without a legacy because the evil idiot went and put all of it in my name and I think I spend all of my spare time now signing things I must read first because I don't trust him when it comes to business and forcing myself not to daydream while he talks about tax credits and immigration laws until I'm so bored I want to fling myself off the cliff just so he'll shut the fuck up.

Ungrateful? You betcha. Walk that mile in my stilettos and you'd run screaming into the dark the last hundred yards or so, guaranteed.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Two big houses on the bluff.

It's moving day!

Daniel, Schuyler, Christian, Corey and Andrew are next door as we speak, unpacking! It's fucking crazy around here today. CRAZY.

I hate that word but I love my boys.

Andrew has been couch-surfing for three weeks and that was enough. The house is ready (painted), here they come. Daniel and Schuy made a sweet little profit on their house and are thrilled to come back to the cliff and Corey is giving it a trial run because he is a little more removed and less caught up in the whole Bridget Adoration Society that the rest of the boys are card-carrying members of.

August comes home tonight (!!!!) from six weeks on the Rock (Vacation. Also somewhat reluctant member of said society, but not really) and will resume living here. He left the house last year briefly, trading places with Dalton (also know as Telfon Jesus or TJ) and came back. Does this make sense?

What do you mean, no?

Okay fine. I'll make you a list so you can keep it straight.

Boathouse (part of main property): Caleb.

Main house: Bridget, Ben, Ruth, Henry, Lochlan, Dalton, Duncan, PJ, August, John.

New house (next door): Andrew, Christian, Corey, Daniel, Schuyler, Gage.

Boys living nearby and that's good: Dylan, Sam, Sometimes-Matt (Sam's on-again, off-again lover),John, Keith.

Boys living very far away and that's good: Batman, New-Jake, Rob, Mark, Joel, Chase.

Boys who don't breathe: Cole, Jacob.


Got it now? Okay, good. Back to helping unpack the kitchens because apparently that is one of the things I do best. I would beg to differ but that's how I ended up needing flow charts and lists, right?

Oh, hush, you.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Two peas, one pod (greetings from close reach).

He puts a plastic Star Wars light sabre in my hand and steps back to regard me. His eyes are lit up with amusement.

Okay, just a minute.

Off he goes and I center myself on the floor of the garage with my blue light-up sword. It makes noise. Vooahmmm vahhhmmm. I swish it around in thin air and smile.

He returns with a jeweled felt crown and Henry's mock chestplate armor, putting the crown on my head and tucking my arms through the straps on the armor.

He steps back again. Oh! Just a minute.

I keep up the swordfighting. It is highly underrated. He's back in minutes with a small plastic medieval dagger.

Back-up weapon. He puts it in my left hand, nodding sagely.

I burst into laughter and he heads to the ipod dock. He thumbs through a list until he hits on something crazy-heavy and then he turns it up loud and he says Now go for it! Slay your demons, Bridget!

And I turn and look at him and say Are you fucking kidding me? This is how you get through the tough parts?

And he looks at me and in all seriousness says, Well, yeah. I don't drink anymore so this is the next best thing, right? And then he turns the music louder.

Something tells me if I poked around a little in Ben's brain I would find his imaginary friends, and they would give me some of their peanut butter sandwiches and tell me that they didn't think Ben was quite right. I would nod quietly and agree, a little afraid, a little amused, a little more understanding of what makes him tick after all.

Probably exactly how he feels when it comes to me.