Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Luminous and wired.

Caleb didn't wait for me to acknowledge his envelope as it was, messaging me during supper. I slipped out the side door but remained there to wait for him, pressed against the cold steel door. He walked down and stopped at the bottom of the boathouse steps.

Are you coming over? I want to talk to you.

No. We're making tea and dessert. What is it?

Can you come later then?

No. You know this. 

Tomorrow is New Years Eve, Neamhchiontach.

Yes, I know. 

Any plans? 



Happy New Year in advance.

Bridget, what are your plans?


I'm curious. What's the matter? Come here. 

I told you, we're getting dessert together. I have to go in. Did you need anything else?

I'll speak with you in the morning. 

I doubt it. 

The look on his face was frightening. I don't. You have obligations to meet. Shutting me out is a fool's errand. Tell him that. He turned and went up the steps.

I remained in the cold until PJ opened the door and then the warmth of the house hit me like a wall. Got enough fresh air? Matt made you a tea that might set fire to your soul, if you're interested in getting over that cold. Not surprised you're still sick though, you're out here without a jacket. 

Okay Dad. 

I was on the other side of the door the whole time, Bridget. With my hand on the knob. I think it would probably be better if I was on the same side as you. 

You are, PJ. Don't worry about that. Where's Loch? 

Duncan's sitting on him. Couldn't you hear him yelling for me to open the door and not just try to listen in?


I think your hearing is selective, you know that? He was fucking loud.

Monday, 30 December 2013

Wisely clinging to the ground.

Lochlan is sitting in the big chair in the corner by the fireplace picking a melody on a guitar, singing just barely audibly over the music. His face looks angry but he's still holding it together while I argue with Batman on the phone.


I made it all the way until around fourish on Christmas day when I went to do something that had already been done and a drink was fixed and left out for me besides and I had to go look into a mirror to tell the girl who looked back that I didn't know her and so I couldn't let her in, sorry, and then I went back and told Asher that he was off for the rest of the day and we would discuss employment tomorrow but this sort of ambush on Christmas Day isn't exactly a good idea on Batman's part and I'm not sure this sort of life for Bridget is a good idea on anyone's part, frankly.

On Thursday I would not let Asher make breakfast or coffee. The others locked me out of the house while he made lunch, only letting me in when it was ready, and then by midafternoon pretty much all of the boys were convinced that Asher is the best thing since sliced bread and did much to alleviate their guilt.

Lochlan hasn't said a word about it but I know he thinks all of this is so ludicrous. He thinks paying more than a dollar for a loaf of bread is outrageous when the rest of the world has moved on and doesn't blanche at paying $3.99. He thinks all kinds of things and only says half of them out loud because he chooses the hills he will die on and leaves the rest be.

It's very difficult to argue the actual need for Asher. No one wants to see me struggle. I don't know how not to, though.

By Friday I suggested he do no further unpacking and instead go and stay with Batman in Ben's recently vacated room or any one of the other rooms there and we would work out a schedule in which he could maybe come down and help for a couple hours a day to start.


Yesterday I fired him, telling him to go and get a life. He smiled impassively at me because he knows damn well I'm not the boss.

So I swore at him and one eyebrow went up and it was a little bit hilarious that he was standing there taking it when most people would have walked out and never looked back.

How badly do you need this job, Asher?

I was told not to make this personal. 

If you live here on the point you do it without skin. It's one of the perks and one of the drawbacks. 

I heard and I'm cool with it, I just don't want to guilt you into keeping me here. Did you really spend time with a circus?

Yes. Why do you need the job so badly?

Nothing tragic. I fucked up my chances at a corporate job on purpose because wearing a tie makes me gag. Batman is doing damage control on my behalf. 

He needs to let you fall. He's not doing you any favors. 

No, the whole domestic help thing in which I scrub toilets and sort mail and schedule appointments for the nouveau riche is absolutely not a favor, by my standards. 

Trust fund kid who lost his way?


That's hilarious, Asher. Now tell me the story of your name. 

He looks at the sky and then squeezes his eyes shut. Oh fuck. My folks named me Holden and no one ever let up with the Catcher in the Rye references so when I started Grade eight in a new school I campaigned successfully to change it. 

To Asher? Why did you pick that?

It was different. I don't know. I was fourteen. It was Judd Nelson's middle name. I had just watched the Breakfast Club. 

Fair enough. Holden was fine though, trust me. Every kid gets teased for their name in school. 

Did you? 

They still call me Midget and Fidget when the mood strikes. Widget. Bitchet. Frigid. Hatchet. You name it. 

I thought they called you Princess. 

They do but it was never meant to be a compliment. 


Batman has agreed to be a little less rash in trying to throw Asher into the fray here. Caleb hasn't said a word, preferring to let Batman take any consternation full on because tomorrow is New Year's Eve and he's hoping for certain appearances to be made. Just after two he slips a pewter envelope through the door and leaves without a word. Two minutes after that Lochlan picks up the envelope on his way from the library to the kitchen and goes back into the library, throws the envelope in the fireplace and continues on his path without a word.

He sees me watching him and he doesn't say a word.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Republic of the moon.

I was out on the rock wall the moment it stopped raining on Christmas day. I wanted to wait for Jacob to appear but he never showed. I wanted to wait for Ben to wake up and come out and sit with me but he somehow managed to sleep right through lunch and they let him. I wanted to be out here alone but Lochlan wasn't having it so he elected Dalton to sit up on the patio, just in case.

But then I saw this other man walking across the wet grass, hands in a long suit jacket, hair perfectly combed. He looks like a hockey player. I watched him organize his facial expressions as he came closer and then finally he stopped about six feet away from me.

Hello, Bridget. 


I'm Asher. Asher _______. 

Striking name. When did you change it?

He looked at me with his eyebrows up but said nothing.

What was your given name?

He looked out to sea. They said you were incredibly precocious. Have they told you anything about me?

No, they prefer the ambush. And since you specifically said I was precocious I can only imagine you are somehow connected to Caleb. Are you a psychiatrist?

I was contracted by a team, including Mr. C_____. My role here will be to look after your needs, as a housekeeper and driver. Butler. Bodyguard. Assistant. He keeps throwing out words hoping I will like one and grab a hold of it.

I snort but say nothing. He looks back at me and tells me his quarters will be above the garage. I nod. Now it makes sense that we finished and furnished the loft up there completely.

What are my needs, exactly, Asher?

You're trying to manage a large active household, doing it injured and under duress.

I have PJ and Loch. I have Mike if no one else is free. I have help. 

Mike is retiring, Loch is a busy man, I hear, as are the others.

No one is ever too busy for me. 

I'm not here to replace anyone, Bridget. 

PJ looks after running the household. 

PJ has his hands full with you and the children. I am here to help lighten his load as well. You have quite a family here, I'm told.

Yes and we don't like outsiders. 

When I am not at your service I will be invisible. 

How did they find you?

My godfather is _______. 

You are Batman's godson? Seriously?

Asher smiles and nods. He wants to help. Everyone does at this point. I am not here to spy or take notes, I'm here to take out the garbage and drive Ruth and her friends to the mall. 

What else?

What do you mean?

How far will you go to see that my needs are met?

Not that far. I'll make you a cup of coffee and call anyone you need to call. I'll keep you in the yard or take you to your appointments and I'll even listen to you complain but the most important things they told me is that I am not to let you out of my sight when outside and I'm not allowed to touch you inappropriately.

What about hugs?

Hugs and touching are two different things. 

Okay, yes, you're going to fit in just fine.

I don't think you're supposed to hug the butler though. 

No, well, not now. Maybe once we've brainwashed you. 

Is it a...cult?

Yes, Asher. Yes, it is.

The leader is Lochlan?

What makes you say that?

They told me he would be the most difficult one to win over. 

You have your work cut out for you, yes. But he isn't the one you'll have to win over. 


Yes, me.

He shoves his hands in his pockets. So if I make the coffee will you introduce me to the other members of your family?

I would be happy to. 

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Nope. Still trying to wrap my brain around this but it keeps slipping before I can fasten it properly so here.

There were a few renovations this fall on the property, included opening up the library, making the downstairs a little more easy to navigate for PJ by putting up a wall to make a hallway (so that he can leave his door open but still have ample privacy) on the big house, Caleb's gutting of his own bedroom and bathroom at the boathouse in favour of a better layout (just like PJ's) and also finishing the loft over the garage to turn it into yet another living space, a private apartment, if you will.

A full (albeit small) kitchen and bathroom were added as well as a ton of built-ins. Cupboards, shelves, window seats, a solid front and new back door with a second staircase at the back for emergencies. Really pretty new windows. I chose the paint and drapery colors. I always choose neutrals that seem masculine by default. Lots of whites and greys with browns and soft dark blues. It works well. I wouldn't mind living there. It's a beautiful space now.

But it isn't for me, and I found out Christmas day who it is actually for.

It's for Asher.

He's the...



Friday, 27 December 2013

Under Orion.

I'm going to skip out of turn here just for a little bit. Sometimes I have to move quite slowly into new discussions of my own accord. Sometimes I just need a little time to let my brain turn things over and examine them thoroughly before I let my fingers and my mouth in on the action.

That sounded totally dirty. I love it. 

Christmas was a little bit of a quiet candlelit blur this year. I didn't feel well enough to enjoy it as much as I would have between the wrist that throbs like an unwelcome heartbeat twenty-eight hours a day and yet another delirious head cold that is still holding on to me so stubbornly it almost isn't fair. But as Lochlan says, I kiss everyone on the lips, I should probably be dead for my efforts but he only says that to be spiteful. I take my vitamins, eat bananas, never sleep and kill the germs with bourbon and coffee every chance I get so I suppose I can't complain. If I'm still alive, well then that's something.

He gave me Nyquil on Christmas night, fucked up the dosage and I almost missed Boxing Day completely and I love him for that.

I should give him something to unwind for he is rolled up tight and pulled hard enough to stretch across his own conscience like a rubber band, shrunk from the rain and yanked taut over the rough parts, prone to derision and hollering like a son of a bitch lately out of the blue and we have all stepped rather carefully into the fray, keeping his peace on his behalf while he hauls himself in. 

I think he appreciates it. Lochlan really doesn't like holidays. There are reasons for that, and I don't write them down because it isn't my place to do so. He does enjoy watching Ruth grow and suddenly she is tall and beautiful and enjoying teenager gifts and loading and spending the some billion-odd dollars she got in iTunes cards before we could check on her, and she blew through a few extra dollars that wound up coming off his credit card. But he's breathing a little easier because Christmas is over and because I'm not feverish and rambling anymore. 

He says no more kisses for anyone that doesn't live in our room and I laugh and sneeze and tell him I promise but he never believes me and I never tell the truth. Then he put up an entire solar system on the ceiling this week to supplement the handful of glow-in-the-dark stars we stuck there when I moved in.

I lie there counting them in the dark until the Nyquil kicks in and then I dream that I can throw my arms out and touch all of the stars one by one and they are soft and warm and giggle quietly which surprises me because I thought they would be sharp and cold and silent.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Clear and present.

Caleb and I had a brief conversation on Tuesday, and I should have been more prepared.

He bit down on the cigar as he smiled at me and said, Oh, just you wait.

What have you done?

Don't worry. I cleared it with your other handlers. It's a bit of a collective present.


Okay not him.

Is that wise?

I don't need to clear a damn thing with him.

Maybe you should just to keep the peace.

Anything coming from me, whether wholly or in part would be met with a flat refusal no matter what it is or how much it might benefit you. Or him, for that matter.

Not necessarily.

Yes, necessarily. It's his nature to resist me.

It's Christmas. Could you please try as hard as you can?

This is me trying, Princess. This is my effort to make your lives easier once again while I get slammed for it. This is me bending over backwards to do what's best for you no matter what position it puts me in.

I don't buy that for a moment.

Cole broke your trust completely, didn't he?

What the fuck. You did! You cracked it wide open, he destroyed the remains.

Right so let me just try and continue to make amends. I told you I'm in this for life. 

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

PJ has proclaimed that since I am very much under the weather and out of commission I am going to have a rare turn at skipping a post or two and instead simply wish you all a Merry Christmas. I hope Santa finds you and that the people you love are close enough to touch. Hold them close and enjoy the lights and the music and don't forget these moments, for this is what life is all about.

Much love and happy holidays!

Monday, 23 December 2013

On throwing caution to the wind, and watching as it comes back and hits you right between the eyes.

When I opened my eyes he was sitting on the edge of the bed smiling at me. He needs a shave but we don't have a razor. I need coffee but he won't give me any, saying it will stunt my growth.

I'm still a little bit bitter about that (MULTIPLE. PUNS.) since apparently I was actually done growing and could have had coffee all along and instead developed some sort of sick attraction to orange juice.

Time to get up, Bridgie. Tear-down this morning. I want you to stay close by, okay?

Can I have breakfast first?

It's here. I went and got some things while you were still asleep. 

These are my favorite mornings, ones where I'm not required to wake up, get dressed, wash my face and hands, brush my teeth and then try and hold on to Lochlan from the back of the motorcycle when I'm still half-asleep and then read a kids menu for things like "Little Slugger Sausages" or "Princess pancakes" because every truck stop diner from here to the end of the earth has a kids menu only I didn't think I was going to be a kid out here. Out here I thought things would change.

I got you hashbrowns and a toasted ham sandwich with juice. 

A sandwich?

I didn't think scrambled eggs would keep us full today. 

I know. 

He kisses the top of my head and tells me to come out and eat before it gets cold.

I follow him, wearing his t-shirt and a pair of pajama shorts. He says I should stay in that outfit and winks at me but he's being disgusting and he's also kidding, since we have clothes we keep aside just for the hard labor days to wear today. They are covered with grease and torn sometimes too. I don't know why mine are. He hardly lets me do anything.

Here, hold these bolts, nut. 

Harhar. Hey, can I try the wrench? 

Sure. He sits back with a wry smile and takes off the gloves, passing them to me. I put them on and put all my strength into turning the wrench. It's half my size. Then I realize I can swing off it, feet off the ground. It's not going to budge.

Tomorrow you get two breakfasts. There's no way you should be so light. 

I'll grow. 

Yeah. He reached out and stroked my cheek with the back of his fingers. You will. Soon, I bet. He nodded and told me to hurry up. We have twenty minutes to get this one down, so can I hold this part right here so it doesn't fall while he takes it off?

Sure, even though I know now that I'm not holding it, that it won't fall because he braced it already, because I couldn't hold it if I wanted to.

I followed him around for three hours in the sun, drinking water as instructed, listening to him sing, watching him watch every move I make, torn between whether to let me learn things on my own versus saving me from getting my fingers pinched/crushed/burned.

And so little has changed now.

Watch the coffee, Peanut. It's hot. Hey, Padraig, can you put this in a travel mug?

It's fine, Locket. I'm okay like this. 

He looked so doubtful. PJ froze in between us, not sure who to listen to.

Lochlan, it's okay. I promise. 

I just wish I had been there to catch you. 

So do I but it was just a stupid accident. 

I worried something would happen when we were out on the road too, you know. All the time. 

On the show or the Midway?


Once it did, did you stop worrying? 


Well you can now. I'm housebound. 


Not so much unless you have a cure for wanderlust. 

I do but it always seems to involve danger.

That's just the way I like it. 

Yeah and that's just what I want to avoid. 

PJ breaks into our reminiscing with his clarification. So...am I supposed to be putting this in a sippy cup for Bridget or is she old enough for a real cup now?

Lochlan punched him square in the chest as he passed him. PJ went to the cupboard. Sippy cup then. Got it.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

And I watch you now/The color of the stars.

There was a silence in the stars. A navy satin and silvery solstice, chosen with purpose. This longest night. Ginger ale, potpies, squash, rarebit and Christmas pudding in lieu of wedding cake. Atlas. Codex. Cold soft rain amplifying promises spoken across the water reflecting the twinkling lights in the icy stillness.

Envelopes pressed against chests. Hands taken and clutched tightly as people I met an hour ago, sometimes a year ago were led down the heavily salted steps to the heated dock. Acceptance and welcoming of this new touching, amazing unit into our collective formally, permanently. Shivers of awe and frost competing for leverage against a fierce longing for that simple kind of love that turns the focus to one soul instead of three present and two departed. Undivided. Pure.

Dancing all night in the rain. The way we celebrate, an uncanny depth of gestures made, and emotions alike. Time heralds a richer experience of life for those of us holding our hearts out, exposed, at risk, so easily damaged or stolen, so handily appreciated for their rich composition and creative patina.

A return to the warmth and light of the house at daybreak, when the snow began again. A sendoff in the drive for guests who will gratefully sleep on the plane provided to facilitate the attendance of Matt's extended family at such a busy time of year. 

Sam's speech made privately this morning to the collective just within our home, thanking us for being welcoming, for caring for and fostering his love and for quieting his uncertainties and showing him that love can take many forms, and sometimes isn't easy or perfect even as it remains profound, and for being willing to accept his love of God in much the same way, as much a part of him as we are now, as Matt is now. I don't think a dry eye will remain in this house for some time to come, as we witnessed nothing short of a miracle here and are forever changed for the better.

Friday, 20 December 2013

You seem much closer.

Last night Henry's final elementary school Christmas concert took place. That's that. No more. This coming fall he'll start high school, which is good, I think he's outgrown the tiny school with all the tiny children, probably due to the testosterone levels in this house.

His father, with whom I still seem to be fully drift compatible, leaned over and said in my ear during the show, He's a good six inches taller than any of the other boys. And then he sat back, proudly. Because physical intimidation is good for business. Powerful men are more effective when they are tall and striking. Because Henry didn't turn out short like his mother. Whatever it is that Caleb repeats to himself in the mirror as he puts on his cologne (hopefully called Party of One) and goes to sleep at night dreaming only of himself.

Sorry, I'm a little annoyed. Gage was talking about spirit guides at dinner last night with August and Caleb asked what mine would be.

Lochlan told him if he'd paid attention he would know I have a spirit ride and it's a Ferris wheel.

Caleb, clever enough to catch the play on words, returned some of his own, saying he doesn't have time to pay attention because he's busy paying for everything else.

Ooooo. Cue the intraneural burn.

I just nodded and kept demolishing my pizza, because this parenting of tweens and teenagers business is harder than I imagined and I'm famished.

And hey! There's a wedding tomorrow! I'll probably post because I talk a lot when I get nervous and hardly at all the rest of the time. Sam's fretting turned out to be completely contagious, probably because I'm drift compatible with him too.

Thursday, 19 December 2013


Life is precocious in a most peculiar way
Sister psychosis don't got a lot to say
She go let it out, she go let it in, she go let it out
She go let it out, she go let it in, she go let it out

Is it any wonder why princes & kings
Are clowns that caper in their sawdust rings
And ordinary people that are like you and me
We're the keepers of their destiny
August is here.

In far better condition than when he stopped in post-Burn for a quick visit. I spy a full beard and a suitcase full of flannel and that accent that resurrects my heart just long enough to stop it, over and over and over again. And hugs that never end.

Pinch me agai..no, wait. Don't! I want to stay like this.

(Corey's here too, just to ruin the ambience this morning. Bah.)

And so far with two days to go the wedding is still on, Sam grows paler by the minute and now Matt is so nervous I feel like it's contagious because I get stressed out just walking into their wing. The wedding itself is a super-secret affair. No details until after as promised to Samwise but it's going to be magical.

Speaking of magical, Lochlan painted my cast with pink glitter on a whim, and also because glitter, I love it. Which is now all over EVERYTHING. Including my teeth and both cats and the Devil too. I leave a trail of sparkles wherever I go and it's

Oh, I get it now.


Do you know how long I've been waiting for this movie?

Wednesday, 18 December 2013


HA. I should proofread. Instead of saying "that's why we're still going strong" at the end of the last post maybe I should have said "that's why we're still hanging on."

We've got a lot of work to do to get back to a good place, I'm not minimizing that just because Ben is home finally. Not in any way, shape or form.

In other news, the boys have all ganged up on me and are teasing me relentlessly, saying that my first gift comes tomorrow.

I hate surprises, plus I asked them to take whatever they would have spent on a gift for me and donate it to a charity on a list I gave them.

They better listen.

Kiss and burn.

(Pinch me, I tend to dream instead of breathe.)

I'm not sure I realize how hard I go until the cool air hits me in the morning as I get up and realize I am razorburned all over. It's a good look going with the cast. This is what Ghost Rider would look like injured. On fire. I figured I would be useless. I was not.

I fell asleep locked between them, Ben's arms wrapped around my waist, pulling me against his chest, his chin resting against the top of my head, and Lochlan's arms wrapped around my neck, nose to nose, my cast between us, gently squished against his chest.

So I didn't really want to get up this morning.

I don't think anyone did though. It's like Ben never left. It's like being home flipped the switch back and he's engaged and dedicated and present suddenly. He got up and had a quick shower and headed to a meeting first thing, saying to save some time for a second cup of coffee with him when he comes home, that he is so sorry he acted like an absent dickhead for weeks on end but it hurt too much to do anything different.

Hearing that helped so much, you have no idea.

And the interim between when he went out and when he returned, I fielded concerned curiosity from the others, including Batman but not New Jake. New Jake took him to the meeting and will be hoverish as required. We both have babysitters. Nothing changes.

Answers to inquiries ranged from sweetly honest to pornographic and uncomfortable depending on who I wanted to rile up today. So, Caleb, of course, as always and Batman, who seems thrilled to have his new house to himself (because New Jake hardly makes a imprint or a peep) and thrilled that we're going to keep at this and not give up on each other, me and Ben because we've come close.

And Lochlan, who I was worried about more than anyone, frankly, is taking things in stride. For all of his pragmatic life views he's still one freaky guy. He said it's right. It works. He can't explain it. And then when pressed he pointed out that he knows how I feel about him and that's all that matters and I seem to have so much love and so much need going on all the time all at once and so this is how things work best.

See it's slightly different for us dynamically-speaking in that Lochlan represents the desperate, overheated teenage rush of love and Ben is the laid-back, adult, second (third/fourth/WHATEVER) time-around patient, appreciative love. It should be the other way around but it isn't and maybe that's why we're still going strong.

Today? My t-shirt reads Polyfabulous. It was a gift.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Back to abnormal (a surprise round table).

Fine, yes, I started it. Ben came down the hill for breakfast and almost instantly I was tired of his bullshit. He doesn't seem to care about anything outwardly so he made what had to be the ninth noncommittal diplomatically correct response in about fifteen minutes and I stood up and threw a hard-boiled egg at his head.

Overhand. Leftie, to boot.

And I was taught to throw with both arms so I nailed him right between the eyes.

No one had time to react when he stood up and nailed me right back with a piece of toast with jam, thrown tactically like a ninja star. It hit me in the chin and then stuck fast to the front of my Raised by Wolves shirt.

I love this shirt. I unstuck the toast and threw it back but missed and he laughed and said I suck at this game and I told him I throw words better than food and he told me to go for it, leaning in, a fierce expression on his face that I haven't seen in forever but it means he's alive in there somewhere.

Come home and I'll let you have it. 

Have what?

My epic lecture on what a absolutely horrible dickhead you've been to me for the past six months. 

So I should consider this a formal notice of the demise of Ben and Bridget?

Is that what you want?

Fuck no. 

Good because that's not what this is.

I thought you and the human torch there were all cozy now and doing great. 

We are and you love that. 

Only if I'm involved, Bee.

Then come back, you fucking loser because it's getting cold on your side of the bed and because there can't be just two musketeers. It just sounds weird.

That's up to the owner of this house. 

I'll deal with him. 

The hell you will. Lochlan sits up. We'll all go together.

So we head over and Caleb opens the door. He looks tired too. He greets the boys and then asks me how the pain is (delicious), if I need anything (have it right here) and if I was pleased that Ben came over for a meal (I was, I am). Then he started some more coffee and asked if this was a formal visit.

I want Ben to come back, to live at the house again, I told him and I watched Lochlan bite his lip from my peripheral vision.

I was thinking it was time for that. I think he's learned his lesson and what won't be tolerated when it comes to you. 

Which isn't for you to decide. You don't get to dictate behavior.

I do get to dictate who lives in my house with my minor child present if they prove to be untrustworthy. 

Ben looks at the floor but I continue to hold Caleb's gaze.

I trust him. 

Except when you argue, you mean.

We have a lot of things to work on but we can't work on them apart. 

Ben, are you prepared to try a lot harder? You've made Bridget very unhappy. 

Ben is still looking at the floor. Both. I want to make both of them happy. 

Caleb rolls his eyes but lets the remark go without commenting as he stares at my hopeful face.

Please, Diabhal. I want to be happy for Christmas.

(Because. LAY. IT. ON. THICK. GIRL.)

I have a weakness for giving you everything you've ever wanted and you know that, Neamhchiontach. So if you want Benjamin home then so be it. But Ben, if you step out of line even in the slightest, not even Batman will be able to save you from me. 

I'll be there. Lochlan speaks up.

We all know your track record for keeping Bridget safe. Why do you think we live here like this? So we can check each other because we've all failed miserably at the one thing we're sworn to do. 

And then he continued with his speech but I was too busy grinning at everything. At Ben. And then back at Loch but he was busy being irate at Caleb for dredging up things we can't ever seem to forget. I watched them watch each other for a while but then I remembered my manners and thanked Caleb for giving up on the childish ban and he said it had less to do with Ben and more with taking things away from Lochlan, like the hundred percent share he's enjoyed now for weeks, and that he hopes it hurts like fuck.

I had to correct him. Ben coming back doesn't take anything away from Loch any more than having a second child takes love away from the first. They all looked so surprised, I'm thinking they finally understand me.

Monday, 16 December 2013

All I need now is a meat dress.

I would swear if he had been home when it happened that Daniel pushed me off the steps just so he could take over as my personal stylist. He is so much prettier than I am anyway and he's always said I would look like a supermodel (albeit, in miniature) if only I made an effort.

So I gave him the freedom to take care of making me presentable because not only am I a huge narcoleptic, too tired to bother (sorry, missed a little part of the Desolation of Smaug last night because warm chair/dark room/chocolate/zzzz) but I'm a card-carrying beauty ignorant too.

He said I could use some contouring so that I would look like I have epic cheekbones.

Seriously? We're faking cheekbones now? Can you do me some abs too like in 300?

Then he asked if I had any primer.

Yes! But it's not tinted. Is that okay? It's in the basement. 

Why is it in the basement?

Because it's paint? What does that have to do with my getting ready?

Bridget, you're HOPELESS. 

Oh, I knew that. Now what are we painting?

I don't suppose you have eye brightener. 

HELL YES I HAVE THAT SHIT. It makes me look 30 instead of 115. 

You don't look 115. 

Apparently I do or you wouldn't want to fake my cheeks and start fresh with spackle. 


Same difference. This is bullshit. If I look like a different person when you're finished, that's bad. 

No that's good. It's you at your best. 


Best, Bridget. 


He straightened my hair (squealing about how long it is now), and rubbed some lipstain over my lips (new thing! Doesn't bleed! I'm afraid my lips are being absorbed into my face with most lipstick now unless it's very dry. What the fuck.) and opted to dye my eyelashes with silver nitrate so that I don't have to try and finangle mascara with the left hand and then proclaimed me good to go.

You forgot my abs, Danny. 

You're wearing a shirt. Take it off and we'll talk. 

See you're the only one who can say that without it seeming pervy. 

If you have a six-pack that might change. Can I draw some chest hair on you too?

You might not have to, I probably already have some. I told you I'm not ageing well, I'm just falling apart like an old monument, piece by piece. I'll probably have historical designation by the end of the year.

Ok, first of all, you're far too young for that. Secondly, I would have declined an invitation if I had known this was a pity party. What can we do to cheer you up? 

Make some bacon? Or cake for breakfast?

Ew. Bridget, you eat so poorly. I'm surprised your skin is this nice. 

Cake is good for the complexion. 

You sure you didn't hit your head?

No. That would have been a blessing. Lobotomy from the outside. 

I love you the way you are. Don't ask to take parts of yourself away. It won't make it easier, just harder. Okay, stop crying. The gel is going to run and it will never come off. 

Quick, tell me a joke. 

What do you call a gay Jamaican guy?



Seriously, Daniel. You're my favorite. 

Yeah for NOW. Give it an hour and you'll say the same thing to someone else. I bet they can't give you fake cheekbones. 

Or abs. 

Right. Or abs. But they don't have abs either. 

It's the cake. 

Why do we all eat so much cake anyway?

I told you! It's good for the skin! 

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Brushed my own teeth but I have to figure out how to cut down on the words.

Caleb came over last evening to check up on me and go over Henry's marks. PJ glared at him from the bright lights of the kitchen and then when Duncan sat down right beside me and threw his arm over the back of the couch Caleb tried to dismiss him, citing private business. Poet laughed and took out his phone to look at but he didn't budge an inch.

Lochlan was kept busy with the children because he would have started something. Caleb's very aware of this even though it still isn't his fault. He's shouldering it nicely. He sent flowers. He's arranged for dinners to be delivered for the next several weeks and reminded me that Mike the driver is at my beck and call whether it be a trip to the dog park or a day of shopping.

And he had the whole property salted which kind of upset me because DOG and hurty-stingy paws and all that. Now we have to carry the dog when we head out front and I'm going to have to wipe down my pretty boots so they don't get ruined.

The ironic part is it's six degrees and raining again so all the ice is gone anyway. If I had waited a day to go over I wouldn't be spending Christmas in a cast. If I had chosen to walk away instead of always needing to make my case I would be fine. If I would just listen.

But that part is so hard.

Now. Who is sending cake? Because cake always makes everything better. Today I would like to eat cake and watch everyone decorate the tree. Maybe we can have a fire in the fireplace. Maybe after we can watch ATM. It's this really amazingly bad-looking movie about a couple trapped in an ATM machine with a psycho outside. I want to know what happens so badly because I have no standards when it comes to horror movies and when you're recuperating you're supposed to catch up on all the guilty pleasures you ignore when you're busy.

Maybe Ben will come watch it with me. Maybe he'll come eat the Christmas lights and freak everyone out just for fun like he did before. I miss those days.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Drifting on a tidal wave.

Trying hard to speak and
Fighting with my weak hand
Driven to distraction
It's all part of the plan
When something is broken
and you try to fix it
Trying to repair it anyway you can
At a family meeting this morning everyone was reminded that this was an accident and nothing more. If it's anyone's fault it's mine for being distracted/angry/overtired/combatant/uncoordinated and somewhat complacent in assuming that since I can walk a tightrope with multiple distractions (crowd + fire) that I can easily navigate a set of icy steps without a safety line.

That was different. I was half the age I am now but do they recognize that? Of course not.

After the meeting I stuck the pencil back between my teeth and rocked just a little because wow, this really hurts. But what hurt more was trying to watch Lochlan step in and take charge in a way I've always wished he would instead of the way that he did.

His first task was to brush my teeth because I couldn't seem to do much of anything. In addition to breaking my right arm, my left hand was also badly scraped and is missing most of the skin that generally covers it. Air burns. Toothpaste really burns. Trying to make a fist is impossible and so he helped me up onto the counter and he bent over so his eyes were level with mine and then he started making excuses. What should have been a three-minute task became a watershed as he suddenly lost his nerve. So much for wishes.

I can't do this. I'm not worthy of it. I couldn't keep you safe. 

Hey. It's just some teeth. So I don't give you my baby dragon breath kisses. 

Why is it so easy for everyone else? I'm afraid to even be here. 

Lochlan? Hey, where'd you go? It's okay. Please help me with this and then we'll go down and bug TJ. 

Dalton can do this, I bet. I'll go get him. Stay here. 

Please, Locket. 

He stared at me. Bridgie, I'm not good at this. 

You will be, the more you do it. 

Maybe Ben should be here. 

If he wanted to be he would have made that choice. You're here. Own it. YOLO the fuck up. 

You didn't say YOLO to me again, did you?

I did. Brush my teeth please. It's not something anyone else should do. Let's just cover one thing at a time. In a day or two I should be back to one hundred percent. 

You've almost got me convinced except I don't think it will be a day or two. 

Okay, a week or two. 

A month or two. 

In a minute I'm going to ask Dalton to do it because you're not making me feel any better.

I'm sorry, Peanut. It's hard to see you like this. 

I'm just glad I didn't land on my face. At least I can still charm you all with my looks. 

Oh, you're not roping us in with your charm. It's pity, you little freak. 

Nice. Shut up and brush or I'll melt your curls with my breath.

I'm teasing, Bridge! It's charm all the way. If you don't know that by now, then there's no hope for you. 

That's what I suspect. Last time I checked I could balance on a wire but a staircase is just too hard? 

Hey. Shit happens. 

Yeah, it does, doesn't it, Locket? What a telling commiseration. I stare at him.

He just frowned at me mildly and told me to stop talking so he could do a good job.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Well. This was a day.

Oh my fuck. He put on Journey this morning and I realized that's how he works the...the...time machine.


I spent the next few hours in the delirious fever of Lochlan's arms, hanging by a breath somewhere secret between the past and the future and it left a smile that can't be chipped off the same way my brand-new green glitter nail polish is. 

He left with a huge grin, off to a meeting with Batman. He said I've almost got you back. Almost. I didn't confirm or deny. I just left it there. Something good in a world that sometimes seems so black and hopeless and painful. Neither one of us want to say anything to break the spell but the spellbreaker is there, all six feet-four-inches of him, on both our minds morning, noon and night. 

And they are waiting for me to break the spell instead and I suddenly can't find my courage because I'm buried in blankets, music and wrapping paper so I leave it for the moment. I can stall forever. No one else needs to be hurt but this is a long-drawn out agony instead of a bandaid. We need to get on with things. We need to do it soon. 


Caleb isn't buying it. I smile my way over across the driveway all wiggly like jello, a secret set within, chilled to hollow translucent green perfection. He looks in my eyes and tells me I look like I've been fucked by someone with no finesse whatsoever. 

Crass bastard this morning, aren't you. Monitor keeping you awake?

No, loneliness is. 

And you think the way to fix that is to make me angry? Because if so then he's not the one without finesse. And I'll have you know, he's a goddamned dream. He's perfect and you're jealous because you enabled the inevitable and now you're kicking yourself because it could have all been so different.

Bridget, he's a phase you go through on a regular basis. 

He's not but maybe you are, 

Good, you know, I was really hoping we could get into it while I still have this thing on so you can see the distress this causes me. 

Maybe I should leave. 

And go back over to the perpetual teenage boy? No, stay here. Let me make you some breakfast. You need to eat. You get smaller every day. 

That's because Henry's getting bigger. The frame of reference is reversed now. (Henry, whose feet grew four sizes in three months.). I'm the same. 

The same as when you were twelve. 

I have to go. He doesn't want me here. 

Tell him he can't interfere with our coparenting arrangement or I'll have to tell him myself. 

That's the only reason I'm here. 

Caleb holds out a cheque for the new winter boots I bought Henry yesterday and I mouth thank you as I take it and head back outside. Caleb sticks his head out the door and says I need you to come back later so we can hear the results of Henry's school program okay?

Fuck my life. 

Pardon me?

Fine, I said fine. 

No you did not, Bridget and if Pyro makes you this flippant he's going to have to answer to me. 

I turn around at the threat. He is standing at the top, I'm at the bottom of the steps. 

No, he does not. You leave him alone. 

Oh, but I can't. 

I march back up the steps and get right up in his face. You know what? YOU LEAVE LOCHLAN ALONE. HE'S NEVER DONE A THING TO YOU. FUCKING LEAVE HIM ALONE! 

I turn to walk away and I fall, because everything is covered with ice here and I forget. I always forget.


The cast will be on for up to six weeks. The orthopedist asked me if I had any other questions after he was finished and I blurted out Can I still write? I mean, can I type? 

If you feel up to it, he said. In a few days, possibly a week. Here is a prescription for the pain. I didn't get it filled. I'll deal with it. I'll just bite down on something. I would rather feel everything now than not feel anything at all.

I know. That makes me different from just about everyone on earth.


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

'All men should strive to learn before they die, what they are running from, and to, and why.' ~James Thurber

Hear the sirens
Hear the circus so profound
I hear the sirens
More and more in this here town

Let me catch my breath to breathe
And reach across the bed
Just to know we're safe
I am a grateful man

The slightest bit of light
And I can see you clear
Oh, have to take your hand
And feel your breath for fear this someday will be over

I pull you close, so much to lose knowing that nothing lasts forever
I didn't care before you were here.
I danced with laughter with the everafter
But all things change
Let this remain
I got stuck here in the dark between preparations for the wedding, for Christmas, post-Halloween, Ben's birthday and getting back to one hundred percent from having pneumonia and then I went off the deep end. Caleb spent two weeks wearing a Holter monitor and Batman went out of his way to redesign Lochlan's job so that he is mostly a systems 'consultant' (a made-up job) and is on call instead of running around all week.

Batman seems to want to prove he hasn't chosen sides, although if anything now you'd put him squarely on red. He says he did some things to help out Ben so he needed to do some things to help Loch, though I'm pretty sure this has more to do with me and making sure I am not left to my own devices during the day, where I can get in more trouble in an hour than some people can pull off in their entire lifetimes.

On the other hand, those still on Ben's side see Lochlan home virtually all the time now and no chance in hell of things ever returning to the way they once were.

Wedding plans aren't falling into place. Ben isn't falling back into place. Christmas chatters and clanks along, planning to arrive on the 25th whether we are ready or not. I keep getting pushed back by snow and rain and jealousy and rage. Nothing is falling into place at all, nothing will ever be the same, nothing should ever have changed or gone this far or been this hard.

That's why I'm still persisting with escaping into music every chance I get. This week it's Sirens. There's a line in it that says I didn't care before you were here. Someone said something like that to me a long time ago. He is still alive. I should have listened harder. I should have disobeyed orders. I should have stayed with him even when he told me to go. Scar tissue is hard to heal, and the only way I know of to make a scar look better is to make a new one right over it. Not an easy task, that.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Frisson (hiding in plain sight).

Go your way,
I'll take the long way 'round,
I'll find my own way down,
As I should.

And hold your gaze
There's coke in the Midas touch
A joke in the way that we rust,
And breathe again.

And you'll find loss
And you'll fear what you found
When weather comes
Tearing down
The song swells into my ears as I burn alive, turning to ash when the cool night air hits my skin. But I don't go inside because the cold makes my head hurt less. Inside with the heat and the lights and the noise it throbbed like a strobe and out here it is quiet and dark and icy. I think I'll sleep out here but they will say no because I will die. I think I will move out here where the sounds are swallowed by the wind and the black night hides the truth of things like age, loyalty and death, things like history and longing and betrayal. I think I'll exist out here in a world on the other side of the glass where I can look in and see them but they can't see me and I think I'll go inside now because my fingers and toes and my heart and my mind are numbed now and feeling so much better this way.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Urchin, ingrate, high.

So wash your face away with dirt
It don't feel good until it hurts
So take this world and shake it
Come squeeze and suck the day
Come carpe diem, baby
Christian watches over me today. Lochlan would prefer me to stay in, the snow is plentiful this morning and the roads? Total shit. Also Stay here, in the main house he said like it's an afterthought, even though it isn't. But it's okay. I have enough to keep me busy, wrapping the gifts that didn't have to be mailed (those have already arrived at their destinations, thank you Canada Post!) but are for those off-point and steam-cleaning the rug in the living room, since while we did the grand tour of DeBeers/Louis Vuitton/Gucci/Cartier/Coach and Tiffany on the weekend, my little dog was home pooping in front of the fireplace, dammit.

I bet if I stuck him in a swanky Vuitton dog carrier he wouldn't do that.

But I won't because I'm not all that high maintenance. I went in Hermes, looked at their wallets, saw the price tags and blanched. Twelve hundred dollars? Is this unicorn leather?

Probably. Harvested under a full moon during the spring dance of the sugarplum babies.

Or maybe that's just sugarbaby, singular and without plums.

Which is another thing I'm not good at. Choosing hand-harvested unicorn leather goods or diamonds for that matter. Some of those stores I only ever go in to people-watch. Sometimes that isn't pretty either, I'll tell you. I met a woman at the counter wearing leather tights and no pants. No, that's actually what she had on.

I got in a lot of trouble in Tiffany once before though. Caleb wanted to buy me something (quite inappropriately) and so I agreed and he made an appointment and off we went. I had researched prices beforehand and so they kept showing me things I didn't like, as I steered them toward the motherload. Finally they brought out a ring and a security guard, for the ring was a six-figure headlight, probably a unicorn eyeball (a unicornea!) and I tried it on and Caleb was all ready to plunk down his Visa Infinite and I looked at him and told him he didn't know me at all and walked the fuck out.

Can you just imagine a unicorn eyeball ring that is so priceless it's worth the cost of your average three-bedroom home in the lower mainland?

I will tell you that same year Lochlan bought me a sterling ring and an hour after he gave it to me I was feeding the deer up the road and when I flung the sugar cubes over the fence my brand new ring flew with them.

Over the fence right into a herd of deer.

Lochlan just looked at me like seriously? And then he found the ring for me, because he is magic and you should never doubt that. I wear it on my index finger now and it doesn't fall off.

(If it had been a unicornea ring the deer would have eaten it, FYI.)

And that's my story for today. Want to bet my new allergy meds are making me loopy? No? Okay, suit yourself.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Gold stars and newspaper snowflakes.

What is that?

A Christmas tree. 

I know that but it's July, Locket. 

Right and I can't wake up with you here on Christmas day so we're going to have Christmas in July, and maybe Halloween in August and then tack on Easter in September. 

All the chocolate holidays! Yes! 

I'm surprised you still have any teeth. 

I still have half my baby teeth. And you won't be here at Christmas either, you'll be at home. 

I know and I dread it. 

But you'll be warm and your mom is a good cook. 

You won't be there. 

I'll be across the street at my house and you can come over for dinner. 

Okay. Do you want to hook the lights up or do you want me to?

You do it. I want to be surprised.

He said my name very softly a moment later and I opened my eyes. The tree was lit with a string of red lights and he had cut out dozens of tiny snowflakes from newspaper and hung them with pieces of a red velvet hair ribbon I thought I lost a month ago. It still remains the prettiest tree I have ever seen.

Can you leave it on so it's on when I wake up? 

It will be daylight, Peanut. You won't see the lights. But how about I leave it on until you fall asleep? Then you can take it to your dreams. 

Will you?

Of course.

Thank you. I'll never see a better tree than this one of ours. 

Oh, I bet you will. But not out here at the edge of the woods like this with the beach within yards of us. What a sight! It's almost as beautiful as you are. 

I blushed in the dark.


This year we decided to replace all the Christmas lights, after collecting a mix of regular and LED strings over the years in as many sizes and colors as there are in the stores. It got a little silly, actually and so we gave everything away and PJ and Loch went and bought new matching lights for the trees and for decorating, outside and in.

They brought home hundreds of red lights and Loch had a freshly printed newspaper too, in his parcels. He started to ask me if I remember anything about red lights and I interrupted him before he could finish and yelled CHRISTMAS IN JULY!!!

He grinned. PJ just looked confused. It's December, Bridge. 

No, actually it's July, PJ. 

Loch, you drop her on her head?

Long story, PJ. I used to be a romantic guy before all the others showed up. 

You still are, Locket.  I remind him.

I'm trying, Peanut. 

Well, you're doing a really good job. 

Friday, 6 December 2013

Galeforce hearts, revisited.

Because today reminds me of this day, only with a different soundtrack.
Nobody said it was easy
It's such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be this hard
Oh, take me back to the start.
There's a lesson somewhere in here about not going out for lunch, deciding you don't like what is ordered (prawn salad yuck) and drinking to kill two hours instead. Those three glasses of good champagne and a piece of bread put my tiny little self on my butt and I was almost grateful when the buzz wore off eventually.

We made a big dinner to make up for the lack of lunch and Lochlan said it was ironic that he went to work to get out from under Caleb's control only to be gone long enough to see me over there almost every fucking waking moment.

He was equally unimpressed that after my case of the vapors earlier in the week that Caleb would agree to letting me have all of that champagne and call it lunch instead of getting something I would like.

(Caleb aways orders for me and never asks what I want, something Lochlan only ever did if he knew I would just get junk when there could be a vegetable or protein opportunity in there somewhere for a growing girl.)

He and Caleb had a little bit of a shouting match after supper in which Lochlan detailed all of the things Caleb won't be doing anymore and Caleb stood two feet away smiling tightly in the dark at the ground, putting his hands in his pockets and then taking them out, waiting for the inevitable punch but it never came because Lochlan's not going to hit Henry's dad anymore, he promised.

Oh, how he wants to though so I had to step up and take responsibility for my actions, which I readily did but it didn't matter because I'm twelve and twelve isn't old enough to take responsibility for anything.

Later Lochlan is almost asleep and he tells me rearranged his schedule to have tomorrow off because the week has been long and tough and he thinks I'm fluttering too much here right now.

Fluttering. That was always his way of describing how I suffer if things aren't a certain way. Sort of about to explode but hanging in there. Something like that.

So this morning he comes in with the paper and he's grinning like a wild man.

Put on your coat, Peanut. I have something that will make yesterday's champagne a distant memory. 

This isn't a competition, is it, Locket?

Maybe. He's still grinning so I run and grab my coat and we go outside in the backyard. He helps me up onto the low part of the rock wall and tells me to turn. Okay, turn a little more into the wind. Okay. He puts out his arms and tells me to fall.

Because of who we are I don't even hesitate. I lean forward, expecting to land in his arms. Instead the wind keeps me up. It blows steadily over the point and I laugh but then I can't breathe because it flows down my throat and freezes my veins.

I pretend to do the breaststroke and Lochlan shouts over the endless roar. Would you have done that if Caleb had asked you to? 

Never. I don't know if he's prepared to catch me. The wind dies down and I fall into Lochlan's hands, missing his nose with my forehead by millimetres.

That's how I know he's not worth punching. You've already made up your mind. He's a mark. He's a memory. He's not..

He's not a magician. 

No, he's not. Because I am. He puts me on my feet, kisses my forehead and watches as I lean into the wind again.

So much fun.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

I wasgoing to write something useful but then that champgane lunch happened. I don't turn down Dom Peringmon because I never know if it will be the last time I try it. The Devil laughs and says it doesn't have to be, that if I want it every day I just have to saythe word.

The word?

The word is DANCE PARTY.



Blurred Lines is on and that metal God, that traitor to his beloved genre just can't sit still.

I am going to be so hungover late.r

Whatevr! bye

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Here's where my selfishness will offend you.

I removed the tiny little one paragraph rant. I think I'm done with the pity party. Besides, Caleb spent the afternoon singing Atlas out loud, along with the stereo while I wrote personalized notes in his Christmas cards and threatened to write very personalized ones in those cards headed to the Russian mafia.

Things like Happy Holidays! So glad you didn't get me when you faked that loan default. And Ho! ho! ho! Merry please don't touch me like you know me okay thanks. 

It's water under this bridge but came back glaringly as I filled out five dozen stupid cards and saw those unfamiliar yet all too familiar names.

Urgh! How do you know so many people? 

These are not people, these are business connections. 

Still! Jesus! Too many of these. 

How many are you sending out this year?

Cards? I don't send cards. The boys all live here with me.

He just stood there and stared and then broke out into the chorus again and I couldn't help but smile. He's in a good mood and I'll tell you why.

Ben isn't being the least bit receptive to anything anymore but mostly me. He's actively avoiding me, probably because every time we have any sort of encounter it is evaluated, judged and supervised to within an inch of its life and he isn't good with that. He and New-Jake have gotten into some shoving matches over it and Batman has had to function as a parent. This confuses everyone for whatever reason. They didn't pay close enough attention the past fifteen years, I guess.

I want to jump up and down and wave my hands and yell I know! I know! I know! but I can't right here because I'm not impartial and prone to breaking into tears when I even catch a glimpse of Ben and I have begun to do two distinct but similar things. Firstly, I'm doing what Ben wants me to do, dividing my time between Satan and the Joker. Which is hilarious because everyone always says do this, don't give everything to Lochlan.

(He will take it all, the original thief of opportunity.)

And secondly, I'm going out of my way to make Ben hurt by really giving it my all. I'm enjoying my days. I'm baking cookies and shopping and writing and listening to music and flirting shamelessly with Duncan, helping Sam and Matt plan the wedding and messaging everyone, even Bailey who hardly ever responds and I'm not using anyone or trying to twist screws, I'm just trying on being happy without needing a specific reason.

Fuck, it's fucking hard and I'm exhausted.

And I have moments of unimaginable hurt when I see him and he hardly reacts and once I even blurted out that I bet he feels stupid to have some of those tattoos now with my name and the bumblebee and he just stared at me like I was the crazy one who gave up life for a bible and the Big Book.

I didn't know when I watched you take that drink that it would replace everything else. Why does it still do that if you aren't drinking anymore? Shouldn't your life return to being more important?

Not yet. I still want that drink more than anything. 

You are so fucked up, Benjamin. 

Yes, I know. That's why they call it recovery. 

They should call it stupidity. Because it's stupid. 



Don't be. This isn't your fault. 

You know, you can say that all you want but it doesn't bring you back. 

I'm right here. 

No, you're not. 


Happy Birthday, Tucker. Is it everything you dreamed it would be?

I didn't wait for his answer. Caleb calls my name and I had Ben the wrapped box and I go back inside. Fucking Christmas. Fucking Coldplay. Fucking AA. Fucking tears. Fucking stupid fucking broken life.

I look at the Devil and wonder if I have any parts of my soul left to sell or trade for selfish gains but I'm pretty sure I'm fresh out.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Today is better than yesterday, in which I blacked out at the post office and so just...nevermind.

He brought his hands up to my face so I would look at him and stop talking. It took forever but I finally did stop and then he kissed me. Lightly, slowly this time, the whole while pulling off my sweater, unbuttoning all the things keeping us apart. He pulled his shirt over his head and then he turned me away and gave me a shove, face first into the quilts. When I tried to get up he was right there against me, one hand on the back of my head, keeping me down and the other hand spread wide across my abdomen, pulling me up against him. The faster he went the tighter he held my head and by the time he turned me back over to face him, to kiss him, there was very little left of me to hold because he used me all up.

My skin trembles and cools in the dark and Loch pulls me back in hard against his chest. He says things that make my broken heart itch as it heals on the spot and then it breaks free and takes flight and I can hear it exclaim high above the clouds as it shouts for joy.

One more kiss and I let go of consciousness and sleep so hard I missed the alarm and am late for work. So is he.


Which is okay, actually because when the boss (Caleb for the time being because sometimes things are busy and he mostly hates all of the temps the agency sends because let's face it: they're not me) expressed his displeasure at my inability to make it over in time for a conference call with the UK I gave him the same graphic description and wouldn't you know it, he stopped talking right away.

Makes for a lovely quiet day now. I needed this. I needed all of this.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Floss and batter.

1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup of butter
2 large eggs
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

Matt and Sam let me spend most of Friday torturing them with my misery and then finally Lochlan was home and he did what he always does when he comes home from many hours gone. He grabbed me in close against his chest and rocked me while standing in place. Tight enough so that I can't breathe which is ironic because he's home and now I can, white knuckles showing color again, brain unravelling, heart filling up with blood, nerves repaired.

He tucked his head down against mine. You are a Good Human, you just give too much of yourself to people who don't deserve it. 

I shake my head and he says, You have to trust me. In this world where all of us are awful and selfish and reckless, you are selfless, sweet and careful. 


This is not a bad thing, Peanut. Never a bad thing. And I missed you. I get a kiss that rivals just about any movie I've ever seen and he finally pulls away and winks at me. I brought you a present. 

A home lobotomy kit! 

What? No.... 

A bunny-pancake machine?

Uh. No. 

A devil-containment kit?

Oh, I could contain that fucker but no. 

Then what is it?

This! He unwraps a gorgeous little stained glass camper. It's a lamp. It's beautiful. It's similar to ones we saw in Tofino but this one is stubby. Like our camper was on the fair.


It's cute isn't it?

Oh it's SO cute!

I will make a list for Christmas with those first two guesses on it though. He walks over to the counter and plugs in the camper. It glows softly. I love it, it looks like home. I never had post traumatic stress disorder inside the camper afterward and I thank him for that. He always said bad memories shouldn't come from places, only people and he was right.

Where am I going to find a home lobotomy kit anyway, Bridgie? It's December. I don't have much time. 

Pshh. The hardware store? Seems kind of obvious. 

Sometimes you frighten me. 

You should have been here yesterday then. You would have been terrified. 

I heard. But do you want to know something? He's got enough money and time to travel to the best doctors in the world so there is no point in worrying about him. 

That doesn't mean I can just turn it off like a light switch. 

I wish it did. I wish I could be selfish and ask you not to care. Hell, I wish I could ask you exactly what I'm supposed to buy at the hardware store that comprises this kit because your brain literally terrifies me. 

A chainsaw, crowbar and a good claw hammer, Locket. 

And you do what with these things?

Open up the top of my head and take out my brain. 

Then what happens?

I'll fill the hole with cotton candy and colored lights. 

What will happen when you try to remember the past?

That's the good part. I won't be able to. It will be like starting fresh. 

You'll lose the good memories too. 

No, I won't. You can tell them to me all over again. 

And they'll go in one ear and out the other if you can't retain them, Peanut. 

Sure I can. Cotton candy is probably very absorbent. 

Naw, you better stuff some pancakes in there too, just in case it's not. 

This is going to be fun. 

I don't think it is. I think I'd rather buy a bracelet for you for Christmas than a chainsaw. 

God, Lochlan. I thought you knew me. 

Pretty sure I do, so chainsaw it is. Maybe I can incorporate it into my routine. 

Now that will be awesome. 

You'll be impressed with me every damned time, because you won't remember if I'm good or bad at it. 

I'm already impressed with you every time. You just don't believe me. I'll give you a lobotomy too. Maybe we should write down the memories we want to keep before we do this. 

Yeah. Good idea. And the pancake recipe. Just so we're ready. 

I woke up the next morning to find both of his arms wrapped tightly around my head like he was holding the whole world in his arms as he slept. When he woke up and I remarked on it, he told me he was.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

I wrote this a long time ago and everyone's always teased me for my ridiculous sweet spot for all things Paul Walker.

I'm telling you right now, it isn't safe for me to love you.

Going to go gather up my action figures and cars and watch Timeline, Joyride and all the Fast and Furious movies a hundred million times until the shock wears off.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Walker and thank you for your blue eyes and silly grin. Like all good and wonderful things, it was far too soon.

Friday, 29 November 2013

All those places I got found.

Caleb has a whole host of new issues to deal with (not a great checkup by any means) and Joel was still here when we got home. I walked in and he said hey and I turned and went right back outside.

It's a love-hate thing. People want to know why I'm so hard on him. Well, I detailed it quite graphically at the time. Basically when Jacob flew I went away for a few weeks, because breathing was too goddamned hard and when I came home, wait, within twenty minutes of coming home, Joel had me out of my clothes and took me on the floor of the front hall, on his Hugo Boss trench coat.

I think they call it abuse of a position of trust, because he was my psychoanalyst at the time.

But I blamed myself, not him because I didn't know any better, but because I do that. I mean, I also mowed through half the guys in my life during that same time period and they are also in a position of trust, if you want to be totally honest.

Should I be quietly avoiding PJ every waking moment then too? (Yeah. Pretty sure I hurt him the most and still he's so amazing to me every waking moment.)

Instead of being mad or vulnerable I choose to believe that they were going above and beyond the call of duty, providing comfort, providing whatever I wanted, at their own expense. But Joel had no reason to do that. His job was never to provide anything but his expertise on my brain. Something he's still really good at.

I have to go inside, Jesus, it's five degrees and I'm tired. What a long day. My demon is slowly dying. I need a fucking drink. I need to get laid. I need a lobotomy and I need a vacation too.

I walk right past Joel into the kitchen and order a brandy from Dalton, who fetches it so fast it's as if he knows me.

Oh wait.

(No, not him, in case you're wondering.)

Then I text Lochlan. He's in San Francisco and he tells me he'll be home tomorrow but he won't be home until supper. Oh fuck, I forgot.

He says to stay home. He says please and I instead decide I want the better brandy because Joel won't be where it is so I walk out of the kitchen, out the side door, across to the boathouse where Caleb is slouched into the couch, reading on his laptop about all the things that are wrong with his heart that yesterday was better than ever. I tucked myself under his arm and fell asleep in seconds.

No brandy, no dreams, no Joel.

But no Lochlan either.

I wake up at four in the morning and drag myself back across the driveway, leaving the one with the broken heart still asleep on the couch. I wish there were tests and measures to determine how ruined I am so someone could begin a plan to fix everything that's wrong with me. Maybe that's what Joel would like to do but he was gone when I came back. Everyone is gone, doors are closed, lights are off.

This is hell. I know it. I would know it anywhere. I thought I was a Good Human but I guess not.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Holter tops.

Since I've held it together so long, they figured today would be a great! day! for a surprise visit from Joel, who still seems to function as their expert in the wake of August's painful absence.

Nevermind that Joel may or may not ever have been qualified. Nevermind that he isn't welcome anymore. They all just ignore me when I say that.

So when the Devil sent me a text asking me if I'd like to join him at the hospital this morning for his annual ticker-check I may or may not have been in his car before he hit send. Someone might want to take a note that I would rather sit in a waiting room than stay home and visit with Joel today.

Need a pen? Dictation? Whatever, get a clue.

So here I am, sitting on a hard chair being smiled at by gentlemen in gowns and every single doctor who wants to address me as Mrs. C today. Which is jarring and weirdly comforting because that used to be my name back when I knew who I  was.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Let it ring on.

I'm fine, really. I don't have a pantry to hide in anymore, living here and they took the doors off the library (it's being expanded. With a ladder for the top shelves even!) and so I've taken to some rather dramatic displays of self-soothing that work about as well as you'd expect. I really should go see someone or take something but the way I see it eighty-five minutes of lying in the grass watching the stars is as good a medicine as anything.

Also: Hypothermia.

If you ask Lochlan (which I don't recall doing), he'll point out that it doesn't actually fix anything. 

He has a point but at the same time it would have made things worse had I just remained indoors and exploded all over the walls in a fine red mist. 

Besides, PJ didn't just come out and peel me off the lawn and carry me inside so that implies full consent. And Duncan still doesn't think I can outrun his sorry arse so I was perfectly safe. I point that out and Lochlan laces his fingers through mine, pulls me in close to smash a kiss into my forehead and laughs shakily.

No, you're not. And they do a real shitty job of looking after you. 

That's because I'm old enough to look after myself. 

Right. That's why you're face-down in the grass before dinner?

I was face up, actually. 


Oh, hell no. Face-down is a whole different thing. Then you should really worry. 

You don't get any less impossible as time goes on, you know. 

I know.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Loyal subjectives.

The lunatic is on the grass
The lunatic is on the grass
Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs
Got to keep the loonies on the path
The lunatic is in the hall
The lunatics are in my hall
The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
And every day the paper boy brings more
And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forbodings too
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon
The lunatic is in my head
The lunatic is in my head
You raise the blade, you make the change
You re-arrange me 'till I'm sane
You lock the door
And throw away the key
There's someone in my head but it's not me.
And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear
And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon
It's one of those days where the only place I feel calm is facedown on the lawn hoping the sun will just hurry up and go down already and usher in night so we can get the whole day over with sooner rather than later.

The grass is crunchy. It's covered with frost.

Come on, Poem, get up before Pyro gets home and takes my head clean off for letting you lie here in the cold. 

Tell him I dismissed you. 

You think that will matter to him? Because I don't think it will.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Doctor Sleep and First Contact.

Jumping back into grown-up Danny Torrance's life only to find he is still a predictable mess was sort of cathartic. I'd be a mess too, if I were him.

But honestly I think I like him that way. What I didn't like was the overly simplistic, predictable way the story unfolds after Danny realizes that a child with the shining is trying to contact him. I didn't like anything that happened after that and I certainly didn't like the ending, which was wrapped up so neatly it may as well have had a bow.

Those moments at the onset were fantastic but mostly it seemed as if Stephen King wrote this purely to make a screenplay writer's job easier down the road. I hate even saying this, but it was certainly no Joyride.

Joyride is a goddamned masterpiece. This was a good idea gone awry.

Onward and upward as Preacher says, who always said I should read more and I try. I've just started Not Dead and Not for Sale by Scott Weiland. It's very good so far. Surprisingly good and surprising too.


Ben walks down the hill to say hello after his morning meeting. New-Jake walks beside him. I don't think I like that all that much, it might have been better to have someone who isn't already a friend, because all this means is that Batman gets an update every time Ben and I have a conversation. When they reach me (on the porch, cleaning paint brushes), Jake heads inside for coffee at my urging so Ben and I can talk because I decided that's the way it's going to be. Within earshot if we're yelling but otherwise somewhere else.

And I'd like to yell but I can't. Ben is being great. He's accommodating and using his manners and being very respectful, hardworking and kind. Generous even. But he's not being Ben and I keeping waiting for Ben but I think he killed my Ben and left Borg-Ben in his place. Borg-Ben is not the sort to start a food fight or eat my lip gloss. Borg-Ben isn't quick to argue and is even quicker to forgive. Borg-Ben doesn't have any quirks at all. Borg-Ben is a hard worker and a neat freak and a doer of laundry and a solitary churchgoer and a perfectionist and I don't know where the fuck he came from.

I guess it's all profoundly reassuring to Lochlan and maybe to Caleb too. Caleb still won't let Ben come home so maybe the behaviour is an attempt to win his life back or maybe he's just numb. I hate it though. I want to throw a plate at his head and tell him to wake up. I want to take the front of his shirt and haul on it, swing on it, stretch it out and hang off it until he laughs and comes to his senses. I want to take his eyes and make a window in my brain where I show him all the hard parts, all the times where he could barely contain his emotions, whether it be sadness or exuberance or both but I really don't think Borg-Ben would understand so instead I walk over to the front door, stick my head into the house and call for New-Jake to take his alien back to their planet.

New-Jake looks confused but I can't explain. I just tearfully wave him away and go back to cleaning my brushes, wondering how this is happening when I wanted my Benjamin back, flaws and all. I don't think I care if he's straight or crooked but no one wants to hear that, trust me.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

But honestly.

Batman shrugs when I ask him about the house. It's a good investment. It's worth a lot more than I paid, to be honest. I underbid heavily and now it's mine.

I am pleased for him but also confused. We've lived here for almost four years. Why now? 

I needed to be out of the city. I'm getting old, Bridget. And you need a few more allies with power, I think. He shrugs. He's never egotistical about his influence but he trusts it.

Forty-five isn't old. 

Sometimes it is. My bullshit tolerance is down. I want to have peace and quiet and be left alone. 

So you came here?

Yes. Your noise is sweet. It sounds good. There's a family dynamic here. The guys are my friends. I think I'll settle in. I'm too busy to join in much but I'd like to be around more. 

Are you-

I don't mean I'm going to make a grab for you, if that's what you're worried about. I don't think your affection for me is that strong and while I would like to have a companion at this point I think just having you and the rest nearby fits the bill.

What changed?

You aren't interested. I think if I had made a move earlier you might have considered me. Back when you were twenty-two. But I was too busy. We've had some fun though, haven't we?

He's trying so hard to make up for Cole. I let him off the hook so easily. Yeah, we did. 


So you're just going to be around?

I'll be Caleb's conscience. 

That's a tall order. A man like that doesn't have a conscience. 

He does, Bridget, he just rarely invokes it. 

You're defending him?

Knowing what he fights against, yes. 

Saturday, 23 November 2013

In runes.

Busy watching Jace and Valentine duke it out shadowhunter-style on the big screen. When it's done I'll watch it again. Come back tomorrow for big feels and big words because right now I'm busy being a teenager and no one at this age can put into words what happens inside their minds and hearts and make it comprehensible.

I know I never could and sometimes I regress.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Another debilitating argument and we're left stripped down and starting over, finding scratch from which to build a life on. Finding something that reminds us why the fighting is the least important part of us, and maybe is a painful way to grow and nothing more. Everything holds even when the words cut so deep I think I'll bleed out before I hit the ground and instead of having the courage to be cruel in return I fold like a birthday card, flat on the table.

Not a pushover, I'm just not a worthy adversary. Everything disappears and I can't focus and the world becomes a blank white void, cold and desolate. Then the fear rushes in like the wind and I can't catch my breath. The focus shifts to surviving it and then gradually the color floods in like ink in water, clouds of hues I haven't seen up close to know they were this beautiful before.

Loch caves in, regret washing over him in inky blacks and blues and red. He thinks he's being generous when I am stupid and selfish, I guess but really I'm just trying to breathe here for the fear, oh the fear. Make it stop because I think it might be killing me.

What are you afraid of, Bridget? It's Jake's voice in my head and it makes my eyes sting and burn. I can see his face, smiling gently, helpless and yet still trying to help because he didn't know what else to do but organize perpetual rescue and none of it was ever enough and I look up into Loch's green eyes and wonder if I'm going to destroy him too and I don't want to do that. I don't want him to end up like the rest and why can't I breathe?

His promises echo-bounce off the walls and around the room like a magic trick and I stare at him, gulping in lungfuls of oxygen while he wonders what the fuck he did that made me like this.

(It isn't you. It isn't you. It isn't you. I can't not be afraid. I can't find familiar things. I can't believe a word of this life. I can't manage at all right now please don't look at me like this but don't go anywhere either please. Pleasepleaseplease.)

He works around me, my hands clenched into the front of his shirt, bunching up flannel and t-shirt and pure heart. I can't let go but I've tried. He puts my headphones in my ears finally and finds a playlist and presses play and I let go when I realize I can grab the melody instead, hanging on for dear life. His arms go around me and they form a sort of full-body armor and then just for those few minutes the fear subsides. The promises hold. The fight is over.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

ROCKmaninov, bitches. It's what's for breakfast. And lunch. And snacks. No, wait. Pachebel for snacks.

Yes, this.

No messing around today. Today's the eight-hundred-bucks-an-hour-but-only-if-you-wear-the-skintight-grey-wool-dress sort of day where I play Executive Assistant (because Personal wasn't important enough) in order to assist the person who executes me. I mean my company that I don't want.

Are you still keeping track? Because I'm not.

I chose Rachmaninov this morning because it pleases Satan to no end. And because it fills my brain without hurting it and that's a great thing.

But I'm not working. I'm tracking down cute cellphone accessories (DOUGHNUT. CAT. THINGS.) and being awful and texting with Sam about things like wedding dessert because It doesn't have to be cake, right? And I texted back a threat that might land me in jail because YES IT DOES and then Matt texted me with a warning not to threaten bodily harm over pastries but I thought he said pasties and I spit my coffee all over the place and Caleb looked up quite sharply from his desk and tried not to crack a smile.

But he failed. Oh, yes he did.

And Lochlan isn't returning messages because I told him I was working and he said no and then I said I wasn't passing up a green and he didn't say anything again and I'm at the top of his shit list but I can make it up to him later with money and kisses because he loves me in spite of the fact that I'm me, apparently.

And I can't breathe in this dress, therefore the lightheadedness.

(Chaconne hurts my brain, okay, there. I admit it. God so beautiful.)

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Bush league.

When the future's architectured
By a carnival of idiots on show
You'd better lie low
If you love me, won't you let me know?
Sam has traded pancakes for waffles today. No mountains, no roaring snow-bonfires, no bagpipes. No kilts. Maybe something more refined. And maybe they should change the date, he's pretty busy over the Christmas season. It's hard enough to find other ministers to fill in without several week's notice. And also it will be hard to plan a honeymoon without booking things far in advance.

Waffle waffle waffle...

Stop it, Sam. We walk and I keep looking up at him. I'm getting lovely views of his Adam's apple bobbing as he tries to swallow the idea of a future in which it isn't Sam but Sam-and-Matt. No more autonomy, only fifty-fifty splits and negotiations. No more I but we instead. No more fretting about wedding plans because soon they'll be married and that will be that.

He covers his face with his hands and drags them down until they fall away and he looks even more tired and more worn now. No haircuts and no shaving this month have left all of my boys looking like savages. I love it. Sam is incredibly cute with his caramel curls and darker beard.

A judge then? Have your ceremony in an office, no decisions required. 

A little too UNspecial. I want it to be perfect, I just don't know what perfect is for us. 

Close your eyes. 


Just do it! Have faith. 

Punny little thing. Okay. Closed. Now what?

It's a overcast cold day off in December. What are you doing?

We're listening to music by the fire. Coffee's made. Maybe some jazz on. 

There you go. A cabin, roaring fire, and a very rustic and quiet Christmas wedding. 

I know. I keep leaning that way I think. 

A flannel wedding!


Don't forget the pancakes. 

What is it with the pancakes?

I like the way you make them. 


They're shaped like bunnies. 

Oh. What? I didn't make them like that on purpose. 

You...really? And here I thought I was special. 

You are. 

Apparently not special enough for bunny pancakes. 


I think you need a new best friend. Apparently I'm not worthy of breakfast shapes. 

Sure you are! You just have to ask and-

Oh, Sam, if I have to ask then there's no point. 

This, Bridget. 


This is why I'm marrying a dude. 

I thought it was for the baseball. 

What? Baseball? Huh?

The pitcher/catcher thing...