If he were still alive today, I wonder if Cole's pictures would look like the ones Andrew takes of me on his phone while we wait for the others to get ready to go?
Cole's parents are here and I'm losing my mind.
I should say Caleb's parents, I suppose, since it's not like Cole is here to show them a good time. Cole's in a box in the ocean on the other side of the country. As far as possible from me but a safe place too, one I adore. So I sort of did him a favor.
The hardest part is watching them correct themselves when they apply the father title. Sentences to their grandchild(ren) begin with Your father would have been so proud to...I mean, this is terrific.. and I turn around and roll my eyes at myself because this is so much harder than I thought it would be.
It's easier to go to them.
Ruth and Lochlan want nothing to do with the charade of playing roles, of making things easy. Caleb tried to insist on something to Ruth and she turned around and shouted You aren't my father! and walked out of the room, leaving a silence behind that I cut into slices and passed around, making sure everyone knew there were seconds if they didn't have enough the first time. Then Henry wanted to go too because anything Ruth is doing is always more fun than hanging out with adults, unless they are PJ or Ben who aren't adults exactly but very oversized little boys.
So I let him go, and Caleb unleashed a controlled quiet fury at me that almost knocked me down.
But I can play this game too and I turned the whole thing around with my own charm, which I don't exhibit much anymore because then everyone screams unfair and manipulative and also: intoxicating.
I would love to be intoxicated right now but that would be a Very Bad Idea and I think we've had enough bad ideas for one
I wasn't going to mention they were here. It's not as if they're staying on the point (they're not, they're in complete swankiness at a downtown hotel so they can shop while they're here) and really I try not to write about people who haven't given me express permission to do so.
Except for Loch, Caleb, Ben and all the important people in my life. I write about them anyway because if I didn't all you would get would be a daily outfit of the day from Duncan or Dalton (jeans, button-down plaid shirt, cigarettes and beards every. single. day.) or transcripts of alternate Wednesdays when Danny and Schuy cook, throw dance parties or fight and make up.
I don't think that would be much of a fun blog.
They leave tomorrow morning so this is the last big evening together, complete with a family dinner planned at one of the few remaining restaurants downtown that hasn't banned us for food/fist fights and can hold nineteen people on very short notice.
Not many left.
(I mean restaurants, not fights.)
The funny part is this time Cole's mom looked at me for a few moments and instead of the usual You really should have married Caleb wistfulness she usually buries me under, she said I always knew you and Lochlan were two peas in a pod. I'm glad you're back together.
We're perpetuating a thin farce here, trying to go for normalcy when instead we should just fly the freak flag high and cop to the polyamorous/carny/monsters/musicians/communal freakshow we're really running. Normal never existed. Normal is the fantasy I made up in my brain when the daydreams came true and I had nothing left to wish for.
You're incredibly special to all of them.
I nod. They're all incredible men, Cole and Caleb included.
For what? (Ripping out both of your son's hearts? Perpetuating the fraud of fatherhood on someone who turned out not to be a father at all? Ruining their lives? Standing here pretending neither one of them was/is a monster?)
For seeing that Caleb is not alone. I know he doesn't deserve it sometimes but it's gracious of you to include him in your lives. I know it can't be easy.
I wouldn't shut him out of Henry's life or mine for that matter. He's family.
That's as much as I can hope for. And I have two beautiful grandchildren. It's everything I could want.
How do you do that?
Do what, dear?
Manage to be so thankful for what you have instead of fixated on what you've lost?
Drowning in sorrow isn't going to bring Cole back. Or Jacob, for that matter. You can't fix what's behind you. You can only see what's in front of you. And right now in front of me I see a beautiful girl struggling to please everybody but forgetting the most important person of all.