Friday, 31 May 2013

Today was completely and utterly preempted by the guy who did way too much yesterday, too soon after being released and was knocked flat on his ass by another doozy of a headache. He asked me not to leave him alone so I didn't.

You could say I know better, but maybe you don't know how fragile life is and how strange it is to see Caleb brought down by pain. It fucks with my head something fierce, okay?



Thursday, 30 May 2013

Galoche.

I remember waking up at three, hearing the birds (I think there's a nest in one of the trees closest to the house) and Ben was pulling me over, stripping off my t-shirt. Just before his hand slid over my whole face I cried out Wenceslas (safe words should always be three syllables and holiday related, correct?) but he didn't hear me. His other hand was wrapped in my hair and then I was blind, deaf, mute and all energies were channeled into touch. At five-thirty he was gone again. He does not sleep sometimes at all. He has such bad habits and worse listening skills. I told him I loved him but he didn't hear that either unless I missed his reply. That happens a lot too.

***

THIS. I want this for Christmas. For my little deep-fried sticks of heaven, man.

***

Caleb and I helped out at Henry's school this morning. Fun times. Not often they get a Princess and a Demon in the classroom on the same day but it happened finally and we did okay. Except the children are even larger than before and the whole place is louder (this is Grade six). Afterward I opted to walk home alone where Gage was the only one around and he had already eaten. Caleb proceeded downtown to a meeting he couldn't get out of and then I guess he can eat alone too. I'm not really hungry anyway.

Unless there are fries involved.


Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Did you really think that you could fix me?

(Never try texting a girl who already said she doesn't want to talk to you right now.) 

Bridget? 

Yes?

I still want a list of what you want to do for the summer. 

Plastic surgery. An extensive amount. So I can be someone else.

Absolutely not. Try again. 

Circus school? I'm really rusty. 

Try again. 

Going to seduce Duncan and Dalton in the same night. Possibly together.

JESUS CHRIST. 

I'm KIDDING. 

I don't think you are. 

WELL JESUS CHRIST TO YOU TOO. 

Tho, Duncan would fall for your seduction in under five seconds. 

You think? We should place bets. 

Please call an ambulance. 

You're a laugh a minute, Caleb.

As are you. Make a list, Bridget.

I have a list. You're not invited. 

If I had another party I bet I'd be on your list. 

I'm going now. Turning off the phone. Did you want anything specific?

Yes. 

I'm busy.

I didn't even tell you what I want. 


Oh, I know what you want.

Then tell me what YOU want. 

I want a lobotomy. I want Jake to still be alive. I want things to even out for five minutes. I want to recognize a goddamned street name in the paper when I read about my own neighborhood. I want to sleep. I want everyone to back off. I want some help around here. I want to turn off MY FUCKING PHONE NOW GOODBYE.


Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Not as different as you think they are.

Writing the past calms me down, oddly. Fitting all the memories into place. So please excuse me if I stupidly hit publish halfway through a post because I get surprised by the fire boy. That post will hit the front page eventually but only when I'm finished it.

He turned down your request for Jake to come here? 

(Lochlan has a soft spot for Jake. Bought him real steel-toed boots when he was doing construction for Sam. Kept him out of trouble when Keith was determined to find some the first summer they came up.)

Yeah. 

Oddly, I agree with him. 

Please explain why?

He's young, good-looking and you guys get along a little too well. I don't need that on top of everything else.

(Or he had a soft spot, I guess.)

He put the dinosaurs here.

(Title is a reference to the new Alice in Chains album. It's an epic full length pole dance earfuck from start to finish. Low Ceiling and Phantom Limb are early favorites.)

(Also New Jake, Jacob, since we are calling him that now (HURTHURTHURT shhhhh) went home today. Sam and Not-Matthew took him and I've talked to him four times since six and boy is he pissed that I managed to wake him up each time in the process so he's definitely feeling better.)

I have touched some nerves all around here lately, I think. Mr. Aloof Scotsman never actually came around and yet I still am drawn to him like a moth to a flame.

How truly fitting, pun intended if yesterday's hesitant, awkward post is any indication.

Except that we are the only ones who think we're special. Everyone else was almost visibly ragey and demonstrated such, beginning with Ben who acted like he didn't care which clearly meant he does, right through Batman who refused to let Jacob off the hook employmentwise (how can you refuse to accept someone's resignation again exactly?) to Caleb who said no more guests, permanent or otherwise. This is the roster. There will be no attrition or additions or reuptake here, unless I buy him out. He's not selling. Even if I could afford it which I can't.

He said he is sparing me from spreading myself so thin and that Jacob is just about old enough to be able to manage his disease just fine without me and that maybe I should think of him instead of being selfish, how once I crawl under their skin they cease to take interest in anything or anyone else ever again.

Don't project, Diabhal.

Oh, I'm not. Not in the slightest. Also please ask the rat to remove his crap from directly behind my car.

Oh, your son's unicycle, you mean?

He looked at the floor and then when he looked up again we had a new subject to discuss. I'm taking the summer off. I'd like to know if there's anything special you'd like to do.

I am confused and taken by surprise so I say nothing. He smiles and we picked up right where we left off. Oh, and I'd like an explanation of why you felt it prudent to write about things long buried in the past, figuratively and literally speaking, for once.

Oh, there it is. I've been waiting for the other shoe to drop and now I feel like a ragdoll that someone has by the arm and they're clapping it repeatedly against the side of the barn to try and get some of the dust off it. Ow.

I'm guessing Lochlan wasn't all that happy either.

Lochlan loves me unconditionally.

Christ, I'm going to wind up back in the ICU.

No, you're not! Don't you pin that on me.

Why not? It happened because of that, because of what you wrote.

BULLSHIT.

Not bullshit at all. It just happened. Don't think for a second I wouldn't try to prevent that. I've never felt so awful in my life. But the last thing I want to see on a fine Tuesday afternoon is a line condemning me and everything I've worked to become in favor of a twelve-year-old child looking for validation from her past.

If you're going to dismiss her so readily as superficial or unimportant than how did she manage to derail your entire week and put you in the hospital?

Touche.

Exactly.

I don't give you enough credit, you know that?

You never have! I was nothing more than a trophy to be fought over.

You were more. You are more.

Can't have it both ways.

Don't write any more about the past, Bridget.

Sometimes I have to.

At what cost?

It helps me. I don't do it to stick it to you or to Lochlan. Writing helps sort me out. You KNOW this.

BUT I DON'T LIKE IT. You're too close and you need to stop.

Well, tough, I guess because I have to put me first. Which you always say I should but you only mean when it's safe for you.

He nods and looks out the window, saying nothing.

Caleb. Caleb, LOOK AT ME.

Bridget. I'm tired, demoralized. and the bad guy yet again because I'm not willing to add any more acts to the circus you run over there. I'm not willing to.. he stops.

To what? What aren't you willing to do?

I'm not willing to tilt the odds away from myself with another soul on this point. And you think you can write something inflammatory and cancel your grand plans to see this through, but I survived at least long enough to tell you you're not going to get away from me that easily so make things easy on everyone and just stop. Enough. You ARE a child. You're a child who has to be reminded repeatedly that enough is enough. No more. 

You first. (I expected myself to say that, oddly. They want to keep me frozen in time as a child forever then that's exactly what I'll be.)

Monday, 27 May 2013

Lochxygen (ha, JESUS. A portmanteau for breakfast).

I don't own you but I know you're mine
Never disown you, never treat you unkind

But once in a while, you get on my nerves
Once in a while, you get what you deserve
I need you ninety-nine percent of the time
Ninety-nine percent of the time
Lochlan caught me like a boomerang on the way back from refilling tea cups on the porch for those who had retired outside to play guitar and discuss the fate of the world. I left a plate of much-appreciated cookies there too and I'm sure they were gone before the door closed behind me.

Hey, he said. He pulled me into him so hard I lost my breath. He kissed me, pulling me up the steps, unbuttoning his shirt, steering me down the hall until we can get past the doors. He unzips my dress but then pulls up the hem. Forget it, leave it on, can't wait. His arms are so tightly wrapped around me I can't breathe. I bite his lip and he changes gears, pulling his head back to stare at me, barely focused on my eyes, breath coming fast against my nose.

I know she's in there, he says abruptly, both hands holding my face firmly now so I can't look away. Instead I kick at him, frowning. A child's response. All I've got now, because he's going to systematically dismantle the wall I spent all week building.

Bridget, he says. Peanut. Mine. His hands tighten and then he moves them back to pull my hips against his.

I'm sorry, I choke it out. It hurts to even say it. (LOYALTY RESTORED, says my brain in a deep booming voice like when you play Quake and it announces things like QUAD DAMAGE and INVISIBILITY.)

Me too. But you can't hide from me, Peanut. I don't work that way.

I know. I didn't know what else to do. I put my arms around his neck and he pulls me up into his lap, tucking my head down against his shoulder, pressing against it with his iron jaw.

Shhh.

His arms are locked tight, his legs taking all the work, his hands forcing me to move when I want to stay close. He fights with this for a while before pushing me onto my back again, his arms underneath me, his face against my neck. He finds his rhythm, slow, harsh and colorless. He loses himself, holding me so tightly I have to fight for space to breath or everything will disappear and I don't want it to. Not with him. Not now.

Finally he says my name in the lowest rumbly-jagged voice ever. Bridget. With that, whatever work had been done on repairing my stupid, shattered heart becomes the biggest waste of time that ever was because it's ruined again and we're back where we started.

He stops moving gradually, pulling his hands up to my face once again. He kisses me gently. Softer than usual, slower than usual. Taking forever and I've decided I might be able to live without air after all.

But he starts up again, pulling me in close against his skin, pulling my tired limbs up around his own, always tensed. I tell him I can't. That I need sleep and he says what I need is right here, it's this, us. I'm still nodding as he lifts me up and turns me over. He puts his hand down on the back of my head and my goosebumps form a barrier between us. It makes him laugh. He's up on his knees, pulling my hips into him for so long I get cold and the goosebumps turn to sandpaper to the point where he turns me back around to face him and holds himself up slightly, just enough to make me want him more.

I don't remember when we stopped but I do remember he didn't move away and we stayed locked together tightly all night like we used to when all we had was a rickety little single cot, no heat and no plans as to how we would stay together, just that we would, no matter what.

I wake up with aching lungs and his eyelashes for a view. He senses when I am awake and his eyes open slowly, halfway only. He peers at me, his green eyes confused and grateful and sated.

Morning, gorgeous. Hungry?

No. I'm pretending I'm not awake yet so I can stay here with you. 

He smiles so wide I almost get pushed onto the floor except he's not letting go.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Favoritism.

I think pretty soon all of my care and feeding will pass to Daniel, who is really good at choosing a nice wine, a big blanket and a whole stack of records and taking me by the hand up to his bed where we gossip and lounge and listen and snooze and be existentialist nobodies.

Today he also went back downstairs for chocolate, because every slow song or hard question made me cry and frankly I think I need a vacation.

This ran on for three hours straight until I was piss drunk at four in the afternoon and both Ben and Schuyler were starting to complain about the lack of participation by either of us in the day, proper.

Not like we actually cared, but for the sake of everyone else we finally emerged, weebly-wobbly and full of lyrics and showmanship and sugar and booze.

Makes it really hard to make dinner though. But I did.


Saturday, 25 May 2013

One home, one to go.

Two interesting side effects of what has been a very long week that isn't over yet, is that Duncan has become very aloof and matter of fact and so has Lochlan. Interesting when the stars of the house show don't get their requisite amount of hours in the spotlight.

I would expect this from Lochlan, even though I don't approve of it, since Henry is very unhappy. Dad may tell little white lies about how he feels to get Mom's focus but Dad did not lie about this. I saw the numbers. I saw Caleb on his gooddamn knees from the pain and I thought it's about time God takes you down a notch even though that was mean.

But I would not expect this sort of silent outburst from Duncan. I'll have to sort out whether he just feeds off Lochlan's moods or if he's actively feeling marginalized by me, which I don't intend, but right this minute there is not enough of me to go around.

Back today but only having to go to one hospital will be far easier. I'm taking some drawings in to Jake. He wants to come here, to the point. He does not want to give up his employment though. I guess I'll have to talk to Batman too, and Caleb eventually, since it's his property and he has to have final approval, though it's not like I can't sway him pretty easily.

Caleb is touched that I am glad he didn't die even though he is fully aware that I'm glad he got such an incredible wake-up call. Don't worry, I said it to his face first.

You should have heard what he said in reply.

Friday, 24 May 2013

New-Jake has finally turned the corner. He's doing so much better today. Asked me what was wrong with my eyes, rimmed with red and leaking all over the damned place. Said it wasn't so bad. Basically made me want to smack him, but instead I told him of my phone calls to his parents, and I told him about the kids hula-hooping with PJ in the driveway. We are currently making space in the house next door for him, Batman be damned. Jake can't seem to manage his own self all that well so some nifty routines should help him with that. Then we can nag him constantly and he'll be healthy and not die.

***

I look at Ben and wonder how he does it. He's very forthright and curious here, very keen to know what's going on and to be of use. He's lost both his parents and two of his good friends and then some but he's as comfortable sitting in a hard chair in the corner of a room watching someone be helpless as I am uncomfortable at it. 

I'm a little wreck. The smell of the hospitals makes me nauseous, I worry and fret over every line, every beep, every person with a name tag who turns to talk with us and all I can picture is Cole, still and quiet at last, under a white sheet ripped down to his waist, the corners of the sheet pulled out at the bottom when they should have been tucked in, the unsteady beeps from the monitor beating my heart to smithereens as they slowed to a crawl and then stopped.

In contrast, Caleb's heartbeat is strong and steady. They've got his blood pressure and his pain under control. He has been ordered to get himself under control emotionally. This is not a choice, it's a requirement if he wants to live a full life, so he'll be healthy and not die.

***

I had to go outside in the courtyard/sidewalk/gift shop and pace and pull myself together more than once. As far as I can tell, we're doomed.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Bit stressed. New Jake is still in the hospital (DKA) and now Caleb is too (his blood pressure went so high his headache made his nose bleed wtf), albeit a different hospital which means I currently live on the highway, in a coffee cup.

 Waiting for a shower (there's a lineup) and in the meantime I have to go yell at Sam. Maybe God will hear me that way.


Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Butterscotch ripples.

I'm listening to Air Supply in the kitchen while I do preparations for dinner and ignore the messages on my phone. Let them pile up. Eventually the phone company will cut me off. Exceptions I will take are Corey (who is coming over with a big fat cheque for me for my artistic contribution to his latest music video) and New Jake, who is currently at the hospital with Sam because he fucked up his insulin again and no one is looking after him so I might bring him here so I can.
Oh baby, those memories come crashing through
and I just can't go on without you.
Go on without
It's just no good without
Yoooooooouuuuuuuuu
PJ thinks I'm insane.

Ha, you're very perceptive, Padraig.

Batman wants to know what we buried in the cornfield.

Perhaps I should tell him that it was loaded.

Speaking of evil things, Caleb switched gears this morning, telling me he wasn't feeling well, asking if we could defer Henry's dinner night to tomorrow (they go to a restaurant once a week or so and eat big huge hamburgers and talk man-talk). Fine. Need anything? No? Okay great, gtf away. I don't plan to message Caleb for the rest of the week. It's draining.

Henry was not impressed and thinks his father is lying because I am always nicer to Caleb when he's sick. He told Henry I was more cuddly and so I told Henry that yes, his father lies but only to be kind, like those lies we tell when we don't really like a gift or a food or a moment but we need to be polite and not hurt feelings. Henry then asked if PJ could take him out instead because PJ doesn't care if Henry gets mustard on his t-shirt and laughs way more than Dad. I said some dads just aren't that cuddly and Henry said that sucked.

Yeah it does. Come hug me. Better?

Yeah.

I'll always be cuddly for you. 

Yeah but mo-om, you're like needy-cuddly. I don't mean to hurt your feelings though.

Gee, thanks, Bunny. Next time lie.

Okay. Sorry. 

It's okay.

Will you check on Dad?


Yes. 

Now?

No. I'm up to my elbows peeling potatoes. Why don't you check on him? 

Okay. Bye. Love you. 

Love you too. 

On his way out he asked if he could have ice cream after dinner. I said if PJ says it's okay then yes.

What if PJ says no? Can I override him with this conversation?

Absolutely not. 

Aw. Okay, mom. 

Monday, 20 May 2013

Second best fire juggler I've ever seen (evening postscript).

The Granville Island 'Cultural' Association has banned all busker acts involving fire and/or bagpipes. Also absolutely no deviations from the original audition script and no interaction with audience members will be permitted.

They're serious.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. 

Scatterminded.

Reading a ad-hoc bio for Lochlan from a website and it lists his current occupation as Tenor. I smiled and everyone else went WTF. Do the latin and you'll see. It means 'someone who holds'. He's crafty like that.

The rest of it reads like something from a bucket list filled with fireworks and circus acts (because it is). For someone so serious, it's an acute, abrupt study in contrasts. It's hard to believe but he is the same person who is directly to blame for my personality for he shaped it during my most formative, important years. Now do you see?

When he opened the cupboard looking for a stapler this morning he found seven different kinds of glitter but no stapler. He went to the desk and found sparklers, glowsticks and suckers but no stapler. I watched with amusement as he did a couple circuit of the main level before coming back and waiting for me to acknowledge him. He likes things orderly. Everything in it's place now. We've traded OCD for instruction in our old ages here, he is now difficult and rigid, I remind him to loosen up and have some fun.

I look up.

I give, Bridgie. Where's the stapler. He is defeated and doesn't even ask the question, he just says it flat.

I take the sucker out of my mouth and think about it. The sucker is breakfast, because I'm an adult and can choose to give myself a sugar high before noontime and I can choose to ignore the irritation in his voice because life is so hard for our tenor right now. It must take more effort to hold a heart surrounded by ninety-five pounds of total foolishness and utter bullshit than I realized.

The black one? The big office one?

Yes. 

It's in your hand. I wink at him and return the sucker to my mouth and he swears a blue streak and mutters to himself the whole way back down the hall.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Chelation

Late last night yet another message from the Devil pops up on my phone. Not a big deal usually but this time Ben was plugging my phone in on the dresser and he got to read it first. He shook his head, read it again and then deleted it. Then he made some lame, obvious excuse about needing his glasses out of the truck, that he would be right back.

Lame because I was standing there holding his glasses because I had grabbed them on the way up the steps.

Loch walks in and sees the look on Ben's face and asks him if he had a good sleep because Ben's been completely oblivious to Caleb's manipulations all spring. We're happy he woke up at last. He's made such a concentrated effort not to be the loose cannon anymore, I'm proud of him and at the same time frustrated that I can't ask him to deal with the monsters I make.

Tonight I didn't even have to ask and I wish he would pick a side already instead of hiding behind some magnanimous effort to see me sort out my life on my own when he's happy to throw wrenches into the works every chance he gets.

He came back an hour later tightly wound and unwilling to discuss it. I handed him his glasses and he took them and I asked if everyone was okay, sort of code for wanting to know if he's hurt Caleb, if I should go and check on him, if he needs a doctor or an ice pack or last rites. Ben stopped me before I could wind up too much and said all they did was talk and he didn't know what I had done but Caleb is a man haunted and driven by all of this turmoil lately.

Please, Ben. He plays you like my fucking fiddle. 

Does he, Bee? Does he really? How many men have fallen for you exactly and how is he pretending when the rest of us are brought to our knees? 

You can't even recognize when the Devil forces you to take his side. Ben, come ON. He doesn't have that power over you. You're not his to use. 

Ben stares at me for what seems like forever and then eventually gives me a nervous almost-laugh. Fucking Christ. I don't even know how he puts things into my head.

That's how he does it. It's frightening. 

Ben looked doubtful but relieved. Yeah, it is, actually. 

Don't spend time with him. He'll get under your skin. 

I just...yeah. I know. Fuck. I know.

But Ben didn't look like he felt better and so the moment I could extricate myself from his presence I sent a message to Caleb.

What the FUCK did you do?

Exactly what I warned you I would do, Princess. You chose to do things the hard way. I am just facilitating that for you. 

Fuck off. 

Hell, Babydoll. I'm just getting started.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Now she holds me not.

Gage is going to remain here for the spring, summer and into fall. He said he'll take off again around Remembrance Day, if we'll have him. I suggested someone put the staple gun near our winter gear, fresh into storage and when that time comes we'll fix him to the floorboards so that he can't leave. Schuy just grinned endlessly and Gage was incredibly touched that we want him to stay. He's not used to having an address for that long. He said he might order some stuff from Amazon because there is a place it can be sent. I told him he can have anything sent here now and in the future once he leaves (if he leaves) and we'd get it to him and he needed a minute to collect himself over that idea. Also over the extra blankets I put in his room and the initial G on the hook in the closet by the front door. His color will be crimson for towels and sheets. I'm running out of colors.

Some people just fit beyond measure here. That much I see from my view on my tiptoes looking over the sunset in through the windows of my house where sometimes things are peaceful and cohesive and sweet and not hard or painful in the least.

In other news, why, yes, I did fall asleep in the theatre when we went to see Star Trek: Into Darkness today. Ben filled me with popcorn and chocolate and then BOOM. I dunno. I'm sorry I'm a little narcoleptic and my chin hits my chest the moment I warm up in the dark (it happens in more than just the movie theatre). Luckily someone kicked my seat and I woke up in time for the good parts but I couldn't tell you a thing about any of it. Other than blue eyes. Oh, and Armie Hammer from The Lone Ranger trailer? Jesus, hotness.

When we were on the way home I checked my text messages and there were seven from Satan himself. He wasn't kidding when he said he would make things difficult, covering everything from my (lack of) finances to how I look when I'm sleeping (motherfucker) to how lonely he is at night to how he should maybe turn the garage into usable space so it can't be taken over by my ghosts.

I will try not to reply. I'll try very hard. I'm having such a good day.
O, when she's angry, she is keen and shrewd!
She was a vixen when she went to school;
And though she be but little, she is fierce.
         ~William Shakespeare

Friday, 17 May 2013

Drama, bullshit, maintenance, peanut butter and jam.

My lunch date was cancelled on my behalf, by someone loathe to fix anything but happy to mess with the Devil ad hominem.

So instead of going downtown to a fancy place I go down to the kitchen to make something. Lochlan joins me. Silently we get out bread, peanut butter, jam and cans of pop because that's what we always made in the camper and it's sort of a habit. Also a habit is Lochlan putting the second can back because I've never finished a can of pop in my whole life. They're too big somehow. I don't like eating out of cans. It has nothing to do with anything,  I like metal in my ears, not my mouth (SHUT IT, BENJAMIN).

We each read one side of the paper while we ate, me on my knees (SHUT. IT) on the bar stool, leaning way up on the counter at the island (JUST..)trying to keep up and failing, reading a third of each article while Loch motors through everything like he's in a hurry.

But he's not. Batman gave both my boys a little time off. Ten days to get our shit together because it's not and no one can work like this and he spoils me even though I don't actually pick up his calls or reply to his texts much because can't you see? I have everything under control here.

Snort.

The Devil sent a message telling me he was sorry to miss our lunch and that he would go it alone and I replied to that because most of the time I prefer replying to his texts than having to see him in person because he makes my knees shake and I don't know why. I said Have Fun as if I was sad just because when he says he's eating alone I want to cry. But also I want to shake myself and ask why I even care but I know I would reply something snarky like Stockholm Syndrome so I won't ask at all.

Lochlan holds out the can of Ginger Ale just like he has since I was eight and a half and he realized I was wasting a lot of junk food he was paying for. Take a drink, Peanut, he orders and I listen, just like I always do.


***

A lot of people want to know what the boys are up to. It's easy to reach me. Just click on my profile, up to the left and once there you can see what music I like most (this week anyway) and how to reach me via email. Sometimes I even manage to reply, I swear.

Let's see. 

 Ben is working at home because he has time off, you see. So uh..yeah. There's that. He's great at drive-by affection as of late. He also almost fell asleep at the wheel the other night because he stays up half the night talking and other things. He still makes no apologies and no attempts to fix, he just watches me as I flop around like a psychological fish trying to sort it out myself, God bless him, he's the singular person in my life who doesn't treat me like a child. Which is why I married him aside from the glaringly obvious necrosexual aspect of my attraction to him (vampire rock stars are where it's AT). He's so depraved he makes me blush and nothing can make me blush anymore so that's saying a lot.

 Lochlan  is doing a lot better, almost to the point of cheekily thumbing his nose in the direction of the boathouse. This is progress. A few days ago he was in a fetal position on the floor so I'll take this any day. Ben cuddled him to death because Ben has a crush on him that's barely veiled so he didn't complain and pretty much volunteered but if I tell you that I'll be murdered so let's keep it between us. Loch is drawing a bit and otherwise planning work in his head. Batman keeps him fairly busy with a constant stream of commissions. I think to give him a steady cheque, not so much because his painting is up where Cole's was, collector-wise. Well, maybe. I don't know. The only thing Loch says is that it's temporary and soon he'll be back to a regular day job. I don't know what that will be but to him a regular job means busking more than one weekend a month. Watch for him, in any case and give him some money, okay?

Caleb is doing pretty good. He's part-time schmoozing, part-time money-laundering, part-time Porsche-shopping. He had his visit with his cardiologist and he's doing great. He tires more easily than he should and the headaches are sometimes very bad but he is managing pretty well, all things considered. He's excited to get back to diving but the headaches keep sneaking up on him. I don't think the stupid trips help him feel better but he says they, like me, help distract him. I'm sure it's a ploy for attention same as when he ties me down.

PJ's heartbreak is ebbing. We can joke about it now without him punching us. I just duck but the rest of them are slow, I guess. He said he's considering going the way of Sam because men are so much easier to get along with without drama and bullshit and maintenance. Finally! We agree on something! We also agree on Epic Metal Beard and he's growing it back. She didn't like it so he SHAVED IT OFF. Guys, if a girl tells you she doesn't like your beard?

Run.

August is doing great. In between hippie music festivals he is currently staying with Jake's parents who can't keep up the homestead anymore without a lot of help. He's getting everything done that they need. They were relying on neighbors and hired help for everything from yard work to household cleaning and such but it's coming to a point where they need to make some decisions, I guess. That will probably be to adopt August and mix up his name alot. Apparently Jacob's mom cries every time he walks in the room. I know that feeling well.

Jacob? Still dead but possibly visiting the garage again. I still miss him every single minute of every single day. God, my brain is so broken sometimes I don't understand how I can figure out how to brush my teeth every day but let's keep going.

Cole? Still dead with wings black as night and completely and utterly personified in Caleb so really that's the draw. Cole was magnetic, enigmatic. I can't help myself.

Matt goes to work every day, comes home every night with a kiss for his bride and they talk quietly, play some guitar and help with meals. He irons a lot of things. Like everything. I told him that is a cry for help, that he's looking to make life neat and orderly so it manifests itself in wrinkle-free clothing and he stared at me forever and then burst out laughing and said, no, Bridget. I was raised to always look my best. And it's true! He comes out in the morning in pressed pajamas and a pressed t-shirt with combed hair. He's like the Humphrey Bogart of the hipster set.  I'm sure he'd like to chase me down and iron me but I've truly been rocking this unkept bed-star look forever and he'll have to live with it (Twitch. Twitch.).

Sam loves it here. Loves being right by the water. Loves praying on the cliff and loves counseling everyone without having to arrive or leave. His pajamas are not ironed (yet) and he's giving a great indication that he's going to be the best runaway bride ever so I don't know who's counseling who exactly but I love having him here too. Mostly to steal his CD collection. And his coins. Shhhh.

Duncan S. Thompson is doing great. He has no jobs on the horizon until September and so he is On Vacation. Which means he drinks margaritas for breakfast and tries to get me in trouble all damn day. He's writing a book. He's pretending he's a monk. He loves the cats and they love him back to the point where I have started calling him the Crazy Cat Man. That made everyone happy, they didn't like it when I called him the Lizard King. He is still mostly in charge of my health and safety since PJ flipped out. We could change it back but why fix what isn't broken? I think it will be changed back soon because Lizard. Yeah.

Dalton/Teflon Jesus is a heart-stealing gypsy vagrant. The drummer he marches to has odd timing though. He disappears for days at a time and staggers back all smiles. He's a vegan suddenly which is getting lots of jabs from the others and he still works far more than his big brother. He takes every job he can get, even the shit ones. He's stockpiling money for a long trip I think, though he won't say in as many words. He shows me pictures of all the girls he sleeps with. It's like a yearbook of pretty hopefuls starting at the midlevel to reach the stars. He certainly doesn't mind. I told him he wasn't vegan if he was eating them and he laughed for days. If they only knew that he was worth seducing and the ones farther up are not but you can't tell a girl that, they have to learn for themselves. Some faster than others.

That's it for this house. I'll catch you up to speed on the next-door boys next week sometime in between life and love, I guess. Same as always. :)

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Demon laughter.

A man can be destroyed but not defeated
Even when he's lying black and blue
Living on a faith above his ceiling
Never going to know if it rings true
There's a voice inside that keeps him
On the path of righteousness
You can't break his stride or change his mind
'cause he won't second guess
I took the money to the bank this morning and put it all back in Caleb's account. Then I went next door with the receipt and the now voided agreement. Because in it he says I can cancel at any time.

He met me at the door, offering me coffee. I refused politely, telling him I just wanted to drop off some paperwork. He took it from me, leafing through the forms, lifting up the deposit slip and then smoothing it out, his brow furrowing. He looks at me and then leafs through the forms again just to be sure. Then he asked if Lochlan is making me do it.

I told him I had expected it to make things easier for myself and for Lochlan too but it didn't work out that way.

Ah. By reverting back you do understand that this will make your life harder, do you understand?

Oh my God, such a lawyer.

I'd rather fight you than give in. 

It sounds so extraordinary when phrased like that. 

You're a sick fucking pervert, you know that?

Yes, I'm aware. But only with you. By day, I'm the mild-mannered Lord of the Underworld. 

You admit it! 

Who wouldn't? It's an honor and a privilege. Now what did you want to do about our lack of arrangement? Shall I harass you right now or would you like to have lunch first?

I...what? I forgot what I wanted to say. 

Exactly as I directed, via my overwhelming powerful evil powers. Lunch at two? 

Sure. 

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

NO VACANCY yet again.

I can't do a standard post today after all. Gage arrived right after breakfast when Ben was still in full-on metal-cookie-beast mode.

Say it with me now. Gaaaaage.

Poor Lochlan. Every time he thinks he's found a new spot to set up his painting supplies someone comes along and turns it into their space. Gage gets August's old room here in the main house, since it is still somewhat furnished. I don't know how long he is staying yet. We'll discuss that tonight, but it's sort of uncanny how he appears when the grapevines sprout and leaves just after we harvest the grapes each year. So I still don't know if I should get attached again or not, because it sucks when he leaves. I suppose it sucks more for Schuy but he can write his own blog.

He'd actually be pretty good at it, I think.


Cheer Factory.

You what the funniest thing about today is? That T-1000 comes on the stereo and Ben sings the whole thing in his Cookie Monster voice. Or rather, he yells the song. It's not exactly melodic or anything.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Time out.

Ben is home today (because by late last night there was absolutely nothing left of anyone). I stared at him from the doorway this morning as he slept. I had my nose pressed against the wooden trim, so only one eye was on him. I remained like that for so long he finally acknowledged me, because he wasn't sleeping and I could tell.

Pretty cyclops. Going to make me a waffle?

No, you can make one for me though. 

Why just one? I know you'd eat about seven of them. 

Better get cracking then. 

Will do. He flings the sheet off and stands up. He's lost all of the extra pounds he gained in March and is back to his very pale, very thin self. He's all sharp angles and sweet translucence. He's my vampire and I can't look away. Savior and sinner rolled in to one. Ben has no moral compass. He has no sense of past or future. He has no regrets and he won't surrender. He also won't apologize but I know this and I've gotten used to it. He is who he is and the only thing he's actually truly sorry for is the fact that I knew what I was getting into but I married him anyway and for that and only that I have his sympathy, or so he tells me semi-regularly.

What about Cale-

We'll sort that out later. Right now I just want to eat waffles off my bride. I mean with my bride. No, wait, the first one. You game?

We stand there grinning at each other stupidly. Because we're stupid. No hidden reasons there.

Monday, 13 May 2013

12:37 left in the third.

Leafs are up 4-1 over the Bruins.

Ben came home to eat some crow for dinner and watch the game with me us.

Things are going to change.

In need of a prophet.

I opened the garage door and just barged in, hands full with the recycling bin, skipping the light, I don't need it. I began to sort things into bags-paper in green, plastic in purple, metal in orange, when his voice made my heart stop.

What are you up to, Princess?

I drop the tins and turn around and there he is, leaning against PJ's jeep, which had the soft top stolen off it two weeks ago in Burnaby and so it's been parked in the garage because we live in a rainforest. He ordered a new top from the dealer but it takes forever.

I thought you weren't coming back here, Jake. 

What's wrong?

Nothing. 

You haven't greeted me like that since that one time you tried to leave me. 

I'm tired and I have a headache. 

So then tell me what's going on with Lochlan and with Caleb and then you can go get an aspirin. 

Why? Not like you can fix it. 

Maybe you can talk through it with me and fix it yourself.

Channeling Ben today, are we?

He's not around enough.

He flew in to sabotage my trip and then he went back to work today.

Sabotage how?

I shrug. You know Ben. 

Jacob's whole face changes and his generosity is gone. What are you up to?

I stand in front of him and play with my rings, I feel very small all of the sudden. I stick my lower lip out unconsciously. It's complicated. 

Uncomplicate it. 

Gee, how? Apparently they are all evil. 

I think you're the evil one. 

Fight fire with fire, Jacob. 

Bridget, this isn't you. You aren't vindictive and shallow. You don't play people. You just need everyone. But it doesn't look like this when you do it. This is deviance. 

Defiance. 

Both, then,  from where I'm standing. 

You're not actually standing here though. I'm just crazy. Why make the effort to be anything else anymore? If I'm going to spend time with Caleb I'm going to take the rest of his money, clear and simple. If Ben is going to work around the clock and then demand my loyalty then I will punish him too. And I don't know what to do with Lochlan and that's why my head hurts so much all the time from thinking too hard. 

You're right. It's complicated. 

I can't fix this anymore, Jake. I can't even see which end is up. And now you're back and everyone's just going to freak out over that too. 

Bridget? Who are you talking to?

Lochlan's standing in the door. He still has that awful look on his face from when he confronted me hours ago with the rest of the money from Caleb. The money I tried to hide until I figure out exactly what to do with it, because I've never had this much at once before and I've decided that I have to come first so I'm not even considering giving it back. He didn't expect to feel this way about it. It's as if he's waking up finally. Motherfucker. I love him and I hate him. It's exactly the way I feel about myself right now.

No one. 

Jacob, you mean.

No one, I repeat and he dissolves into frustrated tears.

What are we doing, Peanut?

I wish everyone would stop asking me that. I don't know! 

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Heavy traffic.

And tell them I couldn't help myself
And tell them I was alone
Oh, tell me I am the only one
and there's nothing left to stop me
I am sober, unpacked and rested when I am summoned back across the driveway for a post-mortem on the trip and also because Caleb can't decipher my drunken scrawled expense notes and he wants to on Sunday morning. Mother's Day for crying out loud.

I appear in the kitchen and he hands me a fresh mug of black coffee which I take, gratefully.

How is he? He, meaning Lochlan, who understandably doesn't do so well with these trips, or my absences in general.

I wouldn't know, I haven't had much time to see him yet. I am cross at Caleb. Good coffee doesn't change that. If he's going to monopolize my time then I'm going to let myself out of our contract so ungracefully he'll wish he never met me.

Let me know if he gives you any problems, please, Bridget.

What? No. This is none of your business.

It's my business, he assures me. Speaking of which, I have your renumeration here. He hands me a white envelope. It's sealed, monogrammed. Thicker than it should be for a single cheque.

Your wages plus stipends for each day plus a bonus for the short notice and the efficient work.

I nod, slowly. I don't understand, though.

I need you with me, Bridget. I work better with you around.

Oh. I'm around.

I mean when you work here.

Sorry, Boss. Not going to do that again.

Let's wait and see, shall we? Good luck with Lochlan. As usual, he doesn't deserve you, and you're the quintessential hybristophiliac, running after him anyway.

You've got a lot of nerve, you know that?

Yes. I'm aware. He grins. Take that back to him and open it together and someday you can tell me why I entertain this charade so generously.

He steps toward me, kissing my cheek roughly before opening the door for me. I hand him my still-full mug and he takes a sip. Thanks, he says. See you tonight for dinner.

(The kids planned a big Mother's Day dinner. Guess who they invited?)

I realize I didn't explain my notes to him the moment I stepped onto the deck. I go back to the house and find Lochlan. He is stirring slowly, still in bed, his tousled curls making him look chaotic and beautiful and insane. His hair grows like grass in the rain. I wish I had that problem.

Where'd you go? He mumbles, eyes still closed.

To get my paycheque. I open the envelope and pull out three cheques and a handwritten note. I look at the cheques and my eyes get wider and wider. Then I look at the note. 

Well? Loch says. He hates this but at the same time, this is the con, alive and well and executing perfectly, with everyone understanding who is conning who.

Except me, I've lost track.

I pull one of the cheques out to show him. The smallest one. The rest I fold back into the envelope, pretending it is trash to be thrown away.

That isn't a paycheque, Bridget, it's a purchase. I think he just bought you. What in the hell is this?

If only he knew.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

I used to believe in Forever.

I suppose I could continue on with the whole phenomenon about how Caleb is only actually nice to me when we're alone and when anyone else is around he becomes a quiet psychopath, or I could talk about the fact that Ben had loaded his laptop with the most amazing Soviet Winnie the Pooh movies, that I didn't know existed! Jacob would have found these hilarious. I've always been sad at the Disneyfication of Pooh since they bought the rights and I was already pissed when Classic Pooh turned into wacky forties t-shirt Pooh. So this made me happy. I watched it the whole way home on the plane. And I'm only a little drunk now so there. A wee bit. Celebrating being in one piece, always. Still. Mostly. Ha.




Circus Circus.

(Where there is that broad, sweeping warm daylight there is also narrow, cold half-light in which we exist between the fires Loch starts and the ones I put out (or maybe it's the other way around). But Lochlan isn't in this post, sorry. Ben is. Ben flew in yesterday afternoon to wear the crown and Caleb has turned back into a frog.)
We both know this ends
But what if no one knows
No one knows how to kill us in the end?
This is all you need for who you are
This is how a good man goes too far

I don't need much to show you
Only enough to control you
Bury your head inside this
And gather the darkness that finds it

I think I'll die if you deny me
Swallowed alive in eternity
Give me a way to be the agony
That knew you all along
Caleb draws his thumb across the tip of my nose, his fingers touching my ear, just enough that he and I both noticed I was holding my breath.

He bends his head down close to mine and lifts my head up at the same time until my nose bumps against his cheek. His breath is warm. He smells like bourbon and cedar and smoke.

Breathe, Bridget. 

I shake my head and swallow. His other hand comes up to cup the back of my head and I resist until it's too late. I always figure Caleb will someday just pull me off my feet, twist his hands and that will be that. If I don't get pushed off the cliff first.

This way he could just say he didn't mean to, but he broke his doll. Then he'll find another one. Or maybe not. Not like this one was mass-produced. She'll be impossible to replace. Some delicate balance of that knowledge keeps me alive, I'm sure. Or maybe I'm wrong and it keeps murder in the forefront of his mind.

Ben pushes me forward still but I lean back against him.

No, I say. Clear as day, break the mood like glass under the full moonlight.

Cole is the only one who could ever soothe your homesickness away from Loch. Use that, Bridget. You'll feel better if you just let go. Just a little. That's my baby girl.

Ben's hands release me while the others tighten slightly. Here we go, lift and snap. (Just get it over with but don't kiss me. I don't want you to kiss me, Cole.)

I put out my hands and push hard against Caleb's chest. I don't go anywhere. Neither does he.

Don't make this difficult.

Don't do it then, I whisper in his face.

He abruptly drops my head and turns away. Maybe she needs another drink, he tells Ben.

Ben runs his hands up over my shoulders and pulls me back against him firmly. He doesn't do anything else. I turn my head to the side and inhale his flannel shirt. Soap. Rain. Uncertainty. Resignation. My perfume on him. Flowerbomb. Transferred by touch.

She doesn't. And she doesn't need you either, I slur but they completely ignore me. Jesus. For good measure I yell my safe words. Gingerbread! Wenceslas! Fucking listen to me!

Ben ignores them like he always does, his fingers squeezing my shoulders, his thumb rubbing against that trigger spot. I'm like a dog, half-expecting my leg to start twitching in time with my heartbeat involuntarily as he rubs. I'm frustrated that Ben caves in so easily without even pausing to recognize my concerns. He has tunnel-vision. He's oh-so-very-easily swayed. He was told I needed him so he got on an aircraft and came to me. Only I was doing okay. I don't need him. I don't need any of this but I'm glad he's here now and I'd do anything for him.

Even that.

Caleb appears in front of me again with a glass, which he forces against my lips. When I try to resist Ben's hands tighten around me. Drink some. It'll help you relax. 

Only God can help me now. 

He smiles. Then I guess you're on your own.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Paradise, unincorporated.

(I've decided my next career will be in making amends.)
I don't want a kiss goodnight
I just want to stay here forever
I don't want to close my eyes
I just want to stay here forever
He took me dancing.

The day wore on, the champagne wore off and Caleb burst in through the door near midevening in a mood I can't even describe to you. Change. We're going out tonight. Wear something....ridiculous. 

Mmm...okay?

I picked a sequined, shimmery silver dress and stilettos with serious bondage-caliber ankle straps. He stepped back into the room ten minutes later almost matching me. Not in a silver dress and stilettos, in a casual grey shirt and darker grey pants. We're coordinated.

Don't worry, it was all a show. We're not coordinated and can't actually dance all that well but we gave it our best shot and then a slow song came on finally. At last. I suggested we pack it in. Dancing in stilettos is not a fun event. It's like never getting to the end of the wire. Always balancing.

One last dance and we'll leave, he says.

I should have realized his lies are so easily told by omission but I was drunk again and having a blast so I agreed. He held out his hands. There we go. Coordinated in arms, at least. We can't make fools of ourselves or each other moving this slowly, anyway.

He didn't say a word, he just held me and swayed with the music, a slow circle completely around three times. He smells like hotel soap and clean sweat and cotton. His hair is all messed up and the grin seems to be permanent and she sees all this and tells me I'm on my own, finding a door in my brain and opening it, walking through and closing it again. Twelve is gone, replaced by a worthy opponent. I can slay anyone in these shoes and this dress. They are weapons and I'm strong and brave and foolish and near-shitfaced.

I'm thinking all this and he's thinking about food.

So we leave and go for burgers. He doesn't even ask if I want another four hundred dollar meal, he just drives until he sees a brightly-lit sign and an ordering window and he asks me what I want.

Onion rings. And a sprite, please! He orders those and gets the same, plus a burger. Big men get hungry. I always forget and live like a bird. We find a parking spot that has a view of the strip. It's four in the morning and nothing is slowing down, though the lot is almost empty.

He holds out his burger, offering me the first bite. I take it. So good. I should have ordered one, I tell him. He tears it in two giving me half, and I'm finished before he's done chewing his first bite. I go slower with the rings. I see the door in my head open just a crack and her eyes peering through. She doesn't trust him. She doesn't know why I'm having fun. She doesn't like it and so she stuck around when I thought she was gone.

When I realize Caleb has been staring at me without moving or speaking or chewing for far too long I return his gaze.

What?

We could do this all over the world, you know. 

I nod.

Just think about it. 

I nod again. That would be cool. (I thought he meant he has more meetings and I can tag along).

I feel a sudden tension as his breath catches. Bridget-

I wipe ketchup off my face with a napkin and burp really loud and laugh, clapping my hands over my mouth. What? Sorry. Yes? Oops! Haha! Geez.

Marry me. 

In my brain she flings the door wide, her small shadow casting darkness over my mood. She shakes her head. She makes the rules. She runs the show. I make myself wait though. I wait until I can speak properly and then I change the subject.

I'm tired. I think we should go back to the hotel now. 

He sits there staring at the steering wheel for such a long time I begin to wonder if I should have taken that time to get as far away as possible from him, just in case. Finally he picks up my hand, kisses my palm and smiles grimly. You're right. Busy day tomorrow. If we're lucky we can get a couple hours of sleep. 

He starts the car and we drive back to the hotel in silence.

Lobby. Silence. Elevator. Silence. Hallway? Silence. Room. He stops and opens his mouth as if he is going to say something but he changes his mind and instead he pulls me back into his arms. I go willingly. I always have.

I'm sorry, I tell him. He's told me he's sorry a million hundred thousand times and I feel bad for hurting his heart. Their hearts. My heart. 

He pulls back and brushes my bangs out of my eyes. Well, you didn't say no, right? He starts laughing and I see his eyes glassing over but just a little. He's pretty smooth like that.

Goodnight, Diabhal. 

Goodnight, Neamhchiontach.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

High and lonesome club.

I said Caleb was very busy and that I would have to work hard to catch him up because fucking hipster queen wannabe Lucas couldn't roll his tongue up long enough to actually accomplish anything useful and now...

Well, NOW I'm in Vegas and I've just ordered lunch and really I don't understand how this place can be anyone's on-purpose destination vacation because it smells like a dead hooker floating in an overflowing ashtray outside and it's full of broken dreams and hard hearts, people who only smile at you when you're cashing out with over five figures.

My Monte Cristo sandwich cost $32. I guess the cheese will have gold flakes and high hopes and come with a monogrammed paper napkin.

I don't have high hopes. I used to find this place so grown up and so exciting. Now I just find it depressing. I bet it finds me depressing too.

Batman has already threatened to put me on a plane and send me home, Lochlan was just..I don't even want to go there, and Ben probably doesn't know where I am because he hasn't picked up his messages. I'm not even working. The Devil is at a meeting. He didn't need me there. I worked on the plane and suddenly I don't need to do anymore.

I think I get it.

A knock on the door and I stand way up on my tiptoes to see through the peephole. It's room service.

Champagne? Sure. Leave the bottle. Yeah, I can pour my own. Don't think I need this glass, though.  Can you get me anything else? Sure, I could use an icepick and a steady hand and once I've forgotten my own name I'll probably enjoy myself right? Maybe take in a show. Check out the tables, right, okay. Oh, you say you have something that will let me forget my own name without the icepick lobotomy?

No, thank you, I don't think that sounds like a very good idea. Times have changed.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Devout and doubtful.

Sam finds me outdoors this morning. I'm drinking coffee, still in pajamas and one of Ben's hoodies, my headphones permanently affixed to each side of my skull. Perfect balance. I need a second pair to stuff up my nose for a center channel.

I need a lobotomy too. Still, I mean.

Grieve-Right strips, he says. Bridget, you're far too clever to be doing paperwork for the Devil. 

You used to say he isn't the Devil, that the Devil was no longer a tangible form, if he exists at all. 

Then I moved here. 

Then you moved here and now you see.

I wish you would talk to me about him some time, Bridget.

Another day, Samwise. My hands are shaking now so I grip the coffee cup like it's death. I don't need you to be a keeper here, you know that right?

I'll do whatever I can to help you. And I think you should finish the letters. Soon. Not because I want to cause you any more pain but because I actually think they could help. 

Then you've read them. 

No. Jake told me about some of them. 

And you didn't stop to ask yourself why he was doing that, Sam? Not even once? I close my eyes tightly. I didn't mean to accuse Sam of things no one could have predicted in a million years but yet I just did.

I feel his hand slide around my neck. He kisses the top of my head and lets go again.

After an endless silence I open my eyes again but Sam is gone. I know he'll be back without hard feelings. His bible is resting on the concrete beside my chair, the bible that used to belong to Jake that I gave to Sam, who continues Jacob's long habit of making tiny notes in the margins, sticking post-it notes on important pages and using photographs as bookmarks. It's no longer a bible, it's a time machine. When I lift it up to my lap it opens on a picture of me and the children, and when I take the picture out this is the highlighted verse on the page:
1 Corinthians 10:13  No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
In the margin, in Jacob's handwriting it says <B, as if maybe he wanted me to take this passage and remember it, find comfort in it, or maybe it was his proof that I am the Devil on earth. If you tilt your head to the right and look at my initial it's actually the symbol for a broken heart and I don't know if that was intentional or if my lobotomy is going to be this slow and painful until it's complete.

I'll ask Sam when I return his bible to him after work. Because I'm a glutton for punishment and so is he.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

The very definition of funny and sad.

Apparently I slipped and I'm in trouble with everyone, though they're having trouble being mad at me since I look like I've been in a prizefight today, the explanation for which is the dumbest one you will ever hear.

I tried a Breathe-Right strip last night after complaints that my congested self kept certain people awake. Once I managed to pry the fucking thing off in the shower this morning it left a lovely bruise under each eye. It's just wonderful. And I still was noisy so it was all for nothing.

And I don't own concealer so I get to own this look today. Why don't I? You ask. Easy, I answer.

I tossed everything but my Diorshow mascara (waterproof, I'M NOT A TOTAL IDIOT) and my Dior Addict lipstick (Incognito for day, Bellissima for night). That's it. Fuck the rest. JESUS. Life is too short for all this fucking crap and I'm too old to figure out primer/spackle/highlighter/contour/blush/eyeshadow/liner/settingspray/bronzer/magicwands/goodlighting.

I mean, get a grip. It's a face, not a craft project

So the trouble I'm in is for agreeing to help Caleb, who doesn't need my help but wants it and I willingly spoil him without knowing exactly why. Stockholm syndrome. Masochistic tendencies. I don't know. It depends on who you ask.

Maybe I just have trouble being mad at him, because he looks like Cole.  And I was going to make a very bad joke here about soon not having to work for Caleb to make some extra money after I become the rich inventor of Grieve-Right strips that you affix to your broken heart every night to help you sleep but then they'd probably all just call in reinforcements and medicate me and I still have a ton of work to do today.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Maligning magnates, making mischief, marking Mondays, missing ministers....er...argh..

And I looked to see that it was she
Just some abandoned little crook like me
Adieu, adieu, and fare thee well
This was the ending, please

Oh, whoa...
I was attached on bended knee
But I declined my leave

But who could blame
A fraction of her being?
She is cheesy, she is scrawny
With her uncanny styling
I'm teasing, she is pleasing
She just has no wit
I'm singing as I pull blackberry vines. You know the neat thing about blackberries is the birds bring me the seeds and then I spend several hours a week pulling the plants out. The birds get food, I get strength training. Some of these vines go five feet into the ground. If you don't pull them out they take over. It looked weird last summer when I had blackberries and roses together. The grapevines are starting to sprout at last too, and soon I'll be run off my feet with yard work, which I couldn't keep up with if I tried but I'm anxious to be as stubborn as possible teaching myself to use the electric trimmer (I've got the lawn mower down pat now) and not allowing anyone to help. So there are deep grooves along the edges of the property where I removed the long bits of grass and the short bits and everything else too so I'll just plant some grass seed and water it well, okay? Shhhhh.

Then we'll check the trees that will produce three, maybe five tiny salty, dented rotten apples if any at all and the lilac which isn't doing anything at all yet except doubling in width and it ate a blooming something-or-other that was beside it and is now under it. My green thumb is possibly out of control.

On the upside the roses always look beautiful.

Lochlan is laughing at my choice of song (but nothing else, trust me, crabby crabby boy) but there are so few songs that I like to sing that fit a warm sunny day like this one, that I can actually hit all the notes, remember all the words and not drive everyone batshit in the process. Because earlier today I spooled up some Fleetwood Mac and was reprimanded with several of my nicknames in varying degrees of caution, from at least a half dozen different boys.

I got frustrated and I finally asked the nearest person (Caleb) if he had any requests.

He looked up, annoyed. Whatever you like, Bridge.

Ah. I see. He is bent out of shape today because Luke was unceremoniously dismissed this morning after pulling out his phone once too often, taking a picture of a painting Caleb has in his living room, posting it on Instagram and having the nerve to say since he can't take pictures of the hot boss's girlfriend (what. the. He didn't say the boss's hot girlfriend. Oh, you thought I was surprised at the girlfriend part? Ha, we'll just save that for another day now, shall we?) that he can take a photo of a painting of her.

No...no, sweetheart, you actually can't.

Caleb took the phone from him, deleted every photo of me, the house, and everything else that didn't belong to Luke and told him he better learn a thing or two about discretion or the only job he will ever have will be the kind that pays ten dollars an hour and certainly doesn't involve anything worth instagramming, if he is still able to afford a phone at all.

 I think Luke gets it now. Some lessons you have to learn the hard way.

And I actually called the agency on Caleb's behalf because I'm not sure which one of us was more angry at that point and Caleb decided to take the day off after that. Some Mondays just don't start even when you pull and pull on the rope. Sometimes the rope just comes off the reel, and with nothing to turn the crankshaft, well, you're just fucked. So it's a short week already because he's already said several times that this is the worst week for this to happen, that he has a trip scheduled for Thursday.

And so...Caleb has promised me a thousand dollars an hour to get him up to date because I didn't realize how much work there was. I'm thinking Luke did NOTHING except openly gape while he was here. That won't happen again.

So tomorrow I'll put on one of those 'too tight for the amount of chocolate cake I have had in the past two days' dresses and go and see how long I can stretch out my workday! Maybe by the end of the week I'll have enough to replace my car, and he'll have had time to find a replacement assistant.

Somewhere right now, I'm sure Jasper is breathing a sigh of relief at not having to deal with Luke again.  I should have taken my cues from him but damn, he's such a sullen bastard all the time.But maybe it's in the job description. Only those who are truly petulant can be effective at managing people of this caliber. Or maybe I'm just wishing Jasper was easier to deal with because I'm already dreading tomorrow. No amount of ridiculous pay in the world will make that go away.

Unless..

Unless I start instagramming every fucking thing I do. Which, well last time I did that they shut me down, they just couldn't send me back because there was nowhere to send me to.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Permanent brain damage (paint fumes and sugar).

Apples don't fall far away from their trees, especially when it comes to being weird on purpose. We're cleaning up from lunch, talking about books, talking to Henry about The Outsiders. I read it when I was a kid, Ruth read it last year, Henry will read it next year. Lochlan walked in and caught the end of the conversation and he asked Ruth if she was a Greaser or a Soc.

She smiled and said, Neither. I'm a wizard.

***

Caleb stares down at me at I struggle to keep my hair out of my lipgloss. This would be easier if it were longer and I could tie it back sufficiently, of course but my hair grows slowly, probably because my body puts so much effort into quiet resignation and anxiousness. Everything else suffers. Especially the teeny-tiny chignon I barely pulled off today.

Look at your freckles. 

Mmm. 

I love them. 

Great. 

Tomorrow is a big day.

Mmmhmmm.

I see you and Benjamin made amends. 

Yes. 

You know what's interesting to me is how hard you work to chase those who are far too broken to be of much use, let alone help to you and then you completely deny me and the fact that our inner demons play so well together. 

He reaches out to touch my face and I flinch and take a step backward, only there's no more dock, only water and he grabs me before I fall.

I can anticipate your every move. 

Calculate, or even engineer, you mean. 

If only to shed some light on things you can't see that are so obvious, Princess. 

You're definitely a Soc and I'm a Greaser.

What?

***


I finished painting the movie theatre room. All of it. By myself. Rage moved the furniture but exhaustion couldn't put it back so I have to wait for the boys to do it. I have weird pains on my triceps and quadriceps from standing on the second-to-the-top rung of the step ladder so that I could lean against it and cut in along the ceiling. I used a chocolate brown shade and it looks rich and warm, like a cave.

All week long the boys made jokes about me remodeling the Man Cave and I didn't break their hearts and remind them it's my favorite room too, nor did I bother pointing out that the term 'Man Cave' makes me think they mean vagina, though I suppose with some of the boys I might be a little off with regards to that one...
 

Friday, 3 May 2013

Armistice and amphigory.

Almost two weeks since we got home, mere days left in the countdown to my birthday and we have hardly seen each other. He would say he was busy, and besides, I gave you Lochlan, and I would say that he's not too busy to make an effort and that they are not interchangeable. They are different. Opposites. Required.

But then I see his eyes appear over the top of my book last night. Melted chocolate. Scalded caramel. Roasted coffee bean.

Bumblebee. He says without inflection and I keep on reading. God, what a little bitch. What a hurting, miserable, self-conscious little wounded animal.

He tries again. Bee-Git. Beeootiful. Beef-stricken-unicorns? His eyebrows go up and I laugh out loud but keep reading.

He takes a deep breath and starts talking and I pretend I'm not listening but I hear every word as he details his promises quietly, humbly, carelessly. Promises that are meant to soothe temporarily but not to keep. Things he wishes he could achieve but can't, ways he wished he was but isn't. And then he gets to the end and instead of stopping he decides to wrap it all up in a bow of blame, saying if he thought I actually needed him he would be here but since I have others, he's not feeling bad in the least.

Wait..what?

I am so surprised I drop my book to my lap and frown at him. Do I know you? I ask, with a completely confused expression.

It's enough.

FUCK, he yells. Oh, that's nice. Heavy footsteps sound on the stairs within seconds and he goes out into the hall and tells whoever came up to check that it's okay. We're fine. He's just frustrated.

Huh. So am I.

He comes back in and sits in front of me again. He takes my book, turning down the page and drops it on the floor. Then he takes my hands and pulls them up to his lips. He closes his eyes.

I'm not good at having to answer to someone. 

It's been five years. You were never this bad before. 

I figure you don't need me. Then I compound it by figuring you're not interested when I come home, even. Then I make it ten times worse by burying myself in more work to offset all those feelings. 

Well that's dumb. 

Tell me about it. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

God, I hate those. 

Me too. It's my worst nightmare and it's probably inevitable. 

No it isn't. 

You write such sweet things about Loch. 

I distract myself.

You miss me. 

So bad, Tucker. 

Our eyes are all glass, no focus now.

Hey, you remembered who I was! 

Fancy that! Why did you come up anyway? I thought you wouldn't be home until hours from now. 

Then suddenly his face morphs back into the elastic psycho I know and love. I heard there was a rock star up here sans pants and I figure there's only room for one of those in this house. 

Oh my God. Ben. Hahaha, please don't tell me you didn't wear any-

Then he dropped his pants. And he's right. There's only room for one of those, because it's huge.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Without a shine? Blasphemy. He has several!

Oh, well, Lochlan has informed me that he thought I was screaming on the Ferris wheel because he was such a rock star.

Which..

Here's the thing. From the time I was a very little girl I just assumed that Lochlan was positively magical. So he didn't actually have to do anything to impress me. I figured he could do everything already.

But don't tell him that, because rock stars have the BIGGEST EGOS AROUND.

Oh, look. Here's Ben now, speaking of ghosts egos rock stars. I'll have to make this short. I'm also so high right now. Paint fumes. Jesus. I saw you today.

In other news, Sam and Matt (just Matt, thanks, he keeps correcting me and does not like to be called Matthew. Okay. I get it. Sort of. Okay, no, not really. Matt is what's by the front door. And the back door. And the dumb nail polish they sell at Sephora that isn't shiny so it looks like you've already ruined your manicure) are just about all moved in and all awkward grins and excited goofiness! They're ADORABLE.

PJ is complaining that the 'girls' on the point almost outnumber the boys now.

I smile at him completely unsympathetically. Not if I can help it. 

God, Bridget. You're impossible. 

No, I'm a rock star, dammit. Just like everybody else!

Okay, got it, Bridget. Don't get your panties in a bunch. 

I'm not wearing any. Also, I need an aspirin.

As clear as the sun in the summer sky: the formative song series begins.

Toward the end of the night when I got tired (and it was already long past my usual bedtime) Loch would switch to running easy rides, usually the Ferris wheel. I would sit in one of the cars and go around and around and around. My favorite part was when it ran forward and I would come over the top and get that feeling of falling. I would see Lochlan and he would either make faces at me or sing along with whatever song was playing. I would laugh. I made myself note that this, THIS was my life and everything was perfect.

I still haven't learned to not scream when it comes down. 

By the time the summer was over it was a well-entrenched habit and I've probably spent more time on a Ferris wheel than I have on the ground, truth be told.

My favorite, best, most amazing memory is the time I came over the top and Lochlan wasn't there. But on the next round he was, holding a tiny bouquet of wildflowers out to me, belting out the chorus of More Than a Feeling. I grinned and then I screamed when I fell.

I only saw him sing one line before I was pulled under the wheel and up around again.
I begin dreaming
He has that line tattooed on his hand. He never tells anyone why, though. Now you know. He used to sing all the time and then he stopped. He stopped for a very long time, and now he finally sings again.