Wednesday, 30 April 2014

While I balance this tiny thimbleful of composure, oh, nope, there it goes.

My grandmother died last night. My mom's mom. I now have one grandparent left and he's a century old. I have one baby tooth as well. Who says adulthood is a specific path taken? Mine meanders, it doubles back, it charges forward in a rush that takes your breath away and then the phone rings.

She taught me so much. How to milk a cow, grow carrots, radishes and peas. How not to pick blueberries. How to sew, embroider and crochet. How to work a dual-fuel kitchen stove and conserve well water during a drought. How to find pennies in the dirt under the post office window for Pixy Stix (Ha, you thought that was Lochlan, didn't you?) and where to grab the leeches to pull them off my legs in Ponhook Lake. How to pull the chains for the furnace to make the house warmer and why sliding down the bannister is a bad idea if there's a large glass-fronted cabinet at the bottom.

She taught me that she braided hair far too tightly, had no patience for night terrors or homesickness but had time to cook everything from scratch. She taught me you can love someone but not show them until they realize the difference. I inherited her migraine headaches and her birthday and most likely her osteoarthritis.

My regrets include not getting home more often to say hello, even though she would not have known me this past while, and never really figuring out her secret to making perfect cinnamon rolls from scratch. She could do it without a recipe. I can't even do it with a recipe. My stitches will never be as even as hers were but my house will never be cold.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

I have absolutely nothing to report except I stuck a paring knife under my thumbnail when I was cutting mushrooms and I'm beginning to think my blood doesn't want to clot but whatever. It's Tuesday. At least it's not Monday anymore right?

We thought Caleb was going to make a formal pitch to bring horses to the point, now that the stables are complete. Or maybe he would bring up high school football for Henry again. Because that's been a very sticky point as of late and I keep waiting for him to appeal to the boys to convince me that it's a good idea.

NOPE.

(Henry doesn't even WANT to play, and if his father would listen to him instead of deciding for him, we'd be all set, don't ya know.)

I didn't get much out of Lochlan at all, except that he now thinks Caleb is an artless thread-bolted miscreant. The more he sputtered and grumbled, the more colorful the insults became.

Sometimes he can be so glorious.

Caleb called and asked told me to come down and see him so we could discuss things and I said I couldn't (because I'm not allowed presently anyway but I didn't say that to Caleb), that I was going to church to help Sam by sweeping and spring cleaning and listening to music loud, with good acoustics. Also I'll be roped in to folding bulletins. I fold them all. I think Sam just likes the company, frankly but I'll go and at least make myself useful. Indispensible to someone. Sam will turn around often and tell me I have God's grace but I didn't get it by cleaning His house and I'll yell Liar! and keep working. We're a team.

Me and Sam, I mean, not me and God.

Loch gave me another bone-crushing squeeze on my way out the door behind Sam and told me to come straight back. Yes DAD. He's working on a thing or he would have come too, he says. We'll talk tonight, he says. No worries, Peanut, he says.

ARGH.

I'm actually sort of anxious to know what they discussed, if I'm being honest. Curiosity is my biggest character flaw. I'm pretty sure that's why Loch makes me wait an entire day. He's trying to frustrate it out of me.






Monday, 28 April 2014

If he's only doing this for me, who the hell am I doing it for?

Loch shows me a whole pageful of SMS on his phone. Invitations from Caleb to go out for breakfast. Or lunch. Dinner? He scrolls down. It's been going on for days. He hasn't replied once.

At least politely refuse. 

I got no use for anything polite when it comes to that fucker. 

That fucker owns this house. 

Hey my house is out in the driveway, Bridget! The minute you pack your shit and get out there I won't have him holding anything over my head now, will I? 

Loch-

Just nevermind. I'll phone him and find out what he wants if it means so much to you. 

He disappears and comes back five minutes later.

We're having lunch. 

In public? 

Sure? If he doesn't say anything stupid I won't punch him, okay? Is that good enough? 

Yes. What does he want?

I dunno. He said we could go over some investments he thinks might work for me and he said there was something he wants to clear up. 

Well, have fun. 

What are you going to do for lunch? 

PJ and I will eat here. 

Okay. I'll be home as quick as I can. 

Take your time. 

He kisses my cheek and pulls me right up against his chest so hard I grind against his ribs and then he lets go and heads out. I wish I were a fly on the wall. I'm tempted to send a chaperone but it seems like they actually can manage to get along when I'm not there.

I mean, once upon a time before I moved to their street, they were best friends for five years straight. That's a long time in kid-years. I know they miss each other. Well, I like to think they do but I don't think a shared lunch is going to change anything. Not today, not ever. They've been enemies now for decades. They both want to just move on and forget history so it's ironic that they keep each other from actually doing it.

Maybe death actually will trump betrayal. I didn't think it did but I'll find out soon enough.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

YVR to LHR

Ben, Dalton and Daniel went off to London yesterday, they'll be home at the end of this week. Ben had been hoping to roll that trip into our trip to Venice that never happened but since he had to go anyway, Dalton's always up for an adventure. Daniel went with them to see a little more of the world and I cried at the airport, blubbering like a fucking three-year-old, standing behind PJ because I didn't think Ben was going to go at all anyway but he did because he's an adult, fixing his shit and moving on with his plans and I am a child, stuck forever in the past that feels like quicksand and loathe to let him out of my sight because he's one of the few people in this world that I love more than anything.

Dalton picked a fight at the gate to try and make it easier (ASS). Daniel looked pained. Ben tried to make jokes and promised to be quick.

PJ translated for me as I tried to pull myself together but couldn't. She says she'll miss you...she loves you too...hurry home...bring home some hot chicks from Europe...oh wait, she didn't say that, I did. 

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Waves.

Every star is on its way
You're the only one that stayed
All the time you could have saved
All the time you gave away
You know the heart beneath the waves
The one that I was trying to save
The one that almost slipped away
Was mine
I got my first (early) birthday present last night!

Loch preordered Thirteen Senses' new album for me. A Strange Encounter. They put out an album every three years and a bit and it's always far too long for me. I'm not huge on British pop like this generally but this band has had a heavy hand in the soundtrack of my life, at least since Henry was born, and seems to be the most delicious sort of music to have in ones ears if you are lying in the grass watching the clouds play chase or sitting in the dark, attempting to fix a broken heart with scant supplies. Loch introduced me to them. He walks around singing their stuff any moment he isn't singing a Pink Floyd song, mostly.

So they're totally magical to me.

(Or, Bridget tends to absorb the musical likes and dislikes of her boys, part 473628246246. Yes, we know this, get on with it.)

Caleb asked what I wanted for my birthday so I told him I wanted to lie on a beach for an entire day without interruption.

He clarified. In the sun?

Yes, I said. Maybe in Fiji.

And he shot it down because he said I would burn inside of four minutes and also their political state is a bit tenuous and I turned away because he asked but he was prepared to not like the answer before I even opened my mouth. I would still like you to have those earrings.

No thank you. Big expensive rocks secured with half-assed butterfly backs doesn't sound like fun to me.

Hoops would be better?

No, they just get caught in everyone's shirts and fingers.

A trip, then?

I'm not allowed to travel, remember?

With me, you are.

Of course.

Subversive Princess today, I see.

Every day, Caleb. Every day all day.

What can I do to make it a very happy birthday for you?

I turn and stare at him.

Except that.

Go away then please.

Bridget-

I'm busy.

Can I see you later this evening maybe?

Maybe.

He plants a kiss on top of my head and disappears.

Loch walks into the room from the other direction and asks me why I lead Caleb on. He's annoyed at what he saw, what he heard because I make no attempt to conceal anything, least of all my half-assed efforts to tick off things on my bucket list that will never ever be crossed off.

He's right, though, we're foundering a little here, Peanut. You haven't given us a list. We may all be three and a half decades in, in knowing you but you're still the pickiest little thing that ever lived. 

Easily frustrated by things that don't do what I want them to. Not picky. 

Well that explains why there are so many of us, you're collecting parts to make the perfect guy. 

Shhhhh. You really weren't supposed to figure this out. I'm afraid I've kept you around far too long. 

Bridget, knock it off. You're scaring me. 

Sorry. What a neat idea though! 

Huh! Is it now? Maybe I should do the same! I know I won't be keeping your ears because they're busted and your mouth, because it runs, and certainly not your scrawny little arse because it's not big enough to grab and well, seems like there's not much here, come to think of it! 

Oh my God! Take that all back! 

I'm only teasing! Peanut, I wouldn't change a thing. Well, maybe I'd get that creepy millionaire who follows you around to disappear but I swear, that would be it. 

Friday, 25 April 2014

HEY.

Don't do that thing where you ASSume that my philanthropy consists only of making sure women with tight household budgets can pretend to dress designer.

Yeah, just don't do that. Okay. We're good again.

PVC.

I had a weird epiphany today.

I was standing in the vintage store, waiting for Daniel finish up (he was trying on blazers). I was slowly working my way through the long rack of purses. I found three fake Louis Vuittons, two real and seven fake Coach bags, one real Prada and a very pretty, albeit completely counterfeit Burberry.

Two women came along behind me and one positively squealed. I glanced her way and she was holding the Burberry bag up to show her friend.

Oh my God, she said. It's fifty dollars but I'll never find a better price! 

Geez, fifty dollars? That's really expensive! There go your groceries. Her friend said. Maybe you should think about it. 

I love it! What a good price though, this would be two hundred in the store! 

(More like twelve hundred, I think to myself,  if it were real.)

I'm going to get it! She hugged it close. I wanted to turn around and tell her it was a knock-off, show her the cheap leather trim, the painted zipper, the imperfect stitches but then I thought to myself maybe fifty bucks is the price for her happiness.

She'll be so happy with her faux designer handbag it won't matter if it's not real, or if it cost her a week's grocery money, or whatever. Maybe that's all it takes.

When Daniel was ready to go I followed him to the checkout, and I told the clerk the cost of the Burberry and said I wanted to buy it for the woman but I didn't want her to know it was paid for until we've left. Daniel just stared at me and I looked at him and said,

I used to be her. 

We walked out into the sun, and I realized it's completely true. Happiness costs fifty fucking dollars.


Thursday, 24 April 2014

Feed and keep her and call her yours.

I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.
             ~Anais Nin, The Four-Chambered Heart.
Lochlan is sleeping this morning as I trace his features. Actually he's holding his breath while I draw circles around his nose and chin and each eye. I write bits of poetry across his forehead with my fingertip and I write IMPOSSIBLE in block letters because that's what we are. Eventually I get bored trying to wake him up and I start to hum while I draw shapes around his lips and cheeks and then trace the tattoos on his arms for good measure.

Abruptly his eyes fly open and he grabs my hands and pulls me in close with a yell.

Jesus, Lochlan! I'm going to pee my pants!

Thank God you're not wearing any, then. Save yourself some trouble. He lets go and flops back into the sheets. Why can't you just give me a shake to wake me up like normal people?

I knit my eyebrows. What's normal?

That thing everyone else is. 

That's ridiculous! Who would want to be normal?

Good point. Can I please sleep some more?

Heck no! We need to go find some things. 

What?


Coffee.

What else?

Breakfasty...things. I'm starving.

Okay. Give me ten minutes to take a shower. 

Why can't you spend the day in your pajamas?

Because then no one takes me seriously. He stumbles off to the bathroom and I'm left cold, sitting in the middle of the bed and surprised at what he said.

That's the whole point, Lochlan! 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

XXX (SFW)

Tell me that your final home is not a shot in the dark
I skate into the room, just a wee bit buoyed by his choice of music.

You're listening to DEMON HUNTER! JESUS CHRIST, DIABHAL!

I was hoping that would get you over here. 

Why? More things to sign? I'm going to have a stamp made. Or start using an X. Maybe I'll use three of them, I mean, let's be realistic-

Bridget. 

Where is it? 

Where is what? 

The papers?

What papers? 

Why am I here? 

I wanted to know if you're about to take on yet another boyfriend here. 

Look, just because Duncan finally admitted that I get under his skin doesn't mean-

Of course it means something or you wouldn't have written about it. 

Since I'm heading toward a future where I'm demented I intend to record everything of use. I knew he had a thing, but he'd never admit it. He's gone back to denying it, for the record. Says he misspoke. I roll my eyes for great effect. Also what do you mean by 'another' boyfriend?

Well, you're quite open about your visits to me. Also there is Sam.

I don't write about half the altercations I have with you! And leave Sam out of this. Wait. Are you sure you meant to say Sam?

That's what you call them? Altercations with me? And who else should I be worried about?

Did you mean something else? Also what was I supposed to sign before I forget? And who?

Nevermind, Neamhchiontach. Would you like some lunch? 

I forget if I had a lunch date so yes. 

Cheese sandwiches? 

Sure. If you leave the record on. 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Different but not new.

I missed you, Poet. 

I am packed in tightly beside Duncan on the couch. I don't want to move. Ten weeks was a long time, even though it was barely nine if you're being picky. And here now Gage has just begun to rumble about heading out for a few weeks and I just want to keep everyone inside and bar the door.

Duncan nods. I missed you. I missed everyone. You know? I got out there and the whole family dynamic was completely different and I decided I would just float through it and they called me on my shit so fast I don't think I had even settled in. But I'll give them credit, they did it. They supported me through the whole thing and here I was supposed to be support for them. 

They're good people, Dunk. Good Humans. 

Yes. They saw your pictures and thought I was missing you. Since they know about the setup here they made assumptions.

So you set them straight?

No, he laughs. Not really. I just left it because I can't explain it so why the hell not? (At this point Duncan would lift a beer bottle and take a drink but since he's not going to do that anymore he just sat back and looked at me.)

Duncan-

Hey, why don't you make some tea? That would be good. Planes are dry. Then I have to give the kids their souvenirs and I want to crash for a day or so. The stuff for the big people I shipped separately. It'll get here next week.

Okay. 

I reluctantly get up and go to the kitchen. Over the years Duncan has become what Caleb always was when I was little. Cooler than everyone else in spades. If you had his attention or approval it was a warm flood of awesome inside and you became briefly invincible. People would hang on his words, look to him to wardrobe and opinion cues. People would feel rewarded if he spent time with them.

Basically he's the God of the Shallows over here. He writes poetry and cares little for things he can't change and he had his shit together when he left.

And suddenly he missed me too much to cope with it reasonably? Oh. Oh no. Not you too. You're supposed to be cooler than cool.

Now that he's back I see the light spilling through the cracks and he's not together, he's a mosaic of a beat poet/lizard king. He's shaken and weakened somehow and I find it more than a little sad that everyone suddenly deals with life with Bridget by keeping themselves topped up until they can't face me anymore and then they take off and get cleaned up and come back total strangers.

Fuck this. I want my lizard kings.

Dalton comes into the kitchen to help. I'm relieved that he's back. If I had known he was that bad off I wouldn't have let him go out. He looks vaguely worried. It's never fun to have the roles reversed, little brother looking after the big brother. It's unnatural and scary.

I shake my head and rub Dalton's hand. He had to go. Maybe he needed the long break to get sorted out. He'll be fine. 

I know. He's tough. I just hate seeing him...what's the word?

Vulnerable.

Yeah.

He's always been that way. I lie. That's the only way the poetry has to get out. Through those tiny hairline cracks. 

I love the way you spin things, Bridget. 

Me too. I'm glad I'm home. Duncan's in the doorway, smiling. God. Amazing how much you miss someone when you think you were doing well pretending otherwise.

(I don't know if I'm saying that about myself or about Duncan. Not sure it matters.)

Monday, 21 April 2014

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Happy Easter, from our house to yours.

Hush now baby, baby don't you cry
Mama's gonna make all of your nightmares come true
Mama's gonna put all of her fears into you
Mama's gonna keep you right here under her wing
She won't let you fly but she might let you sing
This morning the rain cleared up long enough for us to have Easter breakfast outside (far too early) at the long barn door table in the orchard, the table freshly pressure-washed and freakishly splintery on my end, at least. Sam stood up and said Grace, Christian took most of the bacon when the plate was passed and John took the rest, and Henry complained loudly that he was too old for an egg hunt anyway (cancelled due to weather) and then almost in the same breath said he missed the egg hunt and huge quantities of chocolate the Easter bunny would bring before he was too old.

Not to worry, the Easter bunny made his annual appearance anyway, coattails flying, shoes shined, eyes freakishly glossy and huge in the full bunny-head costume that has been shared duty between the boys for the past fifteen years. Henry saw him first and shrieked with excitement, making the rest of us laugh when his voice cracked.

We watched as the giant bunny scurried around the table, spilling eggs onto everyone's heads/plates/laps, then ran up to the house, throwing eggs into flowerpots, shoes, under chairs, balancing them on the door sills and on the gazing balls and then finally coming back and dropping the final egg down the front of my dress.

I fished it out with a frown and gave it back. The bunny took it, mimicked wild gut-busting laughter, and set his basket down. He walked over behind Loch, manhandled him up out of his chair and stuffed the egg in his mouth. Then he grabbed the basket and ran like hell across the lawn and through the gate.

Back home to the boathouse.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Sugar baby never ever learns.*

*(This will not be a tale of Ben's romantic endeavors because I think I broke my pancreas and cannot properly tell stories right this second.)

So...growing up mostly on a tiny peninsula in the second-smallest province in Canada, we were fucking sheltered and I've always read about but never had much opportunity to try some of the holiday candy Americans cite as tradition in popular culture. So the quest to try all those American chocolate bars and such is ongoing and ridiculous now that I have moved around a little and live fairly close to the border.

(And you all sit down there and lament the lack of Kinder eggs. Really, the chocolate tastes weird and the toys have sucked for years now.)

So this week? I found Peeps at the grocery store. Fucking yellow marshmallow peeps. No one wanted them so I only bought one little box of ten.

Opened them tonight. Passed the box, but even the kids didn't want any. I touched one and it was really soft. I thought they would be brittle and hollow and taste like chemicals. I bit into one with everyone watching and to my delight it was only a sugar-coated marshmallow!

So I ate five more after the first. So delicious and sweet!

And now I want to die because my stomach hurts. I think the last four remaining peeps will be paired up and forced to joust to death in the microwave with the little plastic swords from the bar because I don't think I can eat anymore.

They're laughing. Not the peeps, the boys, though maybe the peeps too. Sugar makes me hallucinate. I don't even know anymore.



Friday, 18 April 2014

Maundy Thursday.

Last night we had a rainy, windy, positively wild bonfire down on the beach for three. A bottle of sparkling water, fancy wine glasses that wouldn't remain upright (we resorted to passing the bottle) and the driftwood shelter that also threatened to collapse before Ben and Lochlan spent a few minutes reinforcing it. It was pouring rain. We brought a couple of pizzas and a stack of blankets down there too. We had grabbed a bunch of candles too but at the last minute I took the big LED lantern which they said was a good idea but I had only brought it because I knew the walk back up the formidable steps would be in the darkness so I'm not as together as they think. The candles were useless.

Ben called it an early picnic to celebrate our anniversary weekend and he very specifically included Lochlan because we are the Three Musketeers. The three wet, cold and well-fed musketeers. Lochlan was so pleased to be included and made an incredibly touching speech about how humbled he has been by Ben's generosity and my open-mindedness and then Ben trumped Lochlan's speech with one of his own and they both made me cry and so I couldn't say any words at all lest they come out in one small strangled sob.

When most of the pizza was gone and the rain got even heavier we stowed everything in a pile as far back as we could where it seemed...dryish and made a run for the cliff, Ben with the lantern and my left hand, Lochlan with my right hand and a good grip on the railing the whole way up. It's not a climb you can rush and so we were soaked to the skin by the time we reached the gate.

Once upstairs Ben ran a hot bath and I was first in, dunking my head under the water. Oh, so warm. So so warm. I would have fallen asleep underwater but he lifted me out of the bubbles, wrapped me in a towel and threw me into the bed (why they keep. doing. that.) and I was asleep before I said goodnight, I think. I don't remember.

This morning we made the long trudge back down to the beach to collect the blankets and pizza boxes and candles. Loch smashed the glasses and the bottle at the far end of the beach to make future sea glass for me and Ben rung the excess water out of the blankets because he's the only one strong enough to do it properly. I just hunted for pretty shells until they were ready to make the climb back up.

Ben said that last night marked the beginning of what is to be the Most Romantic Weekend of my life.

Oh, well. Okay then! I have the happies all over the place.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Learning curve.

(I deleted yesterday's entry. He made amends. Well first he made threats but then he made amends.)

Caleb's apology came in a little blue box, weighing in at around one carat each, I think.

Pretty earrings. Who are they for? I push the box back across the table. He frowns.

They're for you. Because I feel awful about the way our trip ended. 

I bet you do. I look out the window, because the view is better.

I'm sorry, Neamhchiontach. I'll make this up to you. 

Then you can start by being nice for once in your life instead of trying to fix everything with more money. 

He sits and stares at me with nothing more than an expression of familiar interest. I get restless under his microscope and finally he speaks again. Point taken. I'm guessing you will be fairly busy over the weekend so I wanted to get a chance to speak with you early and explain that my remarks were not so much about you but about my life experience, age and means putting me in a position to look after you. 

Oh, was that all?

Yes, and it came out all wrong and I'm sorry. Can you forgive me?

Will you take the earrings back?

If that's what you would like then that's what I will do. 

I'll think about it. 

That's all I can ask for. Do you like the meal?

Once again he ordered a catered breakfast for two without even asking what I wanted. No. He looks crushed and it's worth it.

McDonalds, right? It would have been better. 

Always. 

I'll remember that for next time. 

Who says there will be a next time?

If I rang you super early and described a....a...Mcmuffin thing you would be in the car before I was finished. Probably still in your pajamas. 

That's not a flaw, it's a perk. 

I'm lucky to have you in my life, Bridget. 

I nod and finally stare straight at him. Yes, you are and don't you ever forget that. 

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

When no one was looking I put my head down on my toast, butter soaking through the bread and coating my cheek, my hair and one unfortunate hearing aid. My new t-shirt was spared. This one says RUN YOU FOOLS.

Tell me about it.

We got home at four this morning. If you ask me my name I don't think I even know it right now. I couldn't chew until PJ reminded me to eat the toast in front of me. Well, in front of me being now stuck to the side of my face, honey side up.

Lochlan spent from four to five this morning swearing at me, stripping me, firing questions and not waiting for answers. Ben told him twice to cool it but let him slide about fifty times more and I finally burst into tears, yelled at both of them, telling them about the chair under the stupid knob. About how difficult I made things, about having some kind of confidence in me being able to look after myself for once and Mr. Cynical Logical only laughed and said if the Devil had wanted to get to me he would have and I wasn't safe with the chair or with anything else and I shot back that I must have been because the Devil relegated himself to simple requests instead of force and if Lochlan was so worried than maybe he should have come with me. In fact, I asked him to come with me and he couldn't because he had meetings here and WOW. Convenient that business is suddenly more important than my supposed safety.

Ah, yeah, but only if it's his business. Not mine. Not the dealings on behalf of the collective or the trust. Nope, that's not important at all, Locket.

It took us until almost six to stop arguing and forgive each other and by then I'm pretty sure I was near quiet hysteria. Second night zero sleep. Death is fine, I'll take it. Nothing matters any more. Lochlan grabbed me by the head, rocking me against him and reminded me he yells when he worries, as if I could ever forget. I did everything right outside of staying home, it has to be enough. He knows. He nods against my head and it hurts. I'm starting to hallucinate things and my knees buckle hard. Loch scoops me right off the floor and tosses me into the unmade bed and that's pretty much the last thing I remember until lunchtime, when hunger woke me up and I tried to catch a little bit more rest on my plate.

My head hurts. I'm dehydrated and Lochlan, apparently is next door, full of confidence and shit, as usual.

I send the rest over to get him and tell them if anyone needs me, I'll be asleep until the kids get home. PJ tells me he'll bring dinner up but no. I want to see my kids so I'll be back at four.

And now I can't sleep. FIGURES.

Monday, 14 April 2014

(I didn't know about this until he knocked on the back door and asked if I could spare a work day for him. He waited until I agreed to point out it would be on the East coast.)

He ordered coffee and fried potatoes for me for breakfast this morning, knocking on the door of my room, plate in his hand at six-fifteen. I took the plate, thanked him sleepily and closed the door in his face again. I didn't put the chair under the handle again like I had it over night but I think he got the message, after he failed to understand why I upgraded our room using charm and his credit card to a two-bedroom suite, quickly found out which room had the nice view and threw all my stuff in there and went in and locked the door. I yelled through the door that he could just text me the meeting times and I would show up and he finally yelled back through the door that he had a car arranged and not to be ridiculous.

Oh, okay.

Who's ridiculous? His imaginary emergency meetings all over the world or my twelve-year-old maturity level?

Well, okay, both. But I'm making an effort to be a better Human and he's just wrecking all of the efforts I make.

Not to say I didn't have a wavering at around three this morning when he pressed his head to the door and called for me. I wasn't sleeping. I don't sleep when I'm alone and everyone knows it and so I really wanted nothing more than to tuck myself in his arms and pass right out but that never works and isn't fair to anyone so nope. I can wait and sleep when I get home.

I've had fourteen cups of coffee so far today. I can make it seventeen minutes without having to pee and I've given myself a reverse manicure over the course of the morning, chipping off all of my nail polish, biting my fingers down to blood and then finally resorting to sitting on my hands not to gnaw on glistening white bone.

I keep checking the time and the weather as if we'll have time to try Coney again this evening but I asked my evil magic eight ball and he said that all signs pointed to no. He isn't in the mood for favors at this point as he hasn't gotten any in a while and apparently that is my fault.

Nevermind he could buy whomever or whatever he wants at this point. The only thing he wants isn't for sale, never sleeps and lives on sugar and childhood dreams and has no business zipping around the island of Manhattan in a too-tight (Jesus, nachos and Joseph) too-warm boucle dress and stripper heels because I can't pack worth shit under duress and had no idea what to bring so I defaulted to his executive assistant dress code which was just another bad idea here.

Five more hours. Gotta go. One more dinner meeting.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

So. Fucking. Tired.

Because the Devil coerced me, making me travel to New York today, I turned the tables and blackmailed him right back. If I had to come all this way for two stupid meetings tomorrow then we were going to make the opening ceremonies today of Coney Island for the season, or at least get there in time to enjoy it before dinner.

But planes and airports and traffic. They suck and we got in very late and everything is closed now for the night. And I'm spooling up to be far more difficult than usual. So is he, though. Great.

Twenty-nine hours left of this shit and I'll be home.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Beareal forest.

Bear sightings #1,#2, #3 and #4 tonight as we came across a mother and three very tiny cubs climbing trees and playing beside the driveway. They were scared of the noise of Caleb's car and took off into the greenbelt before I could take any pictures but they were cute! I like to keep track of how many times I see bears living here. It's a sport now.

On getting bent back into shape.

Sam is indulging himself in his favorite curiosity of all. My brain. I think he absorbed that from Jacob, who, by the end of his time was alternately horrified and fascinated by the things I would say, think and do. It's okay, I was too. Nothing changes much except Jacob isn't here ever again and it stuns me on a daily basis how permanent and life-changing death is for those who stay behind. It's easy enough to distract me from that and Sam is doing his best, asking questions when he should have taken warning already. Or maybe he should have taken cover. That's what I really mean.

Surprising, how?

That the world keeps going around. That I can be happy when I was given reason to cry forever and maybe disappear too. 

No one wants that. 

You don't know what the dead want. They don't spell it out so easily. 

He tells you. He warns you. 

I think that's my imagination wishing to relinquish control of my surroundings. I parrot back things I have been told and Sam frowns.

Maybe it isn't, maybe he wants to protect you and has regrets. 

There is no regret in heaven. At least, I certainly hope there isn't but he gets to know and we don't until it's time. What are your biggest regrets, Sam?

I'm not sure there are enough hours in the day for this sort of list today, Bridget. 

Sure there are. Have a go. 

Maybe I regret not pushing harder for things, taking chances. 

Every decision you make in life is a chance taken, Sam. 

To what end though? 

PJ comes out and does a quick turnaround. If it's existential breakfast, I'll eat inside where I'm not forced to confront my incorporeal self so fuckin' early, he says to me and winks. I wink back, my eyes burning. Lochlan didn't let me sleep but staying awake with him was harsh and beautiful and I feel like every nerve ending is singing this morning. I couldn't sleep now if I tried.

To a bullshit conclusion that never actually resolves, Sam. We just drop it and become distracted by something else while it floats in the background. Only those who die have the guts to confront it head-on. 

Confront what? Ben walks out onto the steps.

One's regrets, to the point where they would be able to resolve them before death so they don't have to carry so much baggage around in heaven. 

There are no regrets in heaven. There's no fear, no anxiety, no wistfulness, nothing. Just happy shit. Pretty girls. And really really good hot wings. 

I turn and glare at him, my hand over my eyes. He turns and goes back into the house too. I'm losing fans left and right with this but I want confirmation still. And I want Sam to open up because he hardly ever does and the day is ripe for confession. We don't do confession. I'd be there all damn week.

I regret marrying Lisbeth because she wasted so many years on me and I should have stopped playing games with her, pretending I could be a good husband to her when I couldn't. 

Does she know this?

Yes. 

Well, that's healthy. What else?

I regret trying to kiss you when you were in my office for help, not innuendo. 

Forgiven. 

Loch comes out. He has a bowl of cereal. What are we talking about?

Sam kissing me trying to see if he was gay, I lie. 

When was this?

Right after Jake. 

Jesus. You're all a bunch of vultures! 

Sam smiles so painfully at Lochlan. We didn't know how to comfort her. But we tried. We were there. I'm busted. Sam's smile turns to a frown. (No, no, don't get into it today. Lochlan can't deal with Big Awful Things. You wouldn't blame him if you knew. He mostly disappears now if something goes wrong. I wish I could change it but it's part and parcel of why we all stick together. It's mostly just in case. They could nail us both to the floor. They'll probably have to.)

Loch lets it slide. He's very open with his own flaws. And?

Nothing. Well, a longing for a longing, I guess but no. I love Bridget as a very good friend or family member. She's like the little sister I never had. 

Did you want a little sister because I have one and she's always been a royal pain in the arse!
He takes up residence behind me on the lounger. I am done my food and starting to sunburn. I lean back against him and he complains. Augh! Let me eat my breakfast first! 

I'm going to go in and get ready for the day then.
I am tired. I've decided I don't want to be a science or religious experiment today and Sam needs to be let off the hook for whatever comfort he tried to give me. Some things are better left in shade. The point is, he's happy now and that's all that matters. Maybe we're finding a new plateau here. Everything seems like it's getting better. Routines, family dynamics. Emotional outbursts. Suffering.

Maybe it's spring fever too. Or maybe I'm hallucinating all of it because I'm just so fucking happily tired.


Friday, 11 April 2014

One little slice of cheese (good days).

We are fire
Burning brightly
You and I

We light the sky
When we ignite
When we come alive
When we come alive
Last night I stirred my halibut around on the plate and listened halfheartedly while Batman and Caleb conducted the most gentle of arguments over my head during a late dinner in Caleb's kitchen because it's still too cold to eat outside. I would have continued to fill my own wineglass but I really wanted to leave the moment I got there. After dinner, Batman offered to drop me at the house on his way past and I took him up on it, asking for a raincheck on cleanup. Had I stayed I never would have left, for it's far too easy to pick sides when one is dark and the other darker still.

Caleb did clarify a lot of things for Batman, and for me too. CP does stand for contingency plan. In case his efforts fail and Lochlan doesn't abscond with his unrequited windfall as planned. I laughed when I heard that. Lochlan might run but he'll always always bring me with him. Nothing has changed since I was barely eleven years old in that regard, and nothing ever will.

And boy was Caleb unnerved when I left so willingly.

I was handed back to Ben who is surprised that I am sober. That made me mad. Batman says goodnight and we head down to the theater to watch something silly. We wound up hanging out with Daniel (who was equally lost, without his Sky), watching musicals. Ben fell asleep instantly, Daniel within thirty minutes. Surprise is now on me. I extricated myself from Ben's arms, turned off all components and went to bed. Fuck it. Ben can come up when he wakes up.

When I woke up this morning, I was pressed face first against Lochlan's chest. I laughed and he woke up. He smiled and said he took the evening flight out, that he didn't say anything because he didn't want me to wait up.

Ben was pressed against my back. I don't care if I wake him up. Loch laughs and puts his fingers up to ruffle Ben's hair and then to touch my face. Ben doesn't wake up, even though Loch's fingertips are rough and bitten. He's bitten his nails as long as I've known him in spite of all efforts to help him stop, including dipping his hands in kerosene, thinking he would burn his tongue on the taste. He didn't. It didn't even slow him down.

He smiles at me for so long I may or may not have zoned out and his own smile got sloppier and meltier and then finally he said Fuck it, we need some more sleep. 

I got up at quarter to eight to kiss the kids goodbye as they left for school (letting Ruth know her dad was home and sleeping and she would see him after school) and then I went back to bed, crawling up the center of the bed and then back down under the blankets. Loch is sleeping hard. Ben is not. Ben reaches out and smooths Lochlan's hair. The curls bounce back up and Ben whispers to me, Where did he come from? 

Heaven, Ben. Same place as you. 

Ben cracks up. Oh my God, what a little cheeseball you are. Someone got some sleep. 

Yeah, finally. 

Loch wakes up and grins his foolish face off, eyes closed. Nobody move. Freeze time right here. Right now. 

All three of us reach up with one hand and press an imaginary button in the air.  Done.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

While the cat's away the mouse...windowshops at Louis Vuitton.

Lochlan had to travel with Schuyler (ironic but it's business. I could be travelling too, with Ben but that would be personal, god forbid.) and so I am being handed from one keeper to the next, it seems. Ben is busy. PJ is tired. It happens. The rest don't like children, I think. They're all suddenly burdened with things to do.

And so today is Batman's turn. He has no idea what to do with me but he's cleared his day so he suggests shopping.

Uh. Okay? I'm guessing he needs some things and wants a woman's opinion. I should have told him to bring Daniel because I don't have any taste, good or bad unless it's black or covered with words or skulls or even better, both.

We wander around downtown for a little while. He shows me things that are not masculine at all and I finally ask who he's shopping for. He laughs and tells me I have a birthday coming in a few weeks.

You don't..I mean..you're not supposed to...

If I want to buy a good friend a present, I should be allowed to. 

A good friend? I'm thinking...what in the hell does that even mean? It means we're still vaguely awkward. That's what it means.

This would have been easier before. 

When I was younger?

Yes. I still remember your ripped underwear when I took your dress off you. 

I turn around and walk back down the sidewalk because blushing. Because I was so young and clueless and didn't have nice things and probably had my shit together more than I do now. Take that, nice things. You're not helping matters. He catches up and steers me back around.

I just mean I wanted to buy you some things then but I knew that wouldn't go over well with Cole. 

So you opened the account instead. 

Yes. Do you still use it?

I've never touched it. 

He stops and turns pale. Bridget, that money was for you to get what you need. Or to get away from Cole. It wasn't meant to save. 

I'm figuring at this point everyone and their neighbor's dog had a bead on Cole and they all just either were afraid of him too or figured I would somehow magically get out on my own.

(Yeah. I did that. I did it. On my own. Okay, well, I stood behind Jake when I told Cole I was leaving but I still did it.)

If you want it back you can have it. 

Of course not. How much is there?

I tell him and he becomes angry. Did he keep you from using it?

He never knew about it. 

Why didn't you take what you needed?

I had money from Caleb. 

Ah yes. Had I known at the time-

Had you known what?

Had I known you were spending time with Caleb with such regularity I would have intervened. 

You know something? Maybe we should go home. I have a lot of chores to do and I know you're a very busy man. 

I'm not to busy to spend a day with you, Bridg-

Like I said. I have chores. 

Asher was supposed to fix all of that so you would never be too busy to spend the day with me. 

Life never works out how you plan for it to. 

No, no, it does not. 

What did you want out of life? What were your plans?

Twenty years ago I probably could have easily answered that, Bridget. Now I'm not so sure. But I think maybe it's time I had a little talk with Caleb and see what his plans are. 

Is there any point now?

Am I twenty years too late?

Thirty.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Loch sent this to my email this morning:
As sweet as Pixy Stix® taste, they are not produced from sucrose or regular sugar. Instead, Pixy Stix® are made from a cornstarch-based sweetener called dextrose. Dextrose can have a much stronger effect on the bloodstream than sucrose, so those who are especially affected by blood sugar spikes should exercise restraint when consuming Pixy Stix®

Pshaw. I could have told him that but he knew. He always tried to nail my fucking hem to the floor of the camper and I'd be out spinning through the trees in the darkness until three a.m., lit from within.

Really, come to think of it, nothing's changed. :)

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Eat, stay, love (In which I get a rare turn at being the grownup).

I was happily drowning out the construction noise from the front yard with the television. PJ and I were watching Eat Pray Love. PJ leans forward pretending he's not tearing up but I can barely keep track of my eyeballs for they are rolling all over the place. Mostly I have confirmation that I'm unique and possibly a boy since I would be the target market for this movie and I hate it. Julia's got nothing to work with here. Julia's lipstick is smeared. Her character just needed to loosen the fuck up at home and stop being such a stuck-up bitch and then she would have known exactly who she was.

I was saved with a text message from Caleb. As usual between the hours of eight a.m. and eight p.m. he just says Need you and I can go without question. In the reverse hours I either have to sneak out (not so hard) or jump through flaming hoops.

(That's a literal thing I've done, jump through flaming hoops. It's not nearly as scary as you would think but if I were to ask to go across the driveway properly Lochlan would be sure to set up too many, or put them up too high or something to prevent me from getting through.)

So I walk over in the rain, taking my time, wondering if I'm supposed to be as wishy-washy, unfulfilled and easy to manipulate as the people in that movie.

And then I realized I just up and go right to the feet of the man who sends a two-word text three or four times a day so yes.

The boathouse is quiet. I walk around the island and into the living room and see Caleb sitting on the couch in front of the window. When the projection screen is up he has a wall to wall view of the Pacific. He's staring at the ocean and I stare at him, noting his quite serious stubble and the fact that he hasn't moved since I was here yesterday to initial a whole bunch of changes to a contract after another meeting, which he's had more of since he retired than he did when he worked. Same suit even, except his tie is off and balled up beside him on the couch and the top three buttons of his shirt are unfastened. The papers I signed are still sitting on the table in front of him.

Are you okay?

Some days are like this now. Some days I'm just...so tired. He rubs his face and doesn't look at me. He's looking at nothing. I go and sit beside him. I sat down to take a few minutes to regroup and it just hit me, you know? Aside from a few days where I have unlimited access to Henry I could literally sit here for days and no one would even notice.

When did you eat last?

He finally turns to look at me. I had a tomato and cucumber sandwich from a place outside the lawyer's before I came home. I ate in the car.

That won't do, Diabhal. Oh, I could have fixed him with the amount of food in that movie but we don't live in the movies so I got up and made him some cheese toast and a glass of milk. I made a piece of toast for myself too.

He joins me at the island. He is almost in tears. Great. It's the theme of today. Tears Tuesday.

Thank you, Neamhchiontach.

You would think you've been watching the movie that PJ and I had on this morning.  I tell him all about Julia. He's like a male Julia suddenly. Doubtful, unfulfilled. Questioning. Fed the fuck up. Just sad.

That sounds awful.

It was!

He laughs and tells me he feels a little better.

It's the cheese toast, Diabhal.

No, it's the company. You. You make the world turn, Bridget. I feel better, actually. Less desperate, at least.

I should write a book about my world-turning powers. They can make it into a movie and women everywhere will watch it on Netflix and roll their eyes too.

Some women will watch it and want to be you. 

Those are the cracked ones. Like bad eggs only the cracks are at the bottom so you don't realize they're broken until you pick them up out of the carton. Show a woman my movie and if she begins to immediately fit herself for a tiara, eats too much cake and moves all her friends into her house you'll know she's a total fucking wingnut. 

What about the ones who roll their eyes? 

You'll know they're okay. 

So you rolled your eyes at this movie. Does that mean you're okay?

I hope so. Can you imagine if I was running around trying to find 'myself', identify my power words and act like happiness was some tangible meal I could eat in order to be fulfilled? Because yeah fulfillment! It's right here in this cheese whiz. Caleb, I don't even think this is real cheese.

It's not. 

But you still buy it. 

Comfort food. He shrugs.

Exactly. Because we know who the fuck we are!

Damn straight!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Appy mare don't care.

This morning they broke ground on the stables.

I'm not fighting Caleb about it. He can do what he wants with his properties but you can bet your sweet ass I'm going to get some tenants for those stalls.

And maybe a llama. Because they're mean and then maybe I'll regret selling the spinning wheel because it figures, doesn't it?

I asked PJ what we can get from the horses besides work and therapy. He thought for a minute and suggested glue so I kicked in him the shins. He's not a horse person.

Yet.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

For those who were wondering.

I know he's not real.

I don't think I'm crazy either, but for the three minutes I can conjure up the preacher in my head those are three minutes that the ache inside my chest doesn't hurt quite so much. That's all.

It seems as if there are as many people rooting for me sometimes as there are rooting for me to fail and be swallowed up by my own inability to cope with everything. I'm trying so hard. Unconventionally so and I was given a pass so I use it. Sometimes I feel like I need to be destructive and sometimes I feel thoroughly insane and sometimes I'm perfectly content.

Sometimes I even forget, can you believe it? You can thank Ben for that. Loch too. You can credit them all for the tight net of support I fall into every day whether things go well or not. You can hate them or blame them but at the end of the day you should thank them for everything. For throwing open the big garage doors (all three at once) and telling me to come out of the shadows, into the sun, that it was time to go inside, that wishes don't work like this, that everything will be okay.

That no one is mad at me for spending time with the Devil or with a ghost.

That I should sleep a whole lot more.

That downtime is actually a thing one can do every single day.

That I'm so hard on myself who else would have the heart to be?

They make me cry and that also makes the ache in my chest hurt just a little less too.

I wish I could be crazy. I wish I could let myself off the hook. I wish things sometimes would change but I wouldn't give any of these souls up the way I so hastily gave away my own.

Thanks for the sweet notes. I'm so touched. So humbled.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

The mad princess, hurling her defiance at everything that's good (in favor of everything that is not).

(Shhhh. Stand right here and never ever leave and I will try to keep it all the same, forever and ever, Amen.)

And I can't taste anything less.
Every time I'm forced down.
To be with yourself, take all the blood you want.
But not from here.
It's so beautiful to me, it is everything I see.
It's so beautiful to me, but it's nothing that I need.
Matt, Sam and I are having a slow-motion heavy metal dance party for breakfast. They think it's funny when I bang my head because my hair stays up like a troll doll if I stop fast enough. They've constructed a rather gentle mosh pit and yet I can still bounce off either one of them hard enough to make my teeth hum. It's ridiculously wonderful and better than toast.

Caleb at least has the patience to wait for the end of the song before he presses the button on the front of the stereo. I stop abruptly again with my tornado hair holding for 3-2-1 and then it falls, cascading all over my shoulders. I think he's relieved it grew back out so quickly. I look like me again. Matt bursts out laughing, it's contagious and Sam follows.

Caleb does not. He frowns. I think he's a bit put off that I left in the middle of the night. Ambushed with his thumb in my mouth and his other hand wrapped around my waist as he pulled me in close enough to bite. He didn't though so those small victories are the ones I win and the larger failures send me back for another try another time.

He smelled so good though. Like want and soap and good wine. Caleb shouldn't drink wine. It makes him weird. I shouldn't drink it either, it makes me warm on my cheeks and fuzzy in my brain but the invitation of a quick drink on the boat with all the little white lights strung everywhere because it's spring and the soft rain and barely dark sent me running for one of those pretty dresses and a boyfriend cardigan which is a total misnomer, Old Navy. If I put on an actual cardigan of a boyfriend it would hang past my knees and I'd be swallowed by it whole. Better to be swallowed by the boyfriend instead.

Have you forgiven the Collective?

I'm eighty percent there. I tell him and he laughs and tops up my wine. I have to watch this or I'll be shitfaced inside of fifteen minutes.

I was wrong. It only took around ten.

How are you? He asks from his place far across the counter now, close to the door. He doesn't know the mood of the house yet. I'm not sure anyone actually noticed I was gone. Sometimes they just assume I'm with someone or other and don't actually check. I'm a willful teenager with an unlocked window and no curfew. I'm a mess.

I'm a troll doll. Spin me and my hair flies up straight. Look at my tired, glassy eyes.

Fine. You? I play stupid because it's so easy for me.

Just wanted to see if you'd like to go for breakfast. 

I can't. Loch and I are going out for brunch. 

I see. Perhaps tomorrow. 

Not tomorrow, sorry. Church with these freaks. Matt and Sam wave as they leave the room. They're heading out for a morning of shopping before Sam barricades himself in the library to catch up on the writing he always leaves until the last minute. He's great at unstructured sermons however.

I wonder who he learned that from.

My brain promptly forgets everyone in the room. Gotta go, I say breathlessly and run out of the room, right past Caleb who makes a grab and closes on air. I slam the door and book across the driveway and press my back against the side door of the garage as I close it and turn the lock.

When my eyes adjust I see him through the dusty, filtered light coming in through the high windows in the big garage doors. Jacob is leaning up against the long workbench, sleeves rolled up, hair too long, eyes vaguely worried. It's as if he's right here condemning me for all the things I do that I know aren't right.

How did you know I was back, Princess?

I felt it. 

He grins and my heart explodes, stabbing everyone else in the back with tiny jagged fragments, made of glass. Collateral damage, I think to myself. They'll forgive me if I can't forgive myself.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Half and half (in the house of children).

People always want to know what I'm doing-doing, AKA listening to/playing/wearing, watching/thinking. Maybe that's what Pinterest was supposed to be for? I don't know. I like words more in this age of attentions that can barely span two molecules, let alone an afternoon. Pinterest was all pictures. I haven't been interest in pictures since I was six.

Wearing: Lucky brand t-shirts and frayed jeans. Docs. Whatever Caleb hates most. The most expensive, gorgeous lingerie underneath (Jane Woolrich, usually) because I'm a huge brat like that. I wear dresses when I should, no worries. Sometimes I don't wear anything but then I'm not allowed to leave my room. Unless I'm in someone else's room. Muhaha.

Watching: Having caught up with American Horror Story, Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, we are watching The 100 (they have Olympic eyebrow skills on that program) and considering starting Breaking Bad which when I write it I always start writing Breaking Benjamin. Go figure.

Listening to: ABBA (Okay, I'm not but by virtue of some of the more flamboyant people who live here I get to anyway, RIGHT LOCHLAN?), Demon Hunter. Deepfield. Chimaira.  Rush.

Playing: Knock-Knock (I love this game so much you don't know), Hearthstone (I'm terrible but learning patiently) and on my iphone, Monument Valley (how far have you wandered, silent princess?) because it's gorgeous.

Thinking? You don't want to know what I think. Or maybe you do but I still censor myself as much as I can. It's not like Duncan's here and I need to roll my tongue back up and stuff it in my little head, right?

Do I write these things just to provoke them? Maybe.

***

Lochlan is eating crow and not sorry for it. Tells me I can't go anywhere and then says if we must go he'll come too and I roll my eyes and stuff more birds down his throat and maybe he'll choke on those if he won't choke on the words already.

Enough. Devil's right, Baby. You can't risk this so soon. 

I wait for everything forever. 

How did you get so dramatic? I just stare at him until he clues in. In any case, we said no. Help him to keep going ahead. Help him be strong but do it here with help. Safety. 

Safe is a state of mind I can't reach. 

You know what I mean. 

Naw, I don't think I do. 

Bridget, please. I can't. I can't risk you. Or him. 

What if we went and it was fine? What if nothing bad happened?

Then you would both become over-confident. 

Nice. Oh, ye of little faith. 

The only faith I have is in you. Nothing else. Not Ben, not time, not fate. Just you. 

(Caleb's words about the church of Bridget ring in my head, the bells that call the believers to service.)

But you don't trust me. 

That's not what I said. 

It's what you mean! 

I think I'm done talking about this. In time, you'll understand. 

Jesus, would you stop saying that? I'm as lucid as I'm ever going to get before the downhill slide begins to dementia and then just pure oblivion. Can't wait.

Bridget, would you stop? You're a child! You've got your whole life ahead of you and you keep pushing me away in favor of living the hard parts on your own! Just stop it! 

(Makes me wonder if I'm the one who's crazy. Maybe it was Lochlan all along.)

I won't push you away anymore. I whisper it. I can't hear myself, how can he hear me?

You couldn't if you tried now.

Aren't you scared? 

Always. 

Me too. 

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Like a heartbeat drives you mad.

Lochlan is loathe to agree with Caleb about anything at all, let me tell you, whether it be enforcing reasonable bedtimes for the children (they both think 10:30 is fine) or letting me wander on the beach unsupervised (just no, Baby) so yesterday was interesting when he agreed readily.

I polled everyone else that I could find, besides. Then I burst into tears and called them all hypocrites and traitors and backstabbing assholes and they all looked so sad it broke my heart all over again.

Ben's look was the worst because he never said a thing. He came home mid-afternoon and asked if I wanted to help him in the orchard for a bit and then he went for a short run with Schuyler and came home with plans to take me out for pizza (alone) after a hot shower (also alone with him, SURPRISE).

I wanted to ask if we were allowed but I didn't and no one said a thing and he never brought it up even as I sat there and fidgeted and sighed through two whole pieces and probably acted like the biggest little asshole alive. He ignored it right through dinner and then we got back into the truck and I blew up in his face.

Why haven't you said anything about the trip!?

He told you?

Yeah he told me. You know come to think of it I don't know why he told me. 

It would have been better if he didn't. 

Exactly. And that's why he did. To cause problems. 

Are we having problems? 

I see no problems here, Ben. 


He laughs and pulls out onto the highway. We're delusional and pathetic and holding onto each other with bloodied white knuckles and one of these days we're even plotting to leave the continent together so we can get kicked out of a restaurant in Italy for starting one of our now infamous food fights, just like we did on our honeymoon.

As soon as we figure out how to be adults. That's the most ironic part of all. I realize this.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Frustrations and..cats.

Found my birthday present, if you please.

***

For the record, my phone (not even a year old and already replaced once) is going insane again, as is my truck key fob (which just had a replacement battery last dealership quarterly visit). I swear to God when the aliens come they're going to be looking for me first to see if they can reverse-engineer my technology and learn how to fix..earthly junk.

At least my hearing aids still work but they mostly live in the drawer because I do dumb things like duck when someone clears their throat and dive under the table when they close drawers in the kitchen if I'm wearing them. It's stressful and unpleasant and I know I need them adjusted but also I hate them so I'm not rushing to fix this, if you know what I mean.

Today is marginally cold and overcast so I opted to do inside chores this morning because chores, they never end and I'm thinking a few more years of all of us trying to keep up with this house and the grounds while I simultaneously try to keep two husbands and a demon happy, raise two teenagers and feed all of our friends is going to be enough and I'll be screaming for a household staff.

Not a maid or a service or a butler but a whole staff. Asher can come back and maybe bring a couple friends.

May as well go big or go home, since between the supervolcano in Montana and the Ring Of Fire activity as of late we'll probably be dead soon anyway.

***

Caleb summoned me to see him just after lunch.

Good morning, Beautiful. Have you spoken with Ben?

Not since he got up early to head out. Is everything okay?

He came here first. He wanted a little assistance in sorting out some anniversary plans. 

Oh, that's nice.

Not really. He thought a trip might be fun. He wanted to take you back to Venice. 

Why are you spoiling the surprise then?

I said no. 

Who says you get to decide?

Every man on this point would agree with me. Ben hasn't proven himself. 

He's been sober almost a year. 

Yes and in the six years you've been married to him how many times have we had to rescue you from him when you thought you could handle him?

He's fine now. 

And we want him to keep getting better. We can revisit this next year. See how he does. 

That's just great. When will I ever be the adult around here and get to make decisions about things I want to do instead of them being made for me all the time?

Never, Bridget. I'm speaking as openly and honestly as I can here. I don't think things will change. Ever. 

I forgot. The Devil can't have faith. What would he believe in, after all?

You. 

I'm not a religion. 

Look around, Bridget. The hell you aren't. 

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Tell the wolves I'm home.

Tell me you love me, come back and haunt me
Oh and I rush to the start
Running in circles, chasing our tails
Coming back as we are
We finished the chores with time to spare, lamenting the gorgeous property without decent landscaping because anything you do out here is going to be blasted by wind and salt and Bridget's Big Feels anyway. I can erode iron with my mind, or so they say. Imagine what I do to the grass.

Lochlan peeled off his t-shirt and let his milky white redhead flesh meet the sun for the first time this year. He stretched out on the big wooden double lounge chair and patted the space beside him. I curled up against him, fell asleep and found the time machine that took me back to a scrubbly, sunny hillside with a big wooden lounge chair just like this, a day off and a pale Lochlan who was much younger than he is now.

This is the perfect day, he said then and he says now and I am switched back to the present. I nod without opening my eyes.

Shush...I'm dreaming of the last chair we slept on in the sun.

Sam breaks the euphoria anyway because his curiosity is almost as dangerous as mine.
  
I'm assuming you're remembering better times? 

Better? Loch is surprised. No. They weren't better. It was just the two of us. We had followed a group overseas and then found ourselves alone and I took Bridget to stay at a house I had been given the address of from someone else on the show who took in performers but it was difficult. It was a beautiful property but we didn't speak the language and they were less than pleasant. They thought I had kidnapped Bridget because she was so young.

Did you? 

Maybe. He smiles.