Saturday, 31 May 2014

Polyamory is hard.

I thought when Ben got home he would head straight for the Boathouse to sort Caleb out and then I figured he would go and ask Batman to leave me out of the sordid gossip and then I assumed he would quiz Sam on the state of me, proper but no.

When Ben got home he gave me a fifteen-minute hug and then we went to Loch and he asked Loch to go and sit out back with him and talk for a few. Loch's pretty okay with things but sometimes his doubts get the best of him too and in this life I'm figuring out the hard way that even the brightest stars are hobbled, almost debilitatingly by huge feelings like love, rage, fear and doubt. They lie in wait to sabotage you, pulling you down off your highest points, showing you who's boss.

It's never you.

Ben reassured Lochlan something fierce. Told him things I might not have even said. I was listening hard, my nose pressed up against the patio door glass, which was open so I could stand behind the curtain. Loch stared at him for a long time, hardly interrupting save for once or twice when he wanted to point out that he will never ever walk away from this and that the bottom line is me.

They all agree on that, always.

Ben came back and got me and we went up to bed and any doubt was run over by the train that is my wreck of a life as it raced down the tracks at a million miles an hour feeling only euphoria as I was passed back and the forth once more and we reestablished what it is that makes us so special as a threesome, the musketeer creed which seems to be that the bottom line is still me. It's a free pass. It's a travesty. It's probably an accident waiting to happen and we should care more about that but sometimes it's a serendipitous moment you will never have again, like seeing the Aurora Borealis for the first time with your own eyes or finding out two people you love love you right back enough that they will work together to see that everyone remains happy.

Maybe it's not so hard after all. When I got up this morning to put the dog outside, I came back to bed to find that Ben and Loch were spooning loosely, having left no room for me in the middle. I wedged my way in there anyhow and in their sleep, they made room.

Friday, 30 May 2014

The calm before today, actually.

Feed me your heart from the palm of your hand now
He came to the door at midnight. Six days without a shave, lightly bronzed, more rested than before but not too much, wearing a rumpled white bespoke button-down and lightweight chinos.

I was on my way to bed so I greeted him wearing a baby-pink tank top and two-sizes-too-big hello kitty pajama pants. He smiled when he saw that it was me and asked where my keepers are.

Busy, I shrug. I'm still persona non grata around here. I haven't looked.

Right here. Lochlan steps into the foyer and wraps his hoodie around me. He frowns at me and turns to Caleb. Safe flight?

Passable. Caleb's gone cold. Just checking on my favorite asset. Burn.

Loch tsks with his mouth and says we'll chat tomorrow, that it's late. Caleb looks up at the sky and nods. Tomorrow, he repeats. I'll swing by and pick up Bridge for lunch.

Loch gives the front door a shove and it swings closed, taking away my view of a golden devil and replacing it with a roaring campfire. Loch puts his hands around my neck and pulls me closer. He slides his hands up around my ears and kisses me hard. When I respond he drops his arms down around my waist and lifts me off the ground. He carries me up the stairs as I wrap my arms around his neck and smush my nose against his.

He smiles. Thought I was going to have to fight for you tonight. His voice is so low, if I blew on it it would build into a high flame.

I shake my head. I told you, no more.

We stagger into the room and land on the floor. He laughs and gets up to lock the door and then pins me down on the carpet, his arms so thick from all the wood chores this year. We have wood cut for well into 2015. His neck has grown, along with his shoulders. He slides my pajama pants down and my tank top up and kisses across my stomach. I loop his big loose curls around my fingers and then he sits up and pins me hard.

I'm still upset with you, Peanut. 

Shut up, Locket. 

He laughs and kisses me again and gets back up, pulling me up with him, dragging me across the room and pushing me down on to the quilt.

Oh, you're the centre of attention, alright. I tell him and he grins.

I only said that to upset you. 


I'm sorry, Bridge. You make me crazy. Do you say you miss me when you have time alone with Ben?



We're the three musketeers. 

But you know I...struggle with this. When I'm with you I want it to be just us, with your focus on us and not on what's missing and I know that isn't fair to Ben and I can't-


Right. Yes? 

Shut up and take this moment. It's right here and it's yours. 

I don't think I feel the same way he does, Bridge. None of it's fair. 

Save that for tomorrow. Please. 

You're right. We're burning the darkness here. Come here, Fidget. Tonight you're all mine.

Thursday, 29 May 2014


Last night I sent Caleb an email with Henry's schedule for next week, figuring he would maybe read it on the plane today but he replied ten seconds later by message. The email detailed which days are strike days and he said I should have allowed him to put them in private school and they wouldn't be forced to be pawns in the public school system. Then he told me I was required to be present when he arrives tonight. Present means not out or otherwise engaged. Yes sir, I replied.

I refused to sleep in the camper last night on account of the fact that it was freezing cold out there (no heat) and I woke up this morning missing Ben like someone had cut off my leg. Loch got crappy right back and said he missed life before I came along, when he didn't worry constantly, when he had best friends instead of being the outsider, when he was the centre of attention. Then he sat back and said Yes, the centre of attention. I miss being that. You took it. 

Then go back to the show. I snapped it. I'm tired.

I would but I can't now. His voice was ragged, exhausted. We fight too much.

I snapped at Duncan, who won't put down his pitchfork on account of Caleb coming back and he asked what he was supposed to do here exactly? I don't know! I shouted in his face and he made a grab for me as I ducked and ran away.

Ben called and yelled at me to stay away from Caleb tonight when Caleb does come back.  PJ yelled at me for not eating my breakfast.  Ruth stomped out when I told her to take her backpack instead of trying to balance her phone/umbrella/textbooks/lunch/purse in the pouring rain. Caleb drives her when it rains. I don't.

I went out to the wall but Jacob wasn't there. I checked the garage but he wasn't there either. Just Cole and Joel, only Joel didn't know Cole was standing right behind him and I took one look and decided I didn't have the strength for either one of them today so I came back inside and climbed stepladders, taking down the curtains in the living room for their annual spring cleaning.

The curtains came out of the washing machine shredded and at least a full foot shorter than they were when they went in. I thought I had put them in on cold but someone used the washer overnight and left it on hot. They were custom sized draperies and now they're garbage and I have to start over.

The dog barfed on the kitchen floor.

And I am done for the day. I'm going to sack out on the couch with Sam (who is still sort-of speaking to me) and watch Ruby Sparks again and dream of a world where I can write the perfect boy the way they all want the perfect girl. Because I keep making bits and pieces but they won't stick to each other to make a whole one. That's probably exactly how they feel about me.
Ruby: Were you disappointed when you got to know me?

Calvin: How can you ask that?

Ruby: I'm such a mess.

Calvin: I love your mess.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Good old days.

Ben had to go to LA  yesterday until Friday so I sent him with Dalton and Corey. Matt has a conference in Toronto and Schuyler is back to New York for a few days. Daniel opted tag along with Schuy but Sam did not go with Matt because Sam has no more time off from work until the fall. Everyone nodded as if this was a good enough plan while I stomped and protested and got all bent out of shape.

I didn't go with Ben because I wasn't allowed. The same person who has my passport took my secret roll of money and the credit card too. He's better at this than I am and I should know better but I keep hoping one of these days they'll start treating me like an adult.

I asked him when that will be and he laughed and said never and he handed me back the roll of bills and asked if I wanted to do something special while everyone is away.

Like what? I asked, my hand shielding my eyes from the sun as I stare at Lochlan, pouting so hard I think I sprained my face.

Like having a sleepover in the camper for the next few nights? He grins. But don't bring that lip. I don't think it will fit in there with both of us. 

Aw, fine. I smiled back and the pout disappeared. His excitement is contagious. Any excuse to sleep in a shoebox we'll take. We tried to invite Ben once but he didn't fit at all so this is rare indeed.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Warm on the surface, cold underneath.

Walking with Batman this morning, sweaters and coffee pulled close as we tracked the receding tide. I'm struck by the fact that he is incredibly put out that I declined his breakfast invitation in favor of a walk on the beach. I'll decline absolutely everything in favor of a walk on the beach.

He doesn't know me. He likes the idea of me. He likes the way I look and the way I defer to men and the way I can be exactly what he wants at any given moment and that I put more value on integrity than wealth but at the same time he doesn't really know that I love the sea or that I worry for them all. He, like the others, doesn't seem to see that I am getting old and losing my nerve again and that I'm afraid of everything.

Or maybe he does and it's upsetting so he just stuffs it deep down inside and buries it with other things. Normal humans can do that. I'm not normal.

I'm not interested in gossip today. 

This isn't gossip, it's potential ammunition. 

Then you use it. He's away living life, which is what I asked him to do. Henry needs a father who is healthy and has a good life. I'm glad he went. 


Can we just drop it, please? Do you want to talk about him on such a beautiful day?

He stops and stands there smiling at me. I'm starting to feel like a mouse in a lab, as people study me for far too long waiting to see if I'll flinch when the shock comes or die in the throes of whatever they've done to me. Or maybe I'm an immortal mouse and I just won't die.


Squeak squeak.

You're right. Instead let's talk about Jake. 

My blood freezes, flexes and thaws in the space it takes me to realize he means New Jake and not my Jake.

He's doing really well and I'm thinking of offering him something a little more formal than freelance thug. What do you think?

I think he tries to dumb himself down to be liked and isn't cut out for thug designation. 

Agreed. Then I'll give him the offer and see what happens. We seem to be quietly fading away, Bridget, making plans for the future, passing torches, trying to quietly extricate from a life of nonstop work. 

So you go from trying to weaken your enemies to identifying with them. 

Do you miss anything?

I miss everything. 

I don't think you do. 

That's because you don't know me very well. 

Maybe that can change. 

Or maybe things will just stay the way they are. 

We walk on, silent at last so I can listen to the sea as she tells me things only meant for me. She knows me better than anyone.

Monday, 26 May 2014

That odd little oddly jealous girl on a rainy Monday morning.

Caleb called this morning and didn't say anything much past my name, and after asking him a few questions I recognized that he just wanted to hear me so I told him all about how we've already appropriated the stable as an art studio in which I will paint horses instead of brush them, and I told him about Henry's friend's birthday party plans and Ruth's forties-style selfies and then I started to make guesses as to what he and his uh...friend were up to and how fun it must be to lie on the beach and not wash dishes and clean out fridges and hang curtains and brush little dogs and supervise perpetual homework and cook and he cut me off abruptly and said he missed me, that's all and he was just checking in.

He snaps this after listening to me chatter and ramble for close to fifteen full minutes. It's the most I've said this year.

He said he'll be home Thursday evening and yes, he's getting a bit of rest and enjoying the warmth. That it's been...interesting. The pause was odd.

I said that was good and then he said he loved me and he hung up. I stared at the screen for a few minutes. I didn't understand. Then I put the phone facedown on the mantle and let it there. I got halfway across the floor when it started buzzing again and I ran back thinking maybe he was messaging me back, realizing he hung up so abruptly but the message wasn't from Caleb, it was from Batman.

Did you know you're sharing your sugar daddy? I have some interesting information if you want to come over.

I put the phone facedown on the mantle again. I get it. It makes sense and it's not as if Caleb didn't make it obvious he was taking another woman with him. I don't need Batman cheerfully rubbing it in my face.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

And now it's been christened! Oh my lord. Squee! hahaha.

I can leave the mess out now.

Up early again, surprises this time, as the boys are all dressed and coffeed and moving all of my stuff.

I don't have much stuff, I'm a bit of a minimalist actually but I hoard art supplies like you wouldn't believe. I have eleven sketchbooks waiting to be used. Never enough fine liners and I think there are seven dozen tubes of paint here between two easels just because art is a religion too.

So they put all of my art supplies in the stables, because it's a clean building with tons of light, locking doors and heat. It's fully wired in, protected by an alarm and a perfect place to set up because I complained that my little nook in the corner upstairs has tons of light but no actual space and more than once I leaned in to the left side of the canvas to work on detail and somehow manage to clutch my palette to my chest in the process, coming away with a lovingly mixed water-soluble oil rainbow on the front of my shirt.

(Lochlan says my palette is too big and awkward for me anyway and wants to buy me the beautiful Amish one at the art supply store but I've resisted so far. I asked him to cut mine down slightly but he won't. It's a standoff.)

All I have to do is turn away from my easel now and I can see across the orchard and right out to sea. 

 The reasoning behind this appropriation is that now, with my newly installed garden studio, Caleb will have no argument to try and push horses on me. I actually want the horses, but no one else does. They say they're too much work and they're right. It's one thing to board them elsewhere and drive out regularly, it's another thing to have them right here. No way would Caleb demand that a perfect space to work in be dismantle once he sees how truly perfect it is.

There's even a radio. And a thermostat. And windows everywhere. Also a bathroom. I may get someone to move my bed later too and then I can live out there. But It's temporary until the day one of the kids claims it as their apartment (they're fighting already about who gets the loft above the garage and who gets the gatehouse (because we told them not to call it a stable, it's a little too nice for that honestly) but for right now it's all mine.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Gold guns girls redux.

Today I am summoned rather early. Caleb's bags are packed and sitting just inside the door when I enter the boathouse and he kisses my forehead in greeting before pulling me by the hand down the hall into the office. The safe is open and inside are the breitling boxes, two envelopes full of money, Cole's monogrammed cufflinks (same initials, CXC, but Caleb has an identical pair and I wanted him to have these ones too), a small photo album and a big envelope full of insurance photos of Cole's artwork, five inches of legal papers, a bottle of Macallan and five DVDs. Family films? Naw. Future extortion. Don't ask,  I explained it here years ago.

He gestures as if the fact that the gun isn't there is supposed to end the argument. I roll my eyes and ask him if he's put it under the bed or maybe is he dumb enough to fly with it and oh, by the way, what's the trip?

He tells me he's taking a few days to recharge. In Tortola. May I punch him now? I ask if I can come too and he laughs and says if he thought that was an option we would have gone years ago and maybe never come back. But I am too late and he has a companion for the week, thanks.

My eyes widen almost involuntarily. Peyton?

But he shakes his head. No, not her. I'll be back Friday, you have the numbers. Everything can wait. I need some sun and a chance to do nothing. I already spoke with Henry (who said nothing to me, I wonder if he was coached) and I'll bring back treasures for the kids. Please try and stay out of trouble while I'm away.

I nod. Maybe this will be good. As facts and stories trickle down through the ranks here the only thing holding back the pitchforks and flaming torches (ha, that's separate from Loch's arsenal) is me, and I'm not very strong. He does need to clear out for a few days and let things settle again.

I'll hold down the fort. Joel will spy for you anyway. 

He isn't to do anything of the kind. If you need to talk to him, he's here. That's all. He might be busy. Check first. And I'll miss you. But instead of his rare tender stare I get another perfunctory kiss and a brief hug as Caleb practically shoves me out the door so he can finish packing his carry-on bag.

Friday, 23 May 2014


Hi Baby. He smiled when he noticed me standing behind him. He was sitting on the grass in the sun trying to fix a seized engine part and when he started he had been in the shade. That was four hours ago and my stomach is growling. It's our clock since his watch broke. We don't have money to get it fixed yet so he tucked it into the drawer under some papers and said he'll get it done in the fall. In the meantime when we feel hungry, sleepy or the whistles blow it's easy enough to tell the time.

I heard that one. Give me five more minutes and then five to wash up and we'll go in town for hot hamburger sandwiches and fries, okay? He smiles when I nod and goes back to pulling on the wrench. He doesn't really have much in the way of muscles yet so I have my doubts it's going to be a fast job all of the sudden. But Loch says he's proud and that means stubborn. I told him I must be proud too and he laughed and said no, I was just stubborn and there's no pride in there at all. I frowned and he said it was better my way, that pride eventually makes men look foolish and keeps them from getting the help they need to get somewhere.

I snorted because he always calls himself a man. He's not a man, he's a teenager. I'm glad he's not a man. He's just my Lochlan. I'll be sad when he grows up and I don't recognize him anymore.

What? He asks when I laugh out loud.

The man part. 

My man parts? 

No! Ew! The part where you call yourself a man. 

Should I be




A monkey? 

Oh, probably. 

Monkey it is, then. Oo oo. Aa aa. That work for you?

No, Be a man after all.

I'm trying, Peanut, hard as I can. 

Thursday, 22 May 2014

(OOh hat trick. Been a while. Three tiny posts, one day.)

To add awesomeness to awesomeness Loch waited until long after lunch and everyone was gone again and then he said, oh, by the way, I've got your passport. So he can't take it. 

Fools seldom differ.

Lochlan saw that we were alone. He pulls out his wallet and shows me the place where he's unstitched the leather and has a sheaf of big bills lining the actual bill compartment. Also in there are the numbers for an emergency line of credit he keeps, unused, just in case.

Carnies are weird about money. We plan for a rainy day to the extent that we'd rather die with hundred dollar bills wallpapering a one-room shack for warmth after the utilities cut the power than needlessly spend anything at all.

Where are we going? He asks with a twinkle in his eye.

Charm malfunction.

The irony.

In an effort to not be the bad guy, Caleb grabs my wrist this morning, pulling it down, squeezing my bones so hard I almost bit my tongue in half to not cry out. He wants me to remove my guesses as to what's in his safe. He says the passports are in the group safety deposit box at the bank, which everyone, including me has access to, and that he got rid of the gun months ago at my request because sometimes Henry stays there.

He was smiling when he said it. He's a liar. I also visited the safety deposit box a week and half ago and my passport wasn't there. I'd rather keep it, next to his Visa infinite that I steal every time he turns his head and the small roll of bills I have sewn into the lining of my favorite handbag just in case but apparently no one likes my schemes and plans so what's a girl to do?

Nod and pretend I'll take the words down and then decide not to.

I suppose if I post this I have to give his credit card back again, don't I?

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The more they stay the same.

Caleb brought me a stack of one hundred ten-dollar bills last night and the wickedest smile he's ever worn.

I told him a few weeks ago in a moment of weirdo weakness and reluctant truth that I always wanted to make it rain, that it's on my bucket list, right up there with naked motorcycle-riding in the yard (which I hope is next).

He handed me the money and asked how I wanted to pull it off.

I told him to start dancing for me and I'd take care of the rest.

Oh, how he laughed.

He did not want to dance though, so instead we ate ice cream, the bills sitting on the counter between us, and he quizzed me about said bucket list, even though we used to call it 100 things before I die, and everyone spent most of January first of each year hung over and writing furiously.

He reminds me that he can do a lot more than make it rain. He said he could make it snow, make the sun shine and the wind blow too and all I have to do is say the word and I could have my entire list fulfilled handily by dinner time.

You don't even know half of what's on it. Maybe some of it involves people you don't even know, or is time-sensitive to occur at certain times in my  life, maybe some of it is dumb or silly and you're just going to shoot it down. 

Shoot it down? No, that's not what a bucket list is for. Tell me something on it that shames you.

Well I know it's horrible of me but I still want to ride an elephant, a little one because if a big one took off stampeding into the jungle with me on it I'd have all kinds of regrets about the whole thing. But I can't because the way they break them doesn't mesh with how I was raised. 

How you were...raised? 

On the tail-end of circuses having actual animals. Before everyone freaked out and let a few bad stars spoil the whole sky. 

I see. 

Our animals were loved like people. They were children. 

I don't doubt it. Were the children animals or just you?

WOW. Were you waiting to use that your whole life or did your cleverness just wake up and decide to join in the conversation feet-first?

I didn't mean you any harm. 

For once. I'm well aware I was feral when you found me but that isn't his fault, you know. It's yours. 

I think, Bridget, that we'll save this for a rainy day. Caleb picks up the money and heads to his office where he will put the stack of bills in the safe in his desk, right beside the gun, the empty boxes that held our Breitlings and my passport, for safekeeping.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

New looks for summer 2014 (as decreed by someone who needs to be featured on the Goths in Hot Weather site.)

I stood behind Daniel this morning while he sat and talked with Caleb. Caleb was waiting for Henry. It's a  school holiday so they are heading off to do some things. Daniel is very patient when I want to practice fishtail braids but today I was distracted so I just twisted his hair up and around and tied it with a black hair elastic so he had a loose bun.

He looks fantastic. Even Schuyler said leave it quite forcefully (LOL) when Daniel laughed and said he should take it out. Huh. I try not to influence their styles with my opinions because it can have hilarious results but sometimes I want to pressure them to let their metal beards grow to the floor or make dreads anyway just because. 

Daniel keeps saying his neck is a lot cooler and he loves that his hair is out of his way. Pretty sure tonight they'll all need tutorials for pinless hair buns, though only Duncan, Daniel and John have hair long enough for it in the first place. Well, Lochlan does too but if I come near him wanting to practice braids and such he'll literally RUN the other way. It's pretty funny, actually.

I think I'll go chase him around the yard threatening to do his hair.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Two showers a day, never by myself.

Each morning Ben hands me his soapy washcloth and asks very sweetly if I will wash his back as he turns away in our glass shower. It's separate from the tub I can swim in, in a little room all of its own. It's amply big for one person but not so big for Ben. Add me and it's a bit tricky to keep his elbows out of my eyes and when he rinses his hair I get rinsed in an extra layer of shampoo.

His back is a wall, a billboard of black and grey work. I always wash the angels' faces first and then the demons on his skin. I have names for all of them. I make him laugh when I greet them and then when their little faces and hands are clean and the whole place is scrubbed and swept he turns back around and finds more space in a perfect way, lifting me up into his arms, my legs around his hips, holding on for dear life, burning as soap reaches places I'm not so sure it should go.

Each night Lochlan and I spend close to an hour under the same hot spray, our skin red not from sunburn but from the water temperature. My fingers and toes are webbed, wrinkled and steamed. One single kiss on my forehead and we're reluctantly finished and the towels go back onto their heated racks and the expensive shampoo (one for curls, the other for blondes) goes back on the shelf for the next night. Sometimes he turns me away and slides his hands around my hips but mostly we just stand and let it rain.

It's a far cry from years and years ago where he would lock the door, press the stainless steel button on the wall that gave us exactly six minutes of lukewarm water with which to wash away salt, sunburns and bug bites, our bad runs and good marks clouding and sweetening our moods alternately until we would emerge fresh and clean and ready for sleep, heading back to the camper in the growing darkness. We would go inside for the night, putting away the little plastic basket of shampoo, conditioner, soap, comb and razor under the bed until the next night, leaving the towels hanging outside to dry.

 Now showers are an event each time instead of a chore, and we don't run out of hot water anymore.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

New school preaching.

Sam practiced his sermon on me last evening because it was a bit edgy, even for him. He used the allegory of Godzilla and being prepared for disasters of faith and how beautiful and terrible it is when you see God's work, God's mark on this world with your own eyes, a swath of truth and destruction. Then you have everything because you have nothing. Then you rebuild, always mindful that He is near.

It was totally neato and something Jacob probably would have done. Sam has loosened up slightly and is taking risks with his words, keeping his church open and progressive, the way he thinks it needs to be in this day and age. He used to skew traditional to the point where more than once Jacob told him he might be happier in a Baptist or Anglican environment instead of Unitarian. Sam protested. I think Sam would have followed Jacob anywhere except thankfully not off the roof of a hotel.

Sam knows my mind is starting to wander down dark paths. I've been their sermon pinning board for so long and it's not easy. You coming tomorrow?

No, I've had all my lessons tonight. This means I can sleep in. And I will because Ben doesn't go to meetings on Sunday mornings. Duncan has to though, but I won't know when he leaves because I'll be in my wing, in my bed, jammed in tight between the joker and thief dreaming of a tray with coffee and english muffins that will never materialize unless I go get it.

Sam nods. He's like Pinocchio but he grows with confidence instead of lies and I leave him in a really good place. He and Matt have weathered their growing pains, it seems and are settling in to a nice rhythm with the day to day grind versus planning their future together. I know they won't live here forever so I am appreciating every day they do. 

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Let them fight.

Somehow we managed to get fifteen of us in the same place at the same time far from home and checked in at a movie theatre in the valley. The theatre was ghost town- empty (the way Ben likes it) and had a new AVX room with Dolby Atmos sound.

Did you know that sending fifteen of us to that room with popcorn and drinks costs just a wee bit shy of four HUNDRED dollars?

It was worth it. I didn't miss a word. Also my seat reclined so far I kept looking up expecting to see my dentist.

(One paragraph review: Everything about Godzilla was awesome and over the top good, save for the predictable moments where everyone finds their loved ones instantly in a disaster scenario and also a highly unintentional but hilariously suggestive moment between a M.U.T.O., her egg sac and a nuclear missile that had me snorting for far too long. I'm going back to see it again as soon as I can. Such fun.)

Friday, 16 May 2014

Wakers and sleepers and fuzz folk and dandelions and plans.

And one day we will die
And our ashes will fly from the aeroplane over the sea
But for now we are young
Let us lay in the sun
And count every beautiful thing we can see
Love to be
In the arms of all I'm keeping here with me
Lochlan isn't that prolific on guitar but he does a few really good quality covers, you see, one of which is Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane over the Sea. He changes the lyrics depending on the day, his accent getting caught on the words as his voice breaks comically and it's just one of those things you can't help but smile at when confronted with it head-on. Especially since he found a guitar strap and now he wanders as he sings like the rest of them. The guitar is huge but he is not so it was a bit cumbersome to hold and play as he walked before. Not so much, now.

It's sunny and beautiful and on the verge of a magnificent wavey-day and a long weekend too and we've all gone a little loopy. I did indeed invite Joel over for breakfast and had to fight my own face not to snarl (lovingly) at him when he walked in. He brought coffee. They do this. Secretly I love coffee. Outwardly it really isn't a great idea if I have more than one or two cups a day, tops, and never after about three in the afternoon, because I'm a waker, not a sleeper and that's a travesty, says everyone.

(Lochlan coined the word shortly after we ran away to the Midway when he realized I'm terrible at actually staying asleep. Now he just takes advantage.)

I think Caleb is regretting his offer to bail out Joel, keep me Afloat& Upright (another Bridget term of endearment, how lovely) and fill the last empty space on the point all in one go, frankly. I've been far too together for the Devil and he's minding it, even as I go so far as to wonder if we should find four more friends and convert the stables to a gatehouse sort of thing. He frowned. I may have winked at him the other day and shared half a drink (it's the only way to be sure that he doesn't drug me while I poison him, you see) but I will defer to Benjamin until Ben is good and ready to talk to him without yelling, so the distance between us will remain for right now.

Ben doesn't want to yell and so Ben and Duncan and Sam head out to lunch and meetings and dammit, I want to go to lunch! I have a thing about lunches. Sandwiches and french fries. I love big crazy sandwiches. Clubs, Montes, BLTs. I'm not so picky. I suppose I could drink more and then I'd get to go but I already told you, I'll keep my addictions limited to boys and music. There's no time for anything else.

Joel ate everything like he was recently rescued from a deserted island. It's the way everyone starts out here. Starving. Deprived. Lonesome. Skittish and unsocialized. Once they fatten up a little and have constant companionship and support they all seem to positively bloom, though, with this one I really don't know what to expect. I guess I'll have to wait and see. I already extended the permanent meal invitation, he still has the treasure map to my brain and no one hates him because I was upfront with the relevant information about what happened and at the time I was vulnerable yet completely unattached and so there's really no blame to lay past the restitution he has already made via giving up his career.

Or maybe it's a double standard simply because he is not Caleb so they can't hate him.

But I invited Caleb for permanent meals as well, though and I may never be heard from again when they all find out. We're going to heal if it kills us, or at least until we've all killed each other.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Saltwater seasons.

It was a special treat. We parked the camper on the bluff overlooking the campground and I wasn't doing any chores because I couldn't stop staring out to sea. It was hypnotic. It was colorful. It was everything. Lochlan looked after everything for those three days, including my chores and for the rest of our trips thereafter he parked in the woods, under the trees, making sure I had to walk to find the view.

What happens if you swim all the way across? 

You'd be in Ireland. Maybe Greenland if the currents take you North. 

What about if you swim out but then down?

You mean South. The tropics, the Caribbean. Where it's warm by the equator. 

We should go there. 

We can't take our camper. 

Why not?

It doesn't float, Peanut. 

Then we should buy a boat-camper. 

That's just a boat. Anything bigger than a rowboat we could probably live on. 

Let's go where it's warm then. 

Are you cold, Bridgie?


Why didn't you say something?

Because yesterday you yelled at me for whining. 

I'm sorry. I didn't mean to. Yesterday was a bad day but I should never take it out on you. 

He puts his hoodie on me and zips up the front all the way, being careful not to catch my hair but also not putting my arms in the sleeves. I am warm just watching him as he tucks all of my hair into the hood when he pulls it up around my face.

There. His eyes land on mine again and he smiles. Better?


He hugs me close. That better?


But Bridge. 


I can't wash dishes like this.

If we had that boat-camper you could wash them in the ocean. 

That would be gross. 

No, it'd be awesome.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Levitate my packages to me on a wave of enlightenment and fix my friends while you're at it. I think I broke them.

I did have a lovely day yesterday, right up to capping the whole thing off with a bourbon on the rocks onboard Caleb's boat. Caleb's albatross, I mean. He leaves it moored against the dock down there and it sits. It sits. What a waste. I would pack my shit and take off for Europe but I'm not sure there's room for everyone.

There is, he tells me. But who would you bring? 

Ah. He's looking for comfort. A test of my loyalty.

Everyone. You free? I wink at him and smile through the glass. I know what it's like to wonder where you stand and I don't play those games anymore, just most of the other ones.

Charades. Trivia. Poker. Poke-her...


Today I'm fighting with the postmaster. Anyone have an in with Deepak Chopra? I thought he was a new age inspirational author and it turns out he's our postmaster general. Who knew? Canada Post insists they've delivered my new Motorhead hoodie but they didn't and I'm getting angry at them. I've been chasing parcels all fucking spring here.

Today I cleaned all of the bathrooms by myself and have that beautiful contact high from Pine Sol. I played Demon Hunter loud enough to drown out Matt, who left eventually and then Sam too, who stood his ground, waiting me out and eventually went and got some cleaning supplies and did mirrors and floors while I did everything else.

It's supposed to be his day off. I told him to find Matt and do something wonderful or at least return the stuff that wasn't right to the hardware store but he said he had a job today and that job was seeing how I'm doing. And making sure that in spite of my assurances, I am okay.

I assure him that I am and tell him again to go play and then I realize he's not here to provide comfort, he's seeking it. I stop and sit staring at him until he caves in and then suggest we drop the cleaning since this whole floor is finished and go get some tea. He practically leaps at the chance and tells me he's had a rough few days with Matt, that they've been fighting and he feels a little out of his league. Matt isn't predictable like a woman. I stand there and frown at him until he realizes he's being sexist and ask what exactly Matt is being like that has him so upset.

He's just quiet and noncommittal. Sam shrugs.

Oh, you mean like a man. I laugh and then stop instantly. Sam, it's only been a few months. The honeymoon part wears off and you see your hazy, ethereal love in a harsh fluorescent light. It's so fun! That's where you dig in hard and the light softens exponentially over months and years and the ethereal view returns eventually. Everyone has doubts that crop up after the cards stop coming in the mail and you stop feeding each other breakfast. 

That's very apt. I suppose you do have more experience in this area than I do. 

I've possibly been married a couple of four times. But I'm not good at this stuff either. I pick people who are though. 

Yeah, Cole seems like he must have been a real romantic. Oh, shit, Bridget. I'm sorry. It was there and it just flew out. 

At least I picked a side and stuck with it. 

Huh. We can't say the same for Lochlan, now can we?

This is why Matt is mad at you, Sam. You're cheeky and fresh and you need to know your place. 

As the little woman?

Hell, yes.  Join me. Clean some toilets and at the same time balance on your pedestal. It's a talent and an honor, you see. 

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

HA. (K, mom? Don't read.)

I heard them calling me halfway up the stairs so I pulled the quilt up over my head and tried to hold my breath. Depending on how messy the bed is I can sometimes hide in it. I'm not very big.

Ben walked in singing my name, using the song from Bear in the Big Blue House only instead of Shadow, he sang Where oh where oh where is Bridget? And he started crawling across the floor, looking under things. Lochlan's footsteps moved to the side, and I could feel him standing up at the top of the bed near my head. Then all of the sudden Ben's hands grabbed my ankles and pulled and I shrieked as I came shooting out the bottom of the covers.

He says to Lochlan, It's a girl!

Lochlan said, Good! This house is a sausage fest. No more guys! And I laughed and laughed and then I tried to crawl back up into the bed but Ben was having none of that. He draped me across his lap, still holding tight and Lochlan came down to sit beside him at the foot of the bed.

What would you like to do today?

I want to have a good day. A good life. No more fighting. No yelling.  No bad feelings. I gesture to Lochlan's head with both hands, upside down as I look up at both of them. I want the glitter. The magic. Music. Cake. Love. Let's make it good. This is so good. We need to keep it that way. 

So back to bed for a while?

I have to say goodbye to the kids. They leave for school any minute.

Caleb already took them up. 

Oh, really?

Yes, he's being helpful. 

What did you do?

Just gave him a couple chores. PJ is really enjoying the break. 

Oh wow. Guys. Really?

You want to go back to bed or not? Loch pulls his shirt off over his head and grins at me.

I nod and Ben stands up and throws me on the bed.

I thought I told you to stop doing that! 

No way. It's fun to watch. 

So I'll throw you. 

I will wait here while you try. 

I may need help. 

Who shall we call? Ben says as he pulls his jeans off.

Okay! Nevermind! 

I think you've got your hands full anyway. 

I will in a minute, I'm sure. 

Monday, 12 May 2014


I sent the boys outside to fight in the sun. PJ and I are inside trying to catch up on chores, playing Bon Jovi and trading off vocal licks like you wouldn't believe. After all this time we have it down to a cold habit. Duncan already expressed his admiration for our talent and Dalton complained (again) that he HATES Bon Jovi.

I reminded him he saw them twice and then asked him why he wasn't outside reffing the argument. He said Ben was out there, was I actually worried and I said I was, about everyone else. He said not to be, they weren't worth it and I reminded him who owns this house.

He tells me he thought I did now and I said technically I do but it's complic-

Oh, Bad Medicine is on. Let me go let my inner fifteen-year-old out. I'll be back.


Ben is understandably ragey at everyone. Mostly because we glossed when he was an absent friend once upon a time and we never went back and fixed that. There's never a good time to say, yeah so there's more to that thing you knew of. Maybe I should have sat him down and told him when he proposed but I was so busy being insane I barely stopped to remember he's been there so long, within reach.

He said he probably didn't give me a chance to have any solid brain matter left. I've told him so many times that day he said to me, Maybe you'd feel less like his if you were mine my insides liquified and haven't been the same since.

So he isn't angry at me.

He's angry for giving Caleb access. He's angry for giving Loch an unintentional pass. He's angry at the world right this second and not even Daniel can get him down from the black cloud he's climbed up on, and I gather he'll sit up there until he's good and ready.

He did clarify he isn't as angry at Lochlan, that he loves him, he just thinks that everything should have been put out there so that he wasn't in the dark. Lochlan acknowledged that, in tears and they had some sort of moment. It still floors me when they're affectionate with each other. Ben swings whichever way the wind blows and Lochlan doesn't like boys in that way so its phenomenal that he takes this beyond a brotherhood and into a whole new experience.

Caleb didn't even try to defend himself. I think he's just waiting for news to percolate down through the ranks and then the pitchforks and flaming torches to come out in force. He's sent me a dozen heartbreaking messages on my phone and I haven't responded to a single one but I'll give him credit. He isn't running.

I wonder if he should be.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Home is where the wi-fi connects automatically.

I've been a mom for a decade and a half and it feels like it still isn't real. I was still a little girl in my brain, playing house, playing dolls, seeking stereotypes and forging ahead with my plans for the perfect family when Ruth was born, even as I stood in lineups at the bank, at the grocery store, at the hardward store marveling that people actually thought I was an adult. Then I blinked and suddenly the children are taller than me, so sure of themselves where I am not, navigating the world with ease while I remain behind scared to death of everything yet mindful of nothing all the same, careless as I careen from one day to the next, outrunning my own adulthood with the same speed that I outrun my shadow.

The children are my greatest achievement and my fondest wish, the biggest love I will ever experience but in a different way for this one that can't be killed, fought away or shut down. They are voracious, ridiculously sophisticated readers and just about as stubborn as me. They are argumentative, selectively forgetful and effortless in their plans to move ahead and see everything that's out there, knowing that I'm right here when they get hungry, when their hearts get broken or when they run out of money, means or mayhem to get into.

They watched American Hustle with us last night and now call the microwave the Science Oven.

Happy Mother's Day.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Perpetual redemption and sliding back into sin.

Ben looked across the table at Caleb this morning and said, You know what? You can cover shit with money but it's still shit. 

Caleb asked him if he had something he wanted to say.

Ben nodded. I just did. You're a piece of shit. 

Caleb nods, looking at me. I see you told him the rest of your tales. 

It's ongoing, I say, sipping my coffee. If the table is going to go over I really want to finish my coffee first.

What made you think you could do that? Ben is not holding to his agreement to be calm.

I was twenty years old and I thought the way to take the world was by brute force. That's why I've spent thirty years trying to make it up to her. 

Sort of trying and sometimes not trying. 

She told me to go away and I left. Jacob had her through the awful years. She was a lot more stable with me. In face, she seems better than ever now, with me right here. 

OH my God. You're not going to take credit for that. You know who gets that credit? THIS GUY RIGHT HERE. He points at Loch.

So Caleb points at Loch too. This guy? The one who took her out there and put her in the middle of a fucking carny nightmare? That's no place for a child.

It was fine until YOU showed up. 


They all look at me. I was loud.

Stop it. The only reason it's coming out now is so it's out and we can move on. Otherwise leave him be. He's literally paying for his crimes. He's worked hard. 

He got lucky. We don't need him. 

I do. I need him. Henry needs him. This isn't going to turn into a war. No one touches him. 

What about you, Loch? You're fine with this?

Nope. I never said I was. I don't want him anywhere near us but it's necessary. Sometimes I think he purposely got you pregnant just so you'd always be tied to him, Bridget. 

Caleb laughs. That's exactly what I did. This is a multiyear plan. 

There goes the table. I don't even know which one of them flipped it. I just know he was smiling when he said it and that means it's a lie. He's seeking forgiveness from me and me alone now.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Safety off.

Well the rain exploded with a mighty crash
As we fell into the sun
And the first one said to the second one there
I hope you're having fun

Band on the run
Band on the run
And the jailer man, and sailor Sam,
Were searching everyone
For the Band on the run
Yesterday Caleb put Lochlan's money back into my hands and told me to put it wherever I wanted, though he recommended all sorts of offshore holdings and local market GICs in rotation. He's not dumb and he's not giving up easily. I've told him to drop the whole thing even as I work to set up everything he's suggested. This isn't coming from a place of rivalry, it's coming from a shared fatherhood. They're freakishly respectful of each other as fathers. Sometimes I think that's the only saving grace we'll ever have here.

And Joel's position without tenure means he is still in danger of losing his job but Caleb has made a safety net for him too and at least for the meantime he leaves to go to work and I don't have to deal with him. I haven't invited him for any meals nor have I done anything other than be ambushed by him in the driveway a couple of times as he says hello. We've managed to weird each other out completely. It's great. I live for those moments where people walk away from me curiously unhinged and shaking their heads. It's the ones who stare and wait for me to disappear from their view that unnerve me in return.

Ben stands twelve feet away, watching everyone watch me and I ignore them all. His shadow blocks the sun, shields the rain and keeps me ever so slightly removed from the tsunami of memories that licks at my heels.

I knit my brows, concentrating. Forward. Which gear is that again? What if there's something blocking the way? Oh, right, it's my own self standing there holding a handful of ladybugs and daisy petals and completely unsure that it's so safe to be on this path after dark but it's the only way home so I brush off my hands on the skirt of my dress and follow them all.

Last night Ben gave us a time-limit within which to be one hundred percent sure we have told him everything because at this point he knows he's standing in the dark as much as anyone and he played a card he's never played before with Loch. He reminded Loch of the gift he gave him and that in return he wanted trust and transparency and truth.

So eloquent and fearful of the unknown but sure in his efforts to navigate into the future, using honesty as a beacon because as he's now reminded everyone, what we've done so far hasn't worked. He grabbed me up very tightly off the ground, into his arms and I wrapped my arms around his neck and agreed to everything he asked for. It's a first. A milestone if ever there was one from which to mark the distance we've travelled because I think maybe we're finally going to get somewhere.

I hope it's a good place but that remains to be seen.

Thursday, 8 May 2014


It's amazing how subjects of importance ebb and flow here, like the tides. For months, I've wanted to transcribe Lochlan's wedding vows because they floored me. There were no funny poems or vocabulary lessons, just the most beautifully arranged words.

For a long time I've wanted to tell you I'm only marginally happier now that we've left the Prairies, trading months of bone-numbing cold and violent news reports for being further still from my Atlantic.

So many times I wanted to tell you something amazing or hilarious that Ben did only to have him say at the last minute not to write about that. We've struggled with the words. He wants to be anonymous. His issues became public (not by me) and he's decided that he doesn't like to be thrust into spotlights he doesn't walk under voluntarily. It's ongoing.

I wanted to tell you that I would resurrect Jacob if I could because he talked to me like no one else does. He listened. He didn't teach and preach endlessly. He didn't push me off in favor of getting things done, he didn't rush around and have no time. He didn't ever seem impatient or frustrated or busy.

Some days I want to point out the obvious, that my knees are destroyed and I can never run again. Bring the crazies in now, I have no means of outrunning my own thoughts. I'm sure running at some point was the only thing that kept me from turning around the bend into some sort of cartoon character in a straitjacket. I'm sure running emptied my mind, a trail of words bouncing off the road behind me every step. I'm sure that I've tried since and it's not going to happen and yet I can't find a replacement short of drinking and that's not a thing I wish to do with any regularity.

I need more time than I have. I've always been greedy with time, wanting the attention, the focus to never end, sucking the life out of whole men to the point that they perish for lack of replenishment or maybe it's just so horrific to watch me twist in the wind feigning solitude and abandonment when they're right here that it kills them slowly and then it kills them fast.

Maybe I can shift things back. Find a replacement for running. Cure issues that only exist inside my thick little head. Respect Ben, and Lochlan and the others and bury Jacob already, for he isn't coming back. Tell you the touching, important things and let the rest go. Learn to love where I am, where my children and my boys are and know that the place or the proximity isn't as important as the people even as I tell you all to leave me alone, for I only need the sea.


Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Joel's co-worker Oliver came to help him unpack for a couple hours. I think Oliver was a plant to help assuage my fears over Joel being here. I was brutally honest with Oliver. I think he thought the whole thing was desperately serious and completely ridiculous at the same time.

He said I should have a bodyguard around the clock, because he can see being alone with me would cause problems for some people.

I asked him why that's supposed to be my fault and he said he didn't know if it is. Then he revealed in the next breath that he's a Saint Louis fan so I pretty much wrote him off right there. Of course, he's American so they're fickle like that.

I would keep Oliver if he wanted to move in but Caleb's no-more-boys rule stands. Asher and Joel are not friends and were not to function as friends. I already told Joel that I'm not going to let him pick through the remainder of my brain and he said he had no plans to make things worse for me by being here. I responded by holding up his watch, wallet, keys, phone and pocketknife and told him I would make things worse for him, that he's been warned. He just laughed and asked me why I never did that when Jake was around. I said I did but only to Jake.

Then I cried again because stupid, stupid brain.
The boys aren't all that upset about this. They come from some strange place in which they commiserate with each other because Bridget does things to you. 

And they prefer to have trained counselors handy for emergencies. Even though his credentials and his public confidence are both long gone, he still knows what he knows. With August gone and Sam's skills as a counselor being more rudimentary they will welcome the break from needless second-guessing and the worry about whether or not I am doing okay, because Joel is supposedly magical and all-knowing.

The sad part is he did a very good job with me when I lost my shit. I still wish it had ended differently.

He says he's hoping to spend some time with me changing that but with him all my alarm bells went off because all I heard was he's hoping to spend some time with me.

I'm not afraid of him but I still don't know who was manipulated. Him or me? He should have had safeguards in place to prevent what happened but instead he YOLO'd it and put my well-being at risk and if he's going to be here, helping me, helping us and we'll be helping him (Caleb found out Joel was struggling to keep up with the cost of living here and also the victim of soon-to-be-cut budgets), then I have to be able to trust him and I don't anymore.

I think Caleb is stacking his deck. I think he wants to clear the air and he's going to do it with brute force and what I wanted a week ago and what I want right now are worlds apart. I wish he'd stop this. I wish he would just let sleeping dogs lie and I wish I could have a five-minute break from walking this minefield that is my life.

Lochlan has already been to see Caleb and told him there will be no forgiveness and also he doesn't want the money so here, take it back, it's all there. He told Caleb he has everything he needs and that's all that matters to him. He told me Caleb didn't say a word, that he didn't even look his way when he came in, nor when he left after dropping the envelope in front of him on the table.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Fuck right off.

Oh, hey.

Had a lot to talk about, wanted to tell you about my birthday proper (the one yesterday, not the one when I was nine, I already told you about that) but then Joel arrived with all of his stuff and will. be. living. above. the. garage. Caleb invited him.  This is not the twist my life was supposed to take today. Even Sam was all like, He's going to be living here? On the point? With us?

We should have kept Asher and then maybe this wouldn't have happened at all. Is it too late to have him come back? 

Monday, 5 May 2014

Honorary boy.

When I was nine years old I walked up the street, giving out invitations to my birthday party. Cake, games, treat bags. My mom liked to keep things simple. I had chosen Strawberry Shortcake as the theme, even for the invitations and I tucked each one carefully into a pale pink envelope that I wrote the boys' names on as neatly as I could.






My mother bit her tongue and probably planned a back-up event, because the youngest boy was Cole, at twelve years old and no way would a bunch of neighborhood teenage boys want to come to a Strawberry Shortcake-themed birthday party for a little girl.

But they did. They wore their church shirts and pants and good shoes that they took off at the door and they handed me presents and they played the games I had picked and sang Happy Birthday to me and and ate cake and helped clean up when it was over. At the door they thanked my mother and collected their treat bags and we all agreed to change and meet up at the baseball park, except for Lochlan, who said he would come get me in five minutes because at that age I wasn't allowed to walk the path alone.

I watched them play pick-up baseball for the rest of the day and in between his turns Lochlan took a big stick and taught me how to spell their names in the mud the correct way. Oh. Lochlan. Christian. Caleb. Cole. Dylan.

I took the stick and showed him how to spell my name. There's a D in there. Bridget. Everyone else got it right on the cards except for him. He wrote Briget.

As we walked back when it got dark they sang Happy Birthday to me again and lit their lighters and it was the most magical thing I've ever seen. I opened all of their presents after dinner that night and all of it was hockey and baseball safety gear, in the smallest sizes they could find, though still slightly too big for me. But none of it was pink. None of it was fruit-scented. None of it was a hand-me-down.

My parents were confused but I was the happiest little girl on the block. I packed away all of my Apple Dumplin', Apricot and Strawberry Shortcake dolls in a box, shoved it far back under the bed and never played with dolls again.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Fight club.

How can I believe when this cloud hangs over me
You're a part of me that I don't wanna see
Jacob used to bring all of his paperwork and books into the dining room to work when I played piano. Sometimes I would be very serious, burning through Beethoven, Vivaldi, Borodin. Other times I would hack away at jazz standards or alternative rock songs. Sometimes I played Heart & Soul about five hundred times in a row. It didn't matter what it was, Jake would be smiling every time I stole a glance.

Sometimes I would turn around on the bench and yell WHAT? at him and laugh but he would just chuckle and keep making notes, books spread all over the table, his lap, the floor.

I thought he was happy.

I picked out a few notes on the piano in Caleb's living room this morning and wondered if he truly appreciated Scott Joplin's compositions as I started to play The Sting but I have forgotten how to play it over the years. And he won't stay on the subject anyway so what does it matter, so I cheekily switch to Chopin's funeral march and try to look very fiercely up at the Devil as I play.

Very funny, Princess. Caleb breezes past me, phone in hand. He shows me a photo.

Nice dog, I say and keep playing and he finally closes the lid on my fingers.

It's a horse. No games today, Bridget, I'm trying to get some things accomplished. They can deliver him tomorrow.

Delivered? Like a pizza? That's what I'll call him. I'll call him Pizza.

So yes? You like him?

I know nothing about him! Thick or thin crust? Pepperoni or chicken? Anchovies? Extra cheese?

It's a horse. If you don't want to be here then why are you here?

I want to know if you're going to rat yourself out or if I'll have to do it for you. That's the topic, Diabhal.

The topic should be the ease with which you roll your sordid words around on the internet like a wet finger in a sugar bowl. Your fucking blog-

That was the worst metaphor-


He picks me right up off the floor and pulls me in close to his face but then he doesn't know what to say. It's only when there's no space left that he sees how small I am in comparison. It freaks him out.

Your jealousy is showing. I tell him point-blank, false courage blowing a hole through his torso, detonating his heart too (since it runs in the family), knocking him down to writhe in front of me, a victim of his own clear intent. I'll morph into a helpless bystander, rushing away while his life soaks into the wet pavement in the glare of a pool of light from a streetlamp above.

What's gotten into you?

You're trivializing something you have no right to measure the importance of and I think for once you should just let me run this show so they don't kill you.

Ah. The fake courage of a little girl who had to be in charge because everyone let her down. I can smell your fear from here.

Just like a big dog, like that one in your picture. It's a bloodhound, is it?

We're not finished here! Don't you walk out that door! 

I'm walking. Watch  me! Rolling out the door, just like a finger in a fucking sugar bowl, Caleb! 

I'll talk to you later, when you've calmed down a little. 

I'll send for you when I want to see you. Don't hold your breath waiting, you'll die.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Ben's favorite sort of homecoming after being away for any length of time is to have us perform. He wrapped his hands around my head and kissed me hard and then pulled my head in against his mouth and told me what he wanted. He deviates a little but nothing I can't handle.

Well, mostly.

Loch takes you first, he whispered. Ben likes to watch. He can almost get off without being touched, it's extraordinary. I rain a chorus of mewls at him in protest. I haven't seen him in almost a week. I need him to touch me. They can work something out, I won't wait for him.

He just smiles and I get one more rough kiss before I am dropped into Lochlan's lap. Loch's a performer, he no longer minds. By the time Ben is spooling up Loch can disappear and sleep or he can hang out and watch. We've got this down to a casual science.

Or rather a lottery with the same winner every night. Jackpot. Bridget's a gazillionaire if sex were money. It's currency, that's for sure.

When Loch's arms slide down around my hips Ben pulls my arms back hard. I arch my back and he kisses me again. He's going to stay so close we can touch him, or rather, he can touch us. Loch swears at him and lifts me up, bringing me back down into his flames. I cry out. There was no foreplay, just need dealt all the way around. I fight to slow him down but he's hammering into me. He's putting on a show. He spoils Ben without even realizing it sometimes. Ben sits back in surprise. He doesn't want to miss anything. He reaches out with one hand and grabs my hair, twisting it up into one hand, keeping me up in the air until the tension threatens to tear my skin and he loosens his hold, running his hands down my throat, across my shoulders and down my arms to my wrists, which he takes and pulls hard once more, up over my head.

Loch's hands slide under my hips and I'm no longer touching the earth at all, I'm suspended here in the night on the moon, which glows white hot and hums with a electric current I can almost taste, a sweet metallic flood into my mouth.

Loch loses his nerve three-quarters of the way to heaven, pulling me close, shoving Ben's hands away, fighting off guilt and regret even as his limbs begin to shake as he grabs the edge and flings us over. His lips press against my forehead, his fingers tighten around my hips and he cries out, a harsh exclamation of joy followed by a grin of relief. His face finds mine and his hand comes up to hold my chin level with his as he kisses me. It's a long one. I can't catch my breath. He asks me how many and I say three and he laughs and then Ben pulls a little harder and I am in his arms at last. Loch lies beside me, smoothing my hair back off my forehead, tucking it behind my ears, telling me I am beautiful. Telling me to let go.

Ben gives me a longer kiss still and I wonder if they're trying to kill me. I get early confirmation when Ben leans up on his elbows and flips me face down, sliding one arm around my hips, lifting me right up off the bed, driving in so hard I scream. His other hand comes up to cover my mouth and he asks me if I like it. I nod. I do. I'm awful, evil, terrible. He laughs against my ear and tells me to let go and I nod once more as adrenaline and waves of euphoria threaten to knock me out. I can't breathe and he's forcing me into blackness and he likes it so much I trust him and I do let go and just at the moment I relax he loosens his holds on me and Lochlan steers my head to one side. He kisses me and then Ben kisses him. It's quick and perfunctory, though, nothing passionate. 

Loch strokes my hair and kisses my forehead. Then he gets up and leaves. Ben turns me back over, parking his elbows on either side of my head. He begins to move harder, faster, shoving me right up away from him on every stroke and I wrap my arms and legs around him just so I don't get hurt. He holds himself up with one hand and wraps the other arm around my back, lifting me up close against him.

I love you, Bee, he says as his grip on me tightens. He grunts and then cries out my name when he comes, slowing to the barest aching crawl. He brings me back down to rest against damp sheets and collapses against me, his thumb rubbing my forehead, fingers against my cheek.

I love you, Benny. I say it in my sleep for I have already gone to dreamland. It's right on the other side of heaven. Lochlan returns, pressing close against my back, pressing yet another goodnight kiss against my skull. Love you, Peanut. Sleep, Babygirl. I turn over and echo my words to him. Love you, Locket. Sleep, boys. Sweet dreams. And I'm out.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Home is where your Ben is.

Fuckers, all of them.

Lochlan and the rest spent a lot of time talking me into dinner tonight. I'm so tired. I didn't want to go but he convinced me that a bourbon and some chicken wings would perk me up. I think it would perk him up, he means.

We walked in just as the Blackhawks scored on an empty net and there in the booth with a cup of coffee in front of him and his carry on bag beside him on the seat was Benjamin.

What a sight for my sore eyes. Ever cry in a pub? Someone walked by and tried to console me, telling me I shouldn't put any more effort into rooting for Minnesota.


Thirteen hours with the Devil.

I staged a bit of a sit-in last evening and had I known it would run past an hour or two I would have planned better and ordered food, kissed the children good night and told Duncan and PJ not to sit in the kitchen waiting up for me. Lochlan sat out in the driveway for most of it but he doesn't mind the hot sun and then the cool moon.

I had to pinch myself to stay awake, at least four times Caleb yelled at me to stop fidgeting so much because he jumped every time I jumped and basically we never even talked, we just sat and stared each other down.

My vote is all or nothing. Everyone is to know. Come clean. Fess the fuck up already and then the questions will stop, take whatever punishment they have for you and let's get on with our lives. Maybe things will be better, after all. Because all the things we've tried so far, time, money, absence, didn't work. What do we have to lose?

Everything, is the answer. I don't like his answer. I go back to being quiet in hopes that he, too, will shut the fuck up.

His vote is to continue to the course, to find out what it will take to win absolution from Lochlan.

You can't ask for absolution from Loch. Loch can hold a grudge forever. Loch is an elephant, he never forgets. He's loathe to forgive and stuck in his ways. Be kind, be quick and be good. The thefts, the bad things we did were so we could eat. He always told me it was only for enough to eat, or pay for a safe place to sleep and I believed him. His pride is larger than his brain, trust me.

So I sit back, sipping a bourbon watered down by an ice cube that disappeared an hour ago. I sit and watch the Devil and I think about the things I do that drove him to show up and ruin things and then to have him stand here and tell me he thought it would be the worst thing I ever went through and that I was young and resilient and would soon forget and move on and life would be a fairy tale, just as soon as he got rid of Lochlan. Once we were apart, once I was Cole's or anyone's just as long as it wasn't Loch, that everything would be okay.

His brain is smaller than Lochlan's, apparently.

Watch here now as I fire up my flamethrower and leave a path in front of me that reaches a hundred miles in every direction because that's how I feel and that's what Jacob was. A break from this. A break from Cole and from Caleb and from Loch and from everything I know and everything I am.

God has other plans for me. I wish he'd drop a note. I don't know what they are.

Caleb asks if I want a refill. I wake up and snap at him that I don't, I want an answer. 

I don't have one for you. 

Then I guess I'll wait some more. Until you do. 

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Oh, and in case someone is about to call me out on this, no, I don't expect some of the boys to take up my defense even as I leave them out of the loop.

I don't expect anything except for maybe the hope that things will smooth out a little for all of us if we finally put our cards on the table but at the same time I expect men to be men and volunteer their mistakes and wait to be judged, punished, ostracized or absolved. I don't know what will happen if he tells them. I don't know if he will tell them. At this point I don't think it even serves any purpose, to tell you the truth. It's a dance we've been performing too long to change the steps now.

I don't know if Loch will ever forgive him. I don't think I would (if I were him) but there's nothing conventional about us and maybe that's how we've survived this long as it is.
bawk, bawk.

Lilting grace.

(A brief excursion to the boathouse as I am passed around, evaluated and comforted. I'm doing much better today. Yesterday seemed to be some sort of minefield I couldn't navigate without blowing my limbs off every step I took. I remember that she was ready and it's easier now.)
Oh, father of the four winds, fill my sails, across the sea of years
With no provision but an open face, along the straits of fear
Caleb reaches up and smooths my hair back behind my ear as I sit on the edge of the couch and he lounges on the floor.

Zeppelin today for the devil and Skyping with Ben to keep him in the loop at all costs, by my own request because I'm tired of everyone dismissing him because he's not around a lot. He is to be kept informed of all developments or issues and his input will be sought before decisions are made.

So there!

That makes things difficult, everyone tells me.

For you, maybe, not for me, I reply.

And Caleb, well...Caleb would like actual, functional forgiveness. From everyone but mostly from Lochlan. This has gone on long enough. That's his bone to pick this week.

Interestingly, I don't believe it ever once occured to him that I didn't tell everyone what happened. For some, it's none of their business. For others with a vested interest in helping me cope/survive/thrive, it's an incredibly important piece of information that can't be left out.

Some of them have asked, mind you. Out loud. Up front, with their naive curiosity exposed in a way that made me cringe and then further dissolve as I said it wasn't my place to explain.

So I told him if he really wanted to clear the air/make amends/seek forgiveness he should apologize to the whole point, en masse.

They will rip him to pieces.