Friday, 31 October 2014

Threesomes but with two.

Light a candle, blow the world away
Table for two on a TV tray
It ain't fancy, baby that's OK
Our time, our way
Lochlan and I managed to fit in another brief milestone celebration in between meetings and barfing. Three years (sorta) married!

We're never going to catch a break, that's for certain but we caught low tide, taking a bottle of cheap pink champagne back down to the beach to crack open, as is tradition in our verse. Forget glasses, we passed the bottle a couple of five times and then I was almost sick again. Ben missed it completely though he promised to make it up to us later. Loch kissed my fingers, held tight in his hand and lamented the fact that this probably wasn't the best week in the world but it was an attempt to find some good in so much bad and I will forever love him for that, if I didn't love him for everything else already.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Take that silver spoon and dig your grave.

Well, did she make you cry
Make you break down
Shatter your illusions of love?
And is it over now?
Do you know how?
Pick up the pieces and go home
I threw up on the plane. I came home and slept from late right through most of today. Caleb sent me a note alternately conveying his ire at me leaving in the first place with his desire to have his share, dangling the offer of a new bottle of Lagavulin in front of me.

I adore Lagavulin. But I'd be better off right now with flat ginger ale.

It's nerves. That's all.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Specific coast highway.

Heaven is on the way
You could feel the hate
but I guess you never will
I'm on a roll again
and I want an end
'cause I feel you creeping in
Ben's solution was to drag me to California for what will be possibly the fourth longest day of my young life, because he woke me up at two-thirty this morning holding up my shoes asking which ones I would pack if I was going to spend the day in Los Angeles?

I shook my head. I don't like travel dreams, I told him, they suck and in them you never give me any time to pack.

Lochlan rubbed his eyes and pointed to the stilettos on the left and said if I wasn't going to wear those he would.

He came too (and Schuyler!) so we could graze around while Ben is in meetings and also because there's still a stupid moratorium on me traveling alone with Ben and also because this afternoon Ben will take me to the beach while Loch and Sky have THEIR meeting and this is just dumb and so I asked Batman if he would stand by in case I need a ride home because at some point someone will forget me.

(Run-on sentence. Sorry. Yeesh, Bridget)

The text from the Devil (who intercepted my brainwaves) assured me that will never ever happen in this life or the next.

I suppose he would know.

Batman never replied.

I have chosen either Nobu or Moonshadows for lunch. We'll see if I'm still awake in two more hours. I might just go curl up under a table instead of eat.

(PS Loch looks so out of place here. Especially in a dress shirt and wool pants. I should have never talked him into leaving the show but Schuyler seems to be able to keep him busy with projects so I suppose it's good enough.)

(PSS Batman finally replied but only to point out most of the restaurants I like don't open for lunch. I think I knew this. It's fine, McDonalds is across the street from Nobu. Ask me how I know this. Better yet ask Caleb.)

(PSSS Loch wore his All-Stars. Not my stilettos. I wore the stilettos so I could blend in. I don't blend in. I should have worn breast implants and THEN I would have blended in.)

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

(Updated) PJ, I love you so much.

I can feel it coming.

It's like my stomach has clenched up and my heart is bursting to tear itself apart. It's starting to take a huge effort to get a deep breath, answering people normally, without a catch in my voice is almost unbearable and everyone is crowding in so close. I just wish I could get some air here.

And it's been seven years, Jake. I've remarried. Twice, if you want to be specific, once for technicalities. And still there you are in heaven looking down, demanding to be front and center and my heart suddenly knows no different even though I would blame you now for not doing the heavy lifting. You did it all for Cole but Cole's death was a relief when all was said and done but yours was unwarranted, unnecessary and out of character. You sucking me in for such a brief beautiful moment now a cruel joke behind my back and a bitter taste in my mouth, poison I can't spit out or swallow.

PJ is behind me on the grass as I ask him to at least allow me to look at the light. The icy, blinding clouds and the driving rain is something I think I've never seen before, not properly.

It's time to go in. He won't look up, only down. At me. Forced with taking care of someone with no regard for her own safety or sanity must be such a fucking chore.

You're fired. Go have a fun life. 

I've got it right here. Well, most of the time.

I'm not worth it, Peej. 

You let me be the judge of that. 

Will you be the jury too?


What about the executioner, PJ. Will you be him too?

That's enough. He charges forward and dips low, grabbing me around the hips and lifting me right off the ground. He marches back into the house. So help me, Bridget, you want drama, we'll do charades in the living room. It's getting really fucking cold out. 

You know who's probably cold?

He can't feel it, Bridget-

You know what he probably feels?

You gotta stop this, Bridge-

You know who can't stop because he's doomed to a life in the hereafter?

I fucking give up. He takes my arm and somewhat not gently pulls me down the hall to the library. He tells me not to move and he leaves. Then he comes back ten seconds later with Ben's ipod and headphones. He scrolls through the music until he finds what he wants and then he pushes me down into a chair, drops the headphones over my ears and presses play. In the seconds before the music takes over he says I can wait there for Ben. And if I need anything just holler.

I nod to let him know I hear him and then he pauses and smiles just a little. He runs his hand down my cheek and then the smile drops off his chin and he leaves, locking the door behind him.


Three hours later when I was blissed out on metal I couldn't even decipher (so much Finnish yelling) PJ unlocked the door and peeked in.

Safe? He asked.

Safe, I nodded.

The calm before the storm though, Bridget. I'm going to have to staple you to the back of my shirt. 

That actually sounds like fun. 

And it doubles as a Halloween costume! 

We high-fived each other, and I was free to go.

Monday, 27 October 2014

A round world with hard edges.

Corey is outside tossing the football around with Henry, who brought his school pictures home today and looks more and more like a muted, scrappy blonde version of his father every single day. He's as tall as Lochlan finally and has my incredible streak of pure stubbornness so I'm sure Caleb's pride in regard to his son is tinged with regret that he didn't find someone more passive or docile to procreate with.

I do what I'm told, I remind him as he stares with dismay at pure attitude emanating off the glossy portraits. I love these pictures. Henry is getting so big so fast. It seems like yesterday we were kicking snowballs all the way to school in the minus forty bleak sunlight.

Come on, Henry. You're going to get frostbite. 

No I won't, Mommy. The school's right there! 

I watch from the steps of the boathouse. If I step down any further I won't be able to see over the fence into the backyard. If I step up higher I'll be cozily in the arms of the Devil, who stands two steps above me, a hand on each rail.

Corey doesn't go easy on Henry. No one does. They're going to make a man out of him. They've never coddled him a day in his life at my request because I can teach him to be thoughtful and empathic, gentle and respectful, they can teach him to be tough, to stand up for himself and to take the hard knocks and keep on standing. Then we switch and do it all again so he doesn't have any illusions of gender stereotypes.

He will be a Good Human.

The football hits Henry square in the chest, knocking him back a step and his face knits in irritation as he turns to go and get the ball. Corey calls him a name that isn't remotely kid-friendly. Caleb lets out a long hiss of a breath as he watches. He steps down further so he is right behind me.

He's a beautiful child. Thank you for bringing over the pictures. 

No problem. But he's not a child anymore. He's a man. Same as you all were at that age. 

If only. Caleb chuckles. They weren't men. They were goofballs with raging hormones and temper issues. Nothing has changed. I hope Henry fares better.

I nod. He's amazing. They both are. He knows I don't mean Corey. He knows I mean Ruth.

Corey clocks Henry in the head with the ball next and I grit my teeth. Henry's grown too big too fast to factor in easy coordination so he's a bit awkward yet. Standard operating procedure will be to beat that out of him, just like they did with each other. Hard lessons and rough plays all the way.

Henry calls time and then just as Corey turns away Henry drills the ball right into the backs of Corey's knees. Corey yells MotherFUCKER, giving me a helpless look. Henry laughs. He holds his own. He's one of them now.

He's just not allowed to swear yet.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Naked pretenses.

I woke up because it was hard to breathe. There's Lochlan, in my face, all of his weight pinning me to the bed. He seems comfortable. He smiles. You're staying right here today because I'm making you, Peanut. Oh. He's going to assert his authority without any clothes on even.  


Because I can.

What about church?

Sam can pray for your soul. You don't have to be present. You have connections. 

The kids-

It's Caleb's day. 


Has already gone. 

I have some things I want to do. 

He grins. They can wait. 

I have to pee. 

Nope, he laughs.

I try a different tack. People will be looking for me! They know I'm here-

Nice try, Bridge. 

I give up and he remains there. Kissing my eyelashes, nuzzling his nose up under mine. All low and quiet. Content.

I have to wreck this. Just because I need to win and I really want to get up.

Locket? I' hungry. 

Oh come on! So not fair. He lifts off and throws his weight down beside me. Why you have to play THAT card? 

(Loch has massive PTSD from the summers when we didn't actually make enough to eat properly and had to steal instead. He calls it battle fatigue though.)

Because I can. 

Wow. You win. But I will return! He shakes his fist mightily.

Right, okay then. Want some waffles?

Oh yeah. That would be good right now.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Saturday drive-by.

Going out for brunch. Ben kept his meetings up while he was with Duncan but he said we could go to breakfast when he gets home from his regular Saturday meeting with Sam. I'm ready and have my laptop in the front hall on the floor so I can keep my boots on and wait for him here. Eager? Me? Nope. What are you talking about?

So point forms because I hope I'm in a hurry.

  • Charlotte Ronson beach spray is no more? I'm crushed. It smells just like Parlee Beach Bridget, circa 1977 and it made my waves curlier and even kept the pixie from doing that General Zod thing in the front. I'll be crushed if it's gone. Thanks for the warning, Sephora. Anyone know if Bumble & Bumble Surf spray is any good? I'll have to try that next. 
  • Ruth and Henry dismantled and hid the components of Ben's bagpipes. Teenagers have zero appreciation for profound moments. For two people who can seemingly stay up all damn night online these two sure like their sleep. 
  • Caleb has indeed started suggesting I travel with him to Dubai in November. I'm suggesting he take Lucas instead. Luke seems to like to travel, right? And he likes Caleb so win-win, I'm thinking.
  • Lochlan described me to someone as an Indigo Child. I haven't heard that term in forever. We listened to a speaker talk about it on the circuit once in the early eighties and he never. let. it. go. If you open a book to the definition my picture is there. Probably with all of my other labels too. Are borderline indigos only partially blue? PJ asked that this morning like he was being clever. Nice. Loch snorted but shot him a look. Who likes labels? Freaks certainly don't.
  • Joel and I watched The Town that Dreaded Sundown. It was fantastic! He's been gifted an open invitation to watch all new-release horror films with me. Just like old times. It's a trial run.
  • I'm alternating The new Slipknot album (.5 The Gray Chapter) with the new (to me) Asking Alexandria album (From Death to Destiny) twenty-four hours a day here. Both incredible works of art.
  • I'm going to be the new Slipknot album cover for Halloween, in fact. I love it. Keep in mind its supposed to rain heavily, I have no plans and the kids are too old for trick or treating at last. I'm not even giving out candy and I'm not going to the Devil's little party. I just want the outfit. It looks warm and comfortable.

  • For those who asked, yes I am watching American Horror Story: Freakshow (though I'm a little bit behind now) It's a bit twee, campy and shocking. I like it so far though I thought it would be more in line with what I experienced. Thankfully I've never had to deal with a murderous clown, though the familial bonds they tout are true to life. So far so good. I still think Murder House is the uncomfortable masterpiece of the series though Coven may have stolen my heart overall. Who knows though? I'm excited to see the rest of this one, in spite of my upfront misgivings because the subject matter is so close.
Ben and Sam are home. Time to go for food. 

Friday, 24 October 2014

Flickering light.

Ben came back late last night and figured the best way to announce his return was to pick up his bagpipes out of their case and play Mull of Kintyre at two in the morning in the front hall. He managed to rile Sam and PJ a little (HA). Lochlan went down to say hello and I didn't wake up at all which only proves to me that holy fuck my hearing is only getting worse again because I'm a light sleeper and a heartbeat will keep me up if it's too strong.

I didn't actually wake up until Ben was in the room and I realized I could smell kerosene.

He reached into my dream and plucked me right out of it. Don't know why but I was glad. I was sitting in a field in the mountains with my goat (metal) while bagels grew like flowers all around me in so many different varieties. Except that when I got up close what I thought was cheese were brains and the poppy seed bagels weren't covered with seeds, they were covered with ants. I didn't want to get close to the blueberry ones, let me tell you.

So thank God for Ben's timing because I was done with that dream anyway. Also, don't eat Dairy Queen for dinner unless you want to sleep weird.

(He isn't a monster, by the way. The kids have an inservice today so no school, sleep in instead.)

When he had me close and awake and he said Hi, Little Bee and I said Arflugenkurp snop fleerbock or something, he laughed and said Duncan is settled in, everything's okay. I'm home now and then he gently dropped me back to the hillside where metal goat turned to stare at me while he chewed the grass.

At least the bagels were gone this time.

It was nice to wake up to Ben's face this morning too. Even if he somehow managed to wrap himself around Loch during the early hours of the morning. His chin was on the top of Lochlan's head and they were spooning something beautiful. I was shoved to one side with my goats. Either my dreams take up that much space or they missed each other something fierce.

Let's go with that because it's sweeter.


Thursday, 23 October 2014


It just feels like forever is crashing down on me
(Ben, Christian and Dalton are still in the states with Duncan. Word is he's not cooperating much. I'm glad I wrote that cheque for his treatment so he can be paid to be an arse.)

(Right. So in amongst Christmas shopping (fuck off, I have a SHIT TON of people to buy for) and the usual incredible load of perpetual chores/grocery shopping and boy-wrangling here I'm not doing so hot suddenly. I keep thinking it's a blip but the days are dragging on and the fluttering has reached maximum...flutterage. Jacob used to notice before I even did but he never took his eyes off me. Lochlan took a few days. I had to swear at him enough and then he stopped and thought, the hell?)

Come on, he said. Bring your coffee. Take my hand. Let's go for a walk.

He asked questions, prodded for some good memories. He let me cry without being impatient or frustrated. He stuck out his hand for mine again and didn't let go. He didn't say anything disparaging about Jake save to remark on how amazing it was that Preacher was able to wade so deeply into an established collective and do nothing short of take over, stealing the girl out from under everyone's noses.

How did you even fall in love with him?

I don't know. That's my short answer to soften it. I think Jacob was a blinding, intense light and I chose to engage in epic romance for a short time period which was better than choosing not to.

But I can give you legendary romance. (Short answers don't work well with mind-readers.)

But you cut it with reminders and lessons and caution.

It's hard, Bridgie. Sometimes you're equal, capable, adult. Sometimes you're not. I have to defer to the little girl on the inside. She...she needs me.

His composure gets drowned by the surf. He throws his arms around my neck. Who needs reassurance now?

I'll always need you. No matter what, Loch.

I thought he had taken you from me forever.

Almost. The truth. It hurts but there isn't any point in sugarcoating these memories.

He lets me go, wiping his eyes with the back of one hand. Jesus. I feel like I'm fighting a war.

No one's going to take your place, Loch.

Tell that to Benjamin.

He knows.

Then tell Diabhal.

He blows smoke, that's all, Locket.

Don't underestimate him.

Don't underestimate me.

Thanks for the reminder. There you go, being an adult again. Does this mean you're ready for some distractions?

Such as?

Some breakfast maybe? I'll make it. Then maybe a show. 

Breakfast would be good but no show. You're supposed to be recovering!

Bah. If I was still on the road I would have been back to it already. I wouldn't have had a choice.

But that's the point. You're not, so you don't have to rush it. Get better. Take a break. 

There are no breaks here, Bridget. If opportunity knocks you have to take it or it tries a different door.

This isn't about fire anymore, is it?

A prize for the little girl with the balloon!

I don't have a balloon. 

I can fix that too. 

(Dammit if he didn't take one out of his pocket and blow it up on the spot. And then he did his trick where he makes it float up over my head on a string. When he asks how it's floating and I say, I don't know, how? he'll reply in a very high voice that it must be the helium. )

(I no longer ask how he does these tricks. He rarely tells me anyway. He refuses to dispel the magic.)

(Lucky? Yeah. Very.)

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Places everyone.

I wanna go home
I wanna sleep in my own bed
I want a normal life again
Is this the end?
Is this the end?
No matter how hard I try
All I know is the road
All I know is the road
It was a bad day, that's all.

There are lots of them for me. Sometimes I fake cheer or at least usefulness until I feel better, sometimes I refuse to get out of bed, and sometimes I ask for help. Sometimes I can't breathe, I get these paralyzing full-body aches and it feels like it happened a moment ago instead of almost seven years. I wouldn't wish those feelings on my worst enemy (the one who lives in the boathouse).

I understand I can't bring Jacob back.

But I still would if I could. Know that I won't apologize for that. I probably should, but I wasn't done. I need more time. I didn't get a chance to plead my defense or touch him one last time. I didn't get enough. He got too much. He was overwhelmed. We should have helped him the way we help Duncan. The way we help Benny. Or me. Or anyone who struggles now, even a little bit. Every major change brings about a renewed effort to keep the group tight and transparent and supportive, even as we sometimes stretch and rail against things like brutal, cutting honesty or the lack of privacy or the absolute unwillingness to drop even the most innocuous things in case they turn out to be important.

If someone asks for help, just give it. You don't need to be an expert. You just need to be there.

I know a lot of people, both within and without the collective have suggested that I would be better off out of this environment. That the drama created within this dynamic is more harmful than less support might be.

Just no. I wouldn't be better off. I wouldn't even take the risk to find out anymore. It is what it is and we'll get through everything together from here on out, Duncan included, as soon as he finishes his program. I never said we were perfect or that this is some idyllic utopia. It isn't. It's difficult and sometimes hard to see the purpose of until times like right this very second.

I wouldn't trade it even for Jacob. So know that too.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

He would be forty-four in a couple of weeks. I should be buying birthday presents and planning a dinner. Not lying here wishing I could bring him back.

Monday, 20 October 2014


Reluctant telepathy. That's the superpower I want. I've never answered anything different when asked because I'm too curious to settle for something flashy like invisibility or super strength. No, I want to know what you're thinking because I would guess it's never what you say out loud. No one is that transparent except for me and I'm exhausted, burnt out and spent for it.

I'm clear and ruinous. I let it fly, no matter what the thought, feeling or hope. It just pours out. No filter. If only you were all the same. We would all be dead. No survivors, no regrets.

I think they were looking for an excuse to send Duncan away. He'll be back in thirty-four days with conditions. Big conditions I don't think he'll be able to keep. I don't get a say. I pointed out it wasn't a good time to be sending away one of my primary minders and I was told that he should have taken that into consideration before he made himself a threat.

The fuck.

He isn't a threat but right now the only issue is he's drinking and he won't stop so he needs help. My needs are secondary. There are others who are here to look after me. Maybe the same people who should have been working harder in looking after him.

If everyone would just say what they think instead of swallowing the truth, have at the good and bad without burying their feelings until they explode under pressure, shooting up in the middle of nowhere, an unplanned surfacing, then we'd all be better for it.

No we wouldn't, Loch says. That would just make everything worse.

(Edit: Duncan hasn't been banished from point or kingdom. He's going to be entering a treatment program. I didn't think I was that vague. Long day.)

Sunday, 19 October 2014


What you don't see that delineates any huge romantic gestures by Lochlan from any of the ones perpetuated by Jacob (that I have detailed exhaustively here already) or anyone else for that matter, is the fact that while doing said gestures, Lochlan is/was usually lecturing me at the same time.

For example? When the flowers began to bloom and I realized he planted them all around our lot, I tried to go out and visit them. He told me to stay out of the mud. And not to touch because dinner was soon and he didn't want to traipse all the way back to the water trailers so I could clean my hands (again).

The Romanian coffee thing? He took it and poured it out when I had drunk only half. Because caffeine, Peanut. You're only a slight of a thing and won't sleep for the rest of the week otherwise.

(There was no goat involved. It would have been so metal if there had been though.)

His parental tendencies interfere with the romance of it. This is his struggle now, to supersede his natural tendencies to baby and control me in favor of just enjoying the hell out of me now. Clearly I survived, albeit scathed, into adulthood. His brain can't shift gears though and that leaves us a historical, incestuous mess.

He will tell you he is not parental, that I am insulting. It's not an insult. He wants to take care of me. He always wanted nothing more than to show me the magic of the world from the safety of his arms.

So mission accomplished.

But still he never sleeps.


Sam did Jesus Beach today. That's what we call his outdoor services at the waters edge whereby he warns his congregation at the beginning of each season that certain Sundays they should dress down and he makes them hike out to the beach and does his sermon there, in the wind, the rain, whatever. It's beautiful. He comes back to do a pre-lunch, later service for the people who don't want to/can't hike though. Two services every Sunday and one on Thursday nights. He's getting a couple of extra people finally, he's grown the church to a size that has exceeded all expectation and we joke that he's the little pastor that could. He's been proactively busy without Matt here. It bothers him but he's sticking with keeping busy and he and New Jake and Dalton have been busy helping to build when he's not writing/studying/working.

He seems content and a little more centered now. He's my twin but he's far better at self-preservation and control and not at all impulsive in the manic sense. Mentally healthier, is the term someone used. But I'm not insulted. Like Lochlan, I simply try my best and sometimes I might not try at all but at the very least I can't be put out if someone calls a spade a spade.

I know my limits, my strengths and my weak points. I just can't guarantee which of them I can deploy purposefully on any given day.

I wish to be like Sam when I grow up maybe. Friends with Lochlan in a capable way that leave him confident that I can manage without his hand-holding but still in touch with my emotions enough not to go stiff in order to get through an emotional experience.

It will never happen but sometimes I wish it would. In any event, the romance seems to be the thread that decorates and strengthens every aspect of my life. And love isn't a fleeting thing, it's a foundation all on its own.


Jesus Beach couldn't save Duncan this morning. He went with me but he did it half-drunk and I drove and didn't talk because he's falling into the same hole over and over again as he stands there wavering, insisting that he went and learned and he's still learning how to put up warning signs that there's a hole there in the first place.

On the way back to the point he sat and stared at me. Flask in one hand (Jesus won't mind, he assured me) and leaning up against the inside of the passenger door of the truck he tells me,

Sam would go straight for you. 

Yes, I know, Duncan. 

Would you ever marry a preacher again? 

Not on your life. 

I wouldn't let you bet anything against my life, Bridget. I worry you might be bad luck. 

Might be?

Probably are. 

When we get home can I have some of what you're having? 



You're far too pretty to have a drinking problem, Bridge.

I have enough problems anyway. 

Yes, you sure do. Sorry I'm one of them. I aimed to be better. Some days it's too hard. 

Maybe you need to write more poetry. 

Maybe you need to fuck off, Bridge. 

We didn't say anything else on the drive home. That seemed to be lots. I handed him off to Ben and disappeared to cry in the laundry room, where PJ was all caught up and said he didn't need me and that was kind of the last straw because I feel that way a lot lately.

Duncan came and found me later and asked me not to take his crap personally. I'm sure someone ordered him to do so, probably PJ. Maybe Loch. Hopefully Sam, who had watched Duncan take sips from his flask during the service and had already 911'd the boys who didn't attend. Duncan said he's not all that proud of his recovery efforts because he wasn't doing it for him, he was doing it for us. The rest of the boys and me and the children and trying to be good and perfect and nope. Not working.

I gave him the same offer I give everyone who complains about life in the collective sometimes getting overwhelming. Forgiveness if you leave. Understanding if you can't remain. Financial help if required. Emotional support and affection until the end of your days if you just come and take it.

But he said he doesn't want to go, he just needs to figure out how to navigate this stage of his life, because cool will only get you so far, and he thinks this is the end of the line.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

No fair fights.

Lochlan is not impressed. I'm recovering from a cold. We could have been seen, maybe by the Devil even. Ben isn't known for being gentle, what if I got hurt? On and on and then he makes a pointed comment about not needing to parrot random acts of romance from the movies to make me swoon.

Burn, baby.

Ben didn't like that comment. He said he's trying to do things differently because yeesh, if he brings me home a bouquet of wildflowers, he gets a story from me about how, once upon a time when we were on the midway circuit, Loch planted a garden of wildflowers around the camper and on the last day as we packed up the final flower bloomed, the garden complete.

That if he serenades me under the moon? He gets a story about how Lochlan lit the sky on fire and then pulled some acrobatic stunt in which he throws me up over the moon and then catches me on the way back down, with a double twist and a hang to thunderous applause.

If he makes me a cup of coffee? Yeah, Loch probably traipsed all over Romania for a square of organic muslin in which to filter hand-picked beans traded for a card trick in a boxcar from a traveler from Sumatra. The coffee tasted so good in the shadow of a Transylvanian sunrise. Oh, and I didn't like it black so Loch milked a nearby goat, probably.

He's not that bad, I tell Ben.

Oh he's not bad at all. He's the golden boy. I'll never win, Bridget.

He never held me upside down and dunked me in the snow.


He never lay beside me until I woke up and stayed until I could breathe normally when...Jake...

Yeah. Ben thaws a little. His chest puffs out a tiny bit.

He never wrote a sort-of famous song about me.

I couldn't use your name.

I knew who you meant. Everyone did.

Yeah. I bet he never fucked you on a beach or a motorcycle, or even-

Hey, let's not get carried away.

Jesus Christ. I don't even get that?



Thirty-nine years! You can cover a lot of romance in that long a time period, Ben.

It's not over yet. 

I thought we were all in this together. 

We are, I just want to be the Alpha Romeo.

That's a car, Ben. 

Not the way I mean it, it's not. 

Friday, 17 October 2014

Up against the cliff in the driving rain. Ben's coat weighs us both down but he hasn't noticed. He has one hand around my throat and the other under my thigh and he is determined to be spontaneous and surprising even though he said through gritted teeth that he just. wanted. one. single. minute. of. private. time. and every syllable was a thrust into the dirt for me, pinned between the rocky face of the beach and the giant. When he picked up speed I worried briefly that I might die but he readjusted his hands, letting go of my neck and scooping his other hand up under my other leg so now there's no turning back at all. My shoulders erode the earth and my ear gets scraped by a rock as he butts his head against the cliff above mine, shielding me from this strange mini-avalanche that threatens to do nothing, actually. His shoulders in the big coat shield the rest of us. No one can see us right here anyway and I don't even think anyone's home. I set out on offer of a slippery, rainy walk before high tide and wound up peeled out of most of my clothes.

Conventional and Ben are two things that don't go together. Good, because I've never been conventional except for once and that was a lifetime ago with a different giant.

He finds that beautiful sweet rhythm that always manages to send me off just before he follows and then his breathing is harsh, his hands steel cages. My head starts to pound. He stands me down at last in front of him and he smiles, looking at me with my sweater down to my knees again, bare legs and untied boots. My leggings are in his coat pocket. My underwear, I see with dismay, is on the ground behind him and he's stepped on it. I grin and point and he laughs and nods without looking. I'm going to leave it there, too, he threatens.

I won't leave it there. I'll collect it as soon as he gives me my pants.

But he's not rushing to do that either. Here, take the coat, he says and shrugs it off, wrapping it around me. This coat is a waterproof parka of a security blanket. But it's also a XXL blanket I can't actually lift. I stop in my tracks, deadened by the weight. He laughs and scoops me up, coat and all.

I'm pretty sure my ass is hanging out of this arrangement and it's cold.

Ben does not care.

Does Ben ever care?

No. No he does not.

He tells me to stop complaining or he'll put on The Notebook when we get to the house and I start to protest but then I realize he is trying to teach himself romance, using the movies for material. Here we are out in the rain again because he's had confirmation that this is Out There and Romantic and Breathtaking.

He didn't put the movie on. He got the coffee maker set up and then scooped me up again and carried me upstairs where he decided that a hot shower with the lights off and the doors locked was an even better place for us and round two almost actually did do me in. The hot water offset the ache in my muscles and the full-body soreness that took over before I could pretend I can be his match in all things.

The hot water ran out eventually though and he wrapped me in a towel and picked me up yet again and I haven't actually walked much today and am hoping to fix that when he abruptly pulls me in tight to his face, a foot and a half off the floor still but eye to eye which is nice when he needs seriousness.

But then he changes his mind.

What is it?

Just...nothing. You're beautiful. 

My head is freezing. 

Want your underwear? You can wear it on your head. 

What were you going to say, Ben? 

Coffee's probably ready. Let's go have a cup. I'll start a fire. 

Someone's rubbing off on you. 

No. I lit fires when I was a kid too, you know. 

I didn't mean-

I know, Bridge.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Tongue in cheek.

In a cruelly wonderful twist of irony, I left my drama on the point today to go run some errands and wound up lurking near the set of reshoots for Fifty Shades of Grey.

Yup. Charmed life, I tell you. CHARMED.

Came home to my very own west coast millionaire who doesn't have a helicopter (he leased a plane for a while once though) or three homes (wait a second LOL) or a red room of pain (it's..wait for it...grey) but he's always angling for a waiver that lets him use me however he pleases and I demur so hard I think I've broken things. No one's going to make a movie about me though. This blog will have to suffice. Though it's less of a blog and more of a diary. Strictly writing. No comments, buried in the internet wasteland just like E.L. James' fan fiction before she started reading Saltwater Princess.

You never know. Maybe it happened. Maybe no one's ever heard of me. I'm fine either way. I wouldn't have picked Jamie Dornan to play Caleb but dammit if he isn't pretty cute.

Jamie..not Caleb.

Well, Caleb's pretty cute too.

Okay, shhh...

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Acolytes and Adulation (back on the horse, the reprieve is definitely over).

(The five year break was when Caleb disappeared into his firm on Bay street and made his mark. Driven, focused, he put his personal life aside completely. I had asked him to let Cole and I have a shot at fixing our broken marriage, raising our kids and being a family without his influence. Not only did we do worse than fail, he slipped and started living the life you see in the movies. Fast cars, spendy glass palaces and hard drugs. Under duress he'll admit that the drugs were the only thing that worked to make him forget about me. I can only imagine. I asked for them once to forget about Jake. Caleb didn't disappoint. And I have brain damage now.)
I will fail you
To the core
He wasn't doing anything different but he was tense. So tense I could have bounced quarters off the space between his shoulder blades or even his forehead if I had dared but I never take dares when they come to the Devil. They find me and take me first.

I asked him quietly to tell  me what was wrong and he struck out so fast I couldn't even catch the cursive reply. The marks remain on my skin. It stung because I was trying to draw him out and he erased my efforts instead.

He rubbed his hand across the back of his neck, looking exhausted.

Is everything okay? English this time. No endearment, no tenderness. Professionalism. He's more used to it and it gives him the lead to respond in kind.

I haven't slept. That's all. Let's finish up so I can send you back to jail.

Jail is the main house today, I'm guessing. Do you want me to stay?

Of course, he snaps back so fast I have whiplash and I wasn't even very close. Jesus. I'm being verbally pummeled here and I don't..

But I do.

He is a lot like me. Conditioned to thrive under heavy affection and absolutely ruined otherwise. Bereft. It's a lot like grieving except with grieving the hole never gets filled. No one can cover that place, it just gapes and waits for you to fall in blindly and drown.

And I can't abide by that. I won't. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Even him.

(Advocate, defector, thief.)

(Little liar.)

Come here. I whisper it but Caleb is already right there and I put my arms up around his neck and he just crumbles such a tiny bit my ego picks up speed and slingshots right around Mars, coming back and skidding to a stop just at the atmosphere of earth to see what's next.

His arms slide tightly around me and I am lifted off my feet. Jesus, Neamhchiontach. Were we always doomed?

From the start, I think. Confirmed. Some people exist in the prison that is their own mind and will. Me. Cole. Caleb. Jake. Ben. Lochlan. We're not here by chance, we're here because we're all the same.

Find out how much he would take to let me have twenty-four hours with you. He lets go and I'm cold suddenly.

Cale, it's not up for discuss-

Find out. Or I'll just take you anyway and deal with him later. Go and come back. Now. Quick.

If I go I won't be able to come back. Besides, you're still on notic-

Then you're staying right here. He comes back to me and takes my face in his hands. I don't do well without you. Not at all. I always think I can but it doesn't happen, Bridget. And I don't know what that means but I don't like it anymore. Things are never going to change so just give in. I'll try to make it work, I won't make it hard on you but you need to give me something. I'm at your mercy here. 

I have to go. I can give you a hug, I can't give you anything more than that. I can't stay here. I'm sorry.

I was halfway across the driveway when he could articulate a response. He yelled my name so loudly I flinched hard enough to lose my balance and Lochlan stepped around from the back of the camper, wiping his hands on a blackened cloth, looking half worried and half scared shitless.

Now what the fuck have you been up to, Peanut? 

Nothing, I tell him. Brain damage, I told you.

(I forget, Locket, but I tried to hug a demon because he has feelings too but it always hurts too much and then I just want to cry because I don't know what I'm supposed to do here. Give me a job. I'm big enough to help now. I promise I won't get in the way.)

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Play it pretty with a pat on the back.

This could be the first time in the history of me that Lochlan hasn't shared a cold with me. Not sure if it's out of sheer stubbornness or just the luck of the draw but he's regained full use of his lungs.

How do I know?

About an hour after my parents left for the airport and the kids left for school and Matt made his way out again too, Lochlan started singing Woman. I thought it might be a one-off, but nope. He's doing the whole Hysteria album here. Without music. He's up to Pour some Sugar on Me and he looks so cross when he does this song. I used in my one and only pole dance in public which I will never do again and don't know how I did in the first place but money's nice and Bridget's not, I guess.

I only shimmied a little when he started, I swear.

He broke into his own song and said Stop it, and I laughed and obeyed him because damn. Just keep singing and as usual, I will follow you anywhere.

Ben looked even crosser. Ben isn't going to sing Def Leppard. What the fuck. It isn't even actual metal, he says.

But he liked that shimmy.

Loch's moved on to Armageddon it and I have a ton of stuff to do today and still don't feel well enough to do it. All my thanks this giving went to PJ, who is as good of a mom as anyone these days, and I'm very grateful for that. I'm grateful Loch is feeling good enough to sing so fucking loudly and I'm grateful that Ben didn't find this holiday with parents so hard, because he has us and we're his family now and I'm grateful I'm not feverish anymore so they can stop with the Ebola jokes at last.

(And also I'm really sorry to all those I love getting on planes with bad colds today because of me.)

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Should have made a turducken.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have a really bad cold and there are seemingly dozens more people here than I can comfortably or uncomfortably manage. We're having our big turkey dinner and epic Warcraft Monopoly tournament today and so on that note I think I'll just throw in the towel here and not attempt to liveblog the holiday or the weekend or me being sick again. The Leafs lost but the Canucks won their season openers so just nevermind and I'll see you Tuesday.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Did I say normal?

Batman, Caleb and my father are in the driveway looking at the vehicles.

Mom and PJ are in the library teaching Duncan how to knit.

Ben is still asleep (SURPRISE, I know).

Friday, 10 October 2014

Surrogate wife/Youngest child.

Sam is darling. I'm not sure how I feel about him right this second. I feel like he latched on to me, messed me up more than a little bit and basically decided I was going to fill in the gap for Matt's absence.

Sam knows better. I say that often because it's true. He does. So this sort of hurt. However. He's rejected whatever new light he saw me in and he's back to being himself so maybe I'll bring it up later in our weekly porch jazz session, complete with coffee and vinyl and affection that labels us friends, not possibilities. The way I want to keep it. As adorable as he is and as much as sometimes I think he understands me better than anyone I've ever met in this world, I need to keep this dynamic the way it is. And I've never considered anything else.


On that note, because things get really weird sometimes,

My parents are here.

Which means a three-day reprieve from table/fist/food-throwing, verbal wars and misappropriated affection. We do commune-lite when they are here, which isn't often. They think it's lovely.

Even Lochlan kind of let out a breath like he could relax for a bit and just be normal. Because it's so much fun to pretend.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

One of us.

Matt got home early, having switched his flights so that he can maximize his time. He walked in through the front door at exactly 5:10 this morning, setting off the alarm and making the dog go apeshit. He yelled Honey, I'm home! and turned on lights and the coffee maker as he made his way around the house before looping back to his wing, where Sam (an incredibly heavy sleeper) was still far below, in dreamland. The rest of us are up and grudgingly waiting to greet Matt and where is he now? In bed with his traveling clothes on (gross. It's one of my issues) with his arms wrapped around Sam and Sam's face was absolute ecstasy and I thought See, Sam? This is how hard it is but I didn't say it, I just turned and decided if we're all up early I may as well make french toast.


He brought presents! Keep Calm, I'm the Queen t-shirts for the boys (yes, all the boys) and a beautiful teapot for me, because I have a tiny little black one that dribbles all over the place when you pour from it. This one is not drippy and also bigger. Because we always say we should drink more tea and less coffee and then we don't because there's not enough room. He bought a new Poland flag for Sam too. It's becoming their in-joke. We'll always have Poland, they say.


Last night Ben fired up Netflix again, stripped me down to nothing and forced me to watch Nicholas Sparks movies. I don't think we're compatible anymore.


Caleb sent flowers and the card said Just Because you're my Neamhchiontach in someone else's handwriting and Lochlan set them on fire. Someone should write a movie about my romantic life. They could classify it under horror. I would watch it and cover my mouth in shock, completely forgetting it's based on a true story until the credits at the end.


My throat hurts exponentially. I'm pretty sure it's psychosomatic. I always seem to get sick once the kids settle into routine and the weather changes. It's still 20 during the day and no lower than 10 or 12 at night and the furnace isn't even on. I may or may not have worn shorts this week more than once but my Blackcomb hoodie has always been close by too.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Pepperoni, ham, pineapple and black olives.

My surprise turned out to be pizza and horror movies. In bed. Sans clothes except for a t-shirt because my shoulders get cold sometimes. It's one of my favorite ways to spend an evening and if only I ever had the energy anymore to stay up late I would be able to watch more than two movies. It's okay, I can't do half the things I could do when I was twenty. Like eat pizza for instance. One slice and I'm good. Two and I'm staggering around like a little water buffalo with furry tongue and bloating.

No, it's not adorable. Yes, I did it anyway.

It was the perfect surprise Tuesday night activity. I hope for a repeat weekly. It's been promised, if time permits. But I'm only going to have one slice next time.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

October isn't my favorite.

A surprisingly normal and average night and day so far.

I was told to cut my nails. They grow like crazy here and I scratch and poke everyone unintentionally.

John, Daniel and PJ pitched in and helped get the whole house clean, bathrooms included. In one day even! This hardly ever happens!

Lochlan set up a pre-Christmas contract with good remuneration. More art projects for him. He's so happy.

Ben said he and Loch have a surprise but not yet, tonight, which make me make a smarmy face at him and he said no it's not related to that but that they could prepare a second surprise if I want and he waggled his eyebrows at me. His face is weirdly expressive or completely stoic. He has no in-between.

Caleb sent me some paperwork to sign and return. He let Henry courier them to me and back for kicks. Henry enjoyed his new responsibility. They are going to eat hot dogs and watch Pacific Rim tonight. It's one of Henry's favorite movies. Cale took a very big step back and I appreciate it. I like him better as an absent Sugar Daddy than an omnipresent lover anyway. I keep trying to pet the wolf and then seemed shocked when it bites me.

Corey stopped by to borrow some equipment from Ben. Not only was he polite but he was almost pleasant and he didn't ask me for anything.

Sam is down to counting hours until Matt gets home Thursday evening. He's coming for an extended long weekend. He's not faring much better than Sam, in the heart-growing-fonder department. I think they really are soulmates. This will give Sam the fortitude to muscle through the final weeks. It's been rough. He's gone a little bit off the deep end.

Ruth had me camping the website all morning for the annual Fall Out Boy Halloween shirt. It looked pretty cool. I would wear that. Except I only know one song. She's been playing Centuries on repeat since it came out. I hit refresh dutifully right up until they said they would pick a later date because the servers crashed.

I cooked a whole package of bacon. It will feed half of us (I didn't notice the packages got smaller weightwise while the price went up yay) so I'm going to have to cook another and I didn't realize it until I was finished. BLTs for dinner with potato chips because it's been very warm in the afternoon and bacon sandwiches are easy to throw together for dinner right up until the stragglers come home very shortly before I give up on trying to stay awake and go the fuck to sleep.

Duncan is much better lately. A lot more relaxed with easy affection and his usual half-cool, half-mischievous attitude. He helped Dalton with some project today and now they've gone off for a coffee and a round of golf (Dunk doesn't golf. I asked for video) and then they'll be around tonight too.

I keep falling asleep in my chair. I think I'll go prep the veggies and set the table and then at least if I don't make it to supper time they'll be able to fend for themselves and I can crash hard. I hope the surprise can wait, if I do. I'm a very curious little person but I'm too tired to bug them today.

Monday, 6 October 2014


Ben forced an agreement early last evening. Caleb's not allowed to go after Lochlan because Lochlan didn't do anything. He's not allowed to go after me either and Ben tore whatever flesh was remaining off Caleb's bones with a few threats of his own. If Ben isn't there? Caleb doesn't touch me. Even if I instigate.

That's a good rule. In a strange life.

Loch looks worse today. Prizefighter-worse. He went grocery shopping with me and scowled at everyone with his magnificent lower lip jutting out just enough that no one spoke to him. Flannel sleeves rolled up, words inked all over his arms, bruises all over his face, he pushed the cart at the store so fast I had to skip to keep up half the time.

His rule was different.

You are never ever ever going over there EVER again. EVER! EVER, Peanut. You hear? 

Yes, Dad. 

He scowled at that. Then he gave me a new song that he found. A cover of Kiss from a Rose by Head Control System. It's been on repeat ever since because it's metal and it's all sung in minor harmonies and I love it to death.

Like everything.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

More ice please.

This morning Ben and Duncan went off to a meeting and I went to church, where I sat and listened to Sam, wedged in like icing between cake layers. The layers being Caleb, who has a lovely tender jaw and six stitches heading right into his eyebrow (a handsome future scar) and Lochlan, who now has a beautiful purple-blue nebula of a black eye beginning and the remnants of a bloody nose. I keep passing him new tissues and he keeps shoving them up there. Caleb smirks every time he does it.

Sam let them have at each other in the yard behind the church. What a sweetheart. So Godly and pure, that one.

I give up.

I told them to cool it. That this isn't the way we settle things, that we're adults now. Lochlan yelled No, we're not! at the same time Caleb yelled Yes it is!

Alrighty then.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

I could lean back in the crook of his elbow, as he swings me around slightly off my feet, arms up around my neck, kissing me brusquely in the cold. I hang my head back very far and gaze at him through half-opened eyes and he smiles and that's when I see the blood.

That's when I hear the shouting.

I'm not sorry, Lochlan tells me, smiling, shaking his head as he is pulled away from me so they can find out what happened. Apparently Caleb staggered up the front walk and they found him sitting on the steps bleeding from his nose and mouth and a good cut over his eye. There's only one person here who fights dirty like that.

Loch doesn't have a scratch on him. I don't think he gave Caleb time to fight back or even defend. Ben gave Loch a look and then drove Caleb to the clinic to get fixed up. That cut wasn't something we could deal with at home.

Caleb refused to press charges or finger Lochlan at all. He said it was worth it. He smiled at me as he got out of the truck when they came back, ice pack held against his eye.

I wanted to punch him myself.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Out by the woodpile.

He was giving orders by five this morning and I followed every last one, slipping into amusement tour mode, doing what we do best. It's only when I make up my own mind that it gets me into so much trouble, if I just let him keep running this show we'll do better than ever.

I was ordered to put on jeans and a flannel shirt and a jacket and to grab gloves. At least Loch asked if I would make the coffee. He could have just told me to do it. And then out in the dark because the big woodpile has got to be moved, divided and restacked at the foot of the driveway. The rest will go beside the garage. None of it remains here at the end of the orchard. If it does it will never dry.

He pours the coffee into two thermal mugs and off we go, hand in hand in gloves. Once down by the orchard I realize this is the mother of invention, not necessity. The wood is fine here. He just wants to talk and so we're going to move it anyway.

So we talk. About his fears and shortcomings. About my needs and grand plans. About us. About Ben. About Henry. About Sam. About how Caleb is going to keep me under his thumb right up until the day Henry moves out and then Caleb won't have any way to keep me here anymore. How he understands now that Caleb is going to do just that and anything I try to do in return is going to come back on me tenfold. That's why it was so easy for Caleb to remind everyone that I came to him, that I asked him for his time, that I asked him for his brother. That he's making me look worse than bad. That my integrity is so questionable right now it's a wonder no one has switched allegiance against me. That Loch knows what I feel, he knows the lengths I'll go to and he knows how my brain betrays me even as my heart digs in. That he isn't mad, he just feels so helpless.

But eventually we ran out of coffee and then words too but not wood and so we kept working until almost nine, when it was time for the kids to go to school and then after we saw them off we kept on working until the rumblings of my stomach told me it was almost lunchtime and Lochlan started throwing around the idea of me making my world-famous grilled cheese sandwiches because he could really use one and he stopped finally and smiled at me somewhat desperately and downright adorably and asked me if I could just, well, if I wouldn't mind just sticking close again. Like I used to. Because as old as we've grown and as much as we've been through together one thing hasn't changed, and that's the stark fact that I need to stay inside this pool of lightness, with him. It's safer that way. That I can just ask him for anything I need and he'll do his best but I'm not to set foot in the dark again.

Thursday, 2 October 2014


I know that I am good for something
So let's go give it a try
We got our backs against the ocean
It's just us against the world
Looking at all or nothing
Babe it's you and I
Caleb stands with his bare feet in the water by a few inches. Jeans rolled up. Shirt hem sticking out under a cashmere sweater. Fresh shave and haircut. He looks like the men in the L.L. Bean catalog. I wonder if they are sexual deviants too.

You came to me. You called me by his name. I took it as permission, as guidance that you wanted something more. I let my ego find honor in the fact that I am the only living soul capable of providing any semblance of Cole's memory to you. I'm sorry, Bridget. I thought it was what you were looking for. 

He puts his forehead down against mine. I wish I could have a conversation without this. My toes are freezing. His eyes are glassy but so are mine, snot dripping off the end of my nose and he frowns and chooses to ignore it.

I'm not capable of refusing any of your needs, Bridget. If you want something, I've made it my priority to provide it for you, not because you're an object but because you are what my heart and mind is focused on. I've been in love with you since I was a teenager. Everything I have done in my life is a means to an end. To please you or provide for you, and now for my son too. Whether or not you were aware of it, it's what keeps me going. Even if it will be met with derision from others. Even if it isn't good for you. But please understand you have value far beyond what any of us are worth. Far beyond. Unquantifiable. Here.

He finally offers his sleeve and I wipe my nose on his lovely sweater but say nothing. Cashmere tissues. Nothing but the best for our princess. I'm sorry I hurt you, he repeats softly.

I nod. It was really harsh. My voice comes out in a squeak. The tears start stinging behind my eyes again and he closes his.

I'm so sorry. Next time it will be good. I promise you, Baby.

I give him forgiveness only because it's easier than dragging this out. It's easier than trying to hold onto a grudge that's bigger than my body weight. Besides, every last man on this point has already had a crack at him and by now he has perfected his words for me, using the others as his working model. If their reactions were too far afield he would rearrange. Don't they realize this?

There might not be a next time, Diabhal.

For all the ways I exist as Cole to you, Neamhchiontach,  please remember that you alone are all I have left of him too. Don't deny me memories of my brother. Don't fuck with this. I got rough. I said I was sorry. 

And just like that he's the Devil again as he turns and walks away, leaving me up to my ankles in low tide. Leaving me to drown in the present because he didn't succeed in drowning me in the past.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Extra small.

You crawled away from me.
Slipped away from me.
I tried to keep ahold,
but there was nothing I could say.
He's not Cole, Baby. Don't you give him that. Ben's words wash down the drain with the soap as he scrubs me all over gently. I came home in the middle of the night so fucked over I had to bite my own tongue to get up the stairs without screaming. I snuck into my bedroom and it was pitch black and then I heard Loch swear at me before he and Ben turned all the lights on.

He asked me what the fuck I had done and I asked him if it even mattered. That I'm not a person, I'm a thing. That I have no value so what fucking difference would it make at the end of the day as long as I stay on the point. As long as it's one of them. As long as I need the ones who are dead. As long as I don't care about myself at all. Then he realized I wasn't moving easily and he swore again and gingerly peeled everything off me, noticing all the things missing, jewelry, underclothes, self-respect. He told Ben he was going to kill Caleb and Ben didn't even take his eyes off me, he just took my hand and brought me into a hot shower where I stood and cried while he scrubbed me clean of my sins while Lochlan stood outside the door nervously talking to himself and to us, still trying to figure out how I got the idea that I was worthless based on their attempts to keep me precious, to continue to take care of me.

One of these times he's going to kill you. Bridget, you need to stay away from him. I don't know how many times I have to tell you.

I put my hands up. Cole loves me. 

Jesus Christ, Ben, what did we do?

Ben put up his hand and it was shaking. Let's just get her dried off and she can get some sleep. 

Suddenly I'm being talked about in the third person AGAIN and I don't know what I have to do to make them see that it's THAT that makes me feel so disposable. I push away from Ben and stumble into the bedroom and crawl under the quilts. I'm shivering. I realize I'm not cold at all, I'm just shaking and everything hurts so bad and Cole feels so close I just want to reassure myself that life for the past eight years has been nothing but a dream and he's here and he's going to wrap his arms around me and pull me close and I will fall asleep with the smell of varnish and developer in my nose, even though I know better. I know I left him in the dark and came home because he wasn't nice and he wasn't kind and that's how I know it's him for sure but at the same time I don't know where I am and I don't know why I can't seem to listen to myself or why things have to be so hard. I don't know why Jake isn't here to keep him from hurting me and I don't know why I can't stop crying but I hate it. I hate that I can't get past this. I hate that I'm hurting everything that's good in my life. I hate her. Bridget. The stupid idiot with all the words to make her excuses but none of the brains to pull herself up and move the fuck on.