Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Blast radius.

I am still awfully cranky.

Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts' debut album Blaster came out this morning. Jeremy Brown died last night. I'm not so sure the timing could have been worse to birth an album but never get to meet it properly, in the hands of the public who adores you but there is no good timing for death. It just grabs someone you love while you're looking the other way, at something stupid or inconsequential.

Either way, guys, Blaster is a surprising masterpiece of an album. Hotel Rio is my favorite on the first listen but it's ALL good and over the next five listens I'll change my mind five times.

So yes, I'm still crabby. We should be celebrating, not mourning. Life is so short and we waste so much of it fighting to control feelings that seem to do little more than waste our time. 

Rest in peace, Brown. (I hope they bury you with one of your hats.)

And Matt moved off the point yesterday, deciding Batman's house was still too close to be 'space'. 

Monday, 30 March 2015

Spoiler: she didn't go to the boathouse!

Last night and today featured a full-point internet blackout until we were finished dinner and could watch the season finale of The Walking Dead. 

That's how ridiculously rude and disrespectful the internet has become, friends. They can't wait to prove they saw the show FIRST! so they have to vomit all the spoilers before half the country has even seen it. Nice.

Movie reviews take note and learn how to review a movie without giving things away. God. All of you, just use your fucking manners for once, could you?

Anyway, we finally got to see it and the blackout is over. But it's also late so posting will resume tomorrow.

(Notice I didn't spoil it, because there are still people out there who haven't seen it. This isn't hard! It's common sense and good graces. Jesus Christ. Chill. So annoyed by life. Goodnight.)

Sunday, 29 March 2015

'What rhymes with soul?' He asked and before I could answer he said 'Cole.'

The Devil drowned in my nostalgia this morning after reading yesterday's entry and I let him. I stood in the kitchen of his house while he held me and let himself be sad, let himself miss his little brother. He let himself float on a wave of history for a little while and then he stood up straight, wiped his eyes and thanked me for letting him just have a moment, that it was just what he needed. He invited me for lunch after church and then over tonight maybe to watch home movies. I agreed to lunch (it was delicious) and am considering tonight, but I'm hoping I can talk him into watching The Babadook with maybe a little more gravestone juice. Maybe not. We shall see.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

'Behold, I know not anything' is how it goes.

Care to...lick some gravestones? He says it with a smile. He gives in to my lack of sophistication. The Lagavulin has an amazingly specific smell and taste in that all I could ever imagine is that someone took the bottle and poured the liquid out across the head of the angel lying on Mary Nichol''s grave at Highgate and then caught it in another bottle and that's what I now hold in my hands.

I know what gravestone tastes like. I grew up with boys. I can still remember it clear as day.

It was nighttime. I was ten. We stood under the trees at the center of the cemetery and Lochlan passed me up as they took turns having a swig of bravery from Caleb's flask. Caleb is eighteen, Loch is sixteen and I am not going to get any bravery in a jar, which makes me braver than all of them by default. I ran after them all all night while they played Do or Dare, and when it got late and I got desperate I finally yelled PICK ME!!

Caleb turned and laughed. If I have to lie on this one then you have to lick the death date, trace it with your tongue. 

Oh, that's EASY, I boasted.

He lay flat on his back on the grave, arms crossed on his chest, feet together, pointing to the moon. Okay, go for it, Bridget. He sounded so uneasy.

I sat by his head and leaned over him slightly and stuck my tongue in 1938.

It tasted like the Lagavulin of my future. It tasted like moss and death and iodine and it wasn't nearly as awful as last week's game where Christian told me if I really wanted respect and entry to the Dare Club I would eat the dead ladybug he found.

I did that too except that I swallowed it whole so it only tasted a little bit bitter and then I threw up because he told me if I left it there it would come back to life and hatch and grow ladybug babies inside me then when I opened my mouth and eyes they would come flying out of my face.

At least I don't have to eat anything dead this time.

Also? Boys suck.

When I sat back and spit out the moss from my tongue, Lochlan put his hands out to pull me up. I think you just won the game, he tells me. He's plastered.

Caleb closes his eyes and pretends to stop breathing so we leave him there and start to run flat out across the cemetery. Cole is vaulting over headstones, Chris does slaloms. Loch throws out his hand for mine and we stay between the rows so we don't run over anyone. When we get back to the cars everyone is laughing and out of breath and I look back into the dark. Where is he? Maybe we should go back and get him. 

He'll be along. Loch lights a cigarette and blows smoke over my head so I don't breath it in. He hands off the smoke to Cole and then Caleb comes staggering out of the darkness and I scream.

He puts his arms out and drops the flask. What? What is it?

I didn't think you were that close. 

I like that Bridget is the only one who wanted to go back there and get me. You got my back, Bridgie. For that, you can have a drink. He goes hunting in a circle in the grass and finds the flask. There's a little left, he says as he shakes it. This is good. You're only little. He brings it to me and Loch shoves him backwards.

Naw, brother. She's too young. 

She's as old as we were when we tried it. 

And half our size. 

She's tougher than any of us. 

But I just keep staring at Caleb because he's alive, he's okay. I was worried that maybe he died for real and we were just going to leave him there in the dark. It's still a relief when I see him every time because he's still here. I didn't know at the time how final death is but maybe I did all along. That night stayed with me and we were just kidding around. Amazing how it feels when it's not for fun but for real and they don't get up. They don't come back into the light. They don't talk anymore. They're not there.

I finish my gravestone-drink and he pours me another. That's what this is for. Numbing everything. Maybe he knew all along what it would be like and this is just good practice, except it's not practice anymore. The dark is all around us, and the quiet and the weirdly-cold grass.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Lunch was extra special.

Lochlan now calls the company PepperBridge Farms.

They have my back, apparently.

(And my front. I ate the whole bag.)

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Over a billion.

Well, based on the endlessness of Caleb's laughter when I inquired sweetly just how much sugar was in the bowl, I'm not bidding on Cirque du Soleil.

I can't afford it.

I knew that but if there was a shot it wasn't like I wouldn't have taken it, you know? Life is about taking chances and I'd give anything to go back to that life, but on my own terms. I'd also have to bring everyone with me whether they like it or not and for that sort of influence you need to own your own show, as clumily as that reads.

I'll settle for ruling the roost, or at least pretending to. PJ won't let me give orders, Lochlan makes sure no one listens to me and really I'm here for decoration, I think. Like the colored Easter eggs, of which we had two dozen but then Ben saw them and now there are five.

He said sorry and that he would make more.

They now have plans to put on aprons and pin their beards back and decorate some more eggs for the upcoming Easter weekend. This time we'll blow the contents out so that they aren't awesome, colorful hard boiled eggs to eat but little fragile works of art instead.

(Like me.)

I usually make an angelfood cake around when we wind up with a lot of eggs without shells. Ben will eat that too. He'll growl and pick it up with both hands and pretend he is celebrating a great victory. We won't actually get any of the cake. And it's fine. He does more to try and make me laugh than anyone I have ever met before. He doesn't take things so seriously. I could learn a thing or two from him but I'm too busy being stubborn and trying to run away again and trying to exist as a square peg in a round hole. Trying to be a norm when it's so glaringly plain that I'm not.

He will pretend not to notice all of these flaws of mine.

I like that too.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015


I asked Caleb and Batman to pool every resource they have between them and bid on Cirque du Soleil.  Batman waited for a heartbeat or six and then sighed heavily and said it wasn't the type of thing he financed.

Caleb stared at me for the longest time and then he said he would see what he could do. I'm pretty sure that was a very gentle way of letting me down without having to say no without concrete reasoning. That's sort of what you do with a willful child.

Somehow I don't think they would buy a whole circus or I probably would have had one by now.

Loch will inevitably point out that it's not quite the traditional circus I am used to. I know that. I'd like it anyway. We'll make changes when the dust settles. Just like we always do on a show.

Ladies, the time has come.

August and Lochlan have a new favorite song to lipsync to. They've got the dance down and everything. They recruited Duncan and Sam for this one. They called themselves...Little Dicks (But not really, said Lochlan).

(I knew we all missed August something fierce. He brings out the virtual insanity, and by that I mean the very best in Lochlan like no one else can.)

Ruth nearly died of embarrassment. She's a complete stranger to watching her father make an ass of himself and would prefer he be cool and mysterious instead. Fatherly. Together.

Henry thought it was a goddamned riot.

I think maybe someone mixed up their test results and Ruth is Caleb's child, while Henry maybe should belong to Loch. If she didn't have flames in her hair just like Lochlan I would seriously consider another round of tests but really their looks preclude any other possible outcomes.

Their personalities though.

Makes you wonder.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Five by five.

Ben showed his face long enough today to seek out the huge bag of Cadbury mini-eggs I bought while grocery shopping. He ripped the top off, opened one side and poured the whole thing into his face.

That was thirty-six ounces of chocolate, for the record. Which is two and half pounds. I wonder if he'll want dinner tonight.

Oh, wait. Of course he will. This is Ben we're taking about here. If there isn't food on the table for him, he'll just eat the table itself.


I finally got to see Interstellar last night. Maybe it was a little Contact-y. Maybe a little 2001-y too. A tiny bit of Gravity-y too. And then a whole lot of scientific crap about space, time and 'Gargantua' (which is a ridiculous name for a black hole anyway) and I fought hard to absorb the pseudo-science and then gave up completely. I was like arghhhhhhh gravity! Time bending! Relativity means the time is local to where you are in space and moves at different speeds! And ahhhhghghhh this is where we cry! Right? Right? Okay, yup, now I'm crying. 

So it wasn't life changing except in a sense to remind me that I'm too curious to accept scripted explanations for complicated forces of nature and also hype kills movies dead for me. It was okay. I wouldn't watch it again but wouldn't you know now I own it on iTunes. I wish they would take trades. I'd rather have Contact. I think my copy is VHS.


Sam and Matt aren't getting along presently. Matt has moved up to Batman's house and is providing space because he thinks that will win Sam over. I've been instructed to stay out of it or I would point out that Sam isn't going to be won over by leaving. Sam is too much like me. Leave me? I'll write you off. When I'm done being sad I'd be so angry. I never got a chance to be angry at Jacob. Granted, Matt isn't done-done, he's just being stubborn.

Sam is being more stubborn but I'll side with him always because he's one of our own.

I went up to Batman's to drop off some papers for Jasper, as per Caleb's request, because Batman is away but Jasper was in his home office doing some odd bits of work and New Jake ambushed me on the way in. He loves company. The more the merrier. He is freakishly social and intense and I'm always surprised at how perfect the storm of tension is between us.

Hey, Beautiful. 

Hey, yourself. Where is Jasper?

Under a rock, probably. Naw, he's in Batman's office. 

I laugh and New Jake stands there grinning at me. (So cute. Don't touch him. He's perfect. Don't ruin him.)

Hey, Bridget?


I was wondering if you would stop calling me New-Jake and just call me Jake. I'm not really new anymore. 

I hear what sounds like glass shattering but it's on the inside so he doesn't react at all.

I'll think about it. 

No, you won't. 

I smile so I don't cry. I can't. Not yet. I'm so sorry.

Maybe someday then. And don't be sorry. 

Someday. He kisses my cheek and he's gone again and I'm left to face Jasper. There's no tension there except for pure hate for each other. Jasper has had a thing for Batman for years and resents the very air that I breathe.

I don't actually care.


This morning marked my first stab for the season at gardening which consisted of me getting a start on weeding the lawn. Caleb came out twice and told me to stop, that he'll call someone but I insist. If I'm not going to run anymore and we're going to ingest chocolate by the pound, then I need a physical outlet and sex isn't enough, contrary to popular belief. Why? Because I get held up or held down and am restrained so I don't get to move at all. With anyone.

That's not a complaint.

Not even in the least.

(I swear.)


Monday, 23 March 2015

We bury the sunlight.

Breaking Benjamin superfans will appreciate this. We're all alike. That's right. I got up at five this morning to preorder an album because I was so excited. It didn't come out until seven.


East coast bands. Right.

I got up again at seven and it wasn't for sale in Canada.


After freaking out and digging around I found a different link that said it was. Be patient. They'll fix it. I got it in spite of the technical issues. The album comes in June but the first single is here now and everyone's going to hear Failure on repeat because WOW.

The last thirty-five seconds go from cookie monster growling (that's what I call it now, stop laughing) to power ballad and are like someone stroking my brain and saying Shhhhhhhhhhhh. I don't know why that is but I love it.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

This is your Chase on drunk (with random comments by Dalton).

Bridgie, yu're like...Hufflepuff or something. 

Wrong fandom, Dude. She's probably Factionless.

Screw you both. I'm the last Word Bender. 

Did they even bend words? 

I 'm sure they had to bend more than just air. That would be such a waste if they didn't. 

Wind at least. Windmelons. Water? Elemelons.

Well, didn't you see the movie?

I slept through it. 

Did you sleep through Harry Potter?

Some of them, yes.

You're a stain on popular culture, Bridget. You know this, don't you?

Oh, probably.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Waiting for requitement.

I'm fine in the fire
I feed on the friction
I'm right where I should be
Don't try and fix me
Back into the fire, pinned between his hands, face to face so that this time I couldn't pin my ignorance on a scrap of a miserable hearing skill. Face up staring into hell. Hell looks a little like a cross between Richard Armitage and Clive Owen. Hell is a god-dammed handsome motherfucker and hell now seems to want to tell me he loves me every chance he gets.

If only he could control my mind the way he controls everything else, Christmas would come in March, heralded in on a matte-flat equinox just like spring, muted by the chill of the nights, decorated with snowdrops and crocuses and soot.

Instead of responding in kind, I warn him.

You shouldn't. 

Don't tell me what I can do. He lobs it back gently, threateningly.

I'm pointing out the obvious. That's all. I bite my lip to stop it from trembling and he puts his head down against mine. Somehow in the past ten days he's figured out what he missed in the first three decades. How I am driven by affection, swayed and bribed, fuelled by it. He pulls me up into his arms and says he wouldn't be able to help himself even if he could. That maybe if he just leaves it there it will become accepted. Even by Loch.

And I laugh because I don't have time to check myself. No, it won't. It never has so it never will. 

Never say never, Princess. 

I wait until he is in close against me and I repeat myself in case we both missed it. Never, Diabhal. Not in thirty years so not in a million, either.

Friday, 20 March 2015

B is for butter and better and bye.

Breakfast with Joel this morning. I made butternauts and they explored the Grand Croissant Mesa, a desert of the flakiest, greasiest pastry landscape they've ever seen. I think they prefer the cold surface of the porcelain plate-moon, for in the desert they just melted and withered from despair. You know what they say, you can take a butternaut from the moon, but you can't take the moon from the butternaut. 

Well, they say that in MY mind. Haters.

Twice the servers tried to take my plate. I hate to be a snob but if you hover, you're getting a smaller tip. I get that on Fridays you just want to turn your tables over as fast as possible but when I'm being psychoanalyzed I want to take my time. Get it all. Miss nothing. Jesus, what if this only paints a partial picture, after all and in butter, no less?

Can't have that. Hey look, I'm going to order more food that I don't plan to eat, just to get you off my back.

Oven-browned pretentious fingerling potatoes. Organic, locally sourced. Hand-cut. Fried in extra virgins (which is even more virgins than ever before).

Not vegan though, because butter. Mmmmmmmmm.

(Butter is better than Joel, if we're keeping score.)

He said this first breakfast would be strange and probably difficult, reminiscent of some of our earlier meals together, after flight. Or maybe I should say after the front hall. He is right. He's always right about everything except for the things he is wrong about. I have no desire to correct or elaborate today. I'm busy making butternauts because they keep disappearing into the ground. This Mesa is clearly a trap made of emotional quicksand, just like this breakfast date. Who knew?

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Cold and charm.

Caleb swept in early yesterday. A little work. Some food. Some easy meetings and decisions without emotion. Some more work in the form of planning. Some followup. A lot of cuddles in between. It's got to be some sort of tremendously sad and thoroughly ironic day when one suddenly finds themselves welcoming a metric ton of sexual harassment on the job.

A failed venture. One of my emotional trigger pulls that he warned me not to get involved in but trusted my emphatic pleas and wrote the cheque anyway (figuratively speaking).

A really delicious-looking lunch that I hardly touched in spite of his efforts to bite his own tongue for once, instead of mine, sitting quietly while I ordered for myself. It was a first, almost.

A mischievous round of hooky played when we opted to stop working and go for a walk on the beach because it didn't rain after all. He put his hand out for mine and I took it. He squeezed my fingers and I squeezed back.

He told me he loved me and I pretended I couldn't hear him. On the way back up to the house when his time was up I thanked him for being so sweet but he had already hardened back over.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Navy blue.

When the phone rings at six in the morning it's never good news, is it?

I thought my grandfather was going to live forever but he stuck around long enough to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day and then he slipped away when no one was looking. He's to be reunited with my beautiful grandmother and they can be in heaven together now where nothing ever hurts and it never snows or rains. There's never a bad crop, a rough sea or a long day.

It's a bit of a surprise when you expect people to be immortal and you find out they're not. It's not a nice surprise but it makes more sense, I suppose and while I was prepared for this, I was never fully prepared and therefore a little dismayed to discover I wasn't prepared at all.

He gets credit for giving me:

All the Irish I have.
My obsession with the sea.
The two decades of vegetarianism.
A love of bonfires and exploring the woods.
The fascination with creepy glass eyes on taxidermied critters.
Plaid flannel as a comfort object.
Confidence in building things myself.
This debilitating wanderlust, which turns out to be the best inherited, genetic gift and not a flaw in the least.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Cards for humanity.

It's a cold foggy morning and the first thing I did when I woke up was to pull on pajama pants and Cole's big grey sweater. It's a habit. Comfort objects. You know, routine.

Don't wear that. Loch's voice comes out of nowhere. I didn't even think he was awake and yet honestly? We both wake up when the other even so much as changes from REM sleep to stage one. 

Why not? I ask. It's emotionless. I don't know. I'm tired but curious, always. 

You don't need to be wrapped in him today. Come see me. 

I debate. I'm warm. It's already on. He's breaking promises, asking me to do things he said he'd never ask me to do again.

(Bridget, we're going to skip dinner tonight. Okay? Just tonight. We'll have a big breakfast tomorrow.)

(Cole will keep you safe.)

(It's always going to be just you and me, against the world.)

But he's trying hard, and this isn't the hill I want to die on, arguing over a big worn-out scratchy hand knit sweater with a hole in one elbow and singed cuffs and paint streaks on the back of the hem.

I pull it back off slowly, up over my head and when I put my arms back down, letting the sweater drop to the floor, he tells me I can wear his hoodie from yesterday. 

It smells like rain and sugar and pine needles and dryer sheets and adventure and hope. Like Lochlan. 

I zip it all the way up to my neck and stick my hands in the pockets. I pull out a playing card (three of hearts, always the magician) and his reading glasses. Both go on the nightstand. He throws his arms around my legs and drags me back into bed with him, whipping the covers down over us, smiling in the dark as he shoves my pyjama pants all the way down to my knees and then off. 

Sleep, Peanut. 

How long?

Just until the fog lifts. Then we work. (He's half asleep now, words come out via muscle memory.)

What if we didn't work today? 

Then we can sleep till the sun hits the bed. Deal?


When I woke up next (when Lochlan stopped dreaming), sunshine had flooded the room and the three of hearts was in my hand.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Assholes and angels.

"A cold-water surf trip to a remote and frozen Canadian frontier."
That's the description of Nova Scotia in this month's feature article in SURFER magazine (the large photo is a slide show). I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry. I guess when you grow up on a tiny peninsula surround by the harsh Atlantic you forget that the rest of the world has hardly any idea what that's like and will probably never see it with their own eyes.

And for that you have my deepest sympathies.

Actually, I'm kidding. If you never see it, that's fine. There is a lot of this world I'm never going to see either and I've made my peace with that but if you are as proud of where you come from as I am, then please write and tell me about it. I love to hear other people's depictions of their own home bases too.

Standing on the floor of the ocean. That's where it all makes sense. It all seems easier. It all turns out to be smaller, somehow. Less catastrophic. There is this big beautiful tumbling entity in shades of blue, green, black and white and it shapes solid rock, tosses huge vessels, drowns secrets and steals souls. Her highs and lows are noted, recorded and observed. She demands respect and commands attention. She steals and she gives back the most amazing treasures and she will continue to do all this relentlessly until the end of time. Long before me, long after me.

And I love her so.

I'm fine. Thank you for your concern. The pressure of how long is appropriate to grieve sometimes gets to me, when usually I can deflect it with a few well-placed invitations to fuck off. Sometimes I can't find the strength to do that and then I feel awful twice over. Once for missing them. Him, both. And once for putting everyone else through that. Especially Ben, who has dealt with far worse grief but had professional handling over months and months of his voluntary stay to get sober and actually learned something.

Unlike me. Tie me down and tell me you're going to teach me how to feel properly and I will buck and strain against it right to the bitter end, arching my back and flopping back down in frustration. I will hold out and pretend everything is fine right up until the moment that I fall apart.

Dismay is expressed all around. They wish I wouldn't cry. They tell me to get mad. I told them I don't want to be an asshole when I'm hurting but they figure it's probably safer than falling apart. I'm not so sure. There are of few of them who express sorrow through rage and it isn't any prettier from where I'm standing.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Trigger pulling.

Into a wall of fire
It still works. I can crawl into bed and pull up a blanket made of memories and sadness and it's safe. It's warm. I pull it all the way up over my head and underneath it the music is loud and a familiar face is right there, stealing my fort. Taking my comfort. Leaving hardly enough room for me to stay warm, suffocating my sanity or what might be left of it now.

Matthew Good is singing so loudly I can't hear what Jake says to me until he reaches out and turns down the song.

Are you going to stay in here forever?

Until the weather is better, yes. It's called Hunkering Down. Don't they do this in Newfoundland?

They do indeed. But the weather is fine here.

Not inside my head it isn't.

We can fix this.

I don't think I'm fixable, Pooh.

What if you are? What would you do then, Piglet?

Oh, I would be so happy. I would never ever stop smiling.

Then that's what we should do.

I woke up because I couldn't breathe anymore and I threw off the covers to find total dark, complete quiet staring me back in the face, a waiting adversary and yet no match for my dreams. I get up, naked, gasping for air, borderline/hysterical, and I go and get a glass of cold water and bring it back to bed with me. When I get back into bed I smell sandalwood and it smells like Jake and I start sobbing because I miss him so bad and at the same time I feel so horribly ashamed for still feeling this way.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Hold me, thrill me, kiss me, we're going to kill you.

They want you to be Jesus
They'll go down on one knee
But they'll want their money back
If you're alive at thirty-three
And you're turning tricks
With your crucifix
You're a star
I woke up this way. Lochlan picked a song and twisted the knob on the stereo until it couldn't go any further. Then he went out back to the patio, leaving the music blasting through the house. It seems like a bit of a mean way to wake everyone up but in his defence it was after eight when he did it and today is one of those rare and wonderful days that every. single. one. of. us. have. off. Even the ones with actual jobs. Even the children, who are on March break. Even Sam who has weddings tomorrow and church Sunday managed to get everything done ahead of time so that he didn't break our stride here.

Even the Devil and the Batman too. Best behaviour all around.

I'm going to get my day (see yesterday's post), is what this means. It begins at lunch. Just have to pick a movie and nix the whiskey because I don't really want any today, and have a baseball bat handy so that someone can knock me out when I decide it's a perfect nap time but not be able to fall asleep (but then drop like a stone in the dark the minute the movie spools up).

But first! Ben is going to throw Loch off the cliff into the sea because it's sunny and twenty degrees and we've decided it really was a mean way for him to wake us all up after all. You can't make love to U2 music. It just isn't something that can be done.

Not by me, anyway. I start singing along. It's a mood-killer.
Babe, it must be art
You're a headache
In a suitcase
You're a star

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Easy to please, difficult to comprehend.

A perfect day right this second would involve some ramen. Maybe a couple hours of shopping and a stroll through the gallery. Then a nap. Then maybe a sleepy movie before some potato skins and whiskey. Maybe a blisteringly hot bubble bath and then sex and sleep and more sex and some eggs benedict the next morning. 

I said to only pick one day, Bridget.

Right and there's twenty-four hours in a day. I started at lunch on the first day. Yeesh!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Throwing hope.

Step right up, boys and girls, olds and bolds, mids and kids! No matter what age you are, we got something you're gonna like! Prepare to be astounded, amazed and impressed. Prepare to scrape your wits up off the ground after you see what we have to show you! There's room down front, though please don't put any part of your body past the chalk line here and you'll go home intact! And now, if everyone is ready-


I memorized it exactly like it was written! 

No, you need to be louder. Too soft. Too sweet. I didn't fall in love with a mouse. I swore you were a girl last I looked. 

I need a microphone. 

We have no power. Just project. Like I do when I'm relaying the poems. You can hear me down the street. 

That's because you have a big booming Scotch voice. 

No, it's because I'm loud. Act like I walked too far ahead of you on the path and you're mad because you can't keep up. 

I roar his name and he grins. Yes. Just like that. Start over, okay? 


I look back at him and he looks like he owns the world. Maybe today, right now, here on this filthy street corner in the middle of nowhere, he does. There are no boys or girls here. No olds or bolds. No mids or kids. There's just us and the fire and the unrelenting sun and the nub of almost-gone chalk and a dream so big it'll probably crush us before lunchtime.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

August found me late this evening and said,

Don't do that, Bridge. Don't build me up like that. Don't ever think I didn't come back because I'm running from things you know nothing about. It's easier to find a soft landing then to try to make it from scratch. You know that better than anyone. 

Well, ow

Got it. 

Burning man.

We will save your precious skin
Let the healing light come in
I'll cover you when the sky comes crashing in
Seventeen minutes after August hung up the last flannel shirt in his closet, he had a job. Sometimes his perfection astounds me. He's easy to hang out with, he wants for nothing. He owns six outfits (one is fancy, one is festival, four are for every day and I think it's time to buy him some clothes), one worn-smooth watch, a big backpack, an iPhone and a smile.

He owns one pair of shoes at any given time. He would be a hipster and you would be aghast at his stereotypical persona until you talked to him for eight whole seconds and then you'd be aware that you were just in the presence of greatness absolute. You would salivate with the coolness he emanates that you only wish you had and you'd be left wanting more time with him in the hopes that you could absorb some of his fucking awesome for your very own via simple proximity.

He's a God among men. You just don't realize it until he's left your vicinity and then you just want him back.

But he doesn't compete for the adoration. It's all implied. He doesn't have the charm of the resident lizard king, Duncan. Duncan's all unfounded ego. August has no ego. He's humble, he works hard, he listens so incredible well if listening were an Olympic event he would have all the gold and his only issue with being here, back home on the point is Caleb.

August doesn't like Caleb. Doesn't like his double entendres, his double crosses or his double-talk. Doesn't trust him, doesn't understand why he does the things he does and generally would imagine his life as complete if only there wasn't a real-life devil standing just behind each of their shoulders, and towering over me.

On the other hand, Caleb is the one who single-handedly facilitated this entire commune so we are all mostly polite to a fault and loathe to start shit because shit could see the whole mess scattered to the four points of the compass and we've been there. We don't want that.

We're a family now and as long as everyone treats everyone else with respect, it's okay.

Besides, Caleb is the one who hired August.

And gave him a really stupidly fucking large salary.

To look after me.

With one caveat. If August does anything to make me fall in love with him again, Caleb will throw him off the wrong side of the cliff, because he is done with that foolishness.

Yes, that's in the contract. Caleb's going to force emotions via paperwork. This is why he is the Devil and I'm merely an apprentice, I guess. So much to learn and no means to wield my future talents, which means I have to resort to magic instead.

You can apprentice in two different things at once, you know, and someone else got here first.

Monday, 9 March 2015

So sleepy. I just spent a good five minutes trying to wipe sunshine off my chair.

(It looked like a white mark.)

PJ won't stop laughing at me.

All the way home.

Guide my life into destiny
Climb outside
Reach up and paint the sky with me
Finding you has changed everything

We both break free if we make it on top
If one should fall we both will drop
We move together from here on out
What you need is what I’m about
Breakfast yesterday outside in the sun on the patio. Cool enough in the mornings for a sweater and jeans but I have forgone putting anything on my feet. Jake was right. Barefoot is best at home. He hated shoes. HATED them. To the point where there was a line of marks on the back wall of the hall closet, about knee high, where you could see where he kicked off his shoes and they'd land against the wall.

My toes. My toes are so happy to be in the sun.

I've gone back to coffee too. Only two or three cups a week. Coffee and toes. So happy. The narcolepsy reached a breaking point when I sat down to do some banking at my laptop and fell asleep mid-bill paying.

It tastes like shit. But I can pay the gas bill without blacking out and hitting a bunch of extra buttons. Now I understand the value of all of the steps required to complete the payment. I used to find it a pain. Last week those steps kept me from paying a $400 bill as $40023853.

(Not that it would have gone through, mind you.)

Why is our gas bill so high? Some of the fireplaces come on with the push of a button.


Fire then no fire.

Fire then no fire.

Fire then no fire.

I could do that all day.

It costs $10 to run a gas fireplace for 15 minutes however. Your romantic moments are gilded and shine like diamonds here on the modern, easy-living West Coast.

Where was I?

Oh yes. Out under the cherry blossoms. Some of the trees bloom now. Some in July. And my toes will witness the whole thing.

But then the Devil comes and ruins the whole thing. It's okay though. Loch is in a great mood. Loch is also five inches away from me and all words will get filtered through his emotions like rainwater though a screen.

Caleb says he isn't the bad guy. That I'm an adult and he should not have to clear it with ten separate handlers to take a few days to get some work done.

Loch picks it apart. She's not an adult. He does have to clear it. The work isn't work. She didn't have to go. Shut the fuck up.

I snort. I actually love watching them bicker. It's like 1980 all over again. As long as they're not throwing punches or pulling me apart for a share it's very teenage and amazing to see their very different personalities go to war.

Loch then points out Caleb's new plan of feigning innocence and being accommodating isn't going unnoticed.

Caleb points out that Bridget's plan on trips now of either fighting and crying the whole time or showing up drunk to every event isn't going to fly. That the past two trips were disasters and that isn't acceptable.

Then stop taking her. She's not an adult, she's a child. This is your fault. Loch sits up and stares at Caleb. Caleb actually takes a full step backward.

(I would have too.)

Ben comes out and rolls his eyes. Ben actually fought for and won sleeping-Bridget-real-estate last night and Loch didn't fight him. But right now Loch is fighting everybody and it's my fault.

I kick Loch in the leg and he stops talking and asks me what I need. I tell him I need to apologize but then he cuts me off and says it isn't my fault and I shouldn't be coming to the defence of the Devil because he doesn't need any help.

And so I tune them out and look at my toes in the sun. Ben comes to sit behind me and I lean back against him, putting my feet up. Now my toes are in the air. It feels amazing. He gives my arms a squeeze and when I tune in again Caleb is gone and Loch is quiet and leaning against Ben too.

They both have bare feet. I didn't notice before.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Rules of engagement.

Come surrender your hidden scars
Leave your weapons where they are
You’ve been hiding
But I know your wounded heart
And you don’t know how beautiful you are
I'm still alive and possibly my liver is so wrecked and battered I'll never ever have to worry about waking up in a hotel room in pain and covered with mysterious, bloodied bandages because the organ traffickers will now forever pass me by.

Also my husband gave me the death stare upon my return because I was still drunk and slid quite ungracefully into his arms. He asked if I was done and told me to go up to bed. That he was going to talk to Caleb and that he'd be up in a minute. I performed one of my most glorious and well-known princess-maneuvers (passing out face down and yet still fully clothed) and Ben never came up.

Legend has it he and the Devil spent the night sitting on the front porch talking about all the things that are never going to happen again, like surprise work trips to do stupid things like plan decorating for a house when it could be done from home, or taking Bridget away from her safety nets when she's just about to leap off the platform to perform her act.

AKA it wasn't a good time.

(She's fragile)

Caleb bristled at this. He knows me as well as anyone. He's perfectly capable of looking after me. How dare they insinuate that he's in over his head or clueless?

Come out here, Bridget.

(Because I woke up at 4 and no one was there. I found them all out front on the porch, lights blazing. Loch is sitting on the steps facing away but listening. Ben and Caleb are each in a chair.) Loch just got in as well from his trip (see how Caleb operates? He stole my soul once and left a big pink cone of cotton candy in its place) and when I stepped outside Loch moved so fast to jump up and cross the porch to put his arms around me you would have thought he had built a time machine after all.) Caleb ignores this and keeps talking.

Did I harm you while we were away, Neamhchiontach?

No, Diabhal.

Did I get two separate rooms at the hotel? 


What did we do while we were at the lake?

Planned the decorating for the house with the design teams. 

Which part did you enjoy the most?

Choosing paint colors and appliances. 


I like it. I'm good at it. 

So you feel confident in your abilities?

Yes. I nod from Lochlan's shoulder. He is shaking almost imperceptibly.

Tell me what you didn't like about the trip, Bee. Ben's voice is soft. It's okay.

You and Loch weren't there. I don't sleep when I'm alone. That's why I'm up right now. 

Ben looks so relieved I almost cry on the spot but the hangover has dried me up and made me wince with every breath.

We're here now, baby, and you're not going anywhere without us for a good long time. He keeps glaring at Caleb. It takes an awful lot to piss Ben off. I think Caleb has finally discovered the line he can't cross and he is surprised, taken aback.

Can we go to bed then? I'm still drunk. I laugh. I can't help it. Shame makes me petulant and boastful.

Calebs' voice cuts through the darkness like piano wire. I'm sorry, Bridget. I was heavy-handed in getting you away. I'm sorry to both of you as well, Ben and Loch for taking her without permission. 

Like I am a car he jacked.

(Drive it like you stole it.)


Loch doesn't say a word, he wraps his hand around the back of my neck and steers me into the house, up the stairs and down the hall to bed where I fall into bed again, dreaming of trying to swim in a sea of paint chip cards back to shore, where Ben and Lochlan wait for me in the dunes but Caleb has his hands around my ankles and he won't let go so I can't get anywhere.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Oh and if anyone is up for it, I would love to trade my 1986 Original London cast stage recording of Les Miserables for the 2012 Les Miserables film soundtrack.

It's up next. You've been warmed. I know all this words!
I was waiting for someone, something to happen
Something ridiculous climbing the walls
And falling in what I now would call your bluff
Please don't call it love
I figured out fairly quickly why Caleb was so easygoing and jovial over the beginning of the week and on his birthday. I figured it out from my seat in the tiny plane as I stared into the bottom of my champagne bubbles because I've decided that if he's going to pull this shit all the time then I'm just going to get rip-roaring drunk and be so obnoxious he'll never want to bring me anywhere again.

And at a glistening dandelion-fluff weight of ninety-seven pounds, this is going well. It's far easier than I thought and I'm pulling a buzz nice enough to remember my punctuation but forget I can't yell fuck off across a crowded restaurant.

(Sorry if you were there. That was me and I really didn't need him pulling out my chair like some sort of gentleman, because he isn't.)

No more restaurants. Only take-out but that's okay, the hotel delivers alcohol and he's BUSY which means I can get shitfaced on a Friday morning, a Thursday evening and hopefully a Saturday too. Which is funner than I remember. Must be the different between good liquor and the cheap stuff we buy because half of us are unemployed and undereducated and the other half who know their booze don't drink anymore. They are sophisticated. I am clearly not.

That's fucking fine by me.

Lake Tahoe, I love you but I don't want to be here right now so I'll just apologize in advance because the only way to deal with him trying to talk to me is to put my headphones on and sing Fiction Family songs at him at the top of my lungs.

I only know two-thirds of the words! Go me!

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Snapping elastic under my chin.

Slightly defective
Not what I had planned
This is my Saturday today and I'm working my little butt off cleaning up.

I waited until everyone was up and out of my hair this morning and then I finished my tea with a new book (the Trudeau one I got for Christmas) and then had a hot bath with some of my Lush goodies. PJ cut all of the bath bombs in half for me (then they last twice as long) and impulsively I threw in two different halves. An eight-dollar bath but I would have paid eight hundred because it felt so good.

I didn't drop my book in the tub but I made the pages all wavy with my wet hands.

When I was beet-red it was time to get out. Then I had to spend twenty minutes scrubbing glitter and seaweed out of the tub.

That isn't anything new actually. Lochlan said that's what I'm made of. Glitter and seaweed. He laughed and asked if maybe he could join me for the next decadent bath. That we could make his skin as red as his hair. I find that amusing. Loch hates baths. He thinks it takes too long. He lives on the run.

Then I had to have three people help divide up the food left from last night. It seems when you put out a potluck request without parameters from all men you'll get red meat and Mexican food and very little else. We ate until we couldn't move and it looks like there's enough left that no one will have to cook until Easter. And we're still cleaning up this afternoon.

But it was fun. I kept my streak of making Caleb cry when he listened to his birthday speech from me and by the end of the night everyone had put their party hats on John, who looked like a big papery hedgehog.

Caleb's own speech made me tear up too. I didn't expect that. Instead of his usual assurance that he'll do what he wants he said he was humbled by the outpouring of love and generosity and time. That we're not his friends, we're his family and that he couldn't have chosen a better group within which to see his son raised. That the only thing missing from the night was Cole's presence but that Cole lives within him now so he is here after all, in spirit.

I sniffed really loud and at least eight sets of eyes looked at me. But it's okay. I'm the sap of the family so I do this often.

(Cry, I mean.)

Caleb loved the cake that I made, and liked the numbers for his age instead of an equal number of candles and he was touched by the photograph I gave him. He stared at it and commented on every detail he could spot. His size. His youth. He said the only thing different about me was my hair. He said Cole had such an eye for candid photos. He asked how it was that he hadn't seen this one before and I just shrugged and said I was full of surprises.

You are, he smiled. Thank you for this. 

I nodded.

John put all of the party hats on the chandelier in the dining room. It's twelve feet up in the air so there they will stay and most likely burn the house down.

The dog fell asleep under the table and we forgot about him. The kids were sent up to their rooms at ten-thirty. It was a school night.

The record player scratched along the edge long after we forgot it was on, too.

Sam and Matt danced close. By themselves, far removed from the table where the rest of us sat and drank our faces off on a Tuesday.

And the unintentional, nefarious king surveyed his kingdom, pleased with what he has done.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Same age as Tom Cruise.

There's a big beat
You're sleeping in my memory
Like Satan
So I'm with him
Floating, loaded
Enough to be released

It's more than the less you say you do
It's more than the shot that gets you though
Born to buy into something
Born to kill
It's a birthday-day. Caleb is fifty-two today. Which seems old, and everyone tells me he's too old for me but just remember this: he's a year younger than Jon Bon Jovi and a year older than Brad Pitt.


Besides, sugar daddies are supposed to be older, and more distinguished and in-charge. They tell you where and when and then off you go.

I usually get a dress code too.

(And a bunch of other instructions that are none of anyone's business.)

Starting with a breakfast-date. Birthday breakfast with candles in the waffles because he's still a little silly in spite of his distinguishment. He's still a little overjoyed that no one made a fuss about his plans with me today, least of all August. They all knew August was coming out here to stay. He talked to them over Christmas when he was here and they all managed to keep the secret even as I wondered out loud if cutting Joel loose was the best idea. If I would be okay without someone here who is trained in people like me.

I guess I don't have to wonder if I'm getting better. I'm not or August wouldn't be here. Even though I'm glad he's here it pretty much confirms that I'm crazy. I don't know if I'm okay with that but I don't have a choice.

Like in what to wear. Caleb requested a pretty pale pink dress that he likes but it's cold and I couldn't find the little matching jacket so he gave me his suit jacket and now we match like a couple which is probably what he wanted and he stole my jacket.

Which must mean he's crazy too but I knew that the moment he saw me walk in (slowly) and his whole face fell. He asked if I was okay and I shrugged and reminded him Ben came home last night.


I'm beautifully fucking wrecked is what I am.

He did not find that amusing in the least. I told him to lighten up and by gosh, he did. He totally did and he clapped when I sang Happy Birthday along with the waitstaff at breakfast this morning. Because birthdays should be amazing, even when you've had a whole lot of them.

Like fifty-two of them. Jesus Christ. When did this happen? I remember his sixteenth birthday. He got his drivers license on the first try. Later he had five beers and he and Lochlan got in a fight.

Another tradition if you're keeping score.

The rest of the day is filled up too. But this year without the big group outing that saw a table flipped in what was a very lovely restaurant we're no longer allowed to enter. Instead we're having a sort of pot-luck here at home and everyone is cooking. We'll eat on the patio at the big table that they brought up from the vineyard already. I blew up a thousand balloons this morning. We'll put the heaters on and the tiny lights. And party hats too.

Because you can't have a party without tiny paper hats on grown men.

You just can't.

Besides, it'll look ridiculous when they start swinging at each other. I figured at the very least I could assist in making them look even more foolish than ever.

(In the meantime, I've very nervous about that and the present I got for Caleb. It's a photograph he's never seen of the two of us, taken by Cole when I was sixteen and Caleb was twenty-four. I had it blown up, printed in black and white and framed for him. It's really amazing in itself. I just hope he feels the same way.)

Monday, 2 March 2015

In a girl called catastrophe.

Remember how we started
Because since then I'm a waste
Caleb is more than a little angry that he paid a lot for a show but we're still going to move forward with our plans, Ben is ecstatic and Joel, well, Joel is gone.



Ben brought August back. A five-day detour to go and get him and ship his stuff and bring him home.

Jacob's parents have moved to a cute little condo in town. The homestead was too much for them now. Death ages people. Especially when you're in your seventies when you lose someone. They haven't coped all that well but at the same time they're doing great. They live in a semi-assisted building now and August's reason for being there has been removed, essentially. And August is a prophet and a saviour and a nomad too and he needs to be helping to be alive and so he came back.

He's the first one to ever do this and I don't even know if I can look him in the eye for how humbled and honoured I feel right now.

He came back.

No one's ever come back for good. Usually they just vanish and die. Sometimes they die but don't leave. Sometimes they set me up to fall so hard I think every time will be the last and I will break to bits.

But when Ben got out of the truck I was already running down the steps and then when the other door opened I stopped and stared and then burst into tears. I thought it was a surprise visit. I thought August was temporary but then he grabbed me up off the ground in a hug so hard I think my ribs are liquid now but he told me he was home and the rest of me dissolved too.

Don't worry, I did say hi to Ben and maybe forgave him for the extra time away, under the circumstances.

And I haven't let go of him since.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Hard-crack stage.

You break around me
You say that I should give my heart a rest
Let me wash away the painful words I wrote

We can smother out the flames within my soul
No more standing by the way that I believe
We can smother out the flames with gasoline
There I was, riding high on a cloud over the mere hours left in...life with Joel here and Caleb had to pop my balloon with the demand that we join him in private to discuss the impending plans that I've discussed with precisely no one here. Not Loch. Not Caleb. Just Ben and the lawyers.

The plan was to shift all of the legal right onto the carny and give him a goddamn safety net.

Yes, him. The one who never needed a net for himself but if I was up there he wanted two. One standard, one secondary in case the first one failed because for all of the talk about carnies and circus folk trusting each other with their lives, well, that's a myth, folks, just like Happily Ever After.

We had a couple of drinks. Strong ones. I could feel my ears buzzing louder as the level in my glass went down. Loch got friendlier and less tense. Caleb didn't drink at all, and just watched and finally Loch pulled me out of the big chair and said we were going.

And Caleb asked for a private show. He promised he wouldn't leave his seat. But if we maybe melted some sugar he would finance the tax issues himself as payment and we could skip all of the hassle. A forever offer. A humiliating admission that floored both of us.

It was a lot to ask for and at the same time it was nothing at all. This is muscle memory, rehearsed warmth, maximized returns for all. We know how to do this. I measure my breaths as practiced while Lochlan threads a tiny flame from between his fingers, chasing it across my skin, using it to trace the night, connecting us to the stars. The only thing I hear is the crackle of our heartbeats synchronizing, wrapped in an occasional whispered reminder from Loch, single words at a time. Wait. Go. Stop. Sometimes a warning in the form of half my name. Finally a conclusion. Okay, as he lifts the palm of my hand up to his lips and blows out the flame. It's an incredible show and yet I've never seen it.

Without argument Caleb says it's late. His voice is quietly strangled as he tells me to take Loch to the spare bedroom and we sleep drunkenly, solidly. Loch's hands fall away as he turns to get comfortable and I dream of Ben behind a wall of airplanes with no way to break through.

At three-forty-five a hand slides over my mouth and I am picked up right out of my dream, carried down the hall in the arms of the Devil to his room, where there are candles lit everywhere, flames to make me feel safe, to make him feel familiar.

He does, but not in the way he always hopes he will.

I am not returned to the guest room, instead falling asleep in Satan's arms because my eyes and arms are so heavy and I'm so grateful just to stop moving for a moment and I'm wildly narcoleptic, unapologetic, frenetic and drugged again to the point that the words aren't coming when I need them anymore. And Satan is the last person on earth who is going to correct this for me without my express input.

So we sleep. At least for twenty of the heavenliest moments of Caleb's life before Loch barges right in and takes me back but by now we are awake, it's almost six in the morning, the sun is coming up, I am bathed in sweat and surprise and exhaustion and it's time to go home.

Caleb sees us out without speaking. No one speaks. It's a little bit amazing. We're all in shock, I think.

Outside his front door Loch turns back and takes my hand, pulling it up to his mouth, kissing the back of it firmly, with a squeeze. I squeeze back harder than I ever have and he kisses the top of my head.

He doesn't own us.

No, he doesn't.

Then what was that?

Something in the drinks, that's what it was.

We're going ahead with the lawyers then?


We stare at each other. Just a show. Nothing more. It isn't us. It's us in character. Our carefully cultivated performance. It isn't who we are. He can't have us. He gets a show, that's all. He gets a taste of the life and then we pack up in the middle of the night and run for the next town over, where no one knows us and we hide in plain sight, freaks of the night, beggars of the dawn.

Loch whispers that he loves me and we head home. I never say anything in return. My head is reeling. Every time this happens I have a harder time separating that girl on stage in the flames from the girl who puts the fires out with her tears offstage. I have a harder time breathing. I have a harder time just coming down. I feel high and sick and out of my league and I just want to go home, if only I could remember where I felt the most like what that is.

He doesn't move though. He waits while I pitch and reel and then when I stop and focus finally I blurt it out. I love you too. I don't love that. I don't know what that is but I don't love it and I don't want to do it ever again. 

I know, Bridget. I wouldn't either.