Saturday, 28 February 2015

When you know they know, and you know they know you know.

When I came out of the boathouse this morning with Lochlan, the brothers D and PJ were coming up the path, wetsuits half down, grins crossing their faces like highways through fields.

Then they saw me and told me how PJ screamed like a woman on his first waverunner experience. He hit the throttle and just keened, apparently. They all got the hang of it quickly and loved it. They can be so much more relaxed than they were on the bikes.

Which makes it even more funny because PJ is the most hardcore of the bikers. His bike is still in the garage under a cover. He takes it out every chance he gets. He's big and strong and his beard has a mind of its own and if he was screaming like a little girl on a watercraft then I want to see it, dammit.

Then they point out how early we must have been up to eat and be over at Caleb's before they got organized. And boy, did they get up early for a Saturday. They wanted to be done their introductory runs before Joel needs help finishing his move.

Yeah, how about that? I ask. Lochlan looks away.

We didn't go home last night after being invited back for a nightcap, that's why.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Oiche mhaith agus codladh samh.

A cardboard box of make believe
Empty pockets full of dreams
And you are everything I need

I never found a shooting star and there's holes in my jeans
I didn't win the lottery or build a time machine
I never had much at all but I still got everything to lose
Cause I don't want anything
But you
Loch is singing Hedley ballads while we begin dinner prep. It's Joel's last night on the point. We invited him and everyone to a big farewell dinner. We're going all-out with steak and lobster and cake, just so he'll know what he's going to miss. I'm sure he already knows but instead of being forced back into my life he should have just waited, eventually I might have found some sort of peace there but for today I'm relieved that he's going. He's got a really nice place a forty-minute drive from here, closer to everything relevant and I'm hoping he starts dating or maybe finds more secure work or even just stops trying to exist on his (plentiful) young charm.

Charm is great, but integrity is better.

I have a small, gracious speech prepared and we bought him some housewarming presents too. He wanted to be a monster but he didn't quite have the chops. He wanted to take over the world but he couldn't find enough purchase to hold on to it. He wanted to live a dream but unfortunately from all dreams we must wake up.

He's working at being a good human again and he's doing okay, I just can't have him here. We have our updates planned out for the next several months, however and I'm looking forward to my monthly ten-thousand-calorie breakfast lecture, actually. At the end of the day he's a familiar face and that's of more value to me than most people realize.

Caleb is subbing for Ben at dinner tonight, because now Ben is talking about coming home next Thursday. We'll eat outside because we still haven't gotten the dining table bolted to the floor and it's nice enough if the patio heaters are turned on. And tomorrow we clear out the rest of the things from the garage and lock it up for the next drama.

I mean tenant.

Or whatever.

So done with this.

I like lobster though.

:)

Thursday, 26 February 2015

PJ called them 'Yamahahahas' because he thinks they're a bit over the top. Like everything the Devil does, they are.

I can't find the secret to survive
To grow old safe and sound
Life is sifting through like the sands in the hourglass
There's not a moment to relive my time and space
There's not a moment to undo anything
I think Ben is forcing my hand here. He keeps delaying his return to prove to me that I don't need him.

He would be wrong but he would have to be here to see how wrong he is, and since he isn't here that means he's in the dark. Though here is the dark sometimes and I need him more than he realizes. He's my anchor. He's my living human.

He's not a ghost, he's not a memory, he's not an obstacle either.

My secrets are being opened all around me while I stomp my feet and yell that they're private, that it's not fair, that I didn't ask for this. That I have a right to keep things to myself. And even as I fight to hold onto that right, Joel carries his belongings to the truck. He's been moving the past few days and will finish on Saturday. Every day he asks me if I need an out, if I want to say the word and keep him here. Let him stay and sort out the tangles my mind gets itself into, if I need an objective eye kept on the Devil while he steamrolls over those secrets, flattened, embedded in the road I didn't plan to walk down but found myself on after every other way was blocked.

I snort. Joel is not objective. Joel is in love with someone he thought he could save.

I've seen it before. In Jacob. In Caleb.

Loch doesn't look at me like that. Neither does Ben. Do you get it now? I mean, do you? Does it make any sense? I don't want to be saved (because no one can do that but me) but neither do I want to drown, or sit here in the road forever, chipping away at the secrets I wanted to take with me while the other ones can stay where they are.

Ben comes back Saturday. Maybe Sunday. He didn't think one set of hands would be missed with getting Joel moved (because we're not monsters. I even packed dishes) and can get some extra things done in New York and this might eliminate a trip later in the spring.

Which would be good not to dread-forward to, as I call it. Who looks forward? Not I. Too busy keeping the present sorted, thank you.

In happier news, Duncan and Dalton went to bat for me in the big Waverunner Access vs. Padraig case. They have promised to teach me how to use them properly. I will never be out by myself or outside of the cove and if I stunt drive, I lose my privileges. And yes I will always have on a lifejacket. No string bikini either, this will be a wetsuit activity.  (That has nothing to do with safety for me, but for everyone else because a wet bikini is distracting, apparently. Even though it's February and maybe a little too early for that.)

Fine by me. Not sure how the lessons will go. Neither brother admitted they've never been on one before until PJ had left, satisfied that I will be in good hands.

Snort.

(If you never hear from me again, I drowned. But not on purpose this time.)


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Oh, and Ben won't be home until Friday.

Fuck.

Emergency brightside.

Never want my hand cut off
Never want a hacking cough
Never need a cliffside push
Never turn my brain to mush

Always give me what I lack
Always take the best parts back
Always recognize your fate
Always just a moment late

Left is where I always turn
Left is how I'm forced to learn
Left the route my walking takes
Left alone with my mistakes

Up against a person who
Up 'til now I never knew
Up from hell the answer blew
Up and down it's up to you
My brain is swimming through the Phish catalogue today, drowning, resurrecting, doing the backstroke when it feels tired. I'm forcing contentment at all costs. I'm counting my blessings. I'm practicing gratitude. I swear I'm not rolling my eyes at Sam's orders. Nope, not at all.

Sam is spoiled these days. Matt's an easy lover. Up for anything. Leaves at eight, home at five. Loves Sam to within an inch of his life or perhaps beyond. He's incredibly open, level-headed and seemingly baggage-free.

I point this out and ask Sam if he really knows this guy, that everyone has magnificent heavy baggage, especially at our ages and how the hell did Matt emerge unscathed?

He had the broken engagement, remember?

Child's play. I've had ten of those. 

And as many husbands. Some people don't leap, they wait for safe passage. 

What if he's a spy? Or in the Witness Protection Program?

How do you think I should go about finding out?

Check his shoes for mileage! 

Anything else?

Check his skin to see if he's sanded off any old tattoos. So he can't be identified, right?

Okay. Is that it?

Ask him? Maybe hiding in plain sight is how it's done now and you win a prize if you connect the dots. 

What would the prize be?

A husband! Gosh, you're not very good at this game, Sam! 

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Powersaver mode (Call me Budget, for lawyers are expensive.)

Rain will fall
Wash all the pain
It shields the soul
You turn the page
To face another day
Let me know that you will wait
And I will pay for my mistakes
To feel the sun again

Can you hold on?
Meetings since seven this morning. Lawyers are vampires.

I ate in the car, a croissant wedged between my teeth while I steered through rush hour traffic downtown. Then I saw the mediator. Then the counselor that I don't actually talk to at all (he works with the mediator. He's cold.) and then the bank. Now I'm home and the sugar in my blood has dissolved, leaving me with a decided lack of resolve or energy, for that matter.

I faceplant into the big chair by the fireplace and Ben calls. He's away and I hate it.

So?

I have a ton of information to go over.

You don't sound thrilled.

I don't know if I am.

Nothing will change.

Everything will change. I can pull the plug right up until the end of March if I need to though.

You won't need to. Merry Christmas, Happy Saint Patrick's Day and Happy Birthday to you both.

This could be a curse and you act like it's a present. You've seen what happens when you give someone absolute power, haven't you?

Yes, she puts on a business suit and gets all sexy-professional. It's a huge turn-on.

I didn't mean me.

He'll be fine. Actually, I think it will make things a lot better for him.

I know, that's the problem.

Since it doesn't involve me, it's ultimately your decision but I think it's one you should make. 

Ben, this is a can of worms so big I don't think you want to open it. And it involves you so stop saying it doesn't.

Nothing will change, Bumblebee. I have to go. Home tonight. Wait up for me?

You're asking a narcoleptic to wait up? Hahahahah. 

Okay don't. I'll wake you the traditional way, Bee.

Okay, that I'm looking forward to. 

Good to know. See you soon. I love you. 

I love you too. So much that I might not go any further with this. 

Bridget, everything is going to be fine. 

I've come to believe that means precisely the opposite of what it should. Oh! And the jetski thingies were delivered today. 

Are they neat? 

No, they're HUGE! And PJ already said I can't drive on one by myself. 

He's such a grandma. 

I'm going to tell him you said that. 

Do it. Then let me know what he says, okay? 

PJ has come to the rescue anyway and takes the phone from me. He says you listen hear, Sonny Boy! Those things are dangerous! But he says it in a high falsetto-waver that makes me laugh and I have no idea how Ben responds and then he's gone again and the connection is broken but the smile remains on my face. It's a guarded one, though. I think in Ben's quest to be as generous as humanly possible he's going to discover that no one's rushing in to match his gesture, and he's going to be left surprised and deeply disappointed.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Teenage daydream.

He was bluffing. I knew when I walked away. I counted around eight steps and he jumped in front of me.

Let's go get you some new things. 

What's the point? You'll just burn those too. 

Not if you stay put. But if his hands are on things, they're going up in smoke. I don't want him putting things on you. I don't want him touching you. I'd burn you if I could, just to reduce you to ash and start you over again without him ever having touched you. 

Baptism by fire. 

If that's what it takes. 

When are you just going to accept that this is the way things are?

NEVER. 

Well, okay then. I really loved those jeans. 

They weren't like French or something designer, were they?

No. They were from Walmart. 

Oh okay then. Maybe I can buy you a couple pairs. 

Great idea. So I'll have a backup pair when you burn the next outfit I wear. 

I have a better idea, how about you just stay the fuck away from danger, like I told you when you were ten, Bridget! 

Do I look like I'm still ten, Lochlan? 

YES! YES YOU FUCKING DO! SO JUST LISTEN ALREADY!

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Samwise, patron saint of unintentional junkies.

I should have a medal with his likeness stamped into it, and wear it around my neck, the noose of my conscience as I am reminded again and again that the devil doesn't change. And neither does the carny though the carny keeps trying to pin me up by my word and I didn't have my word to go on, I was incapacitated and now I only hang by my flesh and it's burned. It's burned so badly and I went to church this morning flanked by Matt and Daniel, both angrier than they have the right to be, and when my hands started shaking Daniel held them in his and it felt like Ben and I stopped trembling but continued to only nod or shake my head in conversation because when I open my mouth the words come out slurred, wrapped in cotton, confusion and regret.

People keep trying to talk to me and after a while Daniel would step out and cut them off politely and finally Sam was done preaching his sermon to me, channeled straight from God and we could go home again where Lochlan waited still, only this time staring out over the backyard to the sea standing in front of the fire pit where my pretty cardigan chars into a tiny black rag, unrecognizable and my favourite jeans meet a similar fate. Everything I wore gone because it makes Lochlan feel better to conjure his flames, setting his problems alight and finding the answers he needs in the sparks that write on the sky.

You straight yet? He asks me without looking.

I stare back without answering. He held me in the spray of an ice cold shower last night until I stopped screaming. I'm straight but for my words. They're always the last to come back. My stomach hurts and my head aches and underneath the burns I have hives but I'm straight and he knows this. This isn't what he's asking. I know what he's asking.

He looks at me, breeze blowing his curls straight back off his face and I shake my head.

You need to get straight. Then come see me. Until then you can stay with him. You're both too fucked up for words anyway. 

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Less friction.

He took all of my secrets and looked them over, turning them inside out and back again. He polished some to a shine and let me keep them and others he crushed in his hands, declaring them to be not secrets but known markers in history, shameful ties that bind, just like the velvet ones still looped around the posts of his big bed, stretched to nearly double their length at some point during the darkness, just like the lies that my history has told and the secrets that line the path toward the future.

Sleep, he orders. And I did. Hard, drugged, dreamless sleep, facedown in the cool french sheets until precisely four, when I woke up with a start to find the Devil removing my sage woolen underthings once more. I asked him what he's been giving me since Thursday, since the bottled water, that I can't feel my skin but he just said that he could feel it and so that's all that matters. I asked him what he wanted and and he said he has it now, and that matters too. That I should close my eyes.

I asked if I could go home and he said not yet. And then he tied me back up again, not as hard, he has a heart after all, and he was sweet but tough and I asked for my secrets back and I asked for Lochlan to come here if I couldn't go home and he finally covered my mouth too and sang into my ear. I don't know what it was, but I told him not to give me any more of the drugs because it isn't fair and I don't like the way they make me feel. He said I would be glad for them later, as he bent my arms back and burned my skin with his face. I couldn't feel any of it now and so he was right.

I called him Cole and he didn't react like he usually does. I think he possesses. I think he's possessed.

Just before his time ran out he asked if it was better this way, if it's nicer not to feel so profoundly all the time, if it's easier to navigate the night in a friendly stupor, if it makes a difference at all. I pushed his hands away and said no. It's not better, or easier or nicer. It's not me and I have to be me so I'm not his.

And then I slept some more. When I woke up the velvet was gone, the Devil was gone and I was fully dressed in my jeans and a pretty cardigan over a tiny baseball shirt. He took my underpants. I called it a loss and left, head still fuzzy, brain clouded with all the things he said that didn't make any sense. I gathered up all of the secrets I could find, stuffing them into my pockets and carrying the rest and I got the hell out of there while I could. I stumbled into the house and ran up to my room, dropping secrets on the floor, secrets rolling down the stairs and I slammed the door and turned around, letting go of all of it and Lochlan was there sitting on the bed, not doing anything, just waiting and he pointed out it wasn't sanctioned time and it isn't right and what are we going to do with you and I was angry by then and coming down so fast it was like being on a elevator with the cables cut and I snapped at him that he could do whatever he wanted with me, just like everyone else.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Benzobabied again.

I'll tell you about the movie but not today. This afternoon I spent a good twenty minutes watching the waves and realized I wasn't fluttering much if at all. Wasn't hungry in the least, Ben sent me a message about a trip he has to take and I didn't panic or anything, I just thought oh, at least he has enough clean shirts because I am caught up on the laundry and then I realized...

That this means they're probably putting drugs in my food again. They try this two or three times a year when I spin off my axis a little too far and I'm usually aware by the half or second day when they kick in hard and I realize I care about nothing.

Which is why I don't take them in the first place.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Stockholm cinema.

Caleb told me we had a thing today, but not a meeting, that I was to wear a pretty dress and heels and plan to spend the afternoon with him. He met me at the door, dressed in one of his nicest sport jackets, shirt unbuttoned at the neck. No tie.

Where are we going? To eat?

It's a surprise. 

So off we went in his car. To the movies. In the middle of the afternoon on a Thursday because I'm not sure I've ever been to a movie theatre with Caleb so the timing wasn't the surprising part.

Oh my Jesus. Fifty Shades of Grey.

It was us and then a small group of breathy, giggly women in the back, who stared at Caleb like he was meat and they were starving and he gave them exactly what they wanted by smiling tightly-politely and gripping my upper arm with his fist as he pulled me toward a seat many rows below them.

He got me settled, went out for popcorn and bottled water and just as he came back it was starting.

During the whole thing he kept leaning over, comparing things.

I should get a helicopter. Should I get a helicopter?

No, Diabhal. Shhh. Watch the movie. 

A glider, maybe?

No. Shhhhh. 

I need a playroom. That's what I need. 

I just glared at him and finally he elbowed me and said, Neamhchiontach. Watch the movie. 

Fifteen minutes later he says, Who the heck cuts her bangs?

Then he says to himself, Probably Lochlan.

Then he laughed.

And I glared some more.

Neamhchiontach. 

WHAT?

This is what I'm going to do to you later. 

Like hell you are. 

Grey's a lightweight. I don't need contracts.

He's a billionaire. Oh, and I don't know if you noticed, he's also FICTIONAL. 

Shhhh. Watch the movie.

When we returned home he pulled the car right around to the side door to let me out (it was raining) and I turned and said Don't even think about saying it-

What?

Laters, Baby. 

Naw, see, I was hoping you'd say it to me. As usual, you played right into my hands. And as usual, that's exactly where you'll be soon enough. 

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Pro et Contra.

So What about you?
Yeah? What about me?
Quit playing on my insecurities
It's not about you, it's not about me
Reasoning with you is impossibility

I'll put up with this, for love
One more turn and twist, for love
Gimme one more kiss, for love
We're not through with this
I'm a sentimentalist

I'm feeling sentimental
I'm feeling sentimental
Cause you made me kind of mental
Yeah our love was monumental
So I'm feeling sentimental
Okay, so everyone's taxes are done and now I need a vacation. Even Caleb's are done and I swear to God if I had had to call one more place tracking down forms for him I might have given up again. He looked it over (because he had already done it and this was a test and also an attempt at transparency on his part) so I will be doubly rewarded. I prove my worth as his financial partner (bonus confidence boost) and I get to see how much money he made in the year (bonus confidence boost). He makes more than he relinquished. It's a bit hilarious. And I don't think that's all of it, frankly because as a good financier, he's hidden all of it (of course) and the taxman will never ever cometh because this is a great system for the nouveau rich. Write it all off, hide it away and then turn your pockets inside out and lie through your fucking teeth, every time.

I swear, you know everything, he says. The taxman nods and moves along and I stand there suspiciously, waiting for untenable proof. I'll wait forever.

Just like the Devil.

On a happier note, Lochlan introduced me to a record today. New Trews music from last spring. I must be like a tiger in a cage to which raw meat is introduced when a new album by a band I love comes out. Bring in the record and drop it twenty feet away and then back slowly out of the enclosure as I circle around slowly. Then run out and slam the door and watch from the relative safety of the other side of the fence as I approach cautiously, sniffing. Then wait as I play through the album once, noting my standout favourites. Then a second time. Then on the third go round I only play the ones I really love and then it's safe to come back in and be closer.

He described it this way to me and my despair was evident even as I tried not to laugh. If I'm this horrible why bother at all?

Because I love you, and I have my own bullshit that you have to put up with, he told me.

Maybe yours is even worse but it's sort of like trying to hold on to a fast moving spark of electricity as it arcs all over the damn place.

He smiled really wide and said I like that. That's a perfect description. And we're okay. For today.

(For today. He always used to say that when he made promises he couldn't keep and I hate it. It's an escape clause and it isn't fair.

We're safe, Peanut. You can sleep now. 

You promise?

Yeah, I promise. We're safe and everything's okay. For today.)

For the record his taxes were the easiest and most straightforward and therefore finished first. And for tax purposes in the future we may be changing things up a little because it would help exponentially. I'll explain more later. It wasn't my idea and I'm still working out the pros and cons here.

The protections and conversations, I mean.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Raising cane.

Yesterday just didn't really go my way and I handled it poorly besides. I made two huge, like multi-thousand dollar mistakes on income taxes and practically had to resort to reverse-engineering my calculations to figure out where I want wrong. I bought three different tax softwares and then finally hacked one of them to find out how they filled the forms in for the .tax files. Then I found the mistakes and they were really dumb ones. I missed entire lines. I screwed up instructions. I love financial math and am inept at standard math so it was daunting but had I just taken a deep breath or a walk or something it would have been okay.

Can I do that? Of course I can't.

I went full-Bridget and panicked and freaked the fuck out all over everyone and my Fairy Blood Mother arrived in the middle of the whole thing (which explains at least the random tears, if not the on-purpose ones) and then Duncan told me to go fuck myself and opened a beer and went out to the front porch where he sat sipping it for the next half hour while I stood in the doorway with my head pressed against the screen door watching him but not being able to do anything about it.

When Sam got home, he came in the kitchen door and I just pointed and cried some more.

Had I looked I would have seen it was not beer. It was Jones soda. So there's that.

Duncan came up and apologized last night. He rubbed my back and reminded me I'm like a little frenzied maniac when I panic and he wished I would have just said I was spooling up and he would have done something sooner and not just retaliated. He joked that we need a DoomsBridget clock to show when she's getting closer to imminent disaster.

It sort of wrecked my whole argument about why Joel could happily leave because I'm fine and Ben can manage. Ben wasn't here. Loch wasn't either and really Duncan has rightfully shifted from pouring all of his energy into helping to look after me to taking care of himself. Sam had figured it would be safe for him to go and do some work so he wound up in trouble from PJ too, who was at the dentist all day and thought he had planned for just about every outside contingency but forgot I can dismantle myself from the inside too.

He didn't forget. I was in a great place when he left. Sitting by the fire at the coffee table with forms spread everywhere and my laptop playing music and spitting out answers from the CRA.

If you need four different fail-safes then really they're all in over their heads with me and I should be somewhere with medication and soft walls. Well, I mean I know I should but I keep charming them all the while I insist I'm fully functional.

But.

I fixed the taxes. Doubled the refunds! Filed the paperwork. Forgave Duncan and apologized in kind. Reassured Joel he is still leaving. Took Sam off the hook from where PJ put him. Promised PJ I would give out warnings like favours for a party that will never end. Plotted designing that clock to show my moods so no one would have to ask nor will they be surprised when it starts to chime the hour of my imminent destruction.

I changed my clothes. Because I wasn't expecting the Fairy until tomorrow.

I had a soda. It was good. Root beer. I got hives anyway (food coloring) and Duncan just smiled as I began to itch so I can't have another ever but it was good.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Really overwhelmed by life right this second so if you don't mind I'm just going to put my head down and cry.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

The more they stay the same (Updated*)

Loch said he would indeed burn down the big Lake house or rather, he would have if only he was young and dumb instead of old and juggling responsibilities now instead of batons.

God love him, he's maturing.

Naw, I'm probably mistaken but he also said I'll never go there, he'll just burn my passport instead. I believe that, wholeheartedly I do, because he told me while I was pinned underneath him, his hands holding my hips, his breath making my legs tickle. His tongue making me scream.

I told you he talks the whole damn time. It's unbelievable.

*(For the record, Caleb already placated him easily, telling him the house will be rented out for long-term corporate stays. Caleb's just an absentee landlord, he says. Loch believed him.)


Saturday, 14 February 2015

Community property.

The rain resumed midway through my little mini backyard afternoon vacation, so heavily I had to snap my laptop shut and run for the steps but the door was locked (everyone has this bad habit, we're constantly locking one another out of the house) and so I left my computer by the door (covered) and ran for the boathouse instead.

By the time I get there it's almost too late and I'm soaked again. My Docs will be full of water too. My stockings are probably ruined. Caleb laughs and asks me if we're doing scenes from The Notebook today and I say no because we have neither swans nor a rowboat and he says he'll make notes for next time. He gets me a clean towel from the linen closet and pours me a shot of whiskey and I drink it before I wind up shivering too much to hold on to the glass. I wrap the towel around my back and hold it together in the front. Warmer now.

Could you let Duncan know I'm here and ask him to get my laptop from the back deck? He nods and calls. I yell that I'll be home in a few and Caleb glares at me. When he hangs up he says I should stay. I point out that I have things to do and that was a little break and I had no intentions of being out very long when the weather made sure of it.

He asks if I would like to hear his news. I told him I already heard that the boat sold and I hope we can get a little zippy outboard or something or maybe jet skis to play with in our teeny-tiny cove and he nodded and said yes we can but that isn't his news. He gave up the expensive, depreciating asset for an appreciating one instead.

Another house.

Number three, if you're being absolutely technical (considering the boathouse is part of the main property, and Schuyler and Daniel's house is next door but counts as house number two). Which is sort of astounding considering everyone I love is so minimalistic, nomadic, indecisive and unwilling to put down roots anywhere it seems but inside me, wrapped around the little charred pieces of my formerly robust heart.

He went on to describe it as not really a house, more like a cabin. A five-bedroom, three-bathroom cabin with a lot of waterfrontage in Tahoe and a very private road.

You bought a house in Lake Tahoe?

Yes, Neamhchiontach. It's a familiar place to you, close enough that it isn't impossible to get to on short notice and yet far enough that it's a decided break from here. 

Here?

The commune. Your beloved collective. It's a place where I can breathe and you can have a little privacy. A place you can call your own. 

But it isn't mine. 

No, it's ours. But when we are not using it the others are free to enjoy it. 

Just not together with us.

No, not with us.

Then why five bedrooms?

He laughed. Because I don't think you can get a house any smaller there. And if I could, I wouldn't want it. I told you, I'm going to show you a life that will keep you in awe, and it doesn't involve magic or elaborate shows. 

So this is not an elaborate show? 

No, Bridget, this is a wise business decision and a promise that you're going to have a good life no matter how many times Pyro tries to burn down my efforts. 

Better not show him the new house then, because that's exactly what he'll want to do to it. 

Friday, 13 February 2015

Night and day.

I'm listening to Billie Holiday while I sit in the sun, dress hiked up to my knees, Adirondack chair finally dry, laptop in place. Boots off. Stockings off. Brain off.

If I had a cup of coffee this would be perfect. 

But I don't. Not saying if someone handed me one I wouldn't drink it because I would right this second. Hell, yes, I would. 

I think I like Billie's Gloomy Sunday better than Pallbearer's. Wait until I tell that to Teflon Jesus. He will laugh and then probably agree with me. Everyone loves Billie. We play her records on the porch in the evenings when it's not too chilly but when it's just chill. When it's almost dark but not quite dark and everyone is home, quiet and thoughtful, listening to the needle scratch the vinyl into our brains where it will rest until awakened by a feeling or a memory or a dream. Isn't that how music is suppose to work? 

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Excommunicating myself.

And one day we will die
And our ashes will fly from the aeroplane over the sea
But for now we are young
Let us lay in the sun
And count every beautiful thing we can see
Love to be
In the arms of all I'm keeping here with me
Between taxes and removing all trace of Firefox from my computer so far today, it's been too busy to write.

The last straw for said browser was broken way early this morning when it failed to give me half of the information I needed to book flights because just...large voids of white space seem to be located where I want to see actual useful information. In any case, I got the job done finally and then blew away the program.

Because no. Because I'm not going through that mess again.

Now I'm using Safari which took all sorts of wrangling and beatings to make it function the way I need it too. I even managed to export and import my bookmarks and...and...something something keychain. I don't remember. Password things.

All by myself!

But you know something? I could be Amish. So, so easily. Except for the curiosity part. Then I'm doomed.

Do the Amish file taxes? I'd look it up but the tabs in Safari. I can't find 'em. Give me a minute (I mean an hour. Give me an hour.)

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

In the twinkle of an aye (all apologies, I cannot resist).

This morning I let Caleb inspect his purchases, because as he pointed out, before he settled the bill he wanted to be sure everything was perfect. He's a perfectionist. His standards are high. I finally relented, first in the cashmere, then in the velvet, telling him he could look but not touch. He found that supremely amusing as we have sort of-almost made up here over the whole Joel-eviction thing.

While I did a slow turn, freezing to pieces in the Boathouse in my underthings he revealed something too. The news that he's going to sell the boat. That he has something else in mind but he'll tell me once it's official. He's simply not using it, though the private covered slip and extensive docks he built will be terrific for the resale value of this house someday.

(This is the part where I will perish from curiosity and he knows it. See how he plays? I'll find out what I need to but the cost will be huge.)

And in Joel-news:

Joel is going but we've come a mutual agreement to meet for brunch once a month. That way he gets a check-in (UNQUALIFIED) and I get a...free butternaut adventure since he always chooses a very fancy place when we go out, which is so interesting for that imaginary trust fund kid. The butter arrives on a little plate in pretty curls and instead of spreading it on bread I make it into little people with my knife. I call them butternauts and it's a welcome distraction from his endless counseling. I've mentioned them before (here and here, for example).

Caleb is somewhat satisfied that we came up with this ourselves. Then Joel and I promptly hunkered down and watched Annabelle, because Joel is only really good for horror, hockey and humility, as I always tell him.

He wishes I was as good with my emotions as I am with my observations, my words. I point out that for every gift there is a deficit somewhere and oh boy did I ever lose hard. Thank heavens I can express myself in the feelings I can't seem to control, or everyone would be left foundering in the darkness along with me.

That would not be good.

So now we have that space over the garage. Someone suggested we call Asher back. When I was done laughing I asked if we just hold it for Ruth. By the time she's 17 or 18 she'll want her own space I imagine. In the meantime I think I'll call August and ask if he'll come back or maybe come out for Spring Break/Easter/Summer/The Rest of my Life.

Though he'll probably gently refuse. Run, Augie. Run while you can.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Acting like a lady.

Hang on to your hopes, my friend
That's an easy thing to say
But if your hopes should pass away
Simply pretend that you can build them again
Look around
The grass is high
The fields are ripe
It's the springtime of my life
I'm ready to punch Joel in the face, I think. Though I wouldn't. Nothing is worth getting into it physically. Especially since we're in this up to our necks emotionally at this point and I just want him gone.

He campaigned for and won a whole day with me to change my mind and even Lochan went to the wrong side to allow it.

Which stung so badly I still feel burned. Their reasoning being, if something goes really wrong as it tends to do every now and then, he should be here, because August isn't anymore.

I point out helpfully that between PJ, Ben and Sam I've been called back from the edge easily. That did not help and only served to riddle my promises with holes and now I can stack them all up and put them on a post because they're done and he's so close to staying I want to scream.

He sits too close. He waits too long. Every single thing I say is evaluated, loaded and shot to see how far it goes, how badly it wounds, how I could change it, rethink it, get better.

(I am better, Fucktard. You're just stringing this out so that you have a job, aren't you? Tell them she's nucking futs and they'll make sure you have a roof over your head for decades.)

I don't have that kind of time. I want him gone NOW and the Devil asked me for a report proving I don't need Joel. He wants me to outline a plan for the future and a plan for emergencies and he will be vetting them personally. If I can argue successfully, Joel can go.

But I'm not a lawyer! Besides, I thought it was 'innocent until proven guilty'!

If that's the case, Bridget, then he should stay and maybe you should go.

Gladly! I turn on my heel and slam out and go back to Joel, because I do what I'm told. Even if I hate it. Even if it hurts. Even if I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy, even though he's staring me right in the face right now. That's what kind of good girl I am.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Mold a new reality (9 and 18).

I was singing under my breath, walking back and forth on the edge of the curb as if it was a log over water. I was pretending Brutus and Nero were on each side, like in The Rescuers when they guarded Penny. I wasn't paying attention until I turned to come back and Caleb was standing there, hands in his pockets, hair in his eyes, college-smile on his face. It's spring break for him and Easter for the rest of us. We're having a block party since the snow is finally gone.

Whatcha doin', Bridgie? 

Waiting for dinner. Lochlan said he was going to make hot dogs for me so I have to wait a little bit. They had the hamburgers but not hot dogs ready. I don't like the hamburgers.

Why not?

They have onions in them and they're bumpy and really big. I like hotdogs because I can put mustard on them. 

You can put mustard on a hamburger. I can make you a smaller one. 

No you can't, silly! Only cheese and ketchup. Oh, and pickles. And Lochlan's already making me a hot dog but thank you anyway. 

Okay. I can wait with you. What song were you singing?

Closer to the heart. It's really old. 

A couple years. Loch teach it to you?

Yes. 

Yeah, he likes Rush. 

He says he'll take me to see them at their concert if they have one here.

That sounds fun.

Yes. How is school?

He laughs. Why do you ask?

Because that's what all the grownups ask when they see you. I think it must be an important question.

School is hard. I want to be a lawyer so I have to get really good marks to get into law school. 

Another school?

Yes, it's like a specialty school. 

Oh. So are you getting like B's and A's?

Something like that.

Lochlan is going to go to circus school. He wants to be able to do everything so like ringmaster and tightrope-guy and elephant-rider and clown with juggling. And fire. He wants to juggle burning things too.

Is there a school for that?

I don't know. 

What about you? What will you go to school for?

I'm going to be a grownup first.

Yes, but what job will you have?

Storyteller and also Lochlan's assistant. 

Oh so business school with a minor in creative writing?

No, circus-assistant school. I can already write stories so I don't have to learn that. 

Just then Lochlan hollers my name and tells me to come and eat.

Caleb turns and looks back at the group manning the food tables and then smiles again. You better go get your hot dog. 

With mustard. It's just gross if it doesn't have mustard. 

Next time I'll make you a little hamburger, okay?

Okay but none of the bumpy things. One like McDonald's, okay? 

Oh, you want a pressed patty instead of fresh ground beef. 

Whichever the flat ones are. And no onions.

I'll remember that. 

Hey, Caleb?

Yes?

Will you be finished lawyer school before I finish circus assistant school?

Yes, I would think so. 

Okay good. 

Why?

So you'll have more free time to come and watch Lochlan's act. He's going to need a very big audience to be famous.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

'Something about an iron hand in a velvet glove quote from Charles the Fifth', he said.

My cashmere and velvet goodies have returned and everything fits this time.  I was ordered to come and prove that to the Devil but I declined, telling him I was going to church. He offered to bring me. Nothing says weird like sitting beside Satan in a pew while Sam preaches his fool heart out.

It was worse when Jake was up there.

I'd give anything if he still was up there.

After church we went out for an early lunch or brunch I guess it's called (still no coffee after thirty-nine days) and then when we were coming back down the driveway he ordered me once again to show him when we went inside so that he is satisfied everything is right now. Once again I said no, that he will have to trust me.

That if it was a gift it comes without obligation.

He gave me that half amused-half incredulous smile that makes him look all of a handsome eighteen again and said that I win, that he can wait. But not long. 

All amused now. He really likes this game. Some days he's not impatient at all.

Sam was home when we got back. Out in the driveway drinking tea and watching Loch on the unicycle. Caleb did not even pretend he was going to run him over. He always says it would be a freak accident. Not a 'freak-accident' but a freak accident, in which case a freak gets hit. I just roll my eyes and go to sit with Sam because it's beautiful and sunny for once and the rest of the day is mine, and what's mine is ours.


Saturday, 7 February 2015

Broactive.

I'm watching myself evolve here, weatherwise. Watching the webbing develop between my fingers and toes, seeing the scales growing on my legs, now fusing together with an iridescent sheen and a large flowing fin at the end of my new tail. Fucking rain, it never stops.

Duncan asked me if there was room on the broom this morning and I scowled at him so hard I may have pulled something. He laughed and joined me on the big bench at the table where I sat reading and finishing my toast. Saturdays can be fairly quiet in the house in the mornings and I relish that peace but I love company too.

To pay him back for calling me a witch (room on the broom? Seriously?) when he left his phone on the table to go and get his hoodie I swiped left on all of his Tinder potentials and changed his settings. Ha! Looks like his Saturday night will be spent at home with us listening to Jamiroquai and eating pizza, marvelling at how the cheese just beads right up on my new waterproof mermaid skin.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Blaster indeed (new Scott Weiland! Squeeeeeeee!)

There he is. 

(Sorry, I fangirl so hard over this guy. And I would imbed the video but Blogger sucks and gives my mobile readers a goddamn blank white space and I don't know how to fix that.)

Firewall.

This force is in love with you
It wants you safe
It wants you well
This force knows what you can do
And what you can make
With your tattered shell

Faith in your device
So quiet and precise
Just when, not how
You can feel it now
Deep beneath the light
A spark will now ignite
And you will see me now
This is our world now
Lochlan continues to be touched that I paint him in such a flattering light. I always remind him that I put out my worst side first too, that no one's going to read about our lives and run off and join a commune OR a circus, that ours is a cautionary tale, told with warnings, with hesitation.

But that doesn't mean we didn't make it because we did. Or we are, as it were, for this is a serial story and not a one book deal. This is an ongoing, evolving, developing, breaking down, eroding and rebuilding kind of story.

We are a plateau. We're an avalanche. We're a new day dawning over our own wreckage, working to rebuild.

We are cheesy and ridiculous and immature and freaky.

We're not the least bit apologetic. Or rather, I'm not. Loch is a stranger danger, in that he shifts easily from parent to showman to grifter. The fun part lies in the fact that I never know which of those sides of himself he's going to present to me at any given moment. 

What I do know is that if all I ever wrote about was the sweep-me-right-off-my-feet, heart-melting teenage-fever kisses he gives me, well..

You'd be really fucking bored by now.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Probably just.

I wear my heart on my sleeve
It's what I feel, it's what I need
Everyone will tell me that I'm doing fine
I wear my heart on my sleeve
Until you see it's what you need
Until you see that I'm the only one for you
I went back to Joel and told him to start packing again because he's still leaving and I was probably just insane when I asked him to stay.

He said Yeah, probably, and don't worry, I never stopped.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Guardians of the fallacy.

Treat me like a fool
Treat me mean and cruel
But love me

Wring my faithful heart
Tear it all apart
But love me

If you ever go
Darling, I'll be oh so lonely
I'll be sad and blue
Crying over you, dear only
I open my eyes in the light of the morning. Elvis on the radio. It's twenty after seven and the room is choked with heat already. I force my fingers under Lochlan's shoulder so he'll roll off the end of my braid and he mumbles painfully, something about needing aspirin. I ignore him and his top hat perched drunkenly on one of the posts-ends of the headboard and pick up his t-shirt off the floor, shrugging it down over my shoulders, then my hips where it stops just shy of average decency.

I go into what passes for a kitchen and pour the last of the apple juice into a scratched glass. One sip and I decide I may have not picked a clean glass but I don't know for sure. After another fight last night Loch actually made an attempt to pick up the room. It's not an apartment, it's a hotel room you can rent by the month. The hour. We have a kitchenette and a private bathroom at least. We have less than nothing. He took my passport and rented a safe-deposit box downtown at a bank that looked decent enough, putting our passports and my necklace in a box. Hiding the key at the bottom of my suitcase. Not willing to leave a damn thing in this room when we're working but not willing to let me carry my passport in case I lose it because he still treats me like I'm twelve even though I'm twenty-four and he's pushing thirty so hard it's backing up and spilling over the wall as he shoves.

I swallow my birth control pill with the last of the juice and listen as my stomach growls in angry reply. We need to go get some food. Payday is Saturday. It's Wednesday and there's half a bag of chips and a a box of crackers on the counter and Lochlan has fifteen crumpled ones in his pockets but part of the deal to get on the show was no more busking. People aren't going to pay for what they think they're getting down on the corner behind the music store for free. Even though it's a completely different routine, Lochlan signed us away exclusively.

I contemplate shoplifting, calling Caleb and begging in that order and decide I don't want to go to jail in a foreign country, I can't let Caleb know what sort of conditions we found ourselves in once again and therefore begging might actually be the ticket.

I take a quick, ice-cold shower and dress in the bathroom. I slide into a worn but pretty pink sundress and flipflops and pull my hair over one shoulder, braiding it again loosely. I check the mirror and decide the black rings under my eyes will probably help me, though I take the time to bother with pale pink lip gloss. It's practically the only luxury I indulge in here.

When I come out Loch has turned over onto his stomach and thrown most of the covers off. I would open the window but we're on the ground floor and it isn't safe here. He asks me to let him sleep for one more hour. I quietly let myself out.

Once on the sidewalk the heat is oppressive. My shoulders ache with yesterday's sunburn exposed again as I walk up the hill and cross at the stoplight. I walk for another few blocks where the buildings and restaurants go from dingy to decadent. The financial district. I find a cafe with an empty, unattended sidewalk table and slide into a chair.

And then I count.

Four men walk past. The first doesn't even glance my way. The next two look and then hurry away but the fourth one, in a lightweight expensive suit and a death wish makes eye contact and holds it. I smile and he turns ninety degrees, coming over to my table.

Beautiful day. 

It is. And I'm starving but I have no one to have breakfast with this morning. 

Is that right? Maybe I could join you.

And just like that I get a huge plate of sausages and eggs and toast. Coffee. Fruit. So much food that I can hardly finish and so I ask for it to be boxed up. Suit hardly notices that I've eaten half of everything I was given as he pays the bill without thinking. He exacts a promise that I'll meet him right here at six tonight, that we can have dinner and then maybe who knows what else?

Who knows? I promise, as I smile without hunger pangs interrupting my thoughts. I position the boxes of food in front of me as a barrier. Six o'clock, I promise, and this time I'll get the check. When he moves in for a peck on the cheek I'm already gone.

When I let myself into the room, Loch is gone. My heart lurches sickeningly but then I hear the shower. I put the boxes on the table and fetch a glass of water, making a nice place setting for him. He comes out in short order. Where'd you g-

Then he sees the table.

You gotta stop doing that, Bridgie. One of these days one of em's going to come to the show and see you and then what are you going to do?

Lie some more. 

Lie some mor-oh, that's rich. Really rich. Maybe just quit it. I'll get an advance. We'll pick up some things tonight. No more. Promise me. Stay put. It isn't safe and you don't need to do this. I'll look after you. I promise.

I nod. The promises roll out so easily in this heat. Like softened wax they spread across our dirty little escapist life here. Like fire they roll on, destroying everything in their path down to cinders and soot. Like Bridget, they're soon to catch up, if only we could wait a minute, ever.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Brain damage.

I stood outside when the roof gave in
You called from the wreckage you were lying in
You were out of reach and were out of time
But I took it all and towed that line
You held my hand and pulled me down with you
If you blinked this morning, you would have missed the moment where I faltered, losing my drive to keep putting one foot in front of the other when the bullshit surrounding Joel became a little too much and I left his apartment (over my garage) after telling him to just stop packing and then couldn't go back inside, couldn't face the others and so I sank down onto the bottom stair of the front steps and let the rain soak me to the bone.

It sucks to admit that he's right and that I need him here because I don't trust my own emotions and I scare myself to pieces on an hourly basis with the unchecked thoughts that reach out from the sidelines and try to knock me over.

It's not often they miss.

It's not often I admit that I need someone who can do nothing for me on the romantic front. I don't care about these things. Getting better with my healthy responses and behavioral maps that will teach me to fake it without hurting myself or anyone in my path until I'm strong enough to do it without the self-deception? Whatever. His map for my head to help it find its way back from grief was supposed to be a quick trip and yet here it is a lifetime later and I'm still lost and can't find the way. Or rather I'm stubborn and I refuse to do the work, for the work requires peeling my skin off and walking around blisteringly exposed, raw. Even a gust of wind hurts in that condition. So I'm a little chicken. I'm a cop-out. I'm a failure and he didn't do anything wrong recently except attempt to help the rest of them and yours truly make sense of my feelings when they crash into this house like an emotional tsunami, drowning everyone.

No survivors. Nothing unscathed.

I'm going to fail at this too. Keeping him compartmentalized while I veer wildly into the walls pretending I can walk normally. That's what being crazy is like, it's like trying to walk a straight line when you're wired to bounce off the drywall instead. It's like playing sober when you're too drunk to stand. It's like being perfectly capable of bursting into tears in the middle of a dinner party and not only does no one ask you if you're alright but they don't even react as it becomes one more habit blooming in a bouquet of self-destruction.

It's not even unusual anymore to open the door and find the little girl sitting on the steps, soaked through her clothes and unable to move. Surprised? Never. Expected, almost. Inevitable. Wait for it. Watch for it. Plan for it. Bring her in and tell her it's okay, that things will get better. Lie to her little face and she'll not believe you anyway, so that makes it okay. May as well keep him too. Just in case I do need him after all, though for what I can't fathom. I'm not a navigator. I'm not. I'm lost, twenty-four hours a day and nothing looks familiar except their faces. That's it.

Monday, 2 February 2015

The deafening noise of reiteration.

Screaming our screenplay off the cuff
We were both stuck pretending our dreams were enough
I awoke in the morning holding the day
I thought I could I have you miles away
from falling in love
Truth finds time is sweet enough
Please don't call it love
Oh, there's Ben now. Present and accounted for long enough for a windy, rainy walk on the beach this morning and then gone again. I see more of his face when he's asleep and so I'm having a hard time tearing my gaze away from his beautiful brown eyes. He thinks I'm so foolish, saying Look here. I got you a Lochlan. Play with it for a while and you won't even miss me!

Only I do. All the time.

And I think sometimes Ben just disappears to protect himself maybe, that just in case I change my mind about all of this (which I do with surprising frequency, just not in the way you'd expect) he could say, yeah, I just don't have time for a wife, I suppose and that might protect his heart somehow.

From me.

That makes my eyes sting to think his endless absence is just one big contingency plan to let him save face in the event that I do the unthinkable, completely predictable thing and shut him out.

I wouldn't do that. It would be so much easier if I could but I can't. And even if I could I wouldn't give Ben up for anyone.

He only spent the morning at home to try and hammer it in to Lochlan's skull that Lochlan doesn't need to take Batman's offer, that he's ours and we are his and he need not do anything but be present and be happy.

Lochlan, of course, wonders if this is a trap.

It might be. We just might kidnap him and keep him for ourselv-

Wait.

We did that already. And he came so willingly.

So there's that.

But there won't be any deal with Batman. I appreciate the gesture, the effort put into breaking things and then attempting to fix them, but we close ranks fairly quickly these days and Batman isn't going to get to use Loch to keep a toehold in my life, nor does Loch need to work just to contribute to the expenses here. His portion is covered and it takes place firmly against his will. He isn't made like that, no matter what Ben tells him. I just can't get Ben to stick around long enough to show him that Loch doesn't trust that. He doesn't trust anybody. Not even me.

And it makes me sad.

I watch him sleep. Watch his curls shake ever so slightly when he moves, watch his mouth open slightly as he breathes, watch his hands jerk and relax as he dreams. Watch him build rides in his dreams and throw torches in his nightmares. Watch him thinking out loud, solve problems and be ornery and pragmatic without even opening his eyes, watch him play out his regrets and his victories in the dark of his imagination. Watch him wake up with a gasp and remember he's safe and not on fire or being held just under the surface, the same way I do, every single day.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

The day people pretend they like beer. Right Keith?

It's a dimly-lit, cozy sort of Sunday today. Anywhere else and thick silent snow would be falling heavily, making the outside world an excuse instead of an option but here the rain keeps everything filigreed with drips and vaguely chill. Cozy in a different way as I walk around the house trying not to cough, taking every single hug that is offered up while I turn on lights and answer questions about dinner tonight.

Dinner? I don't know. Bacon and eggs and toast, probably. We'll see. We'll see is code for please someone go buy pizzas but it's Superbowl Sunday and pizza might be hard to come by. This isn't a football house. We no longer even try to pretend. It's a hockey house. There's a game on right now on at least five different screens. We need to pull Miller. The Avalanche just keeps scoring. Fix it quick, boys.

See, I know my hockey, through and through. Football never interested me even once.

Sam got home ten minutes ago, ripping off his shirt and tie as he went down the hall, coming back ten minutes later in a t-shirt and a big sweater, hair messed up, arms out for another hug. He bailed on a meeting. Too sick, need to sleep. It's become our battle cry as we limped through the end of January and I hope the groundhog doesn't see his shadow tomorrow and instead sees the light at the end of the tunnel for this miserable bitch of--

Aw, Canucks just lost again. 4 to 2. But when I lament their crappy playing lately someone will invariably point out at least they have more than fifty points at this stage.

Oh, right.

My Leafs. They always start so strong and then you can watch their energy evaporate before your very eyes. Too big in the contract, no incentive to do anything other than show up. They've lost it. You gotta be hungry. You gotta want it so bad. You have to, at the very least, try.

I'm going to try to nap and hopefully when I wake up the Seatraitors or the Patrihawks will have won and pizza will be available again without a three-hour wait.