Friday, 31 July 2015

I'll break for you as I open up the sky.

Follow the sunlight down
Cry clear and loud
Heaven won't help us now
But it's better this way
Warm light wash me away
Piglet, I have ways of getting the information I need.

He grabs my ankles and pulls me up, holding me upside down over the bed. I squeal as the hem of my chemise falls toward the ground, over my head. I must look like a dog with a cone collar. Nice. He licks the back of my knee as I simultaneously try and hold my nightgown up around my hips with one hand and clutch at the denim of his jeans-covered leg with the other.

Jake! Put me down!

Not until you tell me. 

I can't explain it. We're kindred spirits in a way. 

You too fight constantly. You act as if each other is the worst thing you could encounter walking into a room. 

That's because he is immature. 

And you are?


I see. So you and Ben just magically get along. 


I really don't understand this. 

We don't either but we have a very strong concern-bond for each other. 

How does that work?

He's been trying to get into my pants for a decade any way he can and I mostly worry that maybe he has a little escapism problem. 



Well, I could offer to help him but I'm not getting any good information here. Can you be a little more specific?

He uses on the road. 

Toilet paper? A seeing-eye dog? What?

Drugs, Jake. Drugs, okay? 

Why is it hard for you to tell me these things?

Because I'm protective of him.

Mmm. Beauty and the Beast. 

Mostly. He's wounded. Don't push him.

I could help him. 

Ask him if he wants help. If he doesn't, drop it. 

Wow, I can't believe you enable him. 

I didn't say that. 

How about this? You have indicated that he may need a little more support. I will take that information and see that he gets it. Is that better?

Yes. But if you push him he'll shut you down so fast. 

Is this why you argue? You're trying to help him?

He needs me. He needs friends. He looks so huge but he's made of paper. Of glass. He's more fragile than...than anyone.

Than you?

No, we're the same now. 

From death?

Death. Yes. Death does this. It makes you clear and cracked and easily destroyed over dumb things like sunshine or pressure or frustration. Toilet paper even.

I could help you too. 

Then put me down!

He swings me once, sliding his arm under my back on the upswing, and gently deposits me back, albeit with my feet on my pillow and my head at the bottom of the bed.

Why do I get this feeling that Ben is far more complicated than everyone gives him credit for?

Because that's the way he wants it, but Ben is Ben. No one questions him, we just really really love him. 

Even though he's a giant toddler most of the time? 

It's part of his charm.

Thursday, 30 July 2015


Ben reminds me this morning that the last time he felt this way he dragged me off to Paris to put a halt to the perpetual tug of war and that when his ego takes a hit he tends to doubt life and everything in it. That leaving the tour due to the threat to his sobriety didn't feel like a milestone of comprehension, it felt like a failure and he came back expecting all the perks to be gone as well. Expecting it to the point where he still wakes up and figures he will see the unfamiliar walls of a cold hotel room and have no comforts whatsoever and he's amazed and humbled that we are here. That we waited and that we're not disappointed in him in the least.

I reminded him to get over himself and stop wingeing and let's get on with life. He laughed so gently I might have mistaken it for a sob but he agreed to find his way back before we all implode. The vultures are hovering, I tell him. 

I'll blow them right out of the sky, he whispers. 

Lochlan kisses the top of Ben's head as he goes by. He's on his way to negotiate a deal. Art for cash. Murals, this time in a big office lobby somewhere plain that should be pretty. Life imitates Cole. 

He gets to the door and then comes back and kisses my cheek for good measure and Ben and I wish him luck simultaneously without taking our eyes off each other. I feel like my gaze is a life raft and if I break it Ben will disappear under the surface again. I've almost got him back. Almost.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Pushing axioms off the cliff.

Close your eyes
Drive away the cloud that hides the light
And leave the pain behind
Dead alive
Find a way to bury all the lies
Escape the pain inside
‘Cause I don’t want to fall
Or let you go
Click. Boom. The moment when a record, like a person, crosses my guard and becomes familiar, anticipated. I still vividly remember when that happened with Ben. It was about an hour after I met him. Faster than Lochlan. Faster than Jake. Why can't I reach him now?

I've resorted to walking around the house behind him singing at the top of my lungs. I chose this album because it's a last-resort bitter-yet-hopeful, painful yet masterfully written account of how a heart breaks, precisely. Dark Before Dawn.


And he hates it because he can't hear the music (I have headphones), only the words and I'm singing them out as arrows, every one aiming for his heart but if you knew Ben he can block out an avalanche if he so chooses and today I'm the avalanche in his head.

Today? Lately. Since he came back. Probably since before he left but I didn't notice, I was busy having fun when I wasn't picking up the pieces of my heart. I keep tripping and I drop them or I smash into someone and they scatter everywhere. Under the jeep. Into the pool. Through the electric fence. Down into the shadows where I can't see them at all.

He is still sober. Not for long. Not at this rate, says everyone as if they know what's going through his head. But his head is thick. No one can see through it and I have faith that he hasn't reached that point and probably won't.

Oh good. A screaming, bitter song. They're punctuated with lovesongs and the timing is perfect.

He said yesterday that he wasn't prepared for the possibility that I would wait at all. I threw a book at him and yelled that he didn't know me, then. At all.

He said he did and that's why he's so surprised. And that he just doesn't know how to deal with it. I told him he could start by being Ben and that the rest would fall into place like it always does. He looked at me like I was crazy. I stood my ground until someone unhelpfully changed the subject to ease the tension. It didn't work.

It would have been easier. 

Unless you were waiting for an out, you mean. 

I wasn't though. I don't want one.  But I didn't think I would get a choice. 

But you did and it all worked out so what the fuck is this?

Dazed recognition?

Was I a stranger before?

Before? No. But you might be one now.

But I'm not. I'm me. 

My Bridget would have jumped. 

Well she didn't. But she still can if she has no other choice left. 

That's what keeps me paralyzed, Bee. That thought right there.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Time travel while I sleep.

Last night I didn't even wait to see if he really was going to live out there in the driveway in the camper (because somehow if he makes his space smaller things become clearer) when it got very late. I just took my things and went out to join Lochlan. He wasn't there so I locked the door behind me and tucked myself in and had absolutely zero problems drifting off. He put a thicker blanket on the bed so I wasn't even cold.

When I woke up at six this morning, I was in the middle of the big bed, face jammed against Lochlan's neck, Ben clutching my back to his chest, and Lochlan's arm resting on the side of my head, his hand wrapped around Ben's neck, his other arm tight around my back. Ben's chin was on the top of Loch's head and Loch had his head bowed as if he fell asleep kissing the top of my head and forgot to move.

Or maybe they were just comfortable this way. I know I was. It made it very difficult to get up because I didn't want to. I didn't even need to. Sam took the dog with him to church and the kids have nothing on today and so it was nice to drift back off for a while.

I try to keep those moments in my mind when we sit in front of qualified folk who ask us to reaffirm our priorities for ourselves, as couples and as a trio. I try to keep those moments in my mind when I detect things like doubt and mistrust and resignation in voices I love so much. I try to remember how it felt to wake up to such tenderness when they rip each other apart with words that must be the truth but weren't deployed to hurt, just to clarify, that they're sorry for the collateral damage done but it's inevitable, unavoidable. A shame.

I try to remember why I locked myself in the camper in the first place and how I can do things right from now on but I always seem to be up against more than I can handle, as if fate is a game and I am the dice, rolled, cursed at and responsible for every move they make.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Deja too.

Father forgive me cause I know
Exactly how I spread my soul
My idolatry is in the pocket of my coat
I make promises
I could never keep

Ain't it a ghost machine
Ain't she a ghost machine
I'm still haunted by the faces on her screen
I swear she's gonna make a dead man out of me

By the time I made my way back across the driveway Lochlan had moved to the camper, now freshly painted and then painted again from red to white. Five coats, lots of swearing but I would have taken that any day over absolute silence.

The worst part was when I went to bed to read. Ben was in his studio, oblivious to the entire world but Lochlan never showed up. I finally figured out where he was and I took my pillow and went outside and knocked on the door of the camper waiting, my pillow in my arms.

I thought you were getting all your affection elsewhere these days.

Not all of it. Just a little and it's poor quality.

Didn't stop you though, did it?

I'm sorry, Locket.

But you aren't. Get in here before you get cold.

He holds the door and I duck under his arm. He wasn't sleeping but he sees my pajamas and my pillow so he turns the light off, pulls his shirt over his head and then pulls back the covers on the little bed. I crawl in and he strips to his boxers and gets in with me, wrapping me up tightly against him but facing me away. I can feel his tension, I can feel the frustration and I tell him again that I'm sorry.

Are you sorry for seeing him or for hurting me?

Hurting you.

Then you haven't learned anything.

I didn't sleep with him and he wasn't there when I slept.

Such a small comfort, Peanut. I feel like I'm going to implode. Why can't you listen to me? Too many years of being told what to do? I ruined this love because I had to be a parent first, is that it?

You're not at fault for any of this, Lochlan and he gets credit for nothing. This is all on me. 

Then change it, Bridget. This gets harder all the time. Not easier to accept. Not familiar. It's just hard and it hurts and I don't know what I can take over what's already been done. Caleb can't save you. He can't even comfort you properly so why bother? Why keep the past around only to be destroyed by it time and time again? You survived Cole's anniversary. You didn't have to write about it, it wasn't causing issues, let him go already. Let Caleb go too. Give me a chance here to get ahead of the ghosts and the devils alike.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Give a cuddle, get a nap (currency isn't what it used to be or maybe it's just my lucky day).

Watching the rain like it's a fifty-cent novelty show at the theatre during the daytime. It's hard to believe my world will ever be green again, for it's always nuclear-sun these days, blown out bright white causing us to squint constantly. It hurts. It induces headaches and sun dogs and hallucinations that we're all okay because the sun is out.

Well, it isn't out anymore.

And no one is ever okay, are they?

When the rain started I lifted up my head, looking up through the skylight from where I sat tucked into the arms of the devil. He followed my gaze and then smiled and said Finally. He could have meant anything but I nodded and said we needed it badly and again I could have meant anything and he nodded back as if we were having the same conversation but we weren't.

I couldn't concentrate anymore and eventually he put me down alone and went to make some drinks and I stretched out flat to watch the water run down the glass. It was still dark for half light even, for once and my eyes relaxed and opened wide before closing to listen carefully for the sound and there it comes, quietly pushing into the room, into my head until I can hear nothing else.

When he comes back I must have fallen asleep because this morning I wake up to the big black blanket tucked around me tightly and a watered-down whiskey at room-temperature, weighing down a condensation ring that will ruin the finish on the bedside table permanently.

I could have prevented this, he said more than once, like he had all the answers.

Turns out he has the same amount as anyone else.


I take the glass and take a huge swallow and then decide to just finish it. My insides sting and rebel against the sudden watering of my blood and I lie back and close my eyes again just for a minute while the empty glass makes a new ring on the table to finish me off.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Fighting back up to where I was before I fell in the hole in the garage.

Will you stop - will you wait a minute - please remember
Can you stop - can you just give me one minute to explain
I will not cause a fuss, I will not rock the boat - believe me darling
Oh what is, what was, it's all the same
They always tell me to say something when it gets really bad. I do and then no one listens. They say to tell them when something isn't working and they'll change it. They say to speak up when I feel something and they'll recognize it and alter it, fix it or show me how to work it.

I told them Joel isn't good, that all he does is dredge it all back up like seaweed on a perfectly clean beach and yet they continue to believe his charade over my gut feelings. They continued to insist that he was right, that it was a phase and that I would eventually come to a grinding halt against my grief-brick wall and that they were ready and waiting and that look, he was right. He was right. Insisting on it like Joel is the fucking moon.

But Joel is the wall and I ran into him at a million miles an hour and goddammit, I was doing great and then he walks in and it's 2007 all over again. I told him to go, that I would see him next at Halloween because I need to see who is right, me or them.

Sam apologized for not seeing things more clearly. Joel is a manipulator. I see that now.

Caleb apologized for not pushing harder for an RSVP of his perpetual, open invitations. I could have prevented all of this.

And Lochlan apologized for yelling at me for ruining my dress. Just stay put, would you? Would you just stay right here with me and this wouldn't keep happening?

Ben was busy and I don't think he noticed a thing. Hey, Bee. Where have you been?

Right here, Benny. Drowning in the tides of my own making.

Friday, 24 July 2015

If I sit on my knees in a pool of cold oil from PJ's parts-Jeep and raise my face up to the ceiling I'm probably looking through the floor right into August's sanctuary, a place I don't go because he reminds me of Jake and when I'm alone with him if I defocus just slightly, he is Jake and that's unhealthy.


But if I unfocus right now, head thrown back, Jacob is here. Just off to my left, standing in a beam of light blazing in from the high windows in the garage doors.

I can't do this, Pooh. 

Can't what?

I can't hold my head up anymore. I can't breathe. I can't wait. I can't sleep. 

You're doing just fine, Pig-a-let. 

I shake my head and when I stop the empty garage swims into focus and so I lean back until my head cracks the concrete, adding stars, adding Jake, making it less terrible again. Pain is easy. It's familiar. It's real. Onward and upward, faking-it-til-I-make-it is exhausting and artificial and relentless.

He leans over me and tears begin to pour freely across my temples and into my hair. You won't be able to explain the oil all over your dress, Princess. Go and change and suck it up and you'll get through this. These moments are real but you can't let them destroy you. You're supposed to work through them, survive them, learn from them and then the next time they're less bad. 

Never less bad-

Because you won't let go, Bridget. 

I put my hands over my eyes but I'm not getting up. I'm going to lie here where it's filthy, hard and cold because it feels better to suffer and then I don't feel like I've left him behind in an unforgiving past that I don't even want to stay in anymore, but can't seem to leave because of him.

I lift my head up and slam it into the floor again bcause I know that will bring me complete outer-space darkness and when I wake up my head is resting in Lochlan's lap and Jake has already given up and left.

I'd ask why you're covered with oil and knocked out on the floor but something tells me it's explainable and I won't like hearing it.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Definitely one to watch with your (former) psychoanalyst.

We watched The Babadook.

I purposefully avoid reading things about movies once I've seen a trailer and decide I want to see something, in order to avoid spoilers. We're careful with spoilers here as it can take a while for the entirety of the Collective to see everything. But no one else had wanted to see this in any big rush, and so only Joel agreed to watch it with me. Maybe that was for the best, because I didn't know going into it that it was about a widow, and that the monster would be personified grief. 

(It can never ever leave.)

Other than the unintentional, shocking heartbreak of that, it was very good. Incredibly tense and awesomely produced. Loved it. The triggers are my own and so I try not to let them color my reviews but as you know, they will. They do. 

I still miss Jake, every second of every minute of every single day.

Joel thought the movie was great, though he stared directly at me for half of it and for the other half he sat there and shook his head, as in Oh, what have I done?

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Feels like a Saturday today.

No, I don't worry too much if Caleb puts things in my drinks. He can roofie me all he likes, for most of the time it will result in a truncated evening for him. I don't even think he uses any actual drugs (anymore). Gravol puts me on the floor handily so there's no need to sound alarms. Suitably I stuck close to Lochlan and Ben for most of the past couple of days as a result, passing tools as asked and listening quietly to new ideas, forged in the creativity of homesickness and determination.

Loch sold another camper and is on the verge of a waiting list only via word of mouth. I'm so excited for him, except that it leaves him little time to work on ours, which is tiny and made up of a twelve year old's dream list of everything one would want in a tiny camper, including a library, tiny window boxes full of forget-me-nots and an actual, usable bathroom. I'll post pictures when it's finished, hopefully before I'm too old to remember we have one. 

The colors I chose are turquoise, sage and cherry red for the inside. Loch says we'll go blind and we may have to negotiate on the red so I replaced that with navy blue. Better, he said. 

But then he bought the red paint, thinking I wouldn't notice. 

Right now I have a scotch and tonic water and I'm planning tonight's movie extravaganza. I think I want to watch The Babadook, since I still haven't seen it yet. I only ever pick one movie because I'll have to fight to stay awake through it once it's dark and I stop moving. PJ picks three movies on his night to choose. I only ever make it through one of those too so I'll give away my picks to the rest to figure out what they want to see and I'll come upstairs until I get to the top of the house and then head down the hall to the end of our wing and I'll close my eyes and probably have nightmares for weeks. 

I love horror movies in spite of what some of them do to me. That's how I know they're really, really good.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Can anybody fly this thing?

Confidence in you
Is confidence in me
Is confidence in high speed
I stopped at the patio and choreographed the rest of my evening handily, directing Caleb to go and fetch that perfect whiskey and I would meet him back here with my best glasses and the giant ice cubes that we only use for these occasions. He was surprised but refused to show it to give anyone the satisfaction as a witness. He nodded and strode toward the boathouse quickly while I went inside in search of a slip dress and a warmer wrap. When I returned with a tray with cheese and bread and fruit on it with the glasses prepped and ready he was already there, having dragged both of the big chairs right to the edge of the grass overlooking the cliff.

He smiled when he saw the food. You're either very thoughtful or completely ravenous. 

Both, of course. Always. 

He grins and pours our drinks. An inch for me and slightly less for himself. He shouldn't be drinking with all the pills he takes for his heart and he shouldn't be getting me drunk either. But we are teenagers and we break all the rules whether they are designed for us or not.

I hold up my glass in a toast.

Here's to that pool being the only thing saving my sanity these days. It was flip and insincere. We all know I have no sanity at all. But he grins and says he is still waiting for that midnight swim for two.

I remind him he'll be waiting a while unless he wants to have it with PJ. I'm narcoleptic. I'm rarely awake after eleven and if I am I'm sick to my stomach because of it. If I ever got a whole night's sleep I would be better but these days I awaken if someone else dreams and am bolt upright if I hear a toilet flush five neighborhoods away or if Dalton pets the cat. Dalton sleeps on a different floor.

All that besides being woken up constantly by Loch or Ben or both and then they argue about letting me get some sleep, for fucks sake.

Yeah. None of that circus leaves much room for being up late on purpose.

He changes the subject. He wants to know what Sam is up to these days. He's digging for information casually, offhand. He's being sneaky but it's late enough and I don't know why. I put my feet up on his knees to distract him and it works. He starts stroking my leg absently and sits back with some cheese and his glass and stares out to sea.

Sam is helping Ben with me, I tell him.

Interesting turn of phrase. 

Well, it's not like Ben has the issues, is it?

Oh, Ben has issues. He's the one who took off like he was on fire. 

I gaze at Caleb with open hostility. He was, though. 

Touché. I don't know how he manages, up against Lochlan. 

You admit Loch is a force to be reckoned with. 

No. Loch's a vagrant, for fucks sakes. I meant his hold over you. 

Same thing. 

No, it isn't. 

Well, it's getting late. I crunch a cracker into my face and stand up, mainlining the whiskey like it's water and throwing the ice cube out onto the grass. Thanks for the company and the drink.

Why don't you take a break from the drama for the rest of the evening and come stay with me.

Because mine is the bed I made and it's where I must lie.

Or you could shut it the fuck down already and go where you'll be cherished. 

That's the only thing I've never had to seek out. I laugh. The heat is creeping into my cheeks, across my chest. I'm drunk because this probably wasn't whiskey after all. Goodnight, Diabhal. Sweet dreams. I blow him a kiss and by the time I drunkenly spin around and hit the ground Loch is there to catch me.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Saboteur de memoire.

He offers a hand and I take it, rising up out of the water, droplets running in rivers down my back and legs. He smiles as he wraps me into a towel like a big cotton burrito and then leaves me to dry myself quickly before holding out my wrap. His arm comes around me once again and he squeezes with his hand and bicep only, planting a kiss against my temple. His skin is flushed and singing against my cold wet skin. 

Neamhchiontach, he says. His eyes are high-tide, deep-end, night-sky. My faded sage greens stare back evenly. 

No, Diabhal. 

How can you give a refusal to a question that's yet to be asked? 

I know what you're asking. 

Cole's been gone a long time.

The floor opens, a faulty hinge letting go, leaving me dangling over the abyss. He squeezes tighter still and I feel as if when he lets go I might fall and die. 

I won't let you fall, he tells me and I look up into his eyes. They're so earnest. Earnest and blue. No deception. No evil. Patience with a tinge of frustration, hopefulness with a pinch of despair. He's a recipe for certain disaster, this one, and I don't know whether to demand he stop reading my mind already or hope that he already has. 

Too late. 

Come for a whiskey, he says. Let's get you warmed up. 

Sunday, 19 July 2015

There's a voice inside that keeps him
On the path of righteousness
You can't break his stride
Or change his mind
'cause he won't second guess
We lay in bed this morning plotting a secret flight back to Nova Scotia to attend the Big Ex and go see the Trews at the King's Corner pub in my hometown.

Don't tempt me. I'll go in a heartbeat and I'll be early.

Next time I head home please remind me to do it with that weekend in mind, please.


I went for a walk on the beach this morning by myself, the sun blinding me, the heat already creeping up the backs of my legs and underneath my nose and ears the way it does. I went through my Sam-lists in my head in which he taught me to prioritize and neatly order my past, present and future on invisible white note pages I keep filed in my brain, lists he will raid later as his alter-ego, the Memory Thief.

He disagrees greatly with August and Joel at this point. He thinks I'm doing well and that it's not a phase of any kind, that I seem to have found enough comfort to be able to ride out Ben's existential crisis without going down with the ship.

It's probably due to Lochlan, who yells at my unchecked OCD tendencies and drowns my abandonment fears and somehow manages to not be awful at doing either. He makes me sleep. Makes me eat. Makes me stop moving and let things go when I'm clinging to them with everything I have.

I was always better with him. He never exploited my weaknesses nor did he demand that I balance on my strengths. He would just point out the obvious quietly or obnoxiously loudly and we'd get on with our day. It's a rustic kind of unfinished love, rough around the edges but the engine runs good and it's dependable.

Sam said it's the healthiest relationship I have. I don't disagree with him but I find it ironic that it was once the relationship the whole world didn't want us to have thanks to some possessive friends, a significant age gap (at the time, doesn't seem so bad now) and Loch's wanderlust, a trait that turned out to be contagious and incurable.

When I have enough for the thief I leave my head and shut and lock the door on the way out. Sam has a key. I don't need to be there when he arrives. I turn to go back to the house and I see him sitting at the top of the stairs, coffee cup in hand, curls all over now. He says they weren't this prevalent before the last few years. Loch always says the same thing, that I'm tightening his brain so his hair has to fight to grow, taking winding routes and ending up curly on the outside of his head. It made me laugh even though it was technically an insult. I didn't mind. He looks weird without curls so we're even.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Mark down that it's a good day.

The concert was great. Possibly greater was coming back to bed this morning and then waking up at ten all casual, like I do that all the time or something. Inwardly I soared. Outwardly I feel almost human at last. So far I may have texted everyone I know to tell them that not only is a sunny Saturday and we should all meet at the pool later but that I slept until ten!!

I got back seventeen Good girl!s, four Awesome!s and one Good job, kiddo

Kiddo? Gee. Thanks, Gage. 

Ben got up at eleven. I texted everyone that and everyone said Really? and then life exploded into chaos as it generally does on the weekends when instead of people eating breakfast in shifts it's a free for all with very few rules. The only rule being if there is a junky cereal with only enough for one bowl left it is saved for the kids. Also don't get between Ruth and whatever she makes because she gets amazingly hangry in the mornings. 

Jethro Tull is on the stereo this morning (Aqualung. I love this song. If I can steal Loch's phone from him I'll switch it to repeat one and be so happy. Or Heavy Horses but that one makes me sad) and Corey is drinking coffee. He doesn't even live here but he's off this week so he came to visit. At least he offered me a cup. I declined. I'm not going to drink it regularly though sometimes I want to. 

Joel is also here now because Ben invited him to swim. And talk. 

Christian is already getting some snacks ready for poolside. Every day is a big all-day buffet. Daniel refinished a bar cart while he was lame and they'll load everything onto that and carry it across the lawn. Or rather Christian and Schuy will. Caleb mentioned he could have a path or two paved so we can roll things down but then it degenerated into a plan to build some sort of racetrack for minibikes and Caleb deferred his offer because he doesn't want a racetack on such a beautiful property.



This is what living with these guys is like. 

And it IS awesome.

Friday, 17 July 2015

My Canada is showing.

Oh my God. Whoever booked the One Direction concert to be on the same night as the Rush concert downtown should be fired. Might have to helicopter in.

I'm kidding. It just means we have to leave at like four to find parking. On the upside it's my fourth Rush concert and I have heard the rumblings that it's their last.

*sad face*

Favorite songs? Closer to the Heart and Faithless. Favorite live song is The Wreckers. Favorite thing is that they do their laundry on stage while they play.

Wish me luck. I only ever loved crowds when Loch was busking.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

5110 days of Henry Jacob.

It's Henry's birthday today so I don't have a lot of time but I'm cooking so I have a little. Henry likes my cooking better than anything he can get in a restaurant. He likes the cakes I bake better than anything his father can order from a bakery too so I baked one yesterday, iced it last evening and tonight we'll have it with big candles lit on top that spell out *14!* because yes, this is a pretty exciting age to be.

He's learning to cook now, too. He's as tall as Lochlan, finally. He's great with the pets and I taught him to mow the yard myself, though he hates doing it because it's hot out and it takes forever. Caleb taught him basic money management (and how to shave). I give him a weekly allowance for walking the dog, folding laundry, taking out the garbage and recycling and emptying dishwashers. Occasionally he picks up the side yard after the dog and he vacuums and dusts and helps with meals. In turn he puts almost one hundred percent of his money in his bank account. He doesn't know what he's saving it for yet. The future, probably, he says.

He has a hell of a sense of humor, sporting a very classic-style delivery too. He hates shaving, by the way but loves to play video games and watch movies with us and he will enjoy chocolate cake for breakfast for the next few days very, very much. I got him a big book about the history of weaponry and a bunch of other fun things I know he will like. 

I don't like to say much about the children because I never wanted to trade their privacy for page views but Henry is a healthy, gigantic honor roll-making typical fourteen-year-old whom I love with all my heart and I'm proud of him. I'm not going to use this sort of platform to wish him a Happy Birthday. He doesn't have social media (no one of his age needs it) and he doesn't know about the blog so instead I'll just tell you that I do appreciate the fact that no one presses for more information about the children. It's been a hard limit for a decade, you wouldn't get very far. 

But it doesn't make me any less thrilled to be his mother, let me tell you. I wished him a Happy Birthday in person, when I woke him up this morning. The hugs he gives me while he is still half-asleep sustains me in a way I can't describe.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Brain dump. Ignore.

After a lot of false flags from Daniel's doctors he got his cast off this morning! He's so relieved, and just in time for our ridiculous hot weather to return later this week. The heat made him as uncomfortable as it makes me and he couldn't swim or even bathe properly for weeks on end.

Ben and I took him in. Ben is still fringe today. Every day I wake up expecting him to be different, to click back into himself and yet he remains on the outskirts of my emotions, refusing to connect. He's disappointed that we didn't shut him out and yet he was grateful we did nothing. I don't understand.

Physically we connected right off. We're horribly shallow like that. Give him my body and he'll easily manage it. Muscle memory. We're efficient and beautiful as long as we don't have to talk, it seems. Give him my mind and you may as well be throwing it at a closed door. It hits and bounces back and then slides down to the floor in a wet squishy mess. He refuses to open up. He won't engage past pleasantries. I've already threatened to send him back if he isn't going to be himself and he laughed incredulously and agreed with me. He doesn't feel comfortable suddenly. He feels like he may have ruined everything by leaving and yet here we are waiting for him.

I threw a coffee mug at his head and he caught it, set it down and left the room. He didn't fight back. He wouldn't stick around to wait for an apology though either.

Nolan said he needs a little bit of time. So did August. Claus has a hell of a voicemail waiting for him whenever he comes back from his travels and Joel said he would like to come and talk to Ben but I'm not sure I'm ready to press that option yet. It's there so I'm comforted but it's...Joel.

I figured spending some time with Daniel would trigger his usual self but not so far. They're taking a leisurely swim now and I'm supposed to be making breakfast but I'm not. I'm sitting here trying to talk myself out of my hole. It's in the garage and it's Jake and Jake in whatever form he is now (since apparently he isn't REAL anymore) is easier to deal with than Ben being so far away and formal.

Even on our worst months-long arguments of years gone by he didn't resort to this.

For perspective and to be fair, everyone (including Loch) says he's just uncertain, having missed three months of life here and he will settle in soon enough but of course my mind is blowing up the sky.

Caleb says we could coax him back faster with a special evening. Please tell me why Caleb lived and Jake didn't because I don't understand God in the slightest. I will resort to that if I have to because like I said, physically he's present and willing and able and damn near perfect. But I don't want to go down that road with Caleb right now. I'm doing so well without him biting me and tying me down.

I'm doing well without him, I mean. The other words don't even matter, really.

I just want Ben back. All of him. Like I said, I didn't jump for a reason and the reason is him.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Of course Pluto sports a giant perfect heart. I told you it was me.

Could you be vegan, Bridge?


How come?

I like my goatsmilk soap. Also, leather chaps. 

You have chaps?

No, but I like them. Not on myself though. 

Who has them? 

Jake wore a pair of Nolan's a few times and just...yeah. I liked them a lot. 

He liked being on Nolan's farm. 

He liked to play Jeremiah Johnson. 

Yeah. I miss him. He would have made a great old man. 

I bite my lip to ease the stinging behind my eyes and August lifts the pressure cooker of a subject, asking me instead if I'm going to come with him to Burning Man.

Is this a formal invite?

If you need a change of scenery, yes. 

I just got home. 

Yes but everyone went with you. This would just be you and me. Maybe Duncan. 

Honestly I don't think that would go over very well. 

I suppose. 

Thanks for the offer, though. I will live vicariously through you. 

It's harder than it is fun, so you're not missing out. 

Why do you go, then?

To see people. To watch it happen. I like magic, Bridget. 

Me too. 

I always forget you find it so easily. 

Sometimes I can't find any at all. This is one of those times.

He nods and takes a sip of his coffee before handing me the cup. I take a drink and make a face. It's cold.

Monday, 13 July 2015

More than what I wanted.

Oh, when you were young
Did you question all the answers
Did you envy all the dancers who had all the nerve

Look around you now
You must go for what you wanted
Look at all my friends who did and got what they deserved

So much time to make up everywhere you turn
Time we have wasted on the way
So much water moving underneath the bridge
Let the water come and carry us away
I feel like I'm being systematically dismantled from the inside out as Ben pretends interested disinterest, asking what Lochlan and I talked about in his absence. If we got anywhere. What we have decided and how we'd like to proceed. Later Loch wants to know if I feel different with Ben back. If I have regrets or a change of heart or relief. Caleb wants to know when I'm coming back to him, suggesting it will be easy if Ben distracts Lochlan like he always used to. August wants to know what's really going on in my head. Joel wants to see if I'm free for breakfast this week. Duncan subtly implies that Ben probably fell off the wagon but got back on while he was away and Batman wants to see if I'm finished with the drama of trying to juggle two human beings at once and possibly ready to move toward something stable, something new.

It's one of those days when flinging myself off the wrong side of the cliff seems like a perfectly viable option and it's a great day for PJ to hold my hand very tightly while he plays music I adore and reminds me that this is exactly what happens when I find myself in over my own head in my relationships with this bunch.

He only lets go when he has to turn on the oven or use the bathroom and each time that happens Sam steps in to keep me grounded. Oh, that's a good idea, I think as I hand Sam my last pound of flesh. But Sam doesn't say much. He's letting August do the heavy lifting and then he can maybe take the place of the good guy. I stare at him evenly as he pretends to be in deep conversation on the phone with Matt and as he talks I smile reassuringly and pull my hand away, backing up from my chair and heading for the door. Sam doesn't notice what he's done and I make it all the way to the side door but when I open it Loch is there sitting on the wall with Ben's guitar and he's singing old songs we used to listen to on the little radio we kept on the counter in the camper in 1983 and I want to cry because it sounds so familiar and yet now the words mean something completely different.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

No further ahead.

I'm not a snob about flying, it's just rare to do so on public aircraft these days. There were too many people going to do it any other way. If I offended you with my one-percentism, I'm sorry. I'm a tiny clumsy, claustrophobic who always seems hungriest when there is no way to get food. Really we're used to taking the jet that Caleb leases. He said he wants to spoil me and I think he has. Maybe I should be thrown out.

Ben is back and life isn't a beach, soft and sandy. It's rustic, rocky and jagged. Dangerous, even. Unfamiliar, untested and strange. Some of this is like riding a bicycle and some of it's like learning another language. It isn't clicking. I know enough Ben to get by but I'm not fluent in the least.

It doesn't help that Lochlan is hardly speaking, content to nod and tip his head and whisper things to me but to otherwise not engage. The weeks we were given were time wasted. We don't know what we're doing. There wasn't enough time to find out. There were two millionaires and a lot of regular joes breathing down my neck and I feel squeezed and pressured and at the same time I twist in the wind.

There are no easy answers but at the same time when I woke up as the meat in the sandwich it felt right. And I always go on feelings, don't I?

Saturday, 11 July 2015


We're BACK.

 I've logged close to sixteen thousand miles in less than a week and I feel like I'm still moving. It was interesting for sure and I'd be happy not to see the inside of a plane any time soon. Especially commercial flights with their plastic cups and ability to run out of sandwiches before they get past the end of the tenth row. And watching some of the boys fold up like big bearded accordions to fit into the seats was almost painful. They asked me to imagine how they felt.

So yeah, maybe we'll push a little harder next time and get the jet instead.

Except that none of that matters now, because Ben came home with us. And he doesn't have to go back out. A little squeezing and he was let out of the remainder of his contract under some impracticality clause that if a job begins to threaten his sobriety then he is not obligated to continue.

Batman looked after that one, actually.

(Ben is fat again too. I don't know what he eats when he goes out of my sight but he said everything with a straight face.)

He hugged us both so hard when we saw him collectively we have multiple internal injuries and external emotions that can't be stuffed back in. We hugged him back so hard it was readily apparent that we've been holding our breath collectively for the better part of eleven long weeks and I was done doing that the minute I saw him.

You're not going back. I pleaded with him like a child. It was humiliating and yet I was still giving orders because I'm stubborn. Because I need him.

He smiled but I could see he was losing it too. I'm not, Bumblebee. I'm coming home with you and Lochlan. 

Sunday, 5 July 2015

What promises did you break, Bee? His voice is low and hesitant this morning. He waits, expressionless on my screen as I sip a cup of tea PJ brought in an hour ago. It's cold.

I didn't go easy on myself. I ate sugar. I tried to cut the Devil out of my flesh but then I left him there to fester.

(I had promised to go easy on myself, eat better and not make any rash moves with regard to Caleb in Ben's absence just to keep the peace because Ben is the peacekeeper between Lochlan and Caleb. When he's around, I mean.)

None of the important ones, I tell him. He smiles because he knows when I lie.

I can't wait to see you. I have a huge surprise for you. 

What is it? I don't like surprises. 

You'll like this one. 

You promise? 

I promise. Now pack our redhead and come meet me. 

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Voices in my head.

This is one of those exceedingly anticipatory, stressful times when you get excited about an adventure but are also terrified of the process. I have a lot of thrill inside bubbling up but it keeps getting quashed by the scary parts. The public. Delays. Bomb threats? Issues. Driving. Waiting. Air sickness. Fear of takeoff. Over or underpacking. Worrying about my little dog, off to a new kennel tomorrow where they seem nice but could be monstrous, even though we went to visit and all was well.

Mostly overpacking. I'm the queen of not touching half my stuff on trips. And hating all the clothes I own all the time.

I am excited to get away from this heat and to feel actual rain again. I hope there is some.

I want to see Ben so badly I've bitten my nails to the quick to feel something other than the ache of missing him. But I'm scared of trying to reconnect with Ben in a familiar but unfamiliar landscape. Trying to connect the three of us into some semblance of what we were before. I thought Lochlan and I were headed down a new road,  one at the end of which I would invoke all of Ben's paperwork and he would resort to being a warm but mostly absent friend again. We never got there and maybe that's for a reason but I'm glad to be headed to see Ben. It's the halfway point in his absence. It's the defining knife-edge of this relationship, sharpened to a point and ready to draw blood. Maybe things will be familiar and maybe they'll be different. We don't know until we try.

The part I'm having problems with is leaving him again. Weeks are long. He makes me laugh like no one else. His newly-learned affection is solid gold. His sweetness unmatched. There's a glaring absence, a huge Ben-sized hole where I wish he was but when I go he isn't there. When I call him we fight. When he messages me we get our signals crossed and we misinterpret one another and argue just a little more. I don't do well apart from him. Maybe I should take it as a sign and yet when he left I thought the perceived implication of being abandoned again would kill me. It didn't. I juggled Loch and Caleb as best I could and I didn't slip any further down the hole I dug.

I did it? Maybe I did. I did something. I'm getting through it. I'm trying.

I've worked very hard with August and with Sam and even with Joel to do all the right, healthy things to bring myself to a place where I feel comfortable standing up for myself.

Ben always says he isn't here to fix me. He didn't leave to break me and he's not interested in being any sort of human crutch. That he wants to support me in doing it all on my own and that maybe him going away is a catalyst for me doing something constructive for once when it's so very easy spending time with whomever wants to spend time with me. That I am enabled, coddled and cut off at the knees when it comes to constructive efforts to shore up my well-being. That his presence only makes me delay the hard work for the fun.

All I have done is hard work since he's gone. I didn't necessarily keep all my promises but I didn't fling myself off the cliff either.

So maybe he'll be surprised.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Longevitude and the art of making everyone happy by making sure no one is, truly.

Now if you're gonna play your games with me
Like the leaf in the top of a tree
You better watch your step when you're coming back down
From the city on out to the sea
And if your brothers come after me
With their horses so wild and so free
I'll be waiting at the gate in a terrible state
With the man who holds the key
And he'll treat you quite carelessly
For he knows my face from a previous place
From a country in a foreign land
Throwing dice in a game of chance on the sand
But I lost my cool and fate loves a fool
Now I'm standing on the edge of the pack
In my spacesuit hoping that this women will call me at last
Cuz' I'm an astronaut on the shores of this grand illusion
and I'm falling down at the sound of this beating heart
Today we're lying by the pool not moving a muscle except to drink lemonade. Blitzen Trapper is on the stereo and the Devil and the Freak are actually getting along. The Freak only wants for peace of mind for my brain and he doesn't care that he can't afford the cost and neither can I. We get by on our glaringly insufficient charm. Some things never change.

The Devil? He only wants me.

Sophie was gone by ten or so on Wednesday night, in case it matters and Caleb accepted my apology and offered his own in return because we can be so awful to each other sometimes. I'm pretty sure we use each other to punish ourselves for the sins of our collective pasts. I doubt we'll ever have any sort of functional, healthy relationship with each other but he pretty much sealed that deal when I was twelve and I've gone out of my way to enforce it ever since.

Sugar Daddies are complicated. I restructured my ban slightly as a break until further notice. Oh, don't. I know. 

He's happy. For that I apologize to no one but if you have to know, yes, I'm horribly jealous of Sophie's height/poise/ease of life. Granted she has had a much different upbringing than I, as she wasn't held down in a trailer park at such a young age and completely destroyed nor did Jake ever walk out on her. She left him and I know exactly what I am but I own up to it and I can sleep at night, if there were any sleep to be had. Lochlan seems to be fine without it and brings me along with him through the darker hours now. I never functioned very well without at least four or five hours a night but what's a girl to do?

(I apologized to August too, for the record. He's trying his best and I'm more than just a job to him and he's more than just another shrink to me.)


Yesterday we bought some plane tickets. We bought a lot of plane tickets to fly commercial and so it's imperative that everyone gets along for the next few weeks, at least as we're all going to be in a different place together and these trips have zero latitude for fistfights or hurt feelings or alpha posturing. It's one of those rare times everyone has time off at once so we're going to capitalize on it and get out of town for a bit.

We're meeting Ben at our destination. He has a little break coming up. It's like the stars are aligning. 

So if you're gonna play your games with me
Better use some real trickery
Better get smart cuz that lock on your heart
It ain't as heavy as it used to be
In the land with no gravity

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Pop-up ex-wife (kill me, please).

I would have apologized to Caleb but then Sophie arrived and August promptly swooped over and distracted me. I didn't know she had already called ahead to tell Caleb she was coming. They don't tell me these things, they let it flash into me and watch it sting.

I was already drunk and so I asked her if she was here for the annual sugar daddy fishing derby. That she could catch a nice one and that I heard that there was one swimming around nearby. Then I laughed and August grabbed my hand and tried to drag me back to the house. Too late though.

August. You look well. 

You too, Soph.

How is life treating you?

Life is good. I have no complaints.

What do you do these days?

Private counseling. 

A lot of clients?

Just one but it's a personal position. Lucrative but I'm here because it's rewarding.

I snort with laughter and cover my face. She stands there towering over me looking poised,

August is my resource. He looks after me now. formally and informally. 

I'm glad to see you're in good hands. She smiles warmly at me. I want to smack her but I probably can't reach.

Just then Caleb comes out and pales slightly because..well, because I'M there.



Glad you could stop by. I have a light supper ready for us if you'd like to come in. 

I would love to. I'm just finishing catching up with Bridget. 

He nods at me and I mouth a good curse or seven at him. August squeezes my hand and makes our excuses. Time to go in. Bridget and I have a record-listening date. 

How lovely. Take care, both of you. 

You too. 

He crushes my hand and drags me away. I'm still imitating her as we arrive on the front porch.

How much have you had?

Enough to have no censor but not enough to barf on anyone's shoes, sadly.

Sorry you had to see her.

Sorry she shows up on my property and flashes her perfection at everything with a cock? Mmmm. Right. I just feel haphazard and chaotic now. And really really drunk.

She's jealous of you, Bridge. 

AHAHAHAHAHA. Of what exactly? That I can fit inside my own handbag? Woo. Yup. Envy me, world. 

That you're loved by many. 

And I drive the rest to die. 


If you're recompensed to make me feel better you best get at it, because the clock is ticking. Are you paid by the hour or the session? The week maybe?

I resorted to a text message apology to Caleb once the alcohol wore off. He never did reply.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Going to go apologize for being a bitch. 

wish me luck~

Same camper, different park.

(Look, if he's going to mean, I'm going to have to match him. Otherwise he'll just eat us alive.)

I tried on a maxi-skirt today at the mall. Were it not for the meter or so of extra fabric underneath my feet, pooling on the floor it was perfect. I look good with a train, do I not? 


I bought a pair of flats, three t-shirts and two dresses instead. The Gap is always fairly kind to me and Lochlan approves, saying I look like 'myself'. Whatever that means. Basic? Casual? Short? 

Average, I think he means, as he had zero use for my outfit this morning as I prepared for a meeting in which I learned Caleb left himself as cosigner on everything and I mean EVERYTHING. I got all dressed up in a summer silk dress and killer heels and lipstick and ducked behind my baby-lawyers to hide while they crafted sternly-worded suggestions in a letter to Caleb that will be delivered tomorrow. 

Happy Canada Day? 


Caleb was in the driveway when I got home, pulling on his best Jeffrey Dean Morgan look, pretending he just 'happened' to be out there when I returned in Sam's Soul. 

(Woah. That sounds odd. It's Sam's Kia Soul. It's like a mini SUV. I love it and he lets me drive it when he borrow's Ben's truck for big jobs. But can you imagine if I could test drive Sam's actual soul? Give me one chance and I'll play God sooner than you can finish asking me if I want to. Second on the to-do list as the Lord would be to resurrect his son. No, the other one. Jacob. Jesus and Jacob, the righteous fucking twins, back from the dead with all y'all souls.)


Diabhal. I nod. 

Happy Canada Day. I'm taking the kids for a beach picnic for lunch. Would you like to join us? 

Not today, thank you. I need to go change and then check in with Daniel. We have a call with Ben in thirty minutes. 

Ah. How is he? 

Daniel or Ben? 


Daniel is doing well but he's uncomfortable. The cast might come off next week. Ben is Ben. 

Ben is Ben. Would you like me to talk to him?

And say what?

That you're hurting and that Lochlan is taking everything Ben worked to build and that maybe it's time to come home. 

Ben knows what time it is.

You're so proud and so stubborn sometimes. 

I can't do anything about this-

Sure you could. Organize a disaster. Orchestrate a meltdown. Cry just hard enough and Ben liquefies and comes running but you won't. Instead you're the walking wounded, lashing out at the rest of us, punishing me, punishing Ben and throwing yourself at the mercy of the logical freak instead of doing what you're expected to do. It isn't self-improvement or progress, it's just a new spin on an old record, Bridget. You're not getting anywhere, you're worse than ever. 

Your confidence in me really is astounding. 

I would protect you. 

From what?


No one can do that. 

Ben could. But you threw him away in order to put all of your newfound trust in someone proven time and time again to be woefully unprepared to manage the scope of your emotions, from the comfort of his grungy little RV, no less.

We'll learn how to do it together. 

You two have learned nothing as the years go by. Absolutely nothing. 

We learned what's important. And what isn't. 

And what isn't important to you both now, that was before?