Wednesday, 30 September 2015

First Ghost Problems.

They're like first world problems, only they're about ghosts. Claus brought up Jake this morning for the first time unbidden, and I took Jake from him, turned him over in my hands, shook him like a snow globe until all of his values began to rain down on the pretty scene inside the glass and then I tucked him on the shelf behind me, words scattered around his feet like faithful, loyal, adventurous, nurturing. Courageous. 

Claus waited for me to say something and instead I changed the subject. I asked him about his future travels and past lives, anything so that I didn't have to disturb Jake again. Not right now. He seems happy where he is. Peaceful even. He's probably dead. I should go check but I'd rather pretend otherwise so just leave me be.

Claus asks about the new house.

Again I change the subject and ask him if he thinks the collective is a healthy environment for us. I know it's fine for the children but I worry about things like PJ's emotional health as a monk and Duncan's sobriety as a monk, too. I worry about Ben's attention span and John's bottomless plaid flannel wardrobe. I worry that days and days go by and Christian doesn't check in but then he's right here and everything is fine. I worry about the Devil breathing down my neck,  snapping it by mistake.

I worry, period. Always will, always have.

The snow globe makes me dizzy. It's fragile but compact, an ecosystem of all the things about life with Jake distilled down into this beautiful little decoration. The glitter is our emotions, like fireworks but in water instead of air. The base is our foundation that we thought we built that caved in. It still looks sturdy from here though. Four feet and a tiny gold key that you turn and it plays Dust in the Wind. I'd throw it at the wall if I wouldn't miss it so it's still surprisingly intact.

Have you ever thrown anything, Bridget?

Whoops. Yes. I throw food if Ben starts a food fight (or a snowball one) and I once threw an entire set of dishes, one at a time, at Sam, coating a room with shards of stoneware. 

Boy, did that ever feel good. Not. Here, you can read about it. Some days I've come to question why I'm detailing my own slow-motion demise, here. I can't even read that. I remember that.

And I'm not a thrower by nature. I bring the tears like the tide in the Bay of Fundy. We've established this time and time again.

Claus finally let me off the hook. He'll find some other way in to those places. Perhaps there's a trap door under a table or a loose board in a fence that will let him in. Until then I'll leave Jake covered with heaps of glitter and drowning in my need to keep him so close.

When Claus hangs up at last I turn and Jake is not a snow globe any more, but a tall memory, fading into the sunlight as he continues to refuse to be confined to the places I try to stuff him into, like the garage, or the snow globe, or, you know, my head.


Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Roser, Jasper, Opal.

Regular season hockey starts in ONE WEEK! What a long summer.

My car arrives on Thursday. Why so long? Yeah, that was my question too. It will be worth it though.

Ten Days until the premiere of season six of The Walking Dead. I've been so patient. I even caved and watched Fear the Walking Dead. It's really good but it's not the original.

Eventually Outlander and Game of Thrones will return too. Oh and American Horror Story, though I didn't like Freakshow all that much after the first episode and am not excited about Hotel either.

I started Christmas shopping, if you can believe it.

My head is still so congested when I sniff really hard my face contracts and makes a sound like a very sweet duck and then the resulting sinus pain is tremendous. At least the coughing has lessened a little. I fought to be functional right through the weekend and I think I mostly succeeded. As they say, I'm a little trooper.

Indeed.

Caleb and Lochlan locked horns about my condition on Sunday. Caleb insisted we bring the doctor back in and Lochlan told him if he knew anything about being a parent, he would have some instincts as to what is a regular cold and what isn't getting better. She's run down, she doesn't sleep through the night, so it takes her longer to recover. That's all. That's Loch's reasoning. Caleb didn't appreciate the parenting dig, and thinks any illness that extends past a day is bad for business and should be fixed with money.

I'm not sure how. Do you boil the cash and make a poultice? Steep coins and drink the tea? Invest in eucalyptus extraction companies?

Don't be a smartass, it doesn't become you, he said to me.

Sure it does. And I sneezed on his lapels and he shook his head and removed his jacket and Loch picked me up under both arms and wrestled me upstairs. I had a hot bath and a long sleep and what do you know, I actually am feeling a little better today for the first time in over a week.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Pizza Pizza.

Out running errands today. Might be buying a car. Still didn't feel well enough to do a lot or be out in the first place, frankly so by two in the afternoon I was mighty hangry and PJ and I were looking for a place for lunch. We wound up at Little Caesars, and walked in where they were just taking fresh pizzas out of the oven that were baked already and then to top it off they were all, hey you want some fresh crazy bread too? and I was like, they have fast food pizza things?Already made? with very wide eyes and PJ nodded and laughed in that way that lets me know that he knows pretty much all of the secrets of the universe and I know nothing at all.

Friday, 25 September 2015

How much money do you think it would cost to cure the common cold (and maybe the uncommon ones too)?

I'm breaking through
I'm bending spoons
I'm keeping flowers in full bloom
I'm looking for answers from the great beyond
Matt is singing in a broken voice this afternoon and we're dissolving into regular gusts of laughter from his efforts to soldier on. He's as sick as I am so Sam has corralled us in front of the fire with hot chocolate drizzled with caramel sauce and whipped cream and all the music we can cram into our blocked and congested ears.

I'm ignoring them in favor of reading. I'm halfway through Voyager and it's so fucking good I want to hit that big imaginary pause button on life and finish it in one go but I'm such a slow reader that by the time I would finish my joints will have rusted over and the children will have children of their own. So I also soldier on with small breaks to read anywhere between two and fifteen pages a night and eventually I will get to the acknowledgements in the back, which I always read with jealous curiosity.

Great, Matt and Sam are going to leave me here for a 'nap', they say, which means more like a little rainy fall afternoon delight and I'm jealous of that too, but frankly Ben strung me out on his own desires last night and I couldn't keep up with him at all.

(That's how you know I'm really sick)

But I feel good enough for mascara and tights today and Lochlan is going to take me out tonight for dinner (maybe sushi) and then we'll come home and watch a movie while I grab a little nap and swear I didn't miss anything good and then do all this again tomorrow except with everyone home. Hopefully I'll feel a little better or at least less bad by then.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Perfectly lucid.

(Dayquil is an equal-opportunity fuckupper.)

The time machine still exists, more than five and a half years on, as a source of endless curiosity and frustration.

The time machine is the dishwasher, for the uninitiated. It's the first one I've ever had. I don't know if it works right and I don't know if we're loading it properly, I just know that people who put steak knives in it blade up and small bowls right behind big plates frustrate me to no end but I always try to remember it's new for everyone else too.

I think the space where it lives in the kitchen would make an amazing bake-station with a pull out pastry marble pocket and sliding shelves to store my Kitchenaid mixer and maybe the bread maker.

I look at new dishwashers and wonder if they would have more space and be a little quieter than this one that sounds like a 777 coming into the kitchen for a landing for a straight forty-five minutes. I wonder if the cutlery basket is even on the right side. I'm wondering if it gets a leak if I would ever know until the kitchen was ruined and I wonder how exactly it's supposed to be a time saver when we have to clean all the dishes, load it, run it and then beg each other to empty it, half of the dishes needing to go into the dish drainer anyway to finish drying because I won't stack wet Tupperware away.

So yeah..not any sort of massive time saver. I guess it's useful as a sort of autoclave if you're terrified of germs (being sick right now, this is becoming a thing I think about) or have an infant or two and only one free hand at any given time to rinse bottles but otherwise just...no.

I don't like it or need it or want it. So when it breaks it gets retrofitted as a bakery station.

Caleb shakes his head. No one is going to buy a house this size without a dishwasher, he says. We always have half an eye to real estate. Otherwise all the staircases would be slides and the pool would actually be a ball pit. But I've sold a big house in a hurry. You can make it yours but in a pinch it's easier if you make it easily imaginable as theirs, too, without a lot of work in between.

However since the pool is being drained this week it's TOTALLY going to become a ball pit.

WIN.

Though last time I was in one, someone had peed in it. YES I KNOW.  I never let Ruth and Henry in one ever again.

What if the dishwasher was a false-front and if you pull it out there's a secret staircase to an underground bunker made up of caves cut out of the cliff? 

Bridget- He pinches the space between his closed eyes. I'm so aggravating.

Hey, it's practical as fuck. 

For what, exactly?

The End of Days, Diabhal
. I tell him with wide eyes, between coughing fits.

The End of Days is going to come even sooner if you don't soon go rest instead of walking around questioning the usefulness of things people have come to rely on for the past sixty years. 

I've had this for FIVE years. I rely on myself! *coughs*

It appears to be going well, too, I see.

You don't know my life. I once washed dishes in a hotel bathroom sink for a month straight. With shampoo. I tell him proudly.

Yes, well, unlike Lochlan, I choose not to force you to live like a vagrant. 

Hey, at least we had dishes. It was better than the place before that. We wound up reusing paper plates. 

Jesus Christ. 

It was actually pretty fun. 

Bridget-

What? 

Can you stop?

Fill the pool with balls and we'll talk, okay? 

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Whatever happened to John Frusciante anyway? He heard I wanted to marry him and went underground, that's what happened.

(So tired today and very sick and I have a weed hangover (not our weed) (wait we dont have any weed) so this will be short and sweet.)

We got to see AC/DC again last night! Indoors this time at BC Place instead of at the old football stadium in Winnipeg. My first stadium show here in the big' city.

It might have been louder last night than 2008 ( I was going to link you to an entry for the show in 2008 but there isn't one because I took a four-month internet break after the wedding.) This time the whole thing seemed very final and amazing. So much love, such a loud band. Twelve hours later my ears are still ringing and I'm a little bit alarmed but I had earplugs in my bag and refused to bow to the wisdom of age that manifested itself in a little voice that was all hey, don't drink that vodka, and you're going to regret those salty nachos, wear your earplugs you moron, and yet congratulated me in the next breath for wearing sneakers.

(I definitely don't fall into the cocktail-dress-and-stilettos-for-concerts category. I wear sneakers, jeans and a t-shirt. Always. What the fuck, why would you not want to be comfortable? Someone please explain. Is it a place people pick up dates? Are they going clubbing afterward? Do they hope to get pulled out of the crowd by a roadie and taken backstage?

Only the second one makes sense, and if that's the case, power to you! You have so much more energy than I.)

What a loud crazy show. So much fun. Vintage Trouble was very rolicking, motowny and retro. I loved their set. But then yeah. I bided my time and AC/DC played Rock n' Roll Train which is my FAVORITE song of theirs and I took a shit ton of video and when we got home my phone was at 12% and asking me if I wanted to shift into low power mode.

Yes, yes I did. And I slept hard as a rock (no they didn't play that.)

Bonus things no one cares about but me:

-I hit every red light on a 49 km drive yesterday. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. In a standard. With a full bladder.
-I drank a vodka and cranberry very fast at the concert so I could suck on the ice. The ice. I don't usually drink at concerts because I have a microscopic bladder but this was necessary because I was sick.
-Last time I was this sick for a concert was almost ten years ago for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Go read about it and I'll see you tomorrow.
-Frusciante has technically retired, if you're interested. What a travesty unto the music world, for he's a fucking genius.

I mean, seriously.


Tuesday, 22 September 2015

At least I made the calls.

Yes, I've been a busy girl this morning. I've already talked to Claus twice in the past twenty-four hours, I found Ben and gave him a hard time for checking out again and I talked to Batman, or rather, I whined briefly about his sudden need to make Loch so busy and he told me to suck it up, that if we want to be norms then norms work hard and don't do nearly the amount of self-aggrandizing and navel-gazing we do.

When did I say I wanted to live like a norm? Do I LOOK like I'm living like a norm? But he had already left because he's definitely a norm and he has things to do. I get to stroll around the pool, steal veggie chips from over PJ's shoulder and pretend I'm useful.

Claus is starting so slowly I lapped him five times. My brain is Nurburgring. There are very few straightaways where you can pick up speed and most people crash. He laughed heartily at my shitty analogy and asked me how I felt today. That's it.

Well, I'm cold. Like really cold and I should get socks and a sweater. 

And? 

Starving. 

What was for breakfast?

Tea and an apple. 

What will you have for lunch? 

Ummm. A ham sandwich with provolone probably. 

What did you do with Joel? 

I hit him over the head with the lamp from the bedside table and at dusk I'll drag his body down to the beach, weigh it down and heave it into the deep water by the dock. What do you think I did? I told him to leave. 

Do you have fantasies about hurting him?

Is this the part where I have to tell the truth? 

Always, dear child. 

No, I don't. But every time I'm in a room with him he is evaluating me. Judging me even. Every action I take seems to be for some sordid purpose in his eyes. If I don't take an offered salmon canape I'm returning to my anorexic ways. If I smile at a man who doesn't live in the house I'm hunting. If I don't say anything I'm withdrawing or escaping. I wish he would stop. I wish he was a fucking plumber. 

When does Lochlan come home?

Around three, I think. He had a 9-1-1 yesterday and he fixed it so today won't be so long. 

What will you do with the rest of the day?

Crash and burn on the track and then baptize myself in the pool and start all over again. 

Maybe you should take it easy for a few days. Be kinder to yourself. 

I would but then I'd probably get used to it. 

I hit the end call button and Claus disappears. Like my nerve, there long enough to be belligerent and then gone in the blink of an eye.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Love Mondays. To death.

He pulled the covers up over our heads this morning when the alarm went off and refused to budge, his lips pressed against my ear, his arms around me tightly.

Don't move. If you move they'll see us and we'll have to get up. 

Who will see us?

...THEM. 

OH NOES. 

YESSES. 

Then let's stay here all day and they'll get bored and move on. 

Except I gotta go to work. Who's idea was this again? 

Yours, I thought? You can stay home and I'll take care of you. 

We had this discussion already. I'll see you at dinner and if I'm lucky, at lunch. 

I can't wait. 

Me neither. Lochlan kisses me hard and off he goes and I burst into tears.

I don't have the guts to call Claus this morning.

I really don't. Deathbed is going through my head in my own voice and Ben didn't come up last night because he gets busy and forgets to live like a human instead of a vampire and I turn off my phone and close my eyes again.

When I wake up next Joel is sitting on the edge of my goddamned bed.

You missed your call window, Bridget.

You can go. I don't know who let you up here but you can go.

PJ wants you to honor your agreements.

PJ's a dead man.

He didn't let me up here. I just came up. He didn't see me.

Even better. Should I scream since you won't go? You're a technical intruder.

You going to keep your promises or not? Claus asked me to referee your sessions with him so you don't shortchange yourself so here I am and you can launch all the personal attacks you like, but you're going downstairs to talk to him via facetime. 

I am but not as long as you're here so if you leave I will. 

You promise? 

GET OUT. 

I'm going but if you're not downstairs in five minutes I'm bringing everyone up with me. 

If you're not out of my house in five minutes I'm calling the cops. 

Oh, it looks like it's a perfect day for Claus after all. Good luck, Bridget. 

I pull the covers back over my head but when it gets hard to breathe I fling them off. I'm alone. The door is closed and it feels like I'll never get back to where I was and all I want is for Loch to come home or Ben to come upstairs and everything else to go away.

That's all.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

The Collective goes to church.

Tea in a hurry this morning. A half-stale cinnamon bun and a lot of surprised looks, not because I thought I found a safe, constructive way to spend time with the Devi for the visible future but because I agreed to spend time with him just as I manage to finally extricate myself from my former casual role as his personal assistant.

Which technically I haven't been able to pull off yet because as well-spoken and charming as he can be, he's not all that good at logistics and I, in a muted panic, seem to specialize in them.

So Sam laid down the law of the Lord and has decided that we're all going to go to church again. Regularly, not just on rainy Sundays or near Easter and Christmas. Every week without fail or absence. This went over well because Ben is sicker than ever and also hates church, the kids would like to sleep in until Wednesday or Thursday and the Devil only goes so he can sit beside me and pretend we're a Stepford family.

I tied eight ties this morning. Perfect Windsors.

Caleb was forced to sit two rows behind me as the army filed in nicely and sat in formation and I was this tiny little silver-golden headed fairy sprite popping up right in the middle. I feel the exact same way when I go to Cathedral Grove. Surrounded by very tall trees.

Sam spoke of knowing when to ask for help from others and ultimately giving it up to the Lord and I stifled a smile because I thought, goddamit, I'm not giving it up for anyone else in this lifetime, I've made enough of a mess as it is. And also I thought again about how much Sam's services differ from Jacob's. Jacob's were surfer-brimstone, all passion and small-town sweetness. Sam's are more city-hipster-casual but rooted in a belief so deep it surprises me, because Sam should have picked a mentor who was more dedicated but he loved Jake so, just like all of us.

Except Ben (Okay he did sometimes), Loch and Caleb. Oh, and Cole. Can't forget Cole. Do I ever forget Cole? I try not to.

PJ loved Jake. And Christian and August and John and I did, that's for sure. Joel did even though he took advantage.

I do, I mean. I still love Jacob. This is not past tense and what I'm trying to do always is get past the point in my head where if Jake walked through the door and into my life again and asked where I stood I'd run to him so fast I'd be a blur.

God didn't ask for fair, he asked for truth and if he promised to be the way and the light, why is it still so dark on my inside?

Sam tells me to come every week and I will find out, in time.

So here I am.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

No longer a point, but instead a principality.

(Because it's a Brave Day, I can do anything.)

A surprise breakfast invitation late last night was a welcome start to what's going to be a long day. Poet (Duncan) asked out of the blue over guitars and tea and everyone kind of froze for a few seconds before recovering and I said sure. It isn't often we can connect without distractions and I haven't actually seen him much since he came back from Nevada.

He took me to a greasy little place with all-day breakfast and we ate maybe five thousand calories each. I could feel my cholesteral levels straining against my dress and boots as we walked back to the truck afterward. Whatever courage he couldn't find in his coffee cup came pouring down the windshield of Ben's truck, mixed with the heavy rain because he looked at me, without starting the engine and said if I needed to blow off steam or deal with my new/old (formally acknowledged, I mean) sex addiction issues he's still offering himself, no strings attached, no drama. I have no secrets any more. They left, along with my dignity and my privacy. We used to be subtle. Suddenly we're not and I find it difficult.

No violence, Poem. His voice breaks slightly. Oh, God, what a sweetheart. Someone please save me from this sort of blindside. I need to be able to see.

I love you, Dunk. Please know it isn't about just needing more. Caleb and I go way back. 

Yes, I'm aware. 

So you understand. 

He isn't good for you, Bridge. 

I don't say anything else on the ride up the highway and once we're parked in the driveway he kisses my forehead really hard and then gets out and I stay there for a few minutes. My phone buzzes and it's Caleb wanting me up at the new house. He's been pretending not to read my words, not to listen to my cries, not to understand that he's the root of all evil and I'm sure that's going to come crashing to a halt the minute I walk through the door. I text Loch that I'm going to the yellow house and I head up the driveway on foot. I don't have an umbrella but it's not far once you pass the top of our driveway.

The door is open and I go inside. The foyer is white marble. Everything. Floors, walls, built-in benches with a half-shelf that circles around. The closet door is redwood with a huge gemmed doorknob.

Oh dear. I say and I laugh. Caleb turns and smiles.

Indeed. It needs not only a woman's touch but a decorator's touch. Our shared hobby is trying to figure out how the very wealthy decorate with no pause to see how things actually look or feel. I'm a tactile decorater. The colors have to be restful or energizing but the room has to be touchable, too. This is sterile, standoffish, clashing and just weird.

How was Claus this morning? 

Very Santa-like. Kind and generous but he's well aware which list I'm on, between naughty and nice. 

And? 

Wait and see. 

What about Duncan? He behave? 

The food was good and the company better. 

That means no, doesn't it?

How bad is the kitchen? I haven't seen the house yet. Caleb bought it outright off the former owners. It wasn't for sale. He offered them their retirement and they took it, probably tired of wondering what's going on down the hill in the circus of the stars. The State of Bridget is now enacted. We're live.

I'm going to gut the house and rebuild. 

That seems expensive. I walk down the steps and across the great room. When I come around the corner I see his point and nod enthusiastically. Yeah. Let's burn it with fire. 

A fun project for you and I for the next year? Something constructive instead of damning? 

Sure. 

Bridget, for what it's worth, I'm sorry. 

No, you're not. You like me this way. 

I want you to be happy. He tries to smile gently but it comes out as a lie.

You're still chasing things you'll never have, Diabhal. 

I can bear the weight to still be a part of your life, Neamhchiontach. 

You think that cross is heavy now, you just wait until we get going. 

Friday, 18 September 2015

Tomorrow's already different, you fuckwads.

I'd rather talk about normal than this so let's just say I got wasted during the course of the interviews and Joel and August collectively called a stop to the whole thing five counselors in. By then I was worn out and sweetly sarcastic and Caleb was getting angrier by the minute. Mostly I would laugh at inopportune times because my phone was vibrating non-stop thanks to Lochlan who was off working for Batman because September is well in hand and that was the deal and I think Loch was really hoping everyone would forget he was employed. Such a dreamer. He's just like me.

Well, except he is way more perspicuous.

And he didn't like not being here for my impetuous inevitable meltdown.

August had a better plan anyway, and it involves bringing Claus out of retirement and setting him up for some facetime calls with me on an almost daily basis for the foreseeable future. Claus says I'm a treat and that he doesn't mind at all, that he'll be happy if he can help in the interim. He said we would see if we couldn't get back to a place where everything isn't quite so raw all the time anymore and then from there we'll deal with my issues with sex and abandonment and OCD and the Devil and the ghosts.

Do I want to talk about sex with Claus? He says it's an addiction so I can but...oh, dear. 

Here we are on the absolute precipice of eight years since Jacob died (Died? Flew, I prefer but I'm no longer permitted to sugarcoat facts just limbs). EIGHT and I still can't get out of my own way and they're holding me up forcing me to live life that I didn't choose, didn't want and don't care for. It wasn't supposed to be this way and I have such brave moments where I can get better, I can move on, I can make more drama between Loch and Caleb and I can feel anything but this but then in the quiet moments it ambushes me. It never goes away, it just waits.

People jump to end this feeling. People jump to make this feeling go away because it's anguish. It's agony and no amount of expertise is going to change how I feel.

So let's just talk about normal please because I can't talk about this all the time. You want to know how I feel but there aren't sufficient words to make you understand and there never will be.

Ben gets it. He's the only one that will ever get it close enough to make sense. I had to hand him my heart and my brain today and he lofted them up and asked which one was which and I had to remind him that it doesn't matter, they're interchangeable. They're so broken he wouldn't argue if he could.

So from here on out let's talk about concerts and clothes and boys. Let's talk about living before I lose my nerve.

I'm okay, really. Thanks for asking.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

This is going to go well.

I didn't hear what you were saying
I live on raw emotion baby
I answer questions never maybe
And I'm not kind if you betray me
So who the hell are you to say we
Never would have made it babe

If you needed love
Well then ask for love
Could have given love
Now I’m taking love
And it’s not my fault
Cause you both deserve
What is coming now
So don’t say a word

Wake up call
Caught you in the morning with another one in my bed
Don't you care about me anymore?
Don’t you care about me? I don't think so
Six foot tall
Came without a warning so I had to shoot him dead
He won't come around here anymore
Come around here? I don't think so
Today we're interviewing (psycho)therapists! Ones who do all their sessions in-home, coming to us. They cost a fucking fortune. Glad the Devil is footing the bill, though he says if it turns into a blame game against him he's pulling the plug. We want Bridget functional, after all. Not useless. 

(Shhhh. You think August and Sam actually told Caleb which parts of me we're going to try and fix?)

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

He was worried. I knew it.

He lifted me right up into his face and kept me there, eyeing me suspiciously. We good? 

I missed you like fuck, Benny. 

That much? I should feel special. 

Yeah, you should. You should have come with us. 

I don't fit in your sardine can, Bee. 

We would've cut a hole in the end for your feet to stick out at night. 

Ah, but I was warm and had so much space here. 

Well, don't like it too much, Ben. 

I woke up constantly looking for you. 

Why didn't you call me then? 

It was four a.m. Plus you two had some things to work out. Did you?

I don't know if we did. But we're happy and we came home missing you like crazy. 

So we're cool? 

Yes? Did you expect that to change? 

Maybe. Hell, I don't know, Bridge. He has his shit together for someone with no actual roots. I wondered if you were going to up and pick a side already and leave me in the dust because I've been so closed off for so long. I was protecting myself from you and it'll probably be the reason you leave me. 

I don't want to leave you. 

Then stay. 

That's the plan. If you don't mind Lochlan staying too. We're the three musketeers, aren't we? 

Yeah. We are.

But you have to stop being so distant, okay? It's gotten really hard. 

You know what else is really hard, Bridget?

 Oh god..

Missing you and feeling bad that I've been checked out for so long. 

I didn't expect you to say that. 

You thought I was going to say my dick?

Yeah. 

That's my girl.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Tiny update, as I still haven't finished making my rounds to say hi to everyone!

Okay, I can feel my fingers now. The only time I could do that all weekend was while we slept (Lochlan's a warm body. Always has been) and when we ran back up to the camper after attempting a swim. Because that little event ended with a bikini on the ground outside and Loch pinned together at the knees when he failed to be able to get his swim trunks off fast enough to take me.

His body was ready but his clothes weren't willing.

(That was very warm indeed.)

The other interesting thing is the first night I had two whiskeys while we were making dinner and then proceeded to fall asleep sitting up wrapped in a blanket holding a hamburger in my hand with one bite out of it that I managed to eat before I checked out. I woke up when he tried to take my burger and deemed him silly for thinking I fell asleep when I totally did. I get really pissed off when people try to wake me and then I'll insist I was fine or I just closed my eyes or something.

We got a lot of talking in too. We walked on the beach and we sat in the camp chairs and we brought all our baggage out and unpacked all of it so we could see what we had. We fought. We put a few entire topics to rest once and for all and we were forced to leave some on hold lest we ruin the trip trying to be right instead of listening.

Okay, that was on me. I tried to be right a lot. I tried to take control because so much of the time I have none but things work better when he's in charge anyway so we agreed to let some things just wait. Just not today.

Sometimes we just slept. That was the best part of all. I could hear the water, it was ten feet away. I could feel the salt in the air. I could taste it. I think I need to move my bed down to the beach, except that when high tide comes in everything pretty much disappears.


Monday, 14 September 2015

Home!

I didn't forget about you, we just didn't have wi-fi.

Or cell service.

Or heat!

Glad to be back. Excuse me while I go jump into the fireplace.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Weight-rated for the elephant.

One of these days while Lochlan is standing there trying desperately to not be smug all the while being perfectly smug, Caleb is just going to take his gun out and shoot him point blank in the side of the head without even looking. Then all of Caleb's problems will be over.

But they won't in reality because we're a package deal. He's stuck with the Joker and the Joker is maybe stuck with the Devil but maybe not.

After all, who won the weekend toss of taking Bridget somewhere new?

That would be the joker, thank you. He tips his imaginary top hat, imaginary because it's upstairs safe in a box.

Caleb is off to San Francisco for a little business trip. I think the whole time he was hoping I'd go with him as his EA. He was so confident he forgot to ask and as it turns out I had other plans which is good because for appearance's sake I should be traveling with Loch or Ben and never with Caleb.

But appearances can be deceiving and frankly I'm not sure I've ever cared what people think.

Alright maybe I do. A little.

In any case the little RV is fully packed (the big one is still being detailed -it actually went back- and is more than a little much for two people used to living in a shoebox)and we're headed out after supper. PJ is dad/mom/everything for the next three nights and if I start to lose my shit Lochlan is to bring me home early, though right this second we're good, we're getting along and we're kind of excited to be heading out on an adventure for two. It's got a little tinge of deja vu and I love that part even though it's in reverse as we were usually on our way home by now, not just starting out.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Of course.

Caleb said absolutely not to our trip this weekend but no matter, we're already packed and he doesn't get a say.

The way it should be, no?

Microdetermination.

If they made me crawl
Would you love me then
If I was small
Would it be okay
Well I can see
The need in everyone
A change of season
A change of season
The presale code for Matthew Good is EXCLUSIVE. Just putting that out there if you're buying tickets like I am.

Against all good advice, mind you but the Devil offered to take me and how could I refuse that? He was the one who found me sitting in my car in the garage with the car running while listening to Matthew Good many years ago when they left me alone in the prairies for a winter. They keep trying to teach me self-reliance and I keep demonstrating that I'm just not ready. There's something about coddling a person their entire life and then suddenly thrusting them out over the flames and telling them not to get burned that smacks of hypocrisy and ineptitude. I told them they weren't parents. They didn't know what they were doing and now decades later they're discovering that their human experiment is failing. She's in agony. She should probably be put down but then who would be the entertainment? Who would make you feel alive?

It's cruel but here I am so I may as well make lemonade, right?

Right. So he's taking me to Matthew Good and probably dinner too but this is in November so I'm not going to get excited yet. I wonder if he's going to expect me to dress up. God, I hope not. Concerts should be fairly comfortable affairs.

Loch and I are packing up to head to Victoria for the weekend for part two of his birthday gift, in lieu of the Burning Man experience. Even though all four boys said they're done, there won't be a next year it's still on my radar for the future. But since it's done I instead booked a sweet two night trip to Victoria and thereabouts to so we can have some time. He forbade the concert with Caleb and Caleb forbade me to go on a trip with Loch so the rules cancel each other out and I'm going to do what I feel is right.

Which is mostly everything I want to do and nothing I don't.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

I've always gone to a vote.

Stop the clocks and turn the world around, let your love lay me down
And when the night is over there’ll be no sound
Lock the box and leave it all behind on the backseat of my mind
And when the night is over where will I rise?

What if I’m already dead, how would I know?
What if I’m already dead, how would I know?
Blisteringly present, always right here in the moment ripping it to shreds only to gather it up and chew it to a pulp until my teeth meet, grinding into each other attempting to leave ruts in my brain. There's a fix for Stockholm Syndrome. It's very intensive therapy coupled with a definitive and glaring absence of the perpetrator.

Perpetrator. Every time I see that word I think Penetrator.

Oh well, what's the fucking difference?

What do you mean by intensive therapy? That sounds like a catch-all.

We would teach you right from wrong, Bridget. Boundaries. What's appropriate. What is okay and what isn't okay. From scratch. We'll start over.

Safe and not safe?

Exactly.

Ever since I was very small 'not safe' held so much more appeal. It was always further, faster, darker, stranger and off I went like a duckling imprinting on a...carny named Loch. But mostly that was because I didn't want anyone to go anywhere without me at all. Those are called abandonment issues. You can't talk people out of those, you can only medicate them into a fine light stupor and they don't make you feel bad about it anymore, they just sit there and scream on the inside.

Makes things easier for everyone.

At the same time I chased the dark I was deathly afraid of it. Afraid of going too far, stepping off the wrong ledge, hooking up with the wrong person, feeling a feeling that might be too strong and explode me into pieces (I guess I don't have to worry about that one anymore, I'm stronger than my emotions. They haven't killed me yet and oh, how they have tried.)

Then I won't be who I am anymore. I won't be Borderline-Bridget anymore and no one will want me.

Lochlan let out a sob and buried his face in his arms as if I am worth him being exploded by his own feelings or something.

Let's do it, Bridget. We'll take it slowly (they started talking to me like I'm eight again, I notice things.)

He's right here. This doesn't work and I may not like the Devil but I still love his little brother and you can't just come and take more people away from me. I'm getting loud and kind of panicky now. Pretty has given way to crazy. Didn't take long. Never does. Just leave it alone. Just don't change anything right now. This works. I try to keep everyone happy but you need to let me do it and stop fighting me all the time. I stand up and PJ's hand goes around my arm, like he's going to keep me there if I run but I'm not running, I'm just terrified that I'm going to have to deal with more absences. More empty chairs at the table. More time for my mind to savor the moment that I've destroyed so fast instead of being good. Normal. Whatever the fuck everyone else is. They want to take my ghosts, they want to take my master. They want everything. They're selfish. They're just like me. Just leave it all just like it is right now. What harm can that do?

You're getting worse. 

I don't see how. I really don't. I mean how can it get worse than it is? And if this is as bad as it gets I can handle it. He just gives empty threats. He wouldn't hurt me. He loves me too and you all can't stand that. You're traitors. You turned your back on him and it made him mean, that's all. It's not my fault. 

Who said it was your fault that he's like this? 

I did. But it's not. I didn't do this to him. You did.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Monday, 7 September 2015

#2.

I feel dumb.

She's a technical he, hitching a ride now to Alaska. They got him her halfway, anyhow.

(Update: I didn't have to worry about Charlotte after all. Not only was she a he, he left a big cheque to pay for having the RV cleaned and detailed as a thank you for the ride and as it turned out, Caleb knows his father. Charlotte is neither pre- nor post-op. He's a cross-dresser who hits up Burning Man annually and has known August for a couple of years already. He loved all of us and our arrangement here and promised to come by the next time he/she is in town. He has a furlough from his law firm and will be traveling for close to the next year. I wished him luck and got a huge hug in return so it worked out well and I was relieved it wasn't what I thought it was and yes, I am well-aware someday I will have to deal with that*.)

(* not cross-dressing, I mean some of the boys meeting girls and leaving the nest. )

#1.

THEY'RE HOME.

Plot twist. They brought an extra person with them. Person's name is Charlotte. Charlotte is kind of pretty and really freaking funny. No one will tell me who she is with exactly and I can't figure this out. Everything needs to be burned. Not sure about Charlotte. Possibly. I'm not sure if I'm fine with this or not.  Will update when I am less green, of course or maybe I'll just dig myself a hole and fill it with my shame for being so selfish.

Outwardly I'm all like Hey! Nice to meet you! Want some lemonade?

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Fifty and sixteen.

Ruth has a job. She also has a learner's permit now and is sixteen years old. She steals all my boots and scarves and wears thigh-high socks to school and we all cringe and wonder if she can handle the attention she gets.

Yes, of course I can, she says and rolls her eyes. Because mom and dad are squares.

Or so she thinks because we've sanded down the sharp edges of life and history for her and while it's essential that she builds as much character as she can as early as is humanly possible, there's just no need to burst this perfectly round bubble that she lives in and needn't leave any time soon. Mom and dad were never squares, we just tone it down to a flat line on purpose around her in order to preserve this fairytale of childhood, the bubble, as long as possible. I don't want her learning the same lessons I learned in my early teen years but at the same time I refuse to spoil her or her brother much at all.

She loved her party. All her friends were there along with most of their parents and a few grandparents for good measure. The teenagers (Henry had a few friends over too) congregated around the pool with tables full of pizzas and music that was loud enough for them to dance to but not so loud that the 'squares' couldn't carry on a conversation up on the patio at our house, where we had other music playing anyway and tiny white lights that were static instead of the pulsing, color-changing LEDs. It was too cool to swim but I believe several of the boys pushed each other in.

(None of the boys seemed to notice how steely the stares were coming from the wall of uncles up on the patio. They maybe should have but eventually they will clue in, I suppose.)

Lochlan loved his party. His whole family came and I flew in a few familiar faces that he was so surprised and touched to see. The food was good and the cake (that I made) was better. He smiled and pretended he had energy when it waned and room when he was stuffed. He was operating at maybe eighty percent by then, I think. The antibiotics are working and he is feeling better. So is Benny, thank heavens.

The whole thing went off without a hitch. Every dish in the house was used. Lochlan is a man of few wants so he got at least fourteen bottles of scotch. He's a man of even fewer needs so he got to dance with his daughter for the first dance of the evening when we merged the parties briefly for some speeches and a joint present in the form of a large photograph of the two of them standing at the water's edge, their long red hair the same exact shade, their hip tilt when standing still a mirror image and their love of faded jeans sealing the deal in almost matching outfits, topped with green and black flannel shirts. His hand is on her back. She is looking up at him. I took it and never showed anyone until now.

They loved it. It's going in the front hall.

The speeches once the guests dwindled down to Collective-only were unbelievable. I can't even. It was amazing. He's fifty. I keep telling myself how weird this is. He's always always a teenager to me and I can't quite sort this out.

But I'm going to bed because cleanup took all of us most of the day and I don't feel so good. At least August and crew are definitely on their way home. They burned the man last night and so the boys packed up and headed out and they're in Oregon now for the night. Too square to drive all night, I guess. The family meeting is delayed until they are rested not only to defuse the whole mess but because August is the house conscience and Duncan? The bouncer.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

The last party of the summer, now in full swing.

He's fifty years old today.

Lochlan.

I kind of want to cry but also I want to ask him if he has finally grown up yet, if he's settled, if he's happy at all. I know sometimes he truly is. I know he loves waking up with me and being close by most of the time now. I know he's not as tough as he once was when we were forced to be, and I know that inside of him lurks a total, off-the-rails bonafide freak because I've seen it with my own eyes. I've seen him waver on the brink of insanity. I've seen him give up only to come roaring back. I've seen him stand by his word time and time again and I've seen him struggle to keep his integrity pure. I've seen him grow up. I've seen him go from an indignant little boy to a pragmatic man to a cornerstone of my life and my memories with nothing more than his attention and love. So focused. So good.

He's a good human. He's the best human. He's a wonderful father and an understanding, patient co-husband. He's a good friend and an honorary brother to all. He's a prince. He's a flame. He is mine and I am his and I really find this birthday stuff getting heavy, getting strange.

I love him and I can't even describe what that's like for us but it's amazing to have known him then and see him now.

Fifty.

Wow.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Rodolfo will be played by Loch, duh.

Today was so busy, I'm sorry. I have a blistering headache now, but I'm up waiting for Ruth who is out with her friends being girly and having fun and tomorrow is the big party.

Everyone's on their best behavior, don't worry. We struck some sort of deferment. A moratorium, if you will, and everyone will just hold tight until at least Sunday and we'll revisit it at a family meeting when the kids are both otherwise engaged and see if we can't figure out which way to go now. Lochlan's done with everything and everyone and I'd follow him off the cliff if he told me to, and he would love it if he could lay down the same kind of law Jacob did in banning me from going near Caleb but...then there's Ben.

Ben's legendary, unwavering plan of attack is to let Bridget do what she wants, an attitude that saved my life once. But is it okay to be so selfish and centered at the expense of someone I love even more than death?

Don't ask me. That question is for Baby-Preacher. Sam didn't have any answers though and lobbed it gently back into my court. Who is most important? He asked. Lochlan? Caleb? Or you, Bridget? 

Is this a trick question? I asked him and I threw the freshly folded stack of bulletins into the air and walked out.

He didn't chase me. He never does. He's more like Ben than like Jake sometimes and that's probably a good thing.

Caleb had crashed the call anyway, suggesting the family meeting before shutting it down and then to add a little salt to an already infected wound he drove over to the church and was sitting out front in the purring R8 in the pouring rain when I walked outside, as if he knew I was going to leave without Sam.

He puts the window down on my side and leans over. Neamhchiontach. Get in. It's raining. 

I can walk. 

Twenty kilometers? Get in. Now.

I do what I'm told.

He didn't even come around and open the door for me. How the mighty, tiny princess has fallen, I guess but then once he belts me in he apologizes for not getting out and opening my door but that he is in a hurry to get home.

He's reading my mind, I think.

Sometimes that's the only help I get from you, he says out loud in response.

I don't say or even think much of anything on the way home. I play music in my head. Classical, sad. Puccini was famous for being sad and difficult so it fits. I annoy the fuck out of myself and probably Caleb too. He HATES La Boheme. It shows all over his face.


Good.

When we stop to wait for the gate to clear at the top of the driveway at home he turns to me and says if I think we're going to get away with cutting him off or pushing him away at this late stage of the game, to be prepared for the fight of my life.

I remind him I've been fighting all along.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Trauma bonds.

This sugarcane
This lemonade
This hurricane, I'm not afraid
C'mon, c'mon no one can see me cry

This lightning storm
This tidal wave
This avalanche, I'm not afraid
C'mon, c'mon no one can see me cry
Sam put on R.E.M. this morning (GOD WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU BRING ME) and left me to fold bulletins while he went to his office and closed the door. He's right this moment on a conference call with Claus, Loch and PJ, Ben and Joel because I keep pinging back to the devil like one of those cup and ball games. They cut the elastic and Caleb ties it neatly back together by being nice.
I don't wanna be with you anymore
I just don't want you anymore
I don't wanna be with you anymore
I just don't want you anymore
I know that's who he's talking to because I had my ear pressed to the door for the better part of twenty minutes before he got smart and turned on the bluetooth speaker in his office and brought it over and set it on the floor facing the door.
That's me in the corner
That's me in the spotlight
It's not like he can do anything. No one can. Caleb holds the whole world hostage through me. With Henry. Cole. With everyone else too and they don't even know it, it seems. All of them who refuse to abandon me to him but can't afford to stay without his generosity. Everyone gets so mad when I go to him but I'm just trying to keep them here. To keep the peace. Both inside and outside my head.
I wear my own crown and sadness and sorrow
and who'd have thought tomorrow could be so strange?
my loss, and here we go again
I don't think Sam should have picked this album (In Time/Best of) but I know he did because it's one of the few that I can listen to on a loop if forced without minding at all. It's sad and profound and also weird.
Broadcast me a joyful noise unto the times, Lord
Count your blessings
We're sick of being jerked around
We all fall down

Its been a bad day
Don't know anyone like that. Oh look, found a mirror. Wow. I look so tired.
So hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Base camp (sometimes a commune, sometimes army barracks).

Today you baked a birthday cake and had to put a note on it so no one will eat it. You can't find your toothbrush, which means someone borrowed it and everyone claims it wasn't their turn to put the clean laundry in the dryer so it was still sitting in the washer when you went down to see Matt.

There are seven bottles of Nyquil if you need it because everyone remembered to buy some, the kids have multiple ride offers for their plans today and if you need a hug there might be a line forming to your left.

When you go out you have to msg two different people, one of whom is always sleeping, to move their trucks and the dog has been walked four times by ten in the morning. That stuck screen door is fixed before you can bring it up and Dalton would like you to change to his religion, which is the religion of nothing where no one follows any books, they just live from day to day and not worry about being so good and just be happy.

You decline because you can count your ministers on one hand while you reach out and touch both of them with the other.

When you can't sleep there is company.

When you want cookies there are never any left.

When the shit hits the fan they close ranks around you like a shield, buffering you from life and they can keep you there until you feel like being hit by life-shrapnel again, or at least until your thick skin grows back over you like armor.

And everywhere you go you're tripping over love, because that's the way this life was designed for you.

***

Batman invited me to lunch today, mostly as a vulture to pick through my remains all the while pretending to be the benevolent anti-devil, save for the fact that he isn't all that much different, to tell you the truth, though his attempts to hire me to be his sugar baby fizzled out early on. He has a weird sort of chemistry with me.  Hot as fuck and yet I can never read him. I want to know what he feels as he feels it and yet he is always closed off to me, rarely forthcoming, occasionally open and engaging but mostly reserved and quiet.

And I'm only like that when I'm done with life and today I'm not that, I'm just me and I chatter and prattle and fidget and blink and he looks so weary by the time our food arrives that I ask if he'd rather have it boxed up to go.

Maybe. Oh hell, yes, let's do that. 

We brought our food back to his house and set up on his garden patio and it was really nice. Not sunny but very overcast and cool. He gave me his jacket to wear and turned on the heaters and we had a leisurely pre-rain picnic at the glass table.

Then he sat back and asked me point blank why I went back to Caleb.

Oh, it's a hollow-point sort of day, I see.

Because if I don't things are worse. 

Bridget, I can't tell if he's coercing you or if you go willingly anymore. Which is it? No poetry this time. Are you continuing this arrangement because you enjoy it or because he makes you?

Um. 

Does he hurt you? 

Define 'hurt'. 

Jesus Christ. What do you get out of this? 

I shrug. Things. 

Such as?

Honesty. Power. Cole.

What do you mean? 

I don't want to talk about this. 

What does Lochlan say?

I don't know, he just opens his mouth and all of this loud swearing comes out. 

But you persist. 

No, the Devil insists. 

I'm not sure whether to save you or kick you off the ledge into the pack of wolves you seem to tease so constantly. 

I don't recall asking you to pick one or the other. Thank you for lunch. I drop my napkin on the table and leave. Suddenly the heater isn't working that well anymore and it's cold.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

The weather is finally perfect for this.

I am NOT going to be sick for this week and weekend upcoming. Je refuse.

Ben does not have pneumonia, so that's good. He has strep which is neat because I got to watch the doctor do the swab test while he gestured at Ben and said, well, which one is in charge of you? I thought it was Mr. C____ and I say no, he just likes to think so and we all have a false laugh because the Devil afforded us a little privacy even though he probably thinks I'm going to procure something to kill him with.

(I would but this doctor is loyal and transparent to Caleb and so I wouldn't get very far and the Devil might not be so forgiving if he thought I actually was going to murder him outright. Instead I'm going to kill him slowly. With my mind. That's how it works.

(I think.)

I'm not killing Ben though. His immune system is fucked. He has some health issues but he does okay and he'll be fine in time for the weekend, he just needs rest.

Snort.

That's my fault. I may have had trouble sleeping so for once I dug right under his shoulder, wedging myself in against him, shaking him back and forth slightly until he came to life and asked what was wrong. I shook my head and burrowed in further and his arms came around me and then he did the pajama puzzle to get them off me and that was that. Oh, boy, were we ever awake now.

He was slow and sleepy and found it hard to breathe so for once it was perfunctory and satisfying instead of hours-long and Olympic. We both fell asleep again for a little longer. He's still there now, but so is Loch, who we found out yesterday is not having trouble breathing from the smoke in the air, but because he has strep too.

I tested negative.

The doctor said give it time, as if I was a seed planted and they were waiting for me to sprout.

(Yes, that euphemism goes for miles because they always promised me I would be taller and I haven't grown since I was ten.)

This one doesn't sprout. She must be a dud. 

Indeed.

So we're going to lay low for a couple of days and see if we can't get everyone better. I get to play nurse. But I'm going to be the twitchy Silent Hill nurse, featureless-faced, wrapped in bandages and sighing in my stilettos because I kept that costume and it's almost Halloween time again.

Oh, who am I kidding? I wear it all the time.