Saturday, 31 October 2015


Got a cheer this morning when I appeared at breakfast. Dressed and showered and only holding my head when no one is looking.

And all you people want to know is how big is the bathtub in the master wing ensuite?

It's big. Really big. I think a giant built this house. There's a couch in the bathroom too. A sitting room with bookshelves and a fireplace.

But yeah, that bathtub is big. It's like a small hot tub but oval. No jets. Just a soaker tub that fits us without a lot of room to spare and a nice big window for lots of light.

I kind of love it and love hot baths so it works and if it fits Ben easily, well that's a bonus because he's six foot four and all legs.

And eyes. Big gorgeous dark brown eyes that warm me without having to light a fire for the bath. I could eat him up with a spoon sometimes because of those chocolate-hot coffee eyes.

Snort. Light. I mean press a button on a wall and flames appear. Shazam.


Schuyler and Daniel are having a feast for their anniversary and anyone who wants to come is invited except they didn't think I would like it so they cautioned me to be prepared. I walked into their kitchen, saw a huge platter of crawfish and screamed. I don't like baby lobsters. They're spooky.

I will never live this down.

They had a wonderful anniversary for the record and are doing amazingly well. We got them a porch swing for their present. It's hard to leave but I did because they needed privacy. They couldn't keep their hands off each other after a while and I worried I might get rolled up into their plans if I didn't make my exit sooner rather than later.


I went to Fat Burger last night for the first time. Overpriced? Undercooked. Not inspired. Expensive chain with few tricks? Will go back and try something non-burger. I'm not a food snob but come on.

I mean really. I'm not. Went downtown for ACDC, wound up eating nachos in the stadium hallway. Rush show? Pizza Hut in the arena hallway. I'm maybe the furthest thing from a food snob you've ever seen. And I'm hungry today. Really hungry which means I'm getting better finally.


Update: Fat Burger got another visit and has redeemed itself. Ben figures I probably was too sick to enjoy it the first time and also cannot possibly eat one of their burgers because they're too big for me and should stick to baby burgers or pretty much anything else. He's right and the nacho fries were divine. Also the chicken tenders. And the wings. Poutine. Alright. Now I see why they call it what they do.

Friday, 30 October 2015

I spy five birds, a small safety-pin, a pinecone, a spring and a pumpkin's grin.

Something about being sick sees me spoiled rotten, if only I were well enough to enjoy it. Trust me, I'll enjoy it when I feel better but for now I'm moved to tears every time someone comes in and sits down on the edge of the bed and says I brought you something.

Ben brought me eggs Benedict take out from the place we go to sometimes. Extra hot. With potatoes on the side and juice too. He said Feed a fever, right? And I ate everything. Then I slept, the sleep you can only have if you don't have to get out of bed ever again. It was glorious. I'm up all night so I'm enjoying the drifting off during the day. It's like being on a boat that's been cut from it's anchor except that I am double-tied.

August brought me a bracelet to balance my chakras, tying it firmly on my wrist. You need to get yourself in order, he said. I asked if he would be back later with his singing bowl and he got all excited. I will! I didn't think you were interested in that!

PJ brought me I Spy Spooky Night because I used to spend hours searching for the things in those books with the children on snow days or when they were sick in bed. He helped finish the first pages and then left me to find the rest. It'll keep you busy, he said.  

Lochlan brought contraband Laphroaig, and we had a toast to our good health and then a good ironic laugh because who is healthy? Not I. I slept hard after that. Licking gravestones is exhausting. He said, Sleep, Baby Girl, which is where Cole got it from.

Cole came and fluffed his wings and left black feathers all over the floor. When my fever broke, they were gone. Sleep, Baby Girl, indeed.

The devil brought me a visit with my soul. It's got a few cracks and when I held it up sideways, sand poured out of it in a fine stream like an hourglass. You said you'd take care of it, I accused.

I did, he said. I left it the way I took it from you, from the beach at low tide. Time hasn't marched on, Neamhchiontach. It stands still. 

Duncan came up and made me an offer I couldn't refuse. Want me to sit outside your door and keep these clowns out so you can get a little rest for a couple hours or so? 

Yeah, that would be great. I smiled at him so weakly I'm sure he thinks I'm about to die but instead of panicking he pats his iPad and leans down to kiss me on the forehead. You smell funny. Have you been drinking? 

Just a toast to my good health. Apparently that's how the Scots fix everything. 

Naw, Bridge, that's how they break everything. I'm not letting him back in. 

That's fine. But only for a couple hours, okay? If I sleep too long I'll be up all night again. 

When I do wake up I have missed supper and there is a small pile of offerings beside Duncan, out on the landing in the big easy chair with the ottoman by the window.  Flowers from Corey, A whole gift basket of treats and comforts from Sam and Matt, and the promise of a Halo 5 tutorial from Dalton, because there's no local multiplayer and that sucks. And Duncan is replaced by Schuyler and Daniel, who take up residence on either side of me in bed and proceed to spend the rest of the late afternoon watching movies on my laptop and snarking on my appearance until I kick them out, replacing them with Lochlan and Ben, who now complain that the bed smells like Chanel Number five and coffee.

It does.

We change it. I am just about to crawl back in when Ben stops me, saying I really need a shower. It's been two days. I smell like a boy.

This surprises you? I laugh and then cry because I feel too weak. He reworks it to be a bath for three and we strip down and pile into a steaming hot tub, with a boy at each end and I get the middle. Ben rubs my feet while Loch washes my hair and then we add more bubbles and hot water and I float until I'm weaker still. A butter not, because now I can't move at all and this was a mistake. It wasn't though, as Ben pulls me out, wraps me in a warm towel and sends me back to bed while they go downstairs to clean up dinner.

And now I'm wide awake.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Cloudy and seventeen. Not sure if you'll get gibberish or just poor editing here so humor me.

I figured it out.

I'm allergic to rain.

It figures, since I am also allergic to cold weather, snow, wind and too-hot sun. I told this to Loch before and he laughed and agreed with me. Today he just rested the back of his hand against my forehead, frowned into my eyes and then refilled the humidifier and checked to see if my juice was still cold.

It's the high point of the day now. I get fifteen minutes with my laptop  to do emails and everything before he takes it and I go back to sleep for the rest of the day, which is dumb because today is our anniversary and it's supposed to be a special, exciting day out of the ordinary, a day in which we celebrate our fourth anniversary as old marrieds, except we're technically not married because that's illegal here but we don't really mind because this is a choice not a birthright like gay marriage and I doubt there are ever going to be a lot of people fighting to be married to more than one person at once because as everyone always says marriage is hard enough with one other person, let alone two.

Being sick is harder though so I'm going to try to get better. Rest. Fluids. Blah. The flu sucks. They let the Russian doctor (the old one, they don't trust the younger son in emergencies such as Our Princess Is Sick) all the way into my inner sanctum (bedroom) because I couldn't walk to the bathroom even and Ben helped me and then I couldn't pull the covers back up because my head hurts so bad so Ben did that too and he didn't like it so he called it in and nope, it's just the flu because there's a lot of people living here and I'm never a very good fighter so I just get everything and go down for the count while they generally work through it or fight through it and come out okay. Ben joked that if I doubled my weight I would probably be okay but then I pushed away the toast I couldn't eat. It's not going to happen any time soon.

But I still remember that morning on the cove when the fog was still low and it was chilly at sunrise and Lochlan took my hands and told me I was his heart and I thought good when he said that because mine had liquified and absorbed into my body and my hands shook because I thought my head might explode from happiness because it doesn't know what to do with that feeling, it's fleeting and unfamiliar but somehow we persevered when we were always fractured before, we made it through when we usually get so bogged down and we still have Ben with us and he's a gleeful sort of happy that doesn't go away easily anymore so maybe I can let my guard down for thirty seconds or so and just enjoy it while I get better. They've promised me scary movies and pizza in bed later and maybe a champagne toast if I'm still awake after that and god knows Ben can't keep his hands off me but Loch will probably yell at him for pushing too hard while I'm too sick to meet him halfway and that will be par for the course because that's how it goes and I don't mind, I'm just pinching my grey skin today and marvelling at how happy I am (and how pale too). Geez.

Here comes Loch. Fresh juice, grim face, a late rose from our garden in a vase, and the ipad because I can read it lying down. Things have changed from the days in the camper when he would steal bags of ice from the bin by campground office and pack them so tightly around me that he would have to sleep on the floor for the lack of remaining space.

God love him, we finally found some first-world problems to have. Don't think we don't know how lucky we are here.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Princess of good intentions.

This is what cancellation insurance looks like but it's okay, we have an open invitation to reschedule our trip (pending availability) which involved a long drive to a remote but exceedingly well-appointed mountain cabin for a close but far getaway for three. A staffed cabin with wi-fi and a huge bathtub and four fireplaces so 'cabin' might be selling it short, here.

Except I woke up with a fever of a hundred and four and chills and delerium and hallucinations and can't walk a straight line to save my soul. Caleb told me I'm allergic to being without him. Ben said he knew the fact that I had the sniffles and was uncharacteristically draggy and uninspired this week was going to result in something awful and Lochlan said You have the flu. We'll go another time.

I laughed and told him I said already I wanted to spend our anniversary in bed and it looks like I got my wish.

Netflix and chill it is.

Or I suppose, Netflix and chills.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015


I sat through my sessions this morning with Claus,  then with August and Sam and then with Joel too and then finally I was released to Daniel who helped me soak off the nail tips and all of the acrylic goo. I wound up with my fingers wrapped in acetone and tinfoil for the better part of forty minutes, all told, but there's no damage to my actual nails and I can feel my fingertips again.

What an awful feeling. I can only imagine what breast implants feel like. God.

I promptly painted my very short nails black and now I feel like me again.


Lochlan was gone for the morning, heading out with Ben for a monthly No Girls Allowed breakfast in which they discuss me (I could tell because my ears were burning) and then he worked for a couple hours and now he's home. I have to pack for our trip but he won't tell me where we're going, only that it involves a little bit of everything so dress comfortable.  I will probably just let him pack for me then. Ben came back in between and said Loch seemed lifted and confident, happy instead of defeated, humiliated and in turmoil. Then Ben looked up and said he didn't mean to say that and I said he should have, that if everything is sugar-coated then nothing is good for me, right?

And he said if you're finally fixed after all these years what are we going to do with all of this new free time, Bee? 

We're going to fuck, Ben. We're going to fuck like rabbits and it's going to be so good you won't remember that there was a Before Normal and After Perfect.

I love it when the strangest, filthiest things come out of that perfect little mouth. 

Come out? 

I mean go in. 

Jesus, Ben. 

You started it. 


What happens when he comes looking for you?

I keep doing what I've been doing, Loch. We've had breaks before. 

Is that what this is? A break?

I don't know what this is, to be honest. I just don't want to hurt you. 

Maybe we're even now. 


He squeezes my hand and I squeeze back as one of those concrete-kisses lands against my forehead. Every kiss, each word has weight with this one. Every gesture has a meaning a thousand layers deep. Every emotion is turned inside out and worn for all to see. If ever there was a mate to the soul I used to have then it's definitely his.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Part 2: Death of a Party.

Ben looks at me in the candlelight but doesn't address me directly. It's like I'm not in the room but no way is Lochlan going to take his eyes off me for a second.

Let her have what she wants, Brother. Be generous. It works. 

I can't. Loch is stoic and anguished. He'd like to be as confident as Ben but most of the time Ben finds his courage in a barrel, bottled after twelve or twenty years.

He can't have her the way he wants and so all this does is function as a transaction. She keeps her predictable routine, he goes away for a little while. You don't want him leaning on her or you, for that matter, if she puts him off indefinitely.

I don't want him touching her.

Don't think about it like that. Think about her coming back to you.

Hey. I almost shout it from my place beside the window and they both stop and look at me. If you don't want me to go, we won't go. If it's not a good time or you think I can get around it some other way then I will. I don't want you to be so unhappy, Loch. 

Since when do you listen to me. 

I'm trying to Proper. Righted. Less insane. 

You're not insane, Baby-

I know exactly what I am. And you still want me anyway. You think I'm going to risk that now? 


Five in the morning and I crawl into bed with the Devil. He left lights on and glasses out. He really thought I would cave in and come to him but I didn't. Not the way he wanted me to, anyway. He wakes up slowly. I watch his eyelashes flutter and his head lift in confusion, arms coming down around me. The horns are hidden, the goatee gone, and all he is now is a man in pajama pants and tangled sheets. A restless sleeper. A devil with his stinger removed.

He clutches me tightly against his chest.

I'm going to miss you, Diabhal, I whisper but I don't think he's still awake to listen.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Part 1: Death of the party.

I could hear people as I moved from room to room, checking to see that food was being circulated, drinks refilled and everything was clean. I don't have to do this, it's technically Caleb's job once I make the calls, but it feels like my responsibility all the same. Plus I hate mingling with people I don't know but who know me, or at least like to pretend they do.

Someone grips my elbow a little too tightly in her claws. I turn to see one of the wives of Caleb's former partners from Ontario, with garish makeup settled into the lines on her face that even a stellar plastic surgeon couldn't erase.

I hear you are the party planner? Can you tell me more about the fire juggler? I think I'd like to hire him for a night-or maybe a lifetime! She cackles as I move to the window and look out, ignoring her. Loch is in the driveway surrounded in a half-circle by Caleb's cronies. He's dispensed with the flowy flammable shirt but kept the vest on with those tight jeans (not mine) and is throwing his batons to raucous applause. He's concentrating but charming too. Smiling, and keeping up a banter with the crowd but sometimes letting the conversation fade as he does more difficult throws.

He looks damned hot.


The woman with the claws chases up behind me. Maybe you have a card for him?

I turn and try not to glare at her. That's my husband.

Oh, I didn't know. I thought you and Caleb were-

No, Caleb is my brother-in-law. I don't want to do this right now. I want to escape.

Oh, I was mistaken then. I heard through the grapevine that you were together. She looks doubtful.

No, sorry.

Maybe you can play matchmaker for me then, if Caleb is the eligible bachelor?

Isn't your husband out there? I point toward the driveway crowd and she laughs harder and pats my arm sympathetically, because I don't get her joke. I excuse myself finally and head outside to watch Lochlan, with a bottled water for him. He gets warm, unsurprisingly, when he performs.

He sees me and wraps it up. Maybe later on I'll do a little more. Thanks for the attention, kind folks. A hat is passed. They don't realize he isn't hired entertainment. He collects some six hundred dollars and change, several business cards for people who want to hire him and far too many admiring stares from the women in the group.

He hands me the hat and shrugs. I don't know who it belongs to. And then he kisses my forehead and wraps his arm around my neck. Several people remain, watching openly as he stares at me, with that look that we exchange that apparently makes other people burst into flames on the spot.

Case in point as Caleb steps forward, putting a hand on Lochlan's back.

You're a hit, he says. Caleb is dressed (not at all ironically) as the Devil, but in a seventies cut three-piece pinstripe disco suit and he has shaved his facial stubble into a goatee. He added horns from a theatrical makeup kit and all-black contact lenses that color his entire eye surface. They're bottomless and hungry. They're frightening too. His costume seems so normal and yet out there for him. He rarely dresses up.

He is frightfully drunk as well and has forgotten Lochlan hates his guts.

You two. When Ben goes to bed, come back for a nightcap.

Not tonight, asshole, Loch tells him and picks up the torches.

Maybe. We'll see. I'd rather leave Caleb twisting in the wind then outright angry at our refusal.

Bridget- Loch's warning is predictable.

We'll see how tired I feel. I smile at Caleb. Trying to keep the peace and pull the rug out from under him at once. I bat my giant fake eyelashes at him and he grins dazzlingly back at me.

Go have a coffee and some sugar, baby. That will perk you up. He kisses my cheek and heads back into the house.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Save the night.

Lochlan leans back against the headboard and closes his eyes, the quilt pulled up to his waist, a stupid sleepy smile on his face. Had it been 1985, 1995 or 2005 he would have lit a cigarette by now but it's 2015 and he doesn't smoke anymore. No one is allowed to smoke in the house anyway.


I smile. Come on. We have to get ready. It's late.

It's true. You are.

I know.


Caleb is throwing a party tonight, at the new house since it's staged perfectly (still, having come with the few pieces that populate its rooms) and isn't a place where anyone lives, therefore being perfect and mysterious for the man who loves keeping people guessing all the time. The theme is the 1960s and so I'm going as Twiggy, which mostly involves platform boots and eyelashes. Ben is being Elvis, but from the bloated Vegas years with prescription bottles spilling out of his costume and a toilet seat glued to his behind, and Lochlan is going to be..

Wait for it.

Janis Joplin.

Because he can, though I suggested he borrow my skinny jeans and go as Robert Plant. He didn't think that would be as fun.

Our escape plan is simple. Eat some salmon canapes with capers (flesh d'oeuvres), have a couple glasses of blood-red champagne or black punch and then run like the fucking wind when all of the networking people have left because the minute they do the devil puts a target on my back. Halloween is his thing, only Loch put the kibosh on that already earlier in the fall by planning a little romantic getaway for the three of us to celebrate our anniversary next week. We won't be here, so Caleb acted quickly and threw together this little shindig and surprisingly had a great amount of positive RSVPs. I arranged for the decorator and the caterer myself and didn't have to buy a thing for my outfit save for the false eyelashes.

Ben had a costume in his closet.. Because...yeah..stretch satin with sequins. We don't go there. I want to hope it's from Halloween years ago just...never...know.

We're not even going to talk about the whole Janis thing but if you saw Lochlan's hair right now you would nod enthusiastically and say yes, that's perfect. I straightened his hair for him this morning already and the humidity brought a little wave back into it and it's well past his shoulders again and nothing short of hilarious so why the hell not?

(And yes, we'll pat him down for weapons before we go.)

The best part of this party will be the scary SWAG bags I have for everyone as they leave. I stole the idea from a tech party I went to at the aquarium once and it's going to be awesome. They have glow sticks, masquerade masks, white candles that drip red wax when lit, a candy apple, chocolate eyeballs, lady fingers and gift cards for the movie theater with free popcorn but only if they use them for horror movies. They are wrapped in a bag with Frankenstein's monster silk-screened on the outside. It's reusable but I'm guessing only someone like me would use it as a daily driver.

I did good. The Devil is proud.

Let's see if he will be harmless.

Better yet! Let's see who he dresses up as!

Friday, 23 October 2015

I'm sorry for breaking your heart.

I bought Adele's new single before I was even out of my pajamas. And then I tested the turkey soup from Christmas, thinking it was bad and it wasn't and I ate two bowls full and now my belly hurts but it's Friday so I'll soldier on.

Oh. When the chorus kicks in at 1:09. That VOICE. Jesus. She's amazing.

Did I mention it's Friday?

Did I mention they're all hovering close, being kind and quiet and sweet, waiting for me to self-destruct with regret over not reading the letters, especially since I am the Most Curious Person In The World but it seems like I'm tired of my own shit. I'm tired of dead people running my life. I'm tired of memories sabotaging what could have been perfectly good days if only I had let them see the sun, instead trampling them down flat and pulling a black cloud over the tops of them until they had no tools with which to thrive and I had nothing handy with which to change. Maybe I just reached a point with a plan to get through the future in case it doesn't go according to plan and a whole different plan to just be happy. Guarded but happy. Bearing my scars without any goddamned apologies anymore but smiling up front so you see it first, before you can see how horribly disfigured I am when the whole picture comes into focus.

No more apologies.

No more ghosts.

Temporary? Sure. I don't know. I wanted some of my own power back and I got it. Maybe it's just a strong day. Maybe I'm trying to hard to honor everyone, honoring those who stuck around and made the effort to put up with me and withstand my doubt, my mistrust and my terrible insecurities that drown everything within a seven-hundred mile radius, a veritable tsunami of refusal to let you forget I got my heart broken so badly it couldn't be fixed.

But it still works and that's the important part.

That's the bottom line.

That's the road home.

And now I honor myself.

Because *I* deserve it. I'm still here. I deserve to be loved. I deserve to be happy. I deserve this.

I also...really deserve not to be listening to these triumphantly sad songs at six o'clock in the morning, don't I?

Thursday, 22 October 2015


Wowee. I get to spend the afternoon with Caleb and Lochlan at the high school for our parent-teacher interviews in which we are asked what we do while they prepare their notes on our children. Caleb always says he's a solicitor, which sounds pretentious as fuck and then I watch him pale when I point out I was a circus performer but now I'm a stay-at-home mom.

Executive Assistant, Caleb will correct me.

Temporarily, yeah. I'm a temp then. Everything is temporary anyhow, I tell the teachers with a smile and they wonder what I did in the circus just like they wonder what life is like at our home address because people talk and everyone knows Henry and Ruth live in a commune.

Caleb will be satisfied with Henry's high marks and efforts in class, while Lochlan will fret every last vestige of his quite unscholarly genetics that leave teachers telling us Ruth is such a sweet girl but she daydreams and if she only applied herself, she would go places. Loch will look up from a dizzying pile of hard-fought essays and say This is how I know she WILL go places. Because she doesn't want to be in here doing reports. 

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Pro. Found./ Am. Lost.

I turned my head and Sam threw it all into the fire. Three in the morning, pitch-dark sky, bone-chill wind, unread words on pages I didn't even unfold. He dug until he found everything that remained (things I had no energy to look for because every time I did it felt like someone was standing on my chest, keeping me from breathing, proper) and then he burned it all. Loch lit the fire, Ben took up sentry duty, throwing his arms wide or taking a step to block me every time I moved.

I used that fire to warm my bones and I refused to give the momentum any weight at all. I refused to acknowledge this big thing, the fact that every time I walked in on him ostensibly writing a sermon over the course of eighteen months, that he was living a lie and writing me a goodbye letter instead, which is why this fire tonight burns so large, so brightly.

So many letters I'll never read. So many words, up in smoke. Ideas sparked and dead in the ashes. Like Jake. It serves no purpose to read his words any more. I know what it was. I know what he could and couldn't do. It still amazes me to think about how he wasn't strong in the end, something he raked Ben through fire for, because he was afraid the mirror would show his own face instead of Ben's.

Lochlan, bless his heart, hasn't said a word. The tears rolled down my face and he took his entire flannel-covered forearm and wiped my face and simply turned me back to Sam to watch the flames until they died too. Like Jake. Like the letters I will never know, or the man I didn't get to grow old with because I was tough and he was a goddamned chickenshit.

Be angry, Sam says. This is good. 

What is? Memory Rage? The only person I can take it out on isn't here anymore. How is this good?

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

When I open the door the room has been ransacked. Papers have rained down over everything, drawers are pulled out and upended on the floor, chairs are knocked over and the blinds are tangled and bent, strings knotted permanently. Half the lightbulbs are burnt out and several are broken off in the spartan fixtures. The memory thief made a break and enter, I think.

Sorry, Bridge. I had some work to do in here. I'll tidy up within the week.

Why didn't you ask me, Sam?

You were busy.

What were you looking for?

Some of the good parts so I have enough ammunition for the war coming up. I aim to wound but it better be good, you know what I mean?

I do. I nod at him. I've decided to attend the war unarmed for once and see if I can make it out unscathed.

I just want to bring you down in a positive way that won't scar, if it comes to that.

I understand.

I didn't mean to leave it in such a mess, though. I didn't think you'd be in here, to be honest.

I'm in here every day. What are you talking about?

Which files did you access?

Whatever I want. Why? Am I suddenly not allowed?

I'd prefer it if you waited for me to go with you. It's so dark and bleak. Almost dangerous.

I know. It's easier that way, Sam.

I know it is.

But what exactly were you looking for that involves knocking over chairs?

The rest of the letters, Bridget. I'd like to find them before you do.

Monday, 19 October 2015

"Life is on both sides of the coin: Death is only on the edge."

Ben got his one-week chip this morning. It says EVERY DAY IS A GIFT. Receipt of it came a day late but he stuck around with me yesterday and wouldn't even leave me in perfectly good company to go to his meeting despite being ordered to do so. I was kind of glad he stuck around, to be honest, but since I am the supreme cause/enabler let's just say he went straight out this morning with Sam and took possession of this latest chip with great pride and humility. He showed it to me when he came home.

I have a coin I put in my pocket every morning too but it's got Saint Patrick on it and it is a lucky coin. It keeps anyone else from dying as long as I have it. I've put it through the wash fifty times. I once gave it to Skateboard Jesus and had to flag him down and take it back after I got halfway down the block and realized I gave it away. I've tried to jam it into parking meters and shopping carts but it's determined to see me through and so maybe a coin token is the perfect little fiddly reminder for Ben, who's brain works at only a marginally-less screamy rate than mine. He seems to be a big pea in my pod. I wish I could fix him and he sorely, newly wishes he could fix me. I guess that makes us even at last.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Allergic to treating myself, or something.

Saturday somehow went to hell in a handbasket as I had possibly one of the worst migraines of my young life take over by lunchtime and try to take me out. I would have gone to the hospital for shots like back in the good old days but it frankly hurt too much to move so I cried until I was sent to bed and there I laid and cried some more. I had been planning to tell you that I went back to the pharmacy and brought home a few boxes of the Relpax, on prescription, because the Cambia isn't portable and because it works best if you take it right away and I always wait until I know it's a migraine for sure, usually missing the window of opportunity to fix it and sending myself down a rabbit hole of physical misery, which is better than emotional misery, right?

So I took a Relpax (NSAID) in the morning and then another three hours later, as instructed. And then my head exploded so I can only tell you that it not only didn't dent the pain, instead it seemingly magnified it.

Lochlan blamed the sushi we had Friday night. I blame wakeful sleeping and psychic stress and anything else you want to offer up, frankly. I wondered if the nail tips squeezing my nails had done it. I gave myself checkpoints to make it to (if I wake up like this I'll go to the ER) and then Sunday morning I slept in until I could get up without wincing and moved in slow-motion throughout the day. I did no cooking or chores, we mostly got caught up on our television series that we wanted to watch (finishing Season One of The Strain, SO GOOD) and I'm still moving gingerly today, not pushing too hard because my head feels sore and I'm just completely out of whack now. Still.

As always?

I know. Slow down, Bridget. Stop stressing the fuck out over every little thing.

Why is that such a tall order for such a small girl?

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Nailed it.

Might have fallen into a nail salon yesterday afternoon(blame Daniel and Schuyler and their metrosexuality) and came home with a french manicure on long glamorous nails (solar? Something acrylic tips). I can't pick up pennies off the floor nor can I button my jeans but I don't have stubby eight-year-old hands now.

The downsides are that I feel like I have press-on nails on right now, I can't pick up pennies off the floor nor can I button those damned jeans and also the jury is out on whether or not Bridget can successful look or act like a girl.

I think the jury came back with a no because I also went to Schuyler's Korean barber and let him cut my hair back into a sticking-up pixie and then I promptly used my new nails to finish scraping all the grout off the shower door so it can be redone.

I don't know about this at all.

Daniel and Schuyler were thrilled. Treat yourself, Bridge! 

(How am I supposed to do that when you paid for it?)

Caleb nodded his approval. Look how neat and pulled together you look-
(Aye. Fuck off.)

Ben was all Ha! You got the porn nails. Yeesh, glad you didn't have those when we hit the chandelier! I'd be one-eyed Ben the Pirate now. Also, don't touch my junk with those. They hurt.

(Forgot. He had another life once.)

August and PJ shared their opinion. This doesn't seem like you. 

(Tell me about it.)

Lochlan didn't mince his words at all. When can you take them off? 


Ruth wants to get hers done now. I think they're okay but when they start to grow out I'll probably take the chainsaw to them. I can't see going back to have them redone or doing this long term. I can't type. I can't wipe my ass. And I feel like a total impostor. Loch is usually right, and he has a lot of generosity and patience for my experimenting but at the same time I think he knows me better than I know myself.

Friday, 16 October 2015

We're good, thanks.

(I almost called this one Adjustable Brightness.)

I was standing in the foyer, just a step or two past the door to the hallway that leads down toward the kitchen, talking to Duncan who was waiting for Ben to come so they could go to a meeting. Duncan is going four times a week right now and is doing well. Ben goes every day and is doing well, admitting now that his plan backfired rather terribly.

So I didn't hear Ben come down the hall and duck behind me, sticking his head right through between my knees and then standing up so I was now sitting on his shoulders. Then two things happened. One, he failed to gauge how close I was to the chandelier and two, when I hit the chandelier I tilted backwards and to the left and grabbed for purchase. Purchase was his head, and as I screamed, I gouged a deep scrape right across his eye and cheek.

Duncan just stood there and laughed.

I managed to break two lightbulbs with my own head and have a huge bruise on my temple and a scratch on my neck and Ben only bled a little bit but we bandaged him up (no stitches required) and now he looks scarier than ever. 

Happy Friday.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Metal devil.

I bought our Iron Maiden tickets this morning while sitting on the cold white marble floor of the hallway of house number four, having chose correctly for the myriad of presale passwords I had for some really good seats. We don't get comp tickets much any more these days. Ben has chosen to leave most of those circles in which handshakes beget events and then I somehow wind up doing music videos for bands whose names I can't even pronounce without a shitload of priming beforehand.

Truth be told I know two Maiden songs. Run for the Hills and...and Ace of...well it's not Spades because that's Motorhead.

Aces High?

Ah yes. I have six months to sort them out.

Oh WAIT. I know Number of the Beast. Hallowed be thy Name. Fear of the Dark. Okay, I'm good. I pull a fist down in victory from my sprawl on the floor and Caleb comes back in, shooting a cuff, checking the Breitling, probably to make sure I haven't stolen it off his wrist moreso than for the time and he looks kind of pissed off.

How on earth is Pyro going to know if we leave the point. I have things to do and I'm not going to remain stuck here because he 'said so'. 

Well, I have to so if you have work with me than we do it here. I have an imaginary perimeter. Like a dog. An invisible fence. I laugh and he does..not.

Did you have one of these on the Midway?

Of course. I was a little kid. 

You were a teenager. 

Twelve doesn't have the word teen in it, does it? I ask him innocently. I am rewarded with that look that indicates he can't even believe I have spoken back to him.

Get your things. We need to have some breakfast and then I have some things to do. He can order you around but he can't order me. I'm not the bad guy today. 

Depends. Are you coming to Maiden with us? 

Hell, yes. Now I get the smile. No surprise there.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015


Benny, why did you do it? If it wasn't from the stress of being married to me, then why did you take the drink?

I figured if you were going to hit bottom again I didn't want you to be alone. It's sure nice having company when you're fighting demons, isn't it? I don't want you to be down there by yourself.

Wouldn't it be better to stay focused and sober?

Hell, no, Bridget. Then that shit will haunt you. This way you can't remember it much at all. 

He hands me his chip for safekeeping. I turn it over and it says KEEP COMING BACK. I have a little mother of pearl box that I keep them in on our dresser. I'm not even sure if he's pulling my leg or if he really feels like he was helping by joining me in misery. Either way it reminds me that he isn't as tough as he sometimes seems and possibly not as smart either.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Iconoclasting as we go.

Caleb is back, making it all the way to my bedroom door last evening before anyone saw fit to question him, and he knocked gently and I said come in before I realized it was him.

How are you, Doll?

Rough weekend. 

So I hear. What can I do?

Keep away. The blast radius might be bigger than originally estimated. 

You're a bomb, are you?


He smiles. We brought you home some souvenirs. Can I take you out for breakfast in the morning after I take the kids to school?

Sure. Crazy loves eggs Benedict. 

Okay. Keep the wolves away and I'll see you here at nine. He leans down and wraps me in his arms, kissing my cheek. Get some rest, Neamhchiontach. 

I thought you'd be mad. 

You fall apart every time I travel without you. I'm taking it as a compliment. As for Pyro vilifying me the moment I'm not around to defend myself, well, I'll deal with that later. Been a long day of flying and I'm tired tonight. Sleep well, Princess. 

You too. But it wasn't him calling you out. It was me. You're the only one who has blame placed who is still alive. 

Lucky me. Sleep now, Baby. I have to leave my house before the wolves blow it down with you in it. 

Night night.

It's a house made of straw, Bridget. He's going to burn it down. 

He's not the bad one. 

Neither am I. Not anymore. 

It depends on who you ask, Caleb.

I know it does, Bridge and I'm doing my best here.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Beating the Odds (take it any way you want).

They were right. I'm more dopey today than I thought I would be. Joel has come to stay for a few days. Til the storm passes, he said and he smiled like he used to and I kicked my sleepy brain with my pins-and-needles foot.

Caleb called and I talked to him with my brain full of fuzz and my mouth full of marbles. His questions were gentle and thorough and then he confirmed everything with Joel besides. It was a glitch. A blip. An accident waiting to happen. How is Ben? he asks innocently and I swore and finally hung up. Ben doesn't want to be in third place but he isn't. It's not supposed to be my fault that he drinks but it is. He'll get his shiny new twenty-four hour chip this evening and I'll be proud of him when he does.

We'll make it, he promises, echoing what Lochlan repeated to us last night in the dark when it was just us three. I nod. I know we will. 

I just have to keep my head on straight and do a better job of correcting it when I see that it isn't. I need to not dwell. I need to do my homework but also figure out how to put it aside instead of letting it eat me alive. I need to find a better place to keep my ghosts because there isn't enough room for them here.

Loch winks at me. We gotta travel light, Peanut, he reminds me, and now I finally know what he means.

Sunday, 11 October 2015


The good thing about losing it a little bit is that you have onsite experts to help sort you out when the storm clouds finally clear.

It's pouring right now. Did I mention that? And I have benzo-blood flowing freely through my veins. If there were a care in the world it wouldn't be mine save for the fact that I am medication-resistant and I care very much indeed.

August is such a gentleman, continuing to sweetly refuse me as I try to make him suit my wants instead of my needs. He's the closest thing I'll ever have to Jake again and damn if I don't want to use that to my advantage. He's not Joel and he won't let me and I love him for that and I hate him too. He and Sam talked me down. They're still doing it. I'm still up here on a ledge. It just doesn't seem as urgent anymore.

Joel brought the drugs. I know he gets them from the Russians via Caleb. That's fine. As long as they're safe. He knows what he's doing. I told him his nickname was going to be The Sandman again and he laughed helplessly and reminded me that that would be great if the drugs actually worked the way they're supposed to but let's be honest. No one gets tranquilized like a horse and then makes Thanksgiving dinner. Because usually they're lights out. He is incredulous. It barely makes a dent in me. I'm getting tired but really it just took the edge off a tiny bit so I could catch my breath, taking a moment or several to wonder why I still get blindsided by grief and self-doubt almost eight years in.

Eight YEARS.

I'm here to tell you there is absolutely no timeline for this. No deadline to get better. Don't believe them if they tell you different. It doesn't go away, it just sometimes gets buried until everything else and then one day you uncover it again and BOOM.


He's dead.

Completely dead.

Cue more screaming.

Ben had a drink. Sam took the bottle and poured it out on the living room floor. It was a poignant moment. Sam was disappointed that Ben put this on me. He blamed me for his stress and fear and used me as an excuse to fall again and Sam didn't let him go there. I did though. I get it. I'm impossible. I'm killing them all and I can't help it. It's like the streetlights. It's like my lack of censor or filter or complete inability to let it go. I'm writing my own demise, self-destructing from the outside in or the inside out, I don't even know which. Ben isn't going back to the farm to get better but he's going to go back to two meetings a day and the house will be dry again for the foreseeable future.

PJ didn't like that but he gets it. He picked up the slack. He saw me rounding the corner and heading for home and he put his arm out and clotheslined me on it, flat on my back on the floor and he held me there and hollered for Loch who made the call and Joel was here while I screamed at the top of my lungs not to bring him in. That he doesn't deserve to help me. That he doesn't get hero status after everything he's done to me and Loch said he loved me but for everything that is holy to shut the hell up or he would choke me out and I smiled at him sweetly and he lost it.

PJ sent him to August who reminded him that Cole did this and Caleb has picked up the torch and that Lochlan needs to be stronger than I am or we're never going to make it. I looked over PJ's shoulder and fought to get to Loch but no one would let me and I promised him we're going to make it. I promised him again over dinner as my turkey was cut for me and I face-timed the kids (who were away with Caleb at Grandma's for Thanksgiving) somewhat successfully but I don't think he really believes me. Not when we live in the shadows of the dead and the shadows of the living alike.

I made a joke while we were cleaning up dinner about going to suck the booze off the living room carpet and bought myself an extra bedtime dose of false reality. Thanks Joel. I love you too, fucker.

Friday, 9 October 2015

His glasses hung from his right hand as he sat in the chair, folders, books, papers and his bible opened across his lap, untouched mug full of coffee on the table under the lamp to his left. His eyes were closed, his mouth was closed, his hair was in his eyes, bits of it curling up over his ears, and his feet were bare. His jeans were threadbare, blue button-down shirt worn thin.  His work clothes. The reverend-uniform. Typical for him midweek. The wind blew against the storm windows. We put them up last weekend because it's Thanksgiving and we didn't want to have to do it in amongst cooking turkey and entertaining all the boys, even Ben who got left out of invitations but unbeknownst to me would be invited for dinner two days later and told to smarten up and help with me and help he did.

I take the glasses out of his hand gently and put them on the table beside his coffee. Then I take the cup and as I turn to go he says my name.


He knew then and there he was leaving. I wonder if he knew he'd never come back? I wonder if he left and then realized it was a mistake and then somehow knew he couldn't come back, or wonder if I would take him back if he did. He knew when he opened his eyes and looked around for his glasses and then for me that he was going to leave and I didn't know until he left. I couldn't stop him. I couldn't be better or more or perfect or somehow less me.

I couldn't stop him.

I wasn't good enough. He didn't want me the way I was. The way I am.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Chops (because we don't want to talk about how the Leafs did last night).

Listening to Disturbed cover The Sound of Silence right this minute reminds me of Ben singing carols by candlelight in the church on Christmas Eve back when we lived in the cold place, when we first fell in love and he lived and breathed trying to be less scary, more tender.

It's beautiful. The song and his efforts back then. He succeeded ten times over and here we are today and he's still singing. I respond to men who sing. Go figure.

And I'm still listening to cheesy songs because yeah..this morning August, Sam, Ben and Loch did a smashing rendition of Chicago's Hard Habit to Break. Loch did it sans accent (!), full lead, obviously practicing the singing tips Ben's been giving him. It was beautiful. Made me cry. Not the pretty kind, the sobby red kind.

Of course. Because arghh. But they don't mind and I got a hell of a group hug at the end. I might have cried some more. Words hit home and usually knock me down. I can't help it. I'm unsteady on my feet.

So it was a solid, typical Thursday breakfast.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

OH and this.

Hockey season starts....right now. :)

(Progress not perfection, August. I got it.)

Oh, I am a lonely painter
I live in a box of paints
I'm frightened by the devil
And I'm drawn to those ones that ain't afraid

I remember that time you told me
You said, "Love is touching souls"
Surely you touched mine
'Cause part of you pours out of me
In these lines from time to time
Wet curls and damp flannel in the dark. Relief. I got us on the last hayride of the night.

The 'hayride' is a one-way trip down the highway on a wheeled wagon pulled by a very noisy tractor and it's the only way tonight to return to the campground from the lake. Summer's over. The parking lot at the lake was closed so we walked in in groups but now it's dark and I don't want to walk back. I believe the tractor driver is the Funhouse operator. She's from this area. She said it's full of bears. She said to make sure we were on the truck by eight. We will be.

I smile in the dark. I'm anxious to get back anyway, bears notwithstanding. It got cold so fast.

Loch jumps up on the back of the wagon into a veritable company full of strangers and reaches down his hands to pull me up. We stay at the back. Everyone is older, louder and ignoring us. Passing a few flasks around. Talking about their families, their homes. This is normal.  Lochlan settles back against the wooden bench and pulls me in close against him. He's warm. I close my eyes and he throws his head back. We sleep every chance we get.

Then I hear an owl and get spooked. Halloween is still a couple months away. Loch's birthday is in a week and a half. School is in a week. It feels like fall. I don't want to leave him. Something big changed last summer and something bigger changed this summer. I don't know if I can wait until next summer to see what happens next.

My eyes are open wide now, watching the dark sky. Counting streetlights. I lift my hand to mark them and they go out as we pass.

Stop that. He squeezes.

Stop what?

Putting out the lights.

You can see that?

Of course I can. I can feel your energy from here. You're too small to keep it all inside so it leaks out and turns things off. It's like a poltergeist. But it's an emotional one. Tonight it's your fear shutting off those lights.

I thought you didn't believe in that stuff.

Bridget, what I tell people I believe in and what I know for certain aren't always the same.


I don't want people to know anything about us. Mystery is safer. 

Why is it safer?

It just is, he says with all the conviction of a soon-to-be seventeen-year-old boy. And with all of the determination of an eleven-year-old girl, I believe him.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Deep sea diving.

I poke my head into the hole, pulling the day down over me like a sweater. It gives my hair static cling but I'm ready. The sleeves are too long and the bottom is unravelling. Kind of like my life, I guess, except I can't just fix it so easily. This color might not be good on me. The wool is a little bit itchy and the cut barely flatters and-

Yes, I know.

Stop with the allegories and get to the dirt.

There's no dirt today unless I feel like pointing out that the Devil has congential assholery and has been trying to weaken Ben's confidence by walking around talking about how Lochlan may have (*may* have, there's your disclaimer straight from the Devil's mouth) won the game against Caleb. That I might be settling in at last, having made a conscious or unconscious choice here and am content with it, something surely the Devil doesn't buy for a sweet second but wants Ben to be aware of. You know, to help out.

Seriously. Some days I fantasize that I ask my army to toss Caleb over the wrong side of the cliff and I don't cry when they do.

(Some days. Other days he has a heartbeat flutter in his sleep and I lose my ever fucking mind.)

Ben tells me not to worry, that he stopped listening to the Devil years ago, that he humors him as an old man who wanders the property meddling in our business. He makes me laugh and then he picks me up off my feet and kisses me hard before he goes off to a meeting so he can actually learn how to make more courage because he gave away what he had on hand.

Lochlan is too busy today to run interference, too busy to throw punches. This is deliberate thanks to Batman who sees, who knows more than he ever lets on.

Sam tries to keep it all together.

Cole threatens to tear it all apart.

Jake just doesn't want to be here.

And I'm trying to see if maybe there's another day that fits better than this. Something softer, smaller, better-constructed and in a more flattering shade of black.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Default Protector/Don't take it (personally).

If I can get through tonight,
I'm waking up with my wings.
There's no way I can sleep my way through a fight,
And I think I'm gonna like what tomorrow brings.
Look at my eyes,
Don't even know who I am.
That's how I spend all my worthless time on the floor,
Waiting for you to tell me I'm a man.

But you and your face of light.
It's a brilliant roman candle that separates the day from the night.
It's that clean, clear truth that sorts our the wrong from the right.
You and your face of light
 It must be hard to be a man. Especially one in my life.

Here, take this. 

What is it?

It's my heart. Can't you tell? Maybe if you rinsed it off it would be more evident. 

I'm honored. 

Don't be. My hands are full. Thanks for helping out. 

(Much later)

Hey. So. I'm going to need that back. 

I thought it was mine?

No, remember? I asked if you could hold it. I can't put it down on the ground. Last time I did that it got rocks and sand embedded in the surface and it doesn't work right anymore. 


But don't worry. You can have it again soon. You did a really good job taking care of it.

But Bridget-

Shhhhh. I know. This is hard, isn't it?

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Lying in the dark last night, both hands wrapped around Ben's neck I fell asleep so fast when I woke up my arms were rusted and my neck was painfully stiff. Ben was smiling in the post-dark. Teeth bright. Eyes black. Cool skin, warm heart. Tightest hold he could keep me in without crushing the air out of my lungs.

We never ever sleep like that. Something's wrong. Maybe he felt one more piece of my puzzle snap into place and he got scared. Maybe he realizes he drifts farther than I do sometimes. Maybe we don't make enough effort but I don't want to weigh him down and he doesn't want me to worry.

Maybe we're dumb about that and we probably already know.  I pull myself tighter into his arms until I can only breathe a little bit and I feel his arms leave me as Lochlan presses himself against my back. Ben's arms make a cage as they wrap around Lochlan's shoulders and I close my eyes and sleep a little more. Something's right.

This morning things don't look so bad. Lochlan and I may be sorting things out but we're making sure Ben stays on the same page with us. He's keeping up quite nicely.

And because of that I slept like a baby, until after ten this morning.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Saturday morning cartoons.

I'd have loved you with grace
Caleb made us cheese toast for breakfast round nine o'clock when he wandered over as I was gathering up the dishes we left in the grotto last evening. Loch offered to bring them in but I was wanting to go out and greet the sun anyway after the rain yesterday.

I jumped fifty feet when Caleb spoke behind me.

Have you eaten yet, Princess?

OH. You scared me. No, but I want to bring these in before I forget. 

Come over for some cheese toast and tea? 

Sure, okay. Just let me put these things away and I'll meet you there. 

When I arrive he makes breakfast and we take it outside to the bistro table on his front walkway, fifty feet above the water. It's delicious. I never turn down his cheese toast. Not sure I could, that's how good it is.

He waits until I finish and then tells me he spent most of last evening watching me dance in the rain with Lochlan, wondering if Lochlan finally won the game.

The magician saved his greatest trick for last. 

What trick was that? 

Time travel. Year in, year out. He was so patient. He didn't rush and eventually you came back to him. I really didn't think it would end this way. 

What did you expect? 

That you would eventually grow up and realize he is rigid, controlling and stubborn. But you didn't grow up and he turned out to be less controlling than I somehow and you are the stubborn one, as it turns out. Unwilling to take your eyes off him for a second because every time you do something bad happens. 

God, I really hope you're right and maybe things can be okay now.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Tidal flux.

(One of those magical days.)

The two jellyfish found each other (and made a bloom!) in spite of the fact that they have no brains and painted a mural on the tiny wooden shed this morning, in the rain with a haphazard tarp rigged up over the roof and attached to some garden stakes. It was like a yard fort only it was necessary instead of purely recreational and yet we got some neat effects when the paint began to run. It's like a surrealist masterpiece in some places, as weaker colors bleed out over strong ones and the first crisp lines soften and blur.

Sam put his fall construction on hold but he still put on his surrender plaid and came and helped Loch add more wood to the pile near the house from the pile behind the garage and then he asked if he could steal me away for the remainder of the afternoon and he did. We painted and went for coffee (too much coffee, here I go again but the headaches, you see) and then we sacked out in the theater and watched a little television and then we napped, my head jammed against his bony shoulder cap, his arm flung wide across my back. I missed dinner. Which was called off anyway on account of a lack of participants and the fact that Caleb took Henry and Ruth out.

When I did wake up on my own Loch was back and the plaid jellyfish was telling him about our antics putting up the tarp. Loch said he'll help us finish if the weather clears up over the weekend and then he stole me back, not content to leave me there in Sam's arms, but loathe to take me out of a place that was some of the best comfort I've had all week.

But it was a means to an end. The rain was heavier than earlier in the day and he took me out front, across the yard and into the tiny wood to the grotto where he had candles blazing and dinner for us laid out on the tiny writing table. It doesn't rain in there, the tree cover is so thick above. There was some cheese melted on bread, wine, olives, sliced tomatoes, warm chicken pasta salad and there was chocolate cake.

And there was music. He slow-danced with me as a prelude to eating because it was one of those nights where you forget you're hungry because the company is better than the event. Because his green eyes had gold flickering in them from the light and yet he is the constant, a beacon that brings me safely home when I drift so far away I feel like I'll never get back. He's the lighthouse, Ben is the storm. Why I try to force them into roles they aren't suited for I'll never understand but I try to do it less.

We did eat, eventually. All of it. Until we were too stuffed to dance anymore and had to go inside and fall asleep with all the windows open and the sound of rain pouring down outside. Only I've had coffee and so I can't sleep yet. Maybe later. I'm going to go back and watch him do it though. He makes it look so easy.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

It's too cold for you here.

PJ is miffed that I don't like the new Megadeth single. I'm fine with his attitude problems. He's bitchy because mercury is in retrograde so I fed him a chocolate bar, turned the music up and slowly backed away.

I went for a walk on the beach with New Jake because no one else would go. It's my favorite time of year, the jeans, bare feet and a sweater time when I'm never too warm to be in the sun but the sun is still so bright when I open my eyes that the inside of my skull is bleached and whitewashed and all of the dark shadows vanish. The autumn sea is louder than in the summer and the water itself darker and warmer. It will be my favorite until at least April.

New Jake doesn't say much. He's quiet today, content to let me prattle a little or not at all and we collect a multitude of ready-glass and eventually he motions for us to go back. My phone is ringing off the hook in his pocket and his own phone worn down with messages returned to let everyone know where we are. I'm ready for my GPS microchip if it lets them track me without the noise and formalities of having to reply but Sam said it would have to be more like an astronaut suit in which they would be able to see a readout of my body temperature and heart rate too or it wouldn't be good enough.

He thought he was being clever until I said, then next time don't be busy when I want to go to the beach. 

Ow. We're stinging each other like lonely satellite jellyfish lately and it isn't fair but he tries to be objective and helpful and I need him to be my affection friend before all else.

Ben says Sam just wants to be useful, that he has some training and he's always felt bad for not being able to manage me the way Jacob could.

That makes two of us, though Jake had a lot of help behind the scenes from God, Claus and Joel, ironically. They're the holy trinity now: The father, son and the holy pest. I don't think I would love Sam as much as I do if he pulled hard-nosed-counselor-mode on me most of the time. But he did let New Jake off the hook to join me. New Jake was supposed to be cleaning gutters and furnaces today with Sam. He took Keith with him instead as Keith has Thursdays free.

Ben went to a meeting with Duncan. They're two big peas in a giant pod. Two big dry peas who aren't much fun at parties and we're very grateful for that but at the same time Ben seems like he's still flickering in and out of a room when he should be a fucking beacon, a lighthouse by now. I guess I have to remind myself that he falls harder, because he's bigger.

And as PJ told me, I bounce.