Thursday, 30 June 2016

Mood ring (or maybe it's moon ring).

Had a lovely drive this afternoon with Caleb in his freshly detailed R8. This car is sexier than he is. Wait, I am still angry with him except there's the car and I can't be angry with the car. I also can't reach the pedals without sitting on a whole pile of things so he has to drive and it's just a really sweet package deal.

Besides, he always takes me for really expensive ice cream. Millionaires don't care that you are lactose intolerant or they truly believe it has something to do with that peasant ice cream you buy by the tub at the grocery store. If only you bought the twelve-dollar glass jars of hand-mixed locally sourced gluten free vegan whatever you'd be fine. 

Well, no, but-

Trust me, I have money.

At least that's how I imagine the conversation goes in my head.

I got salted caramel paleo with man buns and weekend hiking plans or some such creative something because 'chocolate' was nowhere to be found. He got organic hipster tech startup probably drives a car2go because they didn't seem to have 'maple walnut' either. We had to pay with gold bars because it came to eleven thousand, six hundred and eighteen dollars and then to top it off he wouldn't even let me eat in the car.

I just had it detailed, Bridget. 

But it's freezing! 

It's ice cream! 

No, I mean outside. 

Would you like my jacket? 


He draped it around my shoulders and fastened the button in the front. He always thinks that's funny, telling me once that he couldn't get it around Sophie and close it in the front.

That's 'cause she's a man, I told him that day and he snorted coffee into his napkin in surprise.

I suddenly can't lift the ice cream cone all the way to my mouth so I lean way forward to try and bring my head to it instead (always thinking) and he swears and undoes the button again.

Must you be so silly? 

Um, yes? Must you not? 

I brought you out for ice cream, didn't I? 

And yet you stand here and eat it like you've got a fucking cone up your ass, Cale. 

So he starts to sway. All the way toward me and I scream because I think he's collapsing and then suddenly he dips away in a circle and then he's back but his feet aren't moving and he's carrying on a perfectly normal conversation while he oscillates around crazily. People are beginning to stare at him and he waves at several and then apologizes to a few more, saying it's the damnedest thing but that he thinks I have my own gravitational field and he can't resist. They all smile sweetly but suspiciously and keep walking and I keep getting a brain freeze from taking huge bites of ice cream with a big smile on my face.

By the time we're finished our cones I am dizzy and he has slowed to a stop. We take a seat on a wall near the ice cream shop.


Still cold, still vaguely angry and disappointed but very relieved to see that the funny guy I know so well is still in there. 

We had to grow up, Doll. Sometimes you don't have a choice. 

And just like that the wind blows cold again and the mood is changed.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Diez. Dios. Dio. Piedad.

Mark flew out for the long weekend, bringing his tattoo kit with him. I had him set up in the library after we rolled up the big fuzzy white rug. He put a big huge letter X just above my belly button. I've never had much of a want for stomach tattoos. Mostly because when I was pregnant I gained fifty pounds each time and also they hurt like the dickens (stomach tattoos AND babies, I mean). But now I have a huge hollow X filled with beautiful filigree scrollwork around the inside edges of the letter itself with a splash of teal winding through and around the whole thing and no, I'm not sharing because every time I post a tattoo photo I see it copied later and not in a flattering way.

X stands for ten. Ten years ago this July 13, Cole died of heart failure at the ripe old age of 38 39, already corrected, thanks Diabhal. It also stands for Xavier. His middle name.

The tattoo took two hours and fifteen minutes. I only needed a five minute break because I let it get the best of me but then Andrew came over and put on a movie and I was okay after that with minimal fuss and a lively debate on the terrible state of our university Spanish credits.

Mark asked what happened to my hardcore self.

She died. I told him.

Too bad, he said. She was the best. 

I'm not bad either. 

You're a weakling. She was a warrior. Maybe I should flip you over and put a W on your back. 

My back is full, I remind him.

It's okay. I'm saving the W for Loch anyway. He's the other way around. Used to be a weakling, now a warrior. It's like you guys have traded places. 

It's hard to believe you've flown all this way just to bust my balls, Mark. 

If only you had any, Bridget. 

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Shots fired.

Caleb's having the stitches taken out of his face later today if all goes well. He's mightily impressed by all this. When I point out that he is lucky, that it could have been worse, he looks at me and says it still could be.

What in the hell do you mean by that? I ask him and throw my empty coffee cup at his head.

Jesus Christ, Bridget! How much damage are you two going to do to my face this week already?

Not enough, apparently because there's still stupid noises coming out of it! GOD! I turn to head back inside for a fresh cup and walk right into Ben. Ben the stranger, who has all but moved into the second tinier suite of rooms off the studio downstairs that wasn't ever supposed to be used for anything but has seemingly become his home.

Okay, Bumblebee? His arms go around me and the mixed messages leave me wishing for a rockstar translator. Or at the very least some sort of impulse generator.

Okay what?

Are you?


Are you okay?

Define okay.

Not fatally wounded? I guess. 

Ha. Whatever. Is there coffee left? Bye. 

I head around him and hear him ask Caleb what's 'wrong' with me but I don't hear Caleb's response. I don't want to hear Caleb's response. I pour a new cup, find sugar and milk for it (curse you Sam) and head straight through the front of the house looking for that alone time that saves the boys this kind of mood from me. Mercifully no one's on the porch so I head down to the grotto where the sun is streaming in between the branches making everything magical. Maybe not quite dry yet but magical anyway. I haven't spent enough time here. Everything is covered with moss. I curl up in the chair and take a sip and scream when a voice behind me speaks.

Can't a guy get a little privacy anymore? 

It's Dalton. He's sitting on the rock wall directly behind me, coffee cup and empty plate beside him, nose in a book.

I'm sorry. I didn't see you. 

That's the point. You stopped using this place and it's too nice to let it go to waste. 

It's all yours. I'll get out of your hair. 

Not if you need an escape. 

I need a lob-

You've got to stop saying that. How about instead of running, you stand up for yourself? 

I look at the ground. I think I did and they don't like that. 

Good girl. 

Don't say that. 

Sorry. I just don't want to see you get railroaded. 

Please tell me that isn't sexual. 

What? Oh, God, no. What I mean is this is your house and I see you struggling to find a way to fit into it sometimes. Someone is always watching you and following you. 

They kind of have to. 


In case I hurt myself. 

You're not going to do that. 

What if I do?

What if you don't? 

Yeah. What if I don't?

Then you live happily ever after. 

Where is the happily part, TJ?

It's coming. Gotta be patient, Bridge. Geez. 

Monday, 27 June 2016

The most atypical Monday.

Yesterday I feel like I posted as if every day is some flippant pool party. It isn't. Two minutes after Lochlan climbed out of the pool he and Caleb were engaged in yet another perceived slight, shoving each other back and forth, up in each others faces, Caleb tall and stronger, Lochlan more agile and braver than anyone. They wouldn't have noticed had I drowned at that point, and eventually I went up to the house, bringing all my things. That's how you know I'm not coming back.


I spent this morning by myself getting dirty, weeding the garden, spraying the tomatoes with copper, moving statues and concrete blocks around until I was happy with the arrangements of the day, hanging windchimes and bells, eating radishes straight out of the dirt and collecting enough basil leaves to dry that I'm not sure I'll ever need the rest, actually.

How long is it before you can subdivide a lavender plant again?

I have so many plans but not enough energy or patience. I also am bound by the weather. I've taken to doing just as much gardening in the pouring rain, in my raincoat and my rubber boots because I hate the heat. I don't want to be in the sun and yet the warmth of the soil is what is going to make everything grow.

The corn is almost as tall as me now. I'm so excited I could burst. I have a freezer full of cherries I don't know what to do with and every time we turn around there are more ripe strawberries. We're eating them as fast as we can.

When I ran out of energy and things to fuck with I came inside and PJ passed me a cold lemonade. I showed him the basil and he said he watched. I asked why he didn't help and he said it was my thing, that maybe it's good for me to just get out there alone. That he had a good eye on me, only losing me once when I went over the hill near the swing to check my experimental trees (one olive, one lemon, thank you) but I was right back because they seem okay, so far.

He asked what I wanted for lunch and I told him he could decide so he picked Mr. Noodles and I wondered if somewhere in Japan there's a ridiculously unpopular Mrs. Noodles and he said that's the shrimp one because of the pink package and we laughed until we cried. It wasn't even that funny so it must be the heat. Maybe it's the tension. I don't know. I need sleep. The coyotes kept me up last night and no, that's not a euphemism. They howled all night with their tiny high-pitched plaintive wails that always make me wonder if they are babies but then I am told that's what they sound like, even full grown.

Sunday, 26 June 2016


It was hot this morning before I finished breakfast (homegrown strawberries and raspberries and coffee) and so I changed into my pale pink bikini with the ruffles and a gold tiny horseshoe necklace and skipped church in order to worship at the house of chlorine and concrete.

Seems fitting, as the weather recently has been terrible and this week is supposed to be hot sun, so I broke out my new bottle of SPF 150000000 and a big floppy hat and have plans to hide out under the covered lounge chair every day.

Sam understood. He said consensus seems to be in favor of us spending some time apart. He returned to church today in his board shorts and a flannel shirt (because he's adorable like that), planning to talk about being perfect imperfect. I know that sermon. I've heard it before. He isn't worried about us-us. We'll be okay. He said me throwing myself to the wolf to take the pressure off probably wasn't the greatest idea but I think now that it was as I lower myself into the stinging blue water, my scrape screaming through the rest of my flesh, Caleb watching from the side with concern, his bare chest a rainbow of bruises in the shape of Lochlan's fists and the odd stair-step. We look like catastrophic accident victims at summer convalescent camp. We look tough, like survivors.

That's what we are.

I do one lap on my back and stop at the ladder. Caleb says I should do one more and I swear in his direction and get out. I'm a weak swimmer. I'm not a warrior. I'm not a fighter. I'm a withstander. I'm a with-stander. I'm a shadow sewn to the heels of a Peter Pan with red hair and freckles who I see step out of the patio doors suddenly. He walks down the steps and shields his eyes from the sun and I lift mine up to shield them in case he signals to me, one band in place today on my finger because he is indecisive and took the other one away again upon suggestion. He takes off his shirt, and empties his pockets and then begins to run across the lawn. He does a handspring over the fence and then cannonballs into the pool with a holler, showering both the Devil and I with lovely cool water.

He surfaces, shaking his head hard, his curls coming loose from their grasp on his skull, forming big circles again before they get soaked again when he floats on his back.

Literally. This is the best, he says and it's very hard to disagree with him, in spite of everything.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

He looks it over carefully as I talk.

It's Swiss. You can probably take his initials off the back if you have access to a small grinder. 

Or I can repurpose them with other words. What should I use? You are the wordsmith.

I only know one other name that starts with X. 

Which is?

His brother's middle name was Xavier. 

I was thinking xenagogue. Do you know what that means, Bridget? 

No. I feel helpless and small standing near Skateboard Jesus. I feel transparent.

It's a tour guide, a person who conducts a stranger, as it were. 

(Oh, perfect.)

So you bring me an expensive watch, and in exchange I will give you priceless advice. Watch your memory thief. 


Do thieves only take the things you want them to take? 


No, of course not. They take the things that are precious to you. Irreplaceable, valuable things. They violate you and leave you with holes that can never be filled. You ask for your lobotomies, your do-overs, but you don't know the price of these things, Bridget. Think hard before you let the thief in amongst the gold. 

What if it's too late? 

I don't think it is. What if the Devil comes looking for his watch? 

He won't. I'm sure he's already bought a new one. How do you know it isn't too late? 

The carnival girl is alive and well. Takes the watch off a rich man to give to a poor man. That's exactly something you would do and something a blank slate wouldn't do. And now if you'll excuse me, he checks his watch, I'm late and I gotta go. He jumps on his skateboard and is gone against traffic with a wink, hair flying out over his shoulders, worn backpack snug against his shoulders. I try to follow his progress but I've already lost him in the crush of trucks and lights.

Friday, 24 June 2016

(A very) Civil war.

I fell asleep wrapped around Ben. I found him in his big chair in front of the board, doing nothing really, not even listening, and I climbing into his lap and shoved my knees down the sides of his seat and wrapped my arms around his neck and fell asleep like a festival-weary four-year-old without a word.

I woke up in a Lochlan and Ben sandwich, safe in my own bed, two bands stacked on my finger, Ben's arm across my head, his hand wrapped around Lochlan's head.


Mentally this morning I am exhausted. I have concrete in my veins. I called Caleb to make sure he was okay and he asked if I was okay first. He said he got hammered a second time in one day via the stock market thanks to Brexit. Loch took my phone and hung up on him. Loch figures there will be another Scottish referendum now but first there has to be a Bridget referendum. We've got to sort this out because he can't go barging around using his temper as a weapon.

Oh, like you're using sex? He asked. He's clipped and tired too this morning. Everyone else holds their breath. You could reach out and pluck the point like a string this morning and play a lead that would break your heart.

August reminded him oh so quietly that this would be difficult if only for exactly these reasons. Sex is a weapon. And a tonic. And a curse. And a drug. And a reason. And a nightmare. And a panacea too.

(I'm amazed at how open these discussions have become. Like breakfast table conversation, all casual-like. Christ. Shoot me please.)

I want her back the way she was. 

Which year? 

Jesus. He thinks. 1981. 

(Before. Before everything. Everything except him.)

I burst into tears again and he folds me into his arms and says No, don't, Bridgie. No more. I don't think you've got anything left. You're going to dry up and blow away.

Sam asks if we'd like to come and have a tea out on the porch. Sort some things. Get a refresher, as it were, with he and August together. Joel called to come but we turned him down. Lochlan nods. I lost my cool. 

You didn't have any to begin with, Red. Ben tells him. And I don't blame you. She is worth more than anything on earth to me and I don't know how you do this as it is. 

I didn't get a choice,
Lochlan says.

Thursday, 23 June 2016


Got my ring back. Got my Ben back.

Only took fifteen hours of intense negotiation, hostages included.

Utopia indeed.

Update: Nevermind. Loch says I misinterpreted a concession that Ben didn't coerce me into going to see Caleb, and that the ring is back, the Ben will not be and that I need to listen better. That we can pawn it with the watch and fund the future, probably, if either of us survive the present but probably not because we'll probably both explode from stress and heartbreak. That Things have to change, Bridget. This isn't working. It's killing both of us and we've come too far to let this happen now.

I'm going to bed. Alone. Somewhere where he isn't. I can't breathe. I can't think anymore. I just want everything to stop for a while.

Breitling for sale. Cheap. Well, maybe not. CXC engraved on the back, though I can sand that off.

We're just home from the hospital this morning. Let me choose my words carefully here. Lochlan knew I was relatively intact and safely locked in our wing and so he went right past Ben and over to the boathouse. Word has it Caleb came out to see him and took a tumble down the steps, ironically raising his arms to protect his head and scraping his face quite badly with his watch, which he then gave to Lochlan, because he no longer wants it, it is cursed or dangerous or something and so it will be pawned off cheaply. Loch said Caleb told him to sell it for a hundred bucks. I think we can do better than that but he won't see any of it.

I got off easy, my leg is just one big long scab this morning and it didn't even actually bleed ever. Caleb required fourteen stitches and the attention of a plastic surgeon. He also had a host of body contusions from his fall that were not in need of medical attention but they put him on an EKG and kept him for observation for a few hours after the fact. He will be resting for a few days and is never allowed to see me again because I shouldn't be around people so clumsy.

That won't hold but I appreciate the sentiment.

I don't appreciate Ben's banishment though. He's gone. Done. Lochlan said it's over. That whatever goddamned games Ben is playing with me have ended now. The absences. The drinking. The sharing. The psychological warfare. The oneupmanship. All of it. Finished. Take off the ring. You've now had three marriages end now, call it official, this is done, kiss him goodbye, he's over, no, stop crying, Jesus CHRIST, Bridget, kind of order that I don't even want to think about right now.

I could have said no before we left the house. It isn't all Ben's fault.

(They will tell you it is because of the damage, because I'm not responsible and that ruined people don't have to be accountable for anything. I don't think that's quite right.)

You'll change your mind later. You love him too. 

I love him, Bridget, but I love you more and I can't do this anymore. 

I made him go. 

That doesn't matter. 

It's me you can't trust. 

I understand that. 

You chose poorly, I think. 

You let me worry about that. 

It was a real bad fall, was it? 

The worst. I felt so helpless.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

(Oh that? That's not the mark of the Devil. It's the mark of his ten thousand dollar watch.)

DON'T. Just.. I know.

(I think I've been branded.)

Neamhchiontach. You're here.

I don't know why. I'm not ready to forgive you or start this again. I'm still so angry with you and we haven't really dealt with any of -

He takes my arms and walks me backwards gently until I am pressed against the door. Ben doesn't say a word but he hasn't missed a move, watching from just inside the alcove. Caleb's fingertips slide around my head, behind my ears as he bends his head down for a kiss. Pinned like a specimen moth. I can't breathe. He slides his fingers flat underneath my jaw, lifting me up by my head, sliding me up the door until we see eye to eye and then he stops, leaving me pinned there, one hand still wrapped around my neck, cutting off my air before sliding the other down around my hip, underneath my thigh, his Breitling scraping deep against delicate skin. He steps in even closer and brings his other hand down under my other thigh and I can breathe again but not for long.

Another kiss and he asks how long we have. This is the routine. It's hardly changed in decades.

People in my family live forever, not so sure about yours, I tell him defiantly, sadly even as he removes one hand again, this time to pull my dress up further. I scream and the hand comes back up, not over my mouth but around my neck, squeezing just enough as his mouth presses against my ear.

Hush, baby. No screaming. No noise. You know how to do this. Ben won't let anything bad happen to you.

And he pushes my chin up away from his mouth, kissing along my throat as he drives against me. I can feel Ben's eyes crawling over us like darkness and it hurts. I can feel everything and it hurts. The betrayal. The permission. The violence of this. The same way it always is. I try to leave and he keeps me here, his hand still around my face, now centering it right in front of his, nose to nose while he almost (but not quite) loses his breath.

Stay with me, Doll.

I wrap my arms around his neck and he takes us to his bed. I am not tied down but instead left comfortably on my back on the mink blanket I love so much. His elbows frame my head as he kisses me softly.

Do you want Ben here?

He decides.

Caleb lifts his head and looks back toward Ben. I can't see him from here. I hear him say he's fine where he is. He never pushes me too hard. I get overwhelmed easily.

If you change your mind, you tell me, okay?

I nod and my eyes well up almost involuntarily. Caleb scares me more when he is understanding and generous, kind, almost. It would be easier if he had left me up against the door and choked me into submission. Then I would know exactly how to feel.

What's wrong, Bridget?

Ta tu fos ar an diabhal, ta me fos an neamhchiontach!

(Lochlan's been muttering it under his breath for weeks now: Ta se fos ar an diabhal, ta tu fos ar an neamhchiontach! He is still the devil, you are still an innocent! is the gist. I'm just repeating it back to Caleb. You are still the devil. I am still the innocent!)

You haven't done anything wrong, Baby. Ben is right there. Caleb sits up and they look at each other and I lose my mind.

I need to go. I want to go home now. Benny- I start to struggle and Caleb holds me down.



Not yet.

I push against his hold but I know better. He loves the fight. Eventually I settle back on the fur and stare through the skylight at the trees. At the strawberry solstice moon. It can't save me either. Not from this. My only defense is to pretend I don't care.

Ben settles back in his chair in the dark (crisis perverted) and Caleb resumes our show. I'm not moving but I don't dare fall asleep or then there would really be hell to pay and I can barely afford the portion I get now.

On the way out Ben swears and asks Caleb if he's capable of ever sending me home without injury and Caleb asks what the fun would be in that, truthfully. That he does it to remind Lochlan who's boss.

On the way across the driveway Ben asks me if the cut from the watch hurt and I tell him with Caleb it's better to feel pain than fear. I don't wait to see the look on his face and head straight inside.

On the way upstairs Lochlan finds us (he's holding my phone) and asks me where the hell I've been for the past three hours. I direct him to Ben and keep walking.

I hear yelling as I close the door to our room so I lock it for good measure. I keep locking doors as I walk through rooms and down halls until I get to the bathroom and then I lock that door too. I strip out of my dress in front of the full length mirror and turn. His steel watch strap has cut a deep gouge across the outside of my thigh and underneath my leg. I think I need stitches. I don't know what I need.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Feels like a Wends-day.

Today was the last day of classes proper and now suddenly I have a child in grade twelve and one in grade ten. I don't know how that happened. They are still technically writing exams and a week and a half away from report cards and the official end of the school year though so I will save my momgobsmackishness for that day. Until then I will remain in denial because it's nicer here, isn't it? The good snacks are right where I left them, no one's taken all my money and I don't spend all my free time ferrying teenagers who don't even belong to me all over town.


I know, the next time I blink they'll be in their forties and jetting off somewhere exotic so for now I should enjoy the dirty jokes they can actually tell now at the dinner table without repercussion and the fact that they bring me an Internet digest each day with all the news I actually want and funniest bits so I can avoid the terrible parts. They suggest new sushi restaurants and movies we might like and teach me how to get places I can never remember how to go because I'm directionally useless and they have discretion the likes of which few people even understand, let alone possess. They are protective of the collective (We should have shirts made. I think I love that slogan) and I'm so proud of them that when I open my mouth and talk about them glitter and rainbows just fucking beam out everywhere.

But I don't do that on the Internet because PRIVACY.


Lochlan worked for a couple of hours this morning while PJ, Gage and I did heavy chores and then I met him at New Jake's borrowed bike for a freezing cold and rain-threatened drive up into the mountains and lunch at a found picnic table of expensive french food far too nice for an actual picnic table, though we both refused to admit we were frozen solid, leathers or not. We cut the trip short and came home and stripped down to swimsuits and then hit the sauna, something I rarely use because I am my own hot flash lately. Loch loves it because it keeps his bad arm from throbbing when it's about to rain, like on days similar to today. He cranked the heat right up and I lasted maybe seven or eight minutes before I felt like I couldn't breathe and had to leave, opting instead for the hot tub. I can do at least ten minutes in the hot tub but mostly I like to lie in the freezing cold air in one of the big double loungers beside the pool, wrapped in a damp towel like a forgotten wet burrito.

He was in the sauna for over an hour. I think that's like brain-damage duration levels. When he came out he looked at me wrapped up in my wet towel, feet sticking out the bottom and said we should have Mexican for dinner.

Definitely brain damage. Lochlan hates Mexican food, truth be told. But he was just happy that we were there together, just me and him for the afternoon, no one else to weigh in on what to do, where to go and what to eat. Compromise is hard enough with two, incredibly tough for three and virtually impossible with eight or more, usually seventeen on average.

We're not having Mexican for dinner tonight. I'm making grilled cheese sandwiches and chicken noodle soup.

Monday, 20 June 2016


House is empty
Fade out slowly
Go out your own way
Go out and get what you need
For if you don’t stay
There’s nobody watching you bleed
Ghost is what you are now
Out there where no one can see you
Gone out in the dark
Somehow I could still feel you
Lunch with the Devil, and he pulled my chair too close and he stared too hard and he spoke too harshly and he was a little too cutting with his thoughts today and I choked on my cold soup and hardly touched the salmon course. By the end I wouldn't look at him at all and he softened and ordered gelato from some invisible childs' menu and he asked if Lochlan had become this much of a pushover, finally, after all of our exploits.

(What a word.)

We've always been freaks, I tell my ice cream when it arrives. You haven't been paying attention. 


A walk with Batman to inspect the grounds. He's kind of amazed at how green my thumbs are considering the simple facts that I can't walk and breathe at the same time and that the moment I cease all movement I fall asleep and that includes and is not limited to floating on my back in the pool and receiving oral sex (but not at the same time).

Bridget, I don't think you need to complicate your life any further with trying to change any perfectly good relationships. 

I would say the same thing to you. And I continued to show him the cherries, grapes, corn, carrots, raspberries, strawberries, beans, tomatoes, peas and pumpkins that show such promise to come, all the while completely ignoring the very cautious and gentlemanly avarice that he was trying so hard not to reveal.


August is candid, transparent. He takes two chairs facing each other and then pins my knees in between his once I am seated. I call this the Trapped position. He calls it the Paying Attention position. Either way awful unorthodoxy always works.

What happens when you and Sam move to a more intimate level? What happens when his feelings get in the way of his ability to counsel you? What happens when he can't separate his personal from his professional opinion? 

You tell me. I am grim but fierce. I think sometimes August forgets he's the original Judas to Jacob's Jesus.

That's different, Bridget-

Afraid Sam and I might be closer than you and I?

Not really. The dynamic of your relationship with Sam, sexual or otherwise is completely different than ours. 

Right so can everybody stop worrying now? I'm glad everyone thinks I go from 0 to 60 just like that. I wouldn't hurt Sam! I don't need any more complications in my life and I'm not looking for trophies or redress so I don't think you should all be standing around holding your breath. 

Lochlan practically rolled out the red carpet for you.

He's done that so many times, August. I don't usually write about it. I try to keep him pure. He's my golden boy, I never ever want people to think poorly of him. Maybe I goofed. Everyone thinks Ben is the permissive one but really they both are. Lochlan just worries more about my feelings. Or maybe it's that he worries about his own. I fall in love too easily. It's dumb. I would worry too.

Do you want to talk about it?


If you change your mind I'm here. 

Are you still here-here or have you changed YOUR mind?

Whatever you need me for, Bridget, I'm here. 


Duncan was crass as always.

Don't ride the Preacher, Baby. Keep it sweet with him. Take it out on me. 

This isn't open for discussion, Poet. 

It's just a reminder that I'm here. Nothing complicated about it.

You're so complicated it's sick. 

I don't see how?

Of course you don't. You aren't already married to two people. 

Somehow I think they would prefer me over Sam. 

Then go sleep with them!
I slam the door on my way out. Objectification is much better as an idealization than full realization. I know nobody thinks that but trust me, it is.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Infinity wars.

A lovely slow morning this morning. No one rushed to get up and get ready for church since Sam is off this week and possibly next. We're scattered around the kitchen and great room area reading papers, phones and talking. I am facedown in a cup of coffee that Duncan passed to me ten minutes ago and loving every sip.

Sam comes in and heads for the coffee pot. Everyone greets him warmly as we do when each person arrives to the kitchen each morning.

You get some rest? Gage asks him.

Not really, he says. I got so used to having Bridget there, I couldn't fall asleep without her.

I looked up sharply just in time to see the looks ping-pong around the room between the others.

Lochlan tells him, you'll get unused to it quick. It was only a couple days. He leaves the room.

Oh, yeah, I didn't mean..I mean, she saw me through the storm. She was great. But she isn't mine to keep. His eyes land on me and I smile briefly at him.

PJ swears. I think, Sam, that you should go find Loch and then come back for breakfast.

Yeah. Sam turns and goes and PJ glares at me before Dalton cuts him off at the pass. She doesn't do this. We do it to ourselves.

I know it, Brother. 

I can hear you. 

That's good. Then maybe you'll mind your actions a little better. 

I was invited-

He doesn't know what he's doing! 

Sure he does! We've- But I stop, because I know what I'm going to say. We've been close for years. I head outside to join Lochlan.

He and Sam are sitting on the dry step at the top of the patio under the roof, watching the salt in the grey sea dilute from the rain.

There she is. 

Sam and I are having honesty hour. 

Is it a sharing sort of honesty? Can I stay?

Matt has a new lover. 

I figured as much. 

And Lochlan isn't very happy with me. 

Ah. I figured that too. 

But he's willing to share. 

I'll take the light over the dark any day.

Sam shakes his hand and gets up. I need to eat before I keel over. Thank you for you candor, Loch, and your generosity. 

Loch nods and Sam goes inside.

Now you're giving me away. 

Cole was right. You're a pain in the ass. 

I was hoping you'd be more possessive. 

Serves no purpose. Not like you'll change. Just don't fall in love with him. Because if you fall for him I won't forgive you.

What if I can't help it? 

Then we'll be in trouble. 

I'm already in trouble. 

Or maybe you can just do what you do best. Soothe the worried boys, get whatever it is you think you can't get or won't get from me and then come the fuck home. 

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Musical men/beds/rooms/you know what I mean.

It's moving day and someone with a death wish woke me up at six this morning. On a Saturday. When it was only twelve degrees, foggy and rainy outside. Without tea being ready or anything so I shrugged into jeans and a hoodie and went all the way downstairs and woke up Dalton and Duncan but Duncan swore and didn't get up so I shrugged and crawled in with and twenty minutes later Lochlan is plucking me out of the warmth and comfort and asking me very sweetly if I can put on the teapot before he skins me alive. Duncan laughs and tells him I make a good hot water bottle and Lochlan agrees and asks him if he'll very kindly get a move on because we have a very busy day.

The very busy day took precisely sixty-six minutes with this many full-size men moving four rooms of furniture and we were done and three of them went to McDonalds and got breakfast for everyone and I've since had five invitations to 'go back to bed' because I'm still sleepy and they wouldn't let me do all that much except the stupid nitpicky things like plug in lamps and reset clocks and remake beds.

Dalton and Duncan kind of love their new space though. More room for them both and they're close anyway as brothers plus they have a separate entrance and a kitchen now so it will mean more independence and privacy though they both promise to still be upstairs most of the time. They both claim they'll be homesick otherwise.

And Sam finally had to show his face to the rest of the world. He hasn't had any more to drink since that night. He hasn't said why he drank that night and he hasn't expressed any interest in God, leaving the house or joining us at the table for any meals yet either. He did however, express profound gratefulness for the return to the main part of the house from the apartment, saying that it feels good to leave the memories behind (I think I know what he means now) and start over, and that he wondered if he should throw a little room-warming party.

Not with Bridget, Loch said, and pulled me in against him.

Sam chuckled but his face didn't share the sound at all.

I'm going to bake a cake and we'll have a house-rearranging party tonight. Part of being a collective is being flexible enough to shift things around as required, and this was definitely required. It brings Sam out of the past and closer to the people who can help him most, and it puts more space between the Poet and the Poem.

I hope they don't mind helping with the laundry as much as Sam did, because it's perpetual.

Friday, 17 June 2016

In lieu of my soul, I'll take theirs.

It's food poisoning and I'm an enabler.

Sam needed a little more time. Yesterday's annihilation notwithstanding, he's not ready to face the world. He's not even ready to face the house and so I've been running interference for him, being his guard dog/nursemaid/bent ear/best friend/imaginary lover and he's said we're going to need a few more grenades to forget these days too as he smiles a bit shyly and reveals a little more of his old self.

I called him in 'sick' to church for a week or two, if he needs a second. We'll see. He probably will, the way he is acting and talking and thinking.

He isn't being Sam. That scares me.

Late at night he asks me not to go. To stay and just talk to him. This weekend we're moving him up to the main level. Duncan and Dalton are going to take over the big apartment downstairs and Sam will take Dalton's room in the front wing on this level so that he's closer, not closed off.

He hasn't let go of me. He's been frighteningly close and closely frightening and I still don't know what set him off.

You did, he says as he smooths my hair back from my forehead as we lie in the dark staring at each other, itemizing faults, cataloguing errors, registering gratefulness that at least we're not as bad off as each other. He landed a perfect sweet goodnight kiss on my philtrum before leaving his whole face there, falling asleep breathing against my skin, hands shaking slightly, heart still pounding ever so slightly, memories still blown to kingdom come.

What does it mean? I had asked him over dinner. I still don't know. Eight year olds aren't very good at symbolism, or conjuncture, for that matter. They're even worse at reading between the lines. Easily distracted borderline grounded mermaids aren't much better.

You'll see. When the time comes. 

What if I miss it? 

You won't. It won't be a lightning bolt, Bridget, more like a slow tide. We'll all know it when we see it. Like a fog of realization coming over us at once and then everything will be okay. Get some sleep. Are you warm enough?

I can't, Sam. I need to go upstairs. 

Maybe just for an hour? Stay until I'm asleep. Please, Bridget. 

I throw my arms around him and settle in. He's so comfortable it's as if I have died here and when I open my eyes next it's daylight and I've missed breakfast and a chance to redeem myself at all but there's not a thing I can do about it now. His face. He looks so happy.

Loch does not look so happy.

Great. Just what I need. Another one. 

Thursday, 16 June 2016

(The one thing I've never pointed out is when it comes to the memory thief, I am eight.)

By the time I heard the sound it was too late and it was raining broken glass all around me, black cinders fluttering among the shards almost in slow motion and I looked up to see former windows, now framed in flames. I am transfixed by fire, always, but in this moment Lochlan is nowhere to be found.

The memory thief runs toward me, his face blackened, tie shredded, it's awkward knot loosened and askew. His formerly white shirt is almost grey now with soot and he throws his arms around me as he runs past, pulling me up off my feet, against his chest tightly. I put my arms around his neck and watch the fire get smaller as we get further away from it. Everything around us gets darker but he keeps running as hard as he can. I can feel his heart pounding through his chest, his breath coming in ragged gasps and he squeezes me so hard against him that it hurts.

When the fire is a memory of its own he begins to slow and then finally he stops and collapses to the pavement, spilling us both to the road, holding my head in his hand against his shoulder to keep from cracking it open against the ground.

What did you do? I scramble away from him and to my feet, fists tightly curled and walk back twenty feet to watch the flames as they eat everything they touch, including everything I held so dear that I depended on him to protect and keep until a time came when I could relive everything again without it hurting so much.

We're going to reinvent ourselves, Bridget. We're going to start over. No more dusty file cabinets and locked drawers. No more thieves and interlopers. No more substitutions. No more waiting. I burned it all down. 

He sits up, elbows on his knees, pulling off his tie and tossing it to one side. He starts to laugh. I should have done this years ago.

You didn't ask me, Sam!

You would have said no. 

All of that belonged to me. That whole block.

That whole city, you mean. Just wait. The whole thing is wired to go up but I've got it on a time delay. For safety. 

I didn't ask you to do this. 

It was too dangerous to leave it any longer. Someone was going to get hurt.

Who was going to get hurt?

You. Or maybe me. Maybe all of us.

So you destroyed it?


And then you got drunk.



This is a huge step but we need to make it now and we need to do it together.

What do you mean?

Just as I ask the question a deafening rumble begins and the ground starts to shake and then an explosion levels my world.

When I next open my eyes I'm lying on the ground on my back. It's daylight and everything is covered with a thick layer of ashes. I can't breathe or hear anything except for an incessant ringing and there's nothing for miles in any direction.  I sit up and Sam is grinning from ear to ear beside me.

It's too late now, isn't it? I ask him.


Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Full frontal disappointment.

Corey sent a huge flower basket this morning by way of apology for his bullheadishness. Looking back I was still ladylike and didn't stoop to his level as much as I probably could have, probably saved only because I am usually loathe to interrupt once the boys get going. I called to thank him right away, I mean this basket could barely fit through the door. I thought we would have to open both. It's got silk butterflies pinned everywhere and has roses just spilling out of it. I've never seen anything so lovely.

The note said,

Mrs. K. I am an ass but the observations hold true. I still love you as you made me famous and I could retire at 40. Don't wreck my friends and we'll call it even if you promise to visit me in the home when I'm 90 and maybe then concede to give me a spongebath. 



PS. Loch you love me bitch admit it. 

I don't know how he got the flower shop to write all that but money can buy the most interesting things.

Really, you deserve it. You have put up with a lot. 

And you, not living here, don't know the half of it. 

Sorry, Bridge.

Apologies like this are accepted! I can be bought with flowers. 

Good to know. 

Come for dinner Saturday. Be on your best. It will be cheaper. 

Noted. I'll bring potato salad. 

No, just bring you. 



Sam fell asleep last night with every window open downstairs and the heat from the rest of the house sucked down the steps and outside. I went down in five layers to trace the source of the freezing cold and it was like Zathura when I opened the door only instead of seeing outer space it was Hoth. I called out to him and immediately went around closing doors and windows and telling him he really had to learn to batten down the hatches at night because this was one habit of Jake's he didn't need to fall into, especially living at ground level and then I made it to the bedroom door and he's-


Still sleeping.

Buck naked. Face up. Half on the bed. Half not except that something is wrong because Sam isn't messy or forgetful or a free sleeper like this and I grab a blanket from the couch in the living room and go back and throw it over him and sit down and yell his name in his face and he stirs so slowly for a brief moment I think he's dead and I lose my mind.

Literally lose it. As in full and utter breakdown right there. Fireworks and demolition from the top of my head to the bottom of my heart and he opens his eyes and it takes a lot of work and then I realize where I've seen that kind of whiskey effort to get out of a blackout before.

Oh, Sam. I thought you were dead but you're just stupid. 

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Hard to believe behind his back they call him 'The Mountain'.

And I guess that's why they call it the blues
Time on my hands could be time spent with you
Laughing like children, living like lovers
Rolling like thunder under the covers
And I guess that's why they call it the blues
It seemed like a normal, albeit very tired Tuesday morning. I'm washing endless dishes at the sink. PJ and Ben are sharing the newspaper at the island. Lochlan is trying fix something on my macbook. Sam and Duncan are talking about the weekend. August is stretched out on the couch by the fire, eyes closed. Dalton isn't up yet. Quietish. Elton's on the stereo. My choice.

John comes in from running errands, including taking the children up to school because it's pouring. All hands on deck, he calls and everybody groans but gets up. That means he wants everyone to help do one single trip bringing things inside. It turns a lot of work into a two-minute job.

The second everyone is out of the kitchen he locks the french doors behind them and grabs me in a dance. A very elaborate tango through the kitchen. Just me, John and Elton while he sings the song. I am surprised and thrilled. I love dancing. I love Elton. I love John when he's in these kinds of moods. He spins me past the glass doors while everyone stands there and stares, my arms high above my head and brings me back in, swaying me back and forth in his arms, smiling down at me. He ends the song with me back where I started at the sink and he heads across to unlock the door but before he lets anyone back in, he blocks them.

She needs more fun. More good days. More HAPPY. Got it?

They nod. Loch walks in and pretends to throw a nasty uppercut and John pretends to hit him back but then takes him into his arms and takes him for a waltz around the kitchen too. I turn up the music and we all watch and soon they are all begging for turns and my eyes start to sting just a little because it's so much fun to watch them getting along so well.

Dalton finally appeared and had no idea what was going on but thankfully was a really good sport and got the last dance of the morning.

This can be cult rule #1. Forget the sex parties. I want breakfast dancing.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Teflon Jesus and the pull in every direction except away. Also, Cor, we still hate yer fucken guts. (<--that part was not me, that's Loch).

Hardly three weeks have gone by and Dalton got the call to go back out on the road. I heard him talking on the phone late last night. He's not much of a door-closer and I was in the library so I got an earful. He was quick to convince them he wasn't interested and I went to bed at ease.

Until Corey showed up this morning to try and turn his screws a little more tightly. Dalton doesn't like to be bugged so I didn't mind running interference.

He just got home. He's already given his answer, Corey. 

Ohh. Here comes the microqueen with her decision. No boys off the point. The cult is closed for business, is it? He smirks at me. Asshole. 

We're a cult now? 

Bridget, this is the first and only cult revolving around a woman that I've seen. I'd say there's some quality issues involved with that but yeah, it's a fucking cult. You've got your sex parties, your built-in preachers, your decades of brainwashing, your faithful followers, and your closed-off property. A little recruiting, a lot of rules, no strangers, no peeking, and at the top of the heap is your little fucked-up self. 

Oh my God, Corey, you're so jealous. Stop it. I'm flattered but you're not my type. 

Because my dick would have stuck right out the back of your fucking head, midget. 

Enough, Corey. Dalton isn't in the mood for one of our fights. Corey and I never got along, precisely for this reason. He wants to be here and I have no patience for his egotude.

Sorry, Dalt. I just don't get what it is that keeps you all here. 

Exactly what you listed. Sex parties and decades of brainwashing. Dalton is deadpan and I giggle.

Corey rolls his eyes.

If you change your mind about coming out it would probably be good for you to stay away from Mrs. Koresh here. I think Jake taught her everything he knew and she just picked up the torch after he offed himself. You know why he did that, right? It's because you fuck anything that breathes, Bridget. 

Except you. 

ZING. Love you, Babe. See ya later. 

I hope not. 

Christ, who let him in? Duncan strolls in and I point at his brother.


I didn't think he'd be that big of an ass. 

It's Monday. Of course he is. All of the weekend hope is gone. It'll be back around Thursday. They laugh but I'm crushed. We are a fucking cult.

I'm not too crushed though. I'm so glad I can keep Dalton home for the summer and away from that crap.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

The movie by myself.

Lochlan broke his shiny new rule first thing this morning when we went to the theatre to see Warcraft (Sunday is a good time to see a movie because hardly any one goes and Ben doesn't get harassed at all) and at the last minute I bought a ticket to see a different movie.

I don't actually play video games much (you have been left behind) so I got myself a ticket to see Me Before You.

Which was not a funny, sad romantic comedy chick flick like what I thought it would be, even having read the controversy in the paper, knowing the main character wanted to off himself because he felt his life was not worth living. It sounded a little heavy. It sounded perfect, because let's face it. I like my life a little heavy.

I left the theater unable to breathe. Only because it was a real kick in the arse. A punch in the face. Live boldly indeed. Their relationship was neither trite nor predictable, the story was neither cheesy nor hokey and it was well worth the thought parade and the unhappy ending. I loved it, I loved that it made me think and I loved that it made me smile and cry at the same goddamned time. It's far far deeper than you would expect and way less fluffy than it probably should have been been and very very good. It should almost be required watching, in this day and age with our grand debates on euthanasia and perhaps on how to compromise in relationships too.

I think I had a better time than the boys did (their reviews of Warcraft were the following: Awesome! So cool! and Amazing!) and I'm also a full-fledged card-carrying grownup because I've been to a movie alone.

I didn't get mugged or anything. I ate a whole popcorn without having to share, which may have been a bad idea. I didn't eat anything else yet this weekend because I am still full from it but yeah, good movie.

Really, really good. And so very sad. But so very good.

Saturday, 11 June 2016


Two days later and everyone remains disappointed in me, Claus is 'deeply saddened' and the majority blame Ben for that one time when he said he really really liked watching me fuck other people.

He. wasn't. even. there.

He's also really mad at me, for the record. Mostly because once again the back of my skull features a really large human bite imprint that really fucking hurts when I touch it and my hips show a set of bruises in the exact shape and size of Caleb's fingertips. Neither Ben nor Lochlan ever leave a mark, but with Caleb it's a hallmark and nothing has changed.

And two days later I have apologized to no one. I am a package deal and it's a difficult package. Comes with a ghost or two and a fucked up feral freak of a girl and I make no bones about it. They all know up front what to expect so don't be surprised when what you see is exactly what you get.

And Ben falls off the wagon two, three times a year. I fell off it for the first time ever and it took a bite out of my head and told me it loved me, fucked my heart out and shoved me back across the driveway into loving arms. Seems to me I'm doing pretty good.

Is that what you call it? Pretty good? Jake has that disapproving smile on his face as he steps into the light in the garage. The smile that means he still wants to be polite but can't stand to be, either. 

Can you look after Cole for me? 

I always do. He isn't easy though. 

I know but thank you. I appreciate it. 

For how long?



That's the deal. Or until I get there. Then I will take over and you can be done. Soon, okay? 

I turn to leave and smash right into Lochlan, who has added horrified to his tired, pissed-off, fed-up expression. Bridget, what in the hell do you mean by that-

Nothing. I'm just trying to placate him, that's all.

What do you mean by soon?

Nothing, I just meant until I'm dead. 

You said soon. That means shortly.

Loch, I don't-

That's enough. This ends right here. 

He took my hand and kissed the back of it and said I stray no further than the length of his arm for the rest of my life and if that was a problem, well then too fucking bad. My first thought was easy and my second thought was really freaking dirty and awful but I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.



Friday, 10 June 2016


Mama, ain't the blood just proof I'm human?
Mama, ain't the wound just retribution?
Well Mama, ain't the scar like a vision of grace?
I found Cole, in the fog, in the rain, in the waves crashing against the cliffs, in the concrete room where I keep my memories of him, in the mannerisms of his older brother, so much like him and yet nothing like him now because his heart beats an unsteady rhythm like the rain did just yesterday. Just for me. Just long enough for me to find purchase on the wet earth and then I was sent home in the dark to make my penance proper because as the Devil said it serves no purpose any more to use the living to visit the dead.

He didn't mean himself. He meant August because for as much as I can find Cole in Caleb I can find Jacob in August but this entry today isn't about Jacob and it isn't even about Cole. It's about a six month break that ended yesterday with a crash against the shore that signaled a truce of sorts. I offered my body and he offered a ghost. I took all of my fear and anger and put it on him and he took it and wore it and wept from it and let it eat him alive and let it wear on him and finish him off and then he let them devour him whole with their rage and let their fists connect with him and their words strike him down and he rode on through the dangerous night with me in his arms and he promised things would be better and I wouldn't have to hate him anymore and we won't have to be enemies and he said he was trying to protect me too and he was trying to fix things and all men are selfish if you give them the chance, Bridge, not even one of us is different and in the morning things looked better. The sun came up and I could catch my breath. He slept uneasily beside me, that uneven beat still thrumming through what was left of the night, a song no one knows anymore because it's unfamiliar, words we've never heard and I realized I don't hate him anymore. The only difference is like everything he doesn't do anything halfway. It's all or nothing, every time. That's what makes this so difficult for him, is that he is forced to be the bad guy, the ghostkeeper, the past.

I still don't see a future, I tell him over cheese toast.

Look harder. It's there. You weren't taught to be short-sighted, he says, and he drains the rest of the coffee in his cup, kisses my cheek and leaves the room.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

"It takes a man to make a devil." -Henry Beecher.

I want you to know
All is blacked out but continues to grow
I need you to see
Nothing can change unless you believe
I won't let it go
I'll stick to the plan
We're deep in the throes

I won't let it go
I'll fight til the end
And then you will know

Who will save you now?
Who will save you now?
Tell the world I'll survive
Who will save you now?
Who will save you now?

Alone with this vision
Alone with this sound
Alone in my dreams
I carry around

I will not take from you and you will not owe
I will protect you from the fire below
It's not in my mind
It's here at my side
Go tell the world that I'm still alive
This morning every breath washes over me in panic. Every step feels like it's weighed in concrete and every breeze across my skin is raw. I can't find a way to distract myself or soothe myself from this feeling. Nothing is working. Sam isn't home, August and PJ are both out. Loch and Ben are both working and I'm supposed to call Christian or Danny if I need anything and instead I'm climbing the walls. Duncan and Dalton are both home and asleep and I don't dare wake up either one with a psychic crisis because Dalton will suggest we do something constructive and Duncan will suggest something destructive and I don't want to do either of those. I know a surefire way to calm myself but he is evil and forbidden and maybe exactly what I need right this minute because I can't breathe and all I want is Cole. Sometimes it's nice when the grief can hurt just a little bit less. Sometimes it's nice when you can still touch a ghost long gone.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016


But never have I been a blue calm sea
I have always been a storm
I feel asleep waiting for Ben in the big hanging chair in the lounge area of the studio and he woke me with a sweet kiss long past my bedtime when he finally took off his headphones and noticed I was still there. He's been holed up for weeks. Part of me wants to stamp my feet and say it isn't fair, the other part reminds me that this is how he is. How he's happiest. This is what he does, nevermind the others who unhelpfully suggest that this is because I have rejected Caleb at last and maybe now Ben has no use for me because I'm not depraved anymore or maybe because my loyalties aren't as divided  clearly I must be devoted to Loch and now there's no room for Ben to maybe the simple fact remains that he's finally grown bored of me (wow, thanks Duncan) to PJ's incredible suggestion that I should have been down here forcing him out of his rut long before now.

I don't know who is right and who is wrong so I asked Ben and he laughed and said Nobody, but since we're alone, there's been something I've been wishing for. And he unzipped his jeans and grabbed me by the back of the head and made sure no one's going to call me a lady any time soon.

When I was done choking on his absence he wiped my face with his t-shirt and said he bet I didn't miss him anymore and said if I needed my jaw realigned the next one will probably put it back and he laughed and sat down heavily on the floor right in front of where I lay in the chair. Still sideways. Still somewhat sleepy. Still kind of surprised. He puts his head down to match mine. So we can talk.

What did I miss?


What else?

The meltdown-countdown. 

You seem to be doing okay from where I sit. 

Yes, Ben. If you stare down the end of your dick, everything looks terrific. Jesus. You've got the penis-equivalent of rose-colored glasses. 

I told you I wasn't going to fix things. 

You're not even around for moral support though. You've bailed entirely. 

You're safe. And I've got my own shit to fix, Bridge. I'm trying not to drink, here. 

Then let me help you.

Pretty sure you just did. 

Well, then fuck Bill. They should ask everyone if they're friends of Bridget. 

Here on the point, they do. The program is called BB. 

BJ, you mean.

Right. Because that was amazing. I've been missing out on life haven't I?


I'm sorry, Bridget. How can I make it up to you?

Stop disappearing? 

Dammit. I was hoping you'd let me return the favor you just did for me. could do that to. 

Awesome! And before I could say anything else, he got up on his knees, grabbed my hips, pulled my jeans right off and the rest isn't even remotely fit for print.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

My sweater saved my life yesterday and other stupid stories I'm not going to tell you.

Well, did she make you cry
Make you break down
Shatter your illusions of love?
And is it over now
Do you know how
Pick up the pieces and go home?
Loch hung over the fence just before sunset and grabbed me by the hood. He got me going in a good hard swing and then with a shout he defied gravity, bringing me back over to the safe side once again. Then I got the usual routine of being backed up against a wall with his finger in my face, his harsh words in my ears and tears swimming in my own eyes as I bit my lip and tried to be brave while he demanded that if I'm insolent enough to break the rules then I'm brave enough to stand there and absolutely not cry to his fucking face while I get in trouble for it. No? Oh well, then DON'T DO IT AGAIN, OKAY? 

And I nodded even as he tried and failed to keep his whole face from cracking into a smile because he's not all that good at being parental to me anymore even as I'm absolutely awful at following rules and really that side of the yard is one of the few places with completely unspoiled beauty and no electric fences or obstructed views and so when I need to think very hard and I'm not allowed on the beach then why, yes, I will end up perched out on the very edge of the cliff with my back right up against the fence where there's no actual room to stand. If you saw it you'd be horrified. Even the fence posts are engineered to hook back in underneath about three feet back from where the fence sits proper. It's terrifying in places.

It's also liberating because I'm the only one small enough to fit on that side and sometimes I just need to pause the whole world and hop off and you'll know it when I do because your CD will skip, your video will buffer or you'll lose your train of thought. Sorry, sometimes it can't be helped.

But really, I'm fine. I just have to figure out how to reorder my stuff every time I drive over a bump in the road and all my things fly up into the air and every time that happens there's one less space to put everything when it all comes back down and I have to rearrange it. That's how Sam described it and it's perfect.

Monday, 6 June 2016


Everyone's backed way off this week, hands up, eyes toward each other waiting and watching still to see what I will do and when it's warm and sunny I've been in the garden taking my sweet time trying to teach the boys that it isn't complicated and when it's raining I sit at the window seat, nose pressed up against the glass and I wonder if Jake knows. I wonder if I should tell him, formally. I wonder if I should venture down that long corridor to the rusted room where we can talk properly. I wonder if he's still there. I know Cole is. I won't let him leave.

I wonder why they feel like they have to protect me from each other. I wonder why it rains so much here. I wonder if we're given a set amount of time carved in stone or if we just fall into slots in life that are already carved out and the rest is just bad luck.

I wonder if I'd like to go back to work pouring coffee for minimum wage. I wonder if the headaches will ever stop. They started again the minute we got here and haven't let up unless I put myself into a near-fatal drug stupor. I wonder if my time is long or short. I wonder who wins. I wonder where Ben's heart is. I wonder if I'll get tired of this and move on or implode into a billion tiny feathers and confetti like I usually do.

I wonder what people think of me. I wonder why I don't care. I wonder why stupid things like farmers markets and beach days excite other people who plan for them regularly, and crowds and lineups don't bother others but they send me into apoplexy. Money makes me crazy. I count it, hoard it with a level of compulsion reserved for the most depraved. I wonder why.

I wonder when August is going to stop watching and start asking all these questions. I wonder when mood stabilizers will turn into chemical lobotomizers and when everything else will come to light. I wonder when they'll run over my brain with the ride on mower and swear it was an accident but turn on measures of relief so sharp we can use them to cut lines that bring about a new kind of fear.

I wonder when dinner is. It's not my night to cook.

I wonder why he didn't assign a watcher. I wonder if they know how close I stood to the wall today on the wrong side, wavering against the wind, my back pressed against the rough treated boards, my sweater hooked on the edge of the knot, the sea calling my name quite clearly before I told her I had to go back inside. I don't want to go in, I just need to get close.

Sunday, 5 June 2016


When I head upstairs Loch is reading. He looks up almost with suspicion before getting up and crossing to me. He puts all the lights on and inspects me all over. Lifts up my chin, looks behind my ears, between my fingers, underneath my knees.

You okay? He says it shamefully, quietly. As if I wasn't even expected. Like I would have stayed had I know I could have or was supposed to. I nod. Yes. We did the paperwork on the house, had a Lag and now I'm home.

Did you have a fight to get out?

Not really, I lie.

The relief is instantaneous and he takes my hands, pushing them up high above my head, pulling my dress up with them, then the dress is off and thrown to the floor. My lingerie follows until there is nothing in his way and then he keeps my hands, spinning me away, facedown onto the bed, following me, letting go as he pins me with his weight, then wrapping one hand around the back of my head and wrapping the other down around the side of the bed frame for leverage.

Leverage. This is amazing. Oh my God.

All of his weight comes down against my hips and all I can do is hold on to my pillow, twisting it up in my hands far up above my head. I can't breathe, I can't move. I cry out and he lets go of the bed, sliding his hand underneath my hips, pulling them up hard against him. Bridge, he cries out against my ear, turning me over so fiercely that I twist my skin hard against him, almost screaming as we fit back together face to face, fumbling to climb back inside each other where we belong. He pulls my arms up around his neck, tightening his hold around my back, jamming his chin hard against my head, rocking tightly against me. It's seven hundred degrees in the room and about a thousand between us and the sparks start to dance out from the darkest corners as we work hard to make it a full-fledged fire. Suddenly he pulls me up into his lap and the flames bloom all around us as he presses his lips against my neck, slowing down, breathing hard, fingers digging in against my hips. Pulling me in hard and then pushing me away again, smiling at my tiny cries as I rest my head against his shoulder finally, sweat dripping from my nose, stinging my eyes, leaving my fingers unable to hold onto his shoulders. So I let go and fall to the sheets and he lies down beside me and exhales slowly.

I'm sorry, Bridge. 

Glad we waited until after that to make up, I admit and he laughed and blushed. I didn't think we could get any more red but we can.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Pure prophet.

I've convinced him to move the gates again to exclude the white marble monstrosity up the hill and sell it while the market is on a white hot streak. This neighborhood is solid gold. The house has been stripped of as much marble as I could take from it and redone beautifully and we weren't going to sell it but we don't need it either and really it's a lot of money needlessly tied up when it doesn't have to be and so if he sold this one and kept the one in Tahoe then he would be sitting pretty indeed. I came to him with the offers and he was very surprised and pleased and we chose one and it's all done and what easy money sometimes.

You're very good at this. I wish you would be my partner formally. In ventures, I mean. I know what he means.

I don't like the business.

I know, Neamhchiontach. And maybe that's why you're so good at it. You don't use your heart at all. Just your head. I would have sat on that house but you like to play it safe and you've done very well and you will be rewarded. 

I don't need to be. 

If it's all the same to you, I'd appreciate a chance to continue to spoil my favorite sometime-partner when my business flourishes because of her decisions on my behalf. 

Suit yourself. I have to go. 

Can you have a nightcap first?

Sure. What do you have?

We can finish the Lagavulin. 

There's half a bottle left! 

Right. He grins. We'll go over the rest of this paperwork. Let Pyro know you'll be home inside of an hour.


It's the opposite of artifice. The habitual routine of taking our places on the couch to go over paperwork because his desk and my little spot in his office always seemed so formal, foreboding even. I fit perfectly there, tucked under his arm while his fingers errantly trace my tattoos as I read over the lists. This contentment seems so bittersweet now without a future.

He kisses the top of my head as I turn a page and I don't know what is habit and what's hopeful. I love you, he whispers and I nod. Love you too, I whisper back automatically, so careful not to weigh it down, watching as it floats up over our heads. Habit over meaning, courtesy over declaration. His heart is probably as cold as stone now, the space in the center where the injuries are filling up with ice, thawing and freezing, expanding and contracting, filling up until eventually the weaker piece will break right off, the remaining piece withering and dying.

He holds his breath until I turn another page to confirm that it's habit and then he pretends it is even as he hoped otherwise and he tries to just enjoy the moments. It's as if we've started over but really we are winding down and I'm trying to throw an old dog a bone here, letting him down as gently as I can. Loch wanted to shoot him in the head, I'd rather put him to sleep. It's more humane. And I always said in the end that it wasn't me who was the monster, even as everyone said I was. It wasn't me. I became the product of my environment, that's all. It couldn't be helped.

As I read he refills my glass. I don't know if he think I'm not paying attention or if he's making a statement. I put the papers down and wait for clarification.

You agreed to help me finish this. 

I can't crawl back across the driveway. 

So stay. 

I can't stay. 

You could stay. 

I'm not staying. 

We are nose to nose and oh my God, I want to stay.

I gotta go, Diabhal. 

Wish you wouldn't, Babydoll. 

Lagavulin's empty. I knock the bottle over and it spills across the table. A travesty. A waste. He quickly gets up and goes to get a towel.

An escape.

Goodnight, Bridget. The disappointment in his voice is so thick I feel it close around me as I shut the door. I feel like I have narrowly escaped a whole different kind of quicksand. I feel sick from the whiskey and the heat and the big money and the expectation that he is alone because of me and in spite of me and I feel the dark closing in tight like a vise.



Trying to wrestle with making a ringtone only to find out you've moved and buried where the AAC version thingie is so I tried to find a version online only to find only MP3 versions that I couldn't seem to convert and Lochlan is SO goddamn cruel when it comes to tech to the point where even Duncan gave HIM a shove and told him to give it a rest already. It wasn't even seven a.m. yet.

He finally showed me where they buried it this time but it was too late, I spent all my free internet time and now it's finished and my Saturday coffee is finished and my patience is finished and we don't have any hot water so the new water heater is arriving any minute now so maybe once I get a long hot shower I'll feel like giving it another go.

Too bad there was no character in the wizard of oz that needed a cure for massive pointless frustration. She would have been small and beet-pink and always in tears over fuck all. That's the worst part, it's all first world problems and I know. I know Lochlan is trying to teach me this and I know. I know. I know I know I know.

I'll be back later when I have my shit together. This is not my post, but I'm human so I'll leave it up.

Friday, 3 June 2016


I was watching footage from Paris online this morning and I leaned back against Dalton and before I knew it PJ yelled Narco and I jumped.

Loch responded. Polo!


My narcolepsy is raging, untreated and almost worse than ever now in a bid to try and contain the migraine issues. The anticonvulsants that they put me on have enough side effects to make one yell HELL, NO! and stalk off in a huff and yet I've chosen to give them a chance only because they won't make me gain weight and because the promise of less pain still yearns for the light of day in there where all other hope is now lost.

But yeah, I can fall asleep mid-bite of cereal now. This is ridiculous. Add the hot skin and near-dementia-level forgetfulness with words and wow. I'm a fucking nonverbal pancake these days. But marginally cuter. Or maybe not even.

Paris is sorta-kinda underwater and they've closed the Louvre and I imagine are feeling a sort of springtime kinship with Venice these days. I freaking loved Venice but I didn't like the rats and I wouldn't want to live there because I imagine the kitschyness of it would wear off incredibly fast and the dampness of it would seep into my bones the same way the cold seemed to after eight years in the Prairies. I just couldn't walk another step, couldn't spend another day, couldn't knit another stitch of wool to put on to protect against that cold. In Venice I had nightmares of turning black with mold while I slept. It was profoundly beautiful and also tragic.

Paris is temporary. I always feel like Paris is on borrowed time. Paris is never what you think it's going to be, and then when you get there you think, oh, this is not what I expected AT ALL.

I guess it's like that in a lot of places.

I heard that in Egypt, if you look at the Sphynx and turn a hundred and eighty degrees you're facing a row of fast food restaurants.

I heard that if you see Bridget out and about in the wild of West or Downtown Vancouver she's merely a five-feet-tall former Midway rat who will ignore you completely and hang back from the hand of whomever she's with, not listening to anything that she can't hear, content to let them lead. She's not some point-controlling, man-collecting, husband-slaying demoness like you've read about.

That or she's asleep.

Yeah. She's probably asleep.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Lilac spring.

You're lost in reveries
Holding back the tears
Faint sound of the wires
The butterfly is in the fire now
Lost in a memory you're holding my hands
One heart is in the ground
The other is veiled in the silver all around

Born under a trouble sign
Will it hurt to see me find
The long lost peace of mind
Darling you had me here for a while
It breaks my heart to see you cry
In the wake of incomplete time
It's warm enough to sleep in the camper overnight again. When I open my eyes this morning it's raining and the door is open. Loch is cooking mashed potatoes and tea on the tiny burners. He's already got cheese melting on bread on plates at the table. My stomach rumbles uncomfortably and I turn over and put my head under the pillow.

There's the thunderous sound I know so well. Breakfast is almost ready. Find your clothes. 

Give me yours. 

What will I wear to eat in? 

Nothing. I smile. Just your hair and your boots. 

Ah. I see yesterday's crassness hasn't faded a bit. 


I'll fix that later. 

Good luck. PJ's got his hooks in good. 

He passes me a plate filled to the brim and puts a mug on the shelf by my head, turning it so the handle is easy to reach. There. Breakfast in bed for my circus peanut. 

He takes his own plate and joins me on top of the quilts, adding his mug to the shelf beside mine. His is blue, mine is green.

You slept, I think. I know I did. 

I nod. Maybe we should reconstruct the camper in our bedroom. 

That might not be a bad idea. 

Think Ben would go for it? 

If we see him, we can ask. Eat while it's hot, Bridgie.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016


Life is short and tough and I'm going to roll it in sugar, squeeze it until syrup drips from my fingers and enjoy the fuck out of every last drop, even as it kills me.

This is the plan? Loch asks, his eyebrows raised. He has the most glorious bedhead popcan-width red curls this morning. I lay in bed this morning wrapping his hair around my wrist. Three times before he mock-squeals and I laugh. It's getting long. Hope he leaves it. But then three different boys already quoted from Brave as they saw him.

And such lovely, flowy locks...

We can't just run away from whoever we are!

Never craft where you conjure!

(Now he'll cut it for sure. Thanks, boys.)

Yes, this is the plan. To enjoy every last minute. 

The last time you said this you were halfway through a burrito in some sort of Mexican ecstasy and I had to roll you to back to the truck in a fugue state, he smiles dreamily.

Exactly. Eat the burrito! Roll back to the truck! Fuck the calories. Fuck the waiting, counting, watching, checking. 

Right. Fuck the rules!

Fuck 'em! Right in the-


Fuck 'em in the Bridget? Ow!

No, I thought you were going to say something else. 

Also, stop censoring our words! 

Hell, yeah! Except...


I hate it when you say that one. 

Which one? 

The one you were about to say. 


Oh. You were about to say 'Fuck 'em in the ass'?


Okay nevermind then.