I am older than I once wasIt's early and it's not hot, it's simply beautiful out, a balmy twenty-two degrees in the wind, a Bridget Day if ever there was one. Today is a better day by far, one that I needed. One I fought for. I got the last croissant. I made a whole pot of coffee and PJ only stole a small cup, leaving the whole thing for me. I'm on my last cup now. I switched out tapestries on the tables in the house and out by the pool. I have dozens. In amongst them I found my old pants. Crazy wrap-around tie-dyed harem pants. Softest cotton ever. I put them on with an army green tank top and Lochlan laughed when he saw them.
And younger than I'll be
But that's not unusual
No it isn't strange
After changes upon changes
We are more or less the same
I didn't think you still had those, he said.
I'm going to get five more pairs. These are the best.
Well they're more fun than the endless parade of black dresses and leggings, aren't they?
In a way, yes. But he is unconvinced. I think he's grown used to the little black cloud. It's okay, so have I. But when I'm not wearing black I'm wearing tie-dye, patchwork or some recycled sari concoction. I used to be so colorful. Sometimes I still am. Lochlan started that, too.
He kidnapped me last night and we went out front to the little grotto under the trees, now lush and private thanks to the ever encroaching forest around this house. It grows into a little green cave each summer, redolent with hollyhocks and the smell of cedar. Lochlan had the bluetooth speaker playing softly, and he brought the picnic basket with a late dinner and some champagne.
He talked for a long time. I watched him and ate and drank and after not all that long I was full and almost-drunk and very sleepy and we were square. Then he handed me off to Caleb for more concentrating under duress and Caleb made his amends as well and we're back to the square with the one on it and that's good. Or maybe it's late. Or maybe I had too much champagne and my eyes were beginning to flutter like my hands and I was brought back to the front door. Back to Lochlan. Back to Ben. Back to Sam as he's around again.
We're good. Everything's good. Everyone's fine. The Collective survives to fight another day together. Not that it was in any danger but things are always better if we're all on the same page, instead of some people lagging behind while others read ahead.