Saturday, 19 August 2017

Fair sanctuaries.

I didn't call his bluff, didn't bluster over for his test or his free pass or his freaky Lochlanish fair-weather ways. I followed him all the way to the house and then veered abruptly left, quietly left, and so I was in the garage, door locked and closed behind me, up the other stairs and knocking softly on the unlocked door down the unused back hall of August's flat in the waning hours before Lochlan even knew where I went. I was hoping he would understand and not panic and think I got snatched by a bear. I asked August to text him and tell him that much and just tell him that I was sorry and August smiled gently and said,

Do it yourself, Bridget. Please. 

So I did and Lochlan just wrote back I love you. 

Because he does and I think he understands.

If he does that makes one of us, at least.

August put on the record player and we swung in place listening to Emerson, Lake & Palmer for a couple of hours straight and I gave up trying to stay awake and since August is one of those absolutely perfect men when I woke up from my catnap he made hot chocolate with vegan raw marshmallows but thankfully didn't tell me that's what they were until after, and he fixed us a plate of homemade flax crackers and some fruit to share. We talked a little bit about nothing and about everything too.

He got the Joel-update required so I don't actually have to talk to Joel and then he walked me back across the driveway so I wouldn't get snatched by a bear. Lochlan was sitting on the steps just inside the back door, nearly asleep, leaning against the wall, slack-jawed, eyes closed. He jumped to his feet when the door opened and August laughed. Take him up so he can get his beauty sleep, Bridge. He needs it more than you do. He kissed us both on the tops of our heads and we waited and watched him until he reached the other side of the garage door again.

I need to show you something. Lochlan takes my hand and leads me through the house. We go upstairs, through our rooms and right out to the balcony, where there are candles everywhere, some already suffocated to the bottom and in the center of the tile floor a low table set with beautiful dishes, covered plates and cushions all over the floor. It's like the Afghan Horseman restaurant but here at home. Exotic music plays on the stereo. He's tied tapestries all over the place to close it in. It's amazing.

Had you called my bluff you would have been surprised with a romantic middle eastern dinner for two. Just us. 

Why would you bait me? 

Because you would show up. You don't like being dared so you just take them. You always march right past me and say well, come on. I was a bit stunned when you didn't. 

I'm so sorry. But you could have messaged me and told me the truth when I left. 

I'm not going to guilt you into coming back. 

But all of your hard work went to waste! 

Not really. Ben and I had an intensely romantic dinner together. But don't worry. It was take out. 

I would have loved this. 

Well then, did you learn your lesson?

Did you learn yours?

But we're too tired to be profound or to wait for answers so we settle for crashing into bed instead.


Friday, 18 August 2017

Saturday night's...alright...for...fighting..??

That's one of the other things I love about the beach is how it sounds at night: muted and amplified all at the same time, which is mostly how life sounds for me overall, quieted in places and overly loud in others, only I don't get to pick and it's never the same things at the same time. The surf is loud, pounding out an unsteady beat against the shore. My heart tries to match, tries to prove we're kindred, tries to prove my blood is seawater within but I only end up feeling dizzy and weak in the face of so much directionless power.

It's not directionless. The tide goes in, the tide goes out. It pulls the moon. 'Tis a game to her. Lochlan says it softly, such beautiful words in his quiet lilt. My eyes fill up and defocus and now everything is black. I would find my way by sound, but I don't have echolocation. I would find my way by touch but I've touched the ocean floor and she wants to keep me. I would try not to cry but it's pointless, for words are never just words, are they?

She's a lot like you. 

In what way?

Beautiful beyond words. Bottomless. Playful yet dangerous. And blue. Always blue. He stares at me just a little bit shyly. Words always came easily when he was teaching, never when he was describing what was in his heart. Then he would trip and stumble, picking up speed, dropping letters, doubling back for meanings, making sure I understood what he meant, even as I've never had the same difficultly when I couldn't grasp the language for the life of me half the time in the most basic of fashions.

Blue. 

Blue. She's yours. It's why we're here. Well, she and the Collective. 

I smile quickly and then it's gone off to hide in the dark somewhere.

You can have what you want, Bridget. We've had this conversation. I don't know if you need a reminder or if you're looking for some sort of permission but this entire commune is yours. You do what you want. 

Another smile. This smile says Bridget's about to barf.

Loch-

I'm not going to spend the next six months watching you set up some elaborate game with Dalton, he your moon, you the ocean. 

Ah. 

Just drown him up front. Bring him back. Get on with things. 

That's abrupt. 

I didn't say it wouldn't kill me. 

Then I'll banish him. 

Then someone else becomes a target. 

Then I'll banish them all. 

You sound like a benevolent queen. 

Who would do anything for her king. Oops. Freakishly loud in a moment where everything else suddenly muted.

He smiles so warmly it's hard to enjoy the cold night air in the tortured state I was expecting. One of the joys of loving a redhead is you're perpetually sticking your hands, fingers, toes, heart and brain into the fire alongside them. Them and their mixed messages.

I love you. But you can still have Dalton. 

What if I don't want him?

No one believes that. 

I don't want him this week. Or this season, I mean. He seems like a spring...er...fling.

Lochlan throws back his head and laughs. This is why I love you. 

Because I have now almost slept with the entire collective?

No, because when offered something once forbidden on a silver platter you suddenly duck and run. 

I'm going to go for a swim. 

Cool off? 

Drown. 

Bridge- 

I don't mean ACTUALLY.

No swimming. Besides, we have plans. 

What did you do?

You'll see. But Dalton's invited so we should really go now. Brush the sand off your bum and put a smile on your face there, bluebird.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Cows is killing me and other fun Thursday things.

Another ride up to Whistler today. Crankworx is going on. It's very busy, dirty and things somehow cost more. Take note, tourists..

Also Cows is catching up with me, as I can no longer eat a cone of their beautiful ice cream, even with Lactose pills beforehand. I spent most of the trip home trying to be beautiful and fragile in the car with Caleb while dying with gas pains.

Christ.

Caleb was mad anyway because I might have cuddled with Dalton a little bit out loud and since I did that he wondered what the hell I must have done in private and since I'm a lady I didn't tell him anything. I kept changing the subject. He kept changing it back. I shook him down for ice cream and he hardly noticed what flavor we got (coffee) or how bad traffic was for a Thursday or the fact that I rushed him along. He was distracted to a fault with his almost-shaved retribution head, his punishment hair, his eye-for-an-eye.

It will grow back in a couple weeks. It wasn't long to begin with, and he had it fixed professionally from where Lochlan didn't worry about keeping it even or anything reasonable.

When we got back Lochlan was in the driveway.

You look pale. He tells me.

Ice cream, I think. 

You don't do dairy well, Peanut. Never did. One thing a day. 

I only had the ice cream-

Cheese on your sandwich at lunch. 

Aw fuck. That's right.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

THIS.

Dalton fell asleep today in the chaise, his head on my lap. Not a snooze-lite but one of those exhausted bottom-falling-out sorts of sleeps where you might die if it happens in a place that isn't safe but you do it anyway. I did it on a sidewalk once in Atlantic City when I got locked out of our motel room. I don't know why I'm still alive. For how unsafe it was or for the profound rage Lochlan went into when he returned and found me curled up against the door. At four in the morning. In the shittiest part of the city. When he thought I had a key. I was nineteen. I had nothing. Had I had a quarter to call him I wouldn't have had a number to call him at. He never forgave himself for those kinds of terrible moments even as I never blamed him for them. I went out when I was supposed to stay put. I never thought to ask for a key. I never thought to find out where he'd be exactly, or when he'd be back. I never thought to find a safer place. I never thought. I never think.

Sometimes I think TOO much.

At least Point Perdition is safe, relatively-speaking, though that depends on who you ask, and Dalton's arms are warm, wrapped up around my waist. He's not going to let go, even as he's not awake. And I feel somehow anchored, comfortable. Relaxed, even. It's kind of nice. I lean back against the cushions, take another sip of my mimosa and pick up my book. Because there are far worse things than to be pinned by a warm, sleeping man who looks far too much like Casey Affleck (one of my favorites) for his own good or mine, especially by the pool on a perfect late-summer day and for once victory is mine because...

BECAUSE....

I don't have to pee.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

You can't put a butterfly in a jar.

That was FUN! It's been all fun all the time since I posted yesterday with hardly any time to breathe let alone sit down in front of a stupid computer.

BC Place was great once again. They were stellar for ACDC and they were beyond stellar for Metallica. No lines, no waiting. I wished for my rollerblades a few times. I wished they'd have opened the roof. PJ got me good and drunk early on and when Gojira came on first we rocked our faces off. We were annoyed at the fact that Metallica's 'ad' for watching them warm up remained up on the screen above the camera screens the whole time. Unnecessary. But Gojira stole the damn show with their sweet hardness as they do. I love that band. So so good. The sound was bad. The sun was bright. The band was incredible.

Avenged Sevenfold seemed to be very popular. Can I leave it at that? Okay. Let's do that. Nothing stood out about their music to me but they got the crowd pumped.

Under Ben's beautiful glare PJ went out and loaded up on Gatorade for me before Metallica came on. Lochlan laughed and let it all happen. Dalton let me steal most of his food and lean against him. The host near our section looked the other way while we moved down since the rows around us were empty and then we got more Gatorade because it was so hot and dry in there. I never want to see grape Gatorade again in my lifetime and damn, they make strong highballs but then Metallica came out and blew my face off anyway.

I hoped valiantly, fruitlessly for Sanitarium, and did not get it.

I got so much else though, so did everyone. The sound got a lot better. Don't leave after the encore. They hang out. They talk. It's WEIRD and AWESOME.

When we got home it was almost two in the morning before I managed to pick-axe all of my eyeliner off my face, bring Ben back to earth and go to sleep knowing we had to get up early this morning to go kayaking.

But we did.

And it was even more fun.

I took my boys (on their own kayaks) and I took the dog on my kayak. He had fun TOO. Now I can't lift my arms, I have a broken foot peg someone has to deal with and I'm so tired I would like to cry but too busy having fun to actually cry.

I will sleep tonight.

Monday, 14 August 2017

The memory remains.

God. Here we go. Not sure I'm ever ready for these nights. All of us heading off to the stadium for Metallica. Ben going too. I'm guessing five or six people will recognize him and ask for a photo or throw the horns and want to shake his hand. Some won't approach him (he has a scary resting bitch face), and some will say something shitty about his music or one of the bands he's played in on or some stupid thing and he'll ignore anything negative like he always does and I will feel sad for him and sad for people who feel as if they have to provoke people who hold little allegiance to a flawed business model anymore anyway.

Ben doesn't care if you hate one of the bands he's been in. He hates some of them too. Some of them imploded and tried to take him down with them, some tried to undercut him from the get go. Some tried to climb over him to get nowhere fast, and some were earnest and naive. He's seen everything. So don't be a shit. And God forbid, don't let PJ hear you say something personal about Benjamin. PJ will make sure you leave wearing your beer. Boy, are you clumsy.

I'm really sad Metallica played Sanitarium last show because odds are they won't play it tonight (according to setlists) and I don't know a thing about Avenged Sevenfold except they don't sound like something I'd listen to but that's okay too, we will be open to New Things and hopefully we'll survive. Our last Metallica show (also with Gojira! Hey!) was amazing (HOLY. 8 years ago! and...don't read that entry, I just ambushed myself so hard) so I hope this one will be amazing too.

Wish us luck. I hope to nap between bands.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Jesus cukes.

We didn't get much in the way of shooting stars or perseid meteors last night, as the clouds rolled in covering our fresh blue skies turned inky black turned grey and so instead we took to the dry grasses, did a rain dance, which brought a little rain, a little relief and then we came home. Lochlan promptly did that thing where he took ownership and shut Caleb down and then when I was almost asleep, he kissed my cheek and said he'd be back in a bit. He took my imaginary flaming torches and pitchforks and my army too and headed across the driveway and when I woke up he was there beside me, fully clothed, the whole bed slightly smoky, a stupidly handsome still-smoldering grin plastered on his face in his sleep, payback a bitch and all, score settled.

At Jesus Beach in the fucking wind this morning Caleb explained he got this new radical haircut to go with his new car, a fresh start for fall.

Lochlan smirked at the ground, hands in his pockets, nodding as he already knew.

I'm pretty sure PJ and Duncan held Caleb to the floor while Lochlan shaved his head almost to the brain-level (and Caleb looks a little scary now, truth be told) but we keep a crystal-clear don't-ask-don't-tell policy on those sorts of things. I got lots of compliments on my hair and Lochlan's fingers tracing my tattoo on the back of my neck all through the service making me shiver which counts for something.

I do look like I'm twelve though. That is new. I don't understand.

Sam fought to ignore all of us while he sermonized from up front and gave up quickly, eventually working his way around the crowd, touching us, soothing charges, quieting ires, changing things, personalizing things, calming everyone, doing that beautiful Jake-thing where you know you're seeing something special, witnessing something beautiful. By the time we left the boys were back to rights, my lungs were topped up with salt air and our eyes were all squinted-shut from the sun.

 I was actually ready for a nap but unwisely chose bottomless diner coffee instead and then agreed to make pickles and hang out in the kitchen enjoying the blue skies with Lochlan all afternoon because we need to. He wants to. I want to. If I don't we'll be eating cucumber sandwiches until Christmas. Jesus Christ indeed.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Veritas, Aequitas.

Perseids tonight,  Caleb has Darkest Hour cued up in the new car for the late-night drive up into the mountains. Permission not granted, nothing cleared. No lyrics, no direction, with only the piano and guitar from which to take our emotional cues. Shooting stars isn't hard, not with the ammunition we've got these days, but then when everything is dark and we're trying to find our way by touch, well that's when everything goes wrong.

And everything is sometimes already wrong so while I have my sweater and my camera ready, I don't know if I'm actually going or staying home.

**

Caleb was thinking out loud while I read last night. I had a glass of wine at the island and I was trying to concentrate in spite of his fingers on my spine, on my ears, my lips, my hands, his eyes staring at me. His arms sliding around mine. Doing everything he could to distract.

One more chapter. I want to finish it this weekend so I can pass it on to PJ-

I'm not stopping you. He lifts his hands up in the universal message of surrender and I keep reading.

A kiss lands on my shoulder and I give it to him cold, turning it inward and then twisting it out. I see him smile slightly before I return to my book. He takes my hair, twisting it around his finger. This has grown. 

Mmmmm, I say.

I miss your bob. 

So cut it, I tease. I'm not paying attention. I play into it. I should KNOW BETTER.

Next thing I know, five inches of my hair lands on my book.

I look up into his face with wide eyes. What did you just do?

He shrugs. I think we should let a professional finish this. 

I snatch the scissors out of his hands and leave. A flat run across the back yards finds me in Daniel's room.

Christ, Bridget. 

Do you have a few minutes? 

Caleb cut your fucking hair again didn't he? What is he, four? This is like kindergarten, he gets a pair of scissors and he can't-

Just please fix it. Spare me the lecture. 

Twenty minutes and I have a perfect chin-length bob again. Which is actually far cuter than I remember because Daniel is a better barber than anyone else and does a good job.

But I'm afraid to go home so I kiss his cheek and run back to the boathouse.

Lochlan is going to kill you, I tell Caleb.

Lochlan will probably thank me. For the first time, this has had the opposite effect and now you look younger than ever. He looks alarmed.

You can call him and tell him what you did. 

When he sees you he'll melt. I don't have to do anything. 

Diabhal-

Neamhchiontach, you talk about taking bluffs, well, you know you're not the only one. 

I'm not bluffing about him killing you. 

Wait here. 

He leaves me in his kitchen and heads across the drive. Fifteen minutes later he is back. With Lochlan.

He wants to make sure you weren't harmed. 

I'm fine.

Jesus. 

Daniel fixed it, I tell Lochlan.

Daniel's very good at it, Lochlan agrees.

I nod.

You look beautiful, Peanut. 

Thank you. I just realized I'm shaking.

Let's go home? 

Okay. 

I stifle the urge to laugh out loud. In Caleb's attempt to be right he just fucked himself out of his night with me. He's good but Lochlan's better.

**

Ready, Peanut? 

Lochlan has the telescope and the good camera and all of the lenses too. He has a stack of blankets and...CHILDREN!

The kids are coming. And a whole caravan of trucks, and boys and the Devil and the A5 too.

And we're off. I hope there's a million stars to shoot. I hope it's total carnage up there in the sky tonight. It will match what we have here on earth. Perfect.

Friday, 11 August 2017

The single stupidest post ever. Sorry, it's the heat.

I'm googling hysterectomies while I have my morning coffee. Things have changed. Now they can do them through two tiny incisions, one of which is in your belly button, it takes less than an hour, you go home the same day and you're back on your feet within a week, which in Bridget-time is five whole minutes tops.

No, seriously. Remember the whole don't get up or lift things after a c-section for weeks and weeks? RIGHT.

Or the whole pre-surgical valium party where they tell you not to get up (when I had my tonsils out)? WHATEVER.

I'm a bit of a warship when it comes to that stuff and a dandelion seed when it comes to everything else. But I research today nonetheless because I've grown tired of the SURPRISE every forty or so (sometimes twenty-five) days where I randomly start bleeding to death for precisely forty-eight hours straight with a virtually insane week leading up to it emotionally that I of course don't recognize as different anymore because I'm always emotionally insane and I don't know why I'm telling you any of this but if you've had a hysterectomy maybe now would be a good time to tell me the pros and cons? My email is in profile as always. It's time. There will be no more babies. Maybe I should have just done it when it was offered to me after Henry's birth but no way was I ready then.

Hindsight is a fucked-up bitch of a thing. I mean, we'd never have anything to think about if we could see how it all turned out in advance but I could have save myself sixteen years of periods and all that other stuff too.

And then I wouldn't have a blog..

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Blonde & Stormy.

Remember nothing
Let it all go
I dropped his hand as we rushed down the sidewalk, and I stopped. He turned, pulling against the collar of his button-down shirt. Bridget, come on.

Where are going?

Just finding a restaurant.

Well, what's it called? I can help look.

He spins back and gets in my face. Look, I'm just trying to find a place you've never been before. 

Which leaves me grasping for words, as I've hardly been to any of the restaurants downtown and all of the ones I've been to, I've been barred from due to Caleb and Lochlan taking their history to the floor in a hail of fists and feelings.

This looks good. He grabs my hand and pulls me in through a large heavy door. We're whisked to a candlelit table in the back and he rattles off drink orders as he has done a thousand times, except most of those were a long time ago, and consisted of him saying She'll have a small milk, and I'll have a Coke and I would protest and he would say simply Saturday. That's pop day for you, Bridget. Don't argue. 

I never have.

I don't.

Unless it's the hill I want to die on and I don't want to die today. I would never do that to the people here who have fought for my life as if it were their own because it is, so I wouldn't do that. They deserve, he deserves so much more than me. We've gone far beyond fighting this week and into that stubborn stasis where we're just going to wait for things to settle out and it will be okay again.

We've been here before, we'll be here again. I watch him as the food arrives. He's watching me right back, he hasn't taken his eyes from me. His whole face is lined in concern, coloured with doubt and shaded with an ire that makes him seem impatient and rushed but holding back so hard his eyes are bloodshot, focused and worn. His green is darker than mine, like the sea out where it's deeper, roiling in whitecaps, churling in a storm of it's own making.

This is a story about a man who has figured out how to live with the ghosts and the demons and everybody else too but doesn't like it one bit.

We don't speak as we eat. We walk back to the truck holding hands. We drive home in silence. We say our quiet goodnights to those who are still awake and then we head upstairs, his hand on the small of my back as I slowly feel my way up in the dark.

Once inside the room he strips out of his dress shirt and good pants. He strips me out of my clothes too with such careful hands. Then he pulls me under the quilts, wraps his arms around me, kisses me gently and says Goodnight, Peanut. I love you. I love you more than they ever will and so much more than they ever did. Just so you know. 

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Waffles.

Caleb is over first thing after Henry's party for a post-mortem and pseudo-assistance cleaning up.

He wants to take me car-shopping. Not because I need a car, but because he does. His forever car is not forever after all. He's grown tired of it. It's a car for a punk and he's not really a punk anymore. It's a new-money hedge-fund manager car. It's an old car, by most standards and he's not using it for much and it's a waste.

I almost cried because the R8 is a beautiful beast of a car but then I saw that the ones he is considering to replace it are pretty nice and yet a little more understated with a lot more class (as he pointed out more than once, in case I missed it the first six times) and he's right.

He's looking at an A5 or an A7, I think. Black on black on black, of course. They're so lovely up close and lovely from afar and probably not a lease because who does that? but he'll watch me and see which one I respond to best, and see which one I stare at longest, and he'll make sure it's easy for me to drive on the one hand all the while telling me I shouldn't be driving any longer, that he'll take me anywhere I need to go.

Yeah, just let me finish up here and we can go. 

Nice day for a drive anyway. 

A test-drive you mean. 

Oh, the car's already ordered. It comes in next week. But you look like you need a long-distance ice-cream cone anyway. 

Cows? 

Cows.

I smile and he knows he's done the right thing. I don't know how he does it. If he had texted me and invited me out for an ice-cream I would have politely declined.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Only sun.

Henry's having his sixteenth birthday party today (his birthday was a couple of weeks ago, I take a while to get my act together). Ten kids. It's thirty-six degrees in the shade. Why I had summer babies I have no idea. I have to do it all again in three weeks for Ruth's eighteenth but she's not interested in sleepovers and will probably pick a nice restaurant for dinner followed by cake and presents at home, like I do.

Hopefully it will be cooler by then.

The girls will go home by eleven tonight, the boys stay over and go home after breakfast. I will have to firebomb the theatre room. That's where they stay. There's enough seating/sleeping space for all of them, it's soundproof and very comfortable once it cools off.
 
Actually it should be cooler within the next ninety minutes, as the temperatures drop into the evening, and the sun sets. The air quality is slightly better and we'll be okay.

Well, I mean I hope we will. I feel outnumbered somehow. I don't know why but this is always daunting. Teenagers are scary. They're all huge and seemingly totally in control while completely out of control. Little children trapped in almost-adult bodies.

Just like the rest of us, I suppose. 

Monday, 7 August 2017

Not for you, for me.

In the heat of the summer I can remember the cafe curtains on the kitchen windows looking out on the prickly grass, the pansies and the house further down the road. I remember the steps coming up the porch: one, two, three, then through the screen door, the wooden door (never, ever locked) and then down the hall, root cellar on the right, dark and clammy, with a door to the cellar itself and a window in the wall with no screen for hanging laundry out on the line, straight from the wringer-washer you just passed. On your left going into the kitchen is the telephone on the wall, the pull-chains for the furnace, and then the stove. Wood fuel. One side a huge log-eating mouth, the other an over for baking. Burners on top. If you went left past it you went into the dining room. A piano sat against the wall, a big round table filled the room. A wall of windows looking out onto the side yard and the post office next door was the dinner view. If you turned right from the stove you went into the kitchen proper. A fridge, pantry, cupboards and an always-full of water dishpan in the sink. Everything black, white, yellow and silver. We played cribbage and penny at the table here. The table was formica and chrome.

Straight ahead through the kitchen and you were in the living room. Keep going straight and you'd walk out the front door that nobody used, across the highway and into the river. If you went slightly right you'd be invited to sit and do some embroidery. I did thousands of stitches. Bailey? Not a single one ever. To the left the staircase. Up we go. We slid down it for years. I sat on the second-last step to have my braids done. Bailey's hair never got long enough for braids. Mine never got short enough not to spend upwards of an hour having my head tugged back and forth. French braids every day.

At the top of the steps is the tiny blue bathroom with the big bathtub with the window overlooking the apple tree and the had towels stacked in a pile that hurt to use. They were so rough. Line dried every day. The bathroom smelled like powder.

Then straight ahead. On the left, my grandparent's bedroom. I've never been in there but the walls were red. Then at the end of the first turn, my mother's bedroom. It meant nothing to her though, her house burned down when she left for college at eighteen, this is the house they bought afterward. None of this stuff is hers.

Make a right and keep going down the hall. On the left is Bailey's room. It's pale pink. All vintage poodles and very fifties ice-cream parlour style in decor. It's full of stuffed animals and doll clothes and hair accessories and white vinyl furniture. It makes no sense in this house. She loves it. Bailey was born a teenager though.

The next room on the right is mine. It's the smallest. The coziest. The walls are yellow. The big bed is painted brown with a buttery yellow comforter and there is a big bookshelf full of books to read next to a big overstuffed easychair. The window next to the chair looks out over the barn. The barn swallows come and sit on the wire that goes to the barn and sing to me each evening and morning. Their song at night makes my chest hurt in homesickness because I miss Lochlan. In the morning it makes me happy because I count the days I pass until my time here is up and I can go home, having learned embroidery, cooking, gardening, blueberry-picking, card-playing but mostly gardening.

It's not so bad but I won't know that until decades later. I won't know that until I stand in my own garden, snap the ends off a green bean and eat it raw, between the rows.

I was paying attention. I didn't know it then. I do now. 

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Restorative.

The backyard is still covered with glitter (which. is. glorious), I am still covered with hives (not so glorious, as apparently my skin doesn't like glitter) and therefore we did not go back down to the parade today, instead hitting up the art store for new supplies and the Gap for my annual prize catch of a chambray one-piece wrap dress. I find one every single year in the clearance section just as fall collections are being trotted out and it always makes me very happy because it's the absolute antithesis of my black/ruffled/embroidered/layered/heavy/ridiculous warning-clothing.

I don't care if the Gap sees my hives. They don't know who I am.

We came home and are now snuggled into the cool theatre to watch Netflix stand-up comedy specials and drink wine. When Sam and company come home we'll go upstairs and hear all about it. Everyone went except for Loch, Ben and I. I didn't mind staying home. I like it when the point is quiet for a day. 

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Good people and their bad music.

(Maybe it's a good thing I'm not going to Burning Man.)

As we walked toward the crowds my scowl spread across my face and I couldn't help it.

Lochlan pumped my hand in warning. Stop it, Bridge. Smile. 

I hear generic techno, I reasoned. Who smiles for that?

All of these people. 

I look around. He's right. Everyone is smiling. You can't tell me all of these people like this kind of music. I'm judging. I'm generalizing. That's the very worst thing I can do here. That's the very worst kind of person I can be here.

Just think, Peanut. I'm sure some cheesy eighties stuff will find it's way to your ears soon enough. 

Okay. 

Okay? 

Okay! I smile. I just hate techno! 

Me too! A man with a rainbow mustache and suspenders with no shirt hands us lollipops as he goes by. He laughs and blows kisses as he disappears into the crowd.

I blow a kiss and laugh and then hold it up. Okay! Candy! I feel better! 

Give it away, Bridge.

That sounds like a Chili Peppers song-

It's an edible-

Right, it's-

It's weed, Bridge. 

I look at it. Oh. I smile really wide and hand it to a really pretty boy passing me. He has even more glitter on than I do. Happy Pride! I tell him. He grins and tips an imaginary hat.

We wandered up and down for a couple of hours. People-watching was great. The costumes were fantastic but there seemed to be more people without costumes there to stare. Dancing was fun once the music switched over to more disco-y, groovy stuff. Blondie. There wasn't enough of it but it seemed to be the perfect soundtrack and Lochlan was right. We wore ourselves out. We had some pizza and water and piled back into the truck to come home around midnight. Lest we turn into rainbow pumpkins. I could do that every night if it wasn't so hot and smoky. What fun. What glorious fun. So much love. So many hugs. After the first three dozen the boys stopped being so overprotective and started being more open-minded too. We learned from each other I guess. By the end of it I was the techno-queen. Just don't tell anyone, because I don't like techno.

But that wasn't the fun part of the night-

And this isn't what you're thinking-

According to Daniel and Schuyler (who do this way more than I do and I'm suddenly far more jealous than I should be) the best way to remove glitter is to use baby oil.

So we had bottles of baby oil spray at the ready at home. Out at the end of the lawn as far as the hose could reach.  And we took turns spraying each other all over with baby oil and then turning the hose on each other until we all looked like vaguely greasy, glittery, somewhat worn-out rainbow warriors up past our bedtimes. Daniel and Schuyler gave us inappropriate tongue kisses and went up to the house. Matt and Sam said they were headed inside to talk (CROSS YOUR FINGERS PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE), and Ben and Lochlan and I continued to fight with the oil, glitter, water and body wash until we couldn't get any cleaner even though we didn't feel very clean at all still, tossing around further ideas like paint thinner, acetone or an autoclave.

Lochlan said he told me so.

About what? The glitter? I'd do it again. 

Yeah, so would I. 

So what did you tell me so?

That you looked amazing. 

Topless people generally do. 

It was the smile. 

I've been told my fake I-love-techno smile is the best. 

They're right. It is.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Proud.

We're heading downtown for Pride Weekend/Anniversary festivities. It's very warm and smoky and yet I have heart-shaped pasties of pale pink shiny sticker-tape, boys-size tighty-whities tie-dyed in pastel rainbow bursts, knee-high pink socks with bunny heads covering each knee, Ruth's Heelys, my own pink velvet backpack and enough glitter painted in my hair/on my skin to be seen from space. Daniel says I'm his masterpiece, as I finally relented to let him decorate me for this annual Vancouver holiday. Usually I go and watch. This year I'm going to dance

No pictures. I have teenagers I'm not about to embarrass, but also friends I'm not about to let down.

This outfit is surprisingly comfortable.

(Lochlan packed my green docs in case the Heelys get the best of me. They will, probably before I make it to the truck.)

(You wouldn't BELIEVE the shit I'm getting away with now that Burning Man is off the table.)

(I don't actually mind nudity though I've never done it for free before. Lochlan says everyone will be brasher so...uh...okay. You should see him. I won't even describe him. You won't miss him if you're on Davie tonight though. Holy Christ. We all look weird and downright magnificent. Love is loud leaving this house tonight. Love is loud.)

Thursday, 3 August 2017

It's too hot to be serious so let's be something else.

I can't get writing jobs to save my soul because the Internet wants to read the following kinds of riveting things like:

This.

This too.

Your loss.

(It is. I can't imagine being the type of person who actually felt as if I was rebelling by not putting polish on my toes! The freedom! How cheeky! WHAT CAN I DO NEXT TO STICK IT TO THE MAN?!)

(Or the type of person to actually question whether or not my pizza meal might be formal enough to require anything other than my hands to eat it. I live in a commune. It's mostly men. You grab the pizza as fast as you can or you don't get any. In what scenario is pizza fancy enough to require a third party implement to bring it to my face? )

It's just to hot to understand this place today so I'm out. I'll tell you all my stories tomorrow. Tonight I have a date with a window air conditioner. Going to wrap myself around it and hold on for dear life. Maybe tomorrow I'll talk about the rebelliousness of doing it naked! Or maybe WITH A FRIEND!

Lol.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Laga-pool-in (Modern/traditional).

It feels glaringly strange and wonderful to be celebrating a single solitary year of 'official' marriage to someone who's every move I've been shadowing since I was nine. Someone who has picked porcupine quills out of my face (curiosity has sent me to some wonderful and terrible places) and taught me the entire solar system and also how to win all the amusement park games and how to love a man so hard he'll forget how to speak his native language and any others besides.

But here we are. One whole year.

We spent most of the day floating in the pool trying to stay cool. My flashing LED raft exchanged early for a double floaty with a sunshade and a cooler. Lochlan kept it stocked with Lagavulin and ice and we smiled at each other and periodically would push each other off or offer more sunscreen, ice or a fresh argument. We talked about nothing and everything and then we went grocery shopping but it was hot so all we bought was more Lagavulin and some ice cream.

I feel as if I wished for so long not to live in a place where it was minus forty degrees all the time that I'm being punked, because it's suddenly forty degrees all the time and I'd like a happy medium because I can't think anymore. I'm princess-jello. I'm watching the cucumbers in the garden grow and I'm a little scared I'm going to be hot-batching pickles for winter in this heat sooner rather than later and that's not going to be much fun at all! ARGH!

First year traditional gift is pickling spice, right?

Don't worry. We haven't celebrated yet. It's too dang hot. 

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Dunkirk.

I love love LOVE Christopher Nolan films. Can't understand a word anyone says, have no idea what's going on, am always profoundly moved nonetheless.

Dunkirk was a beautifully done telling of a true-life event with stellar acting, well-done scenes and just monumental action. The mumbling was rough though,  the bombs, torpedoes and shotgun blasts ridiculously loud in comparison and we also made the terrible mistake of popping in on Tuesday 'cheap' night (I didn't know they still did those), which was a VERY BAD IDEA because the kind of people who talk throughout a movie, kick seats and check their phones repeatedly were all there!

I won't do that again, I'll continue to call ahead and 'borrow' the theatre for a group. There were only five of us so it should have been no big deal. It was a big deal. People have no manners anymore.

A very good movie though. When it comes to Netflix I will definitely watch it again. This time with the subtitles turned on!