Showing posts with label Caleb. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Caleb. Show all posts

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

You labeled me, I'll label you.

How could he know this new dawn's light
Would change his life forever?
Set sail to sea but pulled off course
By the light of golden treasure

Was he the one causing pain
With his careless dreaming?
Been afraid
Always afraid
Of the things he's feeling
He could just be gone

He would just sail on
Hallo, internet. I'm here. I'm at work, though a little late. Ran into Satan right inside his front door, freshly showered and in a towel, seeing off his paramour (I had to really look for a nice word, give me credit here). Both were rather surprised when I walked in, and Caleb asked me if it was that late. I said it was, and she asked him why I had a key. He told her off and she left. I noticed he didn't bother to dress and accompany her home. Interesting. I also noticed the once-over she gave me, looking down at me as she walked past and then when the door closed and Caleb asked if I would make some coffee while he got dressed, I noticed as he turned to head upstairs how beautifully his tattoo stands out against his skin. Diabhal, in huge gothic letters on his back, from shoulder to shoulder. In case you thought I came up with his nickname.

I did not.

I did make the coffee and on my way past the stereo, I pulled out all the Metallica I could find and loaded it up to repeat all day long. I left it low and called up that he needed to get a move on since he had a meeting at eleven, and he told me to cancel it. I reminded him that it had already been rescheduled once and he wasn't likely to get another chance before the new year and I heard him swear. A few moments later he emerged, covered in Hugo Boss and unshaven, no tie. A bit less formal than usual but still commanding attention on stature alone.

He kissed my temple and told me to enjoy the coffee and the music and maybe we would go out for lunch. Yesterday Ben and the kids came and got me for lunch and we went to McDonalds and I was back before the door closed. Caleb prefers two-hour lunches. I think I'd rather cut lunch short and go home early at the end of the day. Perhaps I'll defer and just try to get the day over with faster. This new casual familiarity is uncharted territory, for I don't believe I've ever witnessed Caleb interacting with his...um...girlfriends before and it really surprised me how ungentlemanly he was. Compared to how he treats...well, me.
How can I be lost,
If I've got nowhere to go?
Search for seas of gold
How come it's got so cold?

How can I be lost?
In remembrance I relive
And how can I blame you
When it's me I can't forgive?

Sunday, 2 November 2008

On Ben's methods and Caleb's madness.

Yes, we went to the party last night. Like I said, everyone who was anyone was there, and I'm not sure if the fire code allowed that many people in one factory loft at a time or if it just felt like it was that full but as I moved around I spent a lot of time reaching up and tapping shoulders and saying Excuse me, can I slip through here?

We were late of course. Instructions to the sitter ran long, Henry had a meltdown from being all jacked up on Halloween candy and then Ben couldn't find his hat. He was Clyde, I was Bonnie.


Caleb made a speech about welcoming people to his new home, in his new city, and then he thanked everyone for coming, said that it was important to him to honor my efforts with a small, intimate celebration (nothing small or intimate about it) for my work in a difficult year, and he also formally announced that I would be coming to work for him, starting this month, as his assistant. That he is so lucky to be graced with my organizational skills and my beauty besides. People nodded and murmured and I briefly wondered who the fuck they all were to be affirming his nonsense? I kept thinking, nobody knows me. I mean really knows me.

But after the first hour of clinging to Ben's hand like the ultimate wallflower I ventured out a little on my own. Spoke to some people that I had not seen since Cole's memorial. Spoke to a few people who had met Ben in Toronto and spent time with him and were thrilled that he had settled down. Danced with just about every man there. Forgot all about my medications and took the champagne when it was offered by a server. Drank it too fast and got a little dizzy. Realized how tired I was and I looked across the room and saw Ben talking to some guys and right at that moment he looked at me and he nodded and rubbed his eyebrow which means we'd leave in a few moments, because our brains are now tethered and we can sense when we need each other and oh my God, when did this all happen? I decided fresh air would be good, so I went out on the balcony. The first thing I noticed was a bistro set that wasn't there before, two chairs and a tiny glass table, reflecting the string of white lights along the balcony railing. It's not even a balcony, it's a generous fire escape. I pulled out one of the chairs and sat down facing the river.

The cold worked nicely to clear my head. I was glad. I stood up to go back inside and turned around and Caleb was just opening the door to come out. He had a cup of coffee for me. He put it on the table and then stepped back. I could feel eyes on us. Good, they're watching him. Better still, they're watching me.

I took a sip of the coffee and thanked him for his attentiveness, as that table is for me to write at while I work for him, as long as it remains this mild.

He really loves you, princess.

What?

Benjamin. He loves you.

I know.

And you love him.

Yes, of course.

But you don't think you do, not enough. You think he deserves better because your loyalties are divided.

How nice of my brother-in-law to drive me to tears at my own party.

Yes.

Do you want to know something interesting, Bridget? Something I've never told you before?

I just stared at the river and nodded because I've learned never to try and anticipate the moves that the devil will make.

When you came to me last year, when you wanted me to take the pain away and I did, and when you'd start crying again and I'd give you more and make you feel better, do you know what you asked the most?

I closed my eyes. I would have to walk the gauntlet of dozens of happy partygoers in a minute, I didn't want to do it with tears streaming down my face but thinking back to those two days after Jake died and I asked Caleb for something to help me forget I had to keep living without Jacob and he complied, naming his price and for two days I was his prisoner, not feeling anything but numb and then sometimes fear and then that would go away too. I didn't say anything, I just waited for him to keep talking.

You asked for Ben. You never stopped asking for him. You were so fucked up and yet you weren't asking for Jacob, you asked for Ben. I find that interesting, don't you? I think your feelings for him run deeper than you realize, princess.

Whoops, everything was swimming now and I turned to go back inside because there was some sort of breakage in my head again and his arms closed around me and I tried to shove him away but then I looked up and it was Ben's face there, it was Ben, the brain tethering worked and he came out to get me.

Caleb asked quietly if maybe we wanted to stay, that we could continue the celebration, but just for three, that he would end the party now and then we could take part in another, more sordid one. Ben declined, for once. He's accepted in the past. And I realized that he's kept me on a long leash in hopes that I would never stray very far, and he's gone out of his way to not be as possessive as Jacob or Cole. He's made sacrifices to ensure success for us. He's smarter than you think he is. He's as depraved as anyone could ever get, but he knows when enough is enough.

Caleb made several more offers, but Ben was no longer listening. He got us into our coats, and then he took my hand in his and we left by the fire escape, walking carefully down the four flights of steps and then at the end, Ben pushed the ladder down and made his way to the bottom, had me throw my shoes down and then descend into his waiting arms where he held me off the ground while he lined up my shoes and then put me into them again.

Hey, that was neat.

What do you mean?

Like your memory thief.

I looked up and grinned at him. Rescue from such an wonderful and unlikely source. Seen in a whole new light which is how I keep catching glimpses of Ben and being surprised. Grateful.

What did he say to you?

He reminded me of when I came to him last year. The needles...

Okay, let's get you home and then I'll come back and hurt him.

No, it's not like that.

Then what is it, baby?

He...he told me when I'd come to, I'd always ask for you. He said I wanted you and that I loved you more than I realize I do.

You would ask...for me?

For you.

Do you think he was telling the truth?

Yes. When he's lying, he smiles.

No smile?

No smile.

For me.

For you.

Ben wrapped his arms around me and lifted me off my feet, out of my shoes. He kissed me so hard he took my breath away. Then I quoted our characters, since we watched Bonnie and Clyde a few nights ago. He remembered.

You're good!

I ain't good. I'm the best!

And modest!


He grinned the whole damned way home. Me too, though he said I was still drunk, that I must have been since my shoes are still in the alley where I was lifted out of them. That's okay, I don't need them anyway. I have something better now.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Pepper Potts has nothing on me.

Wanted it back
(Don't fight me now)
I've had a job offer on the table for a while now.

I haven't said all that much about it, namely because I didn't take it seriously. That's been noticed, and yesterday I was treated to a meeting that spelled out all duties, terms, compensation, benefits and hours and all I have to do is sign the dotted line and call a number for the papers to be delivered back by November 15.

This year?

Yes, that's this coming November fifteenth, Bridget. Two thousand eight. Are you alright?

Now what are those warnings about things that seem to good to be true actually being too good to be true?

Right.

We'll start with the benefits. Salary will be more than anything I've ever made before (read: stupidly high) with full health and dental for the family. Good health and dental. Holiday bonuses and travel perks. Wardrobe (within rigid guidelines which are HILARIOUS) and vehicle. Smart phone updated twice yearly, laptop and expense account in the form of a gold visa card with my name on it. Four weeks vacation and ten sick days per annum. Maximum two weeks travel requirements and six evening shifts per year. Six total. Weekends off save for the travel and evening caveats.

Hours will be Monday-Thursday, 10 am to 4 pm so as not to interefere with the kids' schedules.

Duties include but are not limited to: keeping the calendar and scheduling appointments and coordination of tasks. Running errands. Decorating, designing, wardrobe consulting. Wake-up calls and reminders. Overseeing other staff. Personal shopping, light administration and reception when necessary. Acting as travel, real estate agent and companion for parties/special events if required.

Here's the ultimate perk: I can write in between my other tasks. And there will be downtime. I can write to my heart's content. I will be encouraged to do so. In the event that there is little time left, time will be thereafter scheduled in for me to do so.

There is no contract. Should I hate it, I can walk away and get one year's salary for my troubles.

The cons are more serious.

Very much more serious and that's what holds me back. I'm required to be on very little medication. I need to be sharp and with it and sober and under my own power. I need to keep my personal shit together and I need to be literate, effective and charming if I am to keep ahead of the old-boys' network. There is traveling involved, which I don't like at all. I think the wardrobe requirements are doable but a little over the top (no shoes with heels lower than four inches, for example) and I'll be subjected to a constant barrage of sexual harassment. I am not allowed to humiliate or poison my boss.

Darnit.

Oh and the position itself?

Personal assistant to Satan.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Out composing. Which is better than de-composing. Ugh.

Yes, I'm going to sit at the piano all damn day working out the notes to this.

Guess who else bought a piano? Yes, my brother-in-law. He had a little spending-spree last week and he also bought a Lexus station wagon (sorry, luxury SUV). He does not have children nor does he play piano.

I'm amused.

All is well. See you tomorrow.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Right up there with fear of clowns.

Treachery,
Like I have never seen,
So never mind your sorrows
Your demons live for me
I'll give him credit for trying.

Caleb came over last night after dinner, with flowers, to prove his regret. I can't imagine what kind of thoughts went through his head when he rang the bell, the one inside the porch, and the front door opened into the hallway where Ben was in the middle of trying on his goalie gear for hockey this winter. He plays when he's home.

So Caleb opened the door and saw Ben standing there, a full ten inches taller than Caleb in his full gear and skates, saw the catching glove and blocking pads and helmet on and wordlessly passed the flowers across the threshold, choked out something about him being sorry, the flowers were for Bridget, and then he turned and left.

At least I think that's what happened, Ben has hardly stopped chuckling long enough to make the story decipherable. He swears he didn't mean to seem menacing. He says he didn't even have his neck guard on. And he didn't have his stick.

Somehow I don't think Caleb noticed those things. I wouldn't have either.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Milton never saw remorse like this.

I ripped a page out of one of the books of Paradise Lost, I think.

I went for an early afternoon walk with Caleb yesterday, down to the benches, his car waiting a whole three hundred yards away because his unspoken request that I comply with, equally unremarked upon is that I dress to the nines when I visit him, and so my black wool dress and long black coat and my black stiletto murder boots make for difficult walking of any distance. It's my funeral outfit for Cole. I wear it to grind that into Caleb. Jacob's memorial outfit was his ever beloved blue velvet that I will never wear again. Ever.

Caleb wanted to know how I was doing. Safe from the confines of my big brothers and incredibly passionate, immature and unruly new husband, safe from August and Joel's abilities to see through his motives so easily, safe from anything that could later used against him, he attacked verbally, from the side.

He didn't like my answers, he failed to accept my words as the truth as I know it. He figures the boys brainwash me in a different way. That they control and I obey and he refused to take my answers as my reality.

He moved here to be closer to the kids and I and I'm not sure I'm one hundred percent clear on his motives. I'm not naive as to what they are but at the same time I'm at a loss to understand how a man with Caleb's money and stature and position in a city he adores can just up and decide to 'retire' (if that's what anyone is really calling it), and leave that beloved city to come live in a place that sports one multi-star hotel and overall, little else that is of interest to him. Especially since said man has zillions of aeroplan miles that go to waste and he's rarely in one place for more than a handful of nights at a time, someone who can and does go absolutely everywhere without taking even the meagerest of a financial hit. Why here?

Please. It can't be my companionship. You can buy that kind of company. I'm sure he has. I bet it was taller and less belligerent, too.

And so I asked.

What difference does it really make to you if I'm okay?

Because I know what Friday is and I know you're not feeling strong enough to face it?

So what?

So, I'm here now.

And that should fix everything?

Maybe, if you let me help you here on your own terms, since you won't accept mine.

Your terms always seem to involve selling you my soul.

Would you stop with the devil remarks, please?

When you stop acting like the devil, sure.

Point noted.

So what's the real reason, Cale?

I think you're well aware, princess.

I want to hear it from you.

Why?

So there's no mistake.

Cole knew, once he went too far, that he'd never have a hand in taking care of you, looking out for you again so he asked me to make sure you were okay, to keep an eye on you, to look after whatever you needed, the kids too.

So you tried to kill me too. Hm. Makes sense.

We got carried away. May I finish?

What else?

I could make you happier.

We're not having a contest.

Sure we are.

Then let me put it to you another way. Want to make sure I have what I need? Then don't make this complicated. I need Ben. I need him straight and I need him here and I need to know no one is fucking with that. That's what I need to get through this.

He just stood there, peering at the clouds through a half-squint, trying to find words for his frustration, to smooth it like wrinkles in a blanket. He failed.

Bridget, I can't do that. No one can, except for Ben. And do you really want to pin all your hopes and dreams and happiness on someone with such a deplorable track record for keeping his promises? Someone who isn't strong?

Why not? Everyone else does that when it comes to me.

I'm not sure if he finally realized he's never going to be someone I trust past appearances or if he realized that the boys and I have come up with a brand new faith that is so imperfect it's more fantasy than spirituality but all of the light drained out of his eyes and he was left wordless and frozen to the ground.

I stopped walking and turned around to look back for him.

I see now why they feel the way they do.

Oh, why is that?

Because you're the strong one, and they're leaning on you, princess.

And they say I'm slow.

I turned around and continued walking up the gravel path and around the loop that would take me back to the car, jamming my hands in my pockets and hunching my shoulders forward, as if I was cold. It wasn't the cold though, it's the weight.

Caleb caught up to me just as the driver opened the door for me.

I don't get it. You're not strong enough for this. How is this even possible?

Haven't you ever been to church? You don't get to pick your path, it's chosen for you. You just have to walk it as steadily as you can, following God. Like me in these ridiculous boots on gravel, Cale. It gets easier.

It's not fair to you. We're supposed to hold you up.

I could barely hear him now. I wasn't even sure if he said it out loud but I snapped back anyway.

No one said life was fair. And the other way didn't fucking work so-

You're the angel-

DON'T YOU SAY THAT!

I balled my fists up and yelled in his face. His composure slipped and fell to the ground in a whisper.

I'm so sorry, Bridget. For everything.

Underneath I saw the tears. And he managed them quite formally, as he does with everything, letting his eyes fill while he got in the car beside me but looking the other way, out the window as we were driven back across the river to take me home, and I sat and stared at him without a single notion to allow him the dignity of some privacy, because he has allowed no dignity for me ever.

But for the first time, in twenty-three years of knowing Caleb, it's probably the first thing he has ever said to me that I trust is true.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Reeling and dealing.

I have a headache. A blisteringly painful stabbing noise that cuts my vision in half and makes me wince every time the car door is closed and the driver (Mike..I think) is doing a damn fine job doing it gently because he knows how I feel, having been chauffeuring me around for over an hour now, stopping at the pharmacy so I could pick up a bottle of ibuprophen to go with the Evian water Caleb has stocked wherever I'm going to be.

I didn't know I could post on the go but apparently I can.

I'm playing assistant again today.

I've already gone to the loft to inspect the work that was done over the last few days, I've gone to pick out a dishwasher because Caleb can't be expected to do dishes any more than he'll be able to do his own laundry (which will be sent out) even though I can't see him cooking either, I've arranged to have his movers on the right day via phone and now he wants me to go pick out linens for him to be delivered the day before his move. I've arranged cleaning services to come and clean his old condo, which he will be giving up and also to clean the new loft before he arrives.

I still can't believe he is seriously moving here but in his state of present mind he has decided that he needs to 'retire' close to family and since his folks have each other and he wouldn't dream of moving back to Nova Scotia anyway with it's rustic charm and unsophistication he chose to come and be closer to us. And since he's only technically retiring from his CFO position at his law firm, he'll still have all his other business interests to keep him busy so I hope that means he'll have precious little time to devote to his 'family', which is the children and I.

I won't say I'm thrilled about any of this, honestly. But Ben just tells me not to worry about it, and he strums another chord on his guitar and picks up the words to a song, singing them quietly to calm me. I'm trying to hang on to that memory of last night while I get through my morning, but really, I think I'm going to try to check off the next three items on the list and then pack it in and go home and lie down. The rest can wait.

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Better in the end.

It's been 328 days, 37 to go and I'm lying if I tell you I'm not counting.

But I'm also living. Trying to choose paint colors and swim lesson times and distractions and words. Choosing words is the easiest and the hardest thing of all but here I am, the one saving grace in my life being this journal because nothing else is constant except maybe the sun or the moon but maybe they're total bullshit, special effects meant to make us feel less alone somehow. I'm not sure how that works but we'll leave it for another day to explore. I refuse to go down a tangent because I have things to discuss.

Ben didn't come back with us on Sunday evening, instead choosing to stay on with Nolan for a few more days and soak up the simplicity of life on the farm and maybe give himself a chance to get over the worst of his rage and his shakes and his cravings in private, because he got progressively worse as the weekend went on and he tried so hard but I still found myself flinching when he spoke too loud or got too close or shook too hard. He should be back tomorrow or Thursday and we are being babysat by Uncle Daniel in the meantime.

And I had dinner with the devil last night, which was interesting in that he was behaving again and that's almost more frightening than when he doesn't. He bought the last loft we looked at last Friday and then threw me a curveball when he announced that he planned to move in as soon as possible. They have about ten days to finish it, closing is on the seventeenth of October.

I'm noticing everyone is sort of doing that. PJ has booked his vacation for the first two weeks of November. Schuyler moved up his dental surgery. Ben isn't hitting the road until early December again. And Duncan hasn't made any plans at all. Loch took a six week work term here to start in two weeks and I'm so incredibly touched by what I see them doing it makes a huge lump in my throat and my eyes are swimming and I can't even focus.

I was going to attempt to ask for a medically-induced coma for November but I think I'm going to be okay.

Caleb asked me formally at dinner if I would be his assistant here. He hired me to work for him part-time this week, helping to arrange the move, oversee the builders and the inspectors and the financial aspect of everything and he kept hinting at wanting me to come work for him full-time because I'm good at it, or so he said, but I wouldn't be allowed in a million years and so I turned him down.

And please, before the feminists start the email campaign about what I am and am not allowed to do, let's remember we're talking about Satan here. And Bridget.

I would have turned him down anyway. I have no interest in being with him on a daily basis. I have no interest or plans to see him on a weekly basis. I'm snorting my face off picturing him trying to live here through the winter with our blisteringly frigid temperatures and endless ice and wind. A cold day in hell indeed. He wants me to pick out a truck for him.

A what?

Can you picture him driving a truck?

Cold. Hell. Yeah.

But dinner was nice and he didn't do anything stupid. I didn't either. For once. He did comment that my hair suited me at last, being shorter and much darker and he spent far too long staring at my legs whenever he could but otherwise, yes, I know. He's still up to something. When is he ever not?

Friday, 26 September 2008

Idle hands, devil's work, blah blah blah.

Yesterday was difficult but it's done now and we woke up early together like ninjas in the forest, back to back, fighting the ghosts off as they came at us, one at a time. The way it happens on Henry's Saturday morning television shows. For the moment, we seem to have emerged victorious, and I'm going to get the heck on with the day, which may or may not include accompanying Satan on his short tour of converted-warehouse lofts downtown as he chooses a place to live here. I don't know what I did to get that honor. He said he needed a woman's opinion. I told him to take Daniel with him but he didn't find that funny. He wants to get me alone and see how I'm doing while he throws his money around in an attempt to impress me.

There's thirty dollars in my wallet, which leaves me already impressed. It's a good day.

It will be a good day.

Ben has a very structured day ahead which he sorely needs, because hanging out around the house with the bottle of whiskey, playing guitar, well it's all fine and romantic and something that should only happen in the movies. In real life the hero must go to a meeting with his AA sponsor, and then go see his doctor, and then come home and feed his children (I wrote stepchildren three times and then opted not to) their lunch and walk them back to school and then he has a quick meeting because I sounded the alarm and now people are worried who never seem to worry any other time, and then if he's still in one piece I'll send him to the airport to pick up August, coming home from Newfoundland, hopefully armed with a box of lobster and a lot of patience.

If he isn't up for that I'll have to go myself, in which case August had better have more than just an armload of patience for me.

A good day. Need a good day. Really, really badly. Going to make it happen.

Isn't that how it works? Jesus, throw me a bone here.