Sunday, 30 November 2008

Coffee in my veins, beans in my head.

Everyone buys,
Everyone's got a price
And nothing is new
When will all the failures rise
Caleb in church this morning, winking at me as I took my seat staring at him like what in the heck are you doing here? and he gave me a little smile that said, well, I'm just trying to fit in, and I watched his eyes drift away from mine to see my ears and my hearing aids which I think I only wear for church and that surprises him and everyone else too. There's too many people. It's noisy, I have people who whisper to me and whisper about me and I just cling to Ben's hand which wraps tightly around mine and his other hand opens two of the buttons on his black dress shirt because he doesn't like shirts that aren't comfortable and then afterwards we're gone before I can get to see Sam because Ben avoids Caleb as much as he can and I'm with him far too much as it is.

Out to the diner for a late breakfast and too much coffee and this is why I crash magnificently hard for a nap every night on the couch or any time I am forced to sit still and stare at a screen for more than an hour and I miss certain things about life, like back in the mid-nineties Cole would go and rent three or four movies and we would get a pizza and some pop and snuggle down on the couch and proceed to slog through six or eight hours of new releases and I'm lucky now if I make it through one movie.

I fell asleep during Bolt earlier this week, my chin bumping down against my coat and waking me up and Ben looked across at me and I lied and said, no, I wasn't sleeping but I was and for some reason I never want anyone to know how tired I am because then there are no movies, no time to just stop and just escape and just enjoy without any other thoughts for two whole hours at a stretch and I am told to get some sleep.

He will wrap his hand around my throat and kiss my face and tell me soon, we will get some sleep and my eyes are always heavy these days and if I don't get that late-afternoon cup of coffee that I have come to enjoy at two o'clock every day but always forget on Saturdays then you can be sure that by ten I am nodding again and telling you I am fine.

When we sleep, he is closed off, still and unyielding. When he is busy working or otherwise engaged I spend too much time these days rattling around with myself for company, marveling at how together I seem lately and keeping busy with minor things which enrages the superstitious Irish part of me, that figures if things are good soon something will be bad and we are not to become complacent. My hands no longer shake right now, because things are good.

Nothing in the world could.... me now.

Tattooed on me for a very specific reason. At any point in my life if I invoke this particular piece of poetry that masquerades as a quietly inspired song lyric I know that I am at whatever bottom level of the current situation and I will start fresh and pull myself out and things will keep getting better no matter what. No matter where I am. No matter how well I'm doing.

Home now and checked on Daniel who is still sleeping. Ben has already changed back into a t-shirt and a flannel shirt, open and soft, no buttons buttoned, and jeans so broken in they should be tossed away and he and the kids are flying remote-control helicopters and laughing about the puppies we watched at the pet store yesterday, the pugs that Ruthie once again called Siamese puppies and the Chihuahua-Dachshund crosses that I insisted if we got one (we won't) we would have to name it Pancho Caliente, because it's a Mexican wiener and I don't even know if that's right but it's one of those things that becomes an in-joke but you can't really explain it to anyone else.

Like me falling asleep at the movies.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

I need to go get dressed.

I'm determined. And I'm cold right now. A robe and bare legs and an empty coffee cup to bring a day that couldn't be as good as yesterday if it tried.

It could try, though. That would be terrific. As long as it ends on the couch with a plateful of samosas and Bridget sleepy and willing and some fun scary movie on the television it will end just as good.

In other news, it's snowing! Perfect for crazy carpets, less perfect for grocery shopping. The market is closing forever and I'm going to have to figure out how to get the things I need at the other stores that I don't enjoy and really such is life. Changes, progress, learning how to not get too comfortable because then you get mired in ways that make it hard to adapt.

Adapt or die, princess.

Yes, indeed.

Now bring on the samosas, fool, and let's get this show on the road.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Thanks for the cake, boss.

Wait for the light
But you've been still sly
Baby, it's not your sleigh ride
But this yet it's ours
And maybe tomorrow
We're gonna see
Things we'd never believe
I'll make you want me, you'll see
I sorted out payroll yesterday, streamlining it into a better system and making it easier to keep track of everyone. Caleb's accountant has nothing on me. Seriously. In between I was permitted to teeter around the loft calling Daniel repeatedly to see how he was, and in our discussions of a second Thanksgiving dinner to please the Americans among us I mentioned my plans to swing by the market and get the stuffed turkey breasts because I lost track of the days and forgot to defrost the frozen turkey I had.

Satan overheard.

When does he not overhear? I am tempted to start having fake phone conversations with myself and start spreading wild rumors, just for fun. Maybe I'm hard on him, he is very generous. He had dinner catered, on a whole four hours notice. Four courses, dessert (CAKE. Oh my God.) and sparkling soda and juice. Real dishes, two servers, and dinner for fifteen, which meant two tables in two different rooms and dessert on the floor around the fireplace. Music came in the form of Badly Drawn Boy (I've grown attached) and PJ's mom was thrilled at the decadence with which Caleb carries out his holidays. I told her that was nothing and he said he would be thrilled to show himself up for Christmas even. I thought it was a strange thing for him to attempt to invite himself for Christmas considering I had already booked his tickets for the Caribbean, for Caleb and his 'guest' (Holiday girlfriend? Well-compensated companion? Whatever.) She travels with him every now and then and is hoping he'll settle down, I'll bet, and let her loose with her own expense account.

I daresay she is wasting her time. Do I need to mention that she is a Bridget-clone? Seriously. Only way taller.

Okay, but back to dinner, because gravy like we had only pours from heaven and there's no way I can get french bread that warm and still soft at the same time because it just doesn't happen. The icing on the cake though (and I don't mean the double-chocolate torte that had Bridget written all over it) was checkers.

The kids really liked the fact that they beat EVERY grown-up in the room at checkers.

Cutthroats, my kids are. Merciless. Vindictive.

So I will give thanks for that and for what turned out to be another very lovely evening. What's sad is that I spent it listening still, for the sound of that other shoe dropping.

(PS overnight the rest of the cake disappeared into Ben. Should I let that go? I should let it go. Trying.)

Thursday, 27 November 2008


Since I've been above you seen and loved you so
You pick a place that's where I'll be
Time like your cheek has turned for me
Back to work today. I don't need the whole week off since Daniel is home now (at my house) and doing a lot better. Schuyler is looking after him. There's a turkey frozen solid in the deep freeze and I'll swing by the market on the way home to pick up some stuffed breasts. Otherwise, Happy Thanksgiving (again)!

Today so far I have eaten eleven butterscotch lollipops, walked over to the printer four times and the last time came back to my desk with a splinter which I can't figure out because hello? A splinter? I don't think I even touched anything. And my throat is very sore and scratchy so I'm trying to baby it with tea and suckers because tea gets cold fast and I brought some carrots and celery for lunch but I hope since it's been a long week that someone will swing by and take me out for lunch but I won't plan on it and this skirt is itchy and you know what?

(Take a breath, Bridget)

I would rather be home nestled on the couch with my arms around Ben's neck and my face in his shirt.

That would be good.

Oh so good.

But darn everything and jobs and obligations. In my future post-apocalyptic utopia all work will cease to exist and we will all be free to indulge in endless preferred activities. Number one on my list will be resting my face on flannel-wrapped heartbeats.

You totally thought I would say something else, didn't you?

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Clementines in miniature. For the brutes.

I took the hand that was offered only because this weather has settled into a mild winter but everything is covered with a thick layer of bumpy ice and it's very hard to walk on, especially in heels. The hand that was offered in a sort of ownership way, just like my schedule that was set for me. Movie on Saturday, tree cutting on Sunday. I forget about my indignation as I feel my balance wane and I grab the arm that's attached to the hand so I don't land on my head. The arm stiffens and the conversation shifts.

Tell me about your leg bothering you. And you should be wearing decent boots.

It's just a little inflammation. I'm fine. And the boots seem popular. They allow me to be taller.

Don't delude yourself. You still only come up to here.


Your leg-

-is fine, PJ.

K. I see you're going to be difficult today.

I'm tired.

Don't let that happen, baby.

Easier said than done.

Is it too much to have them at the house?

No, it's easier. And it keeps me busy. Daniel and I keep good company.

Yeah, that's true.

Another near-miss and we dropped the conversation in favor of another.

Did I tell you I think I've got a date this weekend?

You think you have a date? What, are you hoping she'll ask you so you don't have to stick your neck out?

In a perfect world, sure.

Well, I hope it all works out.

Me, too.

You might want to tip the odds in your favor and ask her out already.

Bridget? Are you giving out relationship advice?

Why not? At least I've had a few.

That went down in flames...

At least there was fuel for my fire.

Oh, that was all kinds of funny. Haha.

Feel the burn, PJ.

That brings me back to your leg. I think you're minimizing how much it hurts.

Do we have to talk about my leg? I wouldn't be wearing these boots if it was that bad. I'm just taking a few weeks off from running, that's all. I'm fine. Change the subject.

What would you like to talk about?


This is why you're my best friend, Bridge. Seriously.

Could you slow down then? I'm going to fall and break something in a minute.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Focus on Daniel, you idiots.

Looks like another day staring at this print in the hallway, which I love anyway, being a van Gogh fangirl and thinking about this message that was kindly forwarded to me:

No, man, she put herself squarely in between Ben and Caleb. Together they practically invoke Cole. Which puts her as far away from preacher boy as she could get. It's a knee jerk for sure. I gave it a year but she's still holding on to him so we'll give it another and see where she is then.
What's sad is that everyone thinks they can be the one to make a difference. We all want the same thing. Makes me infuckingsane.

Monday, 24 November 2008


Thank you if you're praying. We've been home for a little while. Daniel has a hefty list of minor injuries, or maybe they're major, I have no idea, I'm just thankful it wasn't any worse. He looks like he got the wrong end of a hockey stick in the face. A broken nose, concussion. Some bruising. Okay, a lot of bruising. He'll be purple-dan by tomorrow. They're keeping him for a few days and then we'll bring him here and spoil him rotten for a few weeks.

It took a lot of convincing to get Schuyler to come here to stay too. He's still at the hospital with Daniel and is worse-off emotionally. They were fighting and from what I gather ultimatums were given and Daniel took off his seatbelt because Schuyler was going to pull over and let him out. But the ice was black and it was still dark and the car is toast.

Daniel was almost toast, and I'm so glad he's okay. So glad to the point where the other shit pales because this is bigger. I daresay it will be a cold day in hell before Schuy forgives himself and we all started suggesting he see a counselor. It broke the black ice around Daniel's bed, anyway. Even Satan showed up, since it was cold there in hell, to check on Daniel and give me the week off because I'm the closest thing to a mother/sister/lover that Daniel has.

You know what I mean.

I'm rattled. Going to bed now.
This morning Schuyler lost control of his car and rolled it into a ditch. Daniel wasn't wearing his seatbelt and he's pretty smashed up but he'll be okay. Schuy is okay. They were fighting. Everyone's shaken.

Prayers would be appreciated.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Metal Christmas.

Fall on your knees
Oh, hear the angel voices
Far be it for me to be the only one to feel things so pointedly.

Sam is gathering up his resources for another very special candlelight Christmas eve service at church this year, it's only thirty days away so he's doing well to work hard to keep it simple, stark and profound. And it seemed safe to reinstitute the highlight of the service each year, having lost it a few times since I began to share it with you. One year being the Christmas that Jacob had the cold to end all colds and actually gave up right in the middle of a sermon, and the other year was last year and I don't know what they did because I was hardly present and not in a position to do or remember much of anything past spending Christmas staring at the fire trying not to cry for Jacob, while Ben held my hand.

Maybe that's why this year Sam is giving Ben the glory moment of the service. I'm not even sure that Ben wants it, because Ben and church aren't all that friendly. But Ben and music, extremely friendly. To the point that I might be jealous. And if you recall me whingeing romantically about wailing, ragged male voices singing, I'm in for a treat.

Sam asked Ben to sing the closing carol this year. Ben with his beautiful three-octave voice. O Holy Night. A song that seems to give everyone chills. Only this year Sam would like to hear the whole thing. And Ben does fine til he hits the second Noel. He stops breathing or something and cracks the note but he's been working on it all morning and I'm almost a puddle on the floor. I'll need the next month to learn not to cry while he's singing this one. Some of the songs he sings, it just happens, like turning on a tap, but I'm working on it.

I held the phone out for PJ and I'm sure it made him cry too, he just won't admit it.

Ben shows up Josh Groban, anyway. I just need to convince him to do it without the guitar. But he's always put a lead on his carols. Doesn't everyone?

PS The hilarity ensues in email. Let me clarify one thing: This is for the late service. Sam will not be inflicting Ben on the early congregation. Ben scares the little old ladies with his tattoos and his nail polish, even though if they would just speak to him they would see how non-scary he can be.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Pair bonding.

I know someday you'll have a beautiful life,
I know you'll be a sun in somebody else's sky
but why can't it be mine?
I know his hands and his heart are hurting but he was there, last night. When I turned over to burrow deeper beneath the blankets in the cold air of night his arms opened to pull me in against him and I woke up fully and put my nose against his shoulder and opened my eyes and then closed them again. His hands slid up around my neck and then his thumbs came to rest in front of my ears, his fingers cradling my head against his skin. So, so warm. Kisses, hot, searching. I put my arms around his neck and he lifted me underneath him, exhaling out loud, trembling against me as he pushed me down hard, his hands leaving my head to wrap around my back. He kissed up underneath my chin, along that magic goosebump path to my heart and I locked around him. We didn't sleep anymore and when the sun came up he took my hand in his and pulled me with him under a hot shower.

So I could see the extent of the bruises. Both knuckles raw and the shadow of a landed strike on his cheekbone. I didn't say a word. If they want to continue to use their fists to solve their issues with each other well past their twenties then I'm going to ignore all of it. I can now. After a difficult morning in which I wanted to just stop worrying, Lochlan called me and said he and Ben made their peace, took each other to the ground and got over themselves, but he is going home to be with his daughter and regroup and he'll be bringing her back her with him for Christmas this year, if we'll have him. More apologies, more hesitant admissions that none of us seem to know what we're doing anymore and I stopped him mid-sentence. I stopped him because my conviction came bubbling back up from the depths and I said that I know what I'm doing and I know who I want to be with and I know I'll fuck up and tell you I don't but in my head things have changed.

I'm not cold at night anymore. The part of the night I did sleep, I slept hard, one hand stretched out to touch Ben's shoulder, forehead pressed against his arm as I listened to the sound of his peaceful, shallow breath. He doesn't seem to have caught on that when I want to wake him up at four in the morning, I can just put my hand over his mouth. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. But since it's already dark again, I'll spare you all my useless facts about Canada geese and simply point out that I will happily get no sleep tonight at all. At least, that's what I've been told.