Friday, 9 January 2009

The Revisionaries.

Updates today include the semi-annual knight-shuffle in the kingdom of Bridget, an assistant job well-done as I am just about to wrap up the accounting for 2008 proper for Caleb and so I'm home early, the discoveries of both my black umbrella and my unlucky rabbit's foot, and Sam's miraculously long reach, something I was not aware of until yesterday, when I watched from the front row as he saved two individuals with his bare hands. Four good things to cancel out everything else.

Updates today will not include details, unless it is of great importance for me to share that both the umbrella and the rabbit keychain were in the pocket of Jacob's yellow rain slicker which was in a closet, in the basement and does not actually fit anyone else so I was packing it up to be sent out when the pockets seemed a little full. Also in a pocket was a MacIntosh toffee bar that had petrified and my camping compass from the early nineties, a kind of casual talisman Jake carried at one time.

I had been looking for the compass for Henry and was about to put it on the list for the next visit to the outfitters when Jacob told me where I could find it. He also told me a myriad of other things yesterday and I probably could have used the umbrella to facilitate my step off the roof of Caleb's building but instead I was caught by Sam before I left solid footing and caught by Sam again before I could leave reason behind and it appears that I will spend the spring among familiar visions instead of locked away somewhere despairing and incontrovertible.

And Ben is fine. He had an almost-wobble and then a horrific set of meetings during his trip and came back shaky but okay and he only has two weeks left of Seth so he's cautious right now. Everyone is tending to him beautifully, leaving me alone in the bitter cold to stamp my feet and shake my fists and toss my spoiled blonde curls and throw all the stuff I'm holding down to the ground in a silent tantrum that will go ignored but not unnoticed.

Ben walked over to me last night, reached down and picked up everything and handed it back to me, studying the rabbit's foot for just a moment, to the point where I thought he might take a bite out of it but he did not. He just looked at me and put the keychain in my hand and then wrapped his fingers around my wrist and reminded me that I'm not as alone as I feel sometimes. He said I make him smile with my superstitions and my lucky charms and my wishes to burn and bury the memories that make the ache come back.

Everyone says we're both doing so much better but sometimes I wonder.

And now I think I would really like a cookie. Ben just said he would like a striptease. Seriously, life is very strange and we're just trying to live it the best way we know how.

Naked and covered with chocolate.

Okay, shhhh.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Mmmm, a pick-me-up.

New videos are lovely. Especially wonderful, happy ones like this one.

Album on January 20. Go buy it.

He would have isolated the damaged part with an alpine butterfly.

cold, but I'm still here,
blind, cause I'm so blind,
say never
we're far from comfortable this time
Destroyed by your own design. Didn't you see that it wasn't going to work? You said it yourself, you couldn't let go of me for even a moment. I could see the fire in your eyes when you would test them, daring them to reveal that their desires were greater than their fears. They saw it too, and would retreat from you to remain in the shadow of your good graces while you were seeking to find an outlet for your own darkness, through me.

I was never allowed more than an arm's reach from you, and when I could construct an alibi I would jump for it with both hands, the brass ring of freedom and stringless adoration right in front of me. The potential for any of them to be him, to be the one, the one to make everything better.

I do know that I failed as well.

They can't do this and I could if I didn't feel pulled in ten different directions, knowing that it hurts every last one of us and maybe then that was your end goal, for all of us to destruct. It wouldn't surprise me in the least. Is it fair? Is it fair to tell you now that it does work to some extent until someone wants more and then the fractures begin to spread over the surface in a web of deceit and agony. We see we're standing on the cracks, one foot on each side, a tenuous position but oh don't you move or you'll lose your place in line.

You wanted to raise us up without futures or pasts. Without morals or regrets. Without attitude instruments so that we could check for the horizon, to see which way is up. You've given us a plane that is destined to crash, and there are no life vests and no controls and I don't think you ever intended for there to be a way out. To complete the equation is the nightmare that ensures that in the event that we do find a way out, it can be quickly closed off, shut down and removed as a choice. A gatekeeper disguised in your image.

Is this what you really wanted for me? I thought so.

But there is one thing you didn't count on.

Their loyalty to me. Above all else. It wasn't you who was in charge. I may lead with my heart but I've collected followers since day one and they listen to every last word that it speaks, in the language that you never seemed to understand.

And therein lies the problem. I have the control but I don't know how it works because I don't speak in those tongues either. So you must be so amused by now, save for the fact that you expected a slightly different outcome and I aligned with the fringe and I know you would have bet the farm that I would have gone a different way but neither of those directions had your rules to play by, they had their own.

That leaves me here.

Alone but not alone.

Coveted but whether or not I am wanted is anyone's guess. There is a difference.

I'm playing the game but they're changing the rules all the time and I couldn't win if I tried. I could lie, cheat or steal and I wouldn't be any closer to understanding any more clearly that without you here to provide the control, there simply isn't any. What's left is confusion and pain and an inability to move forward in case no one else does.

You wouldn't set out across the open prairie in a blizzard and you don't move on with your life without a safety line in case you don't make it back.

I know that when Jacob stepped onto that ledge you built a brick wall behind him and he had no choice but to step forward. And I blame you.

And now if you'll excuse me, I have work to do. I didn't show up yesterday because I couldn't look anyone in the eye, but I was talked out of that and forgiven by the only one of us who gets by simply because he believes that pedestrian morals have no place in reality and because he knows if the knot is loose it will hold and so I was bundled in my coat and sent to the car and then when I arrived here I was whisked up to the top floor, greeted with a kiss and a smile and then my gloves were removed gently and my hands inspected for a trace of warmth or injury. Finding neither, they were enveloped into other hands, large and capable, until the warmth spread from his to mine. So I can type. So I can work.

So I can function as close to human as I can get. So I can fulfill your plan for me, and I still don't even fully understand what it is. Who in their right mind would let go when there is this much to lose?

Bridget would, that's who.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Reverse consecration.

Ben and Seth's flight arrives at noon. And no, Ben hasn't called. He reads (maybe), he does not call. I left near-constant messages, voicemails. He doesn't even understand that he left in the middle of a meltdown because he was too busy having his own. Travesties abound. And I believe sometimes words are wasted. No one sees or hears them any better than I do.

Well, one person does, as our routine was observed carefully last evening.

I was watched, always. I threw in a load of laundry so the children would have clean pajamas, and then began to cook, making a chicken casserole, throwing in pasta and asparagus and then baking some rolls alongside it. Enough for four, because even the devil needs to eat. I don't like to cook, but I can and I do because I've been hungry. I put a premium on a warm belly.

After the meal the children were doing a puzzle by the window. I sat on the couch and watched them while he watched me, cognac in hand, tie loosened, jacket off. Arm stretched out across the back of the couch almost touching me but not quite. A hint of a smile as he finally took his eyes off me long enough to see the progress his niece and nephew had made. He shifted closer to me, making contact with my ear. Stroking it, for lack of a better description.

This is close to the best evening, days even, I've ever spent, Bridget.

My brain lurched in two different directions (ohmyGoddon'ttouchmyheadpleasedon'tdothat) and I picked one. I leaned forward, the hair on my neck standing on end.

Hey, kids? Get your things. It's time for us to go.

I can't play these games anymore and I am supposed to be there in fifteen minutes to begin work but I haven't even made a move to get ready yet. I feel paralyzed but by what I don't even know.

Monday night I knew exactly what I wanted (still searching for regrets and absolution from myself as the monster that I am) and today I don't seem to have the first clue.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Actually not the good part.

You woke up screaming aloud
A prayer from your secret god
You feed off our fears
And hold back your tears
Give us a tantrum
And a know-it-all grin
Just when we need one
When the evening's thin
Last evening while August and Lochlan were arguing over my head, I went upstairs, got the kids to dress in their backup winter gear and pack their backpacks while I packed an overnight bag and then we tiptoed down the back staircase and out the den door to the waiting car. I don't think waking up at work is the worst thing in the whole world, considering it's my brother-in-law's loft and has more amenities than your average five-star hotel, nor do I think that the children being chauffeured to school in an SUV limousine is going to do anything but excite their friends and save them the cold walk from the house.

I woke up yesterday with Jacob's voice in my head and it won't leave. You want to know what finally made it leave?

No, actually you don't.

What will help my case here is that Ben took one look at me and then oddly, coldly told me he was heading to the airport because he had meetings, night job requirements and he didn't tell me so I wouldn't have any extra stress. But as he could plainly see, it was too late for that. He took Seth and off they went. Not a hug, not a word, and then not a call. The usual modus operandi for Ben traveling because Ben does not travel well. I don't even think Ben registered that I wasn't doing so hot because HE was too nervous.

We're a perfectly matched pair.

That stress climbed onto the voice and then soon they were reaching for the crumb of sanity I had tucked far away on the highest shelf in my brain. Easily reached, the crumb was taken, consumed and then the freefall began, with Lochlan shouting over me that I would be quitting my job and my focus had to be the kids and myself and nothing more and why didn't I understand that I was spreading myself too thin, exposing myself to danger, and I was never going to be any different if I didn't follow his instructions. Fuck his instructions, and since Joel and I are not permitted to even speak these days, I called August, who kindly stopped by to continue to be the most larger-than-life, visceral unacknowledged (until now) representation of Jacob that I think my ruined head has ever seen. Everything he said was Jacob and within minutes he had just changed completely and he was Jacob and I no longer wanted to be there because...

Well, because the only power I seemed to be left with was the one that brings people back from the dead.

And so I called Cole. I mean, Caleb.

Are you keeping up with me?


I woke up fine, by the way. Bridget-fine, not you-fine.

Well, except for the whole Ben-part. But he'll be home tomorrow, and that's when we will return to the house and God only knows what will happen from there. Because I can't have Lochlan in charge of my welfare EVER and I know damn well none of them will cross the line that I drew that leads into hell. A place I am could be very comfortable. So the voice is gone but the fallout remains to be seen.

You think I've lost it, you should talk to my friends.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Just nothing.

Don't close your eyes
You need to see it all
It's no surprise
That they break you down
At least they won't give you up
Not a day for this, not a day to be out trying to be human in a life constructed out of total insanity, not a moment to waste in trying to track down what started the chaos today. I just know that there are two directions I can go in right now. The one that I'm being accused of ignoring, of no longer loving the Cole with the fervor that I once did and the other way will lead me back to Jake. He's calling to me, always, and I just can't go there anymore.

Both ways are wrong, you know. You knew that, I still really don't get it.

I think I need to go home now and just try again maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Touch and go.

I was more afraid the day would start as yesterday's had, with bitterness toward the end of the time together without routines and schedules and appointments. With frustration that we failed to achieve all the imaginary tasks we had dreamed up as the holidays stretched out before us, a blank canvas upon which we would draw our masterpiece of a break.

It didn't.

Instead it started when I was ambushed as I walked into the bedroom to wake Ben up this morning, since I had been up for hours already. He came around from behind the door, already dressed in his plaid flannel pajama bottoms and his glasses and he pressed me against the wall and closed the door so that we would not be interrupted.

He slid me up the wall and held me there while he pushed down his pants and then we were melted into one person again, with one of his hands around my hips, and the other on my head, around my throat, his lips against my temple and my arms locked around his back. We didn't make a sound. Not a word. I almost bit through my tongue as my chin jutted sharply against his shoulder and then he came away from me, the cold replacing his heat and I was lowered gently back to the floor. He smiled, grabbed a t-shirt to throw on and asked if there was still coffee.

I nodded.

He walked back across the room and kissed my hair and put his arms around me again. We both hate the end of holidays and the long stretch of winter ahead without a break until Easter dawns over our lives and the snow funnels into rivers of gritty water that will pool into the storm drains and spring will be here at last. We just have to get there first. Get through this first.

With a morning like we've had, it shouldn't be difficult.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Backpedal for just a moment.

Eek. The rare lyrical romantic overlap. I dread those but sometimes they just can't be helped.
I would fly to the moon and back if you'll be
If you'll be my baby
I've got a ticket for a world where we belong
So would you be my baby?
I didn't really plan to write about the flight on Wednesday night but I somehow got bullied into sharing it by the guys, who are keen to not have me censoring myself now over the good things, in favor of those things that are not good. I don't often allow them to dictate what I permit myself to share in my journal but at the same time, there have been many times that I have been swept out of harm's way by taking their advice.

So I'll leave it up in spite of the fact that I'll get hate mail because people don't believe Ben could be that romantic and despite the fact that Ben was always incredibly ashamed of the fact that he had to stop flying before he was ever off the ground. It's one of the few things that ever bothered him so deeply that he forbade me to talk about it, let alone write about it.

That has changed. I'm very proud of him, and at no time did anyone ever take him for a failure because he's crawled back from some pretty insurmountable odds to wind up here. We could all take a lesson from that. Me especially.

He's not going to be the great romance of your life, Bridget.

No, he isn't, Benjamin. You are.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Day 2.

Here on the ground
I cannot hear a sound
Just a strong and steady rain
Getting louder as you sing
The coffee gods have aligned. Beans, Grind and Maker all coordinated to give me the perfect cup of liquid black today and I'm savoring it to the point where I'm ignoring the basket of clean laundry on the kitchen floor and the kids languishing with their own breakfasts in front of retro cartoons. I can hear Tweety Bird lisping and the music building to a crescendo. Ben is sitting in the den, door open, responding to emails or looking at signed reissue guitars on Ebay and this is the perfect lazy Friday morning.


Suddenly I'm very unsure of that word to describe my life. Today it does. Right this moment it does. We're plotting a trip to the hardware store and the post office. We're going to drive around and listen to music. We'll stop for some dinner somewhere and then come home and sack out for some movies.

I got a t-shirt for Christmas (Thank you Christian) that says It's okay, Pluto. I'm not a planet either. Ben got one that says The awesome meter never lies. They make me laugh and it's interfering with the random and persistent thoughts that less than four months from now, the spring showers will begin and the pavement will have that glorious hot tar-smell that only comes from a true, cleansing rain and I will be back to my little camisoles and embroidered skirts, feet bare and hair longer again, tangled down my back, instead of this ridiculous get up of tights/woolies/jeans/thermal top/t-shirt/sweater/socks times two.


Not such a hard winter after all. At least not today.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Night Rating.

One of the things I didn't know was involved in the reissue of Ben 3.0, new and improved, was finishing the magnificent achievement of becoming a...




What was that song? Oh yes. She's waiting for the right kind of pilot to come and he...well, he's here.

I got a lovely New Year's celebration last night. From thousands of feet in the air. Reverse fireworks, looking DOWN. Ben finally recertified and flying the plane. At night, which is IN THE DARK, which is a whole other ballgame than Ben being in control any other time.

It was terrifying.

I will never live it down.

But secretly it was so fun I would like to do it again.

I need to buy some Depends first. Since this princess is a little 'fraidy cat and can't handle Piper planes that bump and dip and shudder and freak her out. And as much as everyone is embarking on this magnificent, multi-year effort to make her love the sky as much as she loves the sea? She's incredibly slow to warm up.

But you knew that already.

Makes for a very good start to 2009, though.