Saturday, 10 September 2011

Second beach.

My bag, shoes and toes are full of sand. It's in the car, in my pockets and in my hair.

That's okay.

That's life just the way I like it.

Inside of three minutes I found five large, perfectly frosted pieces of sea glass and then I walked into the water to greet my new ocean and got my shorts wet, my sweater wet and my hands wet too. I breathed in my oxygen loaded with salt and wind and I squinted into the sun, same as always, watching the light play over the foam on the waves breaking on the sand.

I found a stick leaning up against a rock. Nearby, being eaten by the tide, someone had etched "I love u!". I bet someone was pretty happy to read it.

Friday, 9 September 2011


They were browner than toast, their haircuts long grown into shaggy, wild representations of their fall and winter selves. No shirts, no shoes, straight out of the car, doors flung wide, car parked at an angle to the curb up by the road above the grass beach at the lake. Cole in black shorts, Caleb in blue, they would run down the grass, out onto the dock and cannonball into the water before I could get my seatbelt unfastened (the latch stuck).

Once in the water I can't tell them apart as I watch them swim to the raft. First one there gets to drive their father's car home. They fought over it all the time. I see Caleb catch up with Cole (younger and faster, at seventeen) and he hauls himself up on Cole's shoulders and pushes him under with all his strength (a lot, at age twenty). He laughs and lets go, pushing off enough to easily win the race. Cole bursts to the surface with a laughed curse and grabs Caleb's ankle, wrenching him back just as he touches the weathered wood. He bellows and turns, his arms raised in victory, meeting my eyes just as I manage to exit the car at last. He grins and my eyes drift toward Cole. He is younger and smaller. I guess I identify with him. He's the underdog, the unpredictable wild brother of the two.

He's fine, he is halfway back, breaststroke, just under the surface. I smile. He's really cute and he doesn't give me nearly as hard a time as Lochlan does. But what do I know?

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Endless blue.

Looking for an orphanage
I'm looking for a bridge I can't burn down
I don't believe the emptiness
I'm looking for the kingdom coming down
Everything is meaningless
I want more than simple cash can buy
Happy is a yuppie word
Nothing is sound

Happy is a yuppie word
Nothing in the world could fail me now
The tiny brown grasshopper stays one hop ahead of me as I wander down the sidewalk in the oppressive, magnified sun. For those who said I would have a difficult time keeping my grip on the wet, sharp edge of life here, they haven't seen the new snowglobe in which I reside, in which all streets are dead ends and the borders are the mountains and the sea. And the sun shines all the time.

The grasshopper doesn't care if it's a quiet neighborhood or if it's dry or if he's walking in front of a fuzzy little white giant with a black nose and four paws on the ground, watching him with great interest. Bonham is too hot to chase grasshoppers today. There hasn't been a cloud in the sky for weeks.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

I can read your mind.

Don't think sorry's easily said
Don't try turning tables instead
You've taken lots of chances before
But I ain't gonna give any more
Don't ask me
That's how it goes
Cause part of me knows what you're thinking

Don't say words you're gonna regret
Don't let the fire rush to your head
I've heard the accusation before
And I ain't gonna take any more
Believe me
The sun in your eyes
Made some of the lies worth believing
Possibly one of the only songs Lochlan actually knows all the words to. And he's been singing it all week and I'd like to slice open his throat with a jewel case from one of my Mastodon CDs at this point in time, only because he beats me over the head with easy listening songs from my past to trigger memories and feelings. I'm not dumb.

Well, I am, but for the sake of this argument I know what I'm taking about. Trust me.
I am the eye in the sky
Looking at you, I can read your mind
I am the maker of rules
Dealing with fools, I can cheat you blind
And I don't need to see any more to know that
I can read your mind

Don't leave false illusions behind
Don't cry, I ain't changing my mind
So find another fool like before
Cause I ain't gonna live anymore believing
Some of the lies while
all of the signs are deceiving

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Newfie in a haystack.

Irrespective of the drama over the past week, the birthdays, anniversaries and the guests from out of town I just had to take a few minutes to pop in and tell you that yes, the children had a good first day of school (all two hours of it), I had good news arrive in the mail, I have not died of heatstroke yet and the dog is really enjoying waking up later. No accidents. No barfing. Because little barfing dogs are the best thing ever, right?

No. That's not why I came in here to type while dinner gets cold. Nope. August is home. From Burning Man. Where they have no garbage cans and have to pack everything out. He did and tossed his trash on the way into the airport but he forgot about the main compartment of his pack. Inside, lots of empty packages of red licorice, and lots of empty...condom wrappers.


So I asked.

And I didn't expect him to talk about it but apparently Erin was at Burning Man this year (kids these days). Remember Erin? Jacob's little sister.

And August. A couple. At least for the week, from what August has said.

I am planning their wedding now. You think it's too soon? (On that note, the accents of their future children will be completely unintelligible since they are both from Newfoundland. We're going to have to turn on subtitles.)

Monday, 5 September 2011

Righteous brothers.

Candles. Check.

Moonlight. Check.

Unchained Melody. Check.

Dancing in his arms in the darkened kitchen. Check.

Forty-six and 2.

Lochlan is forty-six now.

(Finally, an age that lends a little weight to his quasi-parental method of relating to me over the years. I'm mostly kidding. He's not that bad all the time. Well, okay, sometimes he is but I'll let it go. His impish smile and ageless good looks make it easy. If you saw him walking down the street you would think a high guess might be early thirties. He doesn't age. It's rather disgusting considering he turns so golden in the sun even his hair fades from his customary bright auburn into a strawberry blonde-gold that takes my breath away. But not a line on his face because he's led a somewhat charmed gypsy life. Or has he?

He is reading aloud from his phone.

'...Pure-hearted, barely educated red-headed unpredictably-temperamental Scotsman and ask him to compromise. I remember the fights...' Jesus, Bridget, is that what you remember? Maybe the frustration was borne out of trying to protect you and provide for you. Christ almighty. How many nights, peanut? How many nights did you ask me not to take extra shifts and then tell me you were hungry? I was twenty years old. I tried my best. When we couldn't make it work I did what I had to do and took you home and I know you hated me for it but I had to put you first. I put your needs before everything and all you cared about was that I had abandoned you when you needed me most. We were fucking starving and you weren't safe there anymore and I didn't want you to hate me for the wrong reasons, doll. It wasn't in my hands anymore.

I couldn't hate you.

Oh, but you do, you just won't admit it.

There's the lump and I swallow but it doesn't go away. It's so hard to breathe. It's impossible to think. I know this. I get it. He was forced into a hard place and he made an adult decision because he was an adult and I was still a willful child and the willful little girl inside still holds all sorts of bitterness over her perfect princess world where they lived on love and the adult understands that when you are responsible for a whole human being you make sure they are warm, fed and safe and if you can't manage to pull off all three, something changes before you blink again or you fail and everything falls apart. It won't get better, it will only get worse.

Lochlan took the fall and he took it again when the relief of me leaving Cole proved to be short lived in that I went straight into the arms of someone who was not Lochlan. He's held on and stood by and he fell back again when Caleb came back into the picture full-time because this time he wasn't in charge of the decisions and he couldn't watch anymore so he went away, twisting screws as he walked out the door. A false life created and then abandoned when he discovered he wasn't the only one looking for second-best.

He holds it all in, this one, and all it does is make his voice a little more clipped in his fair, still-perceptible accent. It make his arms hold me tighter whenever he gets the chance. It makes everything a little more important.

I swallow again but the lump in my throat is survivable. The truth serum is hops and barley and at forty-six, Lochlan can no longer handle his liquor. He is on a roll, along with the tears spilling from my eyes and I want to be angry but he hasn't been wrong about a damned thing.

The hardest part here is Benjamin, still relatively new to our universe, who sits on the steps that lead down to the walkway, drinking tea, absorbing Lochlan's words like poison, the whole story perfectly understood in terms of space and time but not in depth. Depth is where we make up ground and supersede fate and the future and the present but never ever the past.

Oh, fuck, we are so stupid sometimes. Every major holiday and event he makes his case. Every time he drinks, he pleads for my heart.

You know I would compromise for you. You know damned well I would do anything for you.

Ben's head turns and he's gazing at Lochlan now. I can't read the expression on his face, I'm not sure if it's mild pity, total acceptance or concern.

We would do anything for you too, brother.

I think it was meant as reassurance but it wasn't taken that way.

Then get a divorce and let me have her.

Lochlan kicked over his now-empty beer bottle when he stood up abruptly. He did not wait for a reply as he went inside. Ben looked at me but I was busy fighting for control of my emotions. Lochlan came outside again and pointed his finger at me and said This time don't fucking post everything I say. Bridget, you've made me out to be the enemy and I'm the only one who really loves you.

He went back inside and closed the patio door for good measure this time. Several minutes later the light came on in the window upstairs. I counted to seventy-five and it went out again. He will wait in the dark for me. I'll be a no-show.

Gage comes out and surveys our body language and the dead silence cast around us like a pall.

Is it always this intense around here?

Ben shakes his head. No, usually it's worse.

And then he starts to laugh.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

The Lotus Sutra versus Nietzsche.

(I'll tell you the how, and we'll save the whys for tomorrow.)

We're accustomed to losing everything, from direction to face.

So this is nothing new.

I was going to write a brief clarification, for I realize sometimes I leave everyone so in the dark they trip over everything, almost break their necks and resolve to stay put, sitting with their knees up, waiting for someone to come in and turn up the lights lest they die trying to escape.

I throw shadows though. Sometimes I throw a single weak beam but I know it's not enough.

And I have changed my mind. Stay in the dark.
Genuine honesty, assuming that this is our virtue and we cannot get rid of it, we free spirits – well then, we will want to work on it with all the love and malice at our disposal and not get tired of ‘perfecting’ ourselves in our virtue, the only one we have left: may its glory come to rest like a gilded, blue evening glow of mockery over this aging culture and its dull and dismal seriousness.

Friday, 2 September 2011

He jumped into the pool, cutting the choppy water, stretching his arms far over his head, tucked down, shoulders rigid, legs extended straight. The water took him in like a long lost lover, embracing his descent into the deep blue silence. He did not surface for days.

We waited and waited for the crown of his head to appear and finally we couldn't wait any more and they jumped in after him, and pulled him out. Only he struggled. He fought and he struck and he struggled, lashing out at the very same people who chose to help him.

He remains just out of reach for the duration. Treading water to spite them, when they thought he was drowning. Strong strokes, gaining speed, swimming laps around those who threw life rings in earnest. Thumbing his wet nose at the very same faces who sought to save his life.

Because he was fine on his own.

Because he did not need the hand offered to him. He took it anyway even though he had to learn how to navigate falling disoriented, from nothing. Black to the light overhead. Deepest quiet to the noise above, carried far along the surface. Swim to the air and then take it in.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Leave it all to chance.

In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of God or spiritual-type thing to worship--be it J.C. or Allah, be it Yahweh or the Wiccan mother-goddess or the Four Noble Truths or some infrangible set of ethical principles--is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.
We're home a bit early. Quietly planning Ruth's birthday and Lochlan's too. Making amends. Trying to straighten out a giant tangle of feelings and people, expectations and plans. I guess sometimes I let my brain skip ahead, through the daisies and over the rocks, making plans, expecting things to happen, envisioning my future without taking into account the fact that that's what everybody else is doing too.

It makes things hard and I'll be the first one to confess, admitting guilt that I can paint a romantic picture in my brain, a storybook life with all the lovely wonderful declarations of affection firmly pushed into their places and ideas for how to spend the day or when to make plans to escape to make a memory or two and which paint colors I would like best only to discover that not only am I not on the same page and everyone else, I am reading a different book. Maybe in a different genre, even.

What the FUCK, Bridget.

A counselor once called it my Princess Complex.

Clearly it doesn't go away, it just goes into dormancy every once in a while. Everyone seems to be okay with that for the time being. I was shown a place on a page and I've turned down the corner and stuck a feather in between and I will try to keep my place as my finger follows the words vertically and my mouth sets in a curved line of concentration.

I'm trying to learn from this, really working to stay in that moment instead of existing as far into the future as my arms can reach, fingers fully extended, shoulder dislocated, holding on to that big heavy book they gave me, keeping it squeezed tightly closed, to keep the feather in place in order to pick up where I left off.

This is a full-time job for me and I am trying to remain accountable and transparent and respectful, mindful of my friends and lovers and my readers too. I will expect nothing less in return.