Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Kill it. Kill it with sugar.

This does not need any words because it's cake. Mini-cake. Early-birthday-cake. Piglet-cake. Cake for a Piglet. Three syllables, Pigalet, if you have a very thick accent. Nom nom nom.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Everything in writing/The heartkeeper.

Today I was handed a large manila envelope. Oh. Legal business.

Inside, a half plea/half threat not to type any further into the past, in exchange for reverting back to the proposal conditions that I agreed to originally and not whatever Caleb had detailed in the unread contents of the envelope Lochlan burned.

Amazing what it takes to keep Caleb under control.

Amazing what it takes to keep me there.

And tucked between the pages of my order to Fleece & Insist was another fucking dark grey envelope! The nerve! I was so pissed I opened it on the spot.

Wish I hadn't. It's so easy to have to comply and so difficult to be asked to consider.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Headlights and homophones.


So much for gentle lions gathering the sheep
All I wanted was something safe
Show me your ungrateful tyrants
I'll point out the mirror, point to you
This is where forever gets us, immoral wishes and oblivion
I can't stay
I don't need the conflagration
I don't need the hate and I don't need you
The more time I spend with Caleb, the harder it is to keep him out of my dreams at night.

Sadly he is always twenty years old to my sleeping brain, and I am always terrified. Last night I woke up and I was pounding Lochlan with my fists, telling him to let go. Keening at him with a noise I can't hear and one that he never wants to hear again.

I don't look forward to the dark any more than Loch does. He is having a rough night too. He drags me in close until I am pressed hard against his skin, my face resting against his shoulder. He pulls us up and sits with his arms around me, his back against the headboard. His lips bump against mine. He whispers things but I don't know what they are. I can't even hear them well enough to tell which language he's using. I wrap my arms around his neck and hold on tight but he never lets me get more than a hair's breadth away from him. It's excruciatingly slow and hard and amazing. Physical comfort drags psychological peace behind it heavily, stubbornly. Thankfully.

Eventually we lie back down and he whips the covers back up over us. He nestles in behind me, his lips on the back on my neck, his sweet foreign words forgotten in a haze of weariness. I am drifting back to the memories, in spite of being safe, wedged in the middle of the big bed between hearts, arms in a tug of sleep, trying to see who can appear to care the most without even being conscious and all of it completely worthless against what my mind will find in the night.

I don't know what it was but I think my actions triggered something that made the Devil almost unobtrusively snap. I had opened the door, we were having a conversation. I was enjoying being taller, for once, since he was standing in the grass outside the door and I was only one step down into the camper doorwell, holding the handle with my left hand and the doorframe with my right. He was smiling. He was a little bit drunk. Not too much, just enough to be a little more charming and handsome than usual. It wasn't until he asked how long Lochlan was going to be gone that a bead of panic shot right through my skull and I shut the door, locking it in the same motion. He was surprised. Stunned, I think. An eternity passed and I held my breath, staring at the lock. Staring at the clock. Calculating the strength of a cheap aluminum latch against the minutes left before Lochlan would be back at the camper. I didn't have time.

Through the door Caleb tells me I'm making a mistake, that he's not dangerous. That I don't have to be afraid of him. That everything is okay, I can come out and we'll light a fire and have some chips or something and wait for Lochlan.

Twelve-year-olds are one trusting, naive bunch. Besides, he tells me to grab a sweater, it's getting cooler now that it's dark. Monsters never look out for your well-being. right?

My renewed confidence makes me profoundly foolish. If only I had known when I opened that door that I would spend the rest of my life being chased by memories that are capable of catching me before I can even begin to run, I wouldn't have opened it at all.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Aloe and copper pennies.

Last night I watched as Lochlan set the envelope on fire without it having been opened first. I watched the joy and concern flicker in his eyes in time with the flames.

Last night I sat patiently on the bathroom counter as he cut my bangs. I watched the determined set of his mouth as he worked to get them straight, not too short, just touching my bottom eyelashes. Once they hit the bottom of my nose he gets irritated and anxious to keep me twelve. Keep me innocent. Bangs aren't innocent, they are hiding places but he does it anyway.

Last night I feel asleep in his arms, curled away from him toward the cool flesh of a dreaming Benjamin. Loch put his forehead down against the back of my neck, pressed my back against his chest and wrapped his hands around my kneecaps, same as ever. We sleep as if we are jumping into water. Tandem rope swings. Childhood escape.

Last night I realized history is not a hazy catalogue of memories but a list of tasks you must complete over and over again until you get it right. Our memories are our closest efforts, our almosts, our good-enough-for-nows. Pretty sure there's a reason half my life has passed and he is still making it easier for me to see, easier for me to sleep and easier for me to live.

He is what I need to get right, I think. He's burning down the bad parts one by one while I keep touching the fire, like a child, because it's mesmerizing, hypnotic and warm.

Like you, he says. Just like you.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Fifty shades of gay.

Maybe I can make them take their shirts off and fight to the death.

That would be something. But then Luke might break a nail and Jasper would become rumpled. God forbid, we can't have broken nails and rumpled girls. That's my department.

And you're wondering who these people even are.

Jasper is Batman's assistant. He does all of Batman's dirty work, except for the Epic Mafiaesque Gun Battles and Forties-style Gentleman Fistfights (Batman does his own stunts). Jasper does things like make phone calls and deliver notes and schedule meal reservations, real estate agents and flights. He picks up dry cleaning and fresh coffee beans. He warns me when Batman is in a bad mood even though personally I think Jasper truly and honestly hates my guts.

Luke is brand-new. He's still in his wrapping, this one. He's a temp, functioning as Caleb's personal assistant this week because I refuse to show up anymore and Caleb can't do all of the 'ridiculous' (his words) parts of life like running errands and keeping organized by himself anymore. Luke will need to free his hands from that plastic and peel off his price tag so he can get to work already but no, he is standing there scowling handsomely at Jasper, who also hates Caleb but has to drop off some papers because business paths still cross just enough keep 'em tight, keep 'em close.

I think it's Jasper. He doesn't seem to get along with anyone. I'm trying to play his tough angle off the fact that maybe he has a chip on his shoulder because he can't open that closet door far enough to express his love for his boss.

Because, dude. We've all been there. Batman's a catch with a capital B.

But I think Luke might have lost a bet to even get to this place where he will file Caleb's bank statements for hours on end and answer the phone that never rings because Caleb forgets and just uses his personal phone for work. That or the pay was so good and the proximity to greatness so ridiculous that maybe we should all have our guard up? The agency is very professional, the people are vetted, so they are used to working for money and for fame and for washed up bullshitters who used to be someone relevant but at the same time I don't think Luke is old enough to know what discretion even means, let alone how to wield it. Twice now I've warned him if he Instagrams one more facet of my life I'm going to eat his phone. 

Caleb called me down to ask if I would just show Luke where everything is and then Jasper showed up and it's like a reluctant secretary party suddenly.

I sweetly ask Caleb if I will be paid for my time as well and he smiles that goofy, trying-not-to-laugh smile that he uses when he wants to disarm someone completely (IT WORKS. EVERY. DAMN. TIME.) and he says that he was just thinking of that, handing me a pewter envelope.

He's like a pornographic process server. Luke wants to know what it is. Oh my God this kid is so green and curious he's practically growing moss. I ignore his adorableness and address his new boss. Jasper leaves without even saying goodbye. JUST like Batman always does.

I think we've met your quota for this quarter, Boss. 

In with the invitation is an updated print-out of my new terms and conditions. 

Don't I get to approve them before you just arbitrarily make changes? 

No, Bridget, you do not.

So what does this mean, exactly? 

You're the legendary reader of fine print. I'm sure you'll have time to go over everything sufficiently before we meet. 

What if I don't?

Then I guess, my dear Princess, you will be in for a surprise. He turns and leaves the room, pulling his ringing phone out of his pocket and putting it to his ear. I stare at his back. I don't even..I don't even know what he's up to now.

Luke comes up and stands beside me, watching admiring his physique as Caleb walks down the hall. He looks down at me excitedly. So, are you guys ACTUALLY royalty?

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Oh, I remember the heavily sedated posts. He doesn't.

(If these posts make you uncomfortable, then I don't know what to tell you. I'm not a whole lot better, there's just many more days between me and the hard parts. Or something. Thanks for keeping up with everything though. It must be frustrating to be a reader of my words. Almost as frustrating as it must be to be one of my friends.)

I've been figured out, haha. The air isn't air, it's anxiety and everyone else has a helmet on into which oxygen is pumped to keep them motivated, alive and calm. Relaxed even. My helmet is broken. I'm getting no air, just pure anxiety. My blood anxiety levels are so high I've gone past the toxic range and into mutation mode. As in, I'm probably going to grow limbs out of my brain any second now. I hope they can type. And run.

Gee, that's a great description of me. If it wasn't so spot-on I'd be really pissed at New Jake for telling me it at all.

He tells me all of this as we drink forbidden afternoon coffee and he gets to be the victim of my mental load out.

This is what happens when you're a soft, friendly face who says How are you really doing, Bridget?

You get tears and the hiding of the little streaked face and blubbery sweet lies that everything is fine and then it falls apart faster than I can stick the pieces back on, licking the backs, hating the taste but determined to hold my shit together so they don't think I can't handle life.

I can handle anything.

Except when I can't.

But the other thing I can't handle is everyone standing there looking down at me with that awful mixture of adoration and sympathy. Like, yeah, you're so tough, little girl. I'd be dead by now. 

Yes, I know.

I'm trying to find the silver linings but my playbook is missing. Ben probably ate it on his way to work.

Cue more sympathy, since I knew what I was getting into but it still sucks. Especially since he's not really working, he's avoiding, which is different but he insists it's the same.

Oh, okay. Gotcha, Tucker. Carry on.

New Jake has been dispatched to try and deal with the worst of the fears today. Mostly because my panic over Sam moving in has reached a fever pitch. Because my panic over Ben's crushing, omnipresent absence is destroying me. Because my panic over Caleb and Lochlan's three-decade tug of war never gives me a moment's peace.

So it's panic. Maybe I have a panic disorder. It's so pretty. Put it in the bouquet with the other mental flowers and I will leave them on display in the front hall so everyone who comes into the house will know that I am loved.

And neurotic as all hell.

They do make some mild pills for this sort of thing, Bridget. 

(Right. Even my allergy pills, taken so sporadically I don't know why I bother, turn me into a living, breathing...brick.) Jake. You're new, right?

Relative to the others, yes. 

Ask them what pills do for me and then come up with something else, okay?

Science has advanced. There's probably something better by now. 

If Science was sitting on a risk-free emotional lobotomy for me all this time and never said anything, well, then, I'm never talking to Science again. 

This is why you don't take pills, isn't it?

What do you mean?

You're weird and wonderful this way. Maybe that's why no one pushes you. They like you all fucked up and jittery and hilarious and creative.

Yup, that's it. Hey, did I ask you if you were new yet?


And you answered me, right?

I tried to. 

Okay then just stop now. I can't take anymore. And please take Science with you, the bastard.


Helmet is full, can't hear you. Bye.

Love you, Bridget.  I just want to help you. I love it when you smile. You're so pretty.

Okay, you can stay.

Least talented soul on the point, I swear.

This is embarrassing. My parents are home from the Cape and so I asked my mom to take a picture of the painting for me. The one described in this post less than a week ago.

You people don't deserve me. Hell, clearly the entire ART WORLD does not deserve me.

Please be kind. I was fourteen! Times have changed.

Yeesh, here already.

Would you just LOOK at those waves crashing on the shore. I was just there too and it looks nothing like that.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Cold confessions.

One week left until Sam and Matt are supposed to be moving into Lochlan's old set of rooms and I have cold feet. They must be contagious. Everything is ready for them. We even painted. The only problem is the thought of Sam having completely unrestricted access to the part of my brain that I tend to keep from him. The insane, fucked-up part. The self-doubting, miserable part that he probably can see anyway, looking right through my soul and out the other side with his magical god-glasses fixed in place.

But still. What if someone starts a fight? What if he and Matt hate it here? What if he decides maybe I'm even more fucked up than he remembers and calls in the heavyweights?

Jake did. Sam remembers that well. And I've had a hell of a free pass over the last five or six years in refusing to talk to anyone formally because I like my fuckedupedness just fine the way it is. Well, I don't but they didn't help much as it was. Sam helps. If I can talk to Sam I do okay mostly.



This morning over breakfast at the boathouse (Dad's turn), Henry suggested that it would be really cool if maybe I married Caleb too and then we could all be a big family like, for REAL.

(For the record we've explained repeatedly to Henry that Lochlan isn't actually legally married to anyone. It's symbolic. It's okay, I didn't really get that at eleven either.)

Before I could say anything or even get my chin up off the floor Caleb swooped in and grinned at Henry, telling him that it wouldn't work, because if he married me, he would want me all for himself and everyone else would have to be left out.

Henry, without missing a beat or even pausing to think, said that it wouldn't work then because Lochlan and mommy have been in love like FOREVER and that can't be undone so nevermind.

The look on Caleb's face was worth it. So, so worth it.

Slowly I told Henry we're a family regardless, while Caleb glowered at me from the other side of the table. It was awesome.

(No, I don't coach Henry to devastate his father. Shit happens. Kids know more than you think they do, always.)


For those asking, Lochlan is doing just fine. For a fire-breathing red-headed Scottish psychopath, I mean.

No, he wasn't very happy at all that Ben took me on a little trip.

Yes, he was very happy when I came back.

But apparently before we left he and Ben had an entirely different conversation than what I was led to believe and of course no one will elaborate. I'm getting nowhere.

When we came home, Ben went right back to work (as in, so fast I had to unpack his things for him) and Lochlan cleared his schedule so we could velcro (not my word, PJ has coined my ability to stick on people until they peel me off) for a while and yet he's not talking much. He did say he's mad that I have such a huge allegiance to someone who isn't here all that much.

And of course, I thought he meant Jake and just made things THAT. MUCH. BETTER.


(Stop sending me emails telling me you wish you had my problems. No, you fucking don't wish for this. Trust me.)

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Rapid apple movement.

Consider this
Consider this, the hint of the century
Consider this, the slip
That brought me to my knees, failed
What if all these fantasies come
Flailing around
Now I've said too much
Pretty sure that Caleb left this on the stereo on purpose when he went into the other room to take a call.

Yup, pretty sure.

He already lit into me early on about how ridiculous this whole thing is.

What thing? I asked. Because I didn't sleep and I have no idea if he means the weather, the election or my master plan to turn the backyard into a huge vegetable garden.

This thing where Ben uses Lochlan and I and our collective history as a justification to keep you for himself.

Do we need to do this today?

Yes, maybe we fucking well should!

Then the phone rang so I had all kinds of time to process the swearing, the yelling and the pure unchecked frustration from someone who usually has his shit together better than the rest of us.

Just not today.


You said a bad word! 

I can if I want. I'm an adult now. I'm Eighteen. I bet you're not allowed to swear yet, right, Bridget?

No not yet. Dad says when I'm eighteen I can say whatever I want. 

Good idea. But if you don't want me to swear around you, I won't. I mean, you're only nine. You don't need to hear ugly words yet. 

It's not that the words are ugly. I think they're kind of funny. But when you say them you sound so mean, Caleb.

Then I won't use them around you. 

I shrug and continue trying to eat the candy apple that he brought me. I can't get my mouth open wide enough to get any of it and my face is covered with sticky red syrup.

Do you want me to cut that up for you? 

Yes, please. 

It's going to be strange when you grow up, Bridget. If you think about it, you're exactly half my age but someday you'll be closer in years to me. Like when I'm fifty, you'll be forty-one so we'll be almost the same. 

You probably won't be around when you're that old. You'll forget you knew me. Thank you, I tell him as he passes me a slice of apple carefully, since his pocket knife is in the same hand.

You never know but I won't forget you. Maybe we'll still hang out. 

That would be neat. I could cut your fruit for you because you'll be really old and have dentures or something. 

Fuck, I hope not. Oh, sorry. I forgot to say something nicer. 

Say fudge! 

Fudge it is. Though it's going to sound weird in a minute when Loch gets here and I tell him to fudge off. 

Then just leave him alone already! You guys fight over EVERYTHING. 

No, just one thing. 

What is it?

Someday you'll figure it out. When you're older. 

Monday, 22 April 2013

Edward and Bella AKA Matt and Sam (says the brat in her Team Jacob shirt. ROTFL.)

(I think something's wrong with me. I'm never this cheerful. Like, EVER.)

The only thing we know for sure is the song we're using.

Tell me! 

A Thousand Years

Fuck off, Samuel. 

I'm serious. 

The song from...Twilight? 


But you're not vampires and you haven't loved each other for a thousand years. 

We have vampire friends. Does that count?

Maybe. What about the time frame? We're not talking about a little padding to round it off, you haven't even been together for a thousand weeks.

A thousand days?

Nope. Well, maybe by the time you actually have a WEDDING, Sam. What a great song. I'm going to cry when you walk down the aisle. I will anyway but if you play this it will be my full-on ugly cry.

Maybe I'll be waiting instead. I told you we haven't figured any of this out yet. 

Oh, I have. You're the girl. 

Should I wear a dress then?

Only if you really want to Twilight this bitch to death. 

I don't think I'm up for that. I get hives just thinking about planning a wedding again. 


Too many details. 

That's what friends are for, to help with the little things. 

So far you've trashed my song choices, told me I'm the girl in this relationship and suggested we theme the whole wedding to match a movie you hated. I don't think so, Bridge.

I didn't hate the movie! 

What part didn't you hate?

The theme song. Haven't you been paying attention? I freaking LOVE that song. So you'd better hurry up and get married or I will and use it before you can. 

Who would you marry this time?

Myself, because I'm that awesome. 

Well, someone woke up on the right side of the bed this morning. 

That's because I'm ALWAYS the girl, Sam.