Thursday, 9 May 2013

High and lonesome club.

I said Caleb was very busy and that I would have to work hard to catch him up because fucking hipster queen wannabe Lucas couldn't roll his tongue up long enough to actually accomplish anything useful and now...

Well, NOW I'm in Vegas and I've just ordered lunch and really I don't understand how this place can be anyone's on-purpose destination vacation because it smells like a dead hooker floating in an overflowing ashtray outside and it's full of broken dreams and hard hearts, people who only smile at you when you're cashing out with over five figures.

My Monte Cristo sandwich cost $32. I guess the cheese will have gold flakes and high hopes and come with a monogrammed paper napkin.

I don't have high hopes. I used to find this place so grown up and so exciting. Now I just find it depressing. I bet it finds me depressing too.

Batman has already threatened to put me on a plane and send me home, Lochlan was just..I don't even want to go there, and Ben probably doesn't know where I am because he hasn't picked up his messages. I'm not even working. The Devil is at a meeting. He didn't need me there. I worked on the plane and suddenly I don't need to do anymore.

I think I get it.

A knock on the door and I stand way up on my tiptoes to see through the peephole. It's room service.

Champagne? Sure. Leave the bottle. Yeah, I can pour my own. Don't think I need this glass, though.  Can you get me anything else? Sure, I could use an icepick and a steady hand and once I've forgotten my own name I'll probably enjoy myself right? Maybe take in a show. Check out the tables, right, okay. Oh, you say you have something that will let me forget my own name without the icepick lobotomy?

No, thank you, I don't think that sounds like a very good idea. Times have changed.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Devout and doubtful.

Sam finds me outdoors this morning. I'm drinking coffee, still in pajamas and one of Ben's hoodies, my headphones permanently affixed to each side of my skull. Perfect balance. I need a second pair to stuff up my nose for a center channel.

I need a lobotomy too. Still, I mean.

Grieve-Right strips, he says. Bridget, you're far too clever to be doing paperwork for the Devil. 

You used to say he isn't the Devil, that the Devil was no longer a tangible form, if he exists at all. 

Then I moved here. 

Then you moved here and now you see.

I wish you would talk to me about him some time, Bridget.

Another day, Samwise. My hands are shaking now so I grip the coffee cup like it's death. I don't need you to be a keeper here, you know that right?

I'll do whatever I can to help you. And I think you should finish the letters. Soon. Not because I want to cause you any more pain but because I actually think they could help. 

Then you've read them. 

No. Jake told me about some of them. 

And you didn't stop to ask yourself why he was doing that, Sam? Not even once? I close my eyes tightly. I didn't mean to accuse Sam of things no one could have predicted in a million years but yet I just did.

I feel his hand slide around my neck. He kisses the top of my head and lets go again.

After an endless silence I open my eyes again but Sam is gone. I know he'll be back without hard feelings. His bible is resting on the concrete beside my chair, the bible that used to belong to Jake that I gave to Sam, who continues Jacob's long habit of making tiny notes in the margins, sticking post-it notes on important pages and using photographs as bookmarks. It's no longer a bible, it's a time machine. When I lift it up to my lap it opens on a picture of me and the children, and when I take the picture out this is the highlighted verse on the page:
1 Corinthians 10:13  No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
In the margin, in Jacob's handwriting it says <B, as if maybe he wanted me to take this passage and remember it, find comfort in it, or maybe it was his proof that I am the Devil on earth. If you tilt your head to the right and look at my initial it's actually the symbol for a broken heart and I don't know if that was intentional or if my lobotomy is going to be this slow and painful until it's complete.

I'll ask Sam when I return his bible to him after work. Because I'm a glutton for punishment and so is he.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

The very definition of funny and sad.

Apparently I slipped and I'm in trouble with everyone, though they're having trouble being mad at me since I look like I've been in a prizefight today, the explanation for which is the dumbest one you will ever hear.

I tried a Breathe-Right strip last night after complaints that my congested self kept certain people awake. Once I managed to pry the fucking thing off in the shower this morning it left a lovely bruise under each eye. It's just wonderful. And I still was noisy so it was all for nothing.

And I don't own concealer so I get to own this look today. Why don't I? You ask. Easy, I answer.

I tossed everything but my Diorshow mascara (waterproof, I'M NOT A TOTAL IDIOT) and my Dior Addict lipstick (Incognito for day, Bellissima for night). That's it. Fuck the rest. JESUS. Life is too short for all this fucking crap and I'm too old to figure out primer/spackle/highlighter/contour/blush/eyeshadow/liner/settingspray/bronzer/magicwands/goodlighting.

I mean, get a grip. It's a face, not a craft project

So the trouble I'm in is for agreeing to help Caleb, who doesn't need my help but wants it and I willingly spoil him without knowing exactly why. Stockholm syndrome. Masochistic tendencies. I don't know. It depends on who you ask.

Maybe I just have trouble being mad at him, because he looks like Cole.  And I was going to make a very bad joke here about soon not having to work for Caleb to make some extra money after I become the rich inventor of Grieve-Right strips that you affix to your broken heart every night to help you sleep but then they'd probably all just call in reinforcements and medicate me and I still have a ton of work to do today.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Maligning magnates, making mischief, marking Mondays, missing ministers....er...argh..

And I looked to see that it was she
Just some abandoned little crook like me
Adieu, adieu, and fare thee well
This was the ending, please

Oh, whoa...
I was attached on bended knee
But I declined my leave

But who could blame
A fraction of her being?
She is cheesy, she is scrawny
With her uncanny styling
I'm teasing, she is pleasing
She just has no wit
I'm singing as I pull blackberry vines. You know the neat thing about blackberries is the birds bring me the seeds and then I spend several hours a week pulling the plants out. The birds get food, I get strength training. Some of these vines go five feet into the ground. If you don't pull them out they take over. It looked weird last summer when I had blackberries and roses together. The grapevines are starting to sprout at last too, and soon I'll be run off my feet with yard work, which I couldn't keep up with if I tried but I'm anxious to be as stubborn as possible teaching myself to use the electric trimmer (I've got the lawn mower down pat now) and not allowing anyone to help. So there are deep grooves along the edges of the property where I removed the long bits of grass and the short bits and everything else too so I'll just plant some grass seed and water it well, okay? Shhhhh.

Then we'll check the trees that will produce three, maybe five tiny salty, dented rotten apples if any at all and the lilac which isn't doing anything at all yet except doubling in width and it ate a blooming something-or-other that was beside it and is now under it. My green thumb is possibly out of control.

On the upside the roses always look beautiful.

Lochlan is laughing at my choice of song (but nothing else, trust me, crabby crabby boy) but there are so few songs that I like to sing that fit a warm sunny day like this one, that I can actually hit all the notes, remember all the words and not drive everyone batshit in the process. Because earlier today I spooled up some Fleetwood Mac and was reprimanded with several of my nicknames in varying degrees of caution, from at least a half dozen different boys.

I got frustrated and I finally asked the nearest person (Caleb) if he had any requests.

He looked up, annoyed. Whatever you like, Bridge.

Ah. I see. He is bent out of shape today because Luke was unceremoniously dismissed this morning after pulling out his phone once too often, taking a picture of a painting Caleb has in his living room, posting it on Instagram and having the nerve to say since he can't take pictures of the hot boss's girlfriend (what. the. He didn't say the boss's hot girlfriend. Oh, you thought I was surprised at the girlfriend part? Ha, we'll just save that for another day now, shall we?) that he can take a photo of a painting of her.

No...no, sweetheart, you actually can't.

Caleb took the phone from him, deleted every photo of me, the house, and everything else that didn't belong to Luke and told him he better learn a thing or two about discretion or the only job he will ever have will be the kind that pays ten dollars an hour and certainly doesn't involve anything worth instagramming, if he is still able to afford a phone at all.

 I think Luke gets it now. Some lessons you have to learn the hard way.

And I actually called the agency on Caleb's behalf because I'm not sure which one of us was more angry at that point and Caleb decided to take the day off after that. Some Mondays just don't start even when you pull and pull on the rope. Sometimes the rope just comes off the reel, and with nothing to turn the crankshaft, well, you're just fucked. So it's a short week already because he's already said several times that this is the worst week for this to happen, that he has a trip scheduled for Thursday.

And so...Caleb has promised me a thousand dollars an hour to get him up to date because I didn't realize how much work there was. I'm thinking Luke did NOTHING except openly gape while he was here. That won't happen again.

So tomorrow I'll put on one of those 'too tight for the amount of chocolate cake I have had in the past two days' dresses and go and see how long I can stretch out my workday! Maybe by the end of the week I'll have enough to replace my car, and he'll have had time to find a replacement assistant.

Somewhere right now, I'm sure Jasper is breathing a sigh of relief at not having to deal with Luke again.  I should have taken my cues from him but damn, he's such a sullen bastard all the time.But maybe it's in the job description. Only those who are truly petulant can be effective at managing people of this caliber. Or maybe I'm just wishing Jasper was easier to deal with because I'm already dreading tomorrow. No amount of ridiculous pay in the world will make that go away.

Unless..

Unless I start instagramming every fucking thing I do. Which, well last time I did that they shut me down, they just couldn't send me back because there was nowhere to send me to.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Permanent brain damage (paint fumes and sugar).

Apples don't fall far away from their trees, especially when it comes to being weird on purpose. We're cleaning up from lunch, talking about books, talking to Henry about The Outsiders. I read it when I was a kid, Ruth read it last year, Henry will read it next year. Lochlan walked in and caught the end of the conversation and he asked Ruth if she was a Greaser or a Soc.

She smiled and said, Neither. I'm a wizard.

***

Caleb stares down at me at I struggle to keep my hair out of my lipgloss. This would be easier if it were longer and I could tie it back sufficiently, of course but my hair grows slowly, probably because my body puts so much effort into quiet resignation and anxiousness. Everything else suffers. Especially the teeny-tiny chignon I barely pulled off today.

Look at your freckles. 

Mmm. 

I love them. 

Great. 

Tomorrow is a big day.

Mmmhmmm.

I see you and Benjamin made amends. 

Yes. 

You know what's interesting to me is how hard you work to chase those who are far too broken to be of much use, let alone help to you and then you completely deny me and the fact that our inner demons play so well together. 

He reaches out to touch my face and I flinch and take a step backward, only there's no more dock, only water and he grabs me before I fall.

I can anticipate your every move. 

Calculate, or even engineer, you mean. 

If only to shed some light on things you can't see that are so obvious, Princess. 

You're definitely a Soc and I'm a Greaser.

What?

***


I finished painting the movie theatre room. All of it. By myself. Rage moved the furniture but exhaustion couldn't put it back so I have to wait for the boys to do it. I have weird pains on my triceps and quadriceps from standing on the second-to-the-top rung of the step ladder so that I could lean against it and cut in along the ceiling. I used a chocolate brown shade and it looks rich and warm, like a cave.

All week long the boys made jokes about me remodeling the Man Cave and I didn't break their hearts and remind them it's my favorite room too, nor did I bother pointing out that the term 'Man Cave' makes me think they mean vagina, though I suppose with some of the boys I might be a little off with regards to that one...
 

Friday, 3 May 2013

Armistice and amphigory.

Almost two weeks since we got home, mere days left in the countdown to my birthday and we have hardly seen each other. He would say he was busy, and besides, I gave you Lochlan, and I would say that he's not too busy to make an effort and that they are not interchangeable. They are different. Opposites. Required.

But then I see his eyes appear over the top of my book last night. Melted chocolate. Scalded caramel. Roasted coffee bean.

Bumblebee. He says without inflection and I keep on reading. God, what a little bitch. What a hurting, miserable, self-conscious little wounded animal.

He tries again. Bee-Git. Beeootiful. Beef-stricken-unicorns? His eyebrows go up and I laugh out loud but keep reading.

He takes a deep breath and starts talking and I pretend I'm not listening but I hear every word as he details his promises quietly, humbly, carelessly. Promises that are meant to soothe temporarily but not to keep. Things he wishes he could achieve but can't, ways he wished he was but isn't. And then he gets to the end and instead of stopping he decides to wrap it all up in a bow of blame, saying if he thought I actually needed him he would be here but since I have others, he's not feeling bad in the least.

Wait..what?

I am so surprised I drop my book to my lap and frown at him. Do I know you? I ask, with a completely confused expression.

It's enough.

FUCK, he yells. Oh, that's nice. Heavy footsteps sound on the stairs within seconds and he goes out into the hall and tells whoever came up to check that it's okay. We're fine. He's just frustrated.

Huh. So am I.

He comes back in and sits in front of me again. He takes my book, turning down the page and drops it on the floor. Then he takes my hands and pulls them up to his lips. He closes his eyes.

I'm not good at having to answer to someone. 

It's been five years. You were never this bad before. 

I figure you don't need me. Then I compound it by figuring you're not interested when I come home, even. Then I make it ten times worse by burying myself in more work to offset all those feelings. 

Well that's dumb. 

Tell me about it. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

God, I hate those. 

Me too. It's my worst nightmare and it's probably inevitable. 

No it isn't. 

You write such sweet things about Loch. 

I distract myself.

You miss me. 

So bad, Tucker. 

Our eyes are all glass, no focus now.

Hey, you remembered who I was! 

Fancy that! Why did you come up anyway? I thought you wouldn't be home until hours from now. 

Then suddenly his face morphs back into the elastic psycho I know and love. I heard there was a rock star up here sans pants and I figure there's only room for one of those in this house. 

Oh my God. Ben. Hahaha, please don't tell me you didn't wear any-

Then he dropped his pants. And he's right. There's only room for one of those, because it's huge.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Without a shine? Blasphemy. He has several!

Oh, well, Lochlan has informed me that he thought I was screaming on the Ferris wheel because he was such a rock star.

Which..

Here's the thing. From the time I was a very little girl I just assumed that Lochlan was positively magical. So he didn't actually have to do anything to impress me. I figured he could do everything already.

But don't tell him that, because rock stars have the BIGGEST EGOS AROUND.

Oh, look. Here's Ben now, speaking of ghosts egos rock stars. I'll have to make this short. I'm also so high right now. Paint fumes. Jesus. I saw you today.

In other news, Sam and Matt (just Matt, thanks, he keeps correcting me and does not like to be called Matthew. Okay. I get it. Sort of. Okay, no, not really. Matt is what's by the front door. And the back door. And the dumb nail polish they sell at Sephora that isn't shiny so it looks like you've already ruined your manicure) are just about all moved in and all awkward grins and excited goofiness! They're ADORABLE.

PJ is complaining that the 'girls' on the point almost outnumber the boys now.

I smile at him completely unsympathetically. Not if I can help it. 

God, Bridget. You're impossible. 

No, I'm a rock star, dammit. Just like everybody else!

Okay, got it, Bridget. Don't get your panties in a bunch. 

I'm not wearing any. Also, I need an aspirin.

As clear as the sun in the summer sky: the formative song series begins.

Toward the end of the night when I got tired (and it was already long past my usual bedtime) Loch would switch to running easy rides, usually the Ferris wheel. I would sit in one of the cars and go around and around and around. My favorite part was when it ran forward and I would come over the top and get that feeling of falling. I would see Lochlan and he would either make faces at me or sing along with whatever song was playing. I would laugh. I made myself note that this, THIS was my life and everything was perfect.

I still haven't learned to not scream when it comes down. 

By the time the summer was over it was a well-entrenched habit and I've probably spent more time on a Ferris wheel than I have on the ground, truth be told.

My favorite, best, most amazing memory is the time I came over the top and Lochlan wasn't there. But on the next round he was, holding a tiny bouquet of wildflowers out to me, belting out the chorus of More Than a Feeling. I grinned and then I screamed when I fell.

I only saw him sing one line before I was pulled under the wheel and up around again.
I begin dreaming
He has that line tattooed on his hand. He never tells anyone why, though. Now you know. He used to sing all the time and then he stopped. He stopped for a very long time, and now he finally sings again.