Thursday, 31 October 2013

Trick or treason.

This first picture is me goofing around on the farm and then moments later, Bailey appears and I fall on my ass (picture #2). Coincidence? Nope.

In the third picture I am casually reading a book and I look like the illegitimate child of Rik Emmett. (Mom? Have anything to say for yourself?)

The fourth picture shows me in my natural habitat. The Atlantic. It was cold and I would go no further. Note the ubiquitous bikini. I think I was born with one on. (Again, mom?)

Someone asked what life was like before I met the boys and so I had to dig back to when I was pretty much in diapers to pull that off, thanks to Andrew, who's been here like, forever.

So as you can see it was...faded, speckled, sometimes black and white and mostly unfocused.

I'm trying my hardest to get permission from Ben and from Lochlan to post the wedding details but absolutely no one is on board with that.


They just keep giving me sugar and I forget I was asking something and that lasts for like half a day and then we go around again. I daresay when I was a micro-me not a hell of a lot was different. So instead of wedding stuff I am trying to give you something else and now you have to promise me you won't egg my  house. We good?

We're good. Happy Halloween. Be safe out there, kiddies.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Never could hold my sugar. Dammit.

Whoops. I sat down to write on the heels of eating a whole handful of Pixy Stix and other assorted candy and I might burst into a cloud made of glitter and sugar in a minute. Not a good time to expect anything because I'm busy doing loops across the ceiling whilst reciting dirty limericks. They're laughing but I can see the fear in their eyes.


Tuesday, 29 October 2013


A small, humbling number for a small, humble girl.

Two years and today I don't know quite know where we stand. Two years and Caleb refused to give Lochlan the day off today so Lochlan quit again but Schuyler, who has the patience of a saint (and celebrated two years of marriage to Daniel yesterday because you would have to have patience to be married to Daniel because Daniel just requires a lot of patience) managed to smooth things over and he confided that he does this at least twice a week when Lochlan quits. He smoothes over ruffled feathers and indignant, obstinate stalemates and stubbornness and ire. He runs his hand over things as if the bad moments were wrinkles in a bed he is making and I wish sometimes Schuyler had that magic in more of life but if Lochlan doesn't, how would Schuyler possibly have it?

Two years ago today I married Lochlan. I haven't written about it much past admitting it for the sake of clarity here only because certain things were a bit weird-sounding otherwise. Our parents and families and friends know and care but otherwise it's not something you speak of in public because plural marriage isn't your every day garden-variety thing in the world.


We keep quiet but in this house love is such a big gigantic thing. It tends to take over, taking up space, shoving everything else to the side while it holds center stage, a spectacle, a miracle, a curse.

And I wouldn't change it, in spite of how easy it was to be conventional once, married to a preacher on a pretty tree-lined street in a snowy city, spinning yarn and singing along with his guitar. I guess I knew at some point the circus would call me back because the circus is what I call home.

So tomorrow as a special anniversary gift to you I will write about the wedding.

Just not today. I have a date and I need to go get ready.
Clowns are the pegs on which the circus is hung.
~P. T. Barnum

Monday, 28 October 2013

Profound even in nursery school.

He turns me away from him and pulls me in tightly against his chest. My back is so warm this way and I stop shivering. My heart dislodges and pins itself against my spine, a magnetic pull forcing it there against Lochlan's heart, which has thrown itself against his ribcage and strains to get out. It hurts, almost but not quite.

When I sleep I dream that I figured out how to draw with colored pencils and I'm trying to balance on the wire. I wake up laughing. Weird dreams. I haven't moved, but Loch's right shoulder is pushed forward and down, crushing me down into the bed underneath him so and I have to push against him in order to breathe.

I don't think he minds.

I have finished NOS482 and Allegiant (!!!!!!!!!) and am back to reading Doctor Sleep. I keep picking up my phone to text Ben but then I put it down without doing anything. I still cough constantly and am trying to drink my body weight in water which isn't going well and I feel dehydrated and frustrated and hysterical and penned in. Andrew yelled at me once to go back to bed once already this morning. I ignored him.

I feel peaceful when I think about my ghosts though, down to checking my brain to make sure all of my memories are organized and easily accessible.

Once I lost Jacob's voice and I almost turned myself inside out looking for that one before I found it hiding behind the one of Bailey locking me in the basement bathroom with her while she played movies with her Fisher Price projector on the back of the bathroom door. Peter Pan. And then when I was released I promptly ran outside and start screaming Pirates! Pirates! at Andrew, who fell in beside me, trusting every word I yelled because we were both four years old with magnificent vocabularies and an inability to count past ten.

Where are they?

Everywhere! Don't you see them? I was kidnapped and managed to escape but they said they will never rest until I am recaptured! 

Quick! Let's get under the deck! They won't find us! 

Good plan! 

We crawled under his parent's back porch on our stomachs and waited, keeping guard.

Do you see them?


He claps his muddy hand over my mouth and holds it there. My eyes are wide. Finally after counting to fifty by whispering, eight, thirteen, teen, teen, twenty, fifty!, we crawl back out and assure ourselves they're gone.

Phew. That was close.

That night I dream that I am eating crayons and trying to balance on a board. I tell Andrew the next day and he says, That means you're going to meet a pirate in real life! He won't be clear about it but he's going to steal you when the time is right and you will never go back to being Bridget the regular kid ever again! 

How do you know?

It's what they do! 

How will I know who the pirate is? 

Easy, stupid! He takes your heart first and then comes back for the rest when the coast is clear! 

How will I know when the coast is clear?

Nothing will be in the way!

But what about the crayons?

Pirates don't color, Bridget! They're big people. All they do is steal things. 

But if those things are worth money then I want to be a pirate! 

Is your heart worth money?

It's worth more than all the gold in the land. In the world even. 

What's it made out of?

Me. It's made out of me. 

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Extra bonus: New-Jake is moving into Batman's place too. Today.

Extra super double-bonus: Jasper isn't moving in! Hurray!

Everyone in one place (AKA Batman's big announcement).

(I wish I didn't have to keep repeating this but no, his name is not actually Batman. It's a nickname to protect his privacy by his own request.)

This morning Batman joined us for breakfast and an early sermon on the water. I stood shivering in my dress because I forgot my sweater and Loch slipped out of his hoodie in haste, braving the four-degree sunrise in a Pink Floyd t-shirt and goosebumps.

(He's dressed up exactly four times in his life, truth be told. One wedding, one funeral, and two job interviews.)

Sam saw that and sped up his words to 78 rpm and we went around quickly. Home, family, love, God, faith, hope and okay, let's go eat. 

And true to his usual method of operation, Batman waited until the last person was finished the food on their plate (in this case, Henry, who dawdled through his scrambled eggs and Caleb, who kept refilling his coffee cup to the point where I was about to ask him if it's safe to have that much caffeine at once, and Ben who just kept on eating) to make an announcement that will probably once again change absolutely everything.

He's purchased the house up the street.

It's on the same cul-de-sac, but situated on the next point over, albeit a magnitude smaller than this point but one featuring a beautiful Mediterranean-style home that features the most impressive blue-tiled floors and the same beautiful view. I've seen the pictures, it's been for sale for some time. It's close enough to see the lights on at night but far enough to afford privacy, because it ranges in the low seven figures.

That's a perfect house for one person. Caleb congratulates him on the acquisition somewhat backhandedly. We still think real estate is a good bet but only at a certain threshold. Caleb doesn't believe in buying more than you actually need, however.

Ben will be welcome to stay as long as he needs to and anyone is welcome to come at any time. It's furnished. Lots of rooms for guests. Batman stares at me but I'm busy doing the math in my head.

When do you move in? I'm guessing he'll say at the end of the year.

I'm already settled. 

The boys stand and shake hands all around the table, good news is often embraced quite boisterously, and I lean back in my chair waiting them out. Ben already knew so he keeps eating and Caleb has suddenly lost his appetite. When everyone is settled again we discuss the noise and the traffic downtown and how quickly glass boxes and elevators lose their appeal in favor of well, this. Batman reveals that he's uncharacteristically excited to be putting down roots at last with waterfrontage to boot and it suddenly occurs to me that he has just levelled the playing field.

With explosives.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Keeping it chill for the next two weeks. Here we go, folks.

Henry is sick and convalescing at the boathouse today, playing video games and watching movies with Caleb. Ruth is working on some drawings with Daniel next door because she can leave her stuff all over the kitchen there and no one makes her clean it up at mealtimes.

I am waiting patiently at my place at the kitchen island here at home because PJ is making me a Monte Cristo. It's obvious who loves me most.

He turns around with the plate in hand, the perfect meal for me.

You know you want to marry me. I'd make these for you every day. 

Then we could share the same jeans, Peej. Because I'll be as big as you sooner rather than later. 

We should share them now if you want to get in here with me. 

You guys should get a room. Gage walks in because he smelled food.

You're absolutely right. PJ winks at me and I throw a grape at him. Perv. Hush now. 

Bridget, you just keep denying me, I'd be so perfect for you. I cook and clean and everything. 

Yup, the perfect wife. What would that make me?


No, it would make me the man in the relationship. 

I'm down with that. 

We should test that theory! 

Huh? It was figurative, Bridge! 

Why be figurative when you can be literal! Stay here and bend over the counter. I'll be right back. 

Where are you going?

To find Schuyler. Or Matt. Or anyone really. We'll just turn the lights out. 

You're a little monster. 

Hey, if I'm the guy I get to violate you any way I want. I just need a primer on technique.

You just be quiet and eat your sandwich, little miss! Jesus! I'm shocked at the things in your head. 

Oh my God, PJ, I'm KIDDING. 

I know that, now like I said, EAT YOUR SANDWICH. 

Lochlan comes in. Wow. Bit harsh, Padraig. What's up?

The dirty mind on this one. WE'VE RUINED HER. 

Lochlan shakes his head. Nah, Brother, I think she ruined us. He takes half my sandwich and walks back out of the room, winking at me as he goes.

I DID NOT! I chase after him. I want my sandwich back.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Beginning of Six.

I didn't write yesterday. I spent it in a stupor after I looked at the calendar and realized, oh, yeah that was six years ago today that I walked down to the church late one night to ask Jake to stop working and come home and sleep already and he told me he was done.

Jake was never a person to put down roots past the windy cliff where he grew from a boy into a man. He lived with few possessions and traveled on whims that would have left most people clinging to civilization. He spent months in places like Nepal and India and Brazil. He stood high above every cloud, a blonde viking with a need to find God in tangible form and once he even said he found God in me but I'm almost sure now it was less of a revelation and more of a wishful thought.

Sam came to me last night and took the brandy away and said I really should read those remaining letters now, he made copies of everything, scanning them into the computer so that I could easily read them on the iPad or whatever but I've never opened them. They just sit.

Sam put his arms around me and kissed the top of my head and told me I am doing great.

He lies so easily. I think God gives him that power.

I told him it wasn't comforting so he shifted gears and told me to come watch television with him and we went and curled up on the couch like cats and we never turned on the television at all. He surfed emails on his phone without answering any and I fell asleep in his warm arm the moment my feet left the floor.

When I woke up this morning I was still there and so was he only someone had tucked a blanket around us. When I woke up I couldn't catch a full breath because the weight on me is so heavy. I hate Halloween. I hate that his birthday is right there and that we could have grown old together but we won't now because he took that, he took everything with him and it all smashed to bits on the pavement along with him. He took future memories and plans and my love for him and he broke it without asking.

He took Himself too. Capitalized because nothing says The Lord quite like a large nonexistent entity you pray to, worship and feel all around you all the time. God has a name and His name is Jake and He has forsaken me but I still believe in Him. Sam laughs and shakes his head and feels helpless and quiet and resigned.

Ben couldn't take the bend in my life right on this week each year that has permanently changed everything, preventing the past from colliding with the present, keeping the future just out of reach. I can't reconcile anything past 2007 so instead I retreat to happier times when I was young and knew nothing but hunger pangs and starry eyes, when I first learned that falling in love makes your body feel the same swoop of your internal organs flying out of place and your heart hitting your ribcage at a hundred miles an hour that you get when you take a ride at an amusement park and then later when you swing high above a crowd on a trapeze.

And then later still when the fear comes crashing in and everything is ripped away, including your confidence in a net below, and you are left cold, afraid of everything and stubborn as all fuck because life isn't a show after all. You can't pick your props, plan your acts or take just one more ride so you better enjoy it while it lasts. Revel in those lights, scream when your heart makes the leap and love for everything you're worth because you might turn out to be fool's gold and won't that be a goddamned surprise.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013


I'm on the floor in the hallway, the pale light of the moon spilling across my forehead as I sit holding a bomb in my hands.

Lochlan holds his lighter out. The old scratched silver zippo. Take it, blow this world up already. I'll take whatever knocks come my way and we'll be okay after that.

Jake bends down in front of me and tells me heaven is such a beautiful place and at least when Caleb kills me I'll have that to look forward to, that eventually we'll all be there together again, except for Caleb, because he'll be in the other place. I don't think Jake is speaking out loud. He's talking in my brain again, the way he always has since he flew.

How do you know I won't go to hell too? I ask him. I wrap my arms tighter around the bomb and try to use my body to shield it from them in case they try to take it.

Because you're a good human, Bridget. Duncan leans up against the doorframe, aviators on at night in the dark. He's never very far away, bless his heart and the minute I finished writing yesterday he kind of appeared on the fringes, put down the fucking perpetual beer and tuned in again. I must be so special.

Because you haven't done anything wrong, Dude. Dalton's voice. Teflon Jesus, loved by everyone, sticks only to himself. For a long time I thought he was gay but it turns out he's just very discreet and not at all prone to the sort of boasting the others can get into when speaking of their conquests. He calls me Dude. He says it keeps him from getting too attached. I told him he was being ridiculous and he assured me that no, he wasn't.

That's bullshit. Cole scowls it from the corner, where he takes up the space from floor to ceiling with his glorious black wings extended properly. Everyone takes a step back and he reminds me that Caleb doesn't let go. Never has, never will and I only encourage him even as I think I'm weaning him off me somehow or letting him have what he wants in hopes every time will be the last time but it never is. You couldn't be faithful if you tried. I think the brain damage you blame on my brother is from the endless microscopic attention you've had from all of us all these years. It turned you into a tiny little pleaser with zero interests in anything but that attention. It doesn't matter who loves you because it will never be enough.

I hope his voice is only in head, because his words are humiliating and true. Growing up, nothing fed my ego until it was full like a handful of boys fighting over me. Even then, the rumblings of its hunger practically knocked me down as I stood in place.

Do it, Peanut. Take the leap. Please the crowd! Loch swings nearer on ropes now, holding out the lighter. I hear him over the roar of the audience. No one ever lets the juggler up on the trapeze. This is an unbelievable moment in the history of the show. And I am a part of this special moment. Holy cow.

I'm thinking about it! I make him promises so old they're covered with dust. He reaches down and blows the dust away. It gets in my eyes and now I'm blind and deaf. You won't, Bridget, because you know I'll be collateral damage. Why don't you worry about you for a change?

Any satisfaction I get won't be worth the cost. Didn't you tell me that once? Weigh the cost against the reward. Sure we can pickpocket the expensively-dressed marks but they're more likely to have lawyers and press charges. Charges stay with you forever. Kind of like promises that don't keep even though they're supposed to. 

Christian turns his head away. Enough. Let her be. She's not old enough to make these decisions. Should have left her home. 

I told you I'll look after her, Lochlan steps up and flicks the lighter for the hundredth time and I cover the fuse of the bomb with my hand so he can't light it.

But you really don't, and that's why we're in this mess. PJ snorts his derision. Ben leans forward from where he sits silently (because he isn't here he's never here he should be here) and kicks PJ in the shin.

I can fix this with money. Caleb steps forward, scratching his car key against his nails. He's taller than Lochlan by a head but Lochlan gives him a shove anyway. Stay out of this, Diabhal. She's mine. Besides, don't you have a law exam to study for?

She doesn't belong to anyone. Therefore she gains nothing by blowing up everything. She's smart. She knows exactly what she's doing. Have faith that we raised her right and she'll do the right thing. I nod at him, pleased that he has complimented me and so I give him the bomb and he takes it and holds a gun up to my head instead.

Besides, if she tries this again I'll light the bomb myself and make her swallow it whole. 

Jacob cries out in protest and disappears as I struggle against the gun. Caleb squeezes the trigger and the gun goes off but it isn't pointing at me anymore, it blows a hole in Lochlan the size of his heart and he drops like a rock.

When I wake up screaming Lochlan is beside me and the hole in him is gone. I touch the spot on his chest where the hole was and start blubbering about dreams and big round black cartoon bombs with white-string fuses and Duncan's sunglasses. Loch pulls me in against the not-hole and puts his head down on mine and he nods. He nods and he says the most ridiculous thing.

I know. Cole was there too and I think the lecture he gave was the most I ever heard him say at once. Freaky, hey?

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The music soared up and over and then right through me as I walked in the door.

Oh My God! What IS that? I asked the Devil, who sat in his favorite chair with coffee and his laptop.

His whole face broke into a smile. I think of this as your theme song these days, Bridget.

He wasn't kidding.
When she was just a girl
She expected the world
But it flew away from her reach
And the bullets catch in her teeth

Life goes on
It gets so heavy
The wheel breaks the butterfly
Every tear, a waterfall
In the night, the stormy night
She closed her eyes
In the night, the stormy night
Away she'd fly.

And dreamed of paradise

When it was over he turned it off and stood up. I know what you're going to ask and the answer is no.

You didn't even hear me out.

Bridget the point of toying with Ben's resolve is that it brings more gradual results. Do you remember what happens when Lochlan is tested?

He gives up. 

He gives up! Indeed he does! Caleb is shouting now. Maybe you'd prefer I bring Ben back so I can work on Lochlan instead! Is that what you're asking me to do? At the end of the day, Princess, you have to ask yourself, who is the strongest one of all? It's like Snow White only it isn't. It's Cole Black and you don't get to be the fairest anymore, nor is this a story with a happy ending. It could have been once, but you just refuse to cooperate.