Thursday, 12 December 2013

Well. This was a day.

Oh my fuck. He put on Journey this morning and I realized that's how he works the...the...time machine.


I spent the next few hours in the delirious fever of Lochlan's arms, hanging by a breath somewhere secret between the past and the future and it left a smile that can't be chipped off the same way my brand-new green glitter nail polish is. 

He left with a huge grin, off to a meeting with Batman. He said I've almost got you back. Almost. I didn't confirm or deny. I just left it there. Something good in a world that sometimes seems so black and hopeless and painful. Neither one of us want to say anything to break the spell but the spellbreaker is there, all six feet-four-inches of him, on both our minds morning, noon and night. 

And they are waiting for me to break the spell instead and I suddenly can't find my courage because I'm buried in blankets, music and wrapping paper so I leave it for the moment. I can stall forever. No one else needs to be hurt but this is a long-drawn out agony instead of a bandaid. We need to get on with things. We need to do it soon. 


Caleb isn't buying it. I smile my way over across the driveway all wiggly like jello, a secret set within, chilled to hollow translucent green perfection. He looks in my eyes and tells me I look like I've been fucked by someone with no finesse whatsoever. 

Crass bastard this morning, aren't you. Monitor keeping you awake?

No, loneliness is. 

And you think the way to fix that is to make me angry? Because if so then he's not the one without finesse. And I'll have you know, he's a goddamned dream. He's perfect and you're jealous because you enabled the inevitable and now you're kicking yourself because it could have all been so different.

Bridget, he's a phase you go through on a regular basis. 

He's not but maybe you are, 

Good, you know, I was really hoping we could get into it while I still have this thing on so you can see the distress this causes me. 

Maybe I should leave. 

And go back over to the perpetual teenage boy? No, stay here. Let me make you some breakfast. You need to eat. You get smaller every day. 

That's because Henry's getting bigger. The frame of reference is reversed now. (Henry, whose feet grew four sizes in three months.). I'm the same. 

The same as when you were twelve. 

I have to go. He doesn't want me here. 

Tell him he can't interfere with our coparenting arrangement or I'll have to tell him myself. 

That's the only reason I'm here. 

Caleb holds out a cheque for the new winter boots I bought Henry yesterday and I mouth thank you as I take it and head back outside. Caleb sticks his head out the door and says I need you to come back later so we can hear the results of Henry's school program okay?

Fuck my life. 

Pardon me?

Fine, I said fine. 

No you did not, Bridget and if Pyro makes you this flippant he's going to have to answer to me. 

I turn around at the threat. He is standing at the top, I'm at the bottom of the steps. 

No, he does not. You leave him alone. 

Oh, but I can't. 

I march back up the steps and get right up in his face. You know what? YOU LEAVE LOCHLAN ALONE. HE'S NEVER DONE A THING TO YOU. FUCKING LEAVE HIM ALONE! 

I turn to walk away and I fall, because everything is covered with ice here and I forget. I always forget.


The cast will be on for up to six weeks. The orthopedist asked me if I had any other questions after he was finished and I blurted out Can I still write? I mean, can I type? 

If you feel up to it, he said. In a few days, possibly a week. Here is a prescription for the pain. I didn't get it filled. I'll deal with it. I'll just bite down on something. I would rather feel everything now than not feel anything at all.

I know. That makes me different from just about everyone on earth.


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

'All men should strive to learn before they die, what they are running from, and to, and why.' ~James Thurber

Hear the sirens
Hear the circus so profound
I hear the sirens
More and more in this here town

Let me catch my breath to breathe
And reach across the bed
Just to know we're safe
I am a grateful man

The slightest bit of light
And I can see you clear
Oh, have to take your hand
And feel your breath for fear this someday will be over

I pull you close, so much to lose knowing that nothing lasts forever
I didn't care before you were here.
I danced with laughter with the everafter
But all things change
Let this remain
I got stuck here in the dark between preparations for the wedding, for Christmas, post-Halloween, Ben's birthday and getting back to one hundred percent from having pneumonia and then I went off the deep end. Caleb spent two weeks wearing a Holter monitor and Batman went out of his way to redesign Lochlan's job so that he is mostly a systems 'consultant' (a made-up job) and is on call instead of running around all week.

Batman seems to want to prove he hasn't chosen sides, although if anything now you'd put him squarely on red. He says he did some things to help out Ben so he needed to do some things to help Loch, though I'm pretty sure this has more to do with me and making sure I am not left to my own devices during the day, where I can get in more trouble in an hour than some people can pull off in their entire lifetimes.

On the other hand, those still on Ben's side see Lochlan home virtually all the time now and no chance in hell of things ever returning to the way they once were.

Wedding plans aren't falling into place. Ben isn't falling back into place. Christmas chatters and clanks along, planning to arrive on the 25th whether we are ready or not. I keep getting pushed back by snow and rain and jealousy and rage. Nothing is falling into place at all, nothing will ever be the same, nothing should ever have changed or gone this far or been this hard.

That's why I'm still persisting with escaping into music every chance I get. This week it's Sirens. There's a line in it that says I didn't care before you were here. Someone said something like that to me a long time ago. He is still alive. I should have listened harder. I should have disobeyed orders. I should have stayed with him even when he told me to go. Scar tissue is hard to heal, and the only way I know of to make a scar look better is to make a new one right over it. Not an easy task, that.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Frisson (hiding in plain sight).

Go your way,
I'll take the long way 'round,
I'll find my own way down,
As I should.

And hold your gaze
There's coke in the Midas touch
A joke in the way that we rust,
And breathe again.

And you'll find loss
And you'll fear what you found
When weather comes
Tearing down
The song swells into my ears as I burn alive, turning to ash when the cool night air hits my skin. But I don't go inside because the cold makes my head hurt less. Inside with the heat and the lights and the noise it throbbed like a strobe and out here it is quiet and dark and icy. I think I'll sleep out here but they will say no because I will die. I think I will move out here where the sounds are swallowed by the wind and the black night hides the truth of things like age, loyalty and death, things like history and longing and betrayal. I think I'll exist out here in a world on the other side of the glass where I can look in and see them but they can't see me and I think I'll go inside now because my fingers and toes and my heart and my mind are numbed now and feeling so much better this way.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Urchin, ingrate, high.

So wash your face away with dirt
It don't feel good until it hurts
So take this world and shake it
Come squeeze and suck the day
Come carpe diem, baby
Christian watches over me today. Lochlan would prefer me to stay in, the snow is plentiful this morning and the roads? Total shit. Also Stay here, in the main house he said like it's an afterthought, even though it isn't. But it's okay. I have enough to keep me busy, wrapping the gifts that didn't have to be mailed (those have already arrived at their destinations, thank you Canada Post!) but are for those off-point and steam-cleaning the rug in the living room, since while we did the grand tour of DeBeers/Louis Vuitton/Gucci/Cartier/Coach and Tiffany on the weekend, my little dog was home pooping in front of the fireplace, dammit.

I bet if I stuck him in a swanky Vuitton dog carrier he wouldn't do that.

But I won't because I'm not all that high maintenance. I went in Hermes, looked at their wallets, saw the price tags and blanched. Twelve hundred dollars? Is this unicorn leather?

Probably. Harvested under a full moon during the spring dance of the sugarplum babies.

Or maybe that's just sugarbaby, singular and without plums.

Which is another thing I'm not good at. Choosing hand-harvested unicorn leather goods or diamonds for that matter. Some of those stores I only ever go in to people-watch. Sometimes that isn't pretty either, I'll tell you. I met a woman at the counter wearing leather tights and no pants. No, that's actually what she had on.

I got in a lot of trouble in Tiffany once before though. Caleb wanted to buy me something (quite inappropriately) and so I agreed and he made an appointment and off we went. I had researched prices beforehand and so they kept showing me things I didn't like, as I steered them toward the motherload. Finally they brought out a ring and a security guard, for the ring was a six-figure headlight, probably a unicorn eyeball (a unicornea!) and I tried it on and Caleb was all ready to plunk down his Visa Infinite and I looked at him and told him he didn't know me at all and walked the fuck out.

Can you just imagine a unicorn eyeball ring that is so priceless it's worth the cost of your average three-bedroom home in the lower mainland?

I will tell you that same year Lochlan bought me a sterling ring and an hour after he gave it to me I was feeding the deer up the road and when I flung the sugar cubes over the fence my brand new ring flew with them.

Over the fence right into a herd of deer.

Lochlan just looked at me like seriously? And then he found the ring for me, because he is magic and you should never doubt that. I wear it on my index finger now and it doesn't fall off.

(If it had been a unicornea ring the deer would have eaten it, FYI.)

And that's my story for today. Want to bet my new allergy meds are making me loopy? No? Okay, suit yourself.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Gold stars and newspaper snowflakes.

What is that?

A Christmas tree. 

I know that but it's July, Locket. 

Right and I can't wake up with you here on Christmas day so we're going to have Christmas in July, and maybe Halloween in August and then tack on Easter in September. 

All the chocolate holidays! Yes! 

I'm surprised you still have any teeth. 

I still have half my baby teeth. And you won't be here at Christmas either, you'll be at home. 

I know and I dread it. 

But you'll be warm and your mom is a good cook. 

You won't be there. 

I'll be across the street at my house and you can come over for dinner. 

Okay. Do you want to hook the lights up or do you want me to?

You do it. I want to be surprised.

He said my name very softly a moment later and I opened my eyes. The tree was lit with a string of red lights and he had cut out dozens of tiny snowflakes from newspaper and hung them with pieces of a red velvet hair ribbon I thought I lost a month ago. It still remains the prettiest tree I have ever seen.

Can you leave it on so it's on when I wake up? 

It will be daylight, Peanut. You won't see the lights. But how about I leave it on until you fall asleep? Then you can take it to your dreams. 

Will you?

Of course.

Thank you. I'll never see a better tree than this one of ours. 

Oh, I bet you will. But not out here at the edge of the woods like this with the beach within yards of us. What a sight! It's almost as beautiful as you are. 

I blushed in the dark.


This year we decided to replace all the Christmas lights, after collecting a mix of regular and LED strings over the years in as many sizes and colors as there are in the stores. It got a little silly, actually and so we gave everything away and PJ and Loch went and bought new matching lights for the trees and for decorating, outside and in.

They brought home hundreds of red lights and Loch had a freshly printed newspaper too, in his parcels. He started to ask me if I remember anything about red lights and I interrupted him before he could finish and yelled CHRISTMAS IN JULY!!!

He grinned. PJ just looked confused. It's December, Bridge. 

No, actually it's July, PJ. 

Loch, you drop her on her head?

Long story, PJ. I used to be a romantic guy before all the others showed up. 

You still are, Locket.  I remind him.

I'm trying, Peanut. 

Well, you're doing a really good job. 

Friday, 6 December 2013

Galeforce hearts, revisited.

Because today reminds me of this day, only with a different soundtrack.
Nobody said it was easy
It's such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be this hard
Oh, take me back to the start.
There's a lesson somewhere in here about not going out for lunch, deciding you don't like what is ordered (prawn salad yuck) and drinking to kill two hours instead. Those three glasses of good champagne and a piece of bread put my tiny little self on my butt and I was almost grateful when the buzz wore off eventually.

We made a big dinner to make up for the lack of lunch and Lochlan said it was ironic that he went to work to get out from under Caleb's control only to be gone long enough to see me over there almost every fucking waking moment.

He was equally unimpressed that after my case of the vapors earlier in the week that Caleb would agree to letting me have all of that champagne and call it lunch instead of getting something I would like.

(Caleb aways orders for me and never asks what I want, something Lochlan only ever did if he knew I would just get junk when there could be a vegetable or protein opportunity in there somewhere for a growing girl.)

He and Caleb had a little bit of a shouting match after supper in which Lochlan detailed all of the things Caleb won't be doing anymore and Caleb stood two feet away smiling tightly in the dark at the ground, putting his hands in his pockets and then taking them out, waiting for the inevitable punch but it never came because Lochlan's not going to hit Henry's dad anymore, he promised.

Oh, how he wants to though so I had to step up and take responsibility for my actions, which I readily did but it didn't matter because I'm twelve and twelve isn't old enough to take responsibility for anything.

Later Lochlan is almost asleep and he tells me rearranged his schedule to have tomorrow off because the week has been long and tough and he thinks I'm fluttering too much here right now.

Fluttering. That was always his way of describing how I suffer if things aren't a certain way. Sort of about to explode but hanging in there. Something like that.

So this morning he comes in with the paper and he's grinning like a wild man.

Put on your coat, Peanut. I have something that will make yesterday's champagne a distant memory. 

This isn't a competition, is it, Locket?

Maybe. He's still grinning so I run and grab my coat and we go outside in the backyard. He helps me up onto the low part of the rock wall and tells me to turn. Okay, turn a little more into the wind. Okay. He puts out his arms and tells me to fall.

Because of who we are I don't even hesitate. I lean forward, expecting to land in his arms. Instead the wind keeps me up. It blows steadily over the point and I laugh but then I can't breathe because it flows down my throat and freezes my veins.

I pretend to do the breaststroke and Lochlan shouts over the endless roar. Would you have done that if Caleb had asked you to? 

Never. I don't know if he's prepared to catch me. The wind dies down and I fall into Lochlan's hands, missing his nose with my forehead by millimetres.

That's how I know he's not worth punching. You've already made up your mind. He's a mark. He's a memory. He's not..

He's not a magician. 

No, he's not. Because I am. He puts me on my feet, kisses my forehead and watches as I lean into the wind again.

So much fun.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

I wasgoing to write something useful but then that champgane lunch happened. I don't turn down Dom Peringmon because I never know if it will be the last time I try it. The Devil laughs and says it doesn't have to be, that if I want it every day I just have to saythe word.

The word?

The word is DANCE PARTY.



Blurred Lines is on and that metal God, that traitor to his beloved genre just can't sit still.

I am going to be so hungover late.r

Whatevr! bye

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Here's where my selfishness will offend you.

I removed the tiny little one paragraph rant. I think I'm done with the pity party. Besides, Caleb spent the afternoon singing Atlas out loud, along with the stereo while I wrote personalized notes in his Christmas cards and threatened to write very personalized ones in those cards headed to the Russian mafia.

Things like Happy Holidays! So glad you didn't get me when you faked that loan default. And Ho! ho! ho! Merry please don't touch me like you know me okay thanks. 

It's water under this bridge but came back glaringly as I filled out five dozen stupid cards and saw those unfamiliar yet all too familiar names.

Urgh! How do you know so many people? 

These are not people, these are business connections. 

Still! Jesus! Too many of these. 

How many are you sending out this year?

Cards? I don't send cards. The boys all live here with me.

He just stood there and stared and then broke out into the chorus again and I couldn't help but smile. He's in a good mood and I'll tell you why.

Ben isn't being the least bit receptive to anything anymore but mostly me. He's actively avoiding me, probably because every time we have any sort of encounter it is evaluated, judged and supervised to within an inch of its life and he isn't good with that. He and New-Jake have gotten into some shoving matches over it and Batman has had to function as a parent. This confuses everyone for whatever reason. They didn't pay close enough attention the past fifteen years, I guess.

I want to jump up and down and wave my hands and yell I know! I know! I know! but I can't right here because I'm not impartial and prone to breaking into tears when I even catch a glimpse of Ben and I have begun to do two distinct but similar things. Firstly, I'm doing what Ben wants me to do, dividing my time between Satan and the Joker. Which is hilarious because everyone always says do this, don't give everything to Lochlan.

(He will take it all, the original thief of opportunity.)

And secondly, I'm going out of my way to make Ben hurt by really giving it my all. I'm enjoying my days. I'm baking cookies and shopping and writing and listening to music and flirting shamelessly with Duncan, helping Sam and Matt plan the wedding and messaging everyone, even Bailey who hardly ever responds and I'm not using anyone or trying to twist screws, I'm just trying on being happy without needing a specific reason.

Fuck, it's fucking hard and I'm exhausted.

And I have moments of unimaginable hurt when I see him and he hardly reacts and once I even blurted out that I bet he feels stupid to have some of those tattoos now with my name and the bumblebee and he just stared at me like I was the crazy one who gave up life for a bible and the Big Book.

I didn't know when I watched you take that drink that it would replace everything else. Why does it still do that if you aren't drinking anymore? Shouldn't your life return to being more important?

Not yet. I still want that drink more than anything. 

You are so fucked up, Benjamin. 

Yes, I know. That's why they call it recovery. 

They should call it stupidity. Because it's stupid. 



Don't be. This isn't your fault. 

You know, you can say that all you want but it doesn't bring you back. 

I'm right here. 

No, you're not. 


Happy Birthday, Tucker. Is it everything you dreamed it would be?

I didn't wait for his answer. Caleb calls my name and I had Ben the wrapped box and I go back inside. Fucking Christmas. Fucking Coldplay. Fucking AA. Fucking tears. Fucking stupid fucking broken life.

I look at the Devil and wonder if I have any parts of my soul left to sell or trade for selfish gains but I'm pretty sure I'm fresh out.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Today is better than yesterday, in which I blacked out at the post office and so just...nevermind.

He brought his hands up to my face so I would look at him and stop talking. It took forever but I finally did stop and then he kissed me. Lightly, slowly this time, the whole while pulling off my sweater, unbuttoning all the things keeping us apart. He pulled his shirt over his head and then he turned me away and gave me a shove, face first into the quilts. When I tried to get up he was right there against me, one hand on the back of my head, keeping me down and the other hand spread wide across my abdomen, pulling me up against him. The faster he went the tighter he held my head and by the time he turned me back over to face him, to kiss him, there was very little left of me to hold because he used me all up.

My skin trembles and cools in the dark and Loch pulls me back in hard against his chest. He says things that make my broken heart itch as it heals on the spot and then it breaks free and takes flight and I can hear it exclaim high above the clouds as it shouts for joy.

One more kiss and I let go of consciousness and sleep so hard I missed the alarm and am late for work. So is he.


Which is okay, actually because when the boss (Caleb for the time being because sometimes things are busy and he mostly hates all of the temps the agency sends because let's face it: they're not me) expressed his displeasure at my inability to make it over in time for a conference call with the UK I gave him the same graphic description and wouldn't you know it, he stopped talking right away.

Makes for a lovely quiet day now. I needed this. I needed all of this.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Floss and batter.

1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup of butter
2 large eggs
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

Matt and Sam let me spend most of Friday torturing them with my misery and then finally Lochlan was home and he did what he always does when he comes home from many hours gone. He grabbed me in close against his chest and rocked me while standing in place. Tight enough so that I can't breathe which is ironic because he's home and now I can, white knuckles showing color again, brain unravelling, heart filling up with blood, nerves repaired.

He tucked his head down against mine. You are a Good Human, you just give too much of yourself to people who don't deserve it. 

I shake my head and he says, You have to trust me. In this world where all of us are awful and selfish and reckless, you are selfless, sweet and careful. 


This is not a bad thing, Peanut. Never a bad thing. And I missed you. I get a kiss that rivals just about any movie I've ever seen and he finally pulls away and winks at me. I brought you a present. 

A home lobotomy kit! 

What? No.... 

A bunny-pancake machine?

Uh. No. 

A devil-containment kit?

Oh, I could contain that fucker but no. 

Then what is it?

This! He unwraps a gorgeous little stained glass camper. It's a lamp. It's beautiful. It's similar to ones we saw in Tofino but this one is stubby. Like our camper was on the fair.


It's cute isn't it?

Oh it's SO cute!

I will make a list for Christmas with those first two guesses on it though. He walks over to the counter and plugs in the camper. It glows softly. I love it, it looks like home. I never had post traumatic stress disorder inside the camper afterward and I thank him for that. He always said bad memories shouldn't come from places, only people and he was right.

Where am I going to find a home lobotomy kit anyway, Bridgie? It's December. I don't have much time. 

Pshh. The hardware store? Seems kind of obvious. 

Sometimes you frighten me. 

You should have been here yesterday then. You would have been terrified. 

I heard. But do you want to know something? He's got enough money and time to travel to the best doctors in the world so there is no point in worrying about him. 

That doesn't mean I can just turn it off like a light switch. 

I wish it did. I wish I could be selfish and ask you not to care. Hell, I wish I could ask you exactly what I'm supposed to buy at the hardware store that comprises this kit because your brain literally terrifies me. 

A chainsaw, crowbar and a good claw hammer, Locket. 

And you do what with these things?

Open up the top of my head and take out my brain. 

Then what happens?

I'll fill the hole with cotton candy and colored lights. 

What will happen when you try to remember the past?

That's the good part. I won't be able to. It will be like starting fresh. 

You'll lose the good memories too. 

No, I won't. You can tell them to me all over again. 

And they'll go in one ear and out the other if you can't retain them, Peanut. 

Sure I can. Cotton candy is probably very absorbent. 

Naw, you better stuff some pancakes in there too, just in case it's not. 

This is going to be fun. 

I don't think it is. I think I'd rather buy a bracelet for you for Christmas than a chainsaw. 

God, Lochlan. I thought you knew me. 

Pretty sure I do, so chainsaw it is. Maybe I can incorporate it into my routine. 

Now that will be awesome. 

You'll be impressed with me every damned time, because you won't remember if I'm good or bad at it. 

I'm already impressed with you every time. You just don't believe me. I'll give you a lobotomy too. Maybe we should write down the memories we want to keep before we do this. 

Yeah. Good idea. And the pancake recipe. Just so we're ready. 

I woke up the next morning to find both of his arms wrapped tightly around my head like he was holding the whole world in his arms as he slept. When he woke up and I remarked on it, he told me he was.