Tuesday, 9 September 2014

(Pretty sure I'm getting sick because I don't care about much of anything.)

Today's high points include a baking sheet loaded with bacon, a one-point decline in the pain scale for one guy and just a random dull aching whole face for me, a kid who really freaking loves the Destiny game we fretted over when we lost the pre-order receipt and a pewter envelope from next door with only a polaroid inside.

It was a picture of a plate of toast with cheese.

A peace offering.

I shredded it. The picture, not the toast. I didn't get any toast. I don't want any toast today.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Still a girl of few words.

I'm cranky today. It's Monday. The teachers are still on strike, Lochlan's still a six on a pain scale of one to ten and I just came home from an appointment in which my dentist (who is my size) climbed all over the back of the chair, assistant in tow, to place a dental dam on me to fill a couple cavities, finally telling me I have a very tiny, tight little jaw.

I know.

Speaking of people who complain my jaws are small,  I sent the thousand-dollar bill to Caleb. What fun that was. He sent back instruction to just use the credit card. It was four tiny cavities, all told. I was caught by surprise.

Because candy.

And Bridget.

Two things that go well together. Pretty sure that whole bag of Orange Crush Twizzlers that almost killed me this summer (in one sitting) had nothing to do with this state of affairs but I'm also pretty sure that one sitting today doubled the number of fillings I have, though the first half are silver because I'm old.

Also speaking of old, Caleb is just completely, utterly put out that I won't actually speak to him.

Between the awful trip, the I-told-you-so horse debacle and the fact that as we were leaving this morning for the dentist I caught Batman heading up the steps to the boathouse because he thinks he can run this whole show and Caleb sometimes won't stand up to him), I have zero things to say to Caleb. Maybe that will change when the children go back to school but since we've already procured all of their supplies and clothes, their teeth are clean and cavity-free and we're good to go, there will be little to say.

My heads hurts so bad. I don't care if I don't know where I'm going with this. Come back tomorrow.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

My guts are all in my head.

Today's progress included showers (!) and getting dressed (!!) and then Lochlan summoned up the energy to be all indignant/accenty over Scotland's move toward independence. He had a little bit of coffee and a lot of juice and then...

He fell asleep mid-sentence.

Face-first into the front of Ben's flannel shirt.

It was probably the sweetest thing I've seen a long time and also a brutal reminder how fragile he is right now. I don't like it. It freaks me out and makes me compensate by being so outwardly tough I could stop a tank, I swear.

But no one's got one so I think I'll go to bed early and watch movies on the iPad with the headphones while they sleep.

It's funny. The children stay up til midnight every night reading and we can barely drag ourselves through dessert anymore.

(Dalton just said 'Outwardly tough'? Say what? Bridget you're peanut brittle. We'll look after things. Go get some rest.)

Saturday, 6 September 2014


Lochlan spent most of last evening and today sleeping. Ben and I went to get Ben's iPhone replaced (swelling battery wtf?) and on the way to the Apple store he was pretending to be the radio and every time I pressed an invisible button on his chin he would change the station. Sometimes it would be a different genre (opera and country included and a hell of a rap channel), sometimes it would be commercials, sometimes a soothing voice in a made-up language, and sometimes just static, white-noise, oblivion.

It was so funny. I laughed and laughed in the truck beside him. We sort of figured a tentative date to reschedule the birthday dinner and when we came home, Ben went up to snooze with Lochlan and I settled into the library to start Blankets and have a good stiff drink (well supervised, of course.) An hour later I've finished a third of the bourbon in the bottle (well supervised, of course) and a third of the book and I'm not sure if I want to escape into sleep too, like Ben, Lochlan and Craig (in the book), or just sit here and ruminate on how things are okay and maybe levelling out and how badly we complicate everything God has given us to the point of total destruction. I'd talk to Sam but I hate to subject him to my drunk self. I'd talk to Ben but same. I'd talk to Lochlan but he needs more sleep than worry and I'd talk to Jake but he would just tell me to believe and to give my heart up to Jesus and everything will sort itself out.

Last time he said that I laughed in his face and asked him how the Jesus nickname was working for him and he clued in and told me that he wasn't Jesus, he was only a messenger for God and I laughed in his face again and told him I didn't think so. That if Jesus was here and he was perfect and flawed and would die for our sins that he was definitely Jake and then I asked him why he died for someone who wasn't worth it and he disappeared again.

But that's okay. I have this book to read while I wait for the second coming. While I wait for everyone to wake up. While I wait to be saved from myself. It hurts to read this book. It hurts to be me, maybe. Hence the escape in a Tennessee whiskey and a fifteen-pound graphic novel. Some days are just like that.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Following the green stripe.

He is pale and fighting for breath when I get in. The hesitation between words is what gets me collecting our things before he can make his pride shine. Inside of forty minutes we're at the hospital and he is sent right up. Oxygen. Painkillers. More x-rays. Please don't admit him again, tomorrow is his birthday.

Finally the room clears. It has to run its course. He is healing, albeit slowly. Stop pushing so hard. Stay down. Stay quiet.

Almost didn't make it to forty-nine, did I?

I'll tell you tomorrow.

We're missing dinner.

I put my head down on the bed and he puts his hand over it. We'll reschedule.

I'm sorry, Peanut.

For what?

I was trying to impress you. I took a chance and it came back and bit me.

Why would you need to impress me?

You're my girl.

Impress me by being safe, then.

You're weird.

You're the one in the nightgown.

Hey, cut me some slack. I'm an old guy now.

At forty-nine? Yes, you are, Lochlan.

You make me feel young.

Could just be all that fresh newness on your insides.

Aye, it could be that.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

The high-functioning wards.

Joel was here this morning. Early. Whoever gave him a key is about to be ruined, he's a stranger and my children sleep in this house.

He will tell you he's one of Jacob's oldest and dearest friends and in order to make the big switch to being one of mine as well, he sacrificed everything. I don't recall asking him to do it. Jeez. My 'fondest' memories of the guy are being undressed by him in the front hall after I came home, after Jacob flew, and before that of him chasing me up the steps right behind Jake and then both of them holding me down while Joel slid a whole shitload of tranquilizers into my veins after Cole.

Maybe psychiatrists are not the best sorts of friends to have. I don't know any anymore though, so I can't answer that.

I need to talk to Ben. You keep saying he isn't doing so hot. Is anyone doing anything about it?

Sam walks in. His timing. I don't even know. I'm working with him.

Maybe he'd like to talk for a bit to someone else.

I'm working with him. Sam repeats himself. Joel misses the vitriol and continues to address me. Ask him or I will. There's too much at risk for him to have you two put up a wall in front of me.

You're unqualified.

I have the training.

And it's ILLEGAL for you to use it anymore, Joel.

So help your husband and maybe keep it quiet. Isn't he worth doing everything you can?

Ben will be fine.

You're an enabler, Bridget.

I'm PROTECTING him from YOU.

I'm not out to hurt him.

Then leave us alone.

What's going on? My patient comes into the room. Still raspy, still hurting but won't stay down. I start tea for him and turn back to Joel.

Joel was stopping by to offer some help but he has to go now.

Bridget, if you stand in the way of Ben's recovery you'll have to answer to all of us.

Threats? Really? Is this because I talked to August?

I could hear you.

From the front porch. You live a hundred yards away. Were you eavesdropping?

If he shows up and suddenly you have a laundry list of people you want him to fix then you need to look closer to home.

Oh my God. You're jealous.

No, I want to help. I want to make amends.

By moving in and secretly keeping notes on me for Caleb? You had one job, Joel. I guess you botched it good. Maybe you should save face and just go.

But Lochlan is watching Joel and he's not going to dismiss him the way I do.

Is that it? Is she right? Are you jealous of August?

I'd like to help.

And Lochlan roars. ANSWER THE QUESTION! His voice is so strained it hurts to listen.

Joel stands there. I don't know how hard it is to weigh the words but it's going to be better for him if he just admits his weakness (not like it won't be shared, diluted among them all) but instead he lies and says he just wants to help any way he can, and that he'll have a report for me on Caleb soon just so we're on equal ground.

I don't want that.

I do, says Loch.

Hush, you.

Sam says This isn't the way they play the game and I burst out laughing because he's right. Oh, he's so right.

Joel says he'll drop it off later and I see him out. At the door I ask for the key and he gives it and I tell him if he's hungry or he needs something that he can message me or PJ and we will feed him or whatever but he doesn't have the right to just walk in. He's a guest, not a member of the collective and that's never going to change.

Please tell Ben to come see me, Bridget. Don't be selfish now. You've never acted this way in your life. Don't risk it with Ben.

I shut the door in his face.

Rest real loud.

Aw fuck. Chimaira just packed it in after fifteen long years. God love 'em. PJ is near tears and now we're wondering who the hell is going to soundtrack the mosh pits in the kitchen every day.

Good for them though. Family first. It's a tough biz any way you shake it.

(Actual daily post to follow after the obligatory amazing seven-album listen through. This is how we mark time.)

Wednesday, 3 September 2014


August stayed long enough to wash off the dust, get a haircut and a shave and read Joel's report. I thought he would laugh. I thought he might roll his eyes and give a colorful curse or two but he nodded and then he kept nodding and he said it was about right but he said it softly, defensively as if I was about to lash out at him or fall apart but it just proves that they don't understand unconventional people and basically it made me stick even closer to Loch and to Ben. Loch is still having some godawful chest pain and Ben is retreating from us but not physically and I had to ask August if he could just deal with him instead, that even at my worst I have a good net here but Ben tends to fall right through it. Probably because of the huge weight difference between us. Or maybe because the net was just never designed for the types of tricks Ben does.

I don't know but they were locked in the library talking for a damn long time and when they came out they both looked spent and grim.

Sam needs to step up. He favors me. Maybe they all do because Ben doesn't give them a chance. I'm a open book. I'll sing to you my flaws and read aloud from the big book that is my fears. Ben won't say a word until he's so far gone he's lost. So maybe you're going to first fix the easier thing.

Which, okay so no, that's not it then.

Can't be.

August is gone now, on the plane that's going to bump his slender knees through Edmonton, Montreal, Halifax and into Gander. It might take him the rest of the week to get home at that rate but he wouldn't stand for me rearranging his itinerary to make things easier for him.

So I didn't. But I also didn't stand for him agreeing with Joel because I know what's wrong with me, I don't need to see it on paper, I don't need it agreed with. I don't need the confirmation that I'm some sort of enigma who has so many things wrong inside her skull they practically cancel each other out at this point. Instead I just made devilled eggs and chocolate-covered strawberries and I soaked up all of the Newfie while I could because I sincerely doubt he'll be back again this way before Christmas and then I put on my bravest face (and biggest lie) at the door when he left.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

The pilgrimage back from Nevada.

(Still waiting for my money, Diabhal, if you'd put a rush on that. What? Your assistant isn't handy? She's busy, sorry. Do it yourself for once.)

I'm still mostly strung out on stress here and unable to sleep, remember things or get past the end of my nose with my list of chores. Sam redelegated my Monday for me and triaged me right through the morning. I can't seem to let go of Lochlan's hand. I don't want to take my eyes off him. The thought of ever losing anyone else to an accident or illness or anything for that matter leaves a simmering fear always on the verge of boiling over and maybe I don't do as well as I thought I did.

Ben gave up and handed me off to Sam almost too quickly. Hurry up, he must be thinking. Fix her up and then come look after me because I'm the one everyone dismisses or forgets because I never keep my shit together long enough to be counted. 

He's wrong but try telling him that.

Sam is doing well. This house is a full time job, I think. Probably Joel's job but as long as he is here to create reports and feedback on me I'm not speaking to him.

I just want to sleep. I want to have a good dream. I want to eat pizza without feeling sick and I'd like to maybe watch a really good movie without poking holes in the dialogue or the plot or the effects.

And then I heard a big Newfie walk in the front door, but only because he was yelling our names.

And I flew off the couch, and Lochlan's head snapped up because he had almost fallen asleep and he said is that August? 

And it was. Fresh and wasted from yet another goddamned Burning Man, because this guy never learns.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Breathing now.

Convalescent day with the pyrowrecknical who has a lovely raspy lilt to his voice that makes my knees buckle just splendidly. I think he totally fucked up and didn't want to admit it because he likes to be perfect even as he makes zero attempts to belong, fit in or mingle with the norms. He'll always be the outsider and that will probably be his downfall but for the next few weeks he is mine while we run the gamut of pills and x-rays and pulmonologists (?) and side effects. He hates antibiotics and steroids just make everyone mean but he has to take those too because lungs are precious things.

I can spoil him with Netflix and cuddles and music. Maybe a drive later if he gets restless (he does, endlessly) and Ben promised to entertain him tomorrow while I go grocery shopping because I'm tough and I'm resilient and lately it seems like the bad luck is offleash and running free but the horse was going to die anyway, rarely have I ever had a really good trip with Satan and frankly after so long at it the fact that Loch had a relatively mild industrial accident is almost a relief because the odds are back on his side again now, even though it will probably be next summer before he gets to give it another go and I have been summarily banned from ever doing it again for the big fire-transfer kiss finale because now suddenly it's too dangerous and he said if this had happened to me I would be dead.

Granted, that might solve as many problems as it makes, but he has a point and I'm just glad our livelihood no longer has to depend on these sorts of things. We've seen people have to leave a show due to accidents or illnesses and it was never not heartbreaking for everyone involved.

Lochlan doesn't agree with me on being glad we're out. He wanted to be a lifer but I dragged him into the real world and I bet he resents me for that even as he says he never ever would, that I have shown him the sweet parts of life as I jam down beside him into the couch and steal the remote the first chance I get. Because girl movies, for the win.