Monday, 9 February 2015

Mold a new reality (9 and 18).

I was singing under my breath, walking back and forth on the edge of the curb as if it was a log over water. I was pretending Brutus and Nero were on each side, like in The Rescuers when they guarded Penny. I wasn't paying attention until I turned to come back and Caleb was standing there, hands in his pockets, hair in his eyes, college-smile on his face. It's spring break for him and Easter for the rest of us. We're having a block party since the snow is finally gone.

Whatcha doin', Bridgie? 

Waiting for dinner. Lochlan said he was going to make hot dogs for me so I have to wait a little bit. They had the hamburgers but not hot dogs ready. I don't like the hamburgers.

Why not?

They have onions in them and they're bumpy and really big. I like hotdogs because I can put mustard on them. 

You can put mustard on a hamburger. I can make you a smaller one. 

No you can't, silly! Only cheese and ketchup. Oh, and pickles. And Lochlan's already making me a hot dog but thank you anyway. 

Okay. I can wait with you. What song were you singing?

Closer to the heart. It's really old. 

A couple years. Loch teach it to you?


Yeah, he likes Rush. 

He says he'll take me to see them at their concert if they have one here.

That sounds fun.

Yes. How is school?

He laughs. Why do you ask?

Because that's what all the grownups ask when they see you. I think it must be an important question.

School is hard. I want to be a lawyer so I have to get really good marks to get into law school. 

Another school?

Yes, it's like a specialty school. 

Oh. So are you getting like B's and A's?

Something like that.

Lochlan is going to go to circus school. He wants to be able to do everything so like ringmaster and tightrope-guy and elephant-rider and clown with juggling. And fire. He wants to juggle burning things too.

Is there a school for that?

I don't know. 

What about you? What will you go to school for?

I'm going to be a grownup first.

Yes, but what job will you have?

Storyteller and also Lochlan's assistant. 

Oh so business school with a minor in creative writing?

No, circus-assistant school. I can already write stories so I don't have to learn that. 

Just then Lochlan hollers my name and tells me to come and eat.

Caleb turns and looks back at the group manning the food tables and then smiles again. You better go get your hot dog. 

With mustard. It's just gross if it doesn't have mustard. 

Next time I'll make you a little hamburger, okay?

Okay but none of the bumpy things. One like McDonald's, okay? 

Oh, you want a pressed patty instead of fresh ground beef. 

Whichever the flat ones are. And no onions.

I'll remember that. 

Hey, Caleb?


Will you be finished lawyer school before I finish circus assistant school?

Yes, I would think so. 

Okay good. 


So you'll have more free time to come and watch Lochlan's act. He's going to need a very big audience to be famous.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

'Something about an iron hand in a velvet glove quote from Charles the Fifth', he said.

My cashmere and velvet goodies have returned and everything fits this time.  I was ordered to come and prove that to the Devil but I declined, telling him I was going to church. He offered to bring me. Nothing says weird like sitting beside Satan in a pew while Sam preaches his fool heart out.

It was worse when Jake was up there.

I'd give anything if he still was up there.

After church we went out for an early lunch or brunch I guess it's called (still no coffee after thirty-nine days) and then when we were coming back down the driveway he ordered me once again to show him when we went inside so that he is satisfied everything is right now. Once again I said no, that he will have to trust me.

That if it was a gift it comes without obligation.

He gave me that half amused-half incredulous smile that makes him look all of a handsome eighteen again and said that I win, that he can wait. But not long. 

All amused now. He really likes this game. Some days he's not impatient at all.

Sam was home when we got back. Out in the driveway drinking tea and watching Loch on the unicycle. Caleb did not even pretend he was going to run him over. He always says it would be a freak accident. Not a 'freak-accident' but a freak accident, in which case a freak gets hit. I just roll my eyes and go to sit with Sam because it's beautiful and sunny for once and the rest of the day is mine, and what's mine is ours.

Saturday, 7 February 2015


I'm watching myself evolve here, weatherwise. Watching the webbing develop between my fingers and toes, seeing the scales growing on my legs, now fusing together with an iridescent sheen and a large flowing fin at the end of my new tail. Fucking rain, it never stops.

Duncan asked me if there was room on the broom this morning and I scowled at him so hard I may have pulled something. He laughed and joined me on the big bench at the table where I sat reading and finishing my toast. Saturdays can be fairly quiet in the house in the mornings and I relish that peace but I love company too.

To pay him back for calling me a witch (room on the broom? Seriously?) when he left his phone on the table to go and get his hoodie I swiped left on all of his Tinder potentials and changed his settings. Ha! Looks like his Saturday night will be spent at home with us listening to Jamiroquai and eating pizza, marvelling at how the cheese just beads right up on my new waterproof mermaid skin.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Blaster indeed (new Scott Weiland! Squeeeeeeee!)

There he is. 

(Sorry, I fangirl so hard over this guy. And I would imbed the video but Blogger sucks and gives my mobile readers a goddamn blank white space and I don't know how to fix that.)


This force is in love with you
It wants you safe
It wants you well
This force knows what you can do
And what you can make
With your tattered shell

Faith in your device
So quiet and precise
Just when, not how
You can feel it now
Deep beneath the light
A spark will now ignite
And you will see me now
This is our world now
Lochlan continues to be touched that I paint him in such a flattering light. I always remind him that I put out my worst side first too, that no one's going to read about our lives and run off and join a commune OR a circus, that ours is a cautionary tale, told with warnings, with hesitation.

But that doesn't mean we didn't make it because we did. Or we are, as it were, for this is a serial story and not a one book deal. This is an ongoing, evolving, developing, breaking down, eroding and rebuilding kind of story.

We are a plateau. We're an avalanche. We're a new day dawning over our own wreckage, working to rebuild.

We are cheesy and ridiculous and immature and freaky.

We're not the least bit apologetic. Or rather, I'm not. Loch is a stranger danger, in that he shifts easily from parent to showman to grifter. The fun part lies in the fact that I never know which of those sides of himself he's going to present to me at any given moment. 

What I do know is that if all I ever wrote about was the sweep-me-right-off-my-feet, heart-melting teenage-fever kisses he gives me, well..

You'd be really fucking bored by now.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Probably just.

I wear my heart on my sleeve
It's what I feel, it's what I need
Everyone will tell me that I'm doing fine
I wear my heart on my sleeve
Until you see it's what you need
Until you see that I'm the only one for you
I went back to Joel and told him to start packing again because he's still leaving and I was probably just insane when I asked him to stay.

He said Yeah, probably, and don't worry, I never stopped.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Guardians of the fallacy.

Treat me like a fool
Treat me mean and cruel
But love me

Wring my faithful heart
Tear it all apart
But love me

If you ever go
Darling, I'll be oh so lonely
I'll be sad and blue
Crying over you, dear only
I open my eyes in the light of the morning. Elvis on the radio. It's twenty after seven and the room is choked with heat already. I force my fingers under Lochlan's shoulder so he'll roll off the end of my braid and he mumbles painfully, something about needing aspirin. I ignore him and his top hat perched drunkenly on one of the posts-ends of the headboard and pick up his t-shirt off the floor, shrugging it down over my shoulders, then my hips where it stops just shy of average decency.

I go into what passes for a kitchen and pour the last of the apple juice into a scratched glass. One sip and I decide I may have not picked a clean glass but I don't know for sure. After another fight last night Loch actually made an attempt to pick up the room. It's not an apartment, it's a hotel room you can rent by the month. The hour. We have a kitchenette and a private bathroom at least. We have less than nothing. He took my passport and rented a safe-deposit box downtown at a bank that looked decent enough, putting our passports and my necklace in a box. Hiding the key at the bottom of my suitcase. Not willing to leave a damn thing in this room when we're working but not willing to let me carry my passport in case I lose it because he still treats me like I'm twelve even though I'm twenty-four and he's pushing thirty so hard it's backing up and spilling over the wall as he shoves.

I swallow my birth control pill with the last of the juice and listen as my stomach growls in angry reply. We need to go get some food. Payday is Saturday. It's Wednesday and there's half a bag of chips and a a box of crackers on the counter and Lochlan has fifteen crumpled ones in his pockets but part of the deal to get on the show was no more busking. People aren't going to pay for what they think they're getting down on the corner behind the music store for free. Even though it's a completely different routine, Lochlan signed us away exclusively.

I contemplate shoplifting, calling Caleb and begging in that order and decide I don't want to go to jail in a foreign country, I can't let Caleb know what sort of conditions we found ourselves in once again and therefore begging might actually be the ticket.

I take a quick, ice-cold shower and dress in the bathroom. I slide into a worn but pretty pink sundress and flipflops and pull my hair over one shoulder, braiding it again loosely. I check the mirror and decide the black rings under my eyes will probably help me, though I take the time to bother with pale pink lip gloss. It's practically the only luxury I indulge in here.

When I come out Loch has turned over onto his stomach and thrown most of the covers off. I would open the window but we're on the ground floor and it isn't safe here. He asks me to let him sleep for one more hour. I quietly let myself out.

Once on the sidewalk the heat is oppressive. My shoulders ache with yesterday's sunburn exposed again as I walk up the hill and cross at the stoplight. I walk for another few blocks where the buildings and restaurants go from dingy to decadent. The financial district. I find a cafe with an empty, unattended sidewalk table and slide into a chair.

And then I count.

Four men walk past. The first doesn't even glance my way. The next two look and then hurry away but the fourth one, in a lightweight expensive suit and a death wish makes eye contact and holds it. I smile and he turns ninety degrees, coming over to my table.

Beautiful day. 

It is. And I'm starving but I have no one to have breakfast with this morning. 

Is that right? Maybe I could join you.

And just like that I get a huge plate of sausages and eggs and toast. Coffee. Fruit. So much food that I can hardly finish and so I ask for it to be boxed up. Suit hardly notices that I've eaten half of everything I was given as he pays the bill without thinking. He exacts a promise that I'll meet him right here at six tonight, that we can have dinner and then maybe who knows what else?

Who knows? I promise, as I smile without hunger pangs interrupting my thoughts. I position the boxes of food in front of me as a barrier. Six o'clock, I promise, and this time I'll get the check. When he moves in for a peck on the cheek I'm already gone.

When I let myself into the room, Loch is gone. My heart lurches sickeningly but then I hear the shower. I put the boxes on the table and fetch a glass of water, making a nice place setting for him. He comes out in short order. Where'd you g-

Then he sees the table.

You gotta stop doing that, Bridgie. One of these days one of em's going to come to the show and see you and then what are you going to do?

Lie some more. 

Lie some mor-oh, that's rich. Really rich. Maybe just quit it. I'll get an advance. We'll pick up some things tonight. No more. Promise me. Stay put. It isn't safe and you don't need to do this. I'll look after you. I promise.

I nod. The promises roll out so easily in this heat. Like softened wax they spread across our dirty little escapist life here. Like fire they roll on, destroying everything in their path down to cinders and soot. Like Bridget, they're soon to catch up, if only we could wait a minute, ever.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Brain damage.

I stood outside when the roof gave in
You called from the wreckage you were lying in
You were out of reach and were out of time
But I took it all and towed that line
You held my hand and pulled me down with you
If you blinked this morning, you would have missed the moment where I faltered, losing my drive to keep putting one foot in front of the other when the bullshit surrounding Joel became a little too much and I left his apartment (over my garage) after telling him to just stop packing and then couldn't go back inside, couldn't face the others and so I sank down onto the bottom stair of the front steps and let the rain soak me to the bone.

It sucks to admit that he's right and that I need him here because I don't trust my own emotions and I scare myself to pieces on an hourly basis with the unchecked thoughts that reach out from the sidelines and try to knock me over.

It's not often they miss.

It's not often I admit that I need someone who can do nothing for me on the romantic front. I don't care about these things. Getting better with my healthy responses and behavioral maps that will teach me to fake it without hurting myself or anyone in my path until I'm strong enough to do it without the self-deception? Whatever. His map for my head to help it find its way back from grief was supposed to be a quick trip and yet here it is a lifetime later and I'm still lost and can't find the way. Or rather I'm stubborn and I refuse to do the work, for the work requires peeling my skin off and walking around blisteringly exposed, raw. Even a gust of wind hurts in that condition. So I'm a little chicken. I'm a cop-out. I'm a failure and he didn't do anything wrong recently except attempt to help the rest of them and yours truly make sense of my feelings when they crash into this house like an emotional tsunami, drowning everyone.

No survivors. Nothing unscathed.

I'm going to fail at this too. Keeping him compartmentalized while I veer wildly into the walls pretending I can walk normally. That's what being crazy is like, it's like trying to walk a straight line when you're wired to bounce off the drywall instead. It's like playing sober when you're too drunk to stand. It's like being perfectly capable of bursting into tears in the middle of a dinner party and not only does no one ask you if you're alright but they don't even react as it becomes one more habit blooming in a bouquet of self-destruction.

It's not even unusual anymore to open the door and find the little girl sitting on the steps, soaked through her clothes and unable to move. Surprised? Never. Expected, almost. Inevitable. Wait for it. Watch for it. Plan for it. Bring her in and tell her it's okay, that things will get better. Lie to her little face and she'll not believe you anyway, so that makes it okay. May as well keep him too. Just in case I do need him after all, though for what I can't fathom. I'm not a navigator. I'm not. I'm lost, twenty-four hours a day and nothing looks familiar except their faces. That's it.

Monday, 2 February 2015

The deafening noise of reiteration.

Screaming our screenplay off the cuff
We were both stuck pretending our dreams were enough
I awoke in the morning holding the day
I thought I could I have you miles away
from falling in love
Truth finds time is sweet enough
Please don't call it love
Oh, there's Ben now. Present and accounted for long enough for a windy, rainy walk on the beach this morning and then gone again. I see more of his face when he's asleep and so I'm having a hard time tearing my gaze away from his beautiful brown eyes. He thinks I'm so foolish, saying Look here. I got you a Lochlan. Play with it for a while and you won't even miss me!

Only I do. All the time.

And I think sometimes Ben just disappears to protect himself maybe, that just in case I change my mind about all of this (which I do with surprising frequency, just not in the way you'd expect) he could say, yeah, I just don't have time for a wife, I suppose and that might protect his heart somehow.

From me.

That makes my eyes sting to think his endless absence is just one big contingency plan to let him save face in the event that I do the unthinkable, completely predictable thing and shut him out.

I wouldn't do that. It would be so much easier if I could but I can't. And even if I could I wouldn't give Ben up for anyone.

He only spent the morning at home to try and hammer it in to Lochlan's skull that Lochlan doesn't need to take Batman's offer, that he's ours and we are his and he need not do anything but be present and be happy.

Lochlan, of course, wonders if this is a trap.

It might be. We just might kidnap him and keep him for ourselv-


We did that already. And he came so willingly.

So there's that.

But there won't be any deal with Batman. I appreciate the gesture, the effort put into breaking things and then attempting to fix them, but we close ranks fairly quickly these days and Batman isn't going to get to use Loch to keep a toehold in my life, nor does Loch need to work just to contribute to the expenses here. His portion is covered and it takes place firmly against his will. He isn't made like that, no matter what Ben tells him. I just can't get Ben to stick around long enough to show him that Loch doesn't trust that. He doesn't trust anybody. Not even me.

And it makes me sad.

I watch him sleep. Watch his curls shake ever so slightly when he moves, watch his mouth open slightly as he breathes, watch his hands jerk and relax as he dreams. Watch him build rides in his dreams and throw torches in his nightmares. Watch him thinking out loud, solve problems and be ornery and pragmatic without even opening his eyes, watch him play out his regrets and his victories in the dark of his imagination. Watch him wake up with a gasp and remember he's safe and not on fire or being held just under the surface, the same way I do, every single day.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

The day people pretend they like beer. Right Keith?

It's a dimly-lit, cozy sort of Sunday today. Anywhere else and thick silent snow would be falling heavily, making the outside world an excuse instead of an option but here the rain keeps everything filigreed with drips and vaguely chill. Cozy in a different way as I walk around the house trying not to cough, taking every single hug that is offered up while I turn on lights and answer questions about dinner tonight.

Dinner? I don't know. Bacon and eggs and toast, probably. We'll see. We'll see is code for please someone go buy pizzas but it's Superbowl Sunday and pizza might be hard to come by. This isn't a football house. We no longer even try to pretend. It's a hockey house. There's a game on right now on at least five different screens. We need to pull Miller. The Avalanche just keeps scoring. Fix it quick, boys.

See, I know my hockey, through and through. Football never interested me even once.

Sam got home ten minutes ago, ripping off his shirt and tie as he went down the hall, coming back ten minutes later in a t-shirt and a big sweater, hair messed up, arms out for another hug. He bailed on a meeting. Too sick, need to sleep. It's become our battle cry as we limped through the end of January and I hope the groundhog doesn't see his shadow tomorrow and instead sees the light at the end of the tunnel for this miserable bitch of--

Aw, Canucks just lost again. 4 to 2. But when I lament their crappy playing lately someone will invariably point out at least they have more than fifty points at this stage.

Oh, right.

My Leafs. They always start so strong and then you can watch their energy evaporate before your very eyes. Too big in the contract, no incentive to do anything other than show up. They've lost it. You gotta be hungry. You gotta want it so bad. You have to, at the very least, try.

I'm going to try to nap and hopefully when I wake up the Seatraitors or the Patrihawks will have won and pizza will be available again without a three-hour wait.