Wednesday, 30 September 2015

First Ghost Problems.

They're like first world problems, only they're about ghosts. Claus brought up Jake this morning for the first time unbidden, and I took Jake from him, turned him over in my hands, shook him like a snow globe until all of his values began to rain down on the pretty scene inside the glass and then I tucked him on the shelf behind me, words scattered around his feet like faithful, loyal, adventurous, nurturing. Courageous. 

Claus waited for me to say something and instead I changed the subject. I asked him about his future travels and past lives, anything so that I didn't have to disturb Jake again. Not right now. He seems happy where he is. Peaceful even. He's probably dead. I should go check but I'd rather pretend otherwise so just leave me be.

Claus asks about the new house.

Again I change the subject and ask him if he thinks the collective is a healthy environment for us. I know it's fine for the children but I worry about things like PJ's emotional health as a monk and Duncan's sobriety as a monk, too. I worry about Ben's attention span and John's bottomless plaid flannel wardrobe. I worry that days and days go by and Christian doesn't check in but then he's right here and everything is fine. I worry about the Devil breathing down my neck,  snapping it by mistake.

I worry, period. Always will, always have.

The snow globe makes me dizzy. It's fragile but compact, an ecosystem of all the things about life with Jake distilled down into this beautiful little decoration. The glitter is our emotions, like fireworks but in water instead of air. The base is our foundation that we thought we built that caved in. It still looks sturdy from here though. Four feet and a tiny gold key that you turn and it plays Dust in the Wind. I'd throw it at the wall if I wouldn't miss it so it's still surprisingly intact.

Have you ever thrown anything, Bridget?

Whoops. Yes. I throw food if Ben starts a food fight (or a snowball one) and I once threw an entire set of dishes, one at a time, at Sam, coating a room with shards of stoneware. 

Boy, did that ever feel good. Not. Here, you can read about it. Some days I've come to question why I'm detailing my own slow-motion demise, here. I can't even read that. I remember that.

And I'm not a thrower by nature. I bring the tears like the tide in the Bay of Fundy. We've established this time and time again.

Claus finally let me off the hook. He'll find some other way in to those places. Perhaps there's a trap door under a table or a loose board in a fence that will let him in. Until then I'll leave Jake covered with heaps of glitter and drowning in my need to keep him so close.

When Claus hangs up at last I turn and Jake is not a snow globe any more, but a tall memory, fading into the sunlight as he continues to refuse to be confined to the places I try to stuff him into, like the garage, or the snow globe, or, you know, my head.


Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Roser, Jasper, Opal.

Regular season hockey starts in ONE WEEK! What a long summer.

My car arrives on Thursday. Why so long? Yeah, that was my question too. It will be worth it though.

Ten Days until the premiere of season six of The Walking Dead. I've been so patient. I even caved and watched Fear the Walking Dead. It's really good but it's not the original.

Eventually Outlander and Game of Thrones will return too. Oh and American Horror Story, though I didn't like Freakshow all that much after the first episode and am not excited about Hotel either.

I started Christmas shopping, if you can believe it.

My head is still so congested when I sniff really hard my face contracts and makes a sound like a very sweet duck and then the resulting sinus pain is tremendous. At least the coughing has lessened a little. I fought to be functional right through the weekend and I think I mostly succeeded. As they say, I'm a little trooper.

Indeed.

Caleb and Lochlan locked horns about my condition on Sunday. Caleb insisted we bring the doctor back in and Lochlan told him if he knew anything about being a parent, he would have some instincts as to what is a regular cold and what isn't getting better. She's run down, she doesn't sleep through the night, so it takes her longer to recover. That's all. That's Loch's reasoning. Caleb didn't appreciate the parenting dig, and thinks any illness that extends past a day is bad for business and should be fixed with money.

I'm not sure how. Do you boil the cash and make a poultice? Steep coins and drink the tea? Invest in eucalyptus extraction companies?

Don't be a smartass, it doesn't become you, he said to me.

Sure it does. And I sneezed on his lapels and he shook his head and removed his jacket and Loch picked me up under both arms and wrestled me upstairs. I had a hot bath and a long sleep and what do you know, I actually am feeling a little better today for the first time in over a week.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Pizza Pizza.

Out running errands today. Might be buying a car. Still didn't feel well enough to do a lot or be out in the first place, frankly so by two in the afternoon I was mighty hangry and PJ and I were looking for a place for lunch. We wound up at Little Caesars, and walked in where they were just taking fresh pizzas out of the oven that were baked already and then to top it off they were all, hey you want some fresh crazy bread too? and I was like, they have fast food pizza things?Already made? with very wide eyes and PJ nodded and laughed in that way that lets me know that he knows pretty much all of the secrets of the universe and I know nothing at all.

Friday, 25 September 2015

How much money do you think it would cost to cure the common cold (and maybe the uncommon ones too)?

I'm breaking through
I'm bending spoons
I'm keeping flowers in full bloom
I'm looking for answers from the great beyond
Matt is singing in a broken voice this afternoon and we're dissolving into regular gusts of laughter from his efforts to soldier on. He's as sick as I am so Sam has corralled us in front of the fire with hot chocolate drizzled with caramel sauce and whipped cream and all the music we can cram into our blocked and congested ears.

I'm ignoring them in favor of reading. I'm halfway through Voyager and it's so fucking good I want to hit that big imaginary pause button on life and finish it in one go but I'm such a slow reader that by the time I would finish my joints will have rusted over and the children will have children of their own. So I also soldier on with small breaks to read anywhere between two and fifteen pages a night and eventually I will get to the acknowledgements in the back, which I always read with jealous curiosity.

Great, Matt and Sam are going to leave me here for a 'nap', they say, which means more like a little rainy fall afternoon delight and I'm jealous of that too, but frankly Ben strung me out on his own desires last night and I couldn't keep up with him at all.

(That's how you know I'm really sick)

But I feel good enough for mascara and tights today and Lochlan is going to take me out tonight for dinner (maybe sushi) and then we'll come home and watch a movie while I grab a little nap and swear I didn't miss anything good and then do all this again tomorrow except with everyone home. Hopefully I'll feel a little better or at least less bad by then.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Perfectly lucid.

(Dayquil is an equal-opportunity fuckupper.)

The time machine still exists, more than five and a half years on, as a source of endless curiosity and frustration.

The time machine is the dishwasher, for the uninitiated. It's the first one I've ever had. I don't know if it works right and I don't know if we're loading it properly, I just know that people who put steak knives in it blade up and small bowls right behind big plates frustrate me to no end but I always try to remember it's new for everyone else too.

I think the space where it lives in the kitchen would make an amazing bake-station with a pull out pastry marble pocket and sliding shelves to store my Kitchenaid mixer and maybe the bread maker.

I look at new dishwashers and wonder if they would have more space and be a little quieter than this one that sounds like a 777 coming into the kitchen for a landing for a straight forty-five minutes. I wonder if the cutlery basket is even on the right side. I'm wondering if it gets a leak if I would ever know until the kitchen was ruined and I wonder how exactly it's supposed to be a time saver when we have to clean all the dishes, load it, run it and then beg each other to empty it, half of the dishes needing to go into the dish drainer anyway to finish drying because I won't stack wet Tupperware away.

So yeah..not any sort of massive time saver. I guess it's useful as a sort of autoclave if you're terrified of germs (being sick right now, this is becoming a thing I think about) or have an infant or two and only one free hand at any given time to rinse bottles but otherwise just...no.

I don't like it or need it or want it. So when it breaks it gets retrofitted as a bakery station.

Caleb shakes his head. No one is going to buy a house this size without a dishwasher, he says. We always have half an eye to real estate. Otherwise all the staircases would be slides and the pool would actually be a ball pit. But I've sold a big house in a hurry. You can make it yours but in a pinch it's easier if you make it easily imaginable as theirs, too, without a lot of work in between.

However since the pool is being drained this week it's TOTALLY going to become a ball pit.

WIN.

Though last time I was in one, someone had peed in it. YES I KNOW.  I never let Ruth and Henry in one ever again.

What if the dishwasher was a false-front and if you pull it out there's a secret staircase to an underground bunker made up of caves cut out of the cliff? 

Bridget- He pinches the space between his closed eyes. I'm so aggravating.

Hey, it's practical as fuck. 

For what, exactly?

The End of Days, Diabhal
. I tell him with wide eyes, between coughing fits.

The End of Days is going to come even sooner if you don't soon go rest instead of walking around questioning the usefulness of things people have come to rely on for the past sixty years. 

I've had this for FIVE years. I rely on myself! *coughs*

It appears to be going well, too, I see.

You don't know my life. I once washed dishes in a hotel bathroom sink for a month straight. With shampoo. I tell him proudly.

Yes, well, unlike Lochlan, I choose not to force you to live like a vagrant. 

Hey, at least we had dishes. It was better than the place before that. We wound up reusing paper plates. 

Jesus Christ. 

It was actually pretty fun. 

Bridget-

What? 

Can you stop?

Fill the pool with balls and we'll talk, okay? 

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Whatever happened to John Frusciante anyway? He heard I wanted to marry him and went underground, that's what happened.

(So tired today and very sick and I have a weed hangover (not our weed) (wait we dont have any weed) so this will be short and sweet.)

We got to see AC/DC again last night! Indoors this time at BC Place instead of at the old football stadium in Winnipeg. My first stadium show here in the big' city.

It might have been louder last night than 2008 ( I was going to link you to an entry for the show in 2008 but there isn't one because I took a four-month internet break after the wedding.) This time the whole thing seemed very final and amazing. So much love, such a loud band. Twelve hours later my ears are still ringing and I'm a little bit alarmed but I had earplugs in my bag and refused to bow to the wisdom of age that manifested itself in a little voice that was all hey, don't drink that vodka, and you're going to regret those salty nachos, wear your earplugs you moron, and yet congratulated me in the next breath for wearing sneakers.

(I definitely don't fall into the cocktail-dress-and-stilettos-for-concerts category. I wear sneakers, jeans and a t-shirt. Always. What the fuck, why would you not want to be comfortable? Someone please explain. Is it a place people pick up dates? Are they going clubbing afterward? Do they hope to get pulled out of the crowd by a roadie and taken backstage?

Only the second one makes sense, and if that's the case, power to you! You have so much more energy than I.)

What a loud crazy show. So much fun. Vintage Trouble was very rolicking, motowny and retro. I loved their set. But then yeah. I bided my time and AC/DC played Rock n' Roll Train which is my FAVORITE song of theirs and I took a shit ton of video and when we got home my phone was at 12% and asking me if I wanted to shift into low power mode.

Yes, yes I did. And I slept hard as a rock (no they didn't play that.)

Bonus things no one cares about but me:

-I hit every red light on a 49 km drive yesterday. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. In a standard. With a full bladder.
-I drank a vodka and cranberry very fast at the concert so I could suck on the ice. The ice. I don't usually drink at concerts because I have a microscopic bladder but this was necessary because I was sick.
-Last time I was this sick for a concert was almost ten years ago for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Go read about it and I'll see you tomorrow.
-Frusciante has technically retired, if you're interested. What a travesty unto the music world, for he's a fucking genius.

I mean, seriously.


Tuesday, 22 September 2015

At least I made the calls.

Yes, I've been a busy girl this morning. I've already talked to Claus twice in the past twenty-four hours, I found Ben and gave him a hard time for checking out again and I talked to Batman, or rather, I whined briefly about his sudden need to make Loch so busy and he told me to suck it up, that if we want to be norms then norms work hard and don't do nearly the amount of self-aggrandizing and navel-gazing we do.

When did I say I wanted to live like a norm? Do I LOOK like I'm living like a norm? But he had already left because he's definitely a norm and he has things to do. I get to stroll around the pool, steal veggie chips from over PJ's shoulder and pretend I'm useful.

Claus is starting so slowly I lapped him five times. My brain is Nurburgring. There are very few straightaways where you can pick up speed and most people crash. He laughed heartily at my shitty analogy and asked me how I felt today. That's it.

Well, I'm cold. Like really cold and I should get socks and a sweater. 

And? 

Starving. 

What was for breakfast?

Tea and an apple. 

What will you have for lunch? 

Ummm. A ham sandwich with provolone probably. 

What did you do with Joel? 

I hit him over the head with the lamp from the bedside table and at dusk I'll drag his body down to the beach, weigh it down and heave it into the deep water by the dock. What do you think I did? I told him to leave. 

Do you have fantasies about hurting him?

Is this the part where I have to tell the truth? 

Always, dear child. 

No, I don't. But every time I'm in a room with him he is evaluating me. Judging me even. Every action I take seems to be for some sordid purpose in his eyes. If I don't take an offered salmon canape I'm returning to my anorexic ways. If I smile at a man who doesn't live in the house I'm hunting. If I don't say anything I'm withdrawing or escaping. I wish he would stop. I wish he was a fucking plumber. 

When does Lochlan come home?

Around three, I think. He had a 9-1-1 yesterday and he fixed it so today won't be so long. 

What will you do with the rest of the day?

Crash and burn on the track and then baptize myself in the pool and start all over again. 

Maybe you should take it easy for a few days. Be kinder to yourself. 

I would but then I'd probably get used to it. 

I hit the end call button and Claus disappears. Like my nerve, there long enough to be belligerent and then gone in the blink of an eye.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Love Mondays. To death.

He pulled the covers up over our heads this morning when the alarm went off and refused to budge, his lips pressed against my ear, his arms around me tightly.

Don't move. If you move they'll see us and we'll have to get up. 

Who will see us?

...THEM. 

OH NOES. 

YESSES. 

Then let's stay here all day and they'll get bored and move on. 

Except I gotta go to work. Who's idea was this again? 

Yours, I thought? You can stay home and I'll take care of you. 

We had this discussion already. I'll see you at dinner and if I'm lucky, at lunch. 

I can't wait. 

Me neither. Lochlan kisses me hard and off he goes and I burst into tears.

I don't have the guts to call Claus this morning.

I really don't. Deathbed is going through my head in my own voice and Ben didn't come up last night because he gets busy and forgets to live like a human instead of a vampire and I turn off my phone and close my eyes again.

When I wake up next Joel is sitting on the edge of my goddamned bed.

You missed your call window, Bridget.

You can go. I don't know who let you up here but you can go.

PJ wants you to honor your agreements.

PJ's a dead man.

He didn't let me up here. I just came up. He didn't see me.

Even better. Should I scream since you won't go? You're a technical intruder.

You going to keep your promises or not? Claus asked me to referee your sessions with him so you don't shortchange yourself so here I am and you can launch all the personal attacks you like, but you're going downstairs to talk to him via facetime. 

I am but not as long as you're here so if you leave I will. 

You promise? 

GET OUT. 

I'm going but if you're not downstairs in five minutes I'm bringing everyone up with me. 

If you're not out of my house in five minutes I'm calling the cops. 

Oh, it looks like it's a perfect day for Claus after all. Good luck, Bridget. 

I pull the covers back over my head but when it gets hard to breathe I fling them off. I'm alone. The door is closed and it feels like I'll never get back to where I was and all I want is for Loch to come home or Ben to come upstairs and everything else to go away.

That's all.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

The Collective goes to church.

Tea in a hurry this morning. A half-stale cinnamon bun and a lot of surprised looks, not because I thought I found a safe, constructive way to spend time with the Devi for the visible future but because I agreed to spend time with him just as I manage to finally extricate myself from my former casual role as his personal assistant.

Which technically I haven't been able to pull off yet because as well-spoken and charming as he can be, he's not all that good at logistics and I, in a muted panic, seem to specialize in them.

So Sam laid down the law of the Lord and has decided that we're all going to go to church again. Regularly, not just on rainy Sundays or near Easter and Christmas. Every week without fail or absence. This went over well because Ben is sicker than ever and also hates church, the kids would like to sleep in until Wednesday or Thursday and the Devil only goes so he can sit beside me and pretend we're a Stepford family.

I tied eight ties this morning. Perfect Windsors.

Caleb was forced to sit two rows behind me as the army filed in nicely and sat in formation and I was this tiny little silver-golden headed fairy sprite popping up right in the middle. I feel the exact same way when I go to Cathedral Grove. Surrounded by very tall trees.

Sam spoke of knowing when to ask for help from others and ultimately giving it up to the Lord and I stifled a smile because I thought, goddamit, I'm not giving it up for anyone else in this lifetime, I've made enough of a mess as it is. And also I thought again about how much Sam's services differ from Jacob's. Jacob's were surfer-brimstone, all passion and small-town sweetness. Sam's are more city-hipster-casual but rooted in a belief so deep it surprises me, because Sam should have picked a mentor who was more dedicated but he loved Jake so, just like all of us.

Except Ben (Okay he did sometimes), Loch and Caleb. Oh, and Cole. Can't forget Cole. Do I ever forget Cole? I try not to.

PJ loved Jake. And Christian and August and John and I did, that's for sure. Joel did even though he took advantage.

I do, I mean. I still love Jacob. This is not past tense and what I'm trying to do always is get past the point in my head where if Jake walked through the door and into my life again and asked where I stood I'd run to him so fast I'd be a blur.

God didn't ask for fair, he asked for truth and if he promised to be the way and the light, why is it still so dark on my inside?

Sam tells me to come every week and I will find out, in time.

So here I am.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

No longer a point, but instead a principality.

(Because it's a Brave Day, I can do anything.)

A surprise breakfast invitation late last night was a welcome start to what's going to be a long day. Poet (Duncan) asked out of the blue over guitars and tea and everyone kind of froze for a few seconds before recovering and I said sure. It isn't often we can connect without distractions and I haven't actually seen him much since he came back from Nevada.

He took me to a greasy little place with all-day breakfast and we ate maybe five thousand calories each. I could feel my cholesteral levels straining against my dress and boots as we walked back to the truck afterward. Whatever courage he couldn't find in his coffee cup came pouring down the windshield of Ben's truck, mixed with the heavy rain because he looked at me, without starting the engine and said if I needed to blow off steam or deal with my new/old (formally acknowledged, I mean) sex addiction issues he's still offering himself, no strings attached, no drama. I have no secrets any more. They left, along with my dignity and my privacy. We used to be subtle. Suddenly we're not and I find it difficult.

No violence, Poem. His voice breaks slightly. Oh, God, what a sweetheart. Someone please save me from this sort of blindside. I need to be able to see.

I love you, Dunk. Please know it isn't about just needing more. Caleb and I go way back. 

Yes, I'm aware. 

So you understand. 

He isn't good for you, Bridge. 

I don't say anything else on the ride up the highway and once we're parked in the driveway he kisses my forehead really hard and then gets out and I stay there for a few minutes. My phone buzzes and it's Caleb wanting me up at the new house. He's been pretending not to read my words, not to listen to my cries, not to understand that he's the root of all evil and I'm sure that's going to come crashing to a halt the minute I walk through the door. I text Loch that I'm going to the yellow house and I head up the driveway on foot. I don't have an umbrella but it's not far once you pass the top of our driveway.

The door is open and I go inside. The foyer is white marble. Everything. Floors, walls, built-in benches with a half-shelf that circles around. The closet door is redwood with a huge gemmed doorknob.

Oh dear. I say and I laugh. Caleb turns and smiles.

Indeed. It needs not only a woman's touch but a decorator's touch. Our shared hobby is trying to figure out how the very wealthy decorate with no pause to see how things actually look or feel. I'm a tactile decorater. The colors have to be restful or energizing but the room has to be touchable, too. This is sterile, standoffish, clashing and just weird.

How was Claus this morning? 

Very Santa-like. Kind and generous but he's well aware which list I'm on, between naughty and nice. 

And? 

Wait and see. 

What about Duncan? He behave? 

The food was good and the company better. 

That means no, doesn't it?

How bad is the kitchen? I haven't seen the house yet. Caleb bought it outright off the former owners. It wasn't for sale. He offered them their retirement and they took it, probably tired of wondering what's going on down the hill in the circus of the stars. The State of Bridget is now enacted. We're live.

I'm going to gut the house and rebuild. 

That seems expensive. I walk down the steps and across the great room. When I come around the corner I see his point and nod enthusiastically. Yeah. Let's burn it with fire. 

A fun project for you and I for the next year? Something constructive instead of damning? 

Sure. 

Bridget, for what it's worth, I'm sorry. 

No, you're not. You like me this way. 

I want you to be happy. He tries to smile gently but it comes out as a lie.

You're still chasing things you'll never have, Diabhal. 

I can bear the weight to still be a part of your life, Neamhchiontach. 

You think that cross is heavy now, you just wait until we get going.