Monday, 9 November 2015

Photobombed by death.

I don't know how long I'll leave this post up because I hate looking at my own little head but here's an amazingly morbid shot of me attempting to hide behind Halloween decorations that we are finally putting away, when Lochlan said there are no pictures of the pixie cut I alternately love and despise and took a shot.

(I have similar photos with actual people who were living when we took them but I guess now they're not so it's possibly kind of fitting.)

Actual post later when we're done, unless I just take this guy and go curl up in a corner somewhere. Loch will probably set it on fire before I can do that because he's the one who gave me the title for the post when it flew out of his mouth before he realized that...yeah...and now he feels like shit.

But I'm smiling in this picture, and that hardly ever happens anymore.

*POOF* {picture removed}

Sunday, 8 November 2015

On Sundays we're a cult.

Looking at horse auctions in church and dead silence eventually overtook me and I looked up to find Sam staring at me. He made a curt reminder to put phones and devices away, that we might be the better for it if we were engaged and in the moment more instead of virtually parking our brains.

Yes, Dad.

Loch nudges me hard and holds out his hand. I surrender my phone and sigh, settling back to listen to the pre-pre-pre advent service in which we are reminded to find the spirit early and hold on to it tightly in the midst of a psychological war to appeal to our consumerist, excessive sides. A reminder to exist within our means but fully explore them with God in mind.

A real hell of a fundy sermon for Sam this morning, who is still kind of losing it here. I'm not sure if it's relief because Matt is gone or sheer panic because..well, he's gone. Every time I try to talk to Sam he flips the conversation around and tries to make it all about me and we get nowhere.

Batman leans in toward my right ear and asks What kind of church this is again? 

Roman Catholic, I say while staring straight ahead. Loch stifles a huge laugh on my left and PJ kicks our feet under the pew from behind. If I start giggling now we'll all be goners and Sam will be even more weird so instead in my mind I formulate a plan on how I'm going to spend the afternoon once lunch is cleaned up. New Jake invited me to go for one final ride on the Sunbeam before he takes it apart and stores it for winter but instead I think I'll take the other bottle of Laphroaig and lie on the garage floor and talk to ghosts for the rest of the day.

I bend my head forward and look down toward the end of the pew on the right and there's Caleb looking back. He shakes his head once to the side to indicate No, you won't and I slouch down further in my seat and try and focus on Sam, who's now heading into Baptist territory. He likes to make everyone comfortable (even people who aren't even held hostage by him today, people out in the rain) and so he takes his own advice to explore all aspects of the Christian faith, whether we want to join him or not. Choose your own adventure, he says to warm laughter.

I pick Lochan's pocket and he grins as I go back to looking at horse auctions. It's better than listening to patchwork religion, frankly. I think Sam's pinwheeling for answers and it's so obvious it's rather painful to watch today.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Three steps forward, seven back. Today is Jake's birthday and he's in the copper box on the shelf.

Ten in the morning and it's pouring rain and I find Lochlan on the beach. He's in a sweater and a raincoat and boots and he's got his best friend whiskey with him. He doesn't acknowledge me until I slip on the rock I try to step up on to stand beside him and he reaches out an arm to steady me.

I'm sorry. We didn't speak much the rest of yesterday.

Maybe Caleb's right and I'm a fool.

I'm the fool.

No one's debating that today, Peanut. 

Then what are we doing? 

Toasting the one who didn't make it to his birthday, maybe. 

I thought you didn't care. 

What I care about is that the person I adore most in the world had someone pretty important to her pass away and it fucked her up good and so I'm going to mark the day with respect and then get on with my life. He's gone. I'm still here and I love you. 

Any bitchy assholerish false composure I had just drowned itself into the sea. I love you. I just feel weird and abandoned and betrayed. And I miss him. He was big here. Like so big he blocked out the sun. 

What happens if you put it away? You think somehow that will dishonor his memory? 

Maybe. I don't know.

I get that I failed you and then I ran but I came back. He failed and ran and never came back. So he gets hero status and I get pummeled into the ground? I don't get it. 

You're a safe place to take it out on. All my fears. Everything stupid. You never told me it was dumb or blew it off. 

So I'm not safe but then I'm safe? 

It's an easy event to use against you in an argument. That's all. 

I get it. But I'm not going to live in the shadow of a coward. He couldn't love you the way I can. No one can but me. 

But I'm an asshole. How can you love an asshole?

No, you let things get to you and had an asshole moment. If I thought you were an asshole for wearing your grief so transparently then I would be the asshole, now, wouldn't I? 

How did you get so smart?

I'm not. I just had to grow up fast. I had you asking questions all the time. I had to be ready with answers, you know?

So can I ask you something?

Bridget, he's not coming back. He's gone. I'm sorry but the men in front of you who put up with you, we're the ones who love you. We're going in circles here. We need to stop doing this. I love you. Just stop.

I nod. He's right. I'm lucky. And at the same time I can't handle this outpouring of support that I somehow push away. Claus isn't working. Sam isn't. Not Joel. Christ. No, he's not working either. Help me, please. I'm drowning in the sea I made.

Loch is still staring at me. What about Caleb?

I take the bottle from him and take a long burning swallow and then pour the rest out on the rocks. Happy Birthday, Jacob. Forty-five. What a milestone. What a waste.

Friday, 6 November 2015

I should be planning a forty-fifth birthday instead of this.

(Eight years today and this doesn't hurt any less and everyone's a liar.)

The ache of regret and dread woke me up early and I made my way downstairs to see Sam, after telling Loch that I was going to get juice, that I'd be right back.

What if the letters had instructions on where to meet Jake in the future? Maybe he just needed some time and now he'll be waiting forever? We made a big mistake burning them. I shouldn't listen to you. Maybe I just need to keep listening to myself on this subject and not let you all steer me in the wrong direction. 

Bridget, stay here for a bit. Let's talk about-

I need to go. 

He lunges for me but I've already gone back up. Loch and Ben are dozing still, the house is dark and quiet and I go see Dalton next.

He puts his arm up with the quilts over it and I crawl in beside him. He brings his arm down and pulls me close.

Any other day I'd be drawn and quartered for this. 

Would I be a bad person if I keep Caleb? 

Depends. What's the motive?

Not losing anyone else. There's too many empty places at the table as it is. 

And you think you can fill those holes by sleeping with the Devil? 

No, but I feel less alone. 

If you still feel alone between Loch and Ben then I would say nothing's going to help you and maybe you should keep the Devil on ice until you figure this out. 

I say nothing but kiss him on the cheek and slide out of his bed. I put on my docs at the side door and head across the driveway to the boathouse. I look back once because I think I hear PJ call me but it's the wind so I keep going. The boathouse is dark too and the Devil is in his dreams so I guess I'm already there.

I slide under the furs beside him and his arm comes around me as he wakes up.

You okay? He says, in a voice thick with sleep.

I shake my head against his arms but say nothing.

I don't think Loch can be the man of your dreams if you wake up missing someone else, Neamhchiontach. 

Keep Loch out of this. 

He's in it, though. Fighting a ghost. It's the only thing that helps me sleep at night, knowing that he knows he'll never be number one to you. 

Do you need to do this now? 

Forgive me. It's hard to wake up triumphantly and triumphant to wake up hard because there's a Bridget in my bed. 

I'm not going to give you up. 

Music to my ears, Baby Doll. 

I can't lose anyone else.

You never lost me, even when you asked me to step aside. I don't think it matters what you do. I'll be here until the end. He kisses me on the forehead but doesn't let me go right away and I don't try to leave. It's warm. Secure. Safe.

I leave him reluctantly and head back across the driveway, where PJ opens the door before I can turn the knob and frowns at me. How long were you there? 

Five minutes. You going to lecture me? 

If I must. 

For the record I'm going to manage my own affairs from now on. 

How does Loch feel about it? 

Feel about what? There's Lochlan now. Awake and ready for a fight.

Bridget's going to use her grief as a shield to deflect any criticism she faces for continuing to sleep with everyone. (Thanks, PJ for picking sides today of all days.)

I shrug. You don't have to be assholes about it. 

Neither do you, Loch tells me. His eyes are flashing with tired rage.

This is what you signed up for. Maybe you shouldn't have walked out when things got tough. 

I came back. All in, Bridget. You have my heart. 

I'm not all in. So I don't know what I have for you. 

Look, just ride out the day and tomorrow things will seem better. 

Why? Is he coming back?


Who do you think?!

Thursday, 5 November 2015

The day before.

Sycophants on velvet sofas
Lavish mansions, vintage wine
I am so much more than Royal
Snatch your chain and mace your eyes
If it feels good, tastes good
It must be mine
Heroes always get remembered
But you know legends never die
An old familiar face slides up beside me as I hurry to run a couple of errands downtown before we head home. Batman took me out for breakfast to pick my brain on gifts for people he isn't especially close to and I'm great at corporate gift-giving. Vintage ornaments and modern music boxes for all.

Whiskey for those without problems. Alcohol is a loaded gift these days. You never know.

So while he fetches the whiskey I need to return some things, gifts sent unsolicited from my Devil. I'm so out of time and then I look up and the brown hippie curls of Skateboard Jesus frame the face staring back at me.

If you change for them, what happens to you?


How long can you be someone else? Why do they get to demand this when they realize they aren't special?

Maybe they are special and I'm the one who's ordinary. 

That's not how this works. Why would you want to be someone else?

A fresh start. 

You've already done that a few times over. Does it work? 

Not hardly. 

Then stop changing and stop apologizing and be who you are. Onwards and upwards, Princess.

I looked up into his face and see Jacob's blue eyes and freeze. When I blink they're brown again and Batman is beside me saying my name. Asking me if this man is bothering me. Trying to get information from me but I can't. I can't talk. I can't do this.

Who are you? He finally asks directly.

An old friend, Jesus says, and glides away.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

It wasn't anything I could control. I just needed it and I didn't care that everyone was still sleeping. I turned over and pressed myself into Ben, putting my arms up around his neck, kissing under his jaw. He woke up instantly, His hands sliding down over my back, pulling me in tight. I felt Loch begin to turn away in his sleep and I flung my right hand out and grabbed his arm.

Stay. I pulled him closer too as he woke up slowly. All of it now. I need you now. Ben's eyes are black and he pulls himself up to the headboard, sitting up, lifting me up tight into his arms and bringing me back down slowly. Agonizingly. I feel Loch's chest against my back and then his arms around me, holding me up. I'm their puppet in the dark. This show is all me. Loch's arms wrap around my neck as Ben's hands slide down under my thighs. I put my hands on Ben's shoulders and he holds his breath. Naw, Bridge, he says and he lifts me up as he gets up on his knees and then puts me down on my back again, threading my legs up to frame his hips. I feel Loch's fingers leave my hair and then his hand takes mine and squeezes it as Ben begins to move. So harsh. So warm. He touches different places with his mouth as he grinds into me and I cry out with every point of contact. I may explode. I don't know. I tell them to be ready if I do. It'll be like sex confetti and you can just pick up the pieces and make me whole again some other time. 

Lochlan laughs when I say this but it isn't his Scottish braying donkey laugh, it's this smoldering low chuckle that means he's amused but too far gone to do anything about it. Ben's lips are back on my face and he kisses my eyelashes and drops me into the arms of the juggler, by surprise. Lochlan wastes no time keying me right up into the stars and then I decide I can no longer lift a finger but I have enough strength left to reach out and touch Ben's face. He laughs and tells me he knows where that hand has been and I would laugh but I'm almost crying instead. Lochlan sits up, pulling the blanket up around my back but we're sitting on it so it's the perfect leverage for him to use to wind me out so hard I beg him to be like this all the time. He's not even breaking a sweat and I've turned so slippery if he didn't have the blanket around me I'd probably be on the floor.

But no one cares. Because this right here is one of those serendipitous moments that makes all the tough ones fade out of our memories.

Ben's hands are on my shoulders and he pulls me until I'm on my back again and he leans down and kisses me thoroughly, upside-down. I can feel Lochlan's fingers digging into my hip bones as he finds the sweet spot in his efforts and then Ben lets go and I am pulled back up into space, resuming my orbit around Lochlan. He swears when he hits the stratosphere and pulls me tightly against him, his lips coming to rest against my throat, and he tells me this is what will save our lives, and it's never changed. And then he lets go and tells Ben it's time to finish me off and then I am lifted right off the bed and Ben carries me to the door where he pins me against the cool wood and I forget my name and what month it actually is and how to breathe because I don't need to anymore. He's going to do it for me. He's surprising gentle considering I'm being fully controlled and by the time he follows us into outer space he's got one hand underneath me and the other holding me up by my neck. I can't see the floor, only the ceiling and as I watch the glow-in-the-dark stars melt together into one shining light they give way completely into a silent but deep shuddering crescendo that blows my little fucking mind.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015


The replies to Sam's little power play weren't the ones he was hoping for. A unanimous chorus of WTFs, with a few hell nopes scattered throughout and punctuated with a lovely paragraph from the Devil spelling it out quite clearly.

If anything, we've gained another Bridget to look after in a trying period. Don't kid yourself, Samuel. When you're done strutting like a peacock you're going to collapse like a house of cards. If I were you I would camp on August's doorstep for the foreseeable future. Rather than dismissing him I think you'll most likely need him to save your life. 


Matt left for the UK this morning for his contract there until Christmas and Sam up and ran roughshod over Lochlan, August, Claus, and PJ in attempting to assert his place as the penultimate expert on me, and said he would look after things. That he has the time and the skill and everyone else could go back to whatever they were doing.

Sam's heart somehow became stuck on me and I didn't realize I was carrying it. I didn't realize I would become his pet project. I didn't realize he would use me to ease his pain and hurt Matt in the process but it seems like he's going to, right off the bat without even foreplay here. His announcement came via our family SMS message group and the 911 group as well. One is used for stupid shit like reminders to stop loading the dishwasher steak-knife blades up and the other is for emergencies, like someone needs CPR or to have a truck lifted off their chest.

I got it too. Ten minutes after I saw his car pull into the driveway from taking Matt to the airport.

I found him downstairs in his kitchen making coffee. The table is piled with notebooks and books from the library. There's a stack on the chair and two books on the floor too. Just like Jake. Sigh.

My phone is blowing up in my pocket, on vibrate but I need to deal with him first and then I'll put out the fires across the rest of the point.


Bridget. Did you sleep?

Yes. Did Matt get out okay?

Of course. He's a good traveler. 

Why didn't you go, Sam? 

It came at the worst time of year for you. 

For me. What about you?

I'm not leaving you right now. 

I'm not yours to be left. 

He made that horrible face when he's trying not to show any emotion and then resumed making his coffee with his back to me. Between Caleb probably about to come barging up here with ultimatums for you, Ben's recent recovery glitch and Jake's anniversary I know where I need to be. 

Yeah. With your husband. 

I don't know how long that label is going to hold, Bridget. He says my involvement is fairweather at best and maybe he's right. I don't have enough room for everything. 

So then what's the matter with you? I yell at him and turn him around so he'll look at me and not miss. You need to pick the most important thing and everything else will be okay!

I did.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Dancing on the ashes of a love that never ends.

(Maybe we're all working that last nerve today. It's going to be such a tough week in more ways than one.)

I kind of got into it with Matt this morning. I don't even know how we got to the point that we did but it's amazing to find out the dynamic of how we interact isn't how I thought it was.

I got up at six, did all the chores, drove the kids to school and then came back and traded off with PJ, who took over because I'm still not at full capacity and so I took my headphones and my phone and crawled into his bed with the curtains drawn and the lights out because his bed is warm, usually unmade and smells like Irish Spring and spilled whiskey.

I had a blissful nap, emerging around ten. PJ asked what I thought of the new album and I smiled big. It's just like Hysteria, I said.

Matt is off this morning, packing for London (here we go again) and was pouring himself a cup of coffee. Def Leppard? You going to make a new pole-dancing playlist?

I don't know if I could even fault him. My very brief attempt to pay the rent stripping (why the hell not? I'm used to being on stage. I'm used to having my clothes off) is rather legendary. I danced to half the songs on Hysteria. Matt wasn't there. He's only heard the stories. Maybe that's why he doesn't get to make jokes about it. It was so brief I don't even know if I have the right to be offended but I am. My face must have said it all.

Oh, Bridget. I didn't mean...I'm sorry. You've led such an extraordinary life and done so many crazy things, I was just trying to..I don't know what I was trying to do. Be too familiar, probably. I apologize. I didn't mean to offend you.

You didn't exactly. I don't even know why it stung. Facts are facts. Let's forget about it.

I just keep my feet in my mouth these days. I didn't mean for you to be a victim of that as well.

How are things?


I can well imagine.

Why won't he join me?


Hoes before bros? Wait. Too soon?

Jesus, Matt. Get on the plane before I rip your face right off, okay?

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Samhain until sundown.

Took Sam vintage shopping last evening, and he bought himself a corduroy blazer. If it had been green I would have burst into flames but it's caramel-colored like his hair. It suits him to a tee. I cried anyway because yeah. Don't go there, Samuel. I know it's been eight years but I'm not ready for preachers in corduroy blazers just yet.

I saw a Prada bag at the vintage store too. Three Louis Vuittons, a lot of Michael Kors, one very lovely pink Chanel, and enough Fendis to fill the trunk of my car. I bought nothing.

I should have bought something but Sam kind of blindsided me. Then we did our grocery shop for the food bank and the halloween treat shopping for the church and then we came home and battened down the hatches like in The Purge movie where all crime is legal from sunset to sunrise.

It's kind of hilarious. I donate the candy now instead of giving it out because then I don't feel bad but both Ruth and Henry were at parties and really I still am not at a hundred percent and now I see why fancy stores have big overstuffed chairs to sit in. I used to call them 'husband chairs' because husbands hate shopping but it seems they should be wife chairs. Because I hate shopping sometimes.


This morning I got to see the jacket in action at the Samhain service, and Sam did a lovely All Souls Eve/Druid/Unitarian/Wicca mashup that left everyone a little breathless and spooked. He's good at roping in everyone, even the absolutes (as he calls them, people with closed minds. A lot of them read my blog and send me shitty emails) and today was no exception. I came home and lit every candle in the house and then blew them all out again hoping for that same goosebumpy feeling.

It'll come. It's probably still in the garage, preparing for its grand entrance later this week.