Monday, 6 February 2017

One leads, one follows.

August loves the snow. When I arrive, he puts on all the tiny white lights and starts making hot chocolate. Then I get a hug and he does his signature move where he runs his hand over the back of my head as he lets go, always feeling for the hearing aids.

Rarely does he find them.

Today is no exception so he is sure to not ask questions if I'm not paying strict attention and he never talks as he's walking away. He brings the cups over to the coffee table where I am curled up in front of the gas fireplace, sits down against me and asks how I'm doing.

I take a sip. Real hot chocolate. He melts Hershey bars in milk, adding vanilla, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. It's delicious. I don't know why I don't have diabetes.

Then I talk for a while. He frowns the whole time. He's thinking. He asks precious few questions, instead letting me spool right up, dumping all of my gears and whirlygigs out all over his brain. His brain picks up each piece methodically, turning them over, sometimes polishing them on the hem of his shirt, sometimes pushing them all to one side with a sweep of his arm as the next round hits.

He's so patient.

And then I am finished. So is the hot chocolate. I wait for his instructions because two is better than one and Bridget won't be getting fixed today anyway.

But he doesn't say anything. He shoves the empty mugs to one side, puts his feet up on the table and pulls me in against his heart, where I let out a shaky breath and close my eyes.

It's almost dark when I open them again. When I stir he bends his head down, kissing my forehead. He tells me to get out. That's his standard operating procedure most days. A little work, a little cuddle, a lot of guilt.

I fly across the driveway in the final light of the day, landing in the kitchen just as boys start to pour in looking to see what's for supper. PJ's already started so I set out plates and napkins and respond to questions as sweetly as I can but I sting all over. I never get used to August's sudden cold shoulders. Not when he was so warm before.

Sam walks in, throws his suit jacket over the arm of my chair and pitches in automatically. He's got his sleeves rolled up, tie still looped around his neck. His Seychelles belt buckle persists, in spite of the four or five plain belts 'gifted' to him since he showed up with it.

When PJ heads to his room for something, Sam blocks my path as I head around with glasses on a tray. I stop short and they slide crazily toward the front edge. Jesus, Sam! I cry. I almost dropped the whole thing!

He takes the tray and puts it down. Talk to me. 

Oh, not about this. 

About anything. You know that. 

Just some issues with August. 

You're playing with fire, Bridget. (Sam has issues with August, as does everyone. August has no issue with anyone save for himself.)

I'm a trained professional, Sam. 

Professional what? Asks Lochlan as he comes in.

Heartbreaker, Sam and I say at the exact same moment.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Perilous normal.

The point is coated in a hard white crust again. I've come to resent the snow, as it covers the seaglass treasures I should be finding on the beach and it mutes my heartbeat down into a distant thump from somewhere far inside.

Lochlan's early, brusque refusal to take me down anyway sent it even deeper inside as he shook the snow off his hair and brushed off the shoulders of his thick fisherman knit sweater. He was outside splitting wood all morning. His hands are rough and fatigued, his arms are aching and he just wants to sit down and have a hot cup of coffee. He hasn't shaved in a couple of weeks and is starting to look like a mountain man. He's putting them all to shame, never stopping or even slowing down. Hardly sleeping sometimes and then catching up all at once. And still with one eye on and one ear out for me as I balance on the icy slopes too close to the cliff or spend too long out in the cold fascinated by the way the snow piles up on the deadened grapevines or the tree swing. I seek shelter in the studio or underneath the big hemlocks sometimes when it's too far to go back to the house for just one minute.

Curious girl, he scolds.

I shrug. When has that ever changed?

Finally he relents and I jump up to run to get my boots, waiting impatiently by the patio doors for him to finish his coffee as slowly as humanly possible and then pull on his big boots again. He never laces them. He grabs our red mittens from the shelf above the coats and tells me not to run ahead (in his mind I've never not been ten years old) and says he's coming.

When we get to the bottom of the steps he laughs and asks what treasures I'm going to find here today. I ignore him and step to the hard white edge of the earth where the solid ground ends and the glorious sea begins.

They're all still here, they just have a blanket today. I bend down and splash water up on the shore. The white crust melts away, revealing shells and two tiny pieces of bright blue glass. See?

Give me your mitts. Jesus, Peanut. He pulls my saltwater soaked mittens from my hands and replaces them with his own. Why do you do these things? 

I look at the dark teal frigid Pacific as I answer. I don't know. I can't help it.

Saturday, 4 February 2017


It's a snow day! Everyone cancelled everything. Some of the boys were just brimming with Superbowl party invitations. Some of them have friends off the point.

Not me. This is my squad. And my squad has bailed on every last one of those invites to stay home with me because I was smart and ran out yesterday early to get junk food for the storm.

I'm glad this whole mess held off long enough for us to go to the show and now we can hunker in and keep the fire burning high and spool up perpetual movies all day, or the generator if the power goes out again. It's gone off twice but we're mostly ignoring the inevitable. I even slept in until nine today and then spent twenty minutes talking on the phone to Caleb while I woke up, while Ben did absolutely deplorable things like lick my elbows and tickle my earlobes (you were hoping for more exciting examples, I know.) Lochlan didn't even notice, he was too deeply asleep. He's weird like that. We got so used to living in close quarters he can sleep through phone calls, video games, movie watching, hair-drying, dish-washing, singing, you name it. But me? Ha. If a feather hits the carpet three continents away? I'M AWAKE.

The chips and dip are calling my name. It's horror movie day! Until the power goes, that is.

Friday, 3 February 2017

With every sinful bone.

Tonight we went to see Relient K + Switchfoot at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. They said it was the biggest show of the tour (venuewise/crowd size) and proceeded to roll out the most incredible show yet!

The venue is beautiful. They fixed the sound instantly after the first song seemed very overly bassy. The attendants were helpful, parking easy, bathrooms plentiful, they had food, spread out merch stands and lots of light. It was general seating so we sat smack-dab in the centre.

And I took my first deep breath of the night. Made it.

Relient K has only played a scant number of shows in Canada ever so I battled the flu and a huge snowstorm to get there. So glad I did.

I didn't bring my hearing aids either. I don't need them at shows. I can't hear some of the between-song banter but I don't find it's been a problem. I'm going to soak it all up while I can.

So worth it. So, so worth it.

They played Deathbed, guys. I cried through the whole thing while I sang along. It was beautiful. Matt played it on the piano and Jon came out to sing the part of Jesus at the end even! They also played almost everything else I love. I don't know how they breathe for all the words in the songs. They were funny and charming and sweet and freaking amazing. Matt Thiessen's hair is a ringer for Lochlan's. I've never seen another curly redhead in person with the big curls like that. Deathbed wasn't my favorite moment though, I think it was a cross between Boomerang and Empty House, which is a little hard to get used to on the album but then live is incredible. Just incredible. And a few times the crowd seemed to surprise them, starting a clap or a singalong and they looked so genuinely thrilled it was touching. They are the modern day Simon & Garfunkel. I'm sure of it.

Then a break. I tried not to yawn. Holy. Two shows in six days. I'm not good at this. I'm getting old.

Lights went out again. YES.

This was my fifth Switchfoot show. It's a record! Most times I've seen a band live (sorry Benjamin) but I don't think I'd want to miss them if they came.

So much more polished than a decade ago for our first show of theirs at the Garrick. That first show was a lifetime ago for me, and probably for them too. They didn't have a setup, just their instruments and their heart. They've gotten bigger each time since. Now they have a super high-tech light show, video monitors and a perfectly timed professional show that's heading into U2 territory at this stage of their trajectory. Wow. Most of the songs they played came from the new album, Where The Light Shines Through (Matt came out to join Jon for Live it Well!) and still they threw in some great surprises from yesteryear like Gone and Love Alone Is Worth the Fight. They did an epic acoustic Hello Hurricane around a single mike. I don't cry like a baby when they sing Dare You To Move finally. Took a lot of shows for that to happen.

I got an awesome Burn Brighter Than the Dawn t-shirt. I also got myself the coveted Relient K Blue Jays shirt.

What a great night. Thank you to both Switchfoot and Relient K for becoming a surprising but welcome soundtrack to a life I thought I should maybe drown out with noise but now instead I want to listen even harder than before. While I still can.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Good news.

This morning. THIS MORNING. 

Ruth got accepted to university!


I'm so proud. Especially after we forgot to remind her to add her academic awards to her resume. Sigh. Guess with the honour roll it's overkill but WHATEVER I'M PROUD.

So proud. 

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Sorry, not sorry. I lay in bed most of the day watching Stop A Douchebag on Youtube and eating grapes until I felt sick so I have nothing to report.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Purple laver + grey cloud.

Lochlan said I smelled like a perpetual blend of smoked sea salt and bulletproof coffee with an undercurrent of lilacs. He said I did good, but he's happy I'm home and we slept hard last night on the giant hockey-arena sized bed, looped in against Ben, a rescue ship on a stormy sea if ever there was one, which is somehow surprising in light of Ben's long history as the sweetest, meanest dry drunk you ever met. He's mellowed beyond the pale in the past few years though. Probably because of the stress of being with me. Or maybe just because they're all hitting that fifth decade one by one and it's like a switch being flicked sometimes and then other times you can see the indignant teenage stubbornness flare up and flame out in a whoosh. It's still there. It's still them.

I know why I smelled strange, I spent hours on the beach yesterday. It reeked of seaweed and petrichor and I love it so I stayed. They had to pull me away physically (it happens sometimes) and then as soon as I could get away again I went back and finally Lochlan came back down with one of the big lanterns because it was almost dinner time and getting dark.

Want me to bring the sleeping bags? He laughed.

Can we??? Thought the rest of my dreams were going to come true for a minute there.

No, Peanut. It's going to drop to the minuses tonight. You thought you were cold last night, you'd never make it. 

I'm never cold with Lochlan. Ever. He is fire incarnate.

I smile at him and somehow he knows what I'm thinking.

Come on peanut. Let's go up. 

After dinner Ben appeared and didn't go back downstairs and at ten-thirty sharp we went up to bed. I kept looking at him, a stranger who rarely shows his face before the waning hours, a night owl in a house full of reluctant morning people. An enigma.

Thought you might need me, he shrugged. Also since you weren't here last night. Lochlan and I have decided we're in love. He smiles dramatically.

I look at Lochlan and he nods. We'll see if we still have room for you. 

I stand there waiting until they're both in and Ben turns the light out and I stand there in the dark. What if they're serious? What if I lost my place?

Then Ben turns the light back on and says, Get in here, Bee. You know what Loch and I have is superficial. It's all based on looks. 

What about me? Isn't that based on looks too?

There's not enough of you to look at. Too small! And he laughs and turns off the light again once I've climbed over Lochlan to take my place as monkey in the middle. Funny how we increased the size of the bed so much and I still have no room.

Your hair smells weird. 

It's the beach. 

Nothing ever changes, Peanut.


Monday, 30 January 2017

Woke up in Sweden. Send the plane.

(It actually stands for this: Please Try Something Different.)

When I opened my eyes from the latest coma (we don't call it sleep when it's drugs any more than you call it rainshine when it's sun), there are the hemlocks peeking down at me through rainwashed skylights. There is dark grey everything and there is my unintentional but somewhat mostly welcome (except when he isn't) new/old boyfriend (who may or may not be the devil) with breakfast in bed for me.

He told me I slept adorably. I was cold so I put on my Hello Kitty pajamas and curled right in against him before realizing that I probably played right into his deeply buried fetishes without even trying.

Not sure if you ever noticed his dresscode rules? His preferences for me being so specific? I have to dress up. Very high heels. Very sophisticated clothing. He likes my hair above my shoulders (it's. almost. touching. them. finally.) and prefers our time together to be mostly formal activities or very very extreme adult ones.


Because child-Bridget excites the fuck of him and I don't want to awaken that monster. I think he has a hard enough time with it as it is and so he has all these rules to keep himself in check and protect me too.

God forbid I show up in jeans and a t-shirt with a long braid and Oreo crumbs in my teeth.

God help me if I wake up in pink pajamas.

God save the Queen? Fuck that. Save the princess instead. For once.

But he seems like he's in control and he has a tray with coffee and lemon bread and blueberries so we make short work of it and then I point out I have to get going.

Thank you, Caleb says to me.

I told you I can stay a couple times a month if-

Not for that. For being comfortable enough to be yourself (I ain't the girl in the stilettos. I ain't anything, actually.). I'm working on things. (Oh, he knows exactly what is wrong with him.)

I nod. Suddenly I feel like it might be difficult to leave.

Go before I keep you, he whispers.

And I'm gone.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Dinner and a kick-ass show.

(For all of the alarmist emailers: the pills can reduce anxiety and regulate sleep. If I can do those two things in my life I'm fucking gold. For the rest of you? You're swell. Thank you for coming.)

In at two last night, naked and makeup-free and fed (not in that order, mind you) and in bed by three. Far too late with a busy week ahead but also a whole lot of rare fun. We had an oddly smooth evening, with a whole host of luck (last parking spot in our usual lot, last table in our favorite pub, a perfect view in the ballroom (for the Ascot Royals and Big Wreck!), too many drinks though it didn't affect a thing, no lineups, no sound issues, no fights. No weirdos. No glitches. Just fun. And my eyeliner stayed sharp all night (thank you to Kat Von D). My lipstick did not (F-you, Dior). Not in the least but I threw it in at the last minute and had I been smart I would have used one of my twelve hour workhorse reds (like duh, Kat Von D liquid or my almost-gone Lorac but no. So yeah. Not so polished so I just pretended I did a nude lip on purpose. Honestly? No one fucking cares except everyone loves my blue-red matte lips when I bother so there's that. 

Boys are weird. They're like 'you don't need makeup' and then when I wear some they're all 'hey girl'. 


I'm so tired. 

Tonight I'm going to bed at eight.

Maybe seven. 

Saturday, 28 January 2017


Fell asleep in the hot tub last night. I was reading and I felt my eyes get heavy and I put my head down on my hand against the side and just closed my eyes for a minute and Jacob swam up into my face and screamed at me when I went under. I surfaced with a shout of my own and looked around in the dark.

Okay, so I am crazy.

Also sometimes the narcolepsy gets bad. It seems more related to mental than physical things so when I feel stressed I check out faster and more frequently.

The doctor said it's probably a sign for me to slow down. I told him if I slow down any more I'll run at bullet time and look like a flipbook from afar.

He prescribed Ativans, Ambiens and something else that starts with A that I already forgot. Great. Zombie spring. I get to dole out my own comas instead of Lochlan holding all the cards, or in this case, all the pills.

But I can't take anything right now. I'm making lasagna and salad for dinner and then I'm supposed to go to a thing that STARTS at ten-thirty pm. Masochism at it's finest. Hope my eyeliner and my bra hold up. I hate both, truly I do.

Edit: Alprazolam! This one sounds like fun.