Monday, 10 April 2017

Waking up different.

The change in the weather heralded a change in Sam's mind as he handed me a short stack of envelopes this morning.

Since you're sick-

Are there drugs in here? I start rifling through them and one falls out. Instinctively I grab it before it can flutter far and see Jacob's handwriting. My eyes snap to Sam's face.

I didn't burn them, Bridget. I just wanted you to have a break from him. We all did. I've gone through them and this batch is a safe read for you. If you want to. 

(If I want to. Safe for me. Is the sky blue? Wait. It isn't. It's kind of grey- Shut up, Bridget. Just shut the fuck up and read them already.)


Before he left the room this morning Lochlan lit some white sage and some patchouli incense so that I would have a peaceful wakeup. The ceiling fan is on and all the windows are open. Tonight is the pink moon. One of my favorites of the year.

I step into a hot shower and he's left a bottle of baby vapor bath in the shower for me. My cold rages on. I can hardly breathe but it's a rite of spring. Or maybe of passage. Or maybe both.

I pile my rings back on as I dry my hair quickly, pinning my bangs to one side so they don't cover my eyes. He'd like to cut them but I might grow them out. The pin is sterling, an antique I found in a shop somewhere far from here. It doesn't flex like the cheaper ones, necessitating a purge every few months as my hair is so heavy and the pins are no match for it. This one always works. Also a favorite. A good luck charm.

I pull on my black tights and a long-sleeved black thermal t-shirt. Then a knee-length knit black pencil skirt and tall black button boots. A short-sleeved black shirt and a black velvet choker completes my mood. I sit at the edge of the couch, grabbing a button hook to get to work. These boots will stay on until after dinner and then I will be Bridget-sized again. Three inches makes me feel ten feet tall, though, and it's always the feeling that matters, so much more than the look.

From the bed I hear a change in breathing and the Devil opens his eyes.

You look beautiful, Neamhchiontach.

I smile and leave him there. Might be a first. Might not be a last. We'll see.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

My little Toronto Maple Leafs quietly snagged a playoff spot last night. The Canucks didn't. The house is divided. I won all the long-shot bets there were to be made. Pay up, boys.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Hello Tempest.

Fight over the clouds, over wind, over sky
Fight over life, over blood, over prayer
Overhead and light
Fight over love, over sun, over another
Fight for each other, for the ones who are rising

Angels on the sideline again
Benched along with patience and reason
Angels on the sideline again
Wondering when this tug of war will end
Ben didn't care that I was sick. He came upstairs, pulled me into his lap in the dark from where I slept hard and gurgly-congested and put his arms around me. Pajamas were sent to the floor amid quiet protests. Headphones were put on my head, his music player tossed to the side and then I was unceremoniously dumped facedown where I remained for the next few hours while he held one hand around my face, over my mouth and kept the other wrapped around my lower abdomen to pull me up off the bed and against him, over and over. It was harsh and beautiful and loving too, with music pounding through my feverish skull and then finally, at long last he turned me back over, ripped the headphones off my head and brought us back up to a sitting position, with one hand around the back of my neck and the other cupping me against him and he made sure we both hit heaven at the same time in dead dark silence, my arms wrapped so hard around his neck that by the time he let go I realized I was holding him and holding myself too. He dropped me back down onto the bed and tucked me in against his chest and I slept like a baby. Until an hour later when he woke up and wanted to repeat the night in daylight.

It's okay though. After I was full of Ben he filled the top half of me with coffee so I'm good. I'm good. God I hurt.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Four paragraphs of sweet fuck all.

It's Friday afternoon and I'm letting a playlist entitled 'Sappy' play through five times or seven, I don't know. I lost count. I think I've slogged through the new Phish, Pallbearer, Demon Hunter and Jamiroquai albums enough to be released to old familiars. Right now Triumph's Lay it On the Line is on again. I have a soft squishy spot inside my head for eighties ballads, an absolute blackened hole in my brain where I keep my favourite seventies ballads and zero time at all for anything from the nineties, frankly. All of this is stuffed into a metal shell, a tough alloy overlay I'm probably allergic to but will withstand nonetheless because a daily diet of teeth-rattling hardcore LOUD is better than everything else combined.

Sweet and hard. That's where it's at.

Just in the nick of time I think I have soothed all the hearts on the point to a dull contentment, I've got Asher keeping Batman organized to a fault, New Jake has his bike and has been good about keeping in touch every few days, Caleb went away with his tail between his legs and hasn't been back, surprisingly, so Lochlan is super happy today, Ben is still sober, PJ is still mad at me for spending too long too close a morning with Teflon Jesus (that Lochlan didn't care about one bit) and Sam warned me that I'm now in my final week of Lent, that Holy Thursday is less than a week away and I can have a cookie. Soon.

Except I don't want a cookie anymore.

I think I'm cured. Well, for now until I'm hungry again and then we'll see but really I don't care. I'm trying to transition back to coffee as a snack or a meal or pretty much a standby because my throat hurts so bad right now. We went to run errands earlier (my driver's license is about to expire so YAY. Photos that suck because if I'm not smiling I look like I'm going to cry. Also shoulder length hair booooo and now I'm stuck with that new photo for the next five years fuck.) and we ran out of a few crucial groceries which wasn't good and I don't feel good enough to improvise. Every time I sneeze a glob of something lands on my hands (because I sneeze like a little kid, both hands up covering my whole face. Thank God for that.) and Dalton is now sneezing a fair bit and Oh fuck. I'm going to make the whole house sick but it's inevitable. I either get sick first or I'm stubborn and I get sick a week after everyone else is getting better.

Ben is sort of sick too. Not in that fun way, I mean actually sick. He's been sleeping a lot and coughing a lot. When I woke up this morning I croaked good morning and he laughed like a big scary donkey and I laughed like a donkey being squeezed and then Lochlan woke up and just laughed like a normal freak and now I have to sing all day along with these sappy songs because my voice sounds so weird. PJ keeps telling me to rest my voice, as if I'm saving it for some big show, but as you can see it's not important because I've got nothing to say today. Today's just a day. Everything's level. The ghosts are quiet. The demons are satiated. The monster's got her shit together for five whole minutes and is probably about to go down rather hard. But not in a bad way. I guess I can look forward to more cuddles and a cozy weekend. I probably need it. I hope there's pizza.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Sanctus chill.

I'm having morning pajama cuddles with Teflon Jesus because I have a really bad headache and because he looked very cozy netflixing on his giant iPad Pro in bed when I went down to throw a load of clean clothes in the dryer. He called me in and asked what was up, because Dalton never ever pays attention when he watches movies. We can't take him to a theatre, he's such a casual talker. The best part is that it's a perk, not a flaw because in short order you'll realize you'd rather talk to him than watch the movie anyway. I don't mind that one bit.

So he held up the duvet and I crawled in and closed my eyes and drifted while he talked gently about this and that, knowing full well I wasn't really listening. Eventually he put his hand around my forehead. It was cool and felt nice. He keeps his room cool so I was out in seconds. Then he fell asleep too and the iPad fell on the floor at some point and we both jumped out of sleep and fell a thousand feet a second until we landed in reality.

He put a new movie on and we settled back in to watch it this time. But not watch it at all, because, as I said, he talks. I think Sam finished the laundry, probably as an afterthought while looking for me. I know this because PJ messaged me five times and Dalton messaged him back with a short Got her and nothing else which will get the rumor mill jacked up and chugging hard, belching smoke everywhere as it fires up to level Extreme but Dalton shrugged, tucked his hair behind his ears, said he doesn't care, and asked me what I wanted to watch next.

I didn't answer. I was too busy falling asleep.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Cole, you would have liked this one a whole hell of a lot.

Oh my God, I dropped the ball and apparently it rolled away under something somewhere and I just found it late last night. 

Big Boat. You know, the new (new. Ha!) Phish album that came out six freaking months ago

That's what I get for not using the internet. I blame everyone on this entire point for not telling me. They're always online somewhere, reading something. No excuses. No surrender. 

It's glorious though. Better late than never.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

A little ball of fire, a lot of destruction.

In the shower this morning with Lochlan. He takes me by the elbows and walks me backward under the spray until I'm drowning. Then he pulls me back out, smooths my hair back and kisses me.

I christen you every morning in boiling hot water, Peanut and we start over. I wish I could put in rules. I was I could take you with me and run. I wish to God Sam would stop falling asleep holding a lock of my hair. 

He laughs and sticks his whole face back under the spray. Then he rubs it hard and is back in front of me, where I have made a tower of my hair, full of shampoo, up into a tall soapy point. He looks up and laughs as it falls over and deposits a blob of shampoo in my eye. I yelp when it burns and he takes a damp facecloth and holds it over my face until the soap is gone and the pain with it. He then dips me back in the spray again until I am rinsed clean. He could baptize me a thousand times over and I'm fine with starting over again with every single breath. If this is the way it has to be for him then this is the way it is.

We've taken Sam in as a fixture or something at this point. He's lonely and a little unsure, a little shaky in real life when he isn't on a pulpit speaking as the representative of the Lord and he's cute to a debilitating fault. He's not a threat either. Not anymore. Not how they thought he would be anyway. At least very very few people see him as one, and Lochlan and Ben are not two of them.

Caleb and Batman, on the other hand, well, they bitch long and loud about this.

But it isn't their business.

Sure it is. You're my girlfriend. Caleb's fairly certain he can have a say in all of it. I'm certain he has a say in none of it. Also...girlfriend? He's never ever talked like that in a thousand years. He's transferred all of his energy that used to be used to bully Lochlan and figures he can do it to Sam. I don't think so.

Sure it is my business. I promised to look after you. Batman's still got one hell of a fucked-up allegiance to Cole that seems to transcend any business or personal relationship they had. He acts as if he's lost a lover and he's racked by the guilt. My brain never went there before and I don't know if I want to let it now. Neither Cole nor Batman has ever expressed interest in men but then again I run with a strangely progressive and permissive crowd-

No. You know what he's doing? He's hiding his personal distaste for any relationship I have that doesn't involve him behind his loyal duty to keep a promise to someone who's dead and can't care any more.

Hey, look. It's only the third time I've ever used that word to describe Cole since he left.

He is dead.


God, I hate that word so much.

So if I want to fill my wakeful moments and then my dreams with as much love as I can because it feels good, it feels safe and it feels right I will and they can't do anything about it.

Sure I can. Caleb gives Sam a shove when he walks in through the kitchen archway. Sam bumps against the wall and his phone bounces off the floor. It's fine. He's fine. He says nothing to Caleb and collects his phone and heads out anyway, and I turn and stare at Caleb as he takes a seat at the island to watch  me finish cleaning up. He positively glowers with jealousy and I finally ask him to leave if he's just going to spread negative tension everywhere.

PJ stands up. PJ's never all that far away and doesn't like any of this. Not for jealousy's sake, just for peace of mind.

You can sit, Padraig. There's no drama. I promise. I just want to speak to Bridget in private.

That doesn't exist-

It damn well does! Caleb yells at him and I slap my hand flat on the counter and lean way over.

You don't get to speak to him like that. Go. Please.


GO. You can apologize to him later and I'll talk to you tomorrow. That's all.

Dismissed. Like that. He won't be over for dinner.  I won't be over later. He lost the day for his temper. I can't give him an inch or he'll take everything and there's no way I'm letting him take out his ire on people I care for just as much. Nor will he be allowed to come in here and start ordering anyone around. I balance up here on such a thin wire of keeping the demon in check with the monster and it hasn't been, nor will it ever be easy but I'm doing it anyway. I'm well-trained and I have a lot of experience staying up here forever and if civility is what makes us work then that's what will be law around here, instead of the wild west it used to be.

I hold on to Lochlan's shoulders and he leans me way back under the spray again, landing a kiss against the hollow of my throat. You get to make the rules now, Peanut. Just make sure you say very clearly what it is that you want. 

Monday, 3 April 2017

Maintenance of a tender heart.


The word I spoke on the porch maybe had more weight than it needed to but Sam let the door swing closed on Caleb's face as they made their way past each other. Sam was going in as Caleb waited for him to clear the door so he could come out. Usually whoever opens the door outward waits and whoever is coming through comes through but Sam chose not to be polite.

He turned and held the door wide with his arm. Sorry. Didn't see you in the darkness. 

Caleb passed him with a nod and came out to sit with me. I don't know if he caught that double entendre but I sure did.

Sam is doing that thing where he's annoyed that I missed church again and even more annoyed that I haven't seen much of him as he hunkers down in preparation for the coming weeks of heavy work. The biggest season of the year for church. It kind of makes me crazy how people who show up at Christmas and then again at Easter in their finest get a pass while I'm singled out in my contentment to give up cookies and get my forehead orthodoxed out with a cross every couple of days while at the same time thoroughly corrupting my minister to the point where hopefully he won't notice my absence in front of him during the weekly sermon.

I think it's working, though.

Caleb and I sit for an hour or so until the tea is cold and so are the tops of my feet. Then he heads inside to bid the rest a goodnight and Sam is back on the porch before I've had time to register that I have the whole thing to myself.

He's here too much. 

What's wrong, Sam? 

I worry about you. I don't know how you can give him the time of day sometimes. 

I forgive easily. I can hold a grudge with both hands and not let go in a tsunami, but I still forgive him. 


It's necessary. 

But is it? Can't I or someone else take his place? 

Not the same. 


Jesus Christ. I'm not here for numbers. I love him, Sam. 

Do you love me? 

He stares earnestly at me. I've never seen such hope in his eyes. Even during dark times. It makes my eyes water even as I hold my breath.

It's late. We should go on up. 

Yeah. I have some reading to-

Come with me. You can read later.

There's my answer, Bridget. 

Yes, Sam. There it is.

Sunday, 2 April 2017



We went to see the Tea Party last night after having listened to them for over a quarter of a century for their 20th anniversary of the release of Transmission tour. It was so good! We managed to get our usual set of tables without a fuss, the Commodore Ballroom is perfect as usual and the band was outstanding. Worth it. They made me cry once, but only when Heaven Coming Down turned abruptly into With Or Without You, which, coincidentally, I saw U2 perform live on their last show here in Vancouver.

I finally feel like I've caught up with the boys as far as attended live shows goes. Finally. And this one last night lands in my top five of all time because it was THAT good. 

The crowd sang along and clapped and we all laughed and Jeff Martin is the Lizard King if ever there was one, but in a very good way. I don't know what people think when they read that, but when I mention it I think of Jim Morrison (of course) and how any man with a shit-ton of charisma, charm and cool who also sports some nice leather jackets and long brown curls is going to wind up in that category. Jim, Jeff and Duncan (my resident LK) are just somehow far better at it (or were, for Jim anyway) than most.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

All the fools in one place.

Thank you for letting me sleep, Neamhchiontach, he says as he comes into the kitchen this morning from the living room, blanket still over his shoulders. All eyes shift over to the doorway and he salutes the room lazily.

You seemed to need it.

The house is so quiet. I didn't expect that.

We soundproofed Ben's workshop, PJ says with his mouth full of toast.

What's that? Ben says from where he sits and ignores every last one of us. Lochlan smirks at Ben but says nothing.

Can we continue our conversation this evening? Caleb's still looking at me and ignoring the banter now spreading around the room.

Yes. A group of us are going to dinner and to a concert. We plan to get along. It's working. Somehow. Holy.